Difference between revisions of "Armenian History"

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History of Azerbaijan
  
ARMENIAN CIVILIZATION HAD its beginnings in the sixth century B.C. In the centuries following, the Armenians withstood invasions and nomadic migrations, creating a unique culture that blended Iranian social and political structures with Hellenic-- and later Christian--literary traditions. For two millennia, independent Armenian states existed sporadically in the region between the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea and the [[Caucasus]] Mountains, until the last medieval state was destroyed in the fourteenth century. A landlocked country in modern times, Armenia was the smallest Soviet republic from 1920 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The future of an independent Armenia is clouded by limited natural resources and the prospect that the military struggle to unite the Armenians of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-[[Karabakh]] Autonomous Region with the Republic of Armenia will be a long one.  
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    Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history.A rich cultural heritage has been created on its territory over the span of many millenniums, contributing to the treasure-house of World culture. The discovery of Azykh cave, the earliest habitation of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient stone age prove that Azerbaijan enters the zone of anthropoids to reveal the birthplace of mankind. The main traces of civilization are viewed in Azerbaijan. In the 3rd millennium B.C. the process of tribe formation was going on here and by the 1st millennium B.C. the first political formations had emerged. Azerbaijan State system was being formed in the 9th century B.C.: Manna state with high economic and cultural level had emerged. The pantheons of divinities were created. Manna believed in natural phenomena; the Sun, the Moon, the first part of the 6th century B.C.. Manna was conquered by Media. The official religion was Zoroastrism, the spread of which was connected with selfkindled resources of oil and gas.A great part was played by the Atropatena and Caucasian Albania in the process of the formation of separate state structure on the territory of Azerbaijan in antiquity. The name of the country is connected with the name of the Atropatena ruler - Atropat which was later transformed into Azerbaijan. It is in Atropatena that the process of formation of Azerbaijan nationality began. In the 3rd-5th centuries the Azerbaijan state system was strengthening. Christianity was pe trating into Azerbaijan. In Transcauca such one of the first apostolic Christian churches appeared spiritual and secular life was progressing. At the beginning of the 5th century the Albanic alphabet was introduced and promoted the development of education.  
  
The Armenians are an ancient people who speak an Indo-European language and have traditionally inhabited the border regions common to modern Armenia, [[Iran]], and [[Turkey]]. They call themselves hai (from the name of Hayk, a legendary hero) and their country Haiastan. Their neighbors to the north, the [[Georgia]]ns, call them somekhi, but most of the rest of the world follows the usage of the ancient Greeks and refers to them as Armenians, a term derived according to legend from the Armen tribe. Thus the Russian word is armianin, and the Turkish is ermeni.  
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    The unique monuments of culture and literature, architectural traditions of that period have been preserved to the present.Azerbaijan was conquered by Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century and made part of the Arab Khalifat as the vilayet Arran. Islam became the leading religion in Azerbaijan, creating new traditions and culture. Azerbaijanis, like all other nations that accepted Islam, were called "Moslems" and participated in the development of Moslem culture. Azerbaijan enriched the world culture, gave the world a brilliant gallery of scientists, poets and architects. In the medieval centuries there was a succession of states: Garagoyunly, Aggounly, Sefevids states were in power in a successive way. Azerbaijani people distinguish among other peoples with its specific image in the world culture. Cultural and literary specimen of this people created for centuries are tanned with love of life, feelings of freedom and independence. Grand works of art of our people such as "Kitabi Dada-Gorgud", "Koroghly", coryphaeus who have left indelible traces in the history of world civilization such as Nizami Ganjavy, Afsalladdin Khagany, Khatib Tabrizy. Imadaddin Nasimy, Gatran Tabrizy.Mouhammad Fouzuly whose creative activities were devoted to praising world ideas of truth and justice, served to establish human ideals. Art lovers are still admired by the works of Safiyaddin Ourmavy. Ajamy Nakhchivany. Sultan Mouhammad Tabrizy who gave pearls to the treasure of world culture. Our people have full right to be proud of the contribution given to world science.  
  
==The Ancient Period==
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    The names of our thinkers Nasraddin Tuisy, Aboulhassan Bahmanyar, Mirza Fataly Akhundov, Abasgouly Aga Bakikhanov and others are well known to world science. Heroism of such popular leaders as Javanshir and Baback has been turned into a school of patriotism, embodiment of courage and unification of people.Life and activity of Mouhammad Jahan Pahlavan, Gyzil Arslan, Ouzun Hassan, Shah Ismail Khatai and other statesmen developed love of Motherland and statehood in people, and have been turned to one of the major goals of our life. A rivalry between states to involve Azerbaijan into the sphere of their interests resulted in striking inner destabilization in 18th century A number of independent state formations - Khanates appeared. The contradictions between Russia, Turkey and Iran deepened in the 18th-19th century. Wars were waged over Azerbaijan. The Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828 between Russia and Iran separated Azerbaijan and its people: the northern part of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia, its southern part became a part of the Iranian state. The 20th century entered the history of the Azerbaijan people as the period of radical changes in socio-economic, political and cultural life. A range of upstream and downstream industrial branches were intensively developing in Azerbaijan. Baku turned into the world center of oil extraction and refinery yielding more than half of the world's and 95% of Russia's oil extraction totals. The cultural life enlivened. Various branches of science were developing, newspapers and magazines started to be published.
  
