Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az Blast in Turkey’s most popular tourist city World news Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:33:00 +0400 By  TrendAn explosion occurred in the Antalya province in southern Turkey, the Turkish Sabah newspaper reported on October 25.The report says that the blast occurred in a car park near the building of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Rescue teams and ambulances have been sent to the scene.As a result of the explosion, there are injured people, the number of which has not been revealed yet, according to the DHA agency. Meanwhile, four cars burnt down.Terrorist may stand behind the explosion, said Antalya’s Mayor Menderes Turel. Uruguay's ex-president Batlle dies at 88 World news Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:11:00 +0400 By  TrendJorge Batlle, a veteran politician who was the fourth member of his Catalan immigrant family to be president of Uruguay, died on Monday, a day before his 89th birthday, Reuters reported.Battle died at Sanatorio Americano clinic in Montevideo following an operation to treat a blood clot following a fall earlier this month, the clinic said.A centrist leader of the right-wing Colorado Party, he sought closer ties and free trade pacts with the United States during his 2000-2005 presidency that was also marked by one of the South American country's worst-ever financial crises.In 2002, Uruguay broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba after Cuban leader Fidel Castro called Batlle a "lackey" of the United States for backing U.S. criticism of rights abuses under his communist government.Batlle caused a diplomatic incident with neighboring Argentina in 2002 when he said in an interview that its government was very corrupt and Argentines were "a bunch of thieves." He was forced to fly to Buenos Aires a few days later to apologize.He also created controversy by saying he favored legalizing cocaine to end the power of drug cartels. "If that little powder was worth only 10 cents, there would be no organizations dedicated to raising a billion dollars to finance armies in Colombia," he said in 2002.The name of the Batlle political dynasty abounds in the South American country - on streets signs and squares and in its history books. Previous presidents in the family were Lorenzo Batlle (1868-1872), Jose Batlle (1903-1907 and 1911-1915) and Luis Batlle (1947-1951), Jorge Batlle's father.A fiery orator with flowing gray hair and a slightly disheveled, bohemian appearance, the tall and slim Batlle won the presidency on his fourth attempt.He was a free-marketeer in economic policy and cultivated a friendship with former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. In 2002 Batlle secured an emergency $1.5 billion loan from the United States under George W. Bush to help resolve a banking crisis.A former lawyer and respected radio journalist, he was imprisoned for several months after a military coup in 1973 and banned from political activity in 1976. He was elected to the Senate in 1984 general elections for a government to replace the military dictatorship which stood down in March 1985. Armenian armed units violated ceasefire with Azerbaijan 18 times throughout the day Politics Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:53:00 +0400 By  Azertac The Armenian armed units shattered ceasefire with Azerbaijan a total of 18 times throughout the day, Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry reported.The Armenian armed forces, stationed in Armenia`s Voskevan and Barekamavan villages in Noyemberyan region subjected to fire the positions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces located in Gushchu Ayrim and Gaymagli villages in Gazakh region.The ceasefire was also violated in Chilaburt village in Tartar region, Shikhlar village in Aghdam region, Horadiz and Ashaghi Seyidahmadli villages in Fuzuli region, as well as nameless hills in Goranboy and Jabrayil regions. 4 PKK terrorists killed in Turkey World news Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:46:00 +0400 By  TrendFour PKK terrorists were killed Sunday in an air operation in Turkey's southeastern province of Bitlis, Anadolu reported.According to the Bitlis governorship, the four PKK terrorists were detected by a drone near a village.The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year.Since then, PKK terrorist attacks martyred more than 700 security personnel and also claimed the lives of many civilians, including women and children, while nearly 8,000 PKK terrorists were killed in army operations. Iran encourages OPEC’s oil freeze plan World news Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:25:00 +0400 By  TrendIran is ready to help the oil freeze plan, drawn up by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a senior Iranian oil official has said.Amir Hossein Zamaninia, an Iranian deputy oil minister, said Iran is ready to encourage OPEC members to join the plan aimed at stabilizing oil market, IRNA news agency reported.The fair price that would bring stability to oil market is between $55 and $60 per barrel, he said.Zamaninia further forecasted that the oil price in international market will reach somewhere between $55 and $60 by 2021.Over the past month, OPEC members agreed to cut down the organization’s output to 32.5-33 million barrels per day.The OPEC members are expected to discuss the plan during a meeting in November. Azerbaijani, Croatian presidents attend business forum in Baku Business Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:03:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Azerbaijan-Croatia business forum has been held in Baku on October 25.Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attended the forum.The two presidents delivered speeches during the forum. Miss Top Model Azerbaijan kicks off Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0400 By  TrendBy Laman IsmayilovaMiss Top Model Azerbaijan, the first-ever national beauty contest, has started in Baku, Trend Life reported.The fashion show brings together the most beautiful and brightest top models of Azerbaijan.The beauty pageant is open both for beginner models and professionals, who have already conquered the catwalks of the world's most famous fashion houses.The qualifying rounds will be held from November 2016 to March 2017."We believe that the project will become one of the most important social events in Baku. The event will be attended not only by the beauties of our country, but also many celebrities", said the organizers of the event.During the preparations for the contest, models will work with professional choreographers, directors, designers, photographers, and designers.Models will be awarded valuable gifts.The winner will represent the country at Miss Top Model of the World. It's the best opportunity to enter the world fashion industry.To participate in the contest, fill in the questionnaire in the link bellow: partners of the event are,, and Jazz: Music for the soul Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:44:00 +0400 By  TrendBy Laman IsmayilovaAll good music, regardless of genre, style, and voice type conquers our hearts. Music can heal, put you in a better mood, and make you feel less alone or take us to melancholy.If your heart beats so fast, when you hear the piano accompanied by the inflammatory rhythms of saxophone, then the jazz is all that you need.Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Palace hosted a concert of local jazz performers on October 22, Trend Life reported,The event entitled "jAzzeri Bands" brought together Mikail Rafiyev and Excellent Music Band, Diana Gadzhieva, Jamila Hashimova and Jazzers Band, Freedom Band.The long-awaited concert featured Azerbaijani and foreign jazz compositions.Young jazz musicians gave the audience an unforgettable evening. Each performance was accompanied by a warm applause.Azerbaijani jazz is a unique music, combining classical and Azerbaijani folklore genre. The foundation of Azerbaijani jazz was laid by the State Pop Orchestra known as "State jazz" at the end of the 30-es by Niyazi and T. Guliyev.National  jazz is very rich with such prominent and talented musicians as Rain Sultanov, Jamil Amirov, Salman Gambarov, as well as young genius conquering worldwide fame Isfar Sarabski, Nurlan Novrasli, Emil Afrasiab, Elchin Shirinov and more.Media partners of the event, and Croatia supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity Politics Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:36:00 +0400 By  TrendCroatia supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and considers that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved peacefully, said Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic making joint statements for media with her Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku on October 24.Common interests of Azerbaijan and Croatia cover a lot of issues, including regional and global security issues, said Grabar-Kitarovic.Of course, there are such issues, which touch upon joint cooperation in the context of the European Union, NATO, the UN and other organizations, she noted adding that Croatia’s position in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is quite clear.She said also that Croatia supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and considers that the conflict should be resolved by peaceful and political ways.Croatia also fully supports the Minsk Group process, noted the Croatian president.With regard to Azerbaijan’s relations with the European Union, the signing and implementation of the EU-Azerbaijan strategic partnership agreement, Grabar-Kitarovic said that Azerbaijan has a friend like Croatia, which will always support it.The Croatian president believes that in a period of increasing new challenges in connection with security and simultaneously, the emergence of new opportunities for cooperation in the economic, energy