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|Azerbaijan - Relations with U.S. (Notes)
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created the opportunity to build relations with its successor states as they began a political and economic transformation. The United States opened an Embassy in Azerbaijans capital, Baku, in March 1992.
The United States has been actively engaged in international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The U.S. has played a leading role in the Minsk Group, which was created in 1992 by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe--now the OSCE--to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In early 1997, the U.S. heightened its role by becoming a Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, along with Russia and France.
The U.S. supports American investment in Azerbaijan. U.S. companies are involved in three offshore oil development projects with Azerbaijan and have been exploring the emerging investment opportunities in Azerbaijan in other fields, such as telecommunication.
The United States is committed to aiding Azerbaijan in its transition to democracy and its formation of an open market economy. The Freedom Support Act, enacted in October 1992, has been the cornerstone of U.S. efforts to help Azerbaijan during this transition. Under the Freedom Support Act, the U.S. was providing approximately $48 million in humanitarian, democracy, and reform assistance to Azerbaijan in FY 2006.
The U.S. and Azerbaijan have signed a bilateral trade agreement, which entered into force in April 1995 and confers to Azerbaijan the status of most favored nation. The United States also has a bilateral investment treaty with Azerbaijan.
U.S. Humanitarian Assistance
U.S. humanitarian programs in Azerbaijan focus on community development, health and economic opportunities, and support services, including training and business management consultations for vulnerable populations. Under a new humanitarian initiative, the Department of State will complete six Small Reconstruction Projects (SRP) in Azerbaijan. These projects raise the standard of beneficiaries by improving conditions in beneficiary institutions such as schools, clinics, orphanages, and homes for the elderly. A new focus on quality health services and practices focuses on better use of health resources and health care practices through health care reform, healthy lifestyles, and the rights and responsibilities of the patient. Technical assistance is being provided to the Ministry of Health to develop policy, legal and regulatory, and finance reforms. In FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was funding the final year of a $3.4 million national child vaccination program. The program was financed by a grant that included 10,800 metric tons of wheat to be sold in Azerbaijan. The proceeds will help complete the vaccinations of 450,000 children. The U.S. continues its humanitarian demining efforts in Azerbaijan. The Peace Corps, which began working in Azerbaijan in 2003, has 55 volunteers. Some teach English at the secondary level and others work with non-governmental organizations engaged in small and micro enterprise development.
[Also see fact sheet on FY 2006 U.S. Assistance to Azerbaijan.]
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Anne E. Derse
Deputy Chief of Mission--Donald Lu
Political/Economic Chief--Joan Polaschik
Consular Officer--Vlad Lipschutz
Management Officer--Clifford Sorenson
Public Affairs Officer--Jonathan Henick
AID Country Coordinator--Scott Taylor
Defense Attaché--LTC Bruce Stephen
The U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan is at 83 Azadliq Prospect; tel. 994-12-98-03-35; fax 994-12-65-66-71.