People first settled what is now Armenia in about 6000 B.C. The first major state in the region was the kingdom of [[Urartu]], which appeared around [[Lake Van]] in the thirteenth century B.C. and reached its peak in the ninth century B.C. Shortly after the fall of Urartu to the Assyrians, the Indo-European-speaking proto-Armenians migrated, probably from the west, onto the Armenian Plateau and mingled with the local people of the Hurrian civilization, which at that time extended into Anatolia (presentday Asian Turkey) from its center in Mesopotamia. Greek historians first mentioned the Armenians in the mid-sixth century B.C. Ruled for many centuries by the Persians, Armenia became a buffer state between the Greeks and Romans to the west and the Persians and Arabs of the Middle East. It reached its greatest size and influence under King Tigran II, also known as Tigranes or Tigran the Great (r. 95-55 B.C.). During his reign, Armenia stretched from the Mediterranean Sea northeast to the Mtkvari River (called the Kura in Azerbaijan) in present-day Georgia (see fig. 5). Tigran and his son, Artavazd II, made Armenia a center of Hellenic culture during their reigns.  
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    Formation of political societies, organizations and parties for dissemination of progressive, democratic ideas contributed to the process of becoming and developing a national identity and fueled the growth of the liberation movement of the February, 1917: The fall of the tsarist monarchy in Russia created favorable conditions for the development of national movements in its border lands. May 28, 1918: Azerbaijan rehabilitated its state structure - the Independent Azerbaijan Republic was established. Having existed for 23 months, it collapsed. Troops of the 11th Red Army came to Baku. In December, 1922 Azerbaijan became a part of the USSR and a socialist republic was formed with the attributes of state - Constitution, flag, national anthem, state emblem. In 1991 state independence of Azerbaijan was restored, the Constitutional Act of State Independence was adopted. Establishment of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan is an important historical event of our life. It is true that the way to independence was not easy for us and we have undergone severe tests. As a result of military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, occupation of 20% of our territory by Armenian invaders more than one million of our citizens were obliged to leave their native homes and turned into refugees and displaced people. Sabotage of internal and external forces against our statehood, disintegration of former economic relations, social and economic difficulties of the transition period and other problems have complicated our way to independence. Nevertheless our people did not lose confidence, will and determination in our independent statehood, but on the contrary, the belief of our people became more strengthened. As a result of purposeful policy achievements gained for recent years in the country are evident. The war with Armenia that has been going on since 1988, has already been stopped for three and half years, we have achieved a ceasefire. We have put an end once and for all to the subversive activities of armed groups within the country, political disorder has been blocked up. I can firmly say that the Republic of Azerbaijan lives in full political stability now. And this creates firm foundation to implement radical changes in different spheres of the life of our country.  
  
By 30 B.C., Rome conquered the Armenian Empire, and for the next 200 years Armenia often was a pawn of the Romans in campaigns against their Central Asian enemies, the Parthians. However, a new dynasty, the Arsacids, took power in Armenia in A.D. 53 under the Parthian king, Tiridates I, who defeated Roman forces in A.D. 62. Rome's Emperor Nero then conciliated the Parthians by personally crowning Tiridates king of Armenia. For much of its subsequent history, Armenia was not united under a single sovereign but was usually divided between empires and among local Armenian rulers.  
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    The Republic of Azerbaijan as an independent country follows the way of democratic, law governed and secular state construction.Our society is being formed on the basis of democratic principles which have already been tested in the world practice and match our national peculiarities. The first Constitution was adopted through nationwide referendum. The Constitution ensures the independence of the State of Azerbaijan, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, the civil society in the scope of the main law. Based on the Clauses of the Constitution, principles of multiparty system and parliament through democratic elections has been established as well as laws were adopted to achieve the political pluralism and to develop the democratic principles for our society. The conditions to use and to extend the Azerbaijani language in all spheres as the State language were set up, and prospective were opened to mature it and to take its deserved place among the languages of the globe. Today, the right to freedom of thought, freedom of press and speech, protection of human rights constitute main and irreversible principles of our society. Our nation is setting up the life principles based on supremacy of law, taking care of its history, protecting and developing its national and moral values and we will follow the same target in future.  
  
==Early Christianity==
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    Azerbaijan experiences the period of great economic changes and reforms. The transfer to market relations and integration to the world economic system constitute main trends of our policy. The macroeconomy has been stabilized in the country. The economic regress of late 80s has been overcome and the progress in some of the branches has become visibly achieved. The current economic reforms have had a qualitative new step. Fundamental changes are taking place in the economy. The market relations and entities are being formed to meet the requirements of new structure. Some branches of the industry, trade, transport, public utility services have been privatized, bank and fiscal systems, financial institutions have been reformed, the implementation of joint projects with major foreign state and private companies and the like are good examples of progress in Azerbaijan's economy.
  
After contact with centers of early Christianity at Antioch and Edessa, Armenia accepted Christianity as its state religion in A.D. 301 (the traditional date--the actual date may have been as late as A.D. 314), following miracles said to have been performed by Saint Gregory the Illuminator, son of a Parthian nobleman. Thus Armenians claim that Tiridates III (A.D. 238-314) was the first ruler to officially Christianize his people, his conversion predating the conventional date (A.D. 312) of Constantine the Great's personal acceptance of Christianity on behalf of the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire).  
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    Oil agreements with the world leading companies, their further implementation, the early oil as produced and already exported to the Western markets have created foundation to ensure great changes in the economy. The agriculture has been reformed faster than any other field. Radical reforms carried out therein, privatization of State property, the land handed over to the private sector, changes in the forms of ownership, the possibility for the farmer to be a man of property have given positive results and solved the problem of food shortage in Azerbaijan once and forever. The changes taken place in the economy and development we are experiencing now have allowed the government to increase the social welfare of the people and to attract greater investments for the science, culture and education. Azerbaijan is well known as an independent State worldwide and has a unique image.As soon as the independence has been achieved our country becomes a member of The United Nations Organization, The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Islamic Conference Organization, The Commonwealth of Independent States, The Community of Turkich States. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. The International Monetary Fund, The World Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Islamic Bank for Development and creates a mutually beneficial collaboration with Inter-Parliamentary Union. European Council. European Community, European Parliament. NATO and other international organizations. The Azerbaijani diplomacy has achieved important progress to ensure independence, security and territorial integrity including multilateral and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries based on the principle of equality.  
  
Early in the fifth century A.D., [[Mesrop Mashtots|Saint Mesrop]], also known as Mashtots, devised an [[Armenian Alphabet|alphabet]] for the [[Armenian Language]], and religious and historical works began to appear as part of the effort to consolidate the influence of Christianity. For the next two centuries, political unrest paralleled the exceptional development of literary and religious life that became known as the first golden age of Armenia. In several administrative forms, Armenia remained part of the Byzantine Empire until the midseventh century. In A.D. 653, the empire, finding the region difficult to govern, ceded Armenia to the Arabs. In A.D. 806, the Arabs established the noble Bagratid family as governors, and later kings, of a semiautonomous Armenian state.
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    Today the most sensitive problem of our country is the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and fair call of Azerbaijan to settle the Nagorny-Karabakh problem is supported by the countries worldwide, international and regional organizations. We are convinced that this problem will be justly and peacefully solved very soon and territorial integrity of our country will be restored.  
  
