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 Armenia’s aggressive policy isolates it from economic projects http://www.today.az/news/regions/137648.html World news Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:40:00 +0400 By Sara RajabovaArmenia’s aggressive policy has led to its isolation from the economic projects in the region.Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made the remark at the Atlantic Council Energy & Economic Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, AzerTag news agency reported.Davutoglu spoke of the results of Armenia’s aggressive policy this state pursues against Azerbaijan and the problems it caused in region.He further said many were doubtful for realization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project.Notwithstanding the conflicts in the region, Azerbaijan has achieved great success in the spheres of economy and energy, Davutoglu stressed.“Nevertheless, the peace and development policy was realized and it began to bring much profit to Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia. Armenia was isolated from the regional projects as it continues its aggressive policy and occupies 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands,” he said.Davutoglu further said Turkey has always stood for the resolution of conflicts in South Caucasus, including in Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing that conflicts in the South Caucasus have negative impact on Turkey.He urged Armenia to immediately withdraw its forces from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.Aside from the South Caucasus, the neighboring countries also face conflicts and Turkey stands for stability in the region, according to Davutoglu.Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far. ETU ups category of Azerbaijan Triathlon Federation http://www.today.az/news/sports/137647.html Sports Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:57:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe European Triathlon Union (ETU) has increased the classification category of the Azerbaijan Triathlon Federation, ETU President Renato Bertrandi said in his letter to the Azerbaijani Triathlon Federation.He noted that during the meeting in Brussels the Development Committee of the ETU discussed the issue of classification of national associations.The ETU Executive Committee increased Azerbaijan`s category from level 2 to level 3. This estimation is based on the development of triathlon and the achievements of the federation.Bertrandi also hailed the development of triathlon in Azerbaijan.The European Triathlon Union (ETU) was established in 1984 to develop the future of triathlon across Europe. There are currently forty two national federations affiliated to the ETU and that number is steadily increasing as we work hard to continue to develop and support emerging national federations.The ETU is the European governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and for all related multisport such as Paratriathlon, Aquathlon, Duathlon, Long Distance Triathlon, Long Distance Duathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon.The ETU is recognized by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) as the Continental Confederation in Europe. Khazar Cup jumping tournament wraps up in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/137644.html Sports Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:55:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe “Khazar Cup” CSI1*-W International jumping tournament wrapped up in Baku on November 22.The tournament, organized by Azerbaijan's Equestrian Federation was held at the Border Equestrian Center in Novkhani village of Baku.Riders from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Luxembourg, Turkey and Iran attended the competition. About 25 sportsmen and 50 horses competed in the tournament.The judges from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria and Iran watched closely the tournament.The fund prize of the competition was 9,500 manats.On the first day of the tournament the participants overcame an obstacle with the height of 125 cm.The rider from Luksemburg, Marsel Even with her mere “Kasandra MNM” became the winner.Then, the competition of 135 obstacles was held, where Marsel Even with her mere “Kasandra MNM” also took the victory.On the second day of the competition, the participants at first overcame the obstacles on the height of 130 cm. Azerbaijani rider Elmar Abdullayev with his horse “Vudi” took the first place.In the competition on 140cm obstacles, Georgian sportsmen Shalva Gachechiladze won the first place.On the final day of the competition, the riders competed with 145 cm obstacles. The national rider Patrik Mc Entee with his “tall boy” left behind his rivals. National gymnasts win 5 gold medals http://www.today.az/news/sports/137646.html Sports Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:54:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe SANIX CUP International Junior Rhythmic Group Gymnastics Tournaments was held in Fukuoka, Japan on November 23-24.Azerbaijani junior’s team took the gold medal of the competition on team performance category.Some 27 teams from Japan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Bulgaria, Thailand and other countries took part in the category.The national team including Zulekha Ismailova, Ilaha Mammadova, Fatima Jafarova, Rugiya Sattarova, Simara Jafarova and Darya Sorokina presented their program. They plan to perform with this show at the European Championships in Minsk next year.The national grace impressed all viewers with their excellent performance with the song of the legendary King of Pop Michael Jackson.Earlier, a pre-junior gymnastics team consisting of Mansum Safarov, Murad Hajizade and Samad Mammadali successfully participated in “Ljubco Solatsky" tournament in Bulgarian Blagoevgrad.Following the tournament’s results in the team category, the national gymnasts took four gold medals.Mammadli won four gold medals: all-around, floor exercise, exercise for a horse and jump. He also got two bronze medals for performances in on the bar and parallel bars.Murad Ganifazada took the silver medal on exercises on the rings. Georgia faces power outage http://www.today.az/news/regions/137645.html World news Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:43:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevGeorgia's capital city Tbilisi and its eastern part remained without power at night on November 24.The cause behind the power outage was a breakdown in of the country's largest power stations.Electricity customers in Tbilisi and Georgia's eastern regions remained without service until the power supply was restored at 03:00 a.m. in theThat was reportedly not the first failure in Georgia's power system. Emergency shutdown of the 500-kilowatt Imereti power line plunged almost all territory of Georgia into darkness for two hours in July 2014. The crash even caused the TV tower to be disconnected.Hydroelectricity power plants meet nearly 85 percent of Georgia's overall electricity need. The government adopted Energy Policy in 2006, aiming to reduce the dependence on energy imports by encouraging sustainable development of domestic hydropower resources. The Georgian government is inviting technically and financially qualified domestic and international developers to invest in its power industry. Azerbaijan completely ready for emergency cases http://www.today.az/news/politics/137643.html Politics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:16:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Gulgiz DadashovaAzerbaijan, like any other country in the world has a strategic goods reserve to cope with unexpected events.Expert in economics Ogtay Ahverdiyev told local media that, to this end, up to 7,000 kinds of products, including food have been stored at Azerbaijan’s state reserves.“The country imports a number of goods from food to cars. Actually, if you take a look at the volume of imports of Azerbaijan, you will find out that our country can live on seven years without exporting any goods,” he said.Azerbaijan has established trade relations with 141 world countries. Its commodities were exported to 107 countries and it imported goods from 128 countries in January-September, 2014.The State Statistics Committee reports that during the past nine months, the foreign trade turnover was $31 billion. Meanwhile, the volume of export stood at $24.4 billion and the volume of import at $6.6 billion. Meanwhile, a positive balance in the amount of $17.8 billion was created.Ahverdiyev said the state reserves possess all the necessary clothing, including underwear. “There are also necessary types of medicines, matches and metal, in particular channels. Over 30,000 tons of grain is stored in warehouses of the Emergency Situations Ministry. Among the products stored in the state reserve there are also a variety of cereals (rice, buckwheat, etc.), meat, flour, etc. Each product has a shelf life, so the products are periodically updated. For example, the grain is replaced every year.In short, the state reserve has everything you need for cases of war or other emergencies. This stock is stored throughout the country.”Among the total volume of exported products there are crude oil, oil products, natural gas, fruit –vegetable, fat and oil of vegetable and animal, sugar, chemical products, plastic and products made from it, aluminum and products made from it. Azerbaijan mostly imports passenger cars, wheat, cigarettes, pharmaceutical products, converters, sugar and machines. The country’s main import partners are Turkey, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy.Export of non-oil products was $ 1.2 billion and the figure per capita was equal to $130.9.The State Agency for Material Reserves is involved in the development of public policy and regulation in the sphere of creation state, mobilized, food reserves in Azerbaijan and other reserves in case of an emergency situation. The agency also controls this area and oversees public material reserves, prepares proposals by volume, nomenclature and the formation of state reserves, carries out actions for the collection and storage, protection, renewal, granting, restoration and establishment of state reserves. It also contributes to international humanitarian assistance. Days of Turkish Culture kicks off in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137638.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:09:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe grandiose opening of the Days of Turkish Culture was held in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku on November 22.On this occasion, a delegation of famous Turkish artists headed by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister, Omer Celik, has arrived in Azerbaijan.The event was attended by many influential public figures, representatives of art and culture, diplomatic missions and international organizations.Addressing the event, both Azerbaijani and Turkish ministers underlined the development and cooperation level between two sides in the field of policy, economy and culture.Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev noted that the Days of Turkish Culture are being held for the first time in the history of independent Azerbaijan.“The two countries' leaders have friendship relations. Our countries are determined to strengthen the Turkic world," he said. "Days of Turkish Culture being held in Azerbaijan is a significant event which will give a fresh impetus to the development of cultural relations between our countries and will allow to get acquainted with Turkish culture.”Garayev also talked about the programs, which will be held during the Culture Days.“During the week, we will see a big cultural program. It covers a wide range of fields: cinema, theater, dance, exhibitions and concerts. We had a fruitful meeting with Omer Celik. We came to the decision to form a working group that will deal with the implementation of various projects, programming in the sphere of culture and tourism. We know each other well, so we will continue to develop our ties through various cultural programs and activities.”The Azerbaijani minister also talked about the Days of Azerbaijani Culture, which were held in Turkey saying the event rose great interest in Azerbaijan's culture and art.Celik expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality of Azerbaijan.“We always remember the great words of Heydar Aliyev "One nation - two states", which has been and continues to be a symbol of the Turkic world, a symbol of friendship and cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan. In fraternal Azerbaijan, we feel like at home. We have common language, history, religion and vision for the future. We can say that there are no such issues on which we could not come to a common agreement. Culture Days - a good excuse to get acquainted with the brotherly people,” he said.The minister underlined the beauty of Azerbaijan. “I have no doubt that the Days of Culture will become a major cultural event in the life of Azerbaijan. As part of the joint committees on culture and tourism, we will meet regularly to discuss the implementation and the challenges ahead. We must remember and appreciate our common past and cherish our heritage and our fraternal ties.”Following, the guests watched a film about development of relations between the two countries.The viewers also enjoyed a colorful concert program by Istanbul historical and musical folklore group, the National Folk Dance Ensemble, Orchestr of Folk Instruments, Turkish group "Sema", well-known performers Nilgyun Kyzylcha and Zafer Albayrak as well as Azerbaijan honored artist Azerin.As part of the Culture Days, some concerts and photo, art and crafts exhibitions will also be held. Turkish films and theater productions are also included in the program.The Days of Culture will run till November 27. Hungary hosts Azerbaijan Tourism Days http://www.today.az/news/business/137642.html Business Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:50:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan Tourism Days was held in Hungary on November 21-22 co-organized by Hungary-Azerbaijan Youth Union (HAYU), Youth Foundation under the Azerbaijani President (YFAP) and the Azerbaijani Embassy in Hungary.The event was attended by Azerbaijani and Hungarian youth, and official figures of foreign embassies, Hungarian parliament, Azerbaijani Youth Foundation, as well as representatives of Hungarian, Azerbaijani and Central Europe NGOs.Addressing the event, Chairman of HAYU Ibrahim Safarli greeted the guests and talked about the history and implemented projects of the union. He also stressed the aim of the conference.Speaking at the event, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Hungary Vilayat Guliyev congratulated HAYU’s staff and underlined the importance of relations between the two countries' youth.Talking about the recent visit of Azerbaijani President to Hungary, the ambassador said that the