Political Status: Azerbaijan Republic established under Turkish auspices in May 1918; joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Republic on December 30, 1922; became separate Soviet Socialist Republic on December 5, 1936; independence declared August 30, 1991, and confirmed October 18, 1991; new constitution providing for a strong presidential system adopted by national referendum on November 12, 1995, and entered into force November 27.
Area: 33,436 sq. mi. (86,600 sq. km.).
Population: 7,953,000 (1999C); 8,709,000 (2008E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): BAKU (1,820,000).
Official Language: Azeri (Azerbaijani).
Monetary Unit: Manat (official rate December 1, 2009: 1.25 manats = $1 US). A new manat, equivalent to 5,000 old manats, was introduced in January 2006.
President: Ilham ALIYEV (New Azerbaijan Party); elected by popular vote ...