Foreign Policy Challenges for Azerbaijan
HE Ilham Aliyev, President, Republic of Azerbaijan
Chair: Sir Brian Fall
Azerbaijan's extraordinary geographical location fuels its foreign policy ambitions. Russia and Iran to the north and south respectively are neighbours. To the West lies Armenia where the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh poses a greater danger even than Georgia's nearby breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And to the East lies the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan, the first country to extract oil from the ground for industrial use, has made hydrocarbon exports the mainstay of its economy and a driving force of its multi-vectored foreign policy.