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Yearbook 2002

Azerbaijan. By New Year, police arrested six people accused of conspiring with a banned militant Islamic group. According to the authorities, the arrested had prepared attacks on, among other things. US Embassy in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku. A few weeks later, President George W. Bush announced that the United States would lift its sanctions on Azerbaijan. The measure was justified by the US-led fight against terrorism, which was supported by Azerbaijan President Gejdar Alijev. US sanctions against Azerbaijan had been in force for ten years because of Azerbaijan's conflict with Armenia over the Armenian breaker climax Nagorno-Karabakh.

2002 Azerbaijan

According to Countryaah website, President Aliyev visited Moscow in January, which led to a softening of strained relations with Russia as well. Among other things, Azerbaijan agreed that the Russian military leases a radar station in northern Azerbaijan for another ten years. The settlement was condemned by Azerbaijan's ally Turkey, who feared a rapprochement between Azerbaijan and Russia.

In May, Pope John Paul II visited Muslim Azerbaijan and then called for an end to all religious wars.

In August, a referendum was held on a draft constitutional amendment. According to critics, the proposal would pave the way for President Aliyev's son to succeed his father and, moreover, make the election system more favorable to the regime. The authorities claimed that 97% voted in favor of the proposals, but opposition leaders reported widespread electoral fraud.

Government critics were arrested by police on several occasions during the year, including after demonstrations in the city of Nardaran that were designated as a haven for Islamic radicalism. However, the residents of Nardaran said they protested against high unemployment and poor living conditions.

In October, members of the opposition party Musavat were arrested and the Democratic Party headquarters were stormed by police. The intensified conflict with Aliyev's regime appeared to be one of the previously divided opposition, which demanded the resignation of the president during large demonstrations. Alijev was criticized, among other things. for their attempts to resolve the negotiations around Nagorno-Karabakh with negotiations. Several opposition politicians advocated a new war against Armenia.

During the autumn, work started on a more than 175 km long oil pipeline, which will go from Baku through Georgia and Turkey to the port city of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. At the same time, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed on the delicate border crossing of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.

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