Background: Azerbaijan, a Muslim Turkic state, became an independent republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a ceasefire in 1994, Azerbaijan still has not come to a resolution of the conflict with Armenia over the predominantly populated Azeri enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians. As a result of the conflict, Azerbaijan has lost almost 20% of its territory and must provide assistance to 750,000 refugees. Corruption is rampant everywhere, and the promise of prosperity that Azeri oil reserves can provide remains largely unfulfilled. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Azerbaijan History.
Location: Southwest Asia, located on the coast of the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia.
Geographic coordinates: 40° 30′ N. latitude, 47° 30′ E E.
Reference Map: Commonwealth of Independent States.
Area: total: 86,600 km2; land surface area: 86,100 km2; water surface area: 500 km2; note: including Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and Nagorno-Karabakh region; the autonomy of the region was abolished by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan on November 26, 1991.
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Maine.
Land borders: total: 2,013 km; with neighboring states: with Armenia (Azerbaijan proper) 566 km, with Armenia (Azerbaijan – Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic) 221 km, with Georgia 322 km, with Iran (Azerbaijan proper) 432 km, with Iran (Azerbaijan – Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic) 179 km, with Russia 284 km, with Turkey 9 km.
Coastline: 0 km (has no access to the coast of the continent); note: Azerbaijan lies on the coast of the Caspian Sea (800 km est.).
Maritime claims: none (has no access to the coast of the continent).
Climate: dry, semi-arid steppe.
Relief: flat, wide valley of the Kura and Araks (most of it lies below sea level) with the Greater Caucasus Range in the north and the Karabakh highlands in the west; Baku is located on the Absheron Peninsula, which protrudes into the Caspian Sea.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m; highest point: Mount Bazarduzu 4,485 m.
Natural resources: oil, natural gas, iron ore, non-ferrous metals, alumina.
Land use: arable land: 18%; cultivated land: 5%; pastures: 25%; pesas and afforestation: 11%; others: 41% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 10,000 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: droughts; danger of flooding of some lowlands due to the rise in the level of the Caspian Sea.
Current environmental issues: local scientists consider the Absheron Peninsula (including Baku and Sumgayit) and the Caspian Sea the most environmentally unfavorable region of the globe due to severe air, water and soil pollution; Soil pollution occurs as a result of the use of DDT as a pesticide, as well as toxic defoliants used in cotton processing.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: Biodiversity, Climate change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered species, Marine pollution, Ozone layer protection; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: does not have access to the coast of the continent.
Population: 7,771,092 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 28.95% (male 1,146,315; female 1,103,393); 15 to 64 years old: 63.93% (male 2,415,678; female 2,552,759); over 65: 7.12% (male 219,549; female 333,398) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.32% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 18.44 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 9.55 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -5.67 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 0.95 male/female; over 65: 0.66 male/female; for the general population: 0.95 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 83.08 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 62.96 years; men: 58.68 years; women: 67.49 years (2001 est.);
General birth rate: 2.24 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: less than 500 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Azerbaijani; adjective: Azerbaijani.
Ethnic groups: Azerbaijanis 90%, Dagestanis 3.2%, Russians 2.5%, Armenians 2%, other 2.3% (1998 est.); note: almost all Armenians live in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Believers: Muslim 93.4%, Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.); note: belonging to a particular religion in Azerbaijan remains nominal; the percentage of true adherents of religion is much lower.
Language(s): Azerbaijani 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.).
Literacy: definition: persons over the age of 15 who can read and write; for the general population: 97%; men: 99%; women: 96% (1989 est.). State Name:
Common long form: Republic of Azerbaijan;
conventional short form: Azerbaijan; local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi; local short form: does not exist; former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
State structure: republic.
Capital: Baku (Laky).
