Page last updated on February 14, 2013
Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-shia Muslim population - was briefly independent (from 1918 to 1920) following the collapse of the Russian Empire; it was subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union for seven decades. Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled. In January 2011, Azerbaijan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.
NOTE: The information regarding Azerbaijan on this page is re-published from the 2013 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Azerbaijan Introduction 2013 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Azerbaijan Introduction 2013 should be addressed to the CIA.
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This page was last modified 11-Mar-13
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