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Azerbaijan:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it 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 600,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the government has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years, the promise of widespread wealth from development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.
Location
Definition
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
Geographic coordinates
Definition
40 30 N, 47 30 E
Map references
Definition
Asia
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 86,600 sq km
land: 86,100 sq km
water: 500 sq km
note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries
Definition
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
Definition
0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
dry, semiarid steppe
Terrain
Definition
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
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 20.62%
permanent crops: 2.61%
other: 76.77% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
14,550 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
30.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked


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