==The Middle Ages==
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    We have declared once and again that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be settled peacefully. We are against the war. We are in favor of peace. Our utmost desire is to establish peace in Azerbaijan, throughout the Caucasian region and worldwide. Azerbaijan as a peaceloving State is willing to live in peace in the atmosphere of mutually beneficial cooperation and understanding with all countries and nations, especially with its neighbors.
 
 
Particularly under Bagratid kings Ashot I (also known as Ashot the Great or Ashot V, r. A.D. 862-90) and Ashot III (r. A.D. 952-77), a flourishing of art and literature accompanied a second golden age of Armenian history. The relative prosperity of other kingdoms in the region enabled the Armenians to develop their culture while remaining segmented among jurisdictions of varying degrees of autonomy granted by the Arabs. Then, after eleventh-century invasions from the west by the Byzantine Greeks and from the east by the Seljuk Turks, the independent kingdoms in Armenia proper collapsed, and a new Armenian state, the kingdom of Lesser Armenia, formed in Cilicia along the northeasternmost shore of the Mediterranean Sea. As an ally of the kingdoms set up by the European armies of the Crusades, [[Cilicia]]n Armenia fought against the rising Muslim threat on behalf of the Christian nations of Europe until internal rebellions and court intrigue brought its downfall, at the hands of the Central Asian Mamluk Turks in 1375. Cilician Armenia left notable monuments of art, literature, theology, and jurisprudence. It also served as the door through which Armenians began emigrating to points west, notably Cyprus, Marseilles, Cairo, Venice, and even Holland.
 
 
 
The Mamluks controlled Cilician Armenia until the Ottoman Turks conquered the region in the sixteenth century. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks and the Persians divided Caucasian Armenia to the northeast between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The Persians dominated the area of modern Armenia, around Lake Sevan and the city of Erevan. From the fifteenth century until the early twentieth century, most Armenians were ruled by the Ottoman Turks through the millet (see Glossary) system, which recognized the ecclesiastical authority of the Armenian Apostolic Church over the Armenian people.
 
 
 
==Between Russia and Turkey==
 
 
 
Beginning in the eighteenth century, the Russian Empire played a growing role in determining the fate of the Armenians, although those in Anatolia remained under Turkish control, with tragic consequences that would endure well into the twentieth century.
 
 
 
===Russian Influence Expands===
 
 
 
In the eighteenth century, Transcaucasia (the region including the Greater Caucasus mountain range as well as the lands to the south and west) became the object of a military-political struggle among three empires: Ottoman Turkey, tsarist Russia, and Safavid Persia. In 1828 Russia defeated Persia and annexed the area around Erevan, bringing thousands of Armenians into the Russian Empire. In the next half-century, three related processes began to intensify the political and national consciousness of the ethnic and religious communities of the Caucasus region: the imposition of tsarist rule; the rise of a market and capitalist economy; and the emergence of secular national intelligentsias. Tsarism brought Armenians from Russia and from the former Persian provinces under a single legal order. The tsarist system also brought relative peace and security by fostering commerce and industry, the growth of towns, and the building of railroads, thus gradually ending the isolation of many villages.
 
 
 
In the mid-nineteenth century, a major movement toward centralization and reform, called the Tanzimat, swept through the Ottoman Empire, whose authority had been eroded by corruption and delegation of control to local fiefdoms. Armenian subjects benefited somewhat from these reforms; for instance, in 1863 a special Armenian constitution was granted. When the reform movement was ended in the 1870s by reactionary factions, however, Ottoman policy toward subject nationalities became less tolerant, and the situation of the Armenians in the empire began to deteriorate rapidly.
 
 
 
===National Self-Awareness===
 
 
 
The Armenians themselves changed dramatically in the midnineteenth century. An intellectual awakening influenced by Western and Russian ideas, a new interest in Armenian history, and an increase in social interaction created a sense of secular nationality among many Armenians. Instead of conceiving of themselves solely as a religious community, Armenians--especially the urban middle class--began to feel closer kinship with Christian Europe and greater alienation from the Muslim peoples among whom they lived.
 
 
 
Lacking faith in reform within the empire, Armenian leaders began to appeal to the European powers for assistance. In 1878 Armenian delegates appeared at the Congress of Berlin, where the European powers were negotiating the disposition of Ottoman territories. Although Armenian requests for European protection went largely unanswered in Berlin, the "Armenian question" became a point of contention in the complex European diplomacy of the late nineteenth century, with Russia and Britain acting as the chief sponsors of Armenian interests on various issues.
 
 
 
The Armenian independence movement began as agitation on behalf of liberal democracy by writers, journalists, and teachers. But by the last decade of the nineteenth century, moderate nationalist intellectuals had been pushed aside by younger, more radical socialists. Armenian revolutionary parties, founded in the early 1890s in Russia and Europe, sent their cadres to organize in Turkey. Because of the self-destruction of one major party, the Social Democratic Hnchaks, and the relative isolation of the liberals and the "internationalist" Social Democrats in the cities of Transcaucasia, the more nationalist of the socialist parties, the [[Armenian Revolutionary Federation]] (ARF, also known as the Dashnak, a shortened form of its Armenian name), emerged by the early twentieth century as the only real contender for Armenian loyalties. The ARF favored Armenian autonomy in both the Russian and the Ottoman empires rather than full independence for an Armenia in which Russian- and Ottomanheld components would be unified.
 
 
 
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the Armenians' tendency toward Europeanization antagonized Turkish officials and encouraged their view that Armenians were a foreign, subversive element in the sultan's realm. By 1890 the rapid growth of the Kurdish population in Anatolia, combined with the immigration of Muslims from the Balkans and the Caucasus, had made the Armenian population of Anatolia an increasingly endangered minority. In 1895 Ottoman suspicion of the westernized Armenian population led to the massacre of 300,000 Armenians by special order of the Ottoman government.
 
