Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az UN Secretary General: The contributions of Azerbaijan are essential to achieving shared objectives http://www.today.az/news/politics/151196.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 19:55:00 +0400 Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has sent a congratulatory letter to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of Republic Day."The United Nations is now in the midst of acting on our wide-ranging plans for a more sustainable, healthy and peaceful world. In this effort, we rely on each country to deliver on its global promises, especially the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change"- he said."Your National Day offers an occasion to celebrate your proud history as a country and to reaffirm the universal values of human rights, development and peace. The United Nations is fortunate to draw on its diverse membership, bringing together different cultural traditions in common cause. The contributions of the Republic of Azerbaijan are essential to achieving our shared objectives. I count on your Government to deepen its engagement with the United Nations as we seek to usher in a better future for all"- Secretary-General said."Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration"- he said./By Trend/ Malaysia hosts event dedicated to Azerbaijan`s Republic Day http://www.today.az/news/politics/151197.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 19:25:00 +0400 Azerbaijan`s embassy to Malaysia has organized an official reception to mark the national holiday – the Republic Day at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.The event brought together representatives of Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of Malaysia-Azerbaijan friendship group in the country`s Parliament, businessmen, heads of diplomatic corps and Azerbaijanis living in the country.Addressing the event, ambassador Galey Allahverdiyev provided an insight into the history of the Republic Day. He noted that the present dynamic development of Azerbaijan is the result of right statehood policy and reforms carried out by Heydar Aliyev.The Ambassador has also informed the attendees on the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe to be held next month in Baku, and the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to be hosted by Azerbaijan in 2017.Speaking to the event, Malaysian deputy minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Dato Sri Haji Tajuddin Bin Abdul Rahman congratulated the Azerbaijani President and people on the occasion./By Azertac/ Iran, Turkey hold joint meeting on sci-tech cooperation http://www.today.az/news/regions/151193.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 18:00:00 +0400 Iran and Turkey have hold their first joint meeting on scientific and technological cooperation.The session was attended by Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Farhadi and Yekta Sarac, president of the Council of Higher Education of Turkey, ISNA news agency reported May 28.During the meeting which was held in Ankara, the sides agreed on carrying out 10 joint research projects among universities and professors on both sides, and giving 50 scholarships of 6 to 9 months period each to PhD students.They also agreed on promoting each country's official language and literature in the other by Iran sending three Persian professors to Turkey and Turkey dispatching three Turkish professors to Iran./By Trend/ Azerbaijani oil prices for May 23-27 http://www.today.az/news/business/151195.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 16:42:00 +0400 The average price for AZERI LT CIF, extracted on the block of Azerbaijani fields Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli, was $50.6 per barrel on May 23-27 or $0.22 per barrel more than the previous week.The maximum price for AZERI LT was $51.31 per barrel and the minimum price was $49.03 per barrel during the reporting period.Azerbaijan sells AZERI LT via the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Georgian ports - Batumi and Supsa.The oil is supplied to Ceyhan via the BTC pipeline and to Georgia - via the Baku-Supsa pipeline and railway.The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port was $45.75 per barrel on May 23-27 or $0.25 per barrel more than the previous week.The maximum price for Urals totaled $46.32 per barrel and the minimum - $45.02 per barrel on May 16-20. Azerbaijan sells oil supplied via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline through this Russian port.The average price for Brent Dated was $48.9 per barrel on May 23-27 or $0.33 per barrel more than the previous week.The maximum price for Brent was $49.51 per barrel and the minimum - $48.44 during the reporting period./By Trend/ Commander says Iran to help Iraq as needed http://www.today.az/news/regions/151194.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 16:37:00 +0400 Iran will take action as much as needed and requested by Iraqi officials, says Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Quds Force.The Islamic Republic has played a great role in Iraq's standing against the Islamic State (aka IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) and has contributed to the formation of many public mobilizations, Soleimani stated, Mizan news agency reported May 28."The public mobilization managed to gain victory in just three days and free Tikrit with only five percent damage, whereas the US freed Ramadi with 95 percent damage, leaving only a pile of dust. That's where the difference between Iran and the opposite side's policies is apparent," the commander said."If Iran had not resisted the Takfiri attack, the Islamic State would have formed a government in Syria by now," Soleimani said.Iran was recently accused by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has causing insecurity in the Iraq.Following the accusation, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that the country only dispatches military advisors to Iraq when asked to do so by the official Iraqi government.Tehran maintains it does not engage in direct battle in Iraq or Syria, but only provides consultancy missions./By Trend/ Iran’s Rouhani: Leader’s target economic growth demands foreign investment http://www.today.az/news/regions/151191.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 15:39:00 +0400 The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's target economic growth of 8 percent is bound to some requirements, including foreign investments, says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.Addressing the opening ceremony of the new parliament in Tehran, Rouhani said each year Iran will need $30 billion to $50 billion of foreign investment in order to reach that economic growth, IRIB news agency reported May 28."That amount of investment is needed since we have already used all the resources that we can find inside the country," Rouhani underlined.He went on to tacitly defend the nuclear deal as a preliminary step to luring foreign investments.Rouhani's emphasize on foreign investment comes at a time when he is under criticism by rivals for disregarding the supreme leader's guidelines about what they call a "resistance economy", something much similar to austerity measures.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed that the government needs to adhere to the resistance economy policies, which require minimum reliance on foreigners.Iranian conservatives frequently underline the unreliability of Western countries, demonstrated in numerous turns throughout the history of the Islamic Republic.The policies of the resistance economy are meant to be a security-minded set of rules to reduce the country's reliance on world powers.The supreme leader's recent message to the incoming parliament, read out during the same ceremony, emphasized the "resistant economy" as a top priority to be observed by the parliamentarians.Khamenei called on the new Iranian MPs to make the parliament a "solid fortification" against the excessive demands of the "arrogant powers"./By Trend/ Milli Majlis chairman meets OSCE PA Special Representative http://www.today.az/news/politics/151190.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 15:00:00 +0400 Chairman of Azerbaijan`s Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov has met with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly`s Special Representative on the South Caucasus Kristian Vigenin.Mr. Asadov expressed confidence that the Special Representative`s meetings during the visit would make contribution to development of relations between Azerbaijan and the OSCE PA.Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Milli Majlis chairman said that the conflict was a threat to whole region. He also spoke of the latest provocations committed by the Armenian units against Azerbaijani civilians.Mr. Asadov has provided an insight into the recent meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Vienna.Kristian Vigenin congratulated the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of national holiday – Republic Day. He underlined that Azerbaijan has achieved huge successes in the years of independence, and stressed the importance of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Head of the parliament`s administration Safa Mirzayev and other officials attended the meeting./By Azertac/ Azerbaijani deputy PM meets residents, servicemen in Terter district http://www.today.az/news/politics/151192.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 14:56:00 +0400 Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Ahmadov paid a visit to the country's Terter district May 28.Ahmadov had a meeting at the executive power of the Terter district.Then he visited one of the military units in the Terter city, met with soldiers and officers, and presented gifts to the servicemen who have shown courage in the April fighting.On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The shelling resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.Ahmadov also visited the houses damaged as a result of the April provocations of Armenia, and met with residents of the villages damaged in the Armenian shelling.He also visited the trenches on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, and met with the servicemen on combat duty.Considerable damage was inflicted to many houses in the Terter district as a result of the Armenian heavy artillery shelling on April 2-5 and on April 27-28.