For current reports go to EASY FINDER




Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 7,124 6,090 5,600 102
GNI per capita
 US $ 810 710 650 146
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Azerbaijan


Update No: 330 - (30/06/08)

The Prince Hal of Azerbaijan
Somebody once said that everything was foreseen by Shakespeare, an exaggeration of course, which the Bard would be the first to admit were he alive today. He would be astonished by nuclear power, for instance, and much else. But not by events in the Caucasus, which persist in having a Shakesperian ring to them.

Constant internecine strife, with sibling striking down sibling and mayhem galore, characterised the English Middle Ages, culminating in the War of the Roses. Something similar has occurred in the Caucasus, albeit with Tolystoyan innuendos at that. 

War and Peace are the dread themes. But the main figure is a new Prince Hal. Born in late 1961, the Azeri president, Ilham Aliyev, is a transfiguration of the son and heir of Henry 4th of England, whose seizure of the crown paved the way for much that was to follow, the War of the Roses not least. He is a playboy by nature, thrust into prominence by primogeniture.

He would much prefer to be swilling down the latest vintage in the company of an Azeri Falstaff (if such is conceivable), and a bold filly or two, than be settling down to grave matters of state. But grievious public problems are impending. 

He is now a sober statesman. But what next?

Prince Hal became memorable as Henry 5th by war, a great hero, after the battle of Agincourt in 1415. Aliyev junior is certainly tempted by the same route. Another Caucasus war is on the cards.

After all the Azeris have a very telling causus bellum - one sixth of their country is in enemy hands. 

With oil prices now in the ascendant, he has the means, an abundance of revenue. The Azeris are buying arms from everywhere. 

The other President Aliyev in the Caucasus
There is another Aliyev leader in the Caucasus, whose views merit attention, Dagestan President Mukhu Aliyev. Dagestan is a loyal constituent republic of Russia, which has none of the special reasons for hating the Russians that the Chechens do.

"Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a great tragedy and mediation by the OSCE Minsk Group since 1992 has not yielded any result, RIA-Dagestan quoted him as saying at the end of June. 

He underlined that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan mustn't be questioned. "After the Kosovo precedent to redraw borders in postwar Europe, the territorial integrity of any country may be questioned. This is unreason fraught with conflicts and wars. I am confident that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be resolved through political means. The parties need patience and wisdom in the negotiating process," he added.

Minsk process continues
The formal process of peace talks continues. The Azeri Aliyev on June 27 received in Baku the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen for Nagorno Karabakh conflict regulation, as follows Bernar Fassier (France), Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia), Matthew Bryza (US) as well as the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Adrzei Kasprzyk.

The trouble is nobody has anything new to suggest. There is an inexorable momentum towards a renewed conflict, unless a statesman emerges on the Armenian side. This is not happening. The new man in Yerevan, President Sarkassian, is as hard-line as his predecessor, Kocharian. He refuses to contemplate a return to pre-1994 borders, just as leading Israelis are intransigent about no return to pre-1967. 

Expect bubble and trouble from the Caucasus.

« Top

« Back


Published by 
Newnations (a not-for-profit company)
PO Box 12 Monmouth 
United Kingdom NP25 3UW 
Fax: UK +44 (0)1600 890774