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AZERBAIJAN, A MELTING POT LAND

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Untitled-1Nia S. Amira
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Azerbaijan is a country in the Transcaucasian region, situated at the crossroads of South­west Asia and Southeastern Europe. 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 Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first Muslim-majority democratic and secular republic. It was also the first Muslim-majority country to have operas, the­aters and modern universities. The country was incor­porated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.The modern Republic of Azer­baijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, before the official dissolution of the USSR. In Septem­ber 1991, the Armenian majority of disputed Nagorno- Karabakh Autonomous region declared its secession from Azerbaijan Republic to create a separate state as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Ensuing hostilities between Armenians and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno Karabakh eventually lead to full-scale war.The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent since the ending of the Nagorno- Karabakh War in 1994, are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan until a final solution to status of the Nagorno-Karabakh is found through negotia­tions facilitated by the OSCE