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts./By Trend/ Solo exhibition of Azerbaijani artist Maryam Alakbarli opens at Carrusel de Louvre gallery http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/151189.html Arts & Entertainment Sat, 28 May 2016 14:39:00 +0400 A solo exhibition of young Azerbaijani artist Maryam Alakbarli has been launched at the exhibition hall in Carrusel de Louvre, Paris.The exhibition opened as part of “Art Shopping” festival, and dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry`s “The Little Prince”.Addressing the event, director of the exhibition hall Myriam Annonay Castanet provided an insight into the young artist`s works.Azerbaijan`s ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov highlighted the importance of exhibition, and added that the exhibition was huge contribution to development of cultural relations between the two countries.He underlined that Maryam Alakbarli`s exhibition, dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry`s “The Little Prince” reflected Azerbaijani youths` interest in French literature.Art critic and organizer of the exhibition Jeanette Zwingenberger highlighted the uniqueness of Maryam`s works.The exhibition also featured an Azerbaijani music by jazz artist Etibar Asadli.The exhibition will run until May 29./By Azertac/ Khamenei: Iran now facing more complicated situation than in past http://www.today.az/news/regions/151188.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 14:24:00 +0400 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic is experiencing more complicated situation as compared with the past.In a message to opening of Iran's 10th parliament on May 28, Khamenei said "the current stormy situation in the region and the world, and international adventurism of imperialists and their followers, have put the Islamic Republic face-to-face with a more complicated situation compared to that in the past," the official website of the Iranian supreme leader reported.He further said that confronting this situation demands vigilance, strong will and initiatives by all the officials of the Islamic Republic.Khamenei added that the Iranian MPs should make the parliament a "solid fortification" against deceptions and excessive demands of the "arrogant powers" and a point of reliance for the revolutionary people.He also hailed the Iranians' high turnout in the recent parliamentary election, saying the nation repaid allegiance to the Islamic Republic and clearly responded to those "malevolent" by doing so.Khamenei further said in his message that the parliament's current two major priorities are to realize a resistant economy and enrich the Islamic culture.He concluded the message expressing appreciation to the legislators of the previous parliament and wished success to the new lawmakers.The 10th round of the Iranian parliament started its work on May 28.The speaker, vice-speakers and other presiding board members of the new parliament will be elected May 29.Former Speaker Ali Larijani and former Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref are speculated to be the main rivals for the new speaker's position./By Trend/ Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market http://www.today.az/news/business/151187.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 14:00:00 +0400 The official exchange rate of Azerbaijani manats to the US dollar set by Azerbaijani Central Bank (CBA) increased by 0.0051 manats (0.3 percent). Accordingly, the average rate was set at 1.49184 manats to 1 US dollar.Official exchange rate of manats to US dollarMay 161,5063May 231,4957May 171,5033May 241,4929May 181,5017May 251,49May 191,5017May 261,49May 201,4987May 271,4906Average weekly1,50234Average weekly1,49184During the week, the official exchange rate of manats to euro set by the CBA consolidated by 0.0121 manats (0.7 percent). Accordingly, the average rate was set at 1.66974 manats to 1 euro.Official exchange rate of manats to euroMay 161,7036May 231,6798May 171,7008May 241,6738May 181,6948May 251,6614May 191,6848May 261,666May 201,6787May 271,6677Average weekly1,69254Average weekly1,66974The official exchange rate of Azerbaijani manats to the Russian ruble set by Azerbaijani Central Bank cheapened by 0.0002 manats (0.9 percent). Accordingly, the average rate was set at 0.02252 manats to 1 Russian ruble.Official exchange rate of manats to Russian rubleMay 160,023May 230,0224May 170,0232May 240,0223May 180,0231May 250,0225May 190,0226May 260,0228May 200,0225May 270,0226Average weekly0,02288Average weekly0,02252During the week, the official exchange rate of manats to Turkish lira set by the CBA cheapened by 0.0039 manats (0.8 percent). Accordingly, the average rate was set at 0.50408 manats to 1 Turkish lira.Official exchange rate of manats to Turkish liraMay 160,5078May 230,5029May 170,5068May 240,4983May 180,5049May 250,5052May 190,5017May 260,5072May 200,5016May 270,5068Average weekly0,50456Average weekly0,50408This week, the price of one ounce of gold decreased by 51,6361 manats (2.75 percent).Accordingly, the average price for gold reached 1844,35646 manats.Change in the value of one ounce of gold:May 161906,8252May 231875,9069May 171923,2318May 241860,0041May 181917,6709May 251842,9065May 191911,5139May 261818,694May 201867,7549May 271824,2708Average weekly1905,39934Average weekly1844,35646The trading at Baku Interbank Currency Exchange (BBVB) has not been carried out since early 2015, so the exchange rate of manats is not formed./By Trend/ President Aliyev: Azerbaijan becoming regional transport center http://www.today.az/news/politics/151186.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 13:27:00 +0400 Today, Azerbaijan is becoming a regional transport center, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addressing an official reception held on the occasion of Azerbaijan's national holiday, the Republic Day."I wouldn't speak much about what has been done since 2003 until now. Everything is obvious," said Ilham Aliyev. "Azerbaijan's international authority has grown. With the support from 155 countries we have become a member to the UN Security Council, the national economy has grown by more than threefold, and the wages and pensions have been increased by many times."He went on to add that Azerbaijan has successfully realized the transnational energy and transportation projects that are of huge significance."From a country that used to import gas and electricity, Azerbaijan has turned into a country that now exports them. When realizing the energy projects, in particular the oil and gas projects, we demonstrate our leadership qualities to the entire world," said President Aliyev.He reminded that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is expected to be commissioned by late 2016."As you know, Azerbaijan has fulfilled all its commitments. According to the information I have, the railway will be opened by the end of this year," said President Aliyev."Currently, talks are underway with relevant shippers. I am confident that this shortest railway running from Asia to Europe will be put into operation soon and will bring great benefits to Azerbaijan," said the president.President Aliyev added that important steps will be taken before late 2016 for creating another significant corridor."Azerbaijan is to build its railway up to the Iranian border. It is one of the goals as well," said the president.A new railway bridge should be built across the Astara River, said the president, adding that thereby, an important part of the North-South corridor project will get implemented.He added that in the coming years, Azerbaijan will render assistance in creating the corridor's remaining part and stands ready to attract financial resources./By Trend/ OPEC has no reason to do anything http://www.today.az/news/business/151184.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 13:18:00 +0400 While OPEC meeting in early June is in the center of the key upcoming oil market events, expectations for any meanengful results are very low.Latest failure of oil producers to reach a consensus to cap oil output to stabilize the prices undermined the hopes for any success this time."Market expectations for a meaningful agreement from OPEC's June meeting are likely low following April's debacle in Doha, when eight weeks of diplomatic negotiations failed to yield an agreement to cap output at current levels," analysts of the US JP Morgan bank said in a report, obtained by Trend.Meanwhile, oil prices reached this week $50 a barrel, which is the highest level since the end of 2015.Prices are going in the right direction and the expectation is that they will carry on doing so, albeit slowly, Charles Ellinas, oil market expert, executive president at Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company (CNHC) told Trend on May 27.In total, oil prices have increased by three percent this week.OPEC's, more precisely Saudi Arabia's strategy appears to be working with non-OPEC and shale oil production going down, according to Ellinas."No reason to do anything," he said.At the same time Ellinas believes that Iran will not agree to a production freeze but may give indications that the country is prepared to do so by the next meeting.He also mentioned that Iran has not quite reached its targeted oil production and export level.They need to increase exports by another 400,000 barrels per day, Ellinas said.The Islamic Republic announced in late 2015 that it would add 0.5 million barrels per day of crude oil to the production level as soon as the international sanctions on the country are eliminated and the same amount of crude oil would be added to the output level in the second half of 2016.The country plans to increase its daily output to four million barrels till March 2017.Iran's oil production stood at 3.03 million barrels per day during the first quarter of 2016, showing 230,000 barrels per day increase in comparison to 2015, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report published May 10.Touching upon the expectations on the oil prices, Ellinas said that general indications are that prices on average will carry on going up to $50+ this year and to $60 next."Main reasons are that demand is higher than originally thought, non- OPEC production is going down, spare capacity is very low. Supply-demand balancing is close. But some volatility will continue, unless eventually OPEC agrees to a freeze," Ellinas said./By Trend/ President Aliyev: To change status-quo means to end Armenian occupation http://www.today.az/news/politics/151185.