Azerbaijan, formally the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhichevan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline with Turkey to the northwest. The Nagorno-Karabakh region in the southwest of Azerbaijan proper declared itself independent from Azerbaijan in 1991, but it is not recognized by any nation and considered a legal part of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan, a nation with a majority Turkic and Shi‘ite Muslim population, is a secular and a unitary republic with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. Azerbaijan was the first successful attempt to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world. Azerbaijan is one of the founder members of GUAM and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in September 1993. A Special Envoy of the European Commission is present in the country, which is also a member of the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.