signed agreements during this visit are another evidence of close cooperation between the two countries.Member of Hungarian Parliament and Chairman of Azerbaijan-Hungary interparliamentary friendship group Marton Dondoshi expressed his satisfaction with the developing relations and noted that such kinds of projects give a fresh impetus to cooperation between the two countries.Addressing the event, Director of strategic planning and international relations sector of YFAP Orkhan Arabov briefed the participants about the projects implemented by the foundation.In the second part of the event, representatives of Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Ministry, Operating Committee of the European Games, Hungarian Tourism LTD, Balance Law and Tax Firm and R?xos Hotels of Azerbaijan made speeches.Informative and interactive presentations interested the guests and briefed them about the visa and migration law as well as the country’s hotels and tourism institutions.The second day of the event was held in the building of Azerbaijani Embassy in Hungary.The participants got acquainted with the working principles of the Embassy. Then, the e-visa system, its gist and working principle were presented for the visitors.HAYU was co-established by Azerbaijani youth who live in Hungary and Hungarian activists in 2012. Armenia remains unattractive for foreign investors http://www.today.az/news/regions/137639.html World news Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:41:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevInvestments in Armenian economy are expected to decrease drastically amid the ongoing deterioration of the country's economic crisis.Potential investors are forgetting about investing in Armenia, as the post-Soviet country's economy lacks a positive feedback mechanism to stabilize the investments and control inflation.The Armenian Economy Ministry claims that the financiers are unwilling to invest in the country due to objective and subjective reasons.The Ministry's experts say the completion of investments in the fields of mining and communication are a good example of objective reasons behind declining rate of investments. As for the subjective reason, Armenia's ready-made integration into the Eurasian Economic Union has sparked concerns among the investors, making them step back from investing in the small Caucasus country's economy.Current situation in Armenia promises tougher days on the background of versatile degradation fueled by a deepening economic drawback. The government has already confirmed the stagnation in economy, revealing a failure to succeed the forecasted economic growth. Armenian economy is expected to grow by nearly 3 percent to seal the regression, which is also confirmed by the IMF and World Bank.The ongoing developments in Russian economy urge the investors to think twice before placing their money in Armenia's economy. It's no secret anymore that the post-Soviet country's economy tightly depends on the economy of its northern neighbor and main trade partner.The second half of the current year has turned to be tragic for Russian economy due to harsh sanctions by the western forces. The sanctions has paralyzed the northern giant's domestic markets, as well as inflicted heavy losses on its exports. Drastic fall in oil exports has caused a serious pain in Russia's economy, devaluating the ruble sharply.The ruble's fall has led to a great panic in Armenia, as many families in the country survive on money transfers from Russia amid the absence of stable income sources. Ruble has devaluated by almost 30 percent since September and it is forecasted to lose more of its value in the next months. It means severe days in Armenia in near future, which make the investors to forget about Armenia.Economic experts say the total volume of foreign investments in Armenian economy will expectedly fall by 25-30 percent in the upcoming months. Money inclosure in the South Caucasus country's economy decreased by 20 percent last year to $600 million.Investors are reluctant to place their money in Armenia and the government seems not worried about the issue. Sedentary authorities in the former Soviet state resemble a couch potato, as they ignore to leave armchairs and delve into the solution of the problems facing the country. Modern Armenia now reminds its people of Santa Claus, which is an unreal creature with so-called mighty abilities to make the public wishes come true. Wishes have dashed in Armenia while waiting for the government to gladden the people and businesses of the country. Turkvision-2014 announces winner http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137637.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:06:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe second Turkvision-2014 Song Contest featuring colorful performances of artists from the Turkic world was held in Kazan on November 19-21.This year, the contest took place with the participation of artists from 24 countries.The final round of the international song contest was attended by 15 participants who gained the highest scores in the semifinals.Kazakhstan's singer Zhanar Dugalova won the contest of Turkish speaking and Turkic ethnicity countries and regions watched by about 300 million viewing audience.Dugalova performed third in the final. The song Oz?n Korem garnered her 225 points.The second place went to the singer from Tatarstan, Aydar Suleyman, who gained 201 points. The third place went to “Zaman” group, representatives of Bashkortostan, gaining 199 points.Azerbaijan was represented by Elvin Ordubadl?, the winner of the country’s contest “Voice of Azerbaijan”. He performed the song “Giants’ loneliness”, written by Ayshe Birgul Yilmaz from Turkey and Elza Seyidjahan from Azerbaijan. The national singer took the ninth place.The show, broadcasted live was co-organized by TMB TV, TAT Media and TURKSOY and reached out to an audience of nearly three hundred million people.The TURKVISION Song Contest was launched by TMB TV which has been carrying out projects to strengthen ties among Turkic peoples through various cultural and artistic projects since its establishment.It has become the symbol of peace, brotherhood and friendship among Turkic peoples.Being a unique project, the contest is aimed at preserving and strengthening ties of friendship among Turkic peoples by introducing their common music, culture, language, art and traditions to the world.Next year the competition will take place in Mary, Turkmenistan.Azerbaijani singer Farid Hasanov won the first contest of the Turkic states that was inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest.Young but talented Farid Hasanov won the contest's finale with 210 points after heartily performing the song "Yasha" (Live), composed by Govhar Hasanzade, leaving behind 11 successful singers. CERT develops Azerbaijani antivirus program http://www.today.az/news/business/137641.html Business Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:48:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan will present its own antivirus version in 2015.The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), functioning under the State Agency for Special Communications and Information Security of the Special State Protection Service of Azerbaijan, is completing the final development process of an antivirus called “Malware Report”.At present, the basic version of the product is under preparation and will be available for users in early 2015. "Malware Report" will be available free at cert.gov.az.The program will allow to redirect malicious and suspicious files to the laboratory of CERT (Malware Lab), where they will be analyzed. After that, the users will receive the report.One of the advantages of the software solution will be informing users about threats and vulnerabilities, as well as providing them with the necessary information to counter external threats.In future, it is expected that the software will contain all the features of a full-fledged anti-virus software.Earlier, CERT reported about reactivated distribution of the infected files by e-mails in the Azerbaijani segment of the Internet. The spamming is made from a variety of sources in different countries and contains infected archive files of the following names: "my_photo.zip", "iphone_photo.zip", "photo.zip", "transact_store.zip".CERT warns about the need to delete such emails without opening them, otherwise, they can endanger the computer database and network infrastructure of enterprises and companies.CERT was established in March 2013 to protect users from online threats, malware cyber-attacks and other adversities. Armenians breach ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/analytics/137640.html Analytics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:45:00 +0400 The situation on the contact line between Azerbaijan and Armenia has remained tense as the Armenian Armed Forces shattered ceasefire a total of 62 times throughout the day, Azerbaijan`s Defence Ministry reported.The ceasefire was violated in Alibeyli village of Tovuz region, Hajiveyli village of Aghdam region, Kohnegishlag village of Aghstafa region, Gizilhajili, Kemerli, Gaymagli villages of Gazakh region, Gulustan village of Goranboy region, Chilaburt, Goyarkh villages of Terter region, Shuraabad, Yusifjanli, Marzili, Shikhlar, Bash Qervend, Kengerli, Sarijali, Javahirli, Novruzlu villages of Agdam region, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand region, Horadiz, Gorgan, Ashagi Seyidahmedli villages of Fuzuli region, and Mehdili village of Jabrayil region.The enemy was silenced with a retail fire.Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far./AzerTAc/ AIM 2015 to focus on innovation, importance of FDI transactions in emerging market http://www.today.az/news/analytics/137636.html Analytics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:22:00 +0400 By Sara RajabovaDubai continues to establish its prominent position at the intersection of world economies with the fifth edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) announced for March 30–April 1, 2015.This year’s meeting will focus on the theme of: "Sustainable Development through foreign direct investment Induced Innovation and Technology Transfer" under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,"As we prepare for the fifth AIM 2015, we can see the return of optimism to the global economy after more than five years of daunting economic challenges. According to most analysts, global GDP is forecast to grow at 3 percent and 3.3 percent in 2014 and 2015 respectively," Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy said.The fifth edition of AIM will be held at a time when the UAE has become a first class investment destination, with an increase in FDI flows, which took it to AED 387 billion in 2013.One main FDI driver on a global scale is the need and the possibility to innovate. If innovation has been chosen as the main topic of discussion at AIM 2015, it is no surprise as it also comes at a time when the UAE was ranked first among Middle East countries in overall performance in 2014 according to the Global Innovation Index, published by Cornell University and the European Institute for Business Administration INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.Organizers of AIM 2015 say the role of emerging markets is to provide an ideal economic environment for foreign investments, to overcome all logistical procedures and to ensure its continuity. Emerging markets are also required to invest in infrastructure and the services sector in order to create an ideal investment chain.For AIM advocates it is however critical that emerging markets when dealing with FDI and multinational companies must do this in accordance with a clear strategy that makes transferring technology a priority. This includes an integrated study of the ability to acquire and adapt technology as well as the mechanisms intended for technological development."AIM 2015 will throw light on the ways and means to attract, retain and benefit from foreign investment, which in turn creates jobs and develops skills. It will teach how to enhance the technological contribution of foreign firms through education and specialized technological training as well as how spillovers and backward linkages can be realized," Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of AIM's Organizing Committee said.Across a dense and interesting conference schedule attracting speakers from across the world, AIM 2015 will address many pressing issues such as the policies and the regulatory frameworks needed, balancing intellectual property rights to effectively leverage FDI as a means to achieve transfer of technology; the equity and non-equity forms of global firms that favor the transfer of technology, know-how and skills; trends in FDI-related R&D and how to attract them and integrate global knowledge networks and role of incentives in attracting asset seeking FDI and best practices.AIM is also an exhibition with over 500 exhibitors from sectors varying from IT to agrifood and telecommunications to medical technologies, as well as many others.The second edition of AIM Investment Report will also be unveiled on the first day of the event. The report will provide an analysis of FDI trends and their implications in growing markets as well as highlight opportunities and challenges therein. Investment policies that are shaping the global FDI landscape and that promote innovation and the transfer of technology will be at the center of focus.Last year’s annual meeting attracted over 11,356 visitors (nearly double the number from the previous year) from 112 countries. This year it is estimated that this figure will increase again with representatives of 140 countries having been invited.Excitingly, the newly formed UAE Space Agency will also be showcased at the event and with UAE research teams planning to launch the first exploratory probe to Mars, the United Arab Emirates continues to mark its place on the world stage – and in a most innovative way. Plight of Azerbaijani refugees, IDPs discussed in Rome http://www.today.az/news/politics/137635.html Politics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:16:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaArmenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and plight of refugees and internally displaced people have been highlighted in Italy’s capital Rome.A seminar titled “Azerbaijan: rights of IDPs and refugees” has been held at the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, AzerTag news agency reported.Organized by the Azerbaijan-Italy Youth Association, the event was held within the “International Organizations and human rights” course. The seminar aimed to inform the students about the situations of Azerbaijanis who became refugee and IDPs as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.The bloody war, which flared up in the late 1980s due to Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor, left without home over a million of civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions adjoining it, as well as the regions bordering with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.The Azerbaijanis who were displaced from their homes as result of the brutal war were forced to live in refugee camps, tents and wagons in very difficult conditions.Manuela Sessa, President of AIGA provided insight into activity of the Association. She said the Association realized joint projects for benefits of youth of both countries. Sessa noted that there was comprehensive condition for educating and employing IDPs and refugees in Azerbaijan.Vagif Sadigov, Azerbaijani ambassador to Italy delivered a lecture at the University. He provided information about Azerbaijan`s geographic, political, religious and economic position.Speaking of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Sadigov said 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories had been occupied by Armenian military aggression and more than one million people became refugees and IDPs as a result of the conflict.As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 are reported missing and almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.Peace talks brokered by mediators from Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far. Armenia has also not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories.“UN Security Council adopted resolutions on immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan`s occupied lands, as well as international organizations adopted documents on solving the conflict. The negotiations are underway for peaceful settlement of the conflict,” Sadigov added.He analyzed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the international law, stressing the importance of protecting the rights of the refugees and IDPs.The diplomat provided an insight into events carried out in Azerbaijan for improvement of the socio-economic plight of IDPs.Resolving the problems of refugees and IDPs have been the focus of the government's attention since the early days of occupation.The State Program on improving the living conditions of refugees and IDPs and their employment opportunities approved by a Presidential Decree in 2004 and the Annexes approved by Presidential Decrees in 2007 and 2011 were successfully implemented in 2013.New settlements were built for IDPs in 2001-2003 by the first funds allocated by the State Oil Fund, which enabled the government to demolish five IDP camps in the Beylagan region in 2003 and provide 1,330 refugee and 5,081 IDP families with new houses.Azerbaijani government has spent $5.4 billion to tackle the social problems of refugees in the past 20 years. As a result of that, the living conditions of 180,000 refugees and IDPs have been improved.In 2013, the poverty rate declined from 49 percent to five percent in the country, and from 75 percent to 15 percent among refugees and IDPs. Baku successfully hosts EOC General Assembly http://www.today.az/news/politics/137634.html Politics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:15:00 +0400 By Nigar OrujovaThe General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) was held successfully in Baku, Azerbaijan setting an exemplary records for other countries , EOC President Patrick Hickey said at a press conference.The 43rd General Assembly of the EOC was held in Baku on November 21-22. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended the official opening of the event.The General Assembly was also attended by delegates from European national Olympic committees and senior managers of international sports organizations.During the event, several reports were read out on a number of topics, including reports on the progress of preparations for 2016 Summer Olympic Games, 2018 Winter Olympic Games and the European Youth Olympic Festival.Hickey also noted on behalf of the European Olympic Committee, that Baku was the best partner for the launch of the first inaugural European Games."They're doing a fantastic job in the preparations, and it will leave a tremendous legacy in this city for the future sports events, not only in terms of infrastructure, which is amazing, as well as the legacy that you will have on your citizens," Hickey stressed.He went on to add that Azerbaijan has so many volunteers and so many Azerbaijani citizens are working with experts and professionals that have joined the team mainly from the London Olympic Games.Hickey said that it will leave a very strong legacy, whereby Baku will be prepared in the future to hold similar sports games."We love to see local people being involved and getting expertise that they might not normally have," Hickey said.He went on to say that the upcoming games will be tremendous.President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach has already committed to be present here for the opening ceremony, and the president of the international world association of Olympic Committees Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah from Kuwait, he will be here with his team, Hickey said."To remind you, we are the only continent without our own games," Hickey said. "So there is a great interest and a great goodwill attitude to Europe, to get our games up and running, and we are already receiving great help from our colleagues in Asia, Africa and Pan-America."Hickey went on to say that, EOC has a presentation from BEGOC, the organizing committee for the European games, which is astonishing.“We are extremely happy and pleased with the situation,” Hickey said. “Bear in mind that most Olympic cities have a 7-year time to prepare for the games, and what BEGOC doing is extraordinary. It's all been arranged in only two years, and the progress they're making will make it truly amazing.”Speaking about the next European games in 2019, Hickey said the negotiations are held with six cities in Europe."If you remember, when we conceived the idea of these European games, it was six years ago, at the general assembly in Valencia, Spain. We said we would be extremely innovative in our thinking of these games, and that we would not enter process it like the formats of the Olympic Games, we would have disciplines, which are non-olympic, and we are following all that," Hickey said."Our attitude is that we will tailor-make the games to the city that is most interested," he said. "We will announce the city before May 2015."First Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee Chingiz Huseynzade also noted the success of the Assembly.He noted that the country faced some difficulties because of lack of experience in conducting such an event like the first European Games. "That's why we brought professionals to gain experience. Now comes the final stage of preparation for the first European games," he stressed.Baku 2015 is the first European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent, which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.There will be 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.Eleven of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Wrestling and Volleyball.Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) is organizing and running the Games in co-operation with the EOC. FAO office to open in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/137633.html Politics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:40:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaNegotiations on opening the FAO Partnership and Coordination office have wrap up successfully.The office will take an active part on coordination of large-scale projects to be carried out in Azerbaijan, involvement of rich experience of UN Food and Agriculture Organization, specializing in the field of agriculture organization of the UN system.Azerbaijani Agriculture Minister Heydar Asadov met with the Director General of FAO Jose Graziano da Silva, within the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2).Speaking about the importance of the conference, Silva said the negotiations on establishment of FAO Partnership and Coordination Office in Baku have entered the final stage.Asadov said that both sides have important efforts in opening the office in Baku. As a result of the works, negotiations completed successfully. This step will contribute to the further development of relations between the two countries.The current state of relations between Azerbaijan and FAO, achievements in the agricultural sector in the country and the future projects were discussed at the meeting attended also by the Azerbaijani ambassador to Italy Vagif Sadigov.Then, giving an interview to the Italian press, Asadov informed about Azerbaijan’s experience on provision of food and nutrition security, achievements of the country in agricultural sector and relations with the FAO.FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts in defeating hunger. Serving both the developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps the developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all. Iranians rush to hospitals after acid rains http://www.today.az/news/regions/137632.html World news Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:44:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe acid rains in Iran forced many people to rush to the hospitals after experiencing breathing problems.Around 300 people had to go to hospitals as a result of two-day-acid rain in Ahvaz city, Iranian province of Khuzestan, IRNA news agency reported.Avhaz, with a population of approximately 1.2m people, is recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city’s heavy industry and low-quality car fuel are the main causes of its pollution.Head of the Department of the Health Ministry in Ahvaz city Iraj Nozari said the people had breathing problems after the rains.Around 1,000 people had breathing problems after the first rain in Khuzestan province in early autumn.The acid rains have recently created many problems for the population.The cause of acid rains in Ahvaz city and the surrounding areas is air pollution resulted from the activity of oil and other industrial facilities, high humidity (95 percent) and a number of other reasons. The research into the issue is still underway.Data from the WHO showed that Khuzestan is three times more polluted than the Chinese capital, Beijing. WHO figures also suggested that five out of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in Iran, with Ahwaz topping the list.Earlier, environmentalists blame acid rains on high concentrations of nitrates in the air for the pollution. According to Sasan Mogahi from Jondi Shapour hospital, the local petroleum industry and post-harvest fires in sugarcane fields are the main reasons behind high atmospheric nitrate levels.The authorities have temporarily closed primary schools and nurseries in several cities in Khuzestan and recommended parents keep their children indoors. But the pollution remained unchanged. Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Nov.24 http://www.today.az/news/business/137631.html Business Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:28:00 +0400 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Nov.24, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsNov.21, 2014Nov.24, 20141 US dollar1 USD0.78440.78441 euro1 EUR0.98470.97231 Australian dollar1 AUD0.67780.68151 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09210.0921100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00720.00721 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.30490.31191 UAE dirham1 AED0.21360.21361 South African Rand1 ZAR0.07170.0717100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.07040.07041 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03560.03511 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.13080.1321 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12810.12781 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13230.13071 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.43930.43651 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01270.01271 British pound sterling1 GBP1.23141.2286100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00640.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10610.10511 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.8190.80821 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.20450.20321 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.69390.69861 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.69582.69241 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.01360.01361 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.28520.2816100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.23370.23461 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.05750.05761 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.05190.0521 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.1160.1155100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03270.03271 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23380.23141 Russian ruble1 RUR0.0170.01721 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.60380.60371 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20910.