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 13:17:00 +0400 The main issue of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, and not only foreign, but also its policy as a whole, is the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.He made the remarks addressing an official reception held on the occasion of Azerbaijan's national holiday, the Republic Day."I have repeatedly expressed my thoughts on this issue. Azerbaijan's stance has not undergone any changes, and the people support and endorse this stance," he said.The president noted that the conflict should be resolved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."There is no other way," he added. "The four resolutions of the UN Security Council, which demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from our lands, should be fulfilled, and the status-quo should be changed."He also expressed happiness with the fact that the heads and foreign ministers of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries and other representatives are already unanimously stating that the status-quo is unacceptable and should be changed."Changing the status-quo means ending the occupation, as the status-quo suits Armenia, and they don't want peace," added Ilham Aliyev. "They want the status-quo to remain forever. They want the negotiations to be endless, that is, the negotiations to be held for sake of appearance and imitation. We have repeatedly said that it can't be like this.""We have already been waiting for more than 20 years. The mediators always tell us to wait, to settle peacefully. Recently, they have repeated that often. We also want a peaceful resolution. Who would want the start of a war?!" said the president.He said Azerbaijan wants the conflict to be resolved, and that is the exact difference between Armenia and Azerbaijan.The president went on to add that Armenia wants a peaceful settlement to the conflict, but hampers its settlement and creates artificial obstacles."Armenia beforehand puts unacceptable terms, so that we don't accept them and thus the negotiations continue for decades. Meanwhile, our stance is constructive, and the mediators know that. They do not state that officially, but acknowledge that," said Ilham Aliyev."We are demonstrating a constructive stance so that the issue gets resolved, our lands get freed from occupation and the displaced Azerbaijanis return to the lands of their ancestors. Our stance has not changed," said the president.He added that the people and government of Azerbaijan will not allow the creation of a second Armenian state in Azerbaijan's historical lands."We will never allow that," the president stressed."As for the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, let them live there as they are living," said President Aliyev. "The Armenian leadership always distortedly presents our stance to its people. But I reiterate: our position is that all should live where they have lived."Ilham Aliyev added that Azerbaijan is a model country in terms of multiculturalism, religious and national tolerance on a global scale."Armenia's political leadership, the nationalist groups and people who show a constant hatred towards Azerbaijan, want to disrupt those positive tendencies and cross them out," he said."Our territorial integrity is not a subject of talks and I believe that the Vienna meeting was successful," he added. "We expect that serious, as the mediators call it, substantive talks, that is to say, meaningful talks will start soon, without wasting time.""Aside from that, in the future we should certainly increase our military power, and we are increasing it. The army building process has been successfully going on for many years," said President Aliyev. "The fighting efficiency and the logistical support of our army stand at a high level."He also said the most modern weapons and equipment are delivered to Azerbaijan and are manufactured inside the country."Over 1,000 types of military products are manufactured in Azerbaijan," said Ilham Aliyev. "Currently, the Azerbaijani army is among the leading armies in the world. I have repeatedly said that."President Aliyev also pointed out that the provocation staged by Armenia in April and the counter-attack operation carried out by the Azerbaijani army showed to Armenia and the whole world that the Azerbaijani army is among the strong armies."In the future, we will take additional measures in this regard and relevant instructions have already been given. I don't want to disclose them," said the president. "Necessary measures are underway in terms of logistical support and for obtaining modern equipment."Ilham Aliyev also noted that the Azerbaijani people should be confident that this issue is constantly in the limelight."We know our capacity, we do not use it, we have simply given, are giving and if necessary, will give an adequate response to the provocations and will try to ensure the speedy settlement of this issue through peaceful means," said the president./By Trend/ Azerbaijan reveals plans regarding railway bridge on Astara River http://www.today.az/news/business/151183.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 12:43:00 +0400 Eight piles have been hammered down at a depth of 32 meters for the railway bridge which is being constructed across the Astara River, Nadir Azmammadov, spokesman for the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, told Trend.Around 100 machineries are involved in the work on the territory, which has a rugged relief. It is necessary to construct 14 drainage systems for wastewaters here.Additionally, work is underway to transfer power transmission lines and gas pipelines in the territory.The transfer of the houses located in the construction territory will start soon.Azmammadov added that the construction of the railway line and the bridge is planned to be completed before late 2016./By Trend/ Iran, Azerbaijan to increase electricity trade to 500 MW http://www.today.az/news/business/151180.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 12:26:00 +0400 Iran and Azerbaijan will increase their electricity trade to 500 megawatts (MW), Iran's Deputy Minister of Energy Houshang Falahatian said.The needed electricity trade infrastructures will be completed within one month, Falahatian said, state-run IRINN TV reported May 26.He said that currently electricity trade between Tehran and Baku stands at 10 MW, expressing hope that the figure will increase once the infrastructure construction is completed.Azerbaijan has very little share in Iran's annual 10.24-billion kWh electricity energy export, according to the annual report of Iran's Energy Ministry.The country's share from Iran's 4.1 billion KWh electricity energy import stood at 0.1 percent in last Iranian fiscal year (ended March 20).Iran and Azerbaijan plan to connect their electricity networks. The two countries signed a MoU on electricity swap last December, which envisages linking the two countries' power networks and exchange of electricity.According to Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran's ICT minister, the connection of Iranian and Azerbaijani power networks will also lead to linking them with Russian and Georgian electricity networks.Early in February Azerbaijani Minister of Energy Natig Aliyev said that Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia are working on the establishment of the North-South energy corridor among the three countries./By Trend/ 3 rockets hit Turkey, injuring 5 people http://www.today.az/news/regions/151179.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 12:13:00 +0400 Three rockets fired from Syria hit Turkey's southeastern border province of Kilis on Friday, Anadolu agency reported.According to a security source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the rockets hit the garden of a house and empty fields in Kilis' Elbeyli district.The preliminary report said that five people were injured by the attack, and the glass in some buildings shattered. The injured were rushed to the hospital. Police tightened security measures in the area.Kilis lies 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the Syrian border.Turkish towns and provinces have been repeatedly struck by fire from across the frontier since mid-January.In Kilis province alone, the local governor has confirmed that a total of 20 people have been killed and almost 70 others wounded by rockets which have fallen inside Turkish territory.Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus - speaking on May 2 after a cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - said that over last three months 55 rockets had been fired by Daesh into Kilis.The Turkish military has shelled Daesh positions in retaliation. On May 2, Turkish forces struck Daesh gun emplacements and ammunition dumps in the Suran, Arshak, Ikdakh and Ihtimalat regions on the Syrian side of the border, initially killing 50 terrorists. This figure later rose to 64./By Trend/ The House journal publishes British MP's article on Karabakh horses http://www.today.az/news/sports/151177.html Sports Sat, 28 May 2016 11:58:00 +0400 UK-based The House magazine has published British MP Bob Blackmann's article on Karabakh horses.Titled "In to bat goes Bob Blackman with his global game plan" the artcle says that among the many landmark festivities taking place this year to mark Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, the Royal Windsor Horse Show certainly stands out and it is emphasized that Blackmann had a great pleasure to attend the celebrations. "Her Majesty's deep passion for all things equine is well-known and, as Chair of the APPG for Azerbaijan, I particularly enjoyed seeing the displays by Azerbaijan's national animal, the Karabakh horse, 60 years after one was first presented to the Queen. This rare breed hails from the Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has remained under Armenian illegal occupation and in a state of violent conflict for nearly a quarter of a century, in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions," the article says.The team of 15 Karabakh horses with riders and the team of dancers of the Azerbaijan State Song and Dance Ensemble named after Fikrat Amirov represented Azerbaijan on the grounds of the Windsor Castle situated near London in the Royal Windsor Horse Show held to celebrate the 90th birthday of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II this year on May 11-15. The Azerbaijani cultural pavilion was functioning during the event days. Successful representation of Azerbaijan at the Royal Windsor Horse Show was organized by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and supported by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism.The House is a weekly British political magazine relating to the British House of Commons. The magazine is published by Dobs. It is managed by a cross-party editorial team of MPs and overseen by a panel of senior parliamentarians./By Azertac/ Iran ready to lay 130-km railway in Qazvin-Rasht route http://www.today.az/news/business/151178.