 
 
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Russian border, Armenian churches and schools were closed and church property was confiscated in 1903. Tatars massacred Armenians in several towns and cities in 1905, and fifty-two Armenian nationalist leaders in Russia were tried en masse for underground activities in 1912.
 
 
 
===The Young Turks===
 
 
 
The Armenian population that remained in the Ottoman Empire after the 1895 massacre supported the 1908 revolution of the Committee of Union and Progress, better known as the [[Young Turks]], who promised liberal treatment of ethnic minorities. However, after its revolution succeeded, the Young Turk government plotted elimination of the Armenians, who were a significant obstacle to the regime's evolving nationalist agenda.
 
 
 
In the early stages of [[World War I]], in 1915 Russian armies advanced on Turkey from the north and the British attempted an invasion from the Mediterranean. Citing the threat of internal rebellion, the Ottoman government ordered large-scale roundups, deportations, and systematic torture and murder of Armenians beginning in the spring of 1915. Estimates vary from 600,000 to 2 million deaths out of the prewar population of about 3 million Armenians. By 1917 fewer than 200,000 Armenians remained in Turkey.
 
 
 
Whatever the exact dimensions of the [[Armenian Genocide|genocide]], Armenians suffered a demographic disaster that shifted the center of the Armenian population from the heartland of historical Armenia to the relatively safer eastern regions held by the Russians. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to the Caucasus with the retreating Russian armies, and the cities of Baku and Tbilisi filled with Armenians from Turkey. Ethnic tensions rose in Transcaucasia as the new immigrants added to the pressures on the limited resources of the collapsing Russian Empire. )
 
 
 
==World War I and Its Consequences==
 
 
 
As was the case for most of Europe, World War I changed Armenia's geopolitical situation. The war also precipitated an ethnic disaster of rare magnitude and brought the Armenians who remained in their native territory into a new type of empire.
 
 
 
===Postwar Realignment===
 
 
 
Between 1915 and 1917, Russia occupied virtually the entire Armenian part of the [[Ottoman Empire]]. Then in October 1917, the Bolshevik victory in Russia ended that country's involvement in World War I, and Russian troops left the Caucasus. In the vacuum that remained, the Armenians first joined a Transcaucasian federation with Azerbaijan and Georgia, both of which, however, soon proved to be unreliable partners. The danger posed by the territorial ambitions of the Ottoman Turks and the Azerbaijanis finally united the Caucasian Armenian population in support of the ARF program for autonomy. In May 1918, an independent Armenian republic was declared; its armies continued to fight on the Allied side south of the Caucasus until the Ottoman Empire surrendered in October 1918. The independent republic endured from May 1918 to December 1920. In the new government, ARF leaders R.I. Kachazuni and A.I. Khatisian became prime minister and foreign minister, respectively.
 
 
 
The Republic of Armenia included the northeastern part of present-day eastern Turkey, west along the Black Sea coast past Trabzon and southwest past Lake Van. But Armenia's precarious independence was threatened from within by the terrible economic conditions that followed the war in the former Ottoman Empire and, by 1920, by the territorial ambitions of Soviet Russia and the nationalist Turks under Kemal Atatьrk. Atatьrk had rehabilitated Turkey rapidly under a new democratic system, but the ruling party still hoped to create a larger state by taking territory in western Armenia from which Armenians had been driven. In defending its independence, the Republic of Armenia waited in vain, however, for the material and military aid promised at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Allies' memories of the 1915 massacre faded as war weariness and isolationism dominated their foreign policy.
 
 
 
In agreeing to the 1920 [[Treaty of Sevres]], the World War I Allies and Turkey recognized Armenian independence; as part of the treaty, Armenia received some disputed territory in what had been the Ottoman Empire. However, most of western Armenia remained in Turkish hands. Eastern Armenia, ravaged by warfare, migration, and disease, had an Armenian population of only 720,000 by 1920. Caught between the advancing Turks and the Red Army, which had already occupied neighboring Azerbaijan, in November 1920 the ARF government made a political agreement with the communists to enter a coalition government. The Treaty of Aleksandropol', signed by this government with Turkey, returned Armenia's northern Kars District to Russia and repudiated the existence of Armenian populations in newly expanded Turkey.
 
 
 
===Into the Soviet Union===
 
 
 
In 1922 Armenia was combined with [[Azerbaijan]] and [[Georgia]] to form the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (TSFSR), which was a single republic of the Soviet Union until the federation was dissolved and each part given republic status in 1936. When the TSFSR was formed, the new Soviet government in the Armenian capital of Erevan ruled over a shrunken country with a devastated economy and few resources with which to feed the populace and rebuild itself. In integrating their republic into the newly forming Soviet Union, Armenian communists surrendered the sovereignty that the independent republic had enjoyed briefly. Although it eliminated rival political parties and restricted the range of public expression, the new government promoted Armenian culture and education, invited artists and intellectuals from abroad to return to Armenia, and managed to create an environment of greater security and material well-being than Armenians had known since the outbreak of World War I.
 
 
 
==The Communist Era==
 
 
 
During the rule of Joseph V. Stalin (in power 1926-53), Armenian society and its economy were changed dramatically by Moscow policy makers. In a period of twenty-five years, Armenia was industrialized and educated under strictly prescribed conditions, and nationalism was harshly suppressed. After Stalin's death, Moscow allowed greater expression of national feeling, but the corruption endemic in communist rule continued until the very end in 1991. The last years of communism also brought disillusionment in what had been one of the most loyal republics in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s.
 
 
 
===Stalinist Restructuring===
 
 
 
Stalin's radical restructuring of the Soviet economic and political systems at the end of the 1920s ended the brief period of moderate rule and mixed economy under what was known as the New Economic Policy (see Modern Economic History , this ch.). Under Stalin the Communist Party of Armenia (CPA) used police terror to strengthen its political hold on the population and suppress all expressions of nationalism. At the height of the Great Terror orchestrated by Stalin in 1936-37, the ranks of CPA leaders and intellectuals were decimated by Lavrenti Beria, political commissar for the Transcaucasian republics.
 
