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AZERBAIJAN


  
  

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
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)

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Update No: 350 - (25/02/10)

The end-game
There is a new factor in the Azeri-Armenian dispute. The Turks want an end to the business, which is impeding their all-important relations with Russia. They have signalled this pretty well.

They want an end to their trade embargo with Armenia, which has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. They regard the dispute as a most tiresome question. The Armenians are enterprising and wily people, with whom it would be most profitable to do business.

It needs a statesman to resolve this affair. Where is he?

Initiative in Russia
The answer just possibly is President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia. As an intelligent man, with an aversion to war and a responsible position, he could be the ideal mediator at a certain stage of proceedings.

The ball has been set rolling by the fact that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met for a second time in Sochi, the Russian winter sport resort, in January. They discussed the current stage in the process to settle the conflict over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the prospects for the future.

The meeting was also attended by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, mediating a settlement to the conflict - Robert Bradtke of the USA, Bernard Fassier of France and Yury Merzlyakov of Russia - and Andrzej Kasprzyk, the personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office.

The meeting took place at Sochi's Adler international airport. Earlier in the day, the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents had a meeting in Sochi with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The foreign ministers of the three countries later joined those talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said afterwards that Azerbaijan and Armenia had agreed to prepare their own proposals on the contentious parts of an agreement to the conflict.

The OSCE mediators hope that Yerevan and Baku will submit their proposals shortly, Russia's Minsk Group co-chair Yury Merzlyakov said after the second round of talks. Once the proposals have been submitted, the co-chairs will visit the region again, Merzlyakov said.

He described the talks as open and constructive and said that the trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian presidents had been important. "The sides greatly respect the Russian president's initiative," Merzlyakov said. He declined, however, to predict whether a peace agreement would be signed in 2010.

The agreement on which Azerbaijan and Armenia are to make their proposals is an updated version of the Basic Principles of a settlement proposed by the OSCE mediators in Madrid in 2007. The Russian foreign minister said that the sides had reached "a common understanding on the preamble of the document", which implies that much remains to be agreed.

The Basic Principles as formulated earlier include the return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control, an interim status for Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance, and the future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.

The status of Karabakh is thought to be the key sticking point in the negotiations. Azerbaijan insists that Karabakh should remain within Azerbaijan, as is recognized by international law, while Armenia wants a different status for the territory.

The Azeri-Israeli axis
The Azeris and the Israelis get on - after a fashion. They are both outsiders in their respective realms of the world.

Azerbaijan has the largest trade with Israel of any Muslim state.

In 2009 Azerbaijan supplied Israel with $4bn worth of oil. Azerbaijan meets approximately 20% of Israel's oil needs and is the country's second largest oil supplier, after Russia.

Trade between the two countries last year was worth $4.25bn.

Israel exported $250m worth of goods to Azerbaijan, a 50% increase on 2008.
 

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