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 11:55:00 +0400 Iran prepared the ground to lay 130 kilometers out of 164 kilometers of the Qazvin-Rasht railway, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi said May 26, the state-run IRINN TV reported.He said the Qazvin-Rasht project is ready by 93 percent and will be completed by March 2017.The Qazvin-Rasht railway will be linked to Azerbaijan through the Rasht-Astara railway project, to be financed with a $500-billion Azerbaijani credit, Iran says.A special working group was created in Azerbaijan for implementation of the Rasht-Astara railway project.The construction of the Rasht-Astara railway was discussed during a meeting between Azerbaijan's Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev and Vaezi on May 26.Shahin Mustafayev is on an official visit to Iran.The plan for transiting 10 million tons of goods per year from the Persian Gulf to Russia and the Black Sea, as well as to Europe, will be realized after launching the Rasht-Astara railway and connecting Qazvin to Astara through that railway./By Trend/ Armenia continues to violate ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/151182.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 11:48:00 +0400 Armenian armed forces have 26 times violated the ceasefire with Azerbaijan on various parts of the frontline over the last 24 hours, said Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry May 28.Armenian army was using large-caliber weapons.Armenian armed forces stationed on the nameless heights of Armenia's Krasnoselskiy district opened fire at the Azerbaijani positions on the nameless heights of Gadabay district.Moreover, Azerbaijani positions underwent fire from the positions near the villages of Yarimja, Chileburt of Terter district, Shuraabad, Yusifjanli, Nemirli, Merzili of Aghdam district, Garakhanbeyli, Horadiz and Gorgan villages of Fizuli district.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts./By Trend/ Turkey, EU ready to solve remaining problems on visa-free regime http://www.today.az/news/regions/151174.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 11:35:00 +0400 Next week, the EU will send an expert group to Turkey to solve the remaining problems over the introduction of visa-free regime with Ankara, First Vice-President of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans said.He made the remarks following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik, the Turkish news channel Haberturk reported May 27."Progress has been reached at the negotiations on the visa-free regime," said Timmermans. "Everyone showed determination to remove the remaining obstacles to introduction of the visa-free regime. We agreed that Turkish and European experts will work together. An EU expert group will head for Ankara the next week to work on this."By Trend/ Russia, Azerbaijan bound by strategic relations, says deputy FM http://www.today.az/news/politics/151173.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 11:20:00 +0400 Russia and Azerbaijan are bound by strategic relations based on principles of equality, good neighborliness, centuries-old traditions of friendship, common history and culture, interrelated destinies of millions of people, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.He made the remarks at a reception held in the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Moscow on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Republic Day."The scope and quality of the Azerbaijan-Russia cooperation grow year by year," Karasin said. "In 2014, in terms of trade turnover volume, we reached a record level of $4 billion. Currently we are actively seeking ways to encourage cooperation, especially in transportation, oil and gas sectors, and agro-industry.""The unchanging priority is the cooperation in the humanitarian sphere with emphasis on strengthening the common legacy of linguistic, educational and cultural space inherited by us," he added.Karasin said the world-renowned joint project - the Baku International Humanitarian Forum - under the patronage of Russian and Azerbaijani presidents, has become a platform in demand."At present, the next fifth meeting, scheduled for September 2016, is being actively prepared," Karasin said."Today's bilateral relations are based on a solid foundation," he said, adding the relations are bonded by mutual trust and benefit."Good relations have been established between the regions and authorities of the two countries, and first of all, between the presidents of our countries, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, who maintain constant relations," said Karasin."Russia sincerely believes that we have a good common future," he said, adding Russia wants to see its southern neighbor, Azerbaijan, prosperous and open to broad cooperation./By Trend/ Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation visits Czech Republic http://www.today.az/news/politics/151172.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 11:05:00 +0400 A delegation led by Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijan`s parliament, head of the Azerbaijani-Czech working group on inter-parliamentary relations Valeh Alasgarov visited the Czech Republic.He met with Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek and Czech Senate President Milan Stech as part of the visit.The Azerbaijani delegation also held bilateral meetings with heads of the major parties represented in the Czech parliament to discuss ways of developing the bilateral inter-parliamentary relations.They exchanged views on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and on current developments in the region. Czech officials stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.Valeh Alasgarov also met with Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Lubomir Zaoralek and the country's Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek. They explored ways of deepening cooperation in various fields, as well as the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict, regional security, economic and energy projects implemented in the region.The parliamentary delegation also attended a reception on the occasion of the Republic Day organized by Azerbaijan`s Embassy in Prague.The event was attended by Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, head of the Czech- Azerbaijan working group on inter-parliamentary relations Jan Hamacek and other high-ranking officials.Addressing the event, Valeh Alasgarov, Jan Hamacek, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Czech Republic Farid Shafiyev underlined the importance of developing bilateral relations between the two countries. Hailing the significance of expanding cooperation between the two countries, Jan Hamacek stressed the significance of solving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful means in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions./By Azertac/ EBRD to help Kazakhstan develop “green” financial system http://www.today.az/news/regions/151169.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 10:45:00 +0400 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is taking the first step towards developing a "green" financial system in Kazakhstan in partnership with the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), the EBRD press service said May 27.The agreement to commission a scoping study for the development of a green financial system in Kazakhstan has been signed by the EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and the AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov.The study, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will assess the demand for green investments, identify gaps in current regulations, and make recommendations for the introduction of green financing standards and for the development of the green bonds market and carbon market services.The development of a green financial system would be consistent with the Paris Agreement (COP21), aligning financing flows with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.Kazakhstan is implementing the concept of transition to a "green" economy. It aims to improve the quality of the environment by reducing emissions of harmful substances and reduce waste, and involves the creation of new technologies./By Trend/ OPEC oil price increases http://www.today.az/news/business/151168.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 10:39:00 +0400 OPEC oil basket's price stood at $45.43 per barrel on May 26, or $0.46 more than on May 25, the cartel told Trend May 27.The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) is made up of the following oil brands: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).Global oil prices down on May 27.The price for July futures of the North Sea Brent oil mix decreased by 1.37 percent - up to $48.91 per barrel, while the price of July futures for WTI oil decreased by 0.95 percent - up to $49.01 per barrel./By Trend/ Serbian newspaper publishes article on Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/151176.html Society Sat, 28 May 2016 10:33:00 +0400 Serbia-based Danas daily newspaper has published an article headlined "Azerbaijan - East's cultural flagship."Written by director of the Azerbaijani Culture Center in Belgrade, professor of Novi Sad Art Academy Zarifa Alizade, the article highlights literature, music and architecture of Azerbaijan, which marks the 28th May-Republic Day in these days.The article provides an insight into the achievements of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in the field of culture./By Azertac/ FIDE: Baku to open new page in chess tournaments’ history http://www.today.az/news/sports/151166.html Sports Sat, 28 May 2016 10:25:00 +0400 Baku will open a new page in the history of chess tournaments by organizing the best Chess Olympiad ever, said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).Ilyumzhinov made the remarks at a meeting with Azerbaijan's first deputy