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AZERBAIJAN: PRESIDENT HARDENS RHETORIC ON DEMOCRATIZATION, HUMAN RIGHTS

Energy profits are emboldening the government of Azerbaijan. As a result, officials in Baku are now more likely to disregard the advice of Western states, in particular the United States, on matters concerning democratization and human rights. In spite of the global economic slowdown, Azerbaijan remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world, thanks mainly to its energy exports. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. GDP for the first half of 2008 was up 15 percent, according to Minister of Economic Development Heidar Babayev. Full Story

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