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 Fall in the city http://www.today.az/news/society/136767.html Society Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:50:00 +0500 By Amina NazarliThe sun is giving its last hot shine as the golden autumn has arrived.With the temperature decline, Azerbaijan's residents have begun to wear warm clothes.Autumn is the most beautiful and picturesque season of the year. Yellow, red and orange colors are wrapping Azerbaijan, giving the country a fabulous view.Autumn is characterized by large fluctuations in temperature. The rainy and cloudy weather is gradually dominating.The average temperature in the territory of Azerbaijan is expected to be normal in October, National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources said.In the first decade of October, the weather will be normal, while in the third the temperature will continue to decrease. The average monthly precipitations will be close to normal and sometime may exceed it.In Baku and Absheron Peninsula, the estimated average temperature will be 15-17 degrees C above zero, being 11-16 degrees C at night and 18-23 degrees C during a day. On some days the temperature will be fluctuated, increasing up to 25-27 degrees C in the first decade and sometimes decreasing up to 12-16 degrees C in the third decade.The average monthly temperature of 12-15 degrees will stand in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. In the first half of October, the temperature sometimes will reach even 28 degrees C, whereas the temperature at night will sharply drop to 3 degrees C below zero. The average monthly precipitation will be close to normal 19-32 mm.Coming to Khankandi, Shusha, Khojali, Lachin, and Zangilan of the Upper Karabakh, Dashkasan and Gadabay the average monthly weather is expected to be 5-10 degrees C. Nights will be cooler with 1-6 degrees C, while the weather during the day will be 13-18 degrees C. The average monthly precipitation is expected to be 34-48mm what is close to normal.In the first decade of October in Ganja, Gazakh, Terter, Agdam, Fuzuli and Jabrail will be close to climate norm, constituting 28 degrees C during the day and 11-16 degrees C at night. In the third decade the temperature will significantly decrease reaching 2-7 degrees C at night and 13-18 degrees C during the day.The forecast for Balakan, Zagatala, Gakh, Sheki, Oguz, Gabala, Ismailli, Shamakhi, Shabran, Guba, Gusar and Khachmaz in the first decade of October predicted to be 7-12 degrees C at night and 18-23 degrees C during the day. For the third decade of October the temperature will stand at 11-16 degrees during the day, however at night weak frosts of up to four degrees C below zero are predicted. The situation with precipitations are normal for the regions 33-126 mm, sometimes just being slightly above normal.What about Central Aran - Mingachevir, Yevlakh, Geychay, Agdash, Kurdamir, Imishli, Beylagan, Sabirabad, Shirvan, Bilasuvar, Saatli and Salyan the average temperature there is expected to be 15-17 degrees C: in the day time, 19 degrees above zero and 11-16 degrees above zero at night in the first decade.However, sometimes the temperature can reach 25-30 degrees above zero. The average monthly precipitations will be 34-51 mm.The situation in Masalli, Yardimli, Lerik and Astara will be as usual. Their average temperature will be 10-17 degrees C above zero, and temperature will reach 10-15 degrees above zero at night. Coming to the third decade the temperature is expected to be lower in the highlands reaching up to five degrees C below zero at night. Monthly precipitation in these regions is expected to be close to the norm (96-274mm).The low temperature at night and in the morning can cause colds. We advise the residents and tourists to wear warm cloths./AzerNews/ Documents signed at Caspian Summit fully meet Azerbaijan’s national interests http://www.today.az/news/politics/136766.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:54:00 +0500 The documents signed during the Caspian Summit in Astrakhan fully meet Azerbaijan’s national interests and do not contradict with the country’s law, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told reporters on Sept.30.“The basic principles of the agreements - creation of a stable balance of weapons, taking into account each other’s interests while carrying out military exercises in the sea, complying with the measures of the mutual trust – meet Azerbaijan’s interests,” the deputy minister said.The intergovernmental five-party agreements were signed as part of the 4th Caspian Summit in Astrakhan Sept. 29, which involved President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.The relevant ministries of the Caspian littoral countries signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea, an agreement on cooperation in the field of prevention of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea and liquidation of their consequences, an agreement on the protection of aquatic biological resources of the Caspian Sea and their rational use.Then, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a joint statement of the presidents./Trend/ Will Trans-Caspian pipeline project move forward? http://www.today.az/news/business/136765.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:42:00 +0500 The Caspian summit held on Sept. 29 in Astrakhan may have a positive effect on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, which, despite all its attractiveness and desire of involved parties to implement it, hasn't moved forward thus far.The EU is the party that is deeply interested in the project being launched, more than the anyone else. Because if the project is implemented, it will provide the EU with essential additional alternative supply source in the face of Turkmenistan.Gas resources of Turkmenistan can be connected to Europe through the Caspian Sea by building a 300km-long pipeline across the sea, to the shores of Azerbaijan. From there, fuel can be transported to Turkey which has mutual borders with European countries.The EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan started talks on the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline in September 2011. However Russia and Iran have always spoke against the Trans-Caspian pipeline due to ecological issues during the pipeline's construction.Kazakh political scientist, Doctor of Political Sciences Dosym Satpayev believes that ecological factor is a geopolitics tool in the hands of Iran and Russia.“Everybody understands that Russia and Iran focus on the ecological aspect of Caspian dialogue, because this fact will prevent the construction of the pipeline,” Satpayev told Trend.The position of Turkmenistan regarding the construction of a pipeline along the bottom of the Caspian Sea is clear and quite fair.“The construction of such pipelines is a sovereign right of the states through the territory of which the pipelines run, and therefore their construction be can carried out only with those states’ consent,” President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said following the Caspian Summit.At the same time Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated about the readiness to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure to realize the project.The unresolved status of the Caspian Sea was always considered as the main factor hindering the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project.Thus, encouraging statements of all sides about a breakthrough that has been achieved at the summit, in particular agreeing the key principles on the Caspian Sea status, gives hope for some progress in Trans-Caspian pipeline issue.According to the statements of the five states' heads, the parties agreed on the principles of cooperation and inked a political statement, which precedes the signing of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.So, the breakthrough achieved at the summit might also mark a breakthrough in the Trans-Caspian pipeline project implementation efforts, which can also be boosted between the involved states in the future./Trend/ International organizations seek to punish Azerbaijan, as it is “not tool in their hands” http://www.today.az/news/politics/136764.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:34:00 +0500 International organizations seek to punish Azerbaijan, as it is “not a tool in their hands”, Vice Speaker Bahar Muradova said Sept.30 at the first meeting of the autumn session of the Milli Majlis, commenting on the European Parliament resolution on human rights in Azerbaijan.MP Gudrat Huseynguliyev said that he was against the break of relations with international organizations."Law enforcement agencies must take appropriate action and preventive measure of arrest before the court needs to be changed in respect of these people. In the world public opinion is formed by organizations controlled by large states. Admitting this bitter truth, I believe that we shouldn’t join an open confrontation with the West and international organizations because of five or six people, even if they committed the most serious crimes against the Azerbaijani people," said the deputy.Vice-Speaker, objecting to this, noted that the matter is not in these people."If someone thinks that by relieving them, we will change the position of international organizations, that person is mistaken. Many structures believe that Azerbaijan is pursuing its own policy. They want to punish us not only for this but also for the fact that we are not a tool in their hands," said Muradova./Trend/ Iran plans to send man into space in next 4 years http://www.today.az/news/regions/136763.html World news Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:32:00 +0500 ran plans to send man into space in the next 4 years, Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Iran Space Agency director Hamid Fazeli as saying on September 30.Fazeli said Iran's Space Agency has a plan to send a man into space, and the plan has been prepared within the framework of the national roadmap for scientific development.The plan also suggests putting telecommunication and remote sensing satellites into orbit.In May, Fazeli announced that Iran will launch Tadbir, Sharif, and Fajr satellites into space by the end of the current Iranian year which ends on March 20, 2015.The head of Iran's Aerospace Research Institute Mohammad Ebrahimi had said that Iran's Aerospace Research Institute has an orbital and suborbital project to send a living creature to the space.Ebrahimi said that Iran will first send a living creature to suborbital space, and later to orbital space and beyond. Ultimately, Iran's goal is to send its first man to space. /Trend/ Great potential available for Caspian littoral countries’ economic cooperation http://www.today.az/news/business/136762.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:06:00 +0500 There is great potential for economic cooperation of the Caspian littoral countries, Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen told Trend.“The businessmen of the private sector of these countries will be an impetus for strengthening economic ties between the two countries,” he said."The entrepreneurs of the private sector of these countries can play an effective role in strengthening ties among the Caspian littoral countries and be an impetus for the development of these relations," he said.The diplomat added that Iran's fundamental policy is to strengthen the friendly relations with neighboring countries."To resolve the status of the Caspian Sea, such comprehensive methods must be used to ensure long-term interests of the Caspian littoral countries," he said.Pak Ayeen said that not only oil and gas resources of the sea, but also the issues of security and protection of the ecology are important."Safety means the stability,” he said. “It is achieved by ensuring security of the economic development."