prime minister, head of the Baku Chess Olympiad Organizing Committee, Yagub Eyyubov on May 27, the Organizing Committee told Trend May 27.The meeting was held with participation of Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov, President of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation Elman Rustamov, director of the Baku Chess Olympiad Organizing Committee, vice-president of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation Mahir Mammadov, and chief arbiter of the Baku Chess Olympiad Faig Hasanov.Ilyumzhinov expressed satisfaction with the preparation for the 42nd World Chess Olympiad, to be held in Baku Sept. 1-14.During the meeting, it was noted that the preparatory work for the Olympiad has entered the decisive stage.Around 2,500 chess players, coaches and officials from nearly 180 countries are expected to take part in the Baku Chess Olympiad./By Trend/ US interest rate hike appropriate in coming months http://www.today.az/news/regions/151181.html World news Sat, 28 May 2016 10:19:00 +0400 The United States could see the next interest rate hike in upcoming months, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stated on Friday, Sputnik reported."I think for the Fed to gradually and cautiously increase our overnight interest over time and probably in the coming months, such a move would be appropriate," Yellen said at Harvard University in Boston.On Thursday, Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell also noted that the increase of the US interest rate may be appropriate "fairly soon."The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said earlier in spring the interest rate hike possibility remains open for the policy meeting in June.On April 27, the FOMC announced that the US interest rates will stay unchanged at the 0.25-0.5 percent range./By Trend/ Azerbaijani gas export to Turkey up in Q1 http://www.today.az/news/business/151165.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 10:19:00 +0400 Azerbaijan exported 1.71 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to 1.69 billion cubic meters exported in January-March 2015, said a report of the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK).Azerbaijan supplied 6.17 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey in 2015 versus 6.07 billion cubic meters in 2014.The report also said that Turkey imported 13.17 billion cubic meters of gas in Q1 2016, out of which 10.24 billion cubic meters were imported via pipelines and 2.93 billion cubic meters accounted for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.Azerbaijan's share in Turkey's total gas imports was 13 percent in January-March 2016.Turkey imports gas from Azerbaijan via the South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum).Turkey has a contract for the annual purchase of 6.6 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan's offshore Shah Deniz gas and condensate field./By Trend/ Azerbaijan Chamber of Auditors to sign cooperation agreements with Israeli and Estonian counterparts http://www.today.az/news/business/151171.html Business Sat, 28 May 2016 10:15:00 +0400 Azerbaijan Chamber of Auditors will sign cooperation agreements with its Israeli and Estonian counterparts as the sides agreed on the sidelines of an international conference in Tbilisi.A delegation headed by Vahid Novruzov, Chairperson of Azerbaijan Chamber of Auditors, attended "20 years of professional development - European integration and challenges of the profession" international conference hosted by the Georgian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors.Novruzov addressed the event to highlight economic reforms conducted in Azerbaijan under leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, and the government’s measures to increase responsibility and transparency in audit./By Azertac/ Several cities in California proclaim May 28th as Azerbaijan’s National Day http://www.today.az/news/politics/151175.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 10:11:00 +0400 Several cities in California have adopted proclamations declaring May 28th as Azerbaijan`s National Day. The proclamations were presented to the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles.The proclamations declared May 28th as the Azerbaijan National Day in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Torrance, as well as Orange Country.The proclamations say: “On May 28th, 1918, Azerbaijan declared its independence establishing the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which became the first secular parliamentary democracy in the Muslim World and recognized by other democratic nations, including the United States of America. During the short period of independence Azerbaijan granted all people the rights to vote regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion, becoming the first Muslim nation to give women equal political rights with men, an accomplishment preceding the United States. Azerbaijan’s independence was interrupted in 1920, when it was invaded by Bolshevists, and forcefully incorporated into the USSR in 1922 to restore its independence only in 1991.”“Over the last two decades, the Republic of Azerbaijan has consolidated its sovereignty and independence, and has become a staunch ally and strategic partner of the United States of America in the critically important Caspian region. Every year for the last 97 years, millions of Azerbaijanis around the globe, including tens of thousands in the USA observe May 28th as the National Day, and remember the contribution of their forefathers to the spread of democracy in the regions of Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East,” the proclamations say./By Azertac/ Bryza sees no breakthrough in Karabakh conflict settlement after Azerbaijani, Armenian ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/151167.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 10:11:00 +0400 The next meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is significant as the sides will be able to discuss the implementation of the agreements gained in Vienna, said Matthew Bryza, former US assistant secretary for South Caucasus and former US ambassador to Azerbaijan."However, I do not anticipate any breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement following the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents," Bryza told Trend via email May 27.A meeting was held in Vienna May 16 with participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.The next round of talks between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents can be held in June.Bryza also believes that the next round of negotiations will create a psychological climate for further meetings.He said the meetings of the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides following the escalation of the situation on the line of contact of both countries' troops in April testify to the intention to come to a mutually beneficial solution.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts./By Trend/ Netanyahu: Israel deeply values ties with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/151164.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 10:00:00 +0400 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent a congratulatory letter to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of Republic Day."On behalf of the people and government of Israel, please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of Republic Day," said Netanyahu."Israel deeply values its ties with Azerbaijan," he added. "In the 24 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, we have forged a strong strategic partnership, based on true friendship and shared interests.""Under your leadership, the ties between our two countries have reached new heights, and I look forward to exploring additional opportunities for cooperation," said the Israeli PM. "As we discussed, I hope we can meet in Azerbaijan later this year."Netanyahu added that the 98th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan is an opportunity to take stock of the many achievements the country has made since gaining national independence."As you celebrate, I reaffirm my commitment to the friendship between our two countries and I wish you, your family and your people continued prosperity, growth and success," he said./By Trend/ Once raised flag never falls! http://www.today.az/news/politics/151126.html Politics Sat, 28 May 2016 00:02:00 +0400 /By Azernews/"Once raised flag never falls!" was the motto of glorious independence movement in Azerbaijan in the beginning of the 20th century.The words written gold in the national history by Mammad Amin Rasulzade, brightest and most prominent political figure, were the major slogan while declaring Azerbaijan's independence. That was the very moment when the Declaration of Independence was announced in 1918.This was the very expression sounded by many Azerbaijanis across the world encouraging them to be proud of their country and nation, who made its historic dream a reality. Exactly 98 years ago on May 28 Azerbaijan established its Democratic Republic -- the first secular state in the Muslim East. Thus for the first time on this day, Azerbaijani Democratic Republic entered the world political map as a new state.The historical, political and brightest figure of Azerbaijan Mammad Amin Rasulzade was the founder of the first independent republic in the Muslim East.The ADR, which existed only twenty-three months in 1918-1920, was a pioneer that combined both European democratic values and the abundant cultural heritage of the East in one entity.The delegation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which was sent to Paris under the Parliament's decision, was the first diplomatic mission tasked with expressing the will of the nation and its quest for independence.The Azerbaijani delegation was able to meet U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on May 28, 1919.President Wilson was given a copy of the memorandum which was presented at the Paris Peace Conference. The document consisted of three clauses: a memorandum on the independence of the Caucasian Azerbaijan with a description of its boundaries on a special sheet with a map; a memorandum on Azerbaijan's economic and financial condition with an economic map; a memorandum on Azerbaijan's ethnic composition with diagrams and an ethnographic map.The ADR carried out its activities in a very tense and difficult social and political situation that arose within and outside the country. The measures undertaken by the state for a short period left a large footprint in the history of the nation.All citizens of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation, were granted the right to vote. Thus, women gained suffrage for the first time in the Islamic world.They fought for the independence of Azerbaijan to the end, as samurai and this struggle was not meaningless and useless. Although the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic fell as a result of external aggression, its activity was important to follow the historical fate of the Azerbaijani people.Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, proclaimed in April 1920, heralded the preservation of its political independence. However, with creation of the USSR, Azerbaijan has actually lost its independence, which featured only formally, but with the attributes of statehood, constitution, and territory boundaries.National leader Heydar Aliyev highly appreciated this glorious page in Azerbaijan's history.“Though the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic survived only for 23 months in complicated and tense socio-political situation it will always stay in the memory of future generations as one of the brightest pages of our history,” said Heydar Aliyev. “Though it was not able to implement fully the measures undertaken in spheres of the state system establishment, economics, culture, education, public health, military policy yet those measures implemented played a great role in the history of our country and in the restoration of the national state system establishment. The most important matter is that the ADR strengthened our democratic views though it existed within a short period of time. The people of Azerbaijan will always honor the memory of the prominent state officials that served to the establishment of that republic -- Mamed Emin Rasulzade, Alimerdan bey Topchubashev, Fatali khan Khoyski ...” The "fathers" and founders of the ADR managed to nurture a national idea which finally gained a foothold in the mid 1990s, following the strengthening of the fragile independence of Azerbaijan after national leader Heydar Aliyev came to power. President Ilham Aliyev received Mayor of Cannes http://www.today.az/news/politics/151170.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 20:24:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard.President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijani and French cities enjoyed very close relations. The head of state hailed the fact that 10 Azerbaijani and French cities became sister cities and established good contacts.President Ilham Aliyev said the two countries enjoyed high-level relations. The head of state stressed the importance of regional cooperation. President Ilham Aliyev noted that Cannes was one of the French countries with beautiful architecture and infrastructure. The head of state expressed his confidence that David Lisnard would see must-see places in Azerbaijan.President Ilham Aliyev expressed hope that the visit would create a fruitful opportunity for Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard to familiarize himself with the country and its capital.Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard said the aim of his visit to Azerbaijan was to expand cooperation between the cities of Cannes and Gabala. David Lisnard said Cannes was a small, but world-renowned city. He stressed the importance of the fact that Azerbaijan built its development path on strong foundations, and that the country is popularizing its culture in the world.They also discussed the development of cooperation in the fields of culture and education./By Azertac/ Azerbaijani president receives OSCE PA special representative on South Caucasus http://www.today.az/news/politics/151163.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 19:56:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Special Representative on the South Caucasus Kristian Vigenin.Vigenin extended his greetings to President Aliyev on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Republic Day. Vigenin said he participated in the official reception, which was organized to celebrate this remarkable day, and hailed the importance of President Aliyev's speech at the event.Vigenin said the participants listened to President Aliyev's speech with great interest. He noted that the steps taken by President Aliyev contributed to Azerbaijan's gaining great influence on the international arena.President Aliyev spoke about cooperation between Azerbaijan and OSCE PA.During the conversation, the sides discussed partnership between Azerbaijan and the organization, and praised the current state of cooperation.They also exchanged views on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, recent negotiations and prospects for the conflict's settlement./By Trend/ Children's Day to be marked solemnly http://www.today.az/news/society/151157.html Society Fri, 27 May 2016 19:00:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan will solemnly celebrate the International Children's Day on June 1.The open-air concert, organized by the Baku Department of Culture and Tourism Ministry will take place near the statue for Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev in Baku, Trend Lifereports.The holiday is typically marked with various activities such as contests, performances, exhibition by students from art and musical schools of the city. The event is expected to begin at 14:00.International Day for Protection of Children is celebrated in many countries around the world to honor children and raise awareness of children's rights.The Day was established by the Women's International Democratic Federation during its 1949 congress in Moscow. The first celebration took place on June 1, 1950.This Day is also celebrated widely in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan pays great attention to children's rights. There are about 20 laws governing the rights of children, a total of 40 clauses of the laws that regulate recreation, treatment, education of children in Azerbaijan. Turkish PM due in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/151162.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 18:19:00 +0400 Turkey's new prime minister will pay a visit to Azerbaijan.The Turkish PM Binali Yildirim is expected to visit Baku June 1, Turkey's Cabinet of Ministers told Trend May 27.Yildirim is expected to hold a number of meetings with Azerbaijani officials during his trip./By Trend/ Oil era is over, expert says http://www.today.az/news/business/151160.html Business Fri, 27 May 2016 18:11:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Fatma BabayevaThe world is looking forward to the upcoming meeting of OPEC, which will be held on June 2 in Vienne. Whether the cartel members will be able to reach a consensus on freezing oil production and prop up tumbling oil prices this time is a question at issue.To expect that OPEC countries will reach an agreement in June meeting and influence global oil prices is pointless, said Oleg Anashkin, a research fellow at Russian National Research University Higher School of Economics.“Whatever decision OPEC member states will together make, whatever they declare, each of them will act for its own favor” he told Trend.The oversupply of oil in the global market was named as the main reason for the fall in the price of oil from $115 in June 2014 to about $50 per barrel in May 2016. OPEC- an organization which always acted as regulator of oil prices- could not solve the glut problem to date.Anashkin noted that leading players in the oil market are beginning to realize that age of oil is gradually coming to an end, which means it is necessary to find a way to switch into next technological mode, and any kind of the re-orientation requires lots of funds.Funds can be obtained, according to the expert, for example if all producers agree to production cuts in order to push up prices, and then sell it to the maximum.Earlier, the Doha gathering of oil producers on April 17 failed to reach an accord on curbing oil production at the level of January 2016.Although, the Doha meeting ended without any significant result, oil prices have been experiencing rise since then, and now stand at about $50 per barrel.On May 27, July contracts of WTI crude oil were traded at $48.96 in New York Mercantile exchange –NYMEX, which is $0.52 or 1.05 percent lower compared to the previous day.In the meantime, July contracts of Brent Crude stood at $48.90 by experiencing a decline by $0.69 or 1.39 percent on the same day. The cost of Azeri Light amounted to $51.31 per barrel ($0.69 increase) on May 25.OPEC’s oil basket price was $45.43 on May 26 which is $0.46 increase compared to May 25, according to the official website of the organization. Legendary Koroglu opera staged in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/151159.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 27 May 2016 17:51:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan’s State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre staged the play "Koroglu" by famous composer and playwright Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Trend Life reports.The role of Koroglu was performed by honored artist Farid Aliyev, while honored artist Jahangir Gurbanov performed in the role of Hassan khan.The cast also included people's artist of Azerbaijan Ali Askerov (Ibrahim Khan), honored artists Ilaha Efendiyeva (Nigar), Akram Poladov (Ali), Sabir Aliyev (Ala), as well as soloists Aliahmed Ibragimov (Nadir), Tural Agasiyev ( the Black Vizier) and many others.The concertmaster of the opera was Nargiz Agayeva, while the chief choirmaster was honored worker of arts Sevil Hajiyeva.The wonderful performance of the actors and splendid music excited the audience.Koroglu is Azerbaijan's heroic eposes that tell about life of people, their struggle for justice and freedom.The storyline is based on a national epos about poor, abused villagers who rise up to defeat their unjust, oppressive khans and beys (landowners) in the 16-17th centuries.The fight of two opposing forces - the people and feudal forms of governance - forms the dramatic basis of the opera. The drama shows the mounting fight of the people for the liberation from the oppressors and enemies of the motherland. Based on his story, Hajibeyov created the opera in five acts, that has become a truly nation's patrimony.The opera was premiered on April 30, 1937 at the opera and ballet theater. It was conducted by the composer himself with remarkable Bulbul and Gulyara Iskenderova in leading roles. Since the first night, the opera has always gathered a large audience. NATO urges Armenia, Azerbaijan to continue efforts for Karabakh conflict’s peaceful resolution http://www.today.az/news/politics/151161.