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.15061.14681 Turkish lira1 TRY0.35330.3531 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02540.02541 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15110.14871 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.05160.0516100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.66590.66541 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.61870.6198Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU933.436944.2215Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG12.76812.8505Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT944.4176964.812Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD603.988622.8136 /Trend/ Tbilisi condemns Russia’s Abkhazia plans http://www.today.az/news/regions/137630.html World news Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:54:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevAgreement between Russia and Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia on the creation of joint army is illegal, said Paata Zakeriashvili, Georgia's State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality."It is Russia's reaction to Georgia's aspirations for Europe and European institutions. The recent document, as well as all 80 documents signed between Russia and the so-called Abkhazian government, are illegal," Zakeriashvili said.He added that the existing changes in Abkhazia are results of the events in August, 2008.The draft of "Treaty between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia on the alliance and integration" was prepared and sent to the so-called parliament of Abkhazia by Russia on October 13.The ruling regime in Abkhazia ratified and prepares to sign the agreement. The draft says the introduction of a coordinated foreign policy, formation of a common space of security and defense, creation of a united social and economic space, preservation of the common cultural and humanitarian space are the main areas of cooperation, integration and partnership between Abkhazia and Russia. Azerbaijan, a regional hub for delicious foods http://www.today.az/news/analytics/137629.html Analytics Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:27:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina Nazarli"Nush Olsun!" ("Bon Appetite!") begins every meal time in Azerbaijan with rich and delicious national cuisine, delighting both soul and flesh.Azerbaijanis cordially invite their guests to try the national cuisine which they are very proud of. Restaurants and cafes all over the country offer a variety of national meals, representing a splendid gamma ofAzerbaijani cuisine is a very delicious and diversified. It is distinguished with its originality and refined taste.There is a lot to say about Azerbaijani cuisine. The best thing is to try the taste and aroma of this rich cuisine.Diversity, sometimes simplicity and extraordinary features of the serving dishes are able to attract any gourmet.A variety of vegetables and fruits, as well as spices could make the Azerbaijani cuisine distinguished, making it unforgettable.Bread traditionsAzerbaijan is one of the oldest agricultural regions of the East. That is why baking of bread is a very ancient tradition in Azerbaijan.Here you can pamper yourself with flavor and warm sorts of bread including Tandir Chorek, Appek, Lavash, Yukha and Fetir.Originating in the regions of the country, this irreplaceable baking of Azerbaijani table is cooked in Tandir, Sadj, and ovens such as Kura and Sengek.The huge amount of Azerbaijani flour food - Khingal, Dushbere, Arishte, Qutab, Gurze - are the very meals to warm you inside in the cold winter outside and tincture redness to your cheeks.KebabKebab is a perennial favorite in Azerbaijan, known for some as Shashlik or Barbecue.Our ancestors used to thread their prey onto skewers and grill it over a fire. This culinary technique has survived and improved over thousands of years.Oh, how it is amazing to wrap juicy Kebab in Lavash and enjoy this unforgettable taste, forgetting about your diet for some time.If you want to experience several flavors, and still remain satisfied, then you need to get acquainted with the traditions of Azerbaijani cuisine.PlovA "King" of Azerbaijani cuisine is considered to be "Plov", a rice dish which is difficult for an inexperienced cook to prepare. The flavor of Plov from saffron-covered rice spreads the whole area and makes one's mouth water. With more than 60 different kinds, this delicious dish is made of cherry, pumpkin, fennel, dried fruits, bean and many others.It's not a secret that Azerbaijani cuisine is for those who love to eat well.However, do not think that it consists only of fatty and heavy foods. Azerbaijani cuisine is always a pleasant surprise for the visitors.Such dairy product as Ayran (variety of dairy drink) often serve the table as an accompaniment to grilled meat or rice.A large number of soups, such as dovga, piti, kufte bozbash, ovdukh, erishte soup, chicken soup and dushbere may be an enjoyable feast for your stomach.You also should surely try appetizing vegetable dishes: Kuku, heftebejar, lobya chigirtmasi and many others.We promise that you couldn't resist the temptation to try Azerbaijani snacks, which is irreplaceable addition to Azerbaijani table.You will find a rich assortment of snack types in Azerbaijan including pickled onions, pickled cabbage, pickled olives, many other pickled fruit and vegetables, choban salati, and spicy ajico which increase your appetite, especially in those who suffer from thinness.SweetsAzerbaijani cuisine doesn't leave aside the sweet tooth. Delicious Azerbaijani specialty as pastries and sweets can be rightfully called the crown of the national cuisine.There are over 30 varieties of sweets and each area has its special kind. Shekebura, pakhlava, gogal, kyata, tykhma, kyulcha, badambura and many other soft, airy and sweet pastries will create unusual boom in your mouth and increase your happiness hormone.Sheki halva--a unique art, quymaq, khashil are very delicious sweets trying which once, you would like to come back to this taste again.Murabba (jam) is the main dessert at Azerbaijan's table, which is served at every tea party. Nothing can take the place of this wonderful jam for Azerbaijanis.Murabba in Azerbaijani refers to sweets made by boiling of berries, fruits, nuts or some vegetables and flowers.Besides all these, murabba is used for treating colds. Such kinds of murabba as dogwood, blackberries, currants, rich with vitamin C in the Azerbaijani houses usually serve as the first aid during the flu.Every nation has its favorite beverage. Russians like to drink kvass, Germans and Czechs like beer, Bulgarians like boza, Americans like Coca-Cola, while Azerbaijani people prefer to drink sherbet. Sherbet is considered the most refined of soft drinks in Azerbaijan.Sherbets, as a symbol of celebration, are consumed at weddings, dinner parties, banquets and similar events.Flavor and sweet sherbets made from rose, apricot, saffron, rose-pomegranate, lemon and many other fruit quench your thirst in a hot summer day.Dishes of high nutritious qualities, sharp tastes and nice appearances have become typical for the Azerbaijani cuisine.If to paraphrase the expression "To see Paris and die" to "To taste Azerbaijani cuisine and die", I think, are the best explanation to convey the tastes of the national meals. Armenia's armament and agriculture in danger, say experts http://www.today.az/news/regions/137628.html World news Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:53:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevExperts warned about the next unpleasant consequences in Armenia following the official start of its activity within the Eurasian Economic Union.EEU integration will cause pains in the armament and agricultural fields in Armenia given the specific terms and conditions of the Russia-lead alliance, said Daniel Ionnisyan, a local expert.Ionnisyan noted that Armenian Defense Ministry now pays no extra money to import military equipment."But the process will change after entering the EEU, as Armenia will be forced to pay 18-20 percent tax to the budget of the alliance. If the defense ministry decides to purchase military equipment from non-EEU country, it will have to pay 20 percent tax to the union's common budget," he said.Armenia's journey to the EEU started when President Serzh Sargsyan in September, 2013, surprised his European partners with an unexpected decision to join the EEU. Besides confusing the European political players, a sudden change in Armenia's foreign policy direction sparked mixed reactions among residents, hindering them to hold the same position on the issue. Even the analysts and experts supported the people to slap the government's disinclination towards Europe.Ovsep Gazaryan, an economic expert, said joining the EEU will deteriorate Armenia's agriculture, particularly the rural credits."Agriculture needs machinery, which is mainly imported from China and Japan. Only 20 percent of the total equipment are brought from the EEU member-states. Integrating into the union will eventually increase the prices of trucks and tractors. Moreover, price hike is also expected for several agricultural products," he noted.Experts predicted the kind of products which will predictably hit by price hike from January 1, 2015. Prices for butter, poultry products, egg, pork, fruits and vegetables are expected to rise, challenging Armenians amid weak purchasing power.The EEU integration has turned into a real conundrum for the Armenian government. The authorities and people are aware that joining the union will end in a tighter political and economic dependence on Russia. In the other words, it is an insidious threat to the post-Soviet country's sovereignty. President Ilham Aliyev received Bulgarian Vice President http://www.today.az/news/politics/137627.html Politics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:05:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Margarita Popova, who is in Baku to attend the 3rd session of the Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy.During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in political, economic and other fields, and noted that there was good potential for the expansion of cooperation even further.Vice President of the Republic of BulgariaMargarita Popova thanked for the high-level organization of the 3rd session of the Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy. She emphasized the importance of the Azerbaijani President’s message to the conference.During the conversation, the parties stressed the importance of holding the 3rd session of the Assembly of Parties of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Baku, and expressed confidence that the issues, which were discussed at the session, would contribute to the mutual exchange of experience in this sphere and the expansion of international cooperation./AzerTAc/ Baku 2015 signs broadcasting agreements with five countries http://www.today.az/news/sports/137626.html Sports Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:22:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games has signed broadcasting agreements with five European countries.Based on the deals, the inaugural European Games would be broadcasted in Albania, Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova and Slovakia.These deals are the latest in a series of deals signed between Baku 2015 and other countries including Turkey, France and Germany, as well as the Middle East, North Africa and Japan.Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said: “We are delighted to now be able to confirm that the inaugural European Games will be broadcast in these five additional countries.”“It will be important for supporters around Europe to be able to follow their athletes’ achievements in Baku 2015, and this range of multi-media broadcasting deals will ensure they are able to do just that. I expect further announcements both within Europe and wider globally over the coming weeks to build on the 34 countries already announced,” he said.Baku 2015 Commercial Director Charlie Wijeratna said: “These deals will ensure that the best of the action at Baku 2015 will be brought to passionate sports fans across the continent.”“We are confident that many more agreements will be announced very soon, which will ensure maximum coverage of the European Games all around the world,” he notedIn Albania, the rights have been awarded to Tring Media; in Belarus, to Belarus 5; in Luxembourg, to Radio Television Luxembourg; in Moldova, to Moldova Sport TV; and in Slovakia to DIGI Sport.Meanwhile, Baku is hosting the European Olympic Committees General Assembly, where senior Baku 2015 executives will provide detailed updates on preparations for the inaugural European Games to delegates.Baku will host the first European Games next summer from 12 – 28 June, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history. Money inflow into Armenia falling drastically http://www.today.az/news/business/137625.html Business Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:55:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevThe inflow of private remittances from Russia to Armenia has decreased drastically. The latest amount of the total money transfers into the country was $959.2 million, declining by 3.9 percent.Private remittances sent from Russia to Armenia via banking system dropped by 2.2 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year, said the Central Bank.The money transfers from Russia by Armenian migrant workers take a considerable share in the South Caucasus country's income. Nearly 84 percent of the private remittances is sent by the workers in Russia. It makes up roughly 15.4 percent or $1.6 billion of Armenia's Gross Domestic Product.The sharp decrease in the amount of remittances from Russia is linked to the potent devaluation of the ruble. The value of Russia's national currency dropped by 30 percent since September, promising inevitable hassles in many industrial and economic fields. Western sanctions have almost hit the longer tally of Russian businesses. It eventually lead to a slowdown in its economy, lowering the income of the employees in numerous spheres.The drop in the private money transfers was observed for four consecutive months with the threatening trend firstly noticed in June when the remittances from Russia fell by 4.6 percent. It surged to 6.6 percent in July, and reached 7.7 percent later in August. The figure decreased to 7 percent in September due to the opening of a comparatively active working season. But the Central Bank assessed it as a negative progress in money transfers.The World Bank recorded a free fall of the Russian ruble in November after a large depreciation in October, saying it is a growing risk for the stability of the country's economy.Instable economy in Russia means shaky economy in Armenia given the strong dependence of the country on Russian markets. Any collapse in certain economic fields will decrease the inflow of remittances and create challenges for exporters. It will also weaken purchasing power of the Armenians.Armenian people are worried about the upcoming disastrous days. Remittances from the overseas are the only source of income for many families in the post-Soviet country. Decrease in money transfers will definitely fuel poverty in Armenia.The National Statistical Service's recent report revealed a 32 percent poverty rate in the country, while the Central Bank's latest data showed a 3.9 percent decrease in remittances. The fall in remittances is inversely proportional to rise in poverty in Armenia. This simple and short study can prove the vital importance of money transfers for Armenians, who has lost their hope for a better future and gaze at the pocket of their relatives abroad. Baku 2015 to celebrate 200 Days To Go http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137624.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:46:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games will next week host a spectacular light show in the city to mark 200 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural sports event.The Old City will host an eye-catching display that will light up the city to mark the significant date until the first European Games begins on November 24.A stunning Baku 2015 display will be projected onto the iconic Maiden Tower at 8 p.m. to mark the occasion and a special announcement will also be made on the evening.Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015 Azad Rahimov said: “As we approach just 200 days until the inaugural European Games begin, Baku and Azerbaijan is preparing to host an event that will become an important part of our country’s sporting history.”“We will also be making a very special announcement that will capture the imagination of the entire country, and I would like to be able to share this historic moment with as many people as possible,” he said.Residents of Baku are invited to attend the celebrations that will begin at 8 p.m. and conclude with a spectacular light show finale.Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said: “As we continue to count down the days until the Opening Ceremony, there is a tangible sense of excitement building weekly throughout the city.“I would like to invite the people of Baku to come along and join in with our celebrations as we prepare to host Europe’s elite athletes at Baku 2015 next year,” he stressed.Baku will host the first European Games next summer from 12 – 28 June, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history. EOC 43rd General Assembly opens in Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/137622.html Business Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe 43rd General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees started in Baku on November 21.The General Assembly is attended by delegates from European national Olympic committees and senior managers of international sports organizations.Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva joined the official opening of the two-day event.President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey welcomed President Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva.The presidential couple met with the senior managers of the European Olympic Committees. Later, President Aliyev addressed the official opening ceremony.Presidents of the IOC and the EOC made speeches.Following, Hickey presented the president and the first lady with souvenirs of the EOC.He also presented Thomas Bach with the Order of Merit, the award of the highest European Olympic Committees distinction, for his contribution to the development of sports globally and his commitment to Olympic ideals.The General Assembly will hear reports on a number of topics, including “Olympic Games”, “Marketing and Communication”, “Sport for All, “Olympic Culture and Legacy”, “Medicine and Antidoping”, and “Gender Equality”. It will also provide an insight into the first European Games and hear a report of Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee.The agenda also includes reports on the progress of preparations for 2016 Summer Olympic Games, 2018 Winter Olympic Games and the European Youth Olympic Festival. Baku remonstrates to French government over illegal city deal http://www.today.az/news/politics/137621.html Politics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:04:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevAzerbaijani Embassy in France expressed its dissatisfaction to the French government in regard to the signing of a friendship agreement between the French city of Bouc-Bel-Air and Azerbaijani city Khankenhdi, which is under occupation of Armenia.Acting Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said France was the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and recognized Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty."Unfortunately, several circles in this country attempt to harm relations, being under the influence of numerous Armenian disapora organizations," Hajiyev noted.Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. Armenia continues the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.Peace talks brokered by mediators from Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far. Winners of Baku Sport Films Festival named http://www.today.az/news/sports/137623.html Sports Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:54:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe second Baku International FICTS Sport Films Festival wrapped up with a grand awarding ceremony on November 20.The festival was held at the largest theatre in the South Caucasus "Nizami Cinema Center" in Baku by Culture and Tourism Ministry, Youth and Sport Ministry and the National Olympic Committee. Federation International Cinema Television Sportifs (FICTS) also played a role in organizing the event.Some 115 films from 33 countries are attending the festival. The selection board picked up 48 films representing 23 countries to participation in the competition section.Award winners were named in five categories including "Feature Film", "Sport and Personality", "World and Sport", "TV Films" and "National Film".The winner of the "Sport and Personality" became Hungarian director Gabor Peter Nemeth with "The London Scene". Russian Alexander Zamyslov and Vladislav Kolesov’s "Strong spirit. Ice Hockey" film won TV Films category.Christophe Offenstein from France won Feature Film category with “Turning Tide”.World and Sport category chose Pedro Toro’s film “Dance” from Spain as the best one.Vugar Islamzade took the first place in the National Film nomination with commercial films on gymnastics and golf.Special Jury Prize went to Tibor Kosis from Hungary for “Hungarian fans of Barca”.Azerbaijani Rauf Mammadov became the winner of the Grand Prix for the film "Winner".Rauf Mamedov, who has been living for years in Moscow as a contemporary artist, said that he is honored and proud to get the top prize of the festival at homeland.After the awarding ceremony, Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev, Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov, President of the International Federation of Film and Television sports Franco Ascani (Italy), Chairman of the jury, famous producer Andrew Florian (Hungary) addressed the audience.They noted that the festival is a significant event in the cultural and sporting life of the country and one of the brightest events in the world of sports movies. They also stressed the importance of the event in promoting the idea of "culture through sport", and promoting a healthy lifestyle.The main aim of the festival being held on the eve of the first European Games in Baku is to show viewers some interesting films on various sports, and promote the authors of the best films.Following, the guest enjoyed a concert program. NATO, Georgia to finally decide on training center in February http://www.today.az/news/regions/137619.html World news Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:50:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevFinal decision on deployment of a NATO training center in Georgia can be adopted in February, 2015, said Mikhail Ukleba, Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine."I think, the final decision will be made in February," he noted.The diplomat added that both the member-states of NATO and aspirant countries will be trained at the center.Ukleba said Georgia should be a competent NATO member to have a full base in its territory. "We are doing our best, but it is not enough for NATO to accept us as a member."The opening of a training center in Georgia's territory is based on the new NATO-Georgia cooperation package, adopted in Wales this September .NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has earlier said the alliance decided to create a training center and it would be created. He also mentioned that Georgia will be a NATO member as soon as it fulfills all criteria of the alliance. Baku hosting int'l conference on heart diseases http://www.today.az/news/society/137620.html Society Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe opening ceremony of the international conference on “Innovation in congenital heart diseases” was held in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku on November 20.The event, which will run till November 22 is jointly organized by the Azerbaijan’s Heart and Health Association, the Health Ministry and the Heydar Aliyev Center.About 100 doctors from 47 countries are attending the conference.Addressing the event, Deputy Director of the Heydar Aliyev Center, Adil Kerimli said the international conference is being conducted as part of larger projects in the field of health by the Heydar Aliyev Center.“The main goal of the projects is prevention of congenital heart defects, their early diagnosis and treatment in accordance with international standards. It is also aimed to give a boost to the use of quality systems, to create conditions for important achievements in the area of solving problems by specialists’ efforts,” he said.Kerimli noted that the conference is a sample of humanitarian support by Azerbaijani government and the UN Health Organization to ensure the fundamental rights of the children’s health.The Deputy Director assured that the conference will contribute to the work of young doctors and scientists, reminding that one hundredth of newborn baby in the world is born with a heart defect.Noting that Azerbaijan strongly pays attention to children’s health, Kerimli recalled that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been conducting a lot of work in the field of treatment of children born with a heart defect.Deputy Health Minister Elsever Agayev noted that the work on health development is held in Azerbaijan and new health institutions have been built in Azerbaijan.As he said, the services provided to children in the country are governed by specials programs and added that the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted the law on children compulsory medical examination.“Only for the first nine months of the year, 2 million out of 2.6 million children in the country took mandatory medical examinations. As a result, five percent of ill children were reported for further examination. In the center of cardiac established in Azerbaijan, 1,200 heart surgeries have been conducted,” Agayev said.Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Association and the Heart Health of Azerbaijan Rashad Mahmudov noted that more than one million people are born with congenital heart disease, 100,000 of them die before reaching one year old.“Some 300,000-350,000 children out of a million ones die for unknown reasons in the countries with low levels of medicine, and economic problems,” Mahmudov stressed.He added that Azerbaijan has had some achievements in this field. Annually 800-1000 children with a heart defect were born in the country. The country has six surgery centers and advanced equipment for conducting heart surgeries.Later, a film, devoted to congenital heart problems was screened at the conference. Mugam Night mesmerizes Londoners http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137618.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:35:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan Mugham Night has been held in London as part of the second Buta Festival of Azerbaijani Arts.Organized by Buta Arts Center, the concert brought together representatives of Azerbaijani diaspora and local and foreign public figures.Addressing the event, Dean of Southwark Cathedral Andrew Nunn provided an insight into the history of the worldwide famous place.Director General of Buta Arts Center Nasib Piriyev noted that Azerbaijani art has developed in all periods.He said Azerbaijan`s culture, art and music has special place in the world.Saying that Mugham is one important part of Azerbaijan`s national heritage, Piriyev spoke of the progress achieved and projects carried out in the field of protection and promotion of this art.Later, Azerbaijani artists performed at the concert. The full house at Southwark Cathedral warmly applauded the performances.On November 27, Methodist Central Hall Westminster will host the concert of Azerbaijani virtuoso Arslan Novrasli.This concert will create a different musical environment where Tar expresses its distinctive voice in the hands of Arslan. The visitors will hear its' voice in traditional Mugham, alongside a symphony orchestra with jazz and flamenco bands, exploring how the role of the Tar has evolved and expanded since the late 19th and 20th century.That’s when the boundaries between different cultural traditions began to blur paving the way for Mugham-opera development.As Azerbaijan’s national instrument, Tar is a unique instrument. Its double head gives it an instantly recognizable ‘figure-of-eight’ shape.London is welcoming the second Buta Festival of Azerbaijani Arts from November 4 to March 22. Modern slavery spreading in Armenia http://www.today.az/news/regions/137616.html World news Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:35:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevArmenia was ranked 81 among 167 countries in terms of prevalence of population in modern slavery, according to the Walk Free Foundation.Modern slavery hit 10,700 Armenians, according to the Global Slavery Index - 2014 developed by the Australian human rights organization Walk Free Foundation. It means that 0.36 percent of the country's overall 2,976,566 population are living in slavery.Different countries use different terminology to describe modern forms of slavery, including the term slavery itself along with other concepts such as human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, and the sale and exploitation of children.The Index says the modern slavery involves one person possessing or controlling another one in such a way to significantly deprive that person of his/her individual liberty, with the intention of exploiting that person through his/her use, management, profit, transfer or disposal.While no country has yet issued a fully comprehensive response to modern slavery, most countries within the Index are taking some action to respond to the problem.Armenia was put at 77th place and rated at CCC level in terms of the government responses to fight the modern slavery. The Index explains that the government of the country at CCC level has a limited response to modern slavery, with largely basic victim support services and limited criminal justice framework. It also owns a restricted coordination or collaboration mechanism and a few protections for those vulnerable to modern slavery. It may be possible that even some government policies and practices paves the way for slavery.Armenia was ranked 6th among CIS countries for its efforts to prevent the modern slavery.Hard economic and social environment in Armenia boosts slavery on its territory. Widespread unemployment and malnourishment force the residents to leave their homelands for earning money. This, in turn, waters the mills of human trafficking, organ trade, forced labor, banking loans and etc.The Index puts the estimated number of people in modern slavery at 35.8 million worldwide in 2014 compared to 29.8 million in 2013. Approximately 61 percent of those living in slavery are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Russia.According to the Walk Free Foundation, Ireland, Iceland and Luxembourg are the countries with the least level of slavery.Modern slavery is a hidden crime. It has many forms, and is known by many names such as slavery, forced labor, human trafficking, etc. It contributes to the production of at least 122 goods from 58 countries worldwide. The International Labor Organization estimates the illicit profits of forced labor to be $150 billion a year.Although the world civilization has abolished the slavery as a political formation long time ago, it faces this evil in a form changed by modern challenges. Now the world should unite to fight that evil, accepting that it as a foreground duty and responsibility and human freedom should top the list of any priorities. Certain privileges should be given to farmers for agriculture development http://www.today.az/news/business/137617.html Business Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:14:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan should give certain privileges to the farmers for the development of agriculture in the country. To this end, it is expedient to allocate long-term loans to the farmers.This offer was voiced by member of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Deputy Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan party Siyavush Novruzov at a plenary session on November 19.He noted today Russia’s example shows how the food security is important for a country. “The conditions of giving an auto loan should differ from the terms of a loan allocated to a citizen for agricultural purposes,” Novruzov added.Member of the Parliament Fazail Aghamali, in tun, offered to increase the customs duty on the import of fruits and vegetables from abroad.He said it is obvious that Azerbaijan is able to fully meet the population’s needs in vegetables and fruits.