It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south.
The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short border with Turkey in the north west.
The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994.
These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh, found through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.
Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The country is a member state of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace (Pf P) program.
It is one of six independent Turkic states, an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community.
This word is translatable as Guardian of Fire, "The Treasury" and "The Treasurer" of fire or "The Land of Fire" The name was changed to Azerbaijan following the Arab conquest in the 7th century AD; Arabic lacked the letters G and P, so Arabic speakers modified the spelling of Azer-payegan.
In 1918, the Musavat government adopted the name "Azerbaijan" for the newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which was proclaimed on May 27, 1918, The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Zar, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe.
Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC.
Later it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire.
Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.
and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
A member of the United Nations since 1992, Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly on . The original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrian religion.