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 17:48:00 +0400 NATO takes an interest in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement and encourages the conflict sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict, NATO press service told Trend May 27 commenting on the resumption of negotiations to resolve the conflict."Peaceful resolution of conflicts is a core value of NATO, and is one of the core commitments that all Partner countries commit to when joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program," said the press service.The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a program of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO. The program was created in 1994.The press service said also that NATO has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts./By Trend/ "Sound Waves" music festival ends in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/151158.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 27 May 2016 17:45:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Laman IsmayilovaBaku has left behind an unforgettable series of concerts by Azerbaijani and world-famous musicians within the "Sound Waves" folk festival.Co-organized by the International Mugham Center, Italy-Azerbaijan Association as well as Center of Italy in Baku with contribution of Azerbaijan's Culture and Tourism Ministry, the festival wrapped up on May 26.The "Sound Waves" so far brought together Azerbaijani, Greek and Italian musicians, while the final day of the festival featured the performance of Azerbaijani and Spanish musicians.The concert received full attendance.Jose Luis Díez, chargé d'affaires of the Spanish embassy in Azerbaijan, opened the event and thanked the organizers of the concert.“We are pleased that Spanish music will be presented in Azerbaijan within the "Sound waves" project. For the first time, we'll hear a synthesis of our and Azerbaijani music. We invited our famous musicians and I hope we all will enjoy the concert," he said.Then, Spanish jazz musicians Marcos Salcines (piano), Epi Pacheco (drums) and Antonio Lizana began their performance, that thrilled the attendees.After playing the first song Antonio addressed the audience: "Good evening. I can't believe we are in this beautiful city - Baku. Thank you for the invitation. We mostly perform jazz music, but it's the first time we perform it in the synthesis with Azerbaijani mugham," said the saxophonist, and then taught the audience how to applaud during their performance to get into the rhythm.The Spanish drummer was also in the center of attention, as the musician played an unusual drum with bells and went on stage barefoot.Then, Azerbaijani musicians Bahruz Zeynalov (tar), Rafael Aliyev (kamancha), Nizami Aliyev (piano), Soltan Aliyev (naghara) and singers Sarkhan Bunyadzade took the stage.The biggest surprise was an unexpected performance of the Azerbaijani folk song "Sari Gelin " by Antonio Lizana.He also performed another national folk song "Ay Dili Dili Dilaver". These songs have been arranged by composer Kamala Alizadeh.Let's hope that the project "Sound waves" will have its continuation, and we'll enjoy an interesting events with participation of Azerbaijani and foreign musicians in the near future. Turkmenistan concerned over Caspian Sea ecological state http://www.today.az/news/regions/151156.html World news Fri, 27 May 2016 17:35:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Nigar AbbasovaTurkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, during his visit to Avaza tourist zone located in the east side of the Caspian Sea, mentioned that the environmental conditions of the Caspian Sea and protection of its biodiversity should be kept under the constant control.Being one of the fastest growing geopolitical and economic centers of Eurasia, the Caspian Sea is threatened by extreme levels of pollution, as well as fluctuating water levels.Turkmenistan is concerned over the ecological state of the Caspian Sea, and the government is continuously taking measures to solve a range of issues in this regard.Among the initiatives offered by the Turkmen government for the improvement of ecological environment is the establishment of a regional center in Ashgabat for technologies related to climate change in Central Asia and Caspian Basin, as well as the development of a special UN program for the protection of ecological well-being of the Caspian Sea.The Turkmen government reports that projects on the protection of biodiversity and landscape as well as ecological cleanness have already given considerable results. Efforts taken by the government resulted in the growth in the diversity of fish, which is considered to be one of the main riches of the Turkmen shore of the Caspian Sea.Ecological environment of the Caspian Sea remains a priority area for all littoral states- Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. The countries implement joint projects to find solutions to the ecological problems occurring in the region as well as provide protection of Caspian Sea natural environment.Among the obstacles for the efficient cooperation of all Caspian littoral states in the sphere of protection of ecological environment of the Sea is considered to be the fact that its legal status of still remains a cause of dispute.While 3 littoral states Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan have already come to consensus, Turkmenistan and Iran are still disputing on their share, which in its turn affects other countries and the sea in general. Expert: June talks can create favorable psychological environment for future meetings http://www.today.az/news/politics/151155.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 17:27:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Gunay CamalUpcoming meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia is very important, as the parties can discuss the implementation of the Vienna agreement, believes Matthew Bryza, the former U.S. assistant secretary for South Caucasus and former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan.Bryza, sharing with Trend his expectations from the next meeting of Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, however noted that one should not expect an abrupt breakthrough in resolving the conflict.The May 16 meeting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents became the first talk since a surge in fighting in early April that killed Azerbaijani civilians and sparked fears of a return to full-scale war.The presidents agreed on a next round of talks, to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resume negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.Bryza claims that the next round of the peace talks will create a favorable psychological environment for future meetings.The meeting of the parties after the escalation of the situation in April proves the intention to come to a mutually beneficial solution, according to the ex-ambassador.The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will see Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Mammadyarov in Brussels on May 31 and Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Paris on June 2 reportedly to mull details of the June meeting.Azerbaijan and Armenia called a truce 22 years ago, on May 12, 1994, to end the devastating war, but violence has flared up from time to time, most recently along the frontline of the troops. The OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chair countries have pushed for a resumption of the peace talks as a vehicle for dialogue.Peace talks over the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that emerged over Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles.Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin stated that Azerbaijan and Armenia themselves should resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that Russia can only be a mediator in this matter“Anyone who says that Russia can solve the conflict in 15 minutes or 20 minutes is wrong,” he said while talking to students of Azerbaijan State Economic University on May 27.“Neither pressure no crackdown on one side cannot bring the desired results. The basis must be laid on trust, and only your countries can create it. The April events showed once again how dangerous is the ongoing situation. So once again it became clear that there is only one reasonable solution – peace. Parties to the conflict and the international community need to make the right conclusions from this,” Dorokhin said, by further elaborating that Russia also will make conclusions, and increase the mediation efforts.Russia, being one of the negotiators in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has always been considered a key party in brokering a lasting solution to the conflict, as it enjoys much influence on Armenia. Postage stamp, published by MCHT, selected as “The most original postage stamp of the ... http://www.today.az/news/business/151153.html Business Fri, 27 May 2016 17:14:00 +0400 A postage stamp issued by Azermarka LLC of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT) on the occasion of “FIDE World Chess Cup. Baku-2015” has been selected as “The most original postage stamp of the month” in Italy.This is stated in a message of MCHT whereby it is noted that the winner was determined as a result of voting held by network users on “Facebook” page of the magazine "UNIFICATO".The main criteria of the competition “April 2011 - April 2016: five years with the publication of art”, conducted by magazine’s staff on a social network, was determination of the best quality and original postage stamp.The results of the voting were first posted on the Facebook page of the magazine.Note that, along with the “UNIFICATO” page, the full text of the article on the selection of the postage stamp as “the most original postage stamp of the month” dedicated to the competition FIDE World Chess Cup held in Baku on 10 September - 5 October 2015, was posted in the April issue of the magazine (l'arte del francobollo 57 Aprile 2016).The article says the postage stamp depicts the perfect image of the planet, as well as other historical monuments of the world - Tower of Pisa (Italy), Eiffel Tower (France), Big Ben (London), The Kremlin Tower (Russia), Ranganatha Temple (India), Statue of Liberty (USA) around Maiden Tower which is situated in Old Baku, host of the FIDE World Chess Cup.It should be noted that the artist of the postage stamp “FIDE World Chess Cup. Baku- 2015” is Khasay Mirzayev. The print-run of the postage stamp, which was published through offset printing, is 5 thousands./By Azertac/ UK PM trade envoy to visit Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/151152.