“The country should increase the customs duty on these products in order to preserve the stability of the domestic market,” Aghamali added.The MP believes the government should pay significant attention to the development of agriculture in the country.“It is necessary to give privileges to the industrial production goods and to pay particular attention to the establishment of processing enterprises,” he stressed.The agricultural sector is important not only for increasing Azerbaijan's export potential, but also for restoring and protecting the country's food security. Protecting the quality and price of food stuff produced in Azerbaijan and producing them in accordance with quality standards are among the main priorities of the country's food security.Azerbaijan is meeting the population's demands for meat products by 90 percent, poultry meat by 81 percent, eggs by 80 percent, dairy products by 75 percent, vegetable oil by 65 percent, and butter by 50 percent through local production.The volume of fruits and vegetable supplies, which are the basis of Azerbaijan's agricultural export, has increased by 34.3 percent in the first nine month of 2014 compared to the same period last year.In general, Azerbaijan has experienced strong growth of all indicators of agricultural development in the last ten years. The total volume of production of agricultural goods increased by 3.4 times, and the volume of investment made in Azerbaijan's agriculture increased by 15 times, and the average monthly wage of workers of this sector boosted by 9 times in the mentioned period. Creating better world for children http://www.today.az/news/analytics/137613.html Analytics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:30:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliChildren are part of our future. To have a bright future, they need to be taken care of. It is not enough to feed and clothe them. Having a good education and medical care are among the main rights of children. Violence against children - both physically and psychologically – is inadmissible.Twenty-five years ago, on November 20, 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was a landmark development: For the first time, world states recognized children as fully-fledged bearers of a range of human rights, just like adults.But have children had a better life after the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?The representative of UN Children's Fund Nicolette Moodie notes that significant progress has been made in areas such as health and education.The fund’s statistics say that a child born in 2014 has more chances to live up to five years old than that of a child in 1989. Thanks to improved vaccines and medical support, child mortality has decreased by almost two times since 1990.Children also can enjoy the right to freedom of expression and the right to be heard during proceedings.It seems appropriate that in the year of Silver Jubilee – 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right for equal education for girls, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala became the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize.In Azerbaijan, children's rights are taken very seriously. A special commission on minors and guardianship authorities has been established to protect children’s rights. Azerbaijan has joined a number of other groups in adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on July, 1992. Among the rights granted to children is free and compulsory education.In January, the government discussed drafting a law that would provide protection to orphans reaching 16 years. These children need more assistance than others, as after leaving the orphanage they have to fend for themselves. The draft law is aimed to save orphans from social problems and create the necessary conditions for them after leaving orphanages.In this regard, Azerbaijan plans to construct hostels in cities and regions including Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja and Nakhchivan.Azerbaijan is also planning to open a Children’s Ombudsman Institution.Similar centers are already working in 44 countries charged with protecting and promoting the rights of young people. They deal with individual complaints and generally promote the children's rights in public policy, law and practice.Protection of the children’s rights must be the main priority of all countries. They should ensure maximum opportunities for the full development and providing good education as well as a happy childhood of children so that they can be a worthy part of our society. Liberty Square to see next protest rally in Yerevan http://www.today.az/news/regions/137615.html World news Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:25:00 +0400 By Mushvig MehdiyevArmenia's opposition union "troika" plans to hold its next rally on December 10, said Levon Zurabyan, Head of the parliamentary fraction Armenian National Congress.Zurabyan said the three anti-government political forces - the Heritage party, Prosperous Armenia party and the Armenian National Congress scheduled their upcoming rally for December 10 in the capital city Yerevan's Liberty Square."The Armenian National Congress traditionally holds rally on December 10 each year devoted to the International Human Rights Day. This year we plan to stage protest action and rally at the same time," Zurabyan said.The union of the oppositional forces intend to address the the human rights situation in Armenia, as well as to announce the further plans of the "troika" following the rally.Amnesty International, a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights, says Armenia’s top human rights concerns are freedom of expression and violence against women. The government is yet to adopt comprehensive legislation to combat violence against women, a pledge it made in 2008.Human rights violations have been prevalent at every national election in Armenia except 1991, according to the Amnesty International. Dozens of reported irregularities, including violence against observers by local officials were registered during the latest presidential elections in February 2013.Zurabyan also noted that the opposition forces intend to convene an extraordinary parliamentary meeting to discuss the amendments to the Electoral Code.Meanwhile, the ruling Republican Party discusses the possibility of making amendments to the Electoral Code, local media wrote. Talks are reportedly focused on the the majority election system. Amendments don't envisage a transition to proportional election system, but reducing the number of majority seats.Existing electoral system in Armenia allows 41 majority election districts to elect 41 legislators through majority system.Zurabyan has earlier announced the troika's decision refusing to hold talks over 12 demands, which the opposition forces presented to the authorities."The parliamentary troika sees no sense of discussing 12 demands with the government. We think it would serve the authorities to play for time and deliver a blow on nationwide movement," Zurabyan said.The list of 12 demands includes the calls on the government to cut taxes for small businesses, considerably increase subsidies to farmers, avoid rise in public transport fares and eliminate economic monopolies.Armenian opposition troika of the Heritage, Armenian National Congress and Prosperous Armenia parties staged consecutive rallies on September 30, October 10 and October 24 involving tens of thousands of protesting residents. The protesters demanded change of power, voiced their disagreement with the domestic and foreign policy, as well as injustice and limited human rights in the country. President Aliyev receives IOC's honorary medal http://www.today.az/news/politics/137614.html Politics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:08:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has been presented with a commemorative medal by the International Olympic Committee for the heads of state.President Aliyev got the medal during a meeting with President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey on November 20.During the meeting, Bach said the ongoing developments in Azerbaijan have made deep impression on him. He congratulated the head of state on achievements.Emphasizing the importance of holding the 43rd General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees in Baku, the head of state said he was pleased that Azerbaijan is hosting such an event.President Aliyev noted that such events create a good opportunity for guests to get acquainted with the country. Stressing that Azerbaijan has good experience in organizing international events, he expressed confidence that the first European Games would be held successfully.The parties noted the importance of state's attention to the development of sports in Azerbaijan, highlighting the country’s contribution to international cooperation in this area. They also expressed their satisfaction with the high-level preparations for the first European Games to be held in Baku.Following, Bach presented President Aliyev the commemorative medal. Azerbaijan’s president is one of the first heads of state to receive this commemorative medal.Later, President Aliyev hosted a dinner in honor of President of the IOC Bach and President of the EOC Hickey.Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku will host the 43rd General Assembly of the EOC on November 21-22. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/137612.html Politics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:18:00 +0400 Armenian armed forces have broken ceasefire with Azerbaijan 63 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Nov.21.Armenian armed forces, located near the villages of Shikhlar, Sarijali, Yusifjanli, Shuraabad, Bash Gervend of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino of the Khojavend district, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Veyselli, Ashagi Abdurrahmanli of the Fizuli district and Mehdili of the Jabrayil district opened fire at Azerbaijani positions.Azerbaijani positions also took fire from the positions located at the nameless heights of Khojavend, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.The opposing side was silenced with return fire.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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ 23 years since Azerbaijani helicopter downed by Armenia http://www.today.az/news/politics/137611.html Politics Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:01:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevNovember 20 sees the 23rd anniversary of the downing of the Azerbaijani helicopter by the Armenian security forces.Armenian Armed Forces knocked the civilian helicopter carrying the high-ranking Azerbaijani, Russian and Kazakh officials, journalists and parliamentarians over the Garakend village of Xojavend district and Marzili village of Aghdam district, killing all men on board."Helicopter downing resulted in death of 22 people on board," said Hikmat Hajiyev, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.He added that the operational and investigative measures on the incident revealed the Armenian security forces to be behind the bloody event."Armenia continued its terrorism activities against Azerbaijan over the recent years, committing more than 30 terror attacks on the ground and air transports, as well as subway," Hajiyev said.Armenia committed physical annihilation of state and government officials and political figures of the three countries, which were headed to the region with peaceful initiatives in 1991, he added."The fatal accident from the outset hampered the possibilities to regulate the conflict. This fact obviously proves that Armenia's main goal is to hinder the peaceful settlement of the conflict and liberation of the Azerbaijani lands," he noted.Hajiyev believes that the Armenian side even today stages provocations and does its best to slow down the negotiations notwithstanding the initiatives on the peaceful resolution to the conflict.The bloody war, which flared up in the late 1980s due to Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor, left displaced thousands of Azerbaijani civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions adjoining it, as well as the regions bordering with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.Azerbaijanis who were displaced from their homes as a result of the brutal war were forced to live in refugee camps, tents and wagons in very difficult conditions. They are temporarily settled in more than 1,600 settlements across 62 cities and regions of Azerbaijan.As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day. Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Nov. 21 http://www.today.az/news/business/137610.html Business Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:49:00 +0400 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Nov. 21, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsNov. 20, 2014Nov. 21, 20141 US dollar1 USD0.78440.78441 euro1 EUR0.98430.98471 Australian dollar1 AUD0.6740.67781 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09210.0921100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00720.00721 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.3050.30491 UAE dirham1 AED0.21360.21361 South African Rand1 ZAR0.07080.0717100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.07030.07041 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03560.03561 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.13050.13081 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12810.12811 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13220.13231 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.44310.43931 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01260.01271 British pound sterling1 GBP1.22951.2314100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00640.0064100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10610.10611 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.81920.8191 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.20430.20451 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.69150.69391 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.69692.69581 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.01360.01361 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.2850.2852100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.23310.23371 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.05760.05751 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.0520.05191 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.11560.116100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03270.03271 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23320.23381 Russian ruble1 RUR0.01670.0171 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.60140.60381 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20910.