Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan
Baku
Azerbaijani
Manat (AZN)
+994

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Azerbaijan, is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline with Turkey to the northwest.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world, was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920. Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, neighboring Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding territories and the enclaves of Karki, Yukhary Askipara, Barkhudarly and Sofulu. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which emerged in Nagorno-Karabakh, continues to be not diplomatically recognized by any nation and the region is still considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, despite being de facto independent since the end of the war.

Azerbaijan, a nation with a majority Turkic and Shia population, is a secular and a unitary republic with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. Azerbaijan is one of the six independent Turkic states as well as the active members of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations. It is one of the founding members of GUAM and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and in December 1991 the country became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On May 9, 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly. The term of office began on June 19, 2006. A Special Envoy of the European Commission is present in the country, which is also a member of the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Azerbaijan is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union and member of the Non-Aligned Movement and holds observer status in World Trade Organization.

Being one of the five most developed countries among CIS members Azerbaijan reached a high human development and standard of living. It is also one of the best countries for business as well as the richest country in the whole South Caucasus. The country has a low unemployment and a low crime rate.