Foreign relations of Azerbaijan

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Emblem of Azerbaijan.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Azerbaijan
See also

Azerbaijan is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO's Partnership for Peace, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the World Health Organization, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Council of Europe, CFE Treaty, the Community of Democracies; the International Monetary Fund; and the World Bank.

Azerbaijan has formal involvement with senior ex-U.S. government officials including James Baker and Henry Kissinger, as they serve on the Honorary Council of Advisors[1] of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC). USACC is co-chaired by Tim Cejka, President of Exxon Mobil Corporation and Reza Vaziri, President of R.V. Investment Group and Chairman of the Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LSE Ticker: AAZ).[2]

International organization participation[edit]

AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, United Nations, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Countries[edit]

Diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan currently has diplomatic relations with 158 countries:[3][4] Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the People's Republic of China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands,Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Republic of India, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.[5]

Azerbaijan is one of the few countries with predominantly Muslim populations that shares a strategic alliance with Israel. Today, Israel is a major arms supplier[6] to the country. (See Azerbaijan–Israel relations).

Azerbaijan also maintains good relations with the European Union, in the framework of its Eastern European Neighbourhood Policy (See Azerbaijan and the European Union).

Information on some of the countries with which Azerbaijan maintains formal relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Angola 1 December 1994[7]
 Burkina Faso 31 May 2004[8]
 Comoros 2 February 2010[9]
 DR Congo 23 October 2011[10]
 Djibouti 22 October 1996[11] See Azerbaijan–Djibouti relations
 Equatorial Guinea 11 November 2004[12]
 Eritrea 20 April 2004[13]
 Ethiopia 2 November 1992[14]
 Kenya 31 May 2004[8]
 Lesotho 28 September 2012[10]
 Malawi 21 May 2004[15]
 Morocco 25 December 1992[16]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Rabat since 2005.
  • Morocco has an embassy in Baku.
 Nigeria 11 March 1992[10]
 Rwanda 31 May 2004[8]
 Swaziland 7 January 2010[17]
 South Africa 29 April 1992[18]
 Togo 29 December 2010[19]

Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina 8 November 1992[20] See Argentina–Azerbaijan relations
 Bahamas 2 May 2017[10]
 Brazil 21 October 1993[23] See Azerbaijan–Brazil relations
 Canada 10 July 1992[26] See Azerbaijan–Canada relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Ottawa.[27]
  • Canada is accredited to Azerbaijan from its embassy in Ankara, Turkey.[28]
 Chile 11 January 1995[29]
 Colombia 13 December 1994[31]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Bogotá.
  • Colombia has an embassy in Baku.[32]
 Cuba 27 March 1992[33]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Havana.
  • Cuba has an embassy in Baku.
 Dominican Republic 12 November 2007[34]
 Ecuador 22 March 2004[35]
 Grenada 23 September 2010[36]
 Mexico 14 January 1992[37] See Azerbaijan–Mexico relations
 Nicaragua 10 February 1994[40]
  • Azerbaijan is represented in Nicaragua through its embassy in Havana,Cuba.
  • Nicaragua is represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Moscow, Russia.[41]
 Paraguay 20 April 2004[42]
 Peru 25 June 1996[43]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Lima.
  • Peru has an embassy in Baku.[44]
 Saint Lucia 11 March 2010[45]
 Trinidad and Tobago 11 April 2011[46]
 United States 1919,
28 February 1992
See Azerbaijan–United States relations

On 25 December 1991 President George H. W. Bush announced that the United States recognized the independence of all 12 former Soviet republics, including Azerbaijan.[47]

 Uruguay 12 January 1995[50] See Azerbaijan–Uruguay relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Montevideo.
  • Uruguay is accredited to Azerbaijan from its embassy in Tehran, Iran.
 Venezuela 12 May 1995[51]
  • Azerbaijan does not have an accreditation to Venezuela.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Baku.

Asia[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1918–1921

Armenia and Azerbaijan do not have diplomatic relations today.

