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Azerbaijan has a high level of human development that ranks on par with most Eastern European countries.The original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism.The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state.In 1920 the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.In 1501, the Safavid dynasty of Iran subdued the Shirvanshahs, and gained its possessions.In the course of the next century, the Safavids converted the formerly Sunni population to Shia Islam, The Safavids allowed the Shirvanshahs to remain in power, under Safavid suzerainty, until 1538, when Safavid king Tahmasp I (r.The name Azerbaijan was first adopted for the area of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan by the government of Musavat in 1918, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, when the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established.Until then, the designation had been used exclusively to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran,.
The pre-Turkic population that lived on the territory of modern Azerbaijan spoke several Indo-European and Caucasian languages, among them Armenian Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuk Empire were ruled by Eldiguzids, technically vassals of the Seljuk sultans, but sometimes de facto rulers themselves.
Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1992), the Council of Europe, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (Pf P) program.
It is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) the Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist.
Numerous self-ruling khanates with various forms of autonomy This sparked the final bout of hostilities between the two, the Russo-Persian War of 1826–1828.
The resulting Treaty of Turkmenchay, forced Qajar Iran to cede sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate and the remainder of the Lankaran Khanate, comprising the last parts of the soil of the contemporary Azerbaijani Republic that were still in Iranian hands.
1524–1576) completely deposed them, and made the area into the Safavid province of Shirvan.