“Iran believes in the effective debate on the legal status of the Caspian Sea on the basis of international norms and hopes that the member-states will achieve significant progress in this area at the Astrakhan Summit,” he said.The presidents of the five Caspian littoral countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan met in Astrakhan Sept. 29. A number of documents will be adopted and a political declaration will be signed following the summit. This declaration will be the basis for a future convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.The document will include the issues of creating a sovereign zone of the countries, fishing area, as well as provisions that make the presence of the armed forces of non-regional countries in the Caspian Sea impossible.This declaration in the form of a convention will be adopted at the summit, to be held in Kazakhstan next year./Trend/ Armenia grappling with increasing divorces http://www.today.az/news/regions/136761.html World news Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:50:00 +0500 By Mushvig MehdiyevAn increasing number of divorce cases is disturbing the Armenian government.Spokesperson for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Anush Danielyan said PM Abrahamyan has tasked the relevant bodies to reveal the reasons behind the growing divorces in Armenia.Danielyan noted that the main issue is to examine the upward tendency in divorce rate in the country. "About 154 divorces were registered per 1,000 marriages in 1990, while the figure has jumped up to 258 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 2014. The growing number of divorces has been observed since the early 1980s due to socio-economic factors," she said.Danielyan revealed the key reasons behind the trend. She said labor migration, alcoholism and drug addiction, socio-economic problems, as well as sterility are among the top causes of widespread divorces. Emigration is a real threat, because a spouse's long absence weakens the family bonds.Armenia's National Statistical Service's Census and Demography Department reported a 14.2 percent increase in divorce cases in 2013. The department has underlined the growing number of divorced men or widowers as an alarming situation.Armenian men mostly look for good appearance while getting married. Slim girls meet the general taste of many males in the country. As for women, they often opt for men with a good job and a house of their own.One more reason of the divorces in Armenia is domestic violence against women. Abuse of the women is deeply rooted in the country. Women in Armenia endure violence not only by their husbands, as well as by their mother-in-laws and father-in-laws. These intolerance fuels the divorce cases to destroy the family roots and worsen the social life in the country. For instance, five Armenian women aged between 28 and 38 were murdered by their husbands just in the first two months of 2014.Divorces in Armenia are also increasing by high index of infertility rate. Latest statistics show infertility rate is 17 percent in the country. WHO standards see infertility above 15 percent as critical. Capital city Yerevan is among the cities with the highest rate of sterility. Having no child inspires Armenian couples to end their relations and it becomes one of driving factors to increase divorces./AzerNews/ Fanta festival thrills up Azerbaijani youth http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/136760.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:32:00 +0500 By Amina NazarliBaku Crystal Hall hosted another incredible concert the Fanta Youth Festival.Organized by Coca-Cola Company, the festival was held on September 27.The festival which took place in Azerbaijan for the second time saw the popular singers such as Natavan Khabibi and Miri Yusif to perform on the stage. The special guest of the festival was the talented Turkish singer, Kanan Dogulu, who won the hearts of his fans in Azerbaijan.At a press conference held before the concert, Kenan Dogulu called Azerbaijan his second homeland and expressed his delight of being among his Azerbaijani fans.During the festival, the guests had the chance to take pleasure from different programs of the festival like music concerts, daytime activities and games like bowling, percussion, karaoke under the music of one of the best DJ RuidoLoco.Furthermore, the most creative selfie contest was held via fantafestivali.com. One who gained the most "Like" during the voting was invited to the scene. The winner won a chance to take a Selfie with Kanan Dogulu, Miri Yusif and Natavan Habibi.Fanta Festival was first one reaching far regions from the metropolitans of Turkey. In the last twelve years, the number of festival's fans has reached 4 million people. It covers over 77.000 km through the country.The mobile festival fills the halls in Baku with joy and entertainment. It also thrills up the youth in Azerbaijani regions; Guba, Shirvan, Sheki, Shamakhi, Balakan and Ismailli.The first Fanta festival was held in Tofig Bahramov's stadium in 2013. It brought together Turkish singer Emre Aydin, winner of "Eurovision-2011" Nigar Jamal, Miri Yusif and Uran./AzerNews/ Azerbaijani, Turkish air forces can hold joint drills next year http://www.today.az/news/society/136759.html Society Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:18:00 +0500 The next joint drills of Azerbaijani and Turkish air forces are planned to be held in Turkey.Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister, the air force commander, Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov and the head of the Turkish air force department on work with staff, Brigadier General Emin Ayik met the N-military unit in Azerbaijan, on Sept. 30, according to the website of the Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan.The mentioned military unit previously took part in the military air force drills of Azerbaijan and Turkey.It should be noted that the Brigadier General Ayik is on a visit to Azerbaijan.The Defense Ministry said that during the visit the parties were acquainted with special simulators that are used to train helicopter pilots.Afterwards, the tasks that must be executed in the future were discussed at the airfield, which hosted the trainings, according to the ministry’s message.During the discussions, it was noted that the Azerbaijani and Turkish air forces plan to hold the next joint drills in March of next year.The military unit was also visited by the military attaché of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, Brigadier General Hasan Nevzat Tasdeler./Trend/ Khizi waiting you with its natural attractions http://www.today.az/news/society/136758.html Society Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:49:00 +0500 By Nigar OrujovaWith the arrival of fresh season, it is now hard to stay at home for a long time. So, to spend a nice day in a place not so far away from Baku, you can go to Khizi.Situated at just 10 km from the capital, Khizi seems attracting for visitors with its natural beauties and unreal landscapes.First, you will be astonished with the roads leading to the region. Various rocks along the roads have created an unearthly view. Red stripes runs along your way arising in you the feeling of the Curiosity spacecraft exploring Mars.On your road to the shady forest of the region, you will also have the opportunity to visit the home museum of the proclaimed Azerbaijani poet Mikayil Mushvig. Mushvig was a real patriot who expressed himself in the lyrical poems, and paid a heavy price for his love to Azerbaijan. He was one of the victims of Stalin era.Meanwhile, you have the chance to see the air changes and have a sea-scent, as the region is washed by the Caspian Sea in the east.Khizi town is a small place. You need at most an hour to visit the whole town. Then, you have time to see to other places: the mountains of the national park in the region or Altiagaj, one of the best-known tourist attractions of the region located 12-14 km from Khizi. If you have two days off, you can visit both places.In addition to an astonishing forest in the region, you can also visit other historical places there. In Khalaj village, there is a famous 15th century shrine, with an ancient graveyard called "Agh Pir". In Alishirin village dating back to 15th century, sepulchre of Sheikh Heydar, an extremely courageous man, the father of the Safavid ruler Shah Ismayil.Gizilgazma place is among the main tourist attractions in Khizi. This mountainous region is very famous for its small mountaÃ??Ã?­in lake.During the visit to Bayahmad Yurdu village, you can see one of the most beautiful and picturesque mountain in Khizi. However, the story of this village is tragic. Once a flowering village, it was devastated later during the World War II.After this long trip, you would be hungry soon. So, do not waste your time and order the delicious national food and sweet scented tea with lip smacking preserves in Soyugbulag.Soyugbulag has beautiful springs with ice-cold water. It is situated at a forest on top of a mountain, where you can make a picnic. The lucky ones will also have an opportunity to see wild animals here.You can stay for a night in the local hotels or pitch your tent and sleep in the forest. However, do not build a fire there, otherwise you will be fined.Enjoying the last warm days in this place is a perfect chance. So do not hesitate and take your tent and go to Khizi./AzerNews/ CIS Security Council secretaries hold meeting in Moscow http://www.today.az/news/politics/136757.html CIS Security Council secretaries held regular (second) meeting in Moscow, where they discussed the efforts to counter international terrorism and religious extremism, radicalization of Islam and its possible consequences for the CIS states, destructive activity of “Al-Qaeda” and the terrorist group “The Islamic state of Iraq and Sham” (ISIS), as well as issues of cooperation in the sphere of international information security. Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:23:00 +0500 CIS Security Council secretaries held regular (second) meeting in Moscow, where they discussed the efforts to counter international terrorism and religious extremism, radicalization of Islam and its possible consequences for the CIS states, destructive activity of “Al-Qaeda” and the terrorist group “The Islamic state of Iraq and Sham” (ISIS), as well as issues of cooperation in the sphere of international information security.At the meeting, the delegation of the Azerbaijan Republic was led by the head of Presidential Administration academician Ramiz Mehdiyev.Ramiz Mehdiyev made a report at the meeting.Mehdiyev in particular called a danger the participation of citizens of the CIS member countries in operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan as a part of various religious, extremist and terrorist groups. These people gain fighting experience and skills and upon return to the countries they become serious factor menacing to national security.Participants of meeting were reported about the measures undertaken by law enforcement bodies and intelligence services of Azerbaijan for counteraction to activity of the extremist religious organizations, and about success achieved in this area. He gave detailed information on adoption of amendments to the national legislation, concerning punishment toughening for those involved in terrorism, and also for involvement of citizens of Azerbaijan to participation in armed conflicts outside the country on the basis of religious hatred.Within the visit, the head of Administration of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ramiz Mehdiyev held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolay Patrushev. The sides discussed a range of issues of bilateral cooperation./AzerTAc/ Azerbaijani parliament to express protest to European Parliament http://www.today.az/news/politics/136756.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:40:00 +0500 Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan is preparing an appeal of protest to the European Parliament in connection with its earlier resolution on human rights in Azerbaijan.This is already the 4th resolution on the country, the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Oktay Asadov said at the opening of the autumn session Sept.30.At the same time this resolution is of intentional nature, since it was adopted on Sept.18, the day before the major international events in Azerbaijan.Among 46 people who were preparing the resolution only 1 person has been to Azerbaijan, and it is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. During his period of work military aircrafts were sold to Armenia, the speaker saidThe purpose of the adoption of resolution is the pressure on Azerbaijan, however, the country will not allow any force to damage its independence.He also noted that Azerbaijan has no obligations to the European Parliament. Euronest organization was created for expansion of ties.The Speaker called the adopted resolution a biased one, and noted that European Parliament applies the double standards in respect of Azerbaijan.A commission headed by Vice-Speaker Valeh Alesgerov was established on Asadov’s proposal in the parliament, which will prepare an appeal of protest./Trend/ TAP to increase Azerbaijan’s role in Italian energy market http://www.today.az/news/business/136755.