and other fields, as well as in the fields of culture, cultural heritage, mutual understanding between nations and religions, the importance of this agreement will even more increase in order to maintain global security prospects at an acceptable level. Bank deposits in Turkmenistan now safe, gov't says World news Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:21:00 +0400 By  TrendThe law “On compulsory guarantee of deposits of individuals” has entered force in Turkmenistan.This law defines the legal, economic and organizational bases of guaranteeing deposits of the individuals in banks of Turkmenistan, participation of banks in the system of compulsory guarantee of deposits.The aim of the compulsory deposit guarantee system is to promote the attraction of savings of the population, protect the interests of depositors, strengthen confidence in the banking system of Turkmenistan by paying guarantee compensation in case if a member bank is compulsory liquidated.The main principles of the system of compulsory guarantee of deposits are mandatory participation of banks, which accept deposits of individuals, transparency of the compulsory deposit guarantee system, the cumulative nature of the formation of the fund for compulsory deposit guarantee.The subjects of the mandatory deposit guarantee system are investors, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan and the participating banks. Official reception hosted in Baku in honor of Croatian president Politics Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:14:00 +0400 By  TrendAn official dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva in honor of President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and her husband Jakov Kitarovic.The heads of state made speeches at the reception. Currency rates for October 25 Business Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for October 25 was set at 1.6211 manats and 1.7638 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of manat against those currencies, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.CurrenciesOct. 25, 20161 US dollar1 USD1.62111 euro1 EUR1.7638 Ilham Aliyev: Karabakh conflict remains, because Armenia wants no peace Politics Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:52:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan and Croatia are strategic partners and friends, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev making joint statements for media with his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Baku on October 24.“Madam President, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen. Once again, Madam President, I would like to welcome you to our country. We are very glad that you accepted my invitation and you are visiting Azerbaijan on an official visit,” said Ilham Aliyev.“We had an opportunity to discuss our bilateral issues during our meeting at the conference in London in the beginning of this year. Today we had very broad discussions on the important issues of mutual interest, bilateral, regional ones, issues related to security, cooperation, trade,” he noted.“I think we have a very high level of mutual understanding on how to develop our cooperation. We have a very solid legal base for our cooperation. Three years ago during my official visit to Croatia we signed a declaration on strategic partnership and friendship, which is the fundamental document,” added President Aliyev. “Actually the name of this document shows how important it is. So, we are strategic partners and friends.”“For us Croatia is one of the friendly countries which we cooperate with for many years. Strategic partnership and friendship declaration covers all the areas of our cooperation,” said the president. “We have very good political contacts, and today’s visit of Madam President shows that we actively communicate in the framework of international organizations, United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe.”“Today we broadly discussed EU-Azerbaijan partnership with Madam President, and I express gratitude to Croatia for supporting the rapprochement between EU and Azerbaijan,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “We are now working on the future format of EU-Azerbaijan cooperation. We already have strategic partnership declarations with nine member countries of EU. And I think it is a good basis for a potential EU-Azerbaijan agreement.”Ilham Aliyev said he and the Croatian president broadly discussed the issues related to economic cooperation.“Of course, it will be more broadly discussed at the business forum tomorrow. But we identified the main areas of priorities, which are trade and transportation,” noted President Aliyev. “We need to increase the level of mutual trade. There are good opportunities for transportation. It is not only our purchasing ships from Croatia – though we are very satisfied with it, these are excellent ships and help us to increase cargo transportation here on the Caspian – but also the corridor between East and West, which goes through Azerbaijan and which is a new road, New Silk Road, which will save a lot of time for companies and countries. And cooperation in the area of transportation will create new opportunities also for business groups.”“We discussed also issues related to regional security. I informed Madam President of the current status of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said Ilham Aliyev. “Unfortunately, for many years our lands are under occupation. Twenty percent of the territory of Azerbaijan is occupied – not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but seven districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous district.”“We have more than one million refugees as a result of this occupation,” noted the president. “So our people were subject of ethnic cleansing policy by Armenia. International organizations adopted important decisions and resolutions, particularly Security Council of United Nations adopted four resolutions demanding immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territories of Azerbaijan.”These resolutions remain on paper for more than 20 years, said the Azerbaijani president, adding that other organizations like the European Parliament, Council of Europe, Islamic Cooperation Organization, and Non-Alignment Movement adopted similar documents.“But unfortunately the conflict is not resolved because Armenia doesn’t want peace. They want to keep status-quo unchanged. They don’t want to listen to the statements of the presidents of the Minsk Group co-chair countries – the United States, Russia and France – which on several occasions publicly said that status-quo is not acceptable,” added Ilham Aliyev. “So this is a direct message to Armenian leadership, which wants to keep the status-quo unchanged and ignores not only resolutions of Security Council of United Nations, norms of international behavior, but also ignores the statements of the leaders of the three leading countries of the world.”This is not acceptable, said the president, adding there should be serious measures taken by international community to force Armenia to comply with international law and to withdraw, without any precondition, from the territories which do not belong to Armenia, but belong to Azerbaijan.Resolution of the conflict must be based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which is recognized by the whole world, he noted.“No country in the world, including Armenia recognizes this marionette regime of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said President Aliyev, adding that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is of the same value as territorial integrity of any other country.Further in his speech President Aliyev said Azerbaijan and Croatia have a lot of plans for development of other sectors of economy, agriculture, tourism, and people-to-people contacts.He said the excellent performance of head coach of Azerbaijan’s national soccer team, Robert Prosinecki, who does a great job, seems to be a good example of people-to-people contacts and the good promotion of Croatia in Azerbaijan.“We are proud of our team, as now after so many years of expectations our team, under his leadership, is now number two in the group. And after three games they have got seven points – two victories and one draw, which is an important achievement.”“Of course, what he does here is highly appreciated by our people, not only fans, football fans, but people. And of course everybody knows that he is from Croatia,” said Ilham Aliyev. “So he is a good ambassador of your country, and I would like to use this opportunity to express gratitude to him for what he does. So this is also an important sign of our cooperation and the visit of Madam President, of course, opens new opportunities for that. So once again, Madam President, welcome to Azerbaijan.” Ilham Aliyev expresses hope for Balkans joining SGC project Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:16:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan hopes that at the latest stage Croatia and other countries of the Balkans will join the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev making statements for media with his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Baku Oct. 24.“Today we also discussed cooperation in the energy area, which is very promising. And we are already partners,” said Ilham Aliyev.Croatia participated in the second Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor, which took place this February in Baku, he reminded.“We have a memorandum of understanding between our countries on the project related to the gas delivery to Europe,” added President Aliyev. “The Southern Gas Corridor project is a global project of energy security, and Azerbaijan as a leading country is playing a very important role. This role, by the way, is appreciated and referred to in the memorandum between EU and Azerbaijan on strategic partnership in energy area.”The president said the Southern Gas Corridor project is already a reality.