By the beginning of the 16th century, it had become the dominant language of the region, and was a spoken language in the court of the Safavids and Afsharids.
The historical development of Azerbaijani can be divided into two major periods: early (c.
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The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim orient world.
The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.
and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south.