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:17:00 +0500 By Sara RajabovaAzerbaijan will play a larger role in the Italian energy market in future, as the construction of Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) is set to bring Azerbaijani gas to the country.Matteo Verda, a researcher at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI - Milan) made the remark in an interview with Day.Az website commenting on the role and place of Azerbaijan in the Italian policy.Verda said since the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, Azerbaijan has been one of the most important oil suppliers of the Italian market, adding that due to the nature of the international oil market, this relevant commercial relation was developed on purely economic basis.Noting that Azerbaijan's role in the Italian energy supplies will increase even more after the construction of TAP, he said this new flow will help the diversification of natural gas supplies and enhancement of Italian energy security.TAP is a project that envisages building a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Italy, which is heavily dependent on foreign supplies of gas."In this case, political cooperation at governmental level played an important role to ensure the construction of the pipeline. Moreover, once built, the pipeline will represent a mutually binding commitment, with potentially important spillovers on other sectors," Verda said.With regard to the protests in Puglia against the TAP project, the expert said this will not hamper the implementation of TAP project, as the pipeline has been fully authorized.Leader of Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) Beppe Grillo has recently said he would call for a referendum over TAP project. However, the government of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is keen on completing the TAP project."Local groups and some local governments were against the project for ideological reasons. In many European countries, small groups are protesting against infrastructural development. In any case, they usually do not pose a threat to the realization of the infrastructure project. Moreover, when a few individuals become violent, security forces always intervene," Verda said.He noted that as in the case of Grillo, some politicians try to get more visibility at national level challenging big infrastructure projects only because they receive the support of the government. "Moreover, those politicians are always eager to show that they care about the environment, even in those cases - as TAP - where there is no relevant environmental issue."Verda said, in any case, there is neither legal nor political capacity to call for a national referendum on the construction of a big infrastructure.He further stressed that bilateral relations are very good and there is commitment on both sides to improve this relationship. "Azerbaijani market is rapidly expanding and Italy offers good opportunities for investments, both for private capitals and for public funds."Verda added that even with the change of governments, there is a strong will to press ahead with infrastructure projects across the country. Monitoring on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line passes without incident http://www.today.az/news/politics/136754.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:06:00 +0500 The monitoring held Sept. 30 under the mandate of the OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative, on the contact line located near the village of Sarijali of Azerbaijan's Aghdam region passed without an incident, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Sept. 30.On the Azerbaijani side the monitoring was carried out by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk and his field assistant Evgeny Sharov.On the opposite side the monitoring was conducted by field assistants of OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative Hristo Hristov and Peter Svedberg.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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ Great Britain to assess potential of Azerbaijani business http://www.today.az/news/business/136753.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:03:00 +0500 A delegation of representatives from large British companies will arrive in Baku on September 30 to discuss the business opportunities of Azerbaijan and Great Britain, a statement posted on the webpage of the British Embassy in Azerbaijan says."British companies are interested in assessing the business potential of Azerbaijani companies working in the fields of education and telecommunications,” a statement says. “In this regard, businessmen of the two countries will exchange experience to support the development of the economy of Azerbaijan."“There is a long-standing business and economic relationship between the UK and Azerbaijan,” Mark Higgins, International Trade Adviser (ITA) for UKTI, said. “The United Kingdom remains the largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan with over 300 British companies operating in the country.”“The British companies on this trade mission are looking forward to meeting their counterparts in Azerbaijan in order to identify potential customers, partners and ‘win win’ opportunities,” he said.A business forum will be held in Baku with the support of Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and Industry as part of the British delegation’s visit on Oct. 2.The foreign trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reduced twofold during the year, amounting to $566.78 million in January-August.The goods worth $443.884 million were imported to Azerbaijan as of eight months, while goods worth $122.896 million were exported, according to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee./Trend/ Iran’s GDP grows 6.4% in spring after consecutive declines http://www.today.az/news/regions/136752.html World news Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:48:00 +0500 Iran’s GDP, including the oil sector, grew by 6.4 percent in spring this year after 8 seasons of decline.Peiman Qorbani, Vice Governor of Iranian Central Bank (CBI) said the national economy, excluding the oil sector, grew by 4.4 percent in spring, corresponding to the first quarter of the current Iranian year, the Mehr news agency reported Sept. 28.“The administration’s top priority is to curb the inflation rate and stabilize the domestic market,” he said, adding that the industry sector accounted for the lion’s share of the growth.Iran’s agriculture, oil, mine and industry sectors achieved positive growth rates of up to 8.1 percent during the mentioned period, according to the CBI.The economic growth rate in Iran turned positive after the country experienced months of stagflation, suffering negative economic growth combined with rising inflation rate.In the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2014) Iran’s economy shrank by 1.9 percent.Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic will witness an inflation rate far below 20 percent at the end of the year.The Rouhani administration had previously envisaged a 25-percent inflation rate for the current year./Trend/ Azerbaijani History and Culture Research Centre opens in Vietnam http://www.today.az/news/politics/136751.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:53:00 +0500  An opening ceremony of the Azerbaijani History and Culture Research Centre under the Institute for Politics, Law and Management of Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) has been held in Hanoi, Vietnam.The event brought together officials of Government and Parliament of Vietnam, members of the society, representatives of the Media.Director of the Azerbaijani History and Culture Research Centre Ngo Thi Kim Tu highlighted the activity and plans of the Centre.Azerbaijani Ambassador to Vietnam Anar Imanov highlighted the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Vietnam saying the visit created conditions for comprehensive development of cooperation between the two countries.He also highlighted the increased interest of the people of Vietnam to Azerbaijan, as well as its culture.The diplomat stressed the importance of opening of the Centre, adding this would play an important role in awareness of Vietnam`s people about Azerbaijan and would serve to further strengthening relations between the two nations.The speakers stressed the role of the Centre in developing relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam.The event saw demonstration of video about Azerbaijan.The event was broadcast in State television of Vietnam “VTV-1”./AzerTAc/ Azerbaijan wrestling team rank 2nd at international tournament http://www.today.az/news/sports/136750.html Sports Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:28:00 +0500 Azerbaijani youth national wrestling team has finished second at the international tournament dedicated to the memory of the hero of the Russian Federation, Major-General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Magomed Omarov held in Dagestan, city of Kaspiysk.Azerbaijani team defeated North Ossetia and Khasaviurt with the same score 6-2.On the way to the final, the national team lost 2-6 to Dagestan and gained tournament’s silver medal./AzerTAc/ Fitch affirms stable outlook for Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/136749.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:19:00 +0500 By Aynur JafarovaInternational Rating Agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed Azerbaijan's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDR) at 'BBB-' with a stable outlook.The issue ratings on Azerbaijan's senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at 'BBB-'. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'BBB-' and the Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'F3'.Fitch said Azerbaijan's sovereign balance sheet is one of the strongest of any rated sovereign and underpins the rating.Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ reached $37.6 billion in the first half of 2014. Adding $15 billion in foreign-exchange reserves at the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), the sovereign's gross external assets are equivalent to 69 percent of GDP.Fitch expects further modest growth in sovereign assets as the current account registers (diminishing) surpluses in 2014-2016. This should provide a buffer against oil price or production shocks and support the manat's (AZN) peg to the USD at AZN 0.78/USD 1.The state budget ran a smaller surplus in the seven months of 2014 than in the corresponding period of 2013. Fitch projects a small general government deficit in 2014, albeit below the original target of 3 percent of GDP owing to higher than expected oil prices.Fitch forecasts that the general government will run deficits of 1-2 percent of GDP annually in 2015-2016 as the authorities keep current and capital spending high against a backdrop of diminishing revenue."SOFAZ transferred 4.9 billion manats ($6.3 billion) to the state budget in the first half of 2014, or 52 percent of total revenue. The government's long-term aim is to reduce the budget's dependence on the SOFAZ transfer, and thus oil prices. The success of this strategy will crucially depend on the ability to develop a strong, sustainable non-oil economy," Fitch said.Fitch forecasts that GDP growth will slow to 3.3 percent in 2014 from 5.8 percent in 2013, and remain in the 3.5-4 percent range in 2015-2016. Non-oil sector growth will be the driver of economic activity, with growth in hydrocarbons output stagnating as existing oilfields age and large ongoing gas projects have yet go on-stream. In the medium term, the government will pursue the twin aims of developing large gas reserves while continuing to diversify the economy in order to reduce its strong commodity dependence."The key risk to Azerbaijan's economy is a sudden and prolonged drop in oil prices. Indirect risks from the effect of sanctions of the Russian economy are contained, given the limited overall exposure to the Russian economy. However, the manat's effective exchange rate has appreciated in 2014 owing to the steep depreciation of the Russian rouble, and if carried forward, this could hamper efforts to develop the non-oil economy," Fitch said.The CBA has undertaken macro-prudential measures to curb consumer lending growth, which consequently fell to 29 percent year on year in July 2014 from 40 percent in January. Nevertheless, the banking system remains a relative weakness. Majority state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), which controls one-third of the banking system's assets, has asset quality problems, despite an ongoing 500 million recapitalization.The stable outlook reflects Fitch's assessment that upside and downside risks to the rating are currently balanced. Nonetheless, the following risk factors individually, or collectively, could trigger positive rating action:- Steps to correct the gradual deterioration of Azerbaijan's budgetary position since 2010, sufficient to increase Fitch's confidence in the longer-term sustainability of Azerbaijan's sovereign balance sheet strengths.- A credible strategy for sustainable economic diversification, supported by reforms to improve governance and transparency./AzerNews/ Armenia’s armed forces once again violate ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/136748.html Politics Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:55:00 +0500 Over the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces, located on the nameless heights in Armenia’s Berd district violated ceasefire with Azerbaijani armed forces, stationed near the Kokhanebi village of Tovuz district.The Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Sept. 30 that the Azerbaijani soldiers’ were also shot at from the positions on the nameless heights in the districts of Goranboy, Khojavend and Fizuli.The violation 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Sept. 30 http://www.today.az/news/business/136747.