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 17:00:00 +0400 UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy for Iraq Emma Harriet Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, will visit Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 31- June 6, the UK Embassy in Baku told Trend May 27.Nicholson will come to Azerbaijan to participate in the 23rd International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference to be held June 1-4. The exhibition and conference will feature 247 companies from 30 countries of the world.The main sections on construction and exploitation of oil and gas wells, platforms and floating rigs, designing, manufacturing and servicing the equipment for oil and gas industry, pipe-laying and providing protection systems for pipelines, hydrocarbons transportation and others will be introduced at the exhibition.The UK ITE Group PLC exhibition company and its exclusive Azerbaijani partner Iteca Caspian LLC will be organizers of the event.Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will provide official support./By Trend/ Barack Obama:Azerbaijan made great progress as energy leader supporting Europe’s energy ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/151154.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 16:56:00 +0400 /By Azernews/U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a congratulatory letter to his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev over the Republic Day marked on May 28.President Obama congratulated President Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan on the 98th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s founding as the world’s first Muslim-majority secular democracy.“I also congratulate you on this milestone 25th anniversary since Azerbaijan regained independence,” the message reads.President Obama emphasized that Azerbaijan has made great progress in the past quarter century, particularly as an energy leader supporting Europe’s energy security and diversification.“We appreciate Azerbaijan’s cooperation on security, including counterterrorism efforts, and are proud to serve with Azerbaijan in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. We stand ready to assist Azerbaijan as it advances security, prosperity, and freedom of expression for all its citizens,” he said.The president stated that the United States will continue working with Azerbaijan toward the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so that Azerbaijan and its neighbors may enjoy peace and stability.“The peoples of Azerbaijan and the United States enjoy strong ties, and we look forward to further strengthening our cultural, political, and economic ties. Please accept my best wishes as you celebrate Republic Day,” President Obama concluded. Azerbaijan Fashion Week 2016 meets expectations of fashionistas http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/151150.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 27 May 2016 16:44:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan Fashion Week 2016, one of the most expected fashion events in the city, wrapped up with excellent reviews of special guests and fashion community.The fashion show, supported by Azerbaijan’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and the French embassy in Baku met the high expectations of all fashionistas.All guests of the fashion show were certainly impressed with stylish runway looks.The second day of event featured kids fashion collection, Trend Life reports.The stunning fashion collections by ATELIER EMILIE, JGENTI KRISHNA, SNEZHANA GOROBETS, LA LI BY LAINE VOLKOVA and ALLA COUTURE were greeted with warm applause.On the third day, the audience was presented colorful collections by KHAFIZ KHAN, ANJELA BEZRODA, ELIZ, FIDAN OSMAN and SSBYSHABUNIN.The project aimed to popularize growing fashion industry in Azerbaijan and give an opportunity to young and talented designers to show their work to the world. The event featured 20 shows from 6 countries, including designers from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, France and Latvia.In the framework of the project, Boulevard Hotel in Baku opened a showroom AFW, where one had a chance to buy trendy fashion style clothes presented at the shows, and pieces from many others brands such as UGLY, Dameli, Datuna, Tako Dvaliashvili, Natia Tkhelidze, Samidel, Tamta Shindelishvili, Verbena, Smirnova.Azerbaijan Fashion Week is held twice a year in November and May. More than 40 designers from Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, France and Spain participated in last two seasons.Media partners are Trend, Day.az, Milli.az and Azernews.az. EU to realize new twinning projects in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/151151.html Business Fri, 27 May 2016 16:23:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Nigar AbbasovaThe European Union (EU) is preparing to implement nine twinning projects worth nearly € 9 million in Azerbaijan.Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Economy was quoted as saying after the conference dedicated to the institution building program in Azerbaijan.The deputy minister also added that on average each project takes a year and a half to prepare. “Each project is realized within the framework of 2 years. New projects are expected to be implemented in the spheres of justice, education, agriculture. The cost of each project amounts to € 1 million,” he saidBabayev also spoke about the cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan during the conference held on May 27.The official mentioned that the European Union is the main trade partner of Azerbaijan. He said the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the EU countries stood at $9.7 billion in 2015, which amounts to the half of Azerbaijan's total trade turnover."This positive tendency continued in 2016 as well," he added.The deputy minister pointed out that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the EU over the past period of 2016 has reached $2 billion, or 41 percent of the export and import operations.Babayev said that the volume of investments made by the EU countries into the basic capital of Azerbaijan amounted to 45.6 percent of total investments to this sphere, while direct investments made into the non-oil industry was at the rate of 35 percent of total amount of similar investments.The deputy minister underlined that the main part of Azerbaijan’s investments falls on the EU countries and cooperation between the sides in the investments sector is steadily developing.Malena Mard, head of the EU Delegation to Baku in her turn reminded that the European Union has to date rendered technical assistance to Azerbaijan for the implementation of 43 twinning projects.“The projects cover different spheres and are currently at various stages of implementation,” she said. The number of twinning projects which have already been successfully implemented with the assistance of the EU amounts to 25 while 9 projects are currently in the drafting stage.The purpose of the conference was the provision of information about the implementation of EU institution building instruments and their concrete achievements in Azerbaijan as well as attraction of attention to further opportunities and benefits of institution building activities.The conference was targeted at the presentation of such EU institution building instruments as TWINNING, TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange), SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) and SOCIEUX (Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation). Main objective was share of best practices in this sphere with the participants of the event. Yerevan angered by Azerbaijani envoy’s successful activity http://www.today.az/news/politics/151149.html Politics Fri, 27 May 2016 16:10:00 +0400 /By Azernews/By Gunay CamalArmenian FM Edward Nalbandyan's ridiculous comments on the activities of the Azerbaijani ambassador to Russia caused true lough in the opposite side."The Armenian minister would be better to focus on his own subordinates to whom he has the right to give recommendations,” Azerbaijan's embassy in Russia commented on the news.The embassy reminded that activities of ambassadors are assessed by the head of the appointing country and head of the receiving country, but not by third parties.Armenia's voicing recommendation to other country’s envoy how to act was out of diplomatic ethics and Armenian MPs accepting this reply in response to inactivity of the country’s diplomatic mission causes surprise.Lately, Armenian media outlets reported that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has made incorrect remarks about Azerbaijan’s envoy to Moscow Polad Bulbuloghlu's activities.Reportedly, Nalbandian was answering the questions of Armenian MPs who noted that Azerbaijan's embassy in Russia works better than Armenia's diplomatic mission.“The fact that the foreign minister of the country which has committed aggression against Azerbaijan, made such comments in the parliament about Bulbuloghlu's activities, shows the quality of Azerbaijani ambassador's activities in Russia,” according to the embassy.Bulbuloghlu, who marked his 70th anniversary last year, was repeatedly honored for his merits in development of bilateral relations between Russia and Azerbaijan.In 2017, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov awarded Azerbaijani ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloghlu 'Friendship Order’. Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Bulbuloghlu with the Order of Honor in 2015, while Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev awarded the envoy one of the highest awards of the Republic of Azerbaijan "Sharaf" (Honor) order.Most recently, Bulbuloghlu has been awarded an honorary badge of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs "For Contribution to International Cooperation" on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his diplomatic activity.