Azerbaijan has been following an independent foreign policy since gaining independence in 1991. This policy aims at the strengthening and development of the state system and the protection of the national interests of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan builds its foreign policy on the principle of respect to the international legal standards and norms, the state sovereignty and territorial integrity and the principles of nonintervention into the internal affairs.
The foreign policy of Azerbaijan, adhering to these principles and speaking on behalf of the national interests targets such urgent issues as the risks and challenges to the national security and territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the republic and the prevention of the intervention of the Republic of Armenia. The major priorities of the foreign policy of Azerbaijan are the establishment of the regional peace and stability, the implementation of large transport and cooperation projects.
The attraction of the foreign capital to the implementation of different projects on the development of the country's economics for more effective protection of the national interests plays a great role in the foreign policy of Azerbaijan in the present-day world. Thus, Azerbaijan that has chosen the democratic way of life determined its task in the establishment and development of mutually profitable bilateral and multilateral relations with other neighbor and faraway countries in different spheres.
Azerbaijan, expanding and developing its regional and global activity and international cooperation, became the member of a number of international organizations such as United Nations, the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe, European Council, Organization of Islamic Conference, Commonwealth of Independent States and others. Moreover, Azerbaijan was one of the cofounders of GUAM.
The steps undertaken by the government of Azerbaijan in Europe corresponds to the attempts of the foreign policy as its integral part. Europe, which is rather based on the real cooperation and partnership than on the old models of influence, promotes the establishment of a single structure for security and common welfare but at the same time, it may lead to the emergence of new challenges. Therefore, Azerbaijan, considering the established objective situation intensifies its activity within the antiterrorist coalitions and cooperation with NATO and European Union.
Azerbaijan protects and implements its national interests through participating in the regional initiatives and the aforementioned organizations.
The development and implementation of the measures foreign policy of Azerbaijan serving the protection of the national interests is connected with our national leader Heydar Aliyev. His talent of the strong state system establishment, the deep logics and understanding of the importance of issues enabled to form correct approach to the establishment of international relations.
The present day foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, conducted under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, demonstrates its adherence to the course of development of mutually profitable relations with all goodwill countries and aims to develop Azerbaijan and to provide for the permanent prosperity and the welfare of the people.
The diplomatic activity, carried out in frames of this complicated and many-sided process is composed of a number of major trends that constitute the foreign policy of Azerbaijan.
The Armenian-Azeri conflict in Daghlig Garabagh consists of eight sections which encourage the comprehensive study of this problem. The first section is devoted to the territorial claims of Armenia targeting Azerbaijan and its occupation war aiming to cut Karabakh off Azerbaijan. This section defined the etymology of the word "Karabakh" and provided information on the history, territory and borders of Karabakh and divided the history of Karabakh into several parts in accordance with the historical development of Azerbaijan and reflected the main events. The study of the historical development of Karabakh showed that the Karabakh was an integral part of Azerbaijan and developed in accordance with the history of Azerbaijan. The section also reflected the facts of the historical roots of the territorial claims of Armenia, the occupation war of Armenia against Azerbaijan.
The second section is devoted to the relations between the Karabakh problem and Armenian issue. To give the full idea of the Armenians features the section reflects the critical views of the leading philosophers of the world and the expressions of Armenians about themselves.
The thirds section provided wide coverage on the initiation of occupation war of Armenian armed troops against Azerbaijan, the process of war, the occupation of Azeri lands and the occupation regime established on the said lands. It also considered the settlement of the conflict and Azerbaijan's opinion on the settlement of the conflict.
The fourth section of the conflict reflected the Khojaly genocide committed during the Armenians' occupation war against Azerbaijan. That section regarded the Khojaly genocide as the most terrible event of the 21st century and reflected the attitude of the world community to the genocide and the expressions of the witnesses.
The fifth section is devoted to the humanitarian disaster committed by the occupation war of Armenia against Azerbaijan. The section showed that the occupation activity of Armenia in Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan were accompanied with the terrorist acts. It provided information of the hard life of refugees and IDP, hostages and missed people, Armenians' inhuman treatment of Azeri hostages violating all the principles of humanism and international rights, the treatment of women and children who became the victims of Armenian occupation.
