Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a contiguous transcontinental presidential republic in the Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. 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 borderline with Turkey to the northwest.

Azerbaijan has an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Azerbaijani Republic was one of the very first Muslim-majority countries to have operas and theaters. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was proclaimed in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in October 1991, before the official dissolution of the USSR. Earlier, in September 1991, the disputed Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh region affirmed its willingness to create a separate state as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. As of this writing, Nagorno Karabakh Republic has not been diplomatically recognized by any other state.

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