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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: 351 - (25/03/10)

Georgia TV hoax amazes Azeris
The Azeris are astonished by the Georgian TV hoax on March 14 on a government channel, headed 'Russia invades, Saakashvili dead.' Then came very realistic footage of war scenes, because it was from the archives. Obviously Russian soldiers were on the rampage in Georgia, that happened in the August 2008 war between itself and Russia over South Ossetia, which is now effectively Russian.

It was intimated at the outset that it was a hoax, but not clearly enough to prevent a panic, with people rushing into the streets and screaming. Anyway not everybody turns on the TV news straight away. One woman had a heart attack and died.

If the Russians did ever occupy Georgia, this would make them neighbours of the Azeris. Understandably the Azeri leadership is concerned about the reaction of their own people. President Ilham Aliyev and his ministers are well aware that it would never happen. But they regard it as the height of irresponsibility for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to have licensed this folly. The people are not so well-informed. It can only make them nervous, thinking 'maybe they know something we don't.'

The Armenian stand-off
Actually in a geopolitical sense the Azeris are already neighbours, or at least nearby co-actors, of the Russians via Armenia, which depends for its military stance and wherewithal on Russia. The Armenians could never be occupying Nagorno-Karabakh, and in all 20% of Azeri territory, were it not for Moscow.

The news is not, alas, good on any immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict, which is what makes the TV hoax the more deplorable. Progress on the Madrid proposals of the OSCE is stalled, with the Armenians being intransigent. It would be political suicide for any Armenian leader to relinquish Nagorno-Karabakh, or even the Lachin corridor between themselves and their enclave in Azerbaijan. It is increasingly looking like one of those insoluble geopolitical
conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian one.

Azeri FM heaves in
“In order to solve the most important problem on the negotiating table it is necessary to withdraw Armenian troops from occupied Azerbaijani territories and return of IDPs there,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at a joint press conference with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconsky.

He said Baku hasn't received information from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on Yerevan's position regarding the updated variant of Madrid principles, offered to Armenia by the co-chairs.

"Azerbaijan's position is that if Armenia will accept the updated Madrid principles, then it will create an opportunity to continue works on a large peace agreement," Mammadyarov said.

Commenting on Edward Nalbandian's statement on the necessity of joining the negotiation process of the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh, Mammadyarov said that there are relevant decisions of the OSCE to hold negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in the current stage, the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot join this process.
Regarding the solving the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the minister said, this is possible only after the return of the Azerbaijani community there. “The status of the Nagorno Karabakh will be resolved through negotiations," the minister said.

According to Mammadyarov, holding a referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh is considered illegal, as under the Azerbaijani Constitution any referendum in the country must cover the entire territory of the country, not just its one part.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

The Azeri big brother – Turkey
If Russia is Armenia's protector, as the US is Israel's, Turkey is the big brother of Azerbaijan. The Azeris never miss the chance to express their solidarity with the Turks. Their diaspora in Sweden turned up in force on March 21 in Stockholm to protest against the Swedish parliament's resolution on the Armenian genocide of 1915 in Turkey. Hitler asked in 1938 whether anyone remembered the Armenian genocide, having one of his own in mind. Well, they do remember it as they remember his too.

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