Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az Fashion experts convene in Baku Arts & Entertainment Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBaku hosted a meeting of Azerbaijani designers with the organizers of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Baku and Baku Fashion Week.The designers gathered together to discuss the upcoming fashion season and new suggestions, Trend Life reported.The founder and organizer of the Fashion Week in Baku, Hafiz Agayev, thanked all participants noting that Azerbaijan has many talented designers."I know and I see how they love and appreciate fashion and I am sure that soon our joint efforts will make our city one of those influencing the world of fashion." A good example of that is Georgia, added Agayev.The event organizers further informed about the concept, terms of participation, innovations of the upcoming season. Big surprises await fashionistas this fall.The event organizers actively cooperate with photographers, designers, media representatives and model agencies of other countries. They are looking for new names in Azerbaijan, as well as reliable partners and colleagues for organizing the project.Fashion Week is a platform for demonstration of new seasonal collections, meeting with regular and potential customers (local and foreign), buyers and much more.Fashion experts, critics, lecturers are invited to conduct master classes. Within the framework of the Fashion Week, meetings, training and competitions are held to support and develop the fashion industry of the country.The shows are held twice a year (in spring and autumn). Since the fall of 2016, the "see now-buy now" system has gained popularity, which was adopted by many designers throughout the world. Designers and fashion houses represent not only seasonal, but also off-season collections.A group of photographers working in Germany, London, Russia, Georgia, France  will film the shows and backstage for the project. Iranian airline signs MoU to purchase 10 Boeing plane World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:27:00 +0400 By  TrendIran’s Kish Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Boeing (the largest aerospace company of the United States) for the purchase of 10 commercial planes, said Mohammad Taghi Jadidi, Kish Airlines’ managing director.Jadidi said that the MoU for purchasing 10 Boeing-737-MAX airplanes was signed following the negotiations with the representative of the US company, Fars news agency reported, Aug. 18.He further said that, Kish Airlines seeks investors for financing the deal, adding that, since purchasing new airplanes in cash is not economically justified, airliners prefer to obtain financing on the purchases.The domestic banks have obtained licenses to Open LC and can easily undertake the financing of the deal, added Jadidi.He further said that, Kish Air will purchase six Airbus A-320 family jets by the end of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 2018), explaining that these will be the planes repossessed by the financier banks.Jadidi said that, talks are underway with Boeing and Airbus, forecasting that the talks will be concluded within two months. Azerbaijan, Bolivia agree on partial visa liberalization Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliAzerbaijan and Bolivia signed an agreement on abolition of the visa regime for holders of diplomatic and service passports.The agreement was undersigned by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Foreign Minister of Bolivia Fernando Uanakuni Mamani, who is visiting Baku, on August 18.Prior to the signing ceremony, the two ministers held a one-on-one meeting and later a meeting in an expanded format. Issues of strengthening bilateral cooperation, synchronization of the positions of the two countries on various issues in the international arena, as well as regional and world issues were discussed.During his stay in Baku, Mamani is expected to meet other officials of the country.Mamani’s visit is the first visit of the Bolivian FM to Azerbaijan, which shows the growing influence of Azerbaijan in the Latin American region in recent years. So, recently embassies of Chile, Costa Rica and Peru have opened in Azerbaijan.Also, the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra will host the next summit of the gas-exporting countries on November 20-24. Bolivia has invited Azerbaijan to participate in the summit. SOCAR to end modernization of ethylene-polyethylene plant in September Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaOverhaul of the ethylene-polyethylene plant belonging to SOCAR’s Azerikimya PU will be completed in September.Azerbaijan’s energy giant SOCAR announced that the plant, which was closed for overhaul on August 10, will be returned to operation on September 20 - the Day of Oil Workers.The company added that President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev inspected the repair and modernization works on August 17.The existing technological installations will be modernized in the framework of the reconstruction project, which is being implemented by Technip Italy and will be completed by 2019.The reconstruction project will make it possible to increase the production capacity of Azerikimya, provide raw materials to the