 
 
Stalin's enforced social and economic engineering improved literacy and education and built communications and industrial infrastructures where virtually none had existed in tsarist times. As they emerged from the Stalin era in the 1950s, Armenians were more mobile, better educated, and ready to benefit from the less repressive policies of Stalin's successor, Nikita S. Khrushchev (in power 1953-64). The years of industrialization had promoted an upward social mobility through which peasants became workers; workers became foremen or managers; and managers became party and state officials.
 
 
 
===Communism after Stalin===
 
 
 
After Stalin's death in 1953, Moscow granted the republic more autonomy in decision making, which meant that the local communist elite increased its power and became entrenched in Armenian politics in the 1950s and 1960s. Although overt political opposition remained tightly restricted, expressions of moderate nationalism were viewed with greater tolerance. Statues of Armenian national heroes were erected, including one of Saint Vartan, the fifth-century defender of Armenian Christianity.
 
 
 
Even as Armenia continued its transformation from a basically agrarian nation to an industrial, urban society--by the early 1980s, only a third of Armenians lived in the countryside--the ruling elite remained largely unchanged. As a result, corruption and favoritism spread, and an illegal "second economy" of black markets and bribery flourished. In 1974 Moscow sent a young engineer, Karen Demirchian, to Erevan to clean up the old party apparatus, but the new party chief soon accommodated himself to the corrupt political system he had inherited.
 
 
 
===The New Nationalism===
 
 
 
Three issues combined by 1988 to stimulate a broad-based Armenian nationalist movement. First, the urbanization and industrialization of Armenia had brought severe ecological problems, the most threatening of which was posed by a nuclear power plant at Metsamor, west of Erevan. Second, many Armenians were angered by the pervasive corruption and arrogance of the communist elite, which had become entrenched as a privileged ruling class. Third and most immediate, Armenians were increasingly concerned about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, an autonomous region of Azerbaijan having nearly 200,000 Armenians living within Azerbaijan under Azerbaijani rule, isolated from mainstream Armenian culture.
 
 
 
Control of Nagorno-[[Karabakh]] (the conventional geographic term is based on the Russian for the phrase "mountainous Karabakh") had been contested by the briefly independent republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan after World War I. In 1924 the Soviet government designated the region an autonomous region under Azerbaijani jurisdiction within the TSFSR. At the time, 94.4 percent of the estimated 131,500 people in the district were Armenian. Between 1923 and 1979, the Armenian population of the enclave dropped by about 1,000, comprising only about 76 percent of the population by the end of the period. In the same period, the Azerbaijani population quintupled to 37,000, or nearly 24 percent of the region's population. Armenians feared that their demographic decline in Nagorno-Karabakh would replicate the fate of another historically Armenian region, [[Nakhichevan]], which the Soviet Union had designated an autonomous republic under Azerbaijani administration in 1924. In Nakhichevan the number of Armenians had declined from about 15,600 (15 percent of the total) in 1926 to about 3,000 (1.4 percent of the total) in 1979, while in the same period immigration and a higher birth rate had increased the Azerbaijani population from about 85,400 (85 percent) to 230,000, or nearly 96 percent of the total.
 
 
 
In addition to fearing the loss of their numerical superiority, Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh resented restrictions on the development of the Armenian language and culture in the region. Although the Armenians generally lived better than Azerbaijanis in neighboring districts, their standard of living was not as high as that of their countrymen in Armenia. Hostile to the Azerbaijanis, whom they blamed for their social and cultural problems, the vast majority of Karabakh Armenians preferred to learn Russian rather than Azerbaijani, the language of Azerbaijan. As early as the 1960s, clashes occurred between the Karabakh Armenians and the Azerbaijanis, and Armenian intellectuals petitioned Moscow for redress of their situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. )
 
 
 
A series of escalating attacks and reprisals between the two sides began in early 1988. Taking advantage of the greater freedom introduced by the glasnost (see Glossary) and perestroika (see Glossary) policies of Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev (in power 1985-91) in the late 1980s, Armenians held mass demonstrations in favor of uniting NagornoKarabakh with Armenia. In response to rumored Armenian demands, Azerbaijanis began fleeing the region. A two-day rampage in the industrial town of Sumgait, northwest of Baku, resulted in the deaths of more than 100 Armenians. During 1988, while Moscow hesitated to take decisive action, Armenians grew increasingly disillusioned with Gorbachev's programs, and Azerbaijanis sought to protect their interests by organizing a powerful anti-Armenian nationalist movement.
 
 
 
==Nagorno-Karabakh and Independence==
 
 
 
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (often called simply Karabakh) served as a catalyst for nationalist movements following the precipitous decline of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s (see fig. 3). In the early 1990s, the struggle defied all negotiating efforts of the West and Russia.
 
 
 
===Karabakh as a National Issue===
 
 
 
The protests of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh against Azerbaijani rule began in the spirit of perestroika, but the movement evolved quickly into a political organization, the Karabakh Committee, a broad anticommunist coalition for democracy and national sovereignty. In the confusion following the earthquake that devastated northern Armenia in December 1988, Soviet authorities tried to stem the growing opposition to their rule by arresting the leaders of the committee. The attempt by the CPA to rule in Armenia without support from Armenian nationalists only worsened the political crisis. In March 1989, many voters boycotted the general elections for the Soviet Union's Congress of People's Deputies. Massive demonstrations were held to demand the release of the members of the committee, and, in the elections to the Armenian Supreme Soviet, the legislative body of the republic, in May, Armenians chose delegates identified with the Karabakh cause. At that time, the flag of independent Armenia was flown for the first time since 1920. The release of the Karabakh Committee followed the 1989 election; for the next six months, the nationalist movement and the Armenian communist leadership worked as uncomfortable allies on the Karabakh issue.
 
 
 
Gorbachev's 1989 proposal for enhanced autonomy for NagornoKarabakh within Azerbaijan satisfied neither Armenians nor Azerbaijanis, and a long and inconclusive conflict erupted between the two peoples. In September 1989, Azerbaijan began an economic blockade of Armenia's vital fuel and supply lines through its territory, which until that time had carried about 90 percent of Armenia's imports from the other Soviet republics. In June 1989, numerous unofficial nationalist organizations joined together to form the Armenian Pannational Movement (APM), to which the Armenian government granted official recognition.
 