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.15091.15061 Turkish lira1 TRY0.35080.35331 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02540.02541 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15110.15111 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.05160.0516100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.66210.66591 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.61490.6187Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU938.1424933.436Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG12.57312.768Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT945.9864944.4176Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD611.832603.988 /Trend/ Azerbaijan sees rising housing stock http://www.today.az/news/business/137609.html Business Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:31:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Gulgiz DadashovaThe housing stock of Azerbaijan with population of over 9 million people has increased by 30 percent over the past two decades.The country’s housing stock currently hits 166.4 million square meters and the figure per capita is more than 18 square meters. More than 90 percent of this figure falls to the share of the private housing.The Economy and Industry Ministry, which deals with the issues of the housing stock, notes that the adoption of the new Housing Code in 2009 played a big role in unfolding major construction and repair work in the country. "The new code allowed to standardize the regulatory framework and ensure the regulation of public utilities, as well as to manage the housing stock," Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Sevinc Hasanova said.Experts assure that this tendency need to be continued as the housing stock per capita is still law in the country. In developed countries, about 35-40 square meters falls per capita when the figure is 18 in Azerbaijan.“Given the fact that about third of households in Azerbaijan is in need of better housing conditions, the housing must also be increased by one-third, or 30 million sq,” said Vugar Bayramov, Chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development.Bayramov said about 14,000-15,000 apartments are put in use yearly in the country. “According to our estimates, if the construction of apartments continues with this pace, 60 years will be required to satisfy the total demand. This calculation is based on the fact that about a third of households in Azerbaijan needs in apartments,” he said.The expert added that given the current average prices, namely $ 500 per square meter, then about $15 billion is required to improve the living conditions of all citizens in Azerbaijan.He also noted that the Housing Code of Azerbaijan provides for the construction of social housing.” But, unfortunately, no significant changes recorded in this sphere yet,” Bayramov said.The expert believes the housing problem in Azerbaijan can be resolved through the creation of social housing. "This means the transfer of housing for young families on more favorable terms. For example, according to our calculations, a house can be passed to young family for 70 manats per month and this house will go into the disposal of the family after 20 years."Bayramov noted that allocation of 400 million manats from the state budget will be enough for the construction of social housing in the initial stage. "This is enough to move the process forward. Moreover, given the possibility of Azerbaijan’s state budget this will not be a serious burden. In this regard, the process can be started already in 2015," Bayramov said.MortgageThe Azerbaijani government seeks to adopt new strategy for the development of mortgage lending.Recently, President of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Elman Rustamov said the new mortgage strategy was presented to the government and it stipulates a number of novelties.“The document also covers a number of problematic issues that are being discussed by the government. These problems are mainly related to the choice of strategy,” he said noting that it is difficult to name the exact date for adoption of the document.Meanwhile, the draft law on Azerbaijan’s state budget 2015 submitted to the Parliament provides for 25 percent increase of the state support for mortgage lending in the country. According to the draft law, in 2015 the state budget can allocate 50 million manats for mortgage support. Several MPs proposed to increase the support up to 100 million manats.Taking into account the social mortgage funding envisaged for 2015, a total amount of funds accumulated in the mortgage fund will reach 266 million manats. In 2014 the Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund (AMF) received 40 million manats from the budget.Along with budgetary financing, the mortgage fund places bonds. The funds from their sale are directed to the issuance of loans as part of conventional mortgage.Around 15,425 mortgage loans totaling 613.89 million manats have been issued through the AMF as of October 1.The maximum amount of a conventional mortgage through the AMF is 50,000 manats at a rate of 8 percent and a maturity of 25 years. The amount of a social mortgage is 50,000 manats at an annual rate of 4 percent and the term of 30 years. The initial payment under the social mortgage is 15 percent, while for a conventional loans - 20 percent.Expert Samir Aliyev said about 2,500 people get a mortgage loan though the state line yearly. "But our calculations and observations show that new demand forms for annual mortgage formed in the volume of 30,000-40,000. The demand forms due to young families, some of whom do not have his apartment. At least half of these young families need apartment. On this background, 2,500 is a small number,” he said.The expert considers it necessary to increase the amount of the mortgage. “The funds directed for mortgage can be brought 10% of GDP, which will be about 5-6 billion manats. The state has this capability. This can be done by increasing the allocation of funds from the state budget. In any case, these funds will return back to the budget of the mortgage fund and then again directed to mortgage financing.”New institutionAlso the government earlier announced about plans to establish Housing and Savings Bank which will be a completely new institution.CBA Director General Rashad Orujov then said the creation of the bank included in the CBA strategy for the development of mortgage loans is presented to the government for consideration."Creation of housing savings bank after the German model is one of the important areas of the strategy. The process of creating the bank may begin only after the adoption of the strategy. Therefore, to speak about any term or other details is early yet," Orujov said.The creation of such bank and promotion of low-cost housing will be implemented in an integrated way, according to the general director."Therefore, this document is called a strategy of mortgage loaning. Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund is not the only solution of the housing finance problem. It is necessary to develop a complex approach and use the experience of other countries," Orujov said.The essence of housing savings bank is that the citizens will be able to receive mortgage loans, putting money in the bank. However, the volume of loan will significantly exceed the amount of the deposit. There are various options in the world and the share of savings for getting a mortgage loan can make up both 50 percent and 30 percent. Japanese pianist performs in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137608.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:30:00 +0400 Famous Japanese musician, permanent representative of “Steinway” Company Chisato Kusunoki gave a concert at the presentation of well-known composer, People's Artist of the USSR, Professor Murad Kajlayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic named after Muslim Magomayev in Baku.Opening the ceremony, well-known composer Murad Kajlayev said he was glad and happy of being in native Baku AzerTag state news agency reported.He said that the city was rapidly changing and getting more beautiful. He also noted that, the young, talented pianist Chisato Kusunoki is really a phenomenon musician.The concert featured works of Lodewijk van Beethoven, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, Gara Garayev, Murad Kajlayev and Farhad Badalbayli./Trend/ World marks No Smoking Day http://www.today.az/news/society/137606.html Society Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:38:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliFirstly established by the American Cancer Society in 1977, International No Smoking Day on November 20 has turned into a yearly event over the past years.The Day is aimed to help reduce the prevalence of tobacco dependence, involve in the fight against smoking and inform the public about the harmful effects of tobacco on health.Specialists assure us that the growing price of tobacco products has turned into an effective measure against smoking in the world.During a recent conference held by the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control, the participants almost unanimously voted to increase the share of excise duty on the cost of a pack of cigarettes to 70 percent (excluding VAT). Azerbaijan may also join this campaign in the future.Anti-smoking advocates and health experts hailed the recent government proposals that aim to decrease the number of smokers in Azerbaijan.Musa Guliyev, member of the Parliamentary Committee, has offered to fine people who smoke at home near children and in the doorways of houses.He underlined the necessity of adopting a law restricting smoking in public places along with the law "On tobacco and tobacco products" which was adopted in Azerbaijan in 2001. Azerbaijan prohibits the sale of cigarettes to minors, according to the law.Most of the smoking population in Azerbaijan are men. About 50 percent of men in the country smoke daily, 40 percent of them smoke at least one or two packs of 20 cigarettes per day. About 2-10 percent of women in Azerbaijan are also addicted to smoking.The WHO statistics say that 90 percent of lung cancer, 75 percent of chronic bronchitis and 25 percent of coronary heart disease recorded in the world are caused by smoking. Baku to host Days of Turkish Culture http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/137605.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:41:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan will host Days of Turkish Culture from November 23 to 27.The opening ceremony of the event will take place in the Heydar Aliyev Center.On this occasion, several events including theatrical performances, concerts, folk music, Turkish movies’ screening and photo exhibitions, are expected to be held in various cultural institutions of Azerbaijan.As part of the program, a delegation of artists headed by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Omer Celik will arrive in Baku.The visitors will be able to visit exhibition titled “Colors from Turkey” and many others which will be held in Museum Center on November 24-27.On November 25, a program called “Competition between Troubadours” will be held in the State Music Theatre. The next two days, the State Academic Drama Theatre will host the “Where” and “A Story for Curious” to be performed by Ankara State Theatre.Relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have a long history. Besides the fact that the two sides have close relations in the field of politics, economics and energy, they also share a common culture.Azerbaijan–Turkey relations have always been strong with the two often being described as "one nation with two states."Common roots, language, religion, culture, customs and traditions are among the factors strengthening these connections. In the most difficult periods of their history, these two countries have always supported each other. BP makes public Q3 results http://www.today.az/news/business/137607.html Business Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:43:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaBritish BP made the results of the third quarter of 2014 public on November 20.BP operates a number of major oil and gas projects on behalf of its co-ventures in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.The company reported the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea produced 179 million barrels (24.2 million tons) of oil.Daily average production in the ACG fields was 655,700 barrels per day (bpd), BP said.At the end of the third quarter, a total of 77 oil wells were produced, while 36 wells were used for injection in the ACG field.In the reported period, the project's operational and capital expenditures reached $720 million and $1.741 biillion respectively.For the full year, it is planned to spend approximately $1.052 billion in operating expenditure and $2.068 billion in capital expenditure.The report also said BP delivered around 7.3 million cubic meters of ACG associated gas per day to SOCAR in the third quarter of 2014.ACG also delivered 10 oil producer wells and 3 water injection wells.The giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea produced 7.25 billion standard cubic meters of gas and 1.72 million tons (13.8 million barrels) of condensate in the third quarter of 2014.Daily production at the field amounted to about 26.6 million cubic meters of gas and 50,450 bpd of condensate.