On July 11, 2007, the New York Times Co.-owned International Herald Tribune (IHT) reported that the "small Caspian nation" of Azerbaijan, "hoping to drum up business for its non oil sector, and to improve its image, ... has more than doubled its diplomatic presence abroad since 2004, opening 32 new embassies in the last three years in capitals from Athens to Tokyo." See "Azerbaijan creates diplomatic academy."
"But now the country faces another problem," IHT reported, " not enough diplomats to staff the missions."
According to reporter Daria Vaisman, this "is why, after 13 years as Azerbaijan's ambassador to the United States, Hafiz Pashayev has found himself with an unexpected second career: running the state-run" Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, the " country's first academy for aspiring diplomats."
The academy "opened in March  with the goal of training its recruits in a Western-style diplomacy new to this country," according to IHT. "The idea is to quickly staff Azerbaijan's empty embassies, fast-tracking aspiring diplomats who would normally work their way up as Foreign Ministry staffers."
IHT said Azerbaijan is preparing "for an oil windfall expected to top $230 billion over the next 20 years."
And that spells incredible wealth and potential trouble in the rough and tumble world of oil economics. In this game, skilled diplomats are essential. Hopefully, Azerbaijan's diplomats will take an ethics course along the way. If so, hopefully, they won't succumb to bribes from hucksters seeking oil contracts. As for Azerbaijan's politicians, look for some to become millionaires and billionaires.