 
 
===The Karabakh Crisis Escalates, 1989===
 
 
 
The Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict escalated steadily in the summer and fall of 1989. Both the APM and the newly formed Azerbaijani Popular Front (APF) called for abolition of the Special Administrative Committee that Gorbachev had established to manage Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenians held to their position that the region must become part of Armenia, and radical Azerbaijanis called for abolition of Karabakh autonomy. As hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis demonstrated in Baku, their government further restricted the flow of goods and fuel into Karabakh and Armenia. In August 1989, Karabakh Armenians responded by electing their own National Council, which declared the secession of Karabakh from Azerbaijan and its merger with Armenia. The Armenian Supreme Soviet then declared the Karabakh National Council the sole legitimate representative of the Karabakh people. The Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet responded by abrogating the autonomy of both Karabakh and Nakhichevan.
 
 
 
Although the declarations and counter declarations of mid1989 were ultimately declared invalid by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, and although both Armenia and Azerbaijan continued to be governed by communist parties, neither republic was willing to obey Moscow's directives on the Karabakh issue. In November 1989, in frustration at its inability to bring the parties together, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union abolished the Special Administrative Committee and returned direct control of Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Rejecting Moscow's decision, the Armenian Supreme Soviet declared Karabakh a part of Armenia in December 1989.
 
 
 
After more than two years of the Karabakh conflict, Armenia had gone from being one of the most loyal Soviet republics to complete loss of confidence in Moscow. Gorbachev's unwillingness to grant Karabakh to Armenia and his failure to end the blockade convinced Armenians that the Kremlin considered it politically advantageous to back the more numerous Muslims. Even the invasion of Azerbaijan by Soviet troops in January 1990, ostensibly to stop pogroms against Armenians in Baku, failed to dampen the growing anti-Soviet mood among Armenians (see Within the Soviet Union, ch. 2).
 
 
 
===A New Political Climate===
 
 
 
The resignation of Suren Harutiunian as first secretary of the CPA in April 1990 and the triumph of the APM in the elections of the spring and summer of 1990 signaled the end of the old party elite and the rise of a new Armenian political class that had matured during the two years of tensions over Karabakh. The newly elected Armenian parliament (which retained the Soviet-era name Supreme Soviet or Supreme Council) chose [[Levon Ter Petrosian]] instead of the new CPA first secretary as its chairman, and hence as head of state of the republic.
 
 
 
With the APM in power and the communists in opposition, the transition from Soviet-style government to an independent democratic state began in earnest. The new government faced a nearly complete collapse of order in the republic. Buildings were seized by armed men in [[Yerevan]], and several independent militia groups operated in Erevan as well as on the Azerbaijani frontier. Frustrated by the Azerbaijani blockade and determined to defend their republic and Karabakh, members of Armenia's Fidain (whose name was taken from an Arabic term literally meaning "one who sacrifices himself" and recalling the Armenian freedom fighters of the turn of the century) raided arsenals and police stations to arm themselves for the coming battles. In July Gorbachev demanded immediate disarmament of the Armenian militias and threatened military intervention if they did not comply. In response, Ter-Petrosian's government itself disarmed the independent militias and restored order in Yerevan.
 
 
 
On August 23, 1990, Armenia formally declared its intention to become sovereign and independent, with Nagorno-Karabakh an integral part of what now would be known as the Republic of Armenia rather than the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Armenian nation was defined broadly to include not only those living in the territory of the republic but also the worldwide Armenian йmigrй population as well.
 
 
 
In redefining Armenian national interests, the government acknowledged--but temporarily put aside--the painful question of Armenian genocide, having in mind improved relations with traditional enemies Turkey and Iran. This policy prompted strong criticism from extreme nationalist groups that wanted to recover territory lost to Turkey in World War I. The CPA was also vehemently critical.
 
 
 
===Independence===
 
 
 
In January 1991, the Armenian Supreme Soviet decided not to participate in Gorbachev's planned referendum on preserving the Soviet Union. In March the parliament announced that, instead, the republic would hold its own referendum in September, in compliance with the procedure outlined in the Soviet constitution for a republic to secede. Although literal compliance would mean that Armenia would not be fully independent for five years after the referendum, Moscow soon moved to change Armenia's course. Without notifying the Armenian government, Moscow sent paratroopers to the republic in early May, ostensibly to protect Soviet defense installations in Armenia. Ter-Petrosian's official statement in reaction characterized the move as a virtual declaration of war by the Soviet Union.
 
 
 
In August 1991, when a self-proclaimed emergency committee attempted to overthrow Gorbachev and take control in Moscow, the Armenian government refused to sanction its actions. Fearing an extension of the Soviet incursion of May, Ter-Petrosian approached the Moscow coup very cautiously. The republic's Defense Committee secretly resolved to have the Armenian armed forces go underground and wage guerrilla warfare. Ter-Petrosian, who believed that Gorbachev's personal blunders, indecisiveness, and concessions to conservative communists were to blame for the coup, was overjoyed when the conservatives were defeated. But the coup itself convinced Armenians of the need to move out of the Soviet Union as rapidly as possible, and it validated TerPetrosian 's refusal to participate in the revival of the Soviet Union advocated by Gorbachev.
 
 
 
Within two months of the coup, Armenians went to the polls twice. In September 1991, over 99 percent of voters approved the republic's commitment to independence. The immediate aftermath of that vote was the Armenian Supreme Soviet's declaration of full independence, on September 23, in disregard of the constitution's restraints on secession. Then in October, Ter-Petrosian was elected overwhelmingly as president of the republic. He now had a popular mandate to carry out his vision of Armenian independence and self-sufficiency.
 
 
 
As political changes occurred within the republic, armed conflict continued in Nagorno-Karabakh during 1991. Armenia officially denied supporting the "Nagorno-Karabakh defense forces" that were pushing Azerbaijani forces out of the region; Armenia also accused the Soviet Union of supporting Azerbaijan as punishment for Armenia's failure to sign Gorbachev's new Union Treaty. In turn, Azerbaijan called Armenia an aggressor state whose national policy included annexation of Azerbaijani territory.
 