Administrative division: 59 districts, 11 cities*, 1 autonomous republic**: Agdam, Agjabadi, Akdash, Akstafa, Ali-Bayramli*, Absheron, Astaran, Akhsu, Baku*, Balakan, Barda, Beylagan, Bilasuvar, Gabelya, Gadabay, Geokchay, Goranboy, Ganja*, Dashkesan, Jabrayil, Jalilabad, Divichi, Yevlakh*, Yevlakh, Zakataly, Zangi-lan, Zardob, Imishli, Ismailly, Kazakh, Kakhi, Kalbajar, Kobustan, Kubatly, Kub, Kusary-sky, Kurdamir, Lachin, Lankaran, Lankaran*, Lerik, Masally, Mingecha-ur*, Naftalan*, Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic**, Neftchala, Oguz, Saatly-sky, Sabirabad, Salyan, Samukh, Siazan, Sumgayit*, Terter, Tovuz, Udzhari, Fuzuli, Hadjikabul, Khankendi*, Khanlar, Khachmaz,Khojavend, Khojali, Khizi, Shamkhor, Sheki*, Sheki, Shemakhi, Shusha*, Shushan, Yardymly.
Independence: August 30, 1991 (until 1991 – part of the Soviet Union).
National holiday: Independence Day, May 28 (1918).
Constitution: adopted November 12, 1995.
Legal system: based on the civil law system.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
head of state: President Heydar ALIYEV (since 18 June 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur PACH3AflE(ArturRASIZADE) (since 26 November 1996);
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly; elections: the president is directly elected for a five-year term; elections last held 11 October 1998 (next to be held in October 2003); the prime minister and his first deputy are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly; election results: Heydar Aliyev re-elected president; percentage of votes – Heydar Aliyev 77.6%, Etibar MAMEDOV (Etibar MAMEDOV) 11.8%, Nizami SULEYMANOV (Nizami SULEYMA-NOV) 8.2%.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (Milli Mejlis) (125 seats; members of the House are directly elected for a five-year term); elections: last held 4 November 2000 (next to be held November 2005); election results: distribution of votes between parties – no data; seats – NAP and allies 108, APF 6, CSP 3, PNIA 3, Musavatists 2, AFP (traditionalist) 1, Compatriots Party 1.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: Party “Union for Azerbaijan” (Abutalib SAMADOV [Abutalyb SAMADOV]); Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) (Sardar JALAL); Azerbaijan Independent Democratic Party (AMDP) (Leyla YUNUSOVA [Leyla YUNU-SOVA]); Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF) (Ali KERIMOV, leader of the “reformist” faction, Mirmahmud FATAEV [Mirmah-mud FATTAYEV], leader of the “traditionalist” faction); Civil Solidarity Party (Za-bir RUSTAMKHANLY [Sabir RUSTAMXANU]); Party “Civil Union” (Ayaz MUTALIBOV [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]); Communist Party of Azerbaijan (CPA) (Ramiz AHMADOV [Ramiz AH-MADOV]); Communist Party of Azerbaijan (CPA-2) (Firudin HASANOV [Firudin HASA-NOV]); Party of Compatriots (Mais SAFARLI); Party of Democratic Education (Mammad-hanifu MUSAYEV); Democratic Party for Azerbaijan (DPA) (Ilyas ISMAILOV [llyus ISMAILOV], Rasul QULIYEV, co-chairs); Azerbaijan Liberal Party (Lala HAJIYEVA); Motherland Party (Fazail AGAMALI [Fazail AGAMALI]); Azerbaijan National Congress Party (Ihtiyar SHIRIN); National Movement Party (Samir JAFAROV); National State Party (Ca6npTAPHBEPflHEB[SabirTARIVERDIYEV]); Musavatist Party (Isa GAMBAR [Isa GAM-BAR], chairman); New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) (Heydar Aliyev, Chairman); Azerbaijan National Independence Party (PNIA) (Etibar MAMMADOV, Chairman); People’s Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (Rafig TURABKHANOGLU [RafigTURAB-KHANOGLU]); Azerbaijan Social Democratic Party (SDP) (Zardusht ALIZADE, chairman); note: opposition parties often split into factions and form new parties.
Groups of political influence and their leaders: Lezgi movement “Savdap”; the self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh movement for independence.
Participation in international organizations: AsDB, BSEC, CCC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Hafiz Mir Jalal PASHAYEV; office: (temporary) Suite 700,927 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 or R.O. Box 28790, Washington, DC 20038-8790; phone:  (202) 842-0001; fax:  (202) 842-0004.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Ross WILSON; embassy: Azadliq Prospekt 83, Baku 370007; mailing address: American Embassy Baku, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7050; phone:  (9412) 98-03-35, 36, 37; fax:  (9412) 90-66-71.
Description of the flag: three equal-sized stripes of blue (top), red and green; in the center of the red stripe are a crescent and an eight-pointed star.