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:47:00 +0500 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Sept. 30, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsSept. 29, 2014Sept. 30, 20141 U.S. dollar1 USD0.78440.78441 euro1 EUR0.99460.99551 Australian dollar1 AUD0.6830.68621 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09280.0925100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00740.00741 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.32410.32061 UAE dirham1 AED0.21360.21361 South African Rand1 ZAR0.06970.0697100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.07470.07451 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03610.03621 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.1310.13041 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12780.12761 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13360.13371 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.44880.44841 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.1011 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01280.01271 British pound sterling1 GBP1.27281.2752100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0064100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10790.10841 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.82390.82481 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.21320.2131 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.70190.70371 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.72122.72291 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.01440.01441 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.2880.2883100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05190.05191 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.23960.23971 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.05840.05821 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.05460.05491 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.12140.1218100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03320.03321 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23770.23851 Russian ruble1 RUR0.020.01991 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.61560.61611 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20920.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.16961.16671 Turkish lira1 TRY0.34630.34451 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02580.02581 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15480.1541 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06080.0606100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.71710.71751 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.6080.6116Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU952.0655956.5758Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.746613.7757Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1022.85761024.4264Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD629.0888616.5384/Trend/ TANAP to connect South Caucasus with Balkan countries http://www.today.az/news/business/136746.html Business Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:45:00 +0500 The Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), which is one of the most important energy projects in the region, will connect the South Caucasus with the countries of the Balkan Peninsula, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sept. 30, TRT Haber TV channel reported.“Azerbaijan and Turkey create an energy corridor, which will connect the South Caucasus with the Balkan countries,” he said.He also said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline are also one of the important joint projects of Azerbaijan and Turkey.Davutoglu said that Azerbaijan and Turkey will continue to implement joint energy projects.The TANAP project envisages transporting gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field through Turkey up to the country's border with Europe.The pipeline's initial capacity is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. The pipeline's capacity can be further expanded to 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year.It is planned to commission the TANAP pipeline in 2018. The project's cost is estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion./Trend/ President Ilham Aliyev met with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev - UPDATE http://www.today.az/news/politics/136742.html Politics Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:41:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on a working visit in Astrakhan, the Russian Federation, has attended the opening of the “Friendship” kindergarten under secondary school No. 11 after Heydar Aliyev. The construction of the kindergarten was initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.The head of state addressed the event.A photo stand reflecting the life and political activities of national leader Heydar Aliyev, President Ilham Aliyev's visits to Astrakhan and the work carried out by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the city was installed in the lobby of the kindergarten.The foundation stone for the facility was laid in 2013 with the participation of Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.President Ilham Aliyev was informed that the 140-seat kindergarten is designed to serve both Azerbaijani children and kids from local families. In general, the facility will have six groups for children from 2 to 6 years of age. The kindergarten is fitted with all the necessary equipment and teaching aids. Sports and music halls as well as other rooms here meet modern standards.After reviewing the kindergarten, President Ilham Aliyev posed for photographs with Azerbaijanis living in Astrakhan.***13:27 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has arrived in Astrakhan, the Russian Federation on a working visit that will see him attend the 4th summit of heads of state of the Caspian littoral states.At the International Airport of Astrakhan President Ilham Aliyev was welcomed by high-ranking state and government officials.*****29.09.201416:27 The 4th summit of the heads of state of the Caspian littoral states has started in Astrakhan, the Russian Federation.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the Summit.President of Russia Vladimir Putin welcomed President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov.The heads of state posed for photographs.The Astrakhan Summit will discuss a variety of issues, including the legal status of the Caspian basin, the strengthening of security of the sea and joint activities towards the dealing with common challenges, the protection of the unique natural environment and biological resources of the Caspian Sea, topical regional and international matters. The heads of state will review the implementation of the decisions made at the previous summits and determine the main priorities of the development of relations among the Caspian littoral states.The 1st summit of heads of state of the Caspian littoral states was held in Ashgabat in 2002, the 2nd in Tehran in 2007, and the 3rd in Baku in 2010.Five-sided intergovernmental documents have been signed as part of the 4th summit of the heads of state of the Caspian littoral states in Astrakhan with the participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov.An agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea, an agreement on cooperation in warning and liquidating emergencies in the Caspian Sea and an agreement on the preservation and rational use of water biological resources in the Caspian Sea were signed by relevant ministries of the Caspian littoral states.Then President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov signed a statement of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov, who attended the 4th summit of the heads of state of the Caspian littoral states in Astrakhan, have walked along the banks of the Volga River.Then the Presidents attended a ceremony to release belugas bred in Astrakhan into the Volga.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who was on a working visit in Astrakhan, the Russian Federation, has met with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani.During the meeting, the sides noted that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Iran were developing successfully in a variety of fields. The parties stressed the importance of high-level meetings in terms of the further strengthening of ties. The presidents exchanged views on the issues related to prospects for cooperation in political, economic, energy, transport and other fields.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astrakhan.The parties expressed satisfaction with the level of traditionally friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and noted that there was good potential for the development of the bilateral ties.The sides discussed the issues related to the expansion of the cooperation between the two countries in a variety of areas./AzerTAc/ Azerbaijan’s finance minister takes part in World Economic Forum http://www.today.az/news/business/136744.html Business Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:09:00 +0500 Azerbaijan’s Finance Minister Samir Sharifov is participating in the World Economic Forum that kicked off in Turkey’s Istanbul city on Sept.29, Azerbaijani Finance Ministry said.The forum is being attended by over 500 senior officials of government, as well as businessmen, representatives of financial institutions and civil society, well-known scholars and experts from over 70 countries.The World Economic Forum was founded in January 1971 when a group of European business leaders met under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations. German-born Klaus Schwab, then Professor of Business Policy at the University of Geneva, chaired the gathering, which took place in Davos, Switzerland. The organization was subsequently incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation.Baku hosted the Davos Economic Forum with participation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in April 2013.Azerbaijan ranked 38th among 144 countries in the last Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-2015 of the World Economic Forum./Trend/ Caspian Sea status issue unlikely to be solved and here is why http://www.today.az/news/analytics/136743.html Analytics Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:02:00 +0500 By Elmira TariverdiyevaAstrakhan holds the regular summit of heads of Caspian littoral states Sept.29, which attracts attention of many international players. This is not surprising, since the interests of many countries intersect in the Caspian region today not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of geopolitics and economics.Located at the crossroads of "East - West", "North - South" intercontinental transport directions and communications, the countries of the Caspian region are included in the fundamental interests of such major international players like the United States, Europe and Russia.Summit of the Caspian littoral states in Astrakhan means a lot both for the fate of the entire region and each country of the region separately.Regarding the main issue for the countries of the Caspian region - Caspian sea status, it is unlikely that the countries will soon come to at least any kind of consensus in this case, as they all all have different understanding of a perfect solution. Another thing that is crystal clear is that all five states have completely different roles in the region.While the current issues of the Caspian Sea status are being solved at the meetings of representatives of various levels, the fundamental issues are not, as they are stumbling blocks in the foreign policy of the Caspian littoral states.It is difficult to reach a single solution of such an important issue for the region, when the positions are contrary to each other. And it is unlikely for this situation to change in the near future, so it is more likely that the political and economic cooperation between the countries will be the main topic of the summit, rather than the Caspian Sea status.At the same time, Azerbaijan plays one of the key roles in the region due to several circumstances, and cooperation with Baku in various areas will be one of the key themes of the summit.For many years, the western countries have regarded the Caspian Sea region, especially Azerbaijan as a source of energy resources. At the same time, the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Azerbaijan and the West will start in 2017. By virtue of cooperation in the energy sphere, namely Azerbaijan can be regarded as a country opening alternative routes for the supply of energy resources of the Caspian Sea region to the West.Currently, Azerbaijan’s strategic objective is to maintain balance in its relations with all the interested foreign players, by prioritizing its national interests. In this regard, Azerbaijan’s interests coincide with the interests of the West which