 
 
===Postindependence Armenia===
 
 
 
Two immediate tasks facing independent Armenia were rebuilding its devastated economy and strengthening its fledgling democratic institutions. But the escalating war in NagornoKarabakh and the effective blockade of the republic by the Azerbaijanis led to a total collapse of the economy. By early 1993, the government seemed helpless before mounting economic and political problems. The last remaining oil and gas pipelines through neighboring Georgia, which itself was being torn by civil and interethnic war, were blown up by saboteurs. To survive the cold, Armenians in Erevan cut down the city's trees, and plans were made to start up the nuclear power plant at Metsamor. In February 1993, demonstrations called for the resignation of the government, but Ter-Petrosian responded by naming a new cabinet headed by Hrant Bagratian.
 
 
 
While economic and political conditions deteriorated within Armenia, the military position of the Armenians in the Karabakh struggle improved dramatically. Various peace negotiations sponsored by Iran, Russia, Turkey, and a nine-nation group from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe ( CSCE--see Glossary) had begun in 1991 and sporadically had yielded cease-fires that were violated almost immediately. In the spring of 1992, while the Azerbaijani communists and the nationalist Azerbaijani Popular Front fought for control in Baku, Karabakh Armenian forces liberated most of Nagorno-Karabakh, took the old capital, Shusha, and drove a corridor through the Kurdish area around Lachin to link Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. But the immediate result of this victory was the collapse of Russian-sponsored peace negotiations with Azerbaijan and the continuation of the war.
 
 
 
Beginning a counteroffensive in early summer, the Azerbaijanis occupied two disctricts of Nagorno-Karabakh and created thousands of new refugees by expelling Armenians from the villages they took. In midsummer this new phase of the conflict stimulated a CSCEsponsored peace conference, but Armenia stymied progress by demanding for the first time that Nagorno-Karabakh be entirely separate from Azerbaijan.
 
 
 
By the end of 1992, the sides were bogged down in a bloody stalemate. After clearing Azerbaijani forces from NagornoKarabakh and the territory between Karabakh and Armenia, Armenian troops also advanced deep into Azerbaijan proper--a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations (UN) Security Council and panic in Iran, on whose borders Armenian troops had arrived. In the first half of 1993, the Karabakh Armenians gained more Azerbaijani territory, against disorganized opposition. Azerbaijani resistance was weakened by the confusion surrounding a military coup that toppled the APF government in Baku and returned former communist party boss Heydar Aliyev to power.
 
 
 
The coup reinvigorated Russian efforts to negotiate a peace under the complex terms of the three parties to the conflict: the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the increasingly independent and assertive Karabakh Armenians. CSCE peace proposals were uniformly rejected during this period. Although Russia seemed poised for a triumph of crisis diplomacy on its borders, constant negotiations in the second half of 1993 produced only intermittent cease-fires. At the end of 1993, the Karabakh Armenians were able to negotiate with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia from a position of power: they retained full control of Nagorno-Karabakh and substantial parts of Azerbaijan proper.
 
 
 
==External Links==
 
 
 
*[http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/amtoc.html Library of Congress] - Source of this article
 
*For an excellent summary of Armenian history prior to the genocide, you can visit Papazian's Armenian History Brief[http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/armenian/papazian/armenia.html].
 
*[http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Asia/Armenia/_Texts/KURARM/home.html A History of Armenia] by [[Vahan Kurkjian]]
 
*[http://www.haias.net/bilder/maps_armenia_karabakh_artsakh.html Historical Maps]
 
 
 
[[Category:Armenian History]]
 