See Armenia–Azerbaijan relations, Nagorno-Karabakh War

The neighboring nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan have had formal governmental relations between 1918–1921, when both countries were briefly independent. The two nations have fought two wars in 1918–20 (Armenian–Azerbaijani War) and in 1988–94 (Nagorno-Karabakh War), in the past century, with last one ended with provisional cease fire agreement signed in Bishkek. There are no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, because of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and dispute. In 2008, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev declared, "Nagorno Karabakh will never be independent; the position is backed by international mediators as well; Armenia has to accept the reality," and "in 1918, Yerevan was granted to the Armenians. It was a great mistake. The khanate of Iravan was the Azeri territory, the Armenians were guests here."[52]

During the Soviet period, many Armenians and Azeris lived side by side in peace. However, when Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika, the majority of Armenians from the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) of the Azerbaijan SSR began a movement to unify with the Armenian SSR. In 1988, the Armenians of Karabakh voted to secede and join Armenia. This, along with mutual massacres in Azerbaijan and Armenia resulted in the conflict that became known as the Nagorno-Karabakh War. The violence resulted in de facto Armenian control of former NKAO and seven surrounding Azerbaijani regions, which was effectively halted when both sides agrees to observe a cease-fire, which has since been in effect since May 1994, and in late 1995 both also agreed to mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. The Minsk Group is currently co-chaired by the U.S., France, and Russia and comprises Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and several Western European nations. Despite the cease fire, up to 40 clashes are reported along the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict lines of control each year.[citation needed]

The two countries are still technically at war. Citizens of the Republic of Armenia, as well as citizens of any other country who are of Armenian descent, are forbidden entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

If a person's passport shows any evidence of travel to Nagorno-Karabakh, they are forbidden entry to the Republic of Azerbaijan.[53]

In 2008, in what became known as the 2008 Mardakert Skirmishes, Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed over Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting between the two sides was brief, with few casualties on either side.[54]