intends to gain energy independence from Russia.Favorable geostrategic location, rich hydrocarbon reserves and secularity – all these factors are in favor of Azerbaijan in this issue. In terms of economic efficiency, the country maintains equal partnership relations with Russia without exacerbating this country’s influence.In terms of cooperation with Caspian Sea countries, it is an important factor that Russia regards Azerbaijan as a transit country for its relations with Iran. Currently, the supply of electricity to Iran through the territory of Azerbaijan is under consideration. The sanctions imposed on Russia by the West prompt Russia to significantly increase its trade turnover with Iran in 2014.Iran will get great opportunities to enter the Russian market with various goods and at the same time, this will allow Azerbaijan to significantly increase the trade turnover with both of the countries, and get additional funds to transit goods.Azerbaijan also shares Russia's and other Caspian Sea countries' view to prevent the emergence of the foreign forces in the Caspian Sea region. This issue may also be among the topics to be discussed in the summit.Another important regional player in the Caspian Sea region, Kazakhstan, which is the ally of Russia and depends on this country on many economic issues, still tries to hold an independent position and become a kind of mediator between the other Caspian Sea countries. /Trend/ Monitoring on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line expected http://www.today.az/news/politics/136741.html Politics Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:33:00 +0500 The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is expected to monitor the contact line of the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Sept.30, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said.The monitoring will be held under the mandate of the OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative, on the contact line located near the village of Sarijali of Azerbaijan's Aghdam region, the ministry said.On the Azerbaijani side, the monitoring will be carried out by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative, Andrzej Kasprzyk and his field assistant Evgeny Sharov.On the opposite side, the monitoring will be conducted by field assistants of OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative, Hristo Hristov and Peter Svedberg.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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions. /Trend/ Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Sept.29 http://www.today.az/news/business/136740.html Business Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:55:00 +0500 The exchange rate of AZN compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Sept.29, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsSept.26Sept.291 U.S. dollar1 USD0.78440.78441 euro1 EUR0.99980.99461 Australian dollar1 AUD0.68850.6831 ArgentinianPeso1 ARS0.09310.0928100 Belarusian Rubles100 BYR0.00740.00741 Brazilian Real1 BRL0.3230.32411 UAE dirham1 AED0.21360.21361 South African Rand1 ZAR0.07010.0697100 South Korean Won100 KRW0.07520.07471 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03640.03611 Chilean Peso1 CLP0.1310.1311 Chinse Yuan1 CNY0.12790.12781 Danish Krone1 DKK0.13430.13361 Georgian Lari1 GEL0.44830.44881 Hong Kong Dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian Rupee1 INR0.01280.01281 British pound sterling1 GBP1.27921.2728100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish Krona1 SEK0.10880.10791 Swiss Franc1 CHF0.82830.82391 Israeli Shekel1 ILS0.21360.21321 Canadian Dollar1 CAD0.70540.70191 Kuwaiti Dinar1 KWD2.72592.72121 Kazakhstan Tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz Som1 KGS0.01440.01441 Lithuanian Litas1 LTL0.28960.288100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05190.05191 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.24050.23961 Mexican Peso1 MXP0.05860.05841 Moldovan Leu1 MDL0.05480.05461 Egyptian Pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.12250.1214100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03320.03321 Polish Zloty1 PLN0.23910.23771 Russian ruble1 RUR0.02040.021 Singapore Dollar1 SGD0.61740.61561 Saudi Riyal1 SAR0.20910.20921 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.16871.16961 Turkish lira1 TRY0.34640.34631 Taiwanese Dollar1 TWD0.02590.02581 Tajik Somoni1 TJS0.15480.15481 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06060.0608100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.72020.71711 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.62190.608Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU952.0655952.0655Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.837613.7466Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1027.5641022.8576Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD633.0108629.0888/Trend/ Iran’s PVC output stands at 400,000 tons http://www.today.az/news/regions/136739.html World news Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:03:00 +0500 Iran’s total PVC output capacity is around 700,000 metric tons per year.However, the Managing Director of Ghadir Petrochemical Complex, Masoud Saeedi said the country's actual production rate stands at 400,000-420,000 metric tons per year, IRNA news agency reported Sept. 28.“Domestic consumption of PVC also stands at 350,000 metric tones per year,” he said.“Ghadir Petrochemical Complex exports around 30 percent of its products toforeign countries including Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and CentralAsia,” Saeedi added.Ghadir Petrochemical Complex is one of the four complexes in Iran that canproduce PVC.Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is the third-most widely produced polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene./Trend/ Armenian armed forces violate ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/136737.html Politics Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:40:00 +0500 Armenian armed forces, located near the village of Berkaber of Armenia’s Ijevan region, have once again violated the ceasefire with Azerbaijan over the last 24 hours, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Sept.29.Azerbaijani Armed Forces undertook fire near the village of Gizilhajili of Gazakh region.Moreover, Azerbaijan also took fire from the positions located near the villages of Yusifjanli, Merzili of Aghdam and Kuropatkino of Khojavend region.The violation 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./Trend/ Earthquake hits north region of Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/136738.html Politics Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:30:00 +0500 The earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale occurred 22 kilometers to the north-east of Gabala city at 06:38 on September 29, the Republican Seismological Service Center of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) reported Monday.The earthquake epicenter was at a depth of 10 kilometers.The earthquake was felt.Gabala city is situated in 220 km from Baku on the north of Azerbaijan./Trend/ Agreement on two areas of Caspian Sea worked out http://www.today.az/news/politics/136736.html Politics Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:57:00 +0500 Caspian countries have developed an agreement on two areas on the Caspian Sea zone - the state sovereignty zone and the fishing zone, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assistant Yury Ushakov said Sept.26, RIA Novosti reported."It was possible to reflect the position on the delimitation of the waters in the statement of the presidents as a result of the work of experts," Ushakov said.Two zones have been defined, the state sovereignty zone and the second zone with fishing rights, he added.The statement is expected to be signed by the leaders at the summit in Astrakhan."These two zones will make 25 nautical miles," Ushakov said.He also said that foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan ("Caspian Five") will meet Sept. 28 in Astrakhan to finalize the policy statement of the Caspian summit."The policy statement prepared for the summit [Caspian summit] includes barring of the presence armed forces of non-regional powers in the Caspian Sea. Difficult consultations were also held on this issue, but the parties have agreed to this principle," Ushakov said.It is expected that the fourth Caspian summit will be held in Astrakhan Sept. 29.It is expected that the key issues of cooperation of the Caspian littoral countries, implementation of the decisions taken at the previous summit held in Baku, at the 2010 summit will be discussed, and the priority areas of cooperation between the countries of the region in the future will be outlined.It is also expected that the multilateral documents will be signed at the summit.A number of bilateral meetings between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his colleagues on the Caspian Five is also envisaged within the framework of the summit./Trend/ Ministers of 91 countries to visit Baku http://www.today.az/news/society/136735.html Society Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:19:00 +0500 More than 91 governments’ ministers will attend first ever Global Forum on Youth Policies to be held in Baku in 28-30 October 2014, Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sport reported.Confirmation letters on the attendance of 92 dedicated ministers to the Global Forum, jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, European Council, UNESCO and the Government of Azerbaijan have been received. Stressing the importance of the Forum, some countries’ ministers hope for a new development trend on youth policies and consider the event as a stimulus for relevant projects in the future.Minister of Economic and Planning of Saudi Arabia, Prof. Saleh A. Alnassar noted that despite the existence of laws and policies on youth issue all over the world, no any appropritate action was taken even in developed countries. “The importance of this forum stems from the objectives and outcomes targeted to be achieved during the forum; the gathering of experts and youth from all around the globe under one roof will be a great experience to view and share ideas and opinions regarding the different approaches used in developing, implementing, and evaluating youth policies, and to reach a new understanding to evidence based, inclusive, participatory and effective youth policy.” – he says.Another minister who shared his opinions about the upcoming Forum was a serbian minister of youth and sports, Mr. Vanja Udovicic. He mentioned positive achievements of Serbia in youth policy field that could serve to others as role model. “Serbia has made lot of positive achievements in youth policy field that could serve to others as role model and inspire others when reflecting on their own developments in the field of youth. The Republic of Serbia is dedicated in large extent to quality cooperation on regional, European and international level, since this cooperation represents the framework for exchange of knowledge, information and good-practice examples, organization of different activities for and among youth, enhancing mobility, activism and participation among youth, etc. Therefore, our role and contribution will reflect in sharing the updates on situation related to youth in Serbia and information about all national programs and projects from different fields - education, employment, health, security, etc. that can be considered as beneficial for overall youth position.” - Vanca Udovicic says.4705 youth applicants from 174 countries showed their interest in participation and 200 of them have been selected to attend the Forum. Overall 200 governmental officials will be either in minister or deputy minister level. Moreover, 100 experts on youth policies will contribute to the work of the Forum. The official web-site of the Forum is www.youthpolicy.org/Trend/ Azerbaijan introduces additional conditions for obtaining construction permit http://www.today.az/news/society/136734.html Society Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:12:00 +0500 Azerbaijan has introduced new requirements for obtaining a construction permit.The Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan approved by its decision the list and the requirements for the application of additional conditions for obtaining construction permits. The text of the decision was published in the official press Sept.26.In accordance with the approved document, in case of construction works (restoration and recovery) in areas that are declared contaminated from an environmental point of view by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, it is required to obtain additional permission.Furthermore, an additional authorization is required in case of negative impacts (physical and mechanical, physical and chemical, on the stability) of the construction works on the stationary monuments of history and culture, as well as in case if the construction is conducted close to