Driving Directions Azerbaijan
AZERBAIJAN,a republic of the former USSR, declared itself independent in 1991. The country plagued by political uncertainty and conflict with Armenia. It is situated on the southwest coast of the Caspian Sea and shares borders with Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Russia. The River Araks separates Azerbaijan from the region known as Azerbaijan in northern Iran. Azerbaijan’s territory also includes the autonomous republic of Naxcivan, cut off from the rest of the country by southern Armenia, and the disputed Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. A mountainous, oil-rich country, it is bounded by the southeastern ranges of the Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the west, with the Talish Mountains in the extreme south. Rivers descend from the mountains and flow through lower-lying valleys to empty into the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan has a generally arid climate with hot summers and cold winters although this is less extreme in the Lankaran region which is an important agricultural area. About 70 percent of the land irrigated for the production of cotton, wheat, maize, potatoes, tobacco, tea, and citrus fruits. In recent years, the country's economy has revolved around the development of its huge reserves of oil and natural gas which found in the Baku area from where it piped to Batumi on the Black Sea. It also has rich mineral deposits of iron and aluminum. There is steel, synthetic rubber, and aluminum work at Sumqayit just north of the capital, Baku. However, further industrial development is being hindered by the country’s dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
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