 China 2 April 1992
 Cyprus Azerbaijan formally recognizes the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole representative of the island, but has not yet established diplomatic relations with Cyprus. The parliament of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic issued a resolution recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state. While this recognition is not regarded by Azerbaijan and internationally as 'official state-to-state', Azerbaijan itself maintained cordial unofficial relations with the TRNC. In 2004, Azerbaijan threatened to formally recognize the TRNC if the Annan Plan was voted down by the Greek Cypriots (who rejected the plan in one of twin referendums held 24 April 2004 in both the Greek and Turkish zones simultaneously), but backed off the threat when it was pointed out by Cyprus that doing so would be hypocritical, as a portion of its territory just like that of Cyprus itself is under occupation and would probably result in negative impact on its ongoing dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.[56]
 Georgia 1918,
18 November 1992
See Azerbaijan–Georgia relations
 India 28 February 1992 See Azerbaijan-India relations
 Iran 1918,
12 March 1992
See Azerbaijan–Iran relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Tehran and a consulate-general in Tabriz.
  • Iran has an embassy in Baku and a consulate-general in Nakhchivan City.
  • Both countries are full members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Iran recognized Azerbaijan on 4 January 1992, upgraded its consulate in Baku to establish full diplomatic relations.[47][57]
 Israel 7 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Israel relations
  • Azerbaijan is one of the few majority Muslim countries to develop bilateral strategic and economic relations with Israel.[58]
  • Israel was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan on December 25, 1991.[59][better source needed]
 Japan 7 September 1992
 Jordan 13 February 1993[62]
 Kazakhstan 27 August 1992 See Azerbaijan–Kazakhstan relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Astana.
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Baku since 16 December 1994.
 Lebanon 18 September 1992[63]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Beirut
 Pakistan 9 June 1992 See Azerbaijan–Pakistan relations
  • Pakistan was the second country to recognize Azerbaijan after Turkey following the dissolution of the USSR.
  • Pakistan is among the first countries to open an embassy in Baku.[64]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Islamabad.[65]
  • Both countries are full members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Due to its support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Pakistan does not recognize Armenia as a state.[66]
  • Azerbaijan has also expressed its support for Pakistan's stand on Kashmir.[67]
 Palestine 15 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Palestine relations
  • Palestine has an embassy in Baku since 2011.
 Saudi Arabia 24 February 1992[68]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Riyadh since 1994.
  • Saudi Arabia has an embassy in Baku since 1999.
  • Due to its support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Saudi Arabia refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia.[69]
 South Korea 23 March 1992
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Seoul.
  • South Korea has an embassy in Baku.
  • Bilateral Trade agreement was signed in 2014
    • Exports 269.5 million USD.
    • Imports 0.54 million USD.
 Syria 28 March 1992[70]
 Turkey 1918,
14 January 1992
See Azerbaijan–Turkey relations
  • Turkey was the first country to recognise Azerbaijan's independence following the dissolution of the USSR.
  • Turkey has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to consolidate its independence, preserve its territorial integrity and realize its economic potential.
  • Due to its support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia.
 United Arab Emirates 1 September 1992[71]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania 23 September 1992[72] See Albania–Azerbaijan relations
 Austria 20 February 1992
 Belarus 11 June 1993 See Azerbaijan–Belarus relations
 Belgium 17 June 1992
 Bulgaria 5 June 1992
 Croatia 26 January 1995
 Czech Republic 29 January 1993
 Denmark 2 April 1992[81] See Azerbaijan-Denmark relations
 Estonia 20 April 1992 See Azerbaijan-Estonia relations
 France 21 February 1992
 Germany 20 February 1992[84]
 Greece 2 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Greece relations
Hungary Hungary 27 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Hungary relations
Republic of Ireland Ireland 1 July 1996
  • Azerbaijan is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).[89]
  • Ireland is represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Ankara (Turkey).
 Italy 8 May 1992 See Azerbaijan–Italy relations
 Latvia 11 January 1994
 Lithuania 27 November 1995
 Macedonia 28 June 1995[93]
  • Macedonia has an economic office in Baku.
 Netherlands 1 April 1992
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in The Hague.[94]
  • The Netherlands has an embassy in Baku.[95]
 Poland 21 February 1992 See Azerbaijan-Poland relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland has an embassy in Baku.
 Portugal 4 August 1992[96] See Azerbaijan-Portugal relations
 Romania 21 June 1992 See Azerbaijan–Romania relations
 Russia 4 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Russia relations
 Serbia 21 August 1997 See Azerbaijan–Serbia relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Baku.
 Spain 11 February 1992[98]
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Madrid.
  • Spain has an embassy office in Baku.
 Sweden 8 May 1992
  Switzerland 21 January 1992 See Azerbaijan–Switzerland relations
 Ukraine 1919,
6 February 1992
See Azerbaijan–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom 1918,
11 March 1992
See Azerbaijan – United Kingdom relations


Oceania[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia 19 June 1992[107]
  • Australia is accredited to Azerbaijan from its embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Canberra.
 Fiji 19 March 2010[108]
 Marshall Islands 10 March 2010[109]
 Nauru 11 November 2004[12]
 New Zealand 29 June 1992[110]
  • Azerbaijan is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.
  • New Zealand is accredited to Azerbaijan from its embassy in Moscow, Russia.
 Solomon Islands 8 February 2011[10]
 Tuvalu 9 September 2009[111]
 Vanuatu 2017[112]

No relations[edit]

Diplomatic relations of Azerbaijan:
  Diplomatic relations established
  No diplomatic relations established

As of 2017, Azerbaijan maintains diplomatic relations with 178[10] states (including Palestine[113] and the Vatican City) and the European Union. Azerbaijan has not yet established diplomatic relations with:[114]

Disputes[edit]

Nagorno-Karabakh/Armenia[edit]

