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country name, of unknown origin, perhaps from Old Persian Aturpatakan, from Greek Atropatene, from the Persian satrap Atropates, who ruled there in the time of Alexander the Great; or from local azer "fire" + baydjan (Iranian baykan) "guardian," in reference to fire-worship.
Note: This former member of the Soviet Union declared its independence in 1991.
Note: Predominantly Muslim, Azerbaijan has been involved in an often violent dispute with Armenia, its predominantly Christian neighbor, over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly Armenian region of Azerbaijan.
Note: The country possesses valuable oil reserves.