the specified monuments.A single form of authorization for the operation of construction objects was adopted by another decision of the Government of Azerbaijan./Trend/ Armenian president discusses situation in South Caucasus with American experts http://www.today.az/news/regions/136733.html World news Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:02:00 +0500 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with leading experts in the field of international relations James Collins, James Traub, Stephen Sestanovich and Vali Nasr during his working visit to the United States, Novosti-Armenia reports citing the press service of the Armenian leader.The meeting of the President with experts was held at the American citizen of Armenian origin Aso Tavitian.The experts presented their assessments on the situation in the South Caucasus and the Middle East to the Armenian president./Trend/ President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136732.html Politics Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:11:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Sept. 20 has received a delegation led by Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs of the U.S. Department of State Amos Hochstein.The head of state expressed his satisfaction with the long-term productive cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S. in the energy sector, and stressed the importance of the U.S. government’s support of Azerbaijan-initiated projects.Noting that the Southern Gas Corridor project is of great regional importance, Amos Hochstein congratulated President Ilham Aliyev on the groundbreaking ceremony of the project.During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the United States./AzerTAc/ The groundbreaking ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor was held at the Sangachal terminal - PHOTOS http://www.today.az/news/politics/136731.html Politics Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:52:00 +0500 On Sept. 20 the groundbreaking ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor has been held at the Sangachal terminal with the participation of heads of state and government.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and other participants of the ceremony left their handprints in special frames.Then President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Taner Y?ld?z, Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras, President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, Minister of Energy and Industry of Albania Damian Gjiknuri, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Italy Claudio De Vincenti, Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic, Minister of State for Trade and Investment of the United Kingdom Lord Livingston, Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs of the U.S. Department of State Amos Hochstein, BP Group chief executive Robert Dudley, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic Rovnag Abdullayev signed the pipe section which will form the start of the Southern Gas Corridor.  Then the groundbreaking ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor was held.Then the heads of state and government and other guests posed for photographs./AzerTAc/ President Ilham Aliyev received the UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment - PHOTO http://www.today.az/news/politics/136730.html Politics Sun, 21 Sep 2014 10:50:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Sept. 20 has received Minister of State for Trade and Investment of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lord Livingston.During the meeting, the sides said that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were at a high level, and exchanged views on prospects for cooperation, which is developing rapidly.Special attention paid to the development of information and communication technologies, non-oil sector, agriculture, healthcare and education and the implementation of infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan was emphasized./AzerTAc/ A solemn ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and lay the ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136729.html Politics Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:41:00 +0500 A solemn ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and lay the foundation of the Southern Gas Corridor has been held at the Heydar Aliyev Centre.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the heads of state and government and other guests posed for photographs.The head of state addressed the event.Speech by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev:- Distinguished heads of state and government,Dear guests,Ladies and gentlemen!My warm greetings to all of you! It is a very momentous and historic day in the life of our country today – the foundation of the Southern Gas Corridor is being laid. Let me congratulate you and the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion!20 September is a historic date for our country. Twenty years ago, on 20 September 1994, the "Contract of the Century" was signed. It was a historic event because the young and independent Azerbaijan was not a popular country in the world at the time. Azerbaijan was faced with enormous challenges. The early years of our independence were extremely difficult. The Armenian occupation, the civil war, the economic and political crises – all of these factors posed huge problems and hampered the development of our country.Today, we are gathered at the Center named after great leader Heydar Aliyev to once again give a high assessment to the work done by the late President. It is thanks to his vision, courage and wisdom that the "Contract of the Century" was signed. This opened up extensive opportunities for the development of Azerbaijan. A huge investment influx was ushered to Azerbaijan. For the first time in history the process of international cooperation in the Caspian Sea began. Azerbaijan obtained the opportunity to deliver its ample oil resources to the world market. The overall economic and political development of our country began precisely with the "Contract of the Century". So our oil strategy has been implemented for 20 years. It has brought huge benefits to our country. Over the years Azerbaijan has consistently expanded its capabilities. In those years oil pipelines linked the Caspian Sea with to the Black and Mediterranean Seas for the first time ever. This is also a historic achievement. I can say that in general the oil and gas sector has seen a number of important stages since 1994. I want to mention some of them. The signing of the "Contract of the Century" on 20 September 1994 and the signing of the Agreement on the "Shah Deniz" gas field in 1996. This was also a very important event because the source of funding for the Southern Gas Corridor today is the "Shah Deniz" gas field. "Shah Deniz" is one of the biggest gas fields in the world with reserves exceeding 1 trillion cubic meters of gas.In 1999, the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline was built, linking the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. It was also a new export route. And in 2003 the foundation was laid for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which linked the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. Today it operates as an export pipeline not only for Azerbaijan, but also the countries located in the eastern part of the Caspian Sea. In addition, the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline in 2007 was also a historic event, as it enabled Azerbaijan to assert itself in the world as a gas country.The construction of a new segment of the pipeline is actually beginning today. In 2007, Azerbaijan already commissioned the first part of the Southern Gas Corridor. In the ensuing years we worked hard on this major project. As you know, there were several options. In 2012, thanks to the activities of the political leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan, the agreement was reached on the construction of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline. The TANAP project and its realization as a whole is a historic event. It was after the TANAP project was negotiated that the Southern Gas Corridor became discernible. The TAP project, the selection of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline as the main export route, was also a historic event in 2012.At the same time, gas sale agreements were signed last year. In other words, all the horizons are open and the road ahead of us is clear. We simply need to work together to ensure the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor, and we will do it.In short, Azerbaijan has consistently pursued its energy policy in recent years. Today's ceremony is only the top of the work done. If the issues I have mentioned had not been resolved back then, there could be no talk of the Southern Gas Corridor today. Currently, the project is fully ready. The construction of the corridor begins today. In the future, we certainly need to try to do this work together with partner countries. Coordination should be at a high level.This project will bring additional dividends to Azerbaijan. The country's economy will grow even faster despite the fact that in the last 10 years Azerbaijan has been the fastest growing economy globally. This project opens up new opportunities for us. Over the past 10 years our gross domestic product has grown by more than three times and the budget costs 20 times. The external public debt accounts for only 8 per cent of our gross domestic product. Unemployment has dropped to 5 per cent and poverty slightly exceeds 5 per cent. According to the recent estimates of the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan's economy is ranked 38th in the world for the level of competitiveness. It is a great achievement for us, which shows that our economy is developing in a diversified manner.Oil and gas resources are only an additional benefit and support for us. This allows us the opportunity to invest in these projects. Azerbaijan is the main investor in TANAP and will assume the main financial burden. In "Shah Deniz", TAP and other projects Azerbaijan is financing its share itself. Thus, the economic dividends obtained earlier are now serving our common interests.At the same time, this project is very profitable for our partner countries. There are no losers in this project. Every party will benefit. Transit countries are also consumers. Consumer countries will achieve diversification of gas supplies. This project will provide for the energy security of Europe. It is no coincidence that the document signed between the European Commission and Azerbaijan three years ago underlines the fact that Azerbaijan is a country playing a very important role in the energy security of Europe. And from this day on this role will further increase.Indeed, energy security is a matter of national security for each country. It is impossible to separate the energy sector from politics and economics. Together with our partners we will take part in ensuring the energy security of Europe. The main source of funding is the "Shah Deniz" gas field. But there are even more gas reserves in Azerbaijan. Our proven gas reserves amount to 2.5 trillion cubic meters, while estimated reserves are projected at a level of 4-5 trillion cubic meters.Caspian gas is the only new source for Europe. There are other sources too and Europe uses them. The volume of these sources may increase, but Azerbaijan is a new source now. I am sure that the diversification of energy security routes, the joint activities of producing, transit and consumer countries will bring success. This requires a very serious coordination effort. Prior to this only three countries participated in our oil and gas projects – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Today we are entering a process of broad international cooperation. Azerbaijan as a gas producing country will supply its resources to the world market. Afterwards the project will be open to Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Italy, and at the next stage to Montenegro, Croatia and other countries. Therefore, coordination should be done at a very high level.I believe that a new international team is emerging in this sphere, in the oil and gas sector, today. All members of the team are here in this hall today. I am confident that our joint work will be successful and our team will succeed. Good luck!/AzerTAc/ President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras held an expanded meeting - ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136727.html Politics Sat, 20 Sep 2014 14:20:00 +0500 14:20Following their private talk, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic Antonis Samaras have met in an expanded format with the participation of their delegations.During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations. The parties discussed energy cooperation and the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project. --------------------20.09.2014 10:28President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras on Sept. 19 have held a one-on-one meeting.During the meeting, the parties noted that relations between the two countries were developing successfully and stressed the importance of the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor. It was noted that there were big prospects for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Greece.During the conversation, the sides also exchanged views on international affairs and other issues of mutual interest.