“Since the start of Shah Deniz production in late 2006 until the end of the third quarter of 2014, 55.2 bcm (about 1,950 billion standard cubic feet) of Shah Deniz gas, and about 113.3 million barrels (14.2 million tonnes) of Shah Deniz condensate has been produced,” BP said.The volume of operating expenditures and capital in the reported period was around $371 million and $2.797 billion respectively. For the full year, it is planned to spend around $435 million in operating expenditure and $3,885 million in capital expenditure.The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) exported 199 million barrels (26.4 million tons) of crude oil in the reported period.BTC spent $152.4 million in operating expenditure and $84.3 million in capital expenditure. For the full year, BTC operating expenditure is expected to be approximately $230 million and capital expenditure about $119 million.BTC’s throughput capacity is currently 1.2 million b/d.The BTC pipeline currently carries mainly ACG oil and Shah Deniz condensate from Azerbaijan. In addition, crude oil from Turkmenistan continues to be transported via BTC.The daily average throughput of the South Caucasus Pipeline's (SCP) was 17.412 million cubic meters of gas, equivalent to 106,017 barrels of oil, in the third quarter of 2014.SCP spent $36.5 million in operating expenditure and $599 million in capital expenditure. For the full year, operating expenditure is expected to be $47.2 million.As a result of the ramp-up in the SCP expansion work, capital expenditure will increase to $1.244 billion. Azerbaijan to launch new gas processing, petrochemical plants in 2020 http://www.today.az/news/business/137604.html Business Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:30:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Gulgiz DadashovaAzerbaijan will commission two new gas processing and petrochemical plants, being built under the new Oil and Gas Processing and Petrochemical Complex (OGPC), in early and late 2020, respectively.OGPC Organization and Control Department Director Orkhan Jafarov made the remark at the 2nd Azerbaijan and Caspian Sea Oil and Gas Week 2014 kicked off in Baku on November 20.He said raw material for a gas processing plant will be provided from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli, Umid and also other fields developed by Azerbaijan’s state energy company independently.Jafarov went on to say that goods that will be produced at the new petrochemical plant will be used to meet the needs of the country, as well as for export.The OGPU project envisions construction of a petrochemical enterprise with a capacity of 1.7 million tons of finished products, an oil refinery with a capacity of 10 million tons per year as well as a gas processing plant with a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year.The cost of the project, determined based on a feasibility study, amounts to $17.1 billion, including accrued interest on loans received during the construction work.The plant is expected to produce around 3 million tons of petrol and nearly 3.6 million tons of diesel fuel per year at the OGPU. The products will meet the Euro-5 standard. In addition, it is planned to produce A-1 jet engine fuel (about 1.7 million tons) which complies with the advanced Western standards, and other oil products. Moreover, in order to create an additional value, it is envisaged to produce nearly 1.7 million tons of export-oriented petrochemical products.Meanwhile, around 85-90 percent of the total volume of polyethylene (about 880,000 tons per year), polypropylene (around 780,000 tons per year) and butadiene (about 80,000 tons per year), which are expected to be produced in the petrochemical plant will be exported to the Turkish, as well as to European and Asian markets.Currently, oil products are produced at two Baku refineries with a total capacity of 20 million tons of oil a year. Both refineries are part of SOCAR, which alone processes about 6 million tons of oil from onshore and offshore fields each year.Around 4.8 million tons of petroleum products were delivered to the Azerbaijani market in 2012, 8.8 percent more than in 2011. Azerbaijan, Spain to open direct air service http://www.today.az/news/politics/137603.html Politics Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:20:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliDirect air service between Azerbaijan and Spain is planned to open in 2015.Nazim Samadov, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism made the remark during the EIBTM international tourist exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.Samadov said currently, the negotiations on opening a direct air service between Madrid and Baku are at the final stage.The route is a big leap forward in facilitating the flow of tourists and boosting business between the two countries.He admitted that the main obstacle towards attracting more Spanish visitors is the fact that Azerbaijan is unknown in Spain and emphasized the need to increase Baku's commercial activities in this sphere. Saving majestic Karabakh horses http://www.today.az/news/society/137602.html Society Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:45:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan's majestic horses have been a source of pride and dignity for Azerbaijanis over the centuries.An old saying that "A brave man is known by his horse" well describes the sense of pride and love of the Azerbaijani people for their horses.The country has long had favorable geographical and climatic conditions for animal breeding and equestrian development. The first presence of horses in this region dates back to 5,000 B.C.E. Later historical findings belong to the epoch of the ancient Azerbaijan states, such as Mannea, Media and Atropatene.Azerbaijani epic literature represents a number of legendary horses, such as Girat of national hero Koroghlu or Bozat of another hero, Gachag Nabi, which throughout history came to the rescue of their masters, keeping them away from danger.Karabakh horses are the largest and purebred herds living in the dense forests of Sheki region. They are considered one of rare species in the world and the oldest one in Asia and the Caucasus.President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to support growing of Karabakh breed, allocating two million manats ($2.6 million) from the Reserve Fund of the President.This breed is distinguished from others for its tranquility and friendliness. Such horses are also known for their exceptional speed.Unfortunately, the number of Karabakh horses began to decline in the backdrop of the civil and ethnic wars in the Caucasus and Karabakh region. At the beginning of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, horses constantly moved from one place to another, and it was one of the reasons for the dramatic population declines of these amazing creatures.In 2007, the Agriculture Ministry developed a program for the conservation and growing of the breed for the next 15 years.The Karabakh horse takes a pride place in various international competitions and contests, winning various prizes and medals.Karabakh breed horses were presented at the celebration of the anniversary of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reign in 2012. Before, the English queen received a golden horse of Karabakh as a gift in 1956.The Karabakh horses are valued for their resistance in mountainous terrain, mild temper and dense chestnut color.In Azerbaijan, horses are an essential part of the country's culture, such as the national sports game Chovgan, the original form of the polo game that dates back thousands of years, and is still played in Azerbaijan. This ancient game has been included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 8th Session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Baku on December 2-7. SOFAZ profits from ACG, Shah Deniz fields made public http://www.today.az/news/business/137601.html Business Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:13:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has earned $108.51 billion from 2001 to November 1, 2014 by implementing the project of developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea."The fund gained $13.478 billion from January to October 1, 2014 within the framework of ACG project," SOFAZ told Trend Agency on November 18.The ACG block of fields has been active since 1997. Its production first started at the Chirag part of the block. It was followed successfully by Azeri Project; Central Azeri in February 2005, West Azeri in December 2005, and East Azeri in October 2006.The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.SOFAZ also said it gained $2.047 billion of profit from 2007 to November 1, 2014 by implementing the development project of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.SOFAZ earned some $450 million as part of the Shah Deniz project from January 1, 2014 to November 1, 2014.The revenues from this project have increased by 28.2 percent compared to the beginning of 2014.The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its gas reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with an asset worth $271 million.The main aims of the fund include, accumulation of revenues, investment of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations, and maintaining the current social and economic standards in the country.The asset of SOFAZ increased by 4.86 percent as of July 1, 2014 compared to early 2014 reaching to over $37.622 billion.Since the first quarter of 2012, the fund started purchasing gold, and the amount of the purchased gold has reached to 30 tons 175 kg (970,146 ounces) as of April 1.By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has earned $108.51 billion from 2001 to November 1, 2014 by implementing the project of developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea."The fund gained $13.478 billion from January to October 1, 2014 within the framework of ACG project," SOFAZ told Trend Agency on November 18.The ACG block of fields has been active since 1997. Its production first started at the Chirag part of the block. It was followed successfully by Azeri Project; Central Azeri in February 2005, West Azeri in December 2005, and East Azeri in October 2006.The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.SOFAZ also said it gained $2.047 billion of profit from 2007 to November 1, 2014 by implementing the development project of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.SOFAZ earned some $450 million as part of the Shah Deniz project from January 1, 2014 to November 1, 2014.The revenues from this project have increased by 28.2 percent compared to the beginning of 2014.The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its gas reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with an asset worth $271 million.The main aims of the fund include, accumulation of revenues, investment of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations, and maintaining the current social and economic standards in the country.The asset of SOFAZ increased by 4.86 percent as of July 1, 2014 compared to early 2014 reaching to over $37.622 billion.Since the first quarter of 2012, the fund started purchasing gold, and the amount of the purchased gold has reached to 30 tons 175 kg (970,146 ounces) as of April 1. Baku 2015 unveils commemorative stamps http://www.today.az/news/sports/137600.html Sports Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:47:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games unveiled the first edition of six commemorative postage stamps to mark next summer’s inaugural event on November 20.The colourful stamps are unique artistic illustrations featuring six of the Baku 2015 venues, including the new National Stadium that will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as Athletics.Other venues featured as follows: The Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Crystal Hall, Heydar Aliyev Arena, Baku Aquatics Center and the National Gymnastics Arena.Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Communication and High Technologies Iltimas Mammadov said: “These beautiful stamps showcase just some parts of the world-class venues that will host elite sport in Baku next summer.“They will become popular all over Azerbaijan as memories of the spectacular summer of sport that will unite Europe in a celebration,” he added.Each stamp has the value of 60 qepik, and there will be a second edition next year featuring illustrations of all 20 sports that will take place at Baku 2015. A third commemorative book featuring all 26 stamps together will also be released at a future date.Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sport and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015 Azad Rahimov said: “The stamps are a large part of collectable items that will be issued to mark the inaugural European Games.”“I am sure that in years to come they will be remembered not only for their striking images of our spectacular venues but will also come to symbolise the entire country’s support for Baku 2015,” he stressed.Baku will host the first European Games next summer from 12 – 28 June, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history. Azerbaijan to upgrade achievements in democracy, civil society http://www.today.az/news/politics/137599.html Politics Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:09:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaBaku has hosted an international conference titled “NGO cooperation, achievements and prospects.”The conference was held by Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the president of Azerbaijan on November 19.Deputy Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Head of Foreign Relations Department Novruz Mammadov and other high-ranking officials attended the event, AzerTag news agency reported.NGO Council Chairperson Azay Guliyev, addressing the event, said the aim of the event was evaluating cooperation between Azerbaijan and the NGOs in international arena, as well exchanging views about peace and regional security, intercultural dialogue, future cooperation opportunities among the civil institutions and protecting the human rights and freedoms.Guliyev further said Azerbaijan is determined to upgrade its achievements in the fields of democracy and civil society.He noted that the council attaches great importance to international cooperation.Novruz Mammadov, for his part, highlighted the increasing role of NGOs in development of the civil society across the world. He said several NGOs could influence the ongoing processes.Mammadov also spoke of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which erupted back in 1988 over Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan.He said holding the military training of Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan`s occupied lands was another provocation against the country, expressing regret that the Western media didn’t cover the issue properly enough.“Still double standards are seen against Azerbaijanis whose rights are violated as the result of the conflict,” he said.Mammadov called representatives of NGOs to demonstrate their position in this regard.Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Bahar Muradova spoke of the justice principles in the world. She said Azerbaijan protected international law, justice ideas and peaceful cooperation among the countries during UN Security Council`s membership.Muradova provided an insight into the cooperation between Azerbaijani Parliament and the Council of State Support to NGOs and stressed the role of this cooperation in regulating the relations between the civilians and parliament.