“Implementation of the project is on time, and I hope that at the latest stage Croatia and other countries of the Balkans will join this important project of energy security and diversification, the project of cooperation,” he noted. “Today seven countries are already members of the team, if I may say so. I think that several countries including Croatia will soon join it.” Croatian president meets Azerbaijani parliament speaker Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:45:00 +0400 By  TrendSpeaker of Azerbaijan’s Parliament Ogtay Asadov has met President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who is on an official visit in Azerbaijan.Asadov spoke about the Azerbaijani-Croatian relations.He noted that Croatia was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence.“We celebrate 20th anniversary of establishment of relations. Our relations are on a level of strategic partnership,” he said.Asadov stressed the role of reciprocal visits of the heads of states in developing these ties.He said this visit of the Croatian president would give a push to developing bonds.Speaking on importance of comprehensive development of relations, Asadov also stressed the significance of boosting economic cooperation.He underlined the activity of the friendship group operating in the parliaments.President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic highlighted the similarities between the two countries.She stressed the necessity of boosting economic cooperation.The Croatian president also said there are good opportunities for development of cooperation in the fields of culture, education, and science.Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Croatia supports the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Croatian president gives lecture at ADA University Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:25:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who is on an official visit in Azerbaijan, has delivered a lecture on Azerbaijan-Croatia relations at ADA University.She hailed bilateral ties between the two countries.The Croatian president said Azerbaijan plays the role of a bridge between Europe and Asia, and highlighted Azerbaijan-initiated energy projects of global importance.The president also responded to students’ questions. Grabar-Kitarovic talks Baku-Zagreb co-op in economy, trade Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:00:00 +0400 By  TrendThere is much room for improvement of Azerbaijani-Croatian cooperation, said Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic during an expanded meeting with her Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku Oct. 24.“Thank you very much, Mr. President. It is a pleasure to be here this morning. Thank you for the very warm welcome,” said Grabar-Kitarovic.“We already had a chance to meet the Croatian community who live here in Baku and in other parts of Azerbaijan last night. And I am happy to see that apart from the coach of the national team Robert Prosine?ki, there is also a number of others who work, especially in the economic sector, in pharmaceuticals, in transportation, engineering, etc,” she added.The Croatian president said that after President Aliyev’s visit to Zagreb back in 2013 and the meeting on the sidelines of the London conference on Syria in 2016, there is an excellent opportunity today to discuss how to further improve Azerbaijan-Croatia relations.“As you said Mr. President we have no open issues,” she said. “Our political relations are very good, but there is much room for improvement, and there is much room to deepen and widen our cooperation, especially in economy, investment, trade, and also in people-to-people contacts, culture, education, defense and security, and overall cooperation, coordination and consultations on regional and global security issues that affect all of us.”“After the signing of the Zagreb Declaration on the relations of strategic partnership and friendship between our two countries, I think that there are still some concrete steps that we need to take in terms of the commissions, meeting and discussing overall cooperation and details of how to proceed further,” added Grabar-Kitarovic. Maduro visits Baku seeking oil price stabilization Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:47:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliOil nicknamed as the “black gold” was the main reason of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s visit to Baku on October 22, as part of his tour to main oil producing countries to boost consensus in order to stabilize crude prices in the world market.The visit of Venezuelan president was of great interest, as for several reasons, the tour is essentially historical. This is the first official visit of Maduro to Baku and in addition, this is the first-ever visit of the president of the South American country to Azerbaijan.The head of Latin American countries, experiencing an acute crisis due to the fall in oil prices, was going to persuade Baku to join the initiative to freeze production of "black gold". Together with Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, Maduro visited oil-rich Azerbaijan for talks concerning “the regulation of oil prices amid the global economic crisis.”“The aim of the visit was to meet with the leadership of these [non-OPEC] countries in order to discuss regulation of oil prices amid the global economic crisis,” said Maduro.As the first country to visit, Maduro, chose Azerbaijan and, apparently, not without reasons -- oil-rich Azerbaijan enjoys a firm image of a reliable partner worldwide, especially in the oil sector.Immediately upon his arrival in the capital of Azerbaijan Maduro put forward a proposal to develop a new formula for the stabilization of oil prices for the next 10 years. Maduro’s proposal at first envisages stabilization of the oil market for the next six months and then the development of a new mechanism to determine oil prices and the formula of their stabilization for a decade.The non-OPEC counties must cooperate sincerely and openly, they should make joint correct decisions and it is necessary to develop a strong controlling mechanism in connection with execution of these decisions, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev made the statement as he received the Venezuelan president.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in Algiers on September 28 to reduce production to a range of 32.5 million to 33.0 million barrels per day, which would be its first output cut since 2008. Another meeting on November 30 is set to firm up details of the accord.The September agreement was reached against the backdrop of decline in oil prices. Global oil prices have dropped from some $110 a barrel to values below $50 since mid-2014, prompting the OPEC oil cartel to agree on a freeze on oil production.Last week in an interview with Sputnik news agency, President Aliyev made a statement as saying Azerbaijan would not increase oil production and exports even without waiting for the decisions of other OPEC member countries.“As I have recently officially announced, Azerbaijan unilaterally declares that it will not increase its oil output and export, so that the world oil market gets stabilized and the oil prices increase,” President Aliyev mentioned, expressing his hope that other oil countries will also support this approach, and they also, in turn, will take similar steps, as “only in this case we will be able to stabilize the oil market.”President Aliyev pointed out that oil-rich countries will also get a fair price for their natural resources. “Of course, all countries, especially, OPEC members and independent producers should pay great attention to the interstate coordination issues,” said the president.“Non-OPEC countries should have a very sincere and open cooperation here. There should be adopted right decisions jointly and a very strong control mechanism should work for fulfilling the decisions. I am confident that if so, the oil price will rise to the proper level which would be satisfactory for producing countries, oil companies, and at the same time for the consumer countries. That’s to say, there should be a balance.Currently, this balance has been disrupted and oil-rich countries are suffering greatly. This is injustice and this balance should be restored. I am confident that if so, everyone will be able to get benefit and a balance of interests can be ensured as well, because, it is nearly two years that the countries exporting oil to world markets have faced big losses,” said the president.President Aliyev added that the revenues of those countries, including Azerbaijan are decreasing and this is not fair.“The justice should be restored. In this regard, I would like to once again mention the special mission of President Maduro,” said Ilham Aliyev. “President Maduro makes great efforts to convince the OPEC and non-OPEC producers to restore this justice. I wish this mission success. Azerbaijan has already said its word. You can refer to us and say that Azerbaijan has already undertaken this obligation and waits for other countries to take similar steps.”The visit also remembered by signing of three documents, with the most significant one -- joint declaration, which according to lham Aliyev will define the main directions of future cooperation in many fields.