Azerbaijan’s foreign policy since independence

Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is increasingly under debate following its election to non-permanent membership of the United Nation Security Council. Dr. Brenda Shaffer, faculty member at the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa evaluates the evolution of Azerbaijani foreign policy over the last two decades. The author argues that the existence of the conflict and the unresolved issues surrounding the status of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and refugee population have served as critical constraints on Baku’s policy options as well as a useful lever for neighboring powers. Two decades have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent restoration of independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This article examines the major trends in the foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan during 1991-2011. It discusses the key constraints and opportunities that have influenced Azerbaijan’s foreign policy options and the chief goals of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy in this period. The author argues that the existence of the conflict and the unresolved issues surrounding the status of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and refugee population have served as critical constraints on Baku’s policy options as well as a useful lever for neighboring powers. The article will also look at the major milestones of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy in the post-independence period.

Authors: Brenda Shaffer
109