Azerbaijan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests Page: 2 of 6
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ian, while the rest supported democratic
reforms (21.5%), economic and social Area and PopulaticBasLand area is 33,774 sq. mi.;
reforms (16.4%), security and law en- about the size of Maine. The population is 8.3 million
forcement programs (9.6%), and cross- (Economist Intelligence Unit; 2004 estimate), about
cutting initiatives (1.7%). In FY2005, 40% of whom live in the capital, Baku.
estimated U.S. aid was $52.6 million, Administrative subdivisions include the Nakhichevan
Autonomous Republic (NAR) and the Nagorno
and the Administration has requested ("Mountainous") Karabakh Autonomous Region
$48.1 million for FY2006 (excluding (NK). NK's autonomy was dissolved in 1991.
Defense and Energy Department funds), Ethnicity: 90% are Azerbaijani, 2.5% Russian, 2.0%
focusing on developing small and Armenian, 3.5% Lezgins, Talysh, or Tats, and others
medium-sized farms and other agricul- (CIA, World Factbook, 1998 est.). An estimated 6-12
million Azerbaijanis reside in Iran.
tural enterprises, on reforming the energy Gross Domestic Product: $8.5 billion; per capita
sector, the judiciary, and law enforce- GDP is about $1,020 (EIU; 2004 est., current prices).
ment, and on strengthening private busi- Leaders: President: Ilkham Aliyev; Chairman of the
ness, export controls, and border secu- Milli Mejlis (legislature): Murtuz Aleskerov; Prime
enforcement initiatives include Minister: Artur Rasizade; Foreign Minister: Elmar
rity. Law eMamedyarov; Defense Minister: Safar Abiyev.
counter-narcotics training, support for Biography: Ilkham Aliyev, born in 1961, graduated
combating corruption and trafficking in with a kandidata (advanced) degree from the Moscow
persons, advice on anti-terrorism and State Institute of International Relations in 1985 and
money laundering legislation, and help then taught history. In 1991-1994, he was in business
in Moscow and Baku, then became head of the State
in implementing a criminal code. Hu- Oil Company (SOCAR). He was elected to the
manitarian aid is planned for internally legislature in 1995 and 2000. In 1997, he became
displaced persons and to demine border head of the National Olympic Committee. In 1999, he
areas. Azerbaijan signed an agreement became deputy, then first deputy chairman, of the
in late 2003 to implement funding for ruling New Azerbaijan Party. In August 2003, he was
e appointed prime minister, and was elected president
some Comprehensive Threat Reduction on October 15, 2003.
(CTR) programs. In FY2004 and
FY2005, Azerbaijan was designated as a
candidate country for enhanced U.S. development aid from the Millennium Challenge
Corporation, but in neither year did the MCC (meeting in closed session) select it as a
country eligible for aid.
Congressional interests in Azerbaijan and the Caspian regions have been reflected
in hearings, visits, and legislation. Congressional concerns about the ongoing NK conflict
led in 1992 to Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act (P.L. 102-511) that prohibited
most U.S. government-to-government assistance to Azerbaijan until the President
determined that Azerbaijan had made "demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and
other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh." Congress eased
many Section 907 restrictions on a year-by-year basis until the terrorist attacks on the
United States in September 2001, after which it approved an annually-renewable
presidential waiver (P.L.107-115). The conference managers stated that the waiver was
conditional on Azerbaijan's cooperation with the United States in combating international
terrorism, and that they intended to "review and reserve the right to amend the waiver
language." Among other Congressional initiatives, beginning with FY1998
appropriations, Congress created a South Caucasus funding category to encourage conflict
resolution in NK, provide for reconstruction assistance, and facilitate regional economic
integration. Congress passed "The Silk Road Strategy Act" in FY2000 (as part of
consolidated appropriations, P.L. 106-113) calling for enhanced policy and aid to support
conflict amelioration, humanitarian needs, democracy, economic development, transport
and communications, and border controls in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
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Azerbaijan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, report, March 4, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808556/m1/2/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.