Foreign relations of Azerbaijan

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Azerbaijan
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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 160 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 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]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania 23 September 1992 See Albania–Azerbaijan relations
 Austria
 Belarus 1992 See Azerbaijan–Belarus relations
 Belgium
 Bulgaria 5 June 1992
 Croatia 26 January 1995
 Czech Republic 29 January 1993
 Denmark 2 April 1992[15] See Azerbaijan-Denmark relations
 Estonia 20 April 1992 See Azerbaijan-Estonia relations
 France
 Germany
 Greece 1992 See Azerbaijan–Greece relations
Hungary Hungary 1992 See Azerbaijan–Hungary relations
Republic of Ireland Ireland 1996
  • Azerbaijan is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).[22]
  • Ireland is represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Ankara (Turkey).
 Italy See Azerbaijan–Italy relations
 Latvia 11 January 1994
 Lithuania 27 November 1995
 Macedonia 28 June 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 28, 1995.[26]

 Netherlands
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in The Hague.[27]
  • The Netherlands has an embassy in Baku.[28]
 Poland 1991 See Azerbaijan-Poland relations
 Romania 21 June 1992 See Azerbaijan–Romania relations
 Russia 4 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Russia relations
 Serbia See Azerbaijan–Serbia relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Baku.
 Sweden
  Switzerland See Azerbaijan–Switzerland relations
 Ukraine 1919 See Azerbaijan–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom 1918 See Azerbaijan – United Kingdom relations

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Burkina Faso 31 May 2004[38]
 Comoros 2 February 2010[39]
 Eritrea 2004[40]
 Kenya 31 May 2004[38]
 Malawi 21 May 2004[41]
 Rwanda 31 May 2004[38]
 Swaziland 7 January 2010[42]
 Togo 29 December 2010[citation needed]

Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Canada 1992[43] See Azerbaijan–Canada relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Ottawa.[44]
  • Canada is accredited to Azerbaijan from its embassy in Ankara, Turkey.[45]
 Dominican Republic 2007[40]
 Grenada 23 September 2010[46]
 Mexico 14 January 1992[47] See Azerbaijan–Mexico relations
 Nicaragua 10 February 1994[50]
  • Azerbaijan is represented in Nicaragua through its embassy in Havana,Cuba.
  • Nicaragua is represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Moscow, Russia.[51]
 Paraguay 2004[52]
 Saint Lucia 11 March 2010[53]
 Trinidad and Tobago 2011[40]
 United States 1919 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.[54]

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."[57]

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.[58]

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.[59]

 China
 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. Azerbaijan, like all other countries except Turkey, formally recognizes the government of the Republic of Cyprus (with whom it has not yet established diplomatic relations), which under UN and EU law represents the entire island, but interestingly enough, the parliament of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic issued a resolution recognizing the Turkish Cypriot North (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 Azerbaijan 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. Recently, in July 2005, Azerbaijan announced its intentions to recognize TRNC passports and to commence direct flights from Baku to Ercan Airport in the TRNC (by-passing both Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus); however, aside from a flight handled by the private company Imair in August 2005, none have taken place. Azerbaijan has become very cool towards the Turkish Cypriot North, due to tensions arising from the possible normalization of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Armenia, which Azerbaijan fears will mean the loss of key leverage in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[61]

 Georgia 1918 See Azerbaijan–Georgia relations
 India 1992 See Azerbaijan-India relations
 Iran 1918 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.[54][62]
 Israel 1991 See Azerbaijan–Israel relations
  • Azerbaijan is one of the few majority Muslim countries to develop bilateral strategic and economic relations with Israel.[63]
  • Israel was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan on December 25, 1991.[64][better source needed]
  • Israel established diplomatic relations on April 7, 1992.[64]
 Japan 7 September 1992
 Kazakhstan 27 August 1992 See Azerbaijan–Kazakhstan relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Astana.
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Baku since 16 December 1994.
 Pakistan 1992 See Azerbaijan–Pakistan relations
 North Korea See Foreign relations of North Korea
 South Korea March 23, 1992 See Azerbaijan–South Korea relations
 Turkey 1918 See Azerbaijan–Turkey relations

Turkey has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to consolidate its independence, preserve its territorial integrity and realize its economic potential arising from the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea. All this however has recently come under threat due to tensions arising from the possible normalization of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Armenia, which Azerbaijan fears will mean the loss of key leverage in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

 United Arab Emirates 1 September 1992[72]

Oceania[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Fiji 19 March 2010[73]
 Marshall Islands 10 March 2010[74]
 Tuvalu 16 September 2009[75]

No relations[edit]

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

Azerbaijan maintains diplomatic relations with 174 states (including Palestine[76] and the Vatican City) and the European Union. Azerbaijan has not yet established diplomatic relations with:[77]

Disputes[edit]

Nagorno-Karabakh/Armenia[edit]

The frozen conflict over the largely Armenian autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh within the republic of Azerbaijan began when in 1988 the Armenian majority of Nagorno-Karabakh demanded autonomy with demonstrations 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.[78][79]

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.[80][81] In return they become lobbyists for Azerbaijan. This practice has been widely referred to as "Caviar diplomacy".[82]

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.[83] 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.[84][85][86][87]

Non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has regularly judged Azerbaijan to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world[87][88] and has also criticized Azerbaijan for the "Caviar diplomacy".[82][89]

On 6 March 2017 European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) called "Caviar Diplomacy" report a slanderous and violent. In its report called "The Armenian Connection: How a secret caucus of MPs and NGOs, since 2012, created a network within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to hide violations of international law", ESISC noted 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[90]. In the Second Chapter of the report ESISC revealed that the network composed of European PMs, Armenian officials and NGOs was financed by the Soros Foundation. According to ESISC the key figure of the network since 2012 has been Mr. 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[91].

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Valiyev, Anar: "Azerbaijan and the North Caucasus: A Pragmatic Relationship" in the Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 27
  • Hübner, Gerald: "Foreign Direct Investment in Azerbaijan—the Quality of Quantity" in the Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 28
  • Abbasov, Shahin: "Azerbaijan's Eurovision Story: Great Chances to Improve, But No Political Will" in the Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 32
  • Mazziotti, Marius; Sauerborn, Djan; Scianna, Bastian Matteo: "Multipolarity is key: Assessing Azerbaijan's foreign policy"[5]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]