“I would like to especially note the joint declaration’s paragraphs on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This declaration says that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders,” said President Aliyev and expressed gratitude to his Venezuelan counterpart for this fair position.The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been continuing for more than 20 years. Twenty percent of Azerbaijani territories, recognized by the international community, has been occupied by Armenians. More than a million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs on their native lands as a result of this occupation and policy of ethnic cleansing.President Aliyev pointed out that all the main international organizations unequivocally support Azerbaijan’s position, and especially mentioned the UN among them. “I would like to especially mention the resolution adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, because, we have recently become a member of this organization,” said President Aliyev.As part of the visit, Maduro met with Azerbaijan's Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, who discussed opportunities for making investments in various fields.He also visited the Azerbaijan’s Parliament and together with Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Parliament Ogtay Asadov, the sides exchanged views on prospects of cooperation in interparliamentary relations. Azerbaijani presidential aide meets Turkish FM Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:29:00 +0400 By  Trend Azerbaijani president’s aide for public and political affairs Ali Hasanov is on an official visit to Turkey in line with President Ilham Aliyev’s instruction, the Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC) reported on October 24.Hasanov met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during the visit.During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on a number of issues, including relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the socio-political sphere.Attention was paid to defining a new strategy for the organized joint activity of the Azerbaijani and Turkish diasporas.Moreover, the prospects of development of relations, the issue of raising the Azerbaijani-Turkish strategic alliance to a new level, as well as other issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Croatian President visits Alley of Martyrs in Baku Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:01:00 +0400 By  Azertac President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has today visited the Alley of Martyrs in Baku.A guard of honor was lined up for the Croatian President here.President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic paid tribute to Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country`s independence and territorial integrity.She laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.A military orchestra played the national anthems of Croatia and Azerbaijan. Kyrgyzstan’s real GDP growth to be almost 3% in 2017 World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:50:00 +0400 By  TrendThe forecasts say that the real GDP growth of Kyrgyzstan will be 2.9 percent in 2017, Kabar news agency quoted the country’s Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov as saying Oct.24.He made the remarks during the meeting of the parliamentary committee on budget and finance.The prime minister noted that the risks which can affect the GDP growth in 2017 are: instability of the global economy, dependence of the economy on world prices for gold and energy resources, risks for increase of inflation due to the growth of food prices and others.At the same time, Kyrgyz government will work on maintaining the macroeconomic stability and ensuring the sustainability of the economic growth, said the report.Kyrgyzstan’s budget revenues will be 126.8 billion soms, the expenditures will stand at 150.1 billion soms, while the deficit will be 23.3 billion soms, according to the country’s draft 2017 budget.“The funds envisaged in the Public Investment Program will be spent on implementation of concrete projects which will pave way for intensification of economic activity,” said Jeenbekov. “The draft budget fully envisages the source of financing the budget deficit and the budget is balanced.” Supply exceeds demand at Azerbaijani Central Bank’s auction Business Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:45:00 +0400 By  TrendDemand at the deposit auction, held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Oct. 24, was 24 million manats (1.6151 AZN/USD), said the CBA.The CBA was ready to receive 50 million manats from the banks through the auction.The weighted average interest rate in the deposit transactions concluded at the auction was 14.37 percent.The CBA raised 124 million manats from local banks in September through deposit auctions.The Central Bank began to hold deposit auctions in mid-June.The CBA has raised more than 700 million manats from local banks since the deposit auctions started.Thirty-two banks, including two state-owned ones, operate in Azerbaijan. Gasoline prices up in Uzbekistan World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:36:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company of Uzbekistan announced about the increase of the retail prices for gasoline starting from October 23.“The retail price for AI-80 car fuel has been set at 2,800 soums, the price for AI-91, AI-92, AI-93 car fuel has been set at 3,000 soums, and the price for AI-95 car fuel has been established at 3,300 soums (UZS) per liter since Oct. 23, 2016,” said the message posted on the official website of the Uzbekneftegaz company.The official exchange rate for October 24 is 3,065 UZS/$1.As a result, retail gasoline prices in Uzbekistan increased by more than 30 percent. The cost of one liter of AI-80 gasoline increased by 34.9 percent, to 2,800 soums from 2,075 soums, the price for AI-91, AI-92, AI-93 gasoline grew by 31.6 percent, to 3,000 soums from 2,280 soums, the price for AI-95 gasoline increased by 31.7 percent, to 3,300 soums from 2,505 soums.The Uzbekneftegaz company reported that the new prices will be the same for all gas filling stations. Single gasoline prices have been set to fight the inflated prices at the gas filling stations and the resale of car fuel.The Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company reported that it considered complaints of the Uzbek citizens about the overpricing at some gas filling stations, as well as long queues for car fuel.The complaints regarding the fact that the price for AI-80 gasoline was 2,075 soums in Tashkent and 3,000 soums in the regions of Uzbekistan, illegal export of car fuel from the Uzbek capital by some citizens and its resale in the country’s regions for prices varying from 3,000 soums to 5,000 soums per liter were also considered by the Uzbekneftegaz company. Malta attaches great importance to co-op with Azerbaijan Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:25:00 +0400 By  TrendMalta attaches great importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan, said Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca during a meeting with Azerbaijani Ambassador to the country Mammad Ahmadzadeh.The Azerbaijani ambassador with a residence in Rome presented his credentials to Malta’s president.During the meeting, the Azerbaijani diplomat noted the intensification of cooperation between the two countries in recent times.Meanwhile, prospects of cooperation were discussed during the meeting and it was noted that Malta, during its chairmanship at the European Union (EU) in the first half of 2017, can contribute to Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the EU.As part of the visit to Malta, Mammad Ahmadzadeh also held a number of other official meetings. Majestic Jazz Festival starts in Baku Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:20:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe long-awaited Baku International Jazz Festival has opened in Baku this weekend, Trend Life reported.Baku, the birthplace and hometown of such famous figures in jazz history as Vagif Mustafazadeh,  Rain Sultanov, Jamil Amirov, Isfar Sarabski and others,  brought together prominent jazz musicians from  Brazil, Georgia, Spain, Sweden, France, Austria, Turkey, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Japan and Colombia.The festival offers to the widest circles of audience a real celebration of music with countless performances, workshops, and competitions. Addressing the opening ceremony, Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev said that the festival had turned into a tradition.The Minister emphasized that young and talented Azerbaijani jazz musicians successfully participate in prestigious international music contests and festivals, including the jazz festival in Montreux, Switzerland.The opening ceremony continued with majestic concert by Brazilian Gabriel Grossi trio. One of the greatest harmonica players in the world mesmerized the Baku audience, showing the rich Brazilian music.The performance was accompanied by another Brazilian Jurandir  Santana and Spanish performer on percussion instruments Marc Miralta.The dynamic performance of Gabriel Grossi trio made the beginning of the Baku international jazz festival a truly vivid and memorable.Baku International Jazz Festival will run until October 30.Fascinating series of concerts will be held at the Heydar Aliyev Palace, Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Society named after M. Magomayev , the International Mugham Center, Baku Organ and Chamber Music Hall of the Muslim Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Society and  local music clubs. Russia urges Turkey to speed up preparation for abolition of food embargo World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:57:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay HasanovaRussia, in a bid to rebuild economic ties with Turkey, has urged to speed up the process of abolition of food embargo.Russia called on Turkey to speed up the preparation and submission of the program, which is necessary for the gradual abolition of the restrictions imposed by the Russian Federation on the supply of agricultural products, the official website of Rosselkhoznadzor’s (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) reported.Following the negotiations held in early October, the Turkish side has undertaken an obligation to provide the Russian side within