Revision as of 05:55, 19 May 2005




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History of Azerbaijan

   Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history.A rich cultural heritage has been created on its territory over the span of many millenniums, contributing to the treasure-house of World culture. The discovery of Azykh cave, the earliest habitation of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient stone age prove that Azerbaijan enters the zone of anthropoids to reveal the birthplace of mankind. The main traces of civilization are viewed in Azerbaijan. In the 3rd millennium B.C. the process of tribe formation was going on here and by the 1st millennium B.C. the first political formations had emerged. Azerbaijan State system was being formed in the 9th century B.C.: Manna state with high economic and cultural level had emerged. The pantheons of divinities were created. Manna believed in natural phenomena; the Sun, the Moon, the first part of the 6th century B.C.. Manna was conquered by Media. The official religion was Zoroastrism, the spread of which was connected with selfkindled resources of oil and gas.A great part was played by the Atropatena and Caucasian Albania in the process of the formation of separate state structure on the territory of Azerbaijan in antiquity. The name of the country is connected with the name of the Atropatena ruler - Atropat which was later transformed into Azerbaijan. It is in Atropatena that the process of formation of Azerbaijan nationality began. In the 3rd-5th centuries the Azerbaijan state system was strengthening. Christianity was pe trating into Azerbaijan. In Transcauca such one of the first apostolic Christian churches appeared spiritual and secular life was progressing. At the beginning of the 5th century the Albanic alphabet was introduced and promoted the development of education. 
   The unique monuments of culture and literature, architectural traditions of that period have been preserved to the present.Azerbaijan was conquered by Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century and made part of the Arab Khalifat as the vilayet Arran. Islam became the leading religion in Azerbaijan, creating new traditions and culture. Azerbaijanis, like all other nations that accepted Islam, were called "Moslems" and participated in the development of Moslem culture. Azerbaijan enriched the world culture, gave the world a brilliant gallery of scientists, poets and architects. In the medieval centuries there was a succession of states: Garagoyunly, Aggounly, Sefevids states were in power in a successive way. Azerbaijani people distinguish among other peoples with its specific image in the world culture. Cultural and literary specimen of this people created for centuries are tanned with love of life, feelings of freedom and independence. Grand works of art of our people such as "Kitabi Dada-Gorgud", "Koroghly", coryphaeus who have left indelible traces in the history of world civilization such as Nizami Ganjavy, Afsalladdin Khagany, Khatib Tabrizy. Imadaddin Nasimy, Gatran Tabrizy.Mouhammad Fouzuly whose creative activities were devoted to praising world ideas of truth and justice, served to establish human ideals. Art lovers are still admired by the works of Safiyaddin Ourmavy. Ajamy Nakhchivany. Sultan Mouhammad Tabrizy who gave pearls to the treasure of world culture. Our people have full right to be proud of the contribution given to world science. 
   The names of our thinkers Nasraddin Tuisy, Aboulhassan Bahmanyar, Mirza Fataly Akhundov, Abasgouly Aga Bakikhanov and others are well known to world science. Heroism of such popular leaders as Javanshir and Baback has been turned into a school of patriotism, embodiment of courage and unification of people.Life and activity of Mouhammad Jahan Pahlavan, Gyzil Arslan, Ouzun Hassan, Shah Ismail Khatai and other statesmen developed love of Motherland and statehood in people, and have been turned to one of the major goals of our life. A rivalry between states to involve Azerbaijan into the sphere of their interests resulted in striking inner destabilization in 18th century A number of independent state formations - Khanates appeared. The contradictions between Russia, Turkey and Iran deepened in the 18th-19th century. Wars were waged over Azerbaijan. The Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828 between Russia and Iran separated Azerbaijan and its people: the northern part of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia, its southern part became a part of the Iranian state. The 20th century entered the history of the Azerbaijan people as the period of radical changes in socio-economic, political and cultural life. A range of upstream and downstream industrial branches were intensively developing in Azerbaijan. Baku turned into the world center of oil extraction and refinery yielding more than half of the world's and 95% of Russia's oil extraction totals. The cultural life enlivened. Various branches of science were developing, newspapers and magazines started to be published. 
   Formation of political societies, organizations and parties for dissemination of progressive, democratic ideas contributed to the process of becoming and developing a national identity and fueled the growth of the liberation movement of the February, 1917: The fall of the tsarist monarchy in Russia created favorable conditions for the development of national movements in its border lands. May 28, 1918: Azerbaijan rehabilitated its state structure - the Independent Azerbaijan Republic was established. Having existed for 23 months, it collapsed. Troops of the 11th Red Army came to Baku. In December, 1922 Azerbaijan became a part of the USSR and a socialist republic was formed with the attributes of state - Constitution, flag, national anthem, state emblem. In 1991 state independence of Azerbaijan was restored, the Constitutional Act of State Independence was adopted. Establishment of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan is an important historical event of our life. It is true that the way to independence was not easy for us and we have undergone severe tests. As a result of military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, occupation of 20% of our territory by Armenian invaders more than one million of our citizens were obliged to leave their native homes and turned into refugees and displaced people. Sabotage of internal and external forces against our statehood, disintegration of former economic relations, social and economic difficulties of the transition period and other problems have complicated our way to independence. Nevertheless our people did not lose confidence, will and determination in our independent statehood, but on the contrary, the belief of our people became more strengthened. As a result of purposeful policy achievements gained for recent years in the country are evident. The war with Armenia that has been going on since 1988, has already been stopped for three and half years, we have achieved a ceasefire. We have put an end once and for all to the subversive activities of armed groups within the country, political disorder has been blocked up. I can firmly say that the Republic of Azerbaijan lives in full political stability now. And this creates firm foundation to implement radical changes in different spheres of the life of our country. 
   The Republic of Azerbaijan as an independent country follows the way of democratic, law governed and secular state construction.Our society is being formed on the basis of democratic principles which have already been tested in the world practice and match our national peculiarities. The first Constitution was adopted through nationwide referendum. The Constitution ensures the independence of the State of Azerbaijan, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, the civil society in the scope of the main law. Based on the Clauses of the Constitution, principles of multiparty system and parliament through democratic elections has been established as well as laws were adopted to achieve the political pluralism and to develop the democratic principles for our society. The conditions to use and to extend the Azerbaijani language in all spheres as the State language were set up, and prospective were opened to mature it and to take its deserved place among the languages of the globe. Today, the right to freedom of thought, freedom of press and speech, protection of human rights constitute main and irreversible principles of our society. Our nation is setting up the life principles based on supremacy of law, taking care of its history, protecting and developing its national and moral values and we will follow the same target in future. 
   Azerbaijan experiences the period of great economic changes and reforms. The transfer to market relations and integration to the world economic system constitute main trends of our policy. The macroeconomy has been stabilized in the country. The economic regress of late 80s has been overcome and the progress in some of the branches has become visibly achieved. The current economic reforms have had a qualitative new step. Fundamental changes are taking place in the economy. The market relations and entities are being formed to meet the requirements of new structure. Some branches of the industry, trade, transport, public utility services have been privatized, bank and fiscal systems, financial institutions have been reformed, the implementation of joint projects with major foreign state and private companies and the like are good examples of progress in Azerbaijan's economy. 
   Oil agreements with the world leading companies, their further implementation, the early oil as produced and already exported to the Western markets have created foundation to ensure great changes in the economy. The agriculture has been reformed faster than any other field. Radical reforms carried out therein, privatization of State property, the land handed over to the private sector, changes in the forms of ownership, the possibility for the farmer to be a man of property have given positive results and solved the problem of food shortage in Azerbaijan once and forever. The changes taken place in the economy and development we are experiencing now have allowed the government to increase the social welfare of the people and to attract greater investments for the science, culture and education. Azerbaijan is well known as an independent State worldwide and has a unique image.As soon as the independence has been achieved our country becomes a member of The United Nations Organization, The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Islamic Conference Organization, The Commonwealth of Independent States, The Community of Turkich States. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. The International Monetary Fund, The World Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Islamic Bank for Development and creates a mutually beneficial collaboration with Inter-Parliamentary Union. European Council. European Community, European Parliament. NATO and other international organizations. The Azerbaijani diplomacy has achieved important progress to ensure independence, security and territorial integrity including multilateral and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries based on the principle of equality. 
   Today the most sensitive problem of our country is the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and fair call of Azerbaijan to settle the Nagorny-Karabakh problem is supported by the countries worldwide, international and regional organizations. We are convinced that this problem will be justly and peacefully solved very soon and territorial integrity of our country will be restored. 
   We have declared once and again that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be settled peacefully. We are against the war. We are in favor of peace. Our utmost desire is to establish peace in Azerbaijan, throughout the Caucasian region and worldwide. Azerbaijan as a peaceloving State is willing to live in peace in the atmosphere of mutually beneficial cooperation and understanding with all countries and nations, especially with its neighbors.