Vol. 2, No. 12 (June 15, 2009)

Azerbaijan’s balanced foreign policy and the Muslim world

Most analysts have focused on only one aspect of Azerbaijan’s balanced foreign policy – its careful navigation of a course between relations with Moscow, on the one hand, and the West – Europe and the United States – on the other.  But what may prove to be ultimately an even more important manifestation of Baku’s approach is to be found in its development of relations with the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, ties that are defined by Azerbaijan’s status as one of the most secular states among Islamic countries and one of the most Muslim countries among secular ones. On the ...
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Azerbaijani-Israeli relations enter a new stage

The upcoming June 28th visit to Baku by Israeli President Shimon Peres, a visit arranged during the May 6th meeting in Prague between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, opens a new stage in Azerbaijani-Israeli relations and reflects among other things Jerusalem’s desire to strengthen relations with former Soviet republics in the aftermath of Israeli operations in Gaza. In support of that effort, one marked out in the middle of 2008, the Israeli foreign ministry has established separate departments to deal with the European portion of the ...
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Battling information asymmetry in the Azerbaijani economy

The global financial crisis has had a negative impact on the Azerbaijani banking industry, but many analysts argue that the impact has been limited because of the absence in Azerbaijan of a well-functioning stock market.  That interpretation is wrong, given that stock markets provide the most comprehensive information about the economy and thus can provide the most accurate measure of the impact of such a crisis.  Financial markets are usually viewed either as substitutes for or complements to the banking industry.  Because of better screening and monitoring, banks can low...
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