--------------------19.09.2014 18:28Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras has today arrived in Azerbaijan.A guard of honor was lined up for the Greek Premier at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.PM Antonis Samaras was welcomed by Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and other officials./AzerTAc/Greek Premier arrives in AzerbaijanPresident Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras held a one-on-one meetingPresident Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras held an expanded meeting Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu completes official visit to Azerbaijan - UPDATED - PHOTOS http://www.today.az/news/politics/136723.html Politics Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:50:00 +0500 20.09.2014 11:50Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu has today ended his official visit to Azerbaijan.A guard of honor was lined up for the Turkish Premier at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu was seen off by Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Abid Sharifov and other officials.-------23:50Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has hailed Azerbaijan`s development as he met chairman of the country`s parliament Ogtay Asadov.“I`m proud of Azerbaijan`s rapid development that I see each time I visit the country,” said the Turkish Premier, who is on an official visit to Baku. “Only two issues have remained unchanged amid the crises of recent years. First, Azerbaijani-Turkish friendship and brotherhood has remained unchanged. Second, there has been no delay in the development of either Azerbaijan or Turkey. Our countries are developing at a rapid place.”Mr. Davutoglu said that as the prime minister he paid his first visit to Azerbaijan, adding he had spared no efforts to serve the people of Turkey and Azerbaijan regardless of his post.He touched upon the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying Turkey “has always backed Azerbaijan`s just stance”.“Settlement of the problem, restoration of brotherly Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity is important to Turkey as much as it is important to Azerbaijan.”Mr. Davutoglu also praised the inter-parliamentary cooperation, saying it played a special role in the development of the bilateral relations.“I`m confident that our cooperation with Azerbaijan will further develop in all areas,” the Turkish Premier added.Mr. Asadov praised Azerbaijan-Turkey relations, saying they “had deep roots”. “We have excellent relations on all fronts. Azerbaijan-Turkey relations are an example to the rest of the world.”He hailed cooperation between legislative bodies of the two countries. “Our countries back each other in all international organizations.”Mr. Asadov particularly praised the bilateral cooperation in legal, political and economic fields. “We set ourselves a goal of elevating trade between our countries to 15 billion dollars.”On the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said “Turkey is our main supporter on this issue”.--------21:15Azerbaijan and Turkey have discussed how to further deepen the bilateral relations as the two countries` prime ministers met in Baku.Prime ministers Artur Rasizade and Ahmet Davutoglu had private talks before being joined by their delegations for a meeting in an expanded format.Artur Rasizade highlighted the friendly and fraternal ties between the two countries. He said Azerbaijan and Turkey were successfully cooperating on all fronts, including political, economic and humanitarian areas.The Premier expressed confidence that Ahmet Davutoglu`s visit to Azerbaijan would contribute to strengthening cooperation between the countries even further.Rasizade said there was good potential for the further development of Azerbaijan-Turkey cooperation. He also stressed the importance of large-scale projects implemented by the two countries.Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the high-level reciprocal visits played an important role in expanding bonds between the countries.Ahmet Davutoglu expressed confidence that the friendly and fraternal ties between Azerbaijan and Turkey would continue to enhance.---------12:50Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country`s independence and territorial integrity. He put a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.The Turkish Prime Minister also visited a monument to Turkish soldiers and laid a wreath at it.Ahmet Davutoglu signed the guest book here.--------11:36Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu 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.The Turkish Prime Minister also put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.------10:50Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu has arrived in Azerbaijan for an official visit.A guard of honour was lined up for the Turkish Premier at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.PM Davutoglu was welcomed by Azerbaijan`s Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov and other officials./AzerTAc/Turkish Prime Minister embarks on official Azerbaijan visit Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visits tomb of national leader Heydar Aliyev Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visits Alley of Martyrs Rasizade, Davutoglu discuss how to further deepen Azerbaijan-Turkey relations Ahmet Davutoglu: I`m proud of Azerbaijan`s rapid development that I see each time I visit the country Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu completes official visit to Azerbaijan Dinner reception was hosted on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev in honor of the heads of state ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136728.html Politics Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:33:00 +0500 A dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in honor of the heads of state and government, who are visiting the country to participate in a ceremony to lay the foundation of the South Gas Corridor and an event marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Contract of the Century./AzerTAc/Dinner reception was hosted on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev in honor of the heads of state and government President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev made statements ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136726.html Politics Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:21:00 +0500 21:21After the signing ceremony, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev made statements for the press.--------20:20After the meeting in an expanded format, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have signed a joint statement.The statement was inked by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev.-------20:10Following their private talk, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev have met in an expanded format with the participation of delegations.------17:56President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev have held a one-on-one meeting.During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations in political, economic and other areas. The parties stressed the importance of laying the foundation for the Southern Gas Corridor in Azerbaijan in terms of international cooperation. It was noted that there were good prospects for a further expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.During the conversation, the sides exchanged views on bilateral ties and international issues.-------16:53President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev has today arrived in Azerbaijan.A guard of honor was lined up for the Bulgarian President at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.President Rosen Plevneliev was welcomed by Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev and other officials./AzerTAc/Bulgarian President arrived in AzerbaijanPresident Ilham Aliyev and President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev held a one-on-one meeting President Ilham Aliyev and President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev held an expanded meeting Azerbaijan, Bulgaria signed a joint statement President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev made statements for the press Montenegrin PM hails relations with Azerbaijan - UPDATE - PHOTOS http://www.today.az/news/politics/136720.html Politics Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:52:00 +0500 19:52Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic has hailed relations with Azerbaijan in a meeting with Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov.PM Milo Dukanovic, who is in Azerbaijan for an official visit, also praised cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and investment making. He said a legal framework between the two countries had been expanded, and hailed the activity of the intergovernmental commission as fruitful. The Premier noted that there were ample opportunities for the development of humanitarian cooperation. The Prime Minister said the Azerbaijan-Montenegro ties, which were based on a solid foundation, would continue to develop.Highlighting the relationship between Azerbaijan and Montenegro, Speaker Ogtay Asadov noted that political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries had been developing. The Parliament Speaker said the high-level reciprocal visits contributed to expanding these relations.Ogtay Asadov stressed the importance of the development of interparliamentary ties between the countries even further. The Azerbaijani Speaker noted that the two countries supported each other within international organizations.They also discussed energy cooperation and infrastructure projects.-------------19.09.2014 18:05Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic has visited ADA University on Sept. 19.He viewed newly opened education centre, as well as the country`s largest library in foreign languages of the ADA University.The Premier was informed holding of the biggest alternative energy project at the University.Rector Hafiz Pashayev highlighted the University’s cooperation with the leading Higher Schools of the world, adding these ties would be expanded even further.The Montenegrin Premier met the students, praised the educational process of the ADA University. He expressed assurance over the fact that the young generation would contribute to developing Azerbaijani-Montenegrin relations.The Montenegrin Premier was presented a symbolic medal of ADA University.--------------------18.09.2014 20:15Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic has today visited the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.The Premier was informed about the grandiose facility. All conditions have been created at the Center to host official receptions, various international conferences and meetings. The Center was put into operation on 90th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev.The Premier also reviewed the cars that Heydar Aliyev used during his leadership of Azerbaijan from 1969 to 2003.The Prime Minister has also viewed the exhibition “Azerbaijani Pearls”. The exhibition features unique artifacts on the long history, cultural heritage, inexhaustible natural resources of Azerbaijan, as well as economic projects realized since the country`s independence.Dukanovic signed the Guest Book.***15:18Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic has today visited the Alley of Martyrs in Baku.The Prime Minister paid tribute to Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country’s independence and territorial integrity.He laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.***13:35Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic has today visited the Alley of Honours to lay a wreath at the tomb of national leader, founder and architect of modern Azerbaijani state Heydar Aliyev.The Montenegrin PM also put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.