Born in 1991 from the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Azerbaijan is located on the southern side of the Caucasus Mountains. It borders with Russia to the north, with the Caspian Sea to the east, with Iran to the south, with Armenia to the west and with Georgia to the northwest. The country also extends its sovereignty over the exclave of Nakhichevan, which lies to the southwest of Azerbaijan and is surrounded by Armenia, Iran and Turkey. The country's territory includes the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan and still largely occupied by Armenian troops. The capital of Azerbaijan is the ancient city of Baku, the largest port in the Caspian Sea.

The population of the country is about ten million. The official language is Azerbaijani, which has mutual intelligibility with the Turkish language. Azerbaijan is a Muslim-majority country (65 percent Shias and 35 percent Sunnis), but the state is 'secular' as it guarantees the utmost state neutrality in religious matters and freedom of worship. Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe in 2001.

As Italy's main supplier of crude oil, Azerbaijan plays a key role in its energy security. Italy is by far Azerbaijan's largest trading partner. The total trade between the two countries reached $ 9,4 billion in 2021.

Following President Aliyev's visit to Rome in February 2020 and the Italian-Azerbaijani Business Forum, the two countries signed important cooperation agreements in various sectors, including oil, space and defence. These agreements, particularly the “Decision on Cooperation in the Defence Industry” and the “Joint Declaration on Strengthening Strategic Partnership,” are seen by the Azerbaijan Government as of great importance for its foreign policy.

Tensions and troop movements on the Iranian-Azerbaijan border

The Islamic Republic strengthens its northern front, dispatching a large number of military units to the border with Azerbaijan. An analysis by Germano Dottori.

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