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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: 352 - (25/04/10)

The running sore
The big issue confronting Azerbaijan since 1988 has always been the same - Nagorno Karabakh, or North Karabakh in English parlance. Who should it belong to – or should it go independent?

There is no doubt that the Armenians are holding down 20% of former Azeri territory, including the Armenian enclave and the Lachin corridor to it. In 1992 and 1993, Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh. The two countries signed a ceasefire in 1994.

It is might not right that decides matters in geopolitical disputes, in most cases. It is not surprising that Baku is pondering desperate measures.

Azerbaijan might consider a military intervention to address its Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Armenia if peaceful means fail, a top Azerbaijani official said on April 16. But Ramiz Mehdiyev, the head of the Azerbaijani President’s Executive Office, said Azerbaijan would prefer to solve the issue peacefully. “However, we may bring other means, and a military intervention, to the table in the future if necessary, and if these peaceful means fail,” Mehdiyev told newspaper editors in chief and television journalists in Istanbul.

Azerbaijan is losing its patience, Mehdiyev said, calling on Russia, an Armenian ally, to be more sincere in solving the problem. “The United States was also supporting Armenia,” he added. “If there had been no one behind Armenia, it would have withdrawn from Upper Karabakh.”

Enter Turkey
The Turks want this dispute over soon. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by its continuance.

There has been ferocious diplomacy between Ankara and Yerevan of late. An official said the signing of protocols between Turkey and Armenia would not harm Turkish-Azerbaijani relations because the two are sister countries. He said Azerbaijan and Turkey would discuss lifting visa requirements and come to an agreement soon.

The co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group – Russia, France and the United States – are currently holding peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Planned joint military exercises by Azerbaijan and the United States were cancelled in mid-April against a backdrop of strained ties between Washington and the oil-producing former Soviet republic.

The announcement by Azerbaijan followed its sharp criticism of Washington's role in its festering conflict with Armenia over the breakaway mountain region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Diplomats say the criticism reflects Azeri anger over U.S. support for a deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan's close Muslim ally Turkey to mend ties and reopen their border.

Azerbaijan, a supplier oil and gas to the West, fears the deal will weaken its hand in talks over the rebel territory.

Azerbaijan did not specify who cancelled the exercises planned for May, or why, but the U.S. embassy said it suggested "that the question be posed to the government of Azerbaijan".

Tehran to the rescue?
Iranian FM Manouchehr Mottaki’s has proposals to hold a trilateral meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Iranian Foreign Ministers.

Azerbaijan welcomes Tehran’s initiative, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Elkhan Polukhov said. "Iran is neighbours with both Armenia and Azerbaijan with a certain weight and influence in the region. It also has levers through which it can contribute to resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in a fair way based on relevant international legal norms,” Polukhov added.

"It should be noted that Iran has always been present in the initial phases of the conflict in the negotiation process, and Iran's position has always been support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Polukhov noted.


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