***12:44Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic on Sept. 17 has arrived in Azerbaijan for an official visit.A guard of honor was lined up for the Montenegrin Premier at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.PM Milo Dukanovic was welcomed by Azerbaijan`s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov and other officials. /AzerTAc/Montenegrin PM embarks on official Azerbaijan visitMontenegrin PM visits Alley of Honors in Baku Montenegrin Premier visits Alley of Martyrs in Baku Montenegrin Prime Minister visits Heydar Aliyev Center Prime Minister of Montenegro visits ADA University Montenegrin PM hails relations with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev received President of European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey http://www.today.az/news/politics/136724.html Politics Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:51:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey.The sides praised the progress of preparations for the first European Games to be held in Baku in 2015.The importance of government attention to the development of all sports in Azerbaijan was emphasized.The parties discussed the issues related to international cooperation in the field of sport./AzerTAc/ Dinner reception was hosted on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev in honor of Turkish Prime ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136725.html Politics Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:36:00 +0500 -------14:36A dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in honor of Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu.-------13:20After the one-on-one meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu made statements for the press.-------12:27President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu have held a one-on-one meeting.The sides hailed the successful development of Azerbaijani-Turkish bilateral relations in all fields.The parties expressed their confidence that the ties between the two countries would further develop.The sides exchanged views on the issues of mutual interest./AzerTAc/President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a one-on-one meeting President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made statements for the press Dinner reception was hosted on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev in honor of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the Prime Minister of Montenegro - PHOTOS http://www.today.az/news/politics/136722.html Politics Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:05:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic.President Ilham Aliyev first held a one-on-one meeting with PM Milo Dukanovic. During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations between the countries. The parties noted that there was good potential for the development of ties on various fronts, including energy, infrastructure, banking sector, tourism and education.The meeting continued in an expanded format with the participation of the two countries' delegations.The head of state expressed his satisfaction with the fact that bilateral friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro covered a variety of fields and were rapidly developing.Touching upon the issues related to the expansion of cooperation, President Ilham Aliyev said that there were ample opportunities for the development of mutual commercial ties between the two countries.Noting the significance of high-level reciprocal visits in terms of the development of bilateral bonds, the head of state stressed the importance of the visit of the delegation led by Montenegrin Premier Milo Dukanovic to Azerbaijan in terms of discussions of the issues related to the development of relations.PM Milo Dukanovic thanked the Azerbaijani President for his friendly attitude towards Montenegro. The Prime Minister said he was witnessing rapid development in Azerbaijan, adding that this development had made a deep impression on him. Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic congratulated the head of state on Azerbaijan's achievements.Milo Dukanovic said he was pleased with the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro./AzerTAc/ Azerbaijan, Montenegro discuss expansion of mutual cooperation http://www.today.az/news/politics/136721.html Politics Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:53:00 +0500 Azerbaijan's Prime Minister Artur Rasizade has today met Montenegrin counterpart Milo Dukanovic.The prime ministers have been joined by their delegations for an expanded meeting following their one-on-one talk.Rasizade hailed the rapid development of cooperation between the two countries. He said the political and economic relations between the two countries were at a high level.He stressed the importance of reciprocal visits in terms of the development of bilateral ties.The Premier also expressed satisfaction with the activity of the joint commission on economic cooperation between the governments of Azerbaijan and Montenegro. According to Rasizade, the two countries enjoy with the realization of huge projects. He also underlined the importance of expanding humanitarian cooperation between the two countries.Speaking on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Rasizade said the Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan`s territories, and expressed regret that the dispute has not yet been settled.Milo Dukanovic said Azerbaijan and Montenegro enjoyed friendly ties, which were based on mutual confidence. He hailed the rapid development of bonds between the two countries, including political and economic ones, and noted the existing legal base for the expansion of mutual cooperation.He stressed the importance of laying foundation for the Southern Gas Corridor as part of the events dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the “Contract of the Century”. Dukanovic congratulated Azerbaijan on the successful realization of huge energy projects. PM Milo Dukanovic thanked the Azerbaijani Government for friendly attitude towards Montenegro.The meeting ended with the signing of an agreement on cooperation between the ministries of education of Azerbaijan and Montenegro. The agreement was inked by Azerbaijan`s Minister of Education Mikayil Jabbarov and Montenegrin Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavaric./AzerTAc/ Azerbaijan love in Mexican heart http://www.today.az/news/society/136719.html Society Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:16:00 +0500 By Paula Del RealIt all began with a call-up to write an essay about my knowledge about Azerbaijan.It was a complicated assignment because I really didn't know anything about the country. After some research, I began to write the article. One month later, I received a call. I was told that I have won the call-up. The prize? I could travel to the Land of Fire in the summer! I was about to start one of my best experiences in life.It took me three flights and more than 28 hours to arrive in Baku. As soon as I stepped in the airport, I saw a man, standing with a sign reading: "Mexico", it was then that I realized I was in Azerbaijan, representing my country.The trip began with a formal ceremony, were the entire guests took flowers to the Alley of Honour, and the Alley of the Martyrs. It was a great start because we understood love and respect Azerbaijanis pay to their country and history.By walking into the city, you can sense a mixture of ancient and modern history in Baku: On one side, you can see the amazing Maiden Tower and all the ancient history and culture that Azerbaijan is so proud of, and a few streets down, you can see the stunning Flame Towers, a symbol indicating that Azerbaijan is a country proud of its roots and confident enough in the modern world.When you begin to walk along the Old City, it seems you are travelling into history.There you can see old buildings, old cars, and ancient history. It is amazing how well all these elements have been arranged. The wall that surrounds this part of the city is actually a check point. A few miles away there's Nizami Street along which you can see modern shops and contemporary statues and structures, like the Monument to the Modern Woman.Our sponsor, the Youth and Sports Ministry, also had arranged a three day visit to Gabala, Shaki and Lahic during which I got the chance to see the full culture of Azerbaijan. I visited Khan's Palace, Karavansay Hotel and ate the traditional Piti soup in a traditional wedding's venue in Shaki. I will never forget the pleasures I got from these experiences. In Lahic I felt traveling in a time machine. We actually traveled in time. We had the opportunity to saw one of the most ancient villages not only in Azerbaijan but also across the world. Gabala has amazing perspectives and the Cable Car, it's something that no one can resist experiencing.Back in Baku, we visited the Heydar Aliyev Center, which is a stunning construction. It's design has already won many international awards. By visiting the Heydar Aliyev Museum you enter a new atmosphere. The building is like a space machine: contemporary and white. There you can see all the willingness to share Heydar Aliyev's history and it's something every country should do about their national leaders.Food in Azerbaijan was something I was really afraid of before visiting the country.But surprisingly enough, it turned out that there are a lot of similarities between Mexico and Azerbaijan in terms of food. Both countries are rich in fruits, beer, and meat. I especially liked apples, watermelons and cherries. Meanwhile, the way a traditional Azerbaijani meal is presented is amazing. I never thought that you can start with a fruit, sometimes it's exactly what you need to do. I ate a lot of lamb in different dishes and presentations and discovered how many chesses you can eat with the Tandir (bread). It's just a festive in your mouth. Into the beverages field, I found a lot of juices (gilas v? portajal shiresi) and a type of drinkable compote of cherries. Azerbaijani gastronomy, it's something people from all over the world must try at least once.Azerbaijani tea is simply amazing. My first experience with Azerbaijani tea was at 3 am in the morning on a Tuesday in a tea house in Bulvar. It was a bit of a shock to me to be able to walk and drink tea at that late hour. They have a traditional tea presentation, with desserts like Pakhlavas. I personally love tea, but in Mexico we don't have tea culture, so this is one of the many things I loved about Azerbaijan.Azerbaijan is an amazing country with amazing people. Every person I met was kind and welcoming. They deserve all the international attention they are getting.But they also need the attention of foreign governments to adopt urgent measures to put an end to the conflict in Karabakh which has already taken many lives.The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 over Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed as a result of large-scale hostilities and over one million Azerbaijanis are unable to return their home because of the invasion. Armenia continues the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, which in turn obstacles the regional security and peace.There is a saying that every person has two countries, his own and another one, where they belong to. I am so proud to be a Mexican and share all my roots and culture but I definitely believe that I belong to Azerbaijan.Paula Del Real is a Mexican student who studies international relations and got a chance to visit Azerbaijan this summer. You can contact her at paula.delreal.ri@gmail.com. President Ilham Aliyev received the Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136718.html Politics Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:35:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, MP Andreas Schockenhoff.They discussed the issues related to the development of the relations between the two countries and Azerbaijan-EU cooperation./AzerTAc/ First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva reviews “Konul” orphanage-kindergarten in Baku after major ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/136717.html Politics Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:10:00 +0500 First Lady of Azerbaijan and President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva has today reviewed “Konul” orphanage-kindergarten in Badamdar settlement of the Sabail District, Baku after major overhaul.The repair work, which was initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, started here this April.The Azerbaijani First Lady was informed that the 3-block kindergarten, which was constructed in 1974, occupied a total area of 4,000 square meters.A new two-storied 90-seat block covering 600 square meters was built in the yard of the 110-seat kindergarten.The facility`s roof, music and game halls, a medical point, a kitchen and auxiliary rooms of the block were completely renovated. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation provided the kindergarten with furniture, refrigerators, TV sets, toys and other equipment. Photo stands reflecting national leader Heydar Aliyev`s and President Ilham Aliyev`s attention to children were installed in the blocks. There is also a photo stand describing the activities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its President Mehriban Aliyeva. Pitches were laid out and sports equipment installed in the yard of the orphanage-kindergarten. A special ground was built here in order to teach children the traffic rules./AzerTAc/