the ten days with a program of measures to ensure the phytosanitary safety of products supplied to Russia.However, the agency reports that the Russian side has not yet received such a program, which complicates the implementation of the reached agreements."Taking into account the need for not only to restore but also the further development of mutually beneficial export and import of agricultural products, the Russian side asked the Turkish side to accelerate the preparation and submission of the program as soon as possible", Rosselkhoznadzor reported.Russia banned imports of bell pepper, pomegranates, aubergines, lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, marrows and pumpkins from Turkey due to phytosanitary considerations in spring 2016.Prior to that Russia restricted imports of oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches and nectarines, plums, wild strawberries, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow onions, as well as frozen turkey and chicken from Turkey starting January 1, according to the government decree on implementation of presidential decree on special economic measures against Turkey.The Russian government has decided to allow on its market a number of Turkish agricultural products, including citrus, said Russian leader Vladimir Putin on October 10 after talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.A day later, the government issued a decree authorizing the importation of certain fruits - the embargo lifted in respect of fresh and dried oranges and tangerines, fresh apricots, peaches and nectarines, plums and thorns.Relations between Turkey and Russia broke down for about seven months after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November 2015. However, relations have improved since the August meeting of the two presidents. Azerbaijan attracts new ferry for Trans-Caspian Transport Route Business Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:21:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company has launched "Shahdag" ferry for traffic on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, the company reported on October 24.The ferry was returned to service after overhaul. During the renovation, which started in late September, Main and auxiliary engines, various systems, steering wheel and other mechanisms, as well as premises and accommodation were modernized during the overhau. "Shahdag" will be operated on the lines of Baku-Aktau-Baku and Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku within TITR.Depending on the volume of cargo, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company’s ships are kept in the reserve and then returned to operation, which allows to cut costs.Given the significant increase in transportation volumes, in December 2015 the company decided to use several reserve ferries.The Trans-Caspian international transport route, which is designed to provide transport connections between the East and West of Eurasia, runs through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and then to Europe via Turkey and Ukraine. The route was launched with the establishment of its Coordinating Committee in October 2013. The first test container train from China arrived at the Baku International Sea Trade Port on August 3, 2015.The agreement to create the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Consortium was signed in April 2016 in Baku by the railway authorities of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.Azerbaijani companies ADY Express and ACSC Logistics, Kazakhstan's KTZ Express and Georgia's Trans Caucasus Terminals LLC are the members of the consortium. The Supervisory Board includes one representative from each member company, while Igbal Huseynov, the deputy head of Azerbaijan Railways JSC is the chairman of the board. Later, Ukrainian "Ukrzaliznytsya," "Ukrferry," companies, as well as Moldovan Translogistic became members of the Coordination Committee.In January, 2016, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine decided to apply the competitive feed-in tariffs for cargo transportation via the TITR. Single competitive rate was introduced in the framework of the route starting from June 1, 2016 with the view to reduce the costs of international cargo transportation.About 300,000-400,000 containers are expected to be transported via the Trans-Caspian international transport route by 2020, bringing huge financial profits to Azerbaijan. Growing interest in the transport infrastructures passing through Azerbaijan's territory is expected to make the country a major transport hub in the region. Presidential election campaign starts in Turkmenistan World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:05:00 +0400 By AzernewsThe presidential election campaign started in Turkmenistan on October 24, the Turkmen Central Election Commission reported.Nomination of candidates will begin 60 days before the election day. The presidential election will be held on February 12, 2017 in accordance with the decision of the Parliament of Turkmenistan.The Central Election Commission discussed a number of organizational issues at the meeting. Invited international experts and observers will be monitoring the course of the upcoming campaign.In accordance with the decision of the Central Election Commission, the corresponding polling stations will be set up at the diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan abroad for compatriots who will be outside of the country on the election day.“Participants of the meeting were unanimous that their main goal is to do everything for the next Turkmen presidential election to be held at the highest organizational level, in strict compliance with the current electoral laws of the country and international law,” the message said.Incumbent Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was elected to this post twice.During the last election in February 2012, 97.4 percent of voters cast their ballots for him. President of Turkmenistan is elected for a term of seven years, according to the recently adopted new constitution of the country. Croatian President pays respect to national leader Heydar Aliyev Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:53:00 +0400 By  Azertac President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who is on an official visit in Azerbaijan, has today visited the Alley of Honors to lay a wreath at the tomb of national leader, founder and architect of modern Azerbaijani state Heydar Aliyev.She also put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva. Azerbaijani Prime Minister, Croatian President have joint working dinner Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:44:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijani Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic have had a joint working dinner. They discussed Azerbaijan-Croatia relations, including prospects for economic cooperation. Polish, Ukrainian stars to perform in Baku Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan’s State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Baku will host the "Carmen" opera by George Bizet, Trend Life reports.One of the most popular and frequently performed operas will be staged on November 12.Irina Jitinskaya, a soloist of Poland's Wroclaw Opera House was invited to take on the role of Carmen.She was awarded the prize as the best performer of Carmen. The artist successfully performed at opera houses of Denmark, Holland, Germany, Finland, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Portugal.The play will bring together the leading soloist of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Azerbaijan's Honored Artist, Elchin Azizov (Escamillo), the soloist of the National Opera of Ukraine Andrey Romanenko (Don José). as well as the soloists of the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre Ali Askarov, Inara Babayeva, Gulnaz Ismayilova, Sabina Asadova, Tural Agasiyev and Aliakhmed Ibrahimov.Elchin Azizov is an Azerbaijani opera baritone, the soloist at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.He is famous for his role Escamillo in Carmen in Galina Vishnevskaya's Opera Centre, the title role in Eugene Onegin,  Tomsky in The Queen of Spades, Leandro in Love for Three Oranges, and Doctor Falke in Die FledermausThe performance will be conducted by the laureate of the international conductors competitions , Eyyub Guliyev."Carmen" is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique. "Carmen"has since become one of the best-loved operas, performed in the classical canon.Carmen was a fiery gypsy girl who worked in a cigar factory. An army officer, Don José, was called to the factory because a fight broke out. He arrested Carmen because she hit another woman. However, he became enchanted with the exotic Carmen, and let her escape.Don José deserted the army and followed Carmen into the mountains. But the beautiful gypsy soon tired of the steadfast Don José, and she fell in love with Escamillo, a dashing bullfighter. Devastated, Don José confronted Carmen outside the bullring. As the crowd cheered Escamillo in the background, Don José stabbed Carmen to death. Azerbaijani artists captivate Paris Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:25:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaArt enthusiasts are well aware of the Art Shopping trade show held in Paris twice a year. The event, which offers a selection of works to both see and purchase, brought together more than 450 artists and galleries presenting works of contemporary art.So many exhibitors from throughout the world, including Azerbaijan, become part of this mega show hosted at Carrousel du Louvre on October 21-23. National artists Asmar Narimanbekova, Maryam Alakbarli and Azer Aliyev have displayed their impressive and unique works at the exhibition arranged within the Art Shopping show.Narimanbekova was born in a family of eminent artists. Her father Togrul