Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası), is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Its capital is Baku, the Caspian Sea coastal city. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, 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 Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (an exclave of Azerbaijan) borders Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and Turkey to the northwest. The Nagorno-Karabakh region in the southwest of Azerbaijan proper declared itself independent from Azerbaijan in 1991, but it is not recognized by any nation and is considered a legal part of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is a secular state, and has been a member of the Council of Europe since 2001. The Azerbaijani people (or simply Azeris) are the majority population, most of whom (about 85%) are traditionally adherents of Shi'ism. The remaining Muslims are Sunni. Other religions include Russian Orthodoxy (2.5%), Armenian Apostolic (2.3%), other (6%). The country is formally an emerging democracy, but with strong authoritarian rule.
Its official language is Azerbaijani.
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== Quotes ==
=== A ===
Important projects initiated by Azerbaijan are being carried out in order to meet the energy demand not only of the region, but also the European continent, The country is absolutely independent in this area,” the minister said. “We even sell energy and the energy carriers to other countries. At the same time, Azerbaijan, thanks to the reforms held, is reducing its dependence on oil, and the country’s economy will develop in the future as well.
Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, Hellenic Shipping News (February 3, 2016), "Azerbaijan ready to cooperate with Indonesia in energy sector"A Formula One race will improve our country's image. When we took an obligation to host this event two years ago, we could not forecast such a sharp decline in the oil price
Vakhid Akhmedov, a lawmaker with the ruling party and a member of the parliamentary economic commission, referring to Grand Prix, Channel News Asia (Feb 3 2016), "Oil crisis takes shine off Azerbaijan's lavish sports events"
=== B ===
I refuse to think of Azeris as inauthentically Muslims or semi-Muslims. Even following 73 years of secular Soviet rule They are Muslim and proud.
Yuval Ben-Ami, "The cure to Islamophobia: Azerbaijan" (27 February 2011), +972
=== G ===
What American politicians fail to understand (or at least it seems to me) is that today's Azerbaijan is quite a different place than the chaotic, war-torn, nearly failed state that the United States dealt with in its early years of independence.
Thomas Goltz, www.foreignpolicy.com, June 11, 2010, Bad Blood in Baku. The angry ally Obama can't afford to lose.
=== H ===
For the past 10-15 years, the number of protected areas, national parks and nature reserves have increased dramatically in the country. Some years ago, the residents of the regions killed wild animals to protect their livestock from predators. To protect the wild nature the government pays compensation to residents who suffered losses, with the condition that they will not kill wild animals any more. For the past 4-5 years the government have conducted several projects on modernization and reconstruction of water mains and sewer lines in rural areas located on the banks of these rivers. Special equipment cleans waste waters, and sewage water do not dump directly into these rivers
Chairman of Green Movement of Azerbaijan Farida Huseynova, AZERNEWS (February 2, 2016), "Azerbaijan improves environmental performance"
=== M ===
We hope these tensions won't do a major damage to relations between the regional countries [referring to Turkey]. We also maintain very close relations with Russia and hence we'll do everything in our power to tap a way out of this crisis
Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, told a news conference on Tuesday, TASS: Word (February 3, 2016), "Azerbaijan to put every effort into tapping solution to Russia-Turkey crisis — FM"The European companies are operating here to demonstrate their experience that Azerbaijan could use in practice. Azerbaijan and the EU enjoy very close relations that develop from year to year. We hope to get Azerbaijani gas in 2020. Moreover, according to available information, the implementation of TANAP project is ahead of schedule.
EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Malena Mard, AZERNEWS (February 3, 2016), "EU follows developments in privatization in Azerbaijan"You have a beautiful country, beautiful people. I witnessed this during my visit to Azerbaijan.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said he was deeply impressed by development processes in Azerbaijan, AZERNEWS (February 3, 2016), "Azerbaijan, UAE consider areas for economic cooperation, sign documents"
=== V ===
Although cooperation between Latvia and Azerbaijan has deepened in recent years, I consider that there is still huge potential for the further expansion of our relations, especially in political, economic, and cultural areas,
Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis said in an interview with The Business Year journal, AZERNEWS (February 2, 2016), "Latvia appreciates Azerbaijan’s role in SGC realisation"
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