The frozen conflict over currently largely Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh within the Republic of Azerbaijan began when in 1988 the Armenian majority of Nagorno-Karabakh demanded autonomy with demonstrations and persecutions against ethnic Azeris following in Armenia. This led to anti-Armenian rioting in Azerbaijan, with Azerbaijani militias beginning their effort to expel Armenians from the enclave. In 1992 a war broke out and pogroms of Armenians and Azeris forced both groups to flee their homes. In 1994, a Russian-brokered ceasefire ended the war but more than 1 million ethnic Armenians and Azeris are still not able to return home. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved despite negotiations, that are ongoing since 1992 under the aegis of the Minsk Group of the OSCE, to resolve the conflict peacefully.[115][116]

Caviar diplomacy[edit]

The European Stability Initiative (ESI) has revealed in a report from 2012 with the title "Caviar diplomacy: How Azerbaijan silenced the Council of Europe", that since Azerbaijan's entry into the Council of Europe, each year 30 to 40 deputies are invited to Azerbaijan and generously paid with expensive gifts, including caviar (worth up to 1.400 euro), silk carpets, gold, silver and large amounts of money.[117][118] In return they become lobbyists for Azerbaijan. This practice has been widely referred to as "Caviar diplomacy".[119]

ESI also published a report on 2013 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan titled "Disgraced: Azerbaijan and the end of election monitoring as we know it". The report revealed the ties between Azerbaijani government and the members of certain observation missions who praised the elections.[120] Azerbaijan's "Caviar diplomacy" at 2013 presidential elections sparked a major international scandal, as the reports of two authoritative organizations Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe/European Parliament and OSCE/ODIHR completely contradicted one another in their assessments of elections.[121][122][123][124]

Non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has regularly judged Azerbaijan to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world[124][125] and has also criticized Azerbaijan for the "Caviar diplomacy".[119][126]

At June 2016 the public prosecutor of Milan has accused the former leader of the (Christian) Union of the Center and of the European People's Party of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Luca Volonte of accepting large bribes from representatives of the Azerbaijani government.[127] Two people with high-level experience of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly (Pace) have told the Guardian they believe its members have been offered bribes for votes by Azerbaijan. Former Azerbaijani diplomat, Arif Mammadov, alleged that a member of Azerbaijan's delegation at the Council of Europe had €30m (£25m) to spend on lobbying its institutions, including the Council of Europe assembly.[128] PACE ratified the terms of reference of an independent external investigation body to carry out a detailed independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption at the council involving Azerbaijan.[129]

ESISC report[edit]

On 6 March 2017, ESISC (European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) published a scandalous report called "The Armenian Connection" where it veraciously attacked human rights NGOs and research organisations criticising human rights violations and corruption in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Russia.[130]

ESISC in that report asserted that "Caviar diplomacy" report elaborated by ESI aimed to create climate of suspicion based on slander to form a network of MPs that would engage in a political war against Azerbaijan.[131] In the Second Chapter of the report called "The Armenian Connection: «Mr X», Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights" that was published on 18 April 2017 ESISC asserted that the network composed of European PMs, Armenian officials and some NGOs: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, "Human Rights House Foundation", "Open Dialog, European Stability Initiative, and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights , was financed by the Soros Foundation. According to ESISC the key figure of the network since 2012 has been Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and the network has served to the interests of George Soros and the Republic of Armenia.[132]

"The report is written in the worst traditions of authoritarian propaganda, makes absurd claims, and is clearly aimed at deflecting the wave of criticism against cover-up of unethical lobbying and corruption in PACE and demands for change in the Assembly", said Freedom Files Analytical Centre.[130]

According Robert Coalson (Radio Free Europe), ESISC is a part of Baku's lobbying efforts to extend to the use of front think tanks to shift public opinion.[133]

European Stability Initiative said that "ESISC report is full of lies (such as claiming that German PACE member Strasser holds pro-Armenian views and citing as evidence that he went to Yerevan in 2015 to commemorate the Armenian genocide, when Strasser has never in his life been to independent Armenia)".[134]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

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