Narimanbekov, was world-famous Azerbaijani artist, while her mother Elmira Huseynova was a sculptor.This amazing artist really has a talent for using her hands to create an amazing works. Her paintings are distinguished with a riot of colors, and interesting imagination of the world.Asmar Narimanbekova's works are featured in many prestigious galleries and museums not only in Azerbaijan, but also in America, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Finland, and China.Another talented artist, who displayed her works, in Paris is Maryam Alakbarli.While suffering from Down's syndrome, her paintings are distinguished by a strong sense of composition and high level of creativity. Using her intuition the artist achieves results that take many years of education for others.Alakbarli chooses colors masterly. Her tool is, first of all, intuition of a great artist, supported by practice. Her inherent feeling of color distinguishes her art. Using her intuition the artist achieves results that take many years of education for others.The artist's works have earned big success both in her motherland Azerbaijan and beyond its borders including Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey Lithuania and France.Addressing the ceremony, director of the exhibition hall Myriam Annonay Castanet highlighted the importance of the exhibition, adding works by Maryam Alakbarli would be sold for the first time. Castanet said exhibition of Maryam Alakbarli, will again cause great interest of the audience.Azerbaijan`s Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbayov spoke about the importance of exhibition, saying this already turned into a tradition and was the indicator of success of the young artist.Art critic Jeanette Zwingenberger highlighted the uniqueness of Maryam's works.The works by Azerbaijani artist Azer Aliyev are also in the center of public attention in Paris.Azer Aliyev`s works have been displayed in more than 40 international and national exhibitions. Qarabag midfielder Dani Quintana voted Europa League Player of Week Sports Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:15:00 +0400 By  Azertac Dani Quintana – who opened the scoring in Qarabag`s 2-0 defeat of PAOK – has been voted UEFA Europa League Player of the Week for matchday three after amassing 69% of the vote.Second and third place was shared by Panathinaikos forward Victor Ibarbo and Saint-Etienne forward Kevin Monnet-Paquet. Azerbaijan learn rivals for Futsal EURO 2018 qualifying round Sports Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:55:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijan have learned rivals as the UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 qualifying draw has today been held in Nyon.Azerbaijan are grouped with Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and winner of the preliminary round Group D at the main round to be held on April 3-12, 2017.The matches of the group “D” will be held in Baku.Holders Spain will face 2016 semi-finalists Serbia, with Kosovo and Germany included for the first time on the road to Slovenia.The seven main round group winners will progress to join Slovenia in the final tournament. The seven runners-up plus the best third-placed team will enter the play-offs on September 10-13 and 24-27, 2017.The winners of the four two-legged ties will complete the 12-team line-up for the finals.Finals will be held from January 30 to February 11, 2018 at the Arena Stozice, Ljubljana. Larijani: Iran, Austria economic ties expanding in post-JCPOA era World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:49:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay HasanovaThe removal of international sanctions earlier imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program serves as an incentive for the country to attract partners from around the world and cooperate in different spheres.Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said on October 23 that Iran and Austria's longstanding ties in the fields of economic and trade cooperation are expanding after Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IRNA reported.He made the remarks in meeting with visiting Vice-Speaker of Austrian parliament Karlheinz Kopf.Larijani said that development of parliamentary relations will play an important role to expand friendly cooperation and the Iranian parliament supports such ties.Larijani expressed deep concern about worsening the humanitarian situation in the Middle East region, saying that Iran has always underlined the importance of dialogue and political negotiations as the sole way to resolve the humanitarian crises, instead of using military forces.He said that considering commonalities between Iran and Austria on many regional issues, the two countries may cooperate on the economy, energy, science, environment and modern technologies.Karlheinz Kopf, in turn, expressed pleasure with his visit to Iran and said that development of ties with Iran, as an important state in the region and world, is so important for Austria.Kopf said that parliamentary relations and friendship among MPs of both countries will pave the way for the development of cooperation in other sectors.Kopf arrived in Tehran on October 22 evening at the invitation of Majlis Vice-Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian.He is due to meet with senior Iranian officials during his four-day stay in Iran.Austria and Iran have had historically strong trade ties that date back to the 18th century.Although Austria has long been one of the European countries which boosted its exports to Iran despite sanctions efforts, due to the sanctions the Austrian-Iran trade volume has declined during the last years.Austria’s current trade turnover over with Iran amounts up to $320 million, while the two countries intend to increase the trade volume up to $500 million after the complete removal of the sanctions.About 650 Austrian companies are doing business in Iran. 35 of them have their own representations in the country. Numerous renowned Austrian companies have taken part in various trade fairs and industry exhibitions in Tehran over the last years to initiate business.In the first quarter of 2015, Austrian exports saw a dramatic jump by over 60 percent, which is also expected to further increase following the removal of sanctions.In addition, Iran has recently announced its will to boost ties with European countries in the aftermath of sanctions removal. UN celebrates 71st anniversary with 17 goals World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliThis year’s observance of United Nations Day occurs at a time of transition for the world and for the UN.UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon made the remark in his message on the occasion of the UN Day.“Humanity has entered the era of sustainability – with a global commitment to fulfill the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet,” Ban Ki-moon said.“The world is also moving at long last beyond the mindset which viewed the burning of fossil fuels as the path to prosperity.  At a time of record heat, Member States have embraced the Paris Agreement on climate change in record time.  This landmark measure will enter into force on November 4. Across that historic threshold lies our best chance for greener, cleaner, low-carbon growth.The UN is also in transition, from its eighth Secretary-General to the ninth.  “I have been honored to serve “we the peoples” for the past ten years,” UN Secretary-General said.“Together, we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress – which we must build on by working even harder to empower women, engage youth and uphold human rights for all.  But we have also suffered enormous heartbreak -- including unresolved conflicts causing immense suffering throughout the troubled Middle East, South Sudan, the Sahel and beyond.  On these and other frontlines of violence and disaster, courageous UN staff continue to rise to the occasion and respond to the plight of the vulnerable.”“I thank people across the world for their support -- and urge all to give their full backing to Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres in continuing our global mission of peace, sustainable development and human rights,” Ban Ki-moon emphasized.October 24 has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948. In 1971, the UN General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. Over 3,600 earthquakes recorded in Azerbaijan since early 2016 Society Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliThe territory of Azerbaijan, located within the central part of the Mediterranean mobile belt, is characterized by high geological activity due to the dynamics of the Arabian and Eurasian lithospheric plates.The seismogenic zones with potential to produce dangerous force cover the whole country as the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt passes through Azerbaijan. Strong and catastrophic earthquakes that took place several times in this area from ancient times till now caused huge destructions.Therefore, Azerbaijan is considered to be a seismically active region – a lot of earthquakes occur here every year, however, majority of them are not felt.Over the past period of this year, some 3,603 earthquakes have been recorded in Azerbaijan.Saida Ismayilova, Chief of the Earthquake Research Bureau of the Republican Seismic Survey Center said that in 2016, the number of earthquakes occurred in Azerbaijan and adjacent areas hit 6,463.  “Depth of over 40 percent of the earthquakes in Azerbaijan and adjacent areas varies between 10 and 20 km. Over the past period of 2016, 2175 earthquake recorded in the region with depth of 10 and 20 km,” she told local media.The bureau chief said, in this period, 74 earthquakes of magnitude greater than 3 occurred in the country. “Just 14 quakes were felt,” she added.Ismayilova named seismically active zones in Azerbaijan and adjacent areas in 2016, mentioning that Pirgulu, Lankaran, Lerik, Astara, Ordubad, Nakhchivan were seismically active areas during this year. A boom in construction in recent years and transforming the capital into a new hub of high-rise buildings as well as growing number of capital’s population contribute to growing vulnerability of the Baku city to earthquakes.Currently, Azerbaijan’s scientists are working on a new project on assessment of a seismic risk in the capital city. National scientists will work together with German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), who agreed to give an appropriate support to Azerbaijan in this regard.The project will start in April-May 2017 by installing GFZ pool equipment in Baku for the project of seismic micro zoning.The last  strong earthquakes of the 21st century in Baku were held in November 2000 measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest for almost 160 years. Work underway on determining Caspian Sea's legal status Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay HasanovaThe Caspian littoral states are keen on determining of a legal status of the Sea, which has remained disputable during the past two decades.The Working Group on Determining the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea opened its 47th summit in Tehran on October 23. The meeting was attended by special representatives and deputy foreign ministers of the five Caspian littoral states, including Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, addressing the event, described the discussions over the legal status of the Caspian Sea as in the “condition of mutual understanding”.The minister noted that the parties demonstrated constructive position during the discussions.“We hope drafting the convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea will be finalized soon,” Mehr news agency quoted Zarif as saying.He further urged the Caspian-littoral states to protect the marine environment of the Caspian Sea.Azerbaijan`s deputy foreign minister Khalaf Khalafov, in turn, noted that the negotiations on the determination of the legal status of the Caspian Sea were constructive.He further added that the decisions adopted during the meeting of the heads of states made contribution to a process of agreement of the main principles of the Convention about the legal status of the Caspian Sea.Speaking to the event, representatives of Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan noted the importance of discussions over the all issues between the Caspian-littoral states.The Caspian Sea is the biggest enclosed body of water on Earth, with enormous deposits of oil and gas as well as rich fisheries. It plays an important role in the transport corridors, along with being an important part of the international and regional projects. The legal status has been remained unsolved during the past two decades, preventing development and exploitation of its disputable oil and gas fields and creating obstacles to the realization of major energy projects.Negotiations related to the demarcation of the Caspian Sea have been going on for nearly a decade now among the littoral states bordering the Caspian. The major issues cover the access to the mineral resources (oil and gas), access for fishing, access to international waters.Azerbaijan proposes that the Caspian Sea must be divided into national sectors based on the “median line” principles since it is an international boundary lake.In turn, Iran and Turkmenistan oppose Azerbaijan’s position considering that the Caspian Sea must be divided into equal parts between the pre-Caspian countries so that each country must have 20% of the sea.The five Caspian states signed a Framework Convention for Protection of Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian seabed in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use in July 1998. The two countries signed a protocol to the agreement in May 2002.Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian seabed and a protocol to it on November 29, 2001, and February 27, 2003, respectively.Additionally, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.The summits of the presidents of the Caspian-littoral countries were held in Ashgabat in 2002, in Tehran in 2007, in Baku in 2010 and in Astrakhan in 2014.The next meeting of the heads of Caspian states is expected to be held in 2017. Almost 80 state-owned enterprises to be put up for privatization Business Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovA total of 78 state enterprises and facilities will be put up for privatization auction on November 22, Azerbaijani State Committee on Property Issues announced on October 24.The enterprises put up for privatization operate in the spheres of cotton growing, agricultural chemistry, transport, construction and other fields. They are located both in Baku and in other regions of Azerbaijan.A total of 26 of these state enterprises and objects are 30-45 percent shares in joint-stock companies. Depending on an enterprise, the nominal value of each share ranges from 0.5 to 2 manats ($0.3-1.2).Moreover, some 36 small state enterprises and facilities, including 16 non-residential lands of 13-118 square-meters, will be put up for privatization.The auction will be held in the auction Centre of the State Committee on Property Issues.The portal for privatization –, launched in July 2016, reflects all necessary information about the facilities, their addresses, location, and even initial cost and aimed at facilitation of the process. The website is available in two languages - Azerbaijani and English.The privatization process is designed to attract both foreign and local investors, as well as improve the business environment of Azerbaijan. “Why Azerbaijan is special” section available on the website explains the reasons and advantages of investing in the country.In general, over 1,000 different public facilities were privatized in Azerbaijan in 2015. Presidents of Azerbaijan and Croatia made press statements Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:30:00 +0400 By  Azertac President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic have made statements for the press. Presidents of Azerbaijan and Croatia meet in expanded format Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:19:00 +0400 By  TrendFollowing their one-on-one meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic continued their talks in an expanded format October 24. SOFAZ reveals its investment portfolio Business Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:44:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Nigar AbbasovaAzerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ, which is engaged in accumulation and management of oil and gas revenues of the country, revealed the structure of its investment portfolio.Some 69.8 percent of the total investment portfolio was placed in financial instruments with the term of up to 5 years in January-September 2016.The total volume of the portfolio amounted to $3.95 billion, which makes some 94.8 percent of the total volume of assets.  About 36.1 percent of the portfolio was placed with the term of up to one year, while some 19.2 percent with the term ranging from one to three years, 14.5 percent from three to five years and some 9.5 percent with the term exceeding the period of five years. As much as 20.7 percent of the total volume of financial means was placed in real estate, assets, and gold, while 79.3 percent was placed in bonds and instruments of the monetary market. Some 13.3 percent fell to a share of securities with AAA rating, 27 percent with AA rating, some 35 percent with A rating.  Some 18.3 and 6.4 percent accounted for securities with BBB and BB rating respectively.Some 3.8 percent of the investment portfolio is placed in gold, as many as 5.3 percent falls to a share of estate, while some 11.6 percent accounts for assets.Assets of the Fund as of October 1 stood at $35.82 billion, with some $33.95 billion accounting for the investment portfolio and 1.87 billion falling to a share of the manat account.  The Fund plans to increase its assets by $1 billion in 2017.The Fund’s transfers to the 2016 budget are forecasted to stand at 7.6 billion manats ($4.6 billion), while the forecasted index for 2017 stands at 6.1 billion manat ($3.7 billion).About 41.6 percent of assets is placed in European countries, 24.1 percent in North America, some 3.9 percent in Australia, 27.36 percent fall to a share of Asia-Pacific region, 0.4 percent in the Middle East, 0.1 percent in South America and some 2.6 percent in international financial institutionsSOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million. Based on SOFAZ's regulations, its funds may be used for construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.  Presidents of Azerbaijan and Croatia meet in private [UPDATE] Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:30:00 +0400 By  Azertac After the official welcoming ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic have had a one-on-one meeting.The importance of the Croatian President`s visit to Azerbaijan was emphasized during the meeting. President Ilham Aliyev recalled his meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on the sidelines of the “Supporting Syria and the Region” conference in London early this year as well as his visits to Croatia. The head of state said the two countries enjoyed high-level ties in all areas.Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said she was pleased to be visiting Azerbaijan. She underlined the importance of the business forum to be held as part of the visit. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Croatian companies were interested in operating in Azerbaijan.They said there were good opportunities for the expansion of Azerbaijan-Croatia relations in various areas, and expressed confidence that the bilateral ties would continue to develop. Official welcoming ceremony was held for Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Politics Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0400 By  Azertac An official welcoming ceremony has today been held for President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who is on an official visit in the Republic of Azerbaijan.A guard of honor was arranged for the Croatian President in the square decorated with the national flags of the two countriesThe chief of the guard of honor reported to President Ilham Aliyev.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev greeted President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.The chief of the guard of honor reported to the Croatian President.The national anthems of Croatia and Azerbaijan were played.President Ilham Aliyev and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic reviewed the guard of honor.The Croatian President saluted the Azerbaijani soldiers.State and government officials of Azerbaijan were introduced to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and members of the Croatian delegation were introduced to President Ilham Aliyev.The guard of honor marched in front of the presidents.President Ilham Aliyev and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic posed for official photos. Iran’s upstream oil sector needs $130B investment World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:43:00 +0400 By  TrendIran’s upstream oil sector needs $130 billion of investment until 2021, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the Iranian oil minister, said.Based on the sixth 5-year national development plan, to be implemented in 2016-2021, Iran’s oil industry will need $200 billion investment in total, Zanganeh said, SHANA news agency reported.He further said that however, the sixth plan predicts $130 billion investment in the upstream sector, even more investment is needed to protect the country’s oil and gas reserves.Zanganeh added that each one percent increase of the oil fields’ recovery rate will add about eight billion barrels of crude oil to the country’s output which is equal with $400 billion at current oil prices.By holding 157.8 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserves, Iran possesses the world's fourth largest crude oil reserves.The Islamic Republic also holds 34 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves, sharing 18.2 percent of total global gas reserves, which puts the country in the top of the world's gas holders list.The country plans to boost oil production to 5.7 million barrels a day and gas output to 1.4 billion cubic meters a day by 2021. Turkish artillery backing Kurdish forces around Mosul World news Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:27:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkish troops are supporting Kurdish forces involved in the Mosul offensive, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Sunday, Anadolu reported.An attack by Peshmerga fighters on the Daesh-held town of Bashiqa was backed by Turkish artillery and tank fire, Yildirim said after a meeting of Justice and Development (AK) Party members in Afyonkarahisar, western Turkey.“Peshmerga forces took action to clear the town of Bashiqa from Daesh,” he said. “They asked for help from our troops at the Bashiqa camp and we are supporting them with artillery, tanks and Firtina howitzers.?”Turkey has maintained a long-standing training base near Bashiqa, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Mosul. Their presence has created tension between Ankara and Baghdad, with Iraqi lawmakers calling for their removal.Peshmerga troops said they had taken the town on Sunday as part of the operation to free Mosul, Iraq’s second city, from Daesh.Referring to Turkey’s involvement in Iraq and Syria, where it launched an operation in August to clear the border region of terrorists, Yildirim said Turkey would not seek permission to fight terrorism “both inside and outside the country”.“We will not hesitate to take the necessary steps to protect our country’s territorial integrity and the nation’s unity and solidarity,” he said.Yildirim was in Afyonkarahisar to discuss constitutional reform with AK Party members as the government seeks to replace its parliamentary system with a presidential model. He said a party commission had completed work on a draft constitution, which would be submitted to parliament within days.“We will continue to protect our democracy against every bad intention by breaking the deadlocks in the system,” he said.The proposed changes would be put to a referendum even if the government secures the necessary votes in parliament to avoid having to do so, the prime minister said. “Let us not be afraid of the nation, which will decide for the best in every matter,” he said. Currency rates for October 24 Business Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:17:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for October 24 was set at 1.6151 manats and 1.7549 manats, respectively.According to the currency exchange rate corridor set by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), currency exchange offices can’t buy US dollars from population at a rate less than 1.5505 manats per dollar or sell the US dollars at a rate exceeding 1.6797 manats per dollar.The exchange rates at banks should not be less than 1.6848 manats when buying euros from the population and should not exceed 1.825 manats when selling them.Below are the rates of manat against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsOct. 24, 20161 US dollar1 USD1.61511 euro1 EUR1.75491 Australian dollar1 AUD1.22951 Argentine peso1 ARS0.1065100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.84831 Brazilian real1 BRL0.51271 UAE dirham1 AED0.43971 South African rand1 ZAR0.1157100 South Korean won100 KRW0.14231 Czech koruna1 CZK0.06491 Chilean peso1 CLP0.24231 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.23841 Danish krone1 DKK0.23591 Georgian lari1 GEL0.68291 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.20821 Indian rupee1 INR0.02411 British pound1 GBP1.9705100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0124100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00461 Swedish krona1 SEK0.18091 Swiss franc1 CHF1.62351 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.41831 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.20951 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.32681 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00491 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0237100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.1071 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.38621 Mexican peso1 MXP0.08691 Moldavan leu1 MDL0.08081 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.18191 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.1953100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.05261 Polish zloty1 PLN0.40521 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02581 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.15921 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.43061 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.21841 Turkish lira1 TRY0.52451 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05091 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.20471 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.46191 Ukrainian hryvna1 UAH0.063100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.55431 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.1561Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2044.7974Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG28.3289Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1497.1977Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD999.7469 Croatian president arrives in Azerbaijan Politics Sun, 23 Oct 2016 21:08:00 +0400 By  Trend President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi? has arrived in Azerbaijan on an official visit.A guard of honor was arranged for President Grabar-Kitarovi? at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of Azerbaijan and Croatia.At the airport, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi? was met by Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov, Deputy FM Nadir Huseynov and other officials. Central Asian cargos to be transited via Iran World news Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:10:00 +0400 By  Trend Iran has reached agreement with four Central Asian countries of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan on the transit of cargos from/to these countries via its territory.Through this agreement, the transit of six kinds of goods via Iran will increase, Hossein Ashuri, Islamic Republic Railways’ deputy, told Mehr news agency.The goods under agreement will include fertilizers, sulfur, wheat, steel, and aluminum ingots, he said.Ashuri noted that although Iran used to have trade agreements with the countries in the past, the recent pact includes tariff reduction and reduction of transit time.Uzbekistan last Iranian fiscal year (which ended March 20) shipped 300,000 tons of cotton to the Persian Gulf via Iran. The number is expected to hit 350,000 this year.Since the beginning of the current Iranian year, Tajikistan also shipped some 15 thousand tons of aluminum via Iran. The number is expected to hit 50 thousand this year. KLM resumes flights to Iran after 3 years of halt World news Sun, 23 Oct 2016 17:43:00 +0400 By  Trend KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has resumed its flights to Iran since October 23.The KLM’s first aircraft landed in Tehran on Sunday morning following a halt of over three years, Tasnim news agency reported.A number of the leading European airlines halted their flights to Iran due to international sanctions over the past years.The European airlines have made efforts to resume or increase the number of flights to the Islamic Republic following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA/ nuclear deal) Jan. 16.