The sixth section reflected one of the integral parts of the terrorism the major source of danger in the present-day world-the Armenian terrorism, the Armenian terrorist organizations, the terrorist acts committed in Azerbaijan and their chronology. It places the facts proving Armenia to be the state supporting the international terrorism.
The seventh section is devoted to the hard socioeconomic consequences of the Armenians' occupation of Azeri lands. It first provides the facts on the natural reserves of Azeri lands occupied by Armenians. Then the damage caused to the lands is classified in accordance with different spheres and the scale of the ecological, social, economic and material damage is determined. It also reflected the Armenians' vandalism shown in the treatment of the historical monuments of Azerbaijan.
The correspondence of the results of the Karabakh problem settlement is reflected in the special, eighth section of the matter. It covered the Kurekchay contract signed between the Karabakh khanate and Russian empire on May 14, 1805, the Gulistan contract signed between Russia and Iran in 1813 and Turkmenchay contract signed in 1828, documents on the anti-Azerbaijan activity of the Armenian Dashnaksutyun party, the documents and materials on the Karabakh conflict of the National Front of Azerbaijan (1918-1920) and of the Soviet period. The section also paid a great attention to the documents and materials on the deportation of Azerbaijanis of Armenia SSR in 1948-1953. The historical documents also include the resolutions and documents of UN, OSCE and Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council.
The world's largest lake - the Caspian Sea is situated within the vast continental depression settled over bordering areas of a single Euro-Asia continent.
The most ancient inscriptions related to the Caspian Sea were encountered upon an Assirian ceramic pot, mentioned as the Southern Sea. The Hekatey of Milet's historical and geographic books (VI BC) mentioned this sea as Caspy and Hirkan. The first ethnic name is associated with the name of the Caspy people who were dwelling in southwest coastal areas of the current territory of Azerbaijan. Its second name was originated from Hircan country, which was located in the southeast coastal areas (translated from Persian as "the country of wolves"). Herodotus also mentioned these two names of the Caspian Sea (5th century BC). Other ancient authors were also using such names as Alban (in association with the Albanian ethnic name), Stormy and Hirkan names of the sea. Ancient Russian manuscript sources named Caspian Sea as Goy (that means Blue in Mongolian-Turk languages), Kharezm (in association with the Kharezm power located within the area extended from Amu-Darya River lower intercourse up to the Caspian Sea, Khvalin, Darband etc. People that had dwelt around Caspian Sea called it with different names, for example: the Russians - Khvalin, the Tartars - Agh Daniz (White Sea), the Turk people - Kichik Daniz (Small Sea), the Chinese people - Si Hay, and the New west Sea. Venice Ambassador to Iran (1474-1477) A. Kontarini named it as Baku Sea. The Russians used to call the sea Caspian since the 16th century. Other countries around the Caspian Sea called this basin as follows: Caspian (Khazar) in Azerbaijan, (Khazar -Turk-speaking people that dwelt within the northwest coastal areas during V-X centuries), Mazandaran - in Iran, as well as Caspian - in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Overall, various people who dwelt around the basin in various times gave over 70 names to the Caspian Sea.
The main priorities of the foreign policy of the Republic
of Azerbaijan are as follows:
- To develop a pluralist democracy based on market economy and supremacy of the law;
- To follow an independent foreign policy for the purposes of restoration of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan;
- To overcome risks aimed at security, political independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan;
- The solution of Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict of Nagorny Karabakh by the negotiations on the principles of Lisbon summit and within the frames of the OSCE Minsk Group;
- Elimination of outcomes of Armenian military aggression to Azerbaijan;
- The development of friendly neighborhood and mutual advantageous relations with bordering states;
- Fortifying security and stability in the region;
- Prevention illegal transportation of weapons and other equipment in the region;
- Devotion to existing global regimes on prevention the spread of nuclear weapons and creation in the South Caucasus the zone free from nuclear weapon;
- Demilitarization of the Caspian basin;
- Integration to structures of European and Transatlantic security and co-operation including the NATO, the European Union, the Union of Western Europe and the Council of Europe;
- Expediting the development of different spheres of the economy deriving the advantage of the important strategic-geographical position of Azerbaijan in the cross of the East and the West;
- To develop the Eurasian transport corridor with the participation of Azerbaijan