A Map of Azerbaijan


Background: Azerbaijan - a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population - regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 800,000 refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous and the promise of widespread wealth from Azerbaijan's undeveloped petroleum resources remains largely unfulfilled.
Location: Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range Area: Total: 86,600 sq km, water: 500 sq km, land: 86,100 sq km. Area - comparative: Slightly smaller than Maine Land boundaries: Total: 2,013 km border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Climate and Terrain: Climate: Dry, semiarid steppe. Terrain: Large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea. Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina.
People: Population: 7,830,764 (July 2003 est.) Ethnic groups: Azeri 90%, Dagestani 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2%, other 2.3%. (1998 est.) Religions: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8%. Languages: Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6%.
Government: Government type: Republic. Capital: Baku (Baki). Independence: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union).
Economy overview: Azerbaijan's number one export is oil. Azerbaijan's oil production declined through 1997 but has registered an increase every year since. Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with foreign firms, which have thus far committed $60 billion to long-term oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997.
Statistics: Telephones - main lines in use: 865,000. Telephones - mobile cellular: 800,000. Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1. Radios: 175,000. Television broadcast stations: 2. Televisions: 170,000. Internet users: 25,000. Railways: Total: 2,122 km. Highways: Total: 24,981 km, paved: 23,057 km. unpaved: 1,924 km. Airports: 71 (2002) Airports - with paved runways: Total: 27, with unpaved runways: total: 44.

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