polypropylene and polyethylene production units (currently under construction), cover domestic demand, increase export potential, enhance stability and safety of the technological process, as well as improve the quality of raw materials and products manufactured at the plant.Earlier, Plant’s Director Ogtay Niftaliyev said that polyethylene production wills rich 105,000 tons per year after the modernization work.Azerikimya PU owns an ethylene-polyethylene plant, a surfactants plant, an organic synthesis plant, a machinery maintenance plant, a chemical engineering institute, a repair and construction division, a transportation and special equipment division, and a storage facility.The Union’s products include propylene, polyethylene, butylene-butadiene cut, propylene oxide, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, pyrolysis condensate, liquid chlorine, and alkaliBesides Azerikimya, SOCAR includes such production associations as Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore) and Azerigas (distributor of gas produced in the country), as well as oil and gas processing plants, service companies, and the facilities involved in geophysical and drilling operations.SOCAR participates in joint ventures (including ventures in Georgia and Turkey), consortia, and operating companies established with SOCAR’s participation. Egypt to welcome next World Scout Conference Sports Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:53:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe 42nd World Scout Conference and the 14th World Scout Youth Forum will be held in Egypt in 2020.The decision was made at the last session of the 41st World Scout Conference in Baku on August 18.Another candidate for hosting the  42nd World Scout Conference and the 14th World Scout Youth Forum was Malaysia, Azertac reported.Baku hosted delegations of 167 National Scout Organizations visiting the country for the World Scouting’s ‘general assembly’, the World Scout Conference, on August 14-18.The event brought together delegations of 167 National Scout Organizations (NSOs) across the Scout Movement’s Africa, Arab, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, European and Interamerican Scout Regions.The Conference also witnessed a record number of young delegates, who attended the 13th World Scout Youth Forum in Gabala.Founded by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907, WOSM is a confederation of  National Scout Organizations in a network of over 40 million Scouts in at least 224 countries and territories worldwide. Armenia marks Builder's Day on backdrop of fading construction industry Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:45:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe construction industry is undoubtedly one of the hardest-hit by the economic recession in Armenia. Over the past three years, the worker salary in the country’s construction industry has been trending downwards, while today it is difficult to see any construction site here.The construction sector is almost ‘dead’ in Armenia – no new buildings are constructed, and even old buildings are not being restored.Few days ago, Armenia marked the Day of the Builders, and Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan participated in the event dedicated to this day. Karapetyan tried to cheer up Armenians saying that construction allegedly remains one of the most important and key sectors of the Armenian economy. “A state where construction is developing is experiencing progress,” he said, but forgot to add that the construction sector in Armenia is stagnating, and hence the whole economy of the country too.The Armenian Prime Minister also made empty promises regarding the agricultural sector, which is also in doleful situation.Experts warn that almost all sectors of the Armenian economy are in poor condition; no industry of the country is able to cover requirements of the domestic market. Economists note that the investment program of the Armenian government, as well as the concept aimed at rehabilitation of the country’s economy, have failed.Although Armenians pinned high hopes on new Karapetyan, his ‘unwise’ development program failed to improve the investment climate in the country. The situation in the Armenian economy has not improved, but instead got worse.During his first six months in the office, the Prime Minister voiced initiatives and made proposals for overcoming the economic crisis. However, then Karapetyan realized that he alone is unable to fix the situation in Armenia, and lately joined the ranks of the officials, who are famous for making declaratory speeches. Nasimi District Court approves IBA’s restructuration plan Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaThe Nasimi District Court of Baku approved on August 17, 2017 a plan to restructure the obligations of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) to foreign creditors.Creditors who own 94.1 percent of restructured liabilities took part in the voting process, 93.9 percent of the creditors voted for voluntary restructuring, which is sufficient for the adoption of the plan, Trend reported.Creditors must provide documents on the lack of requirements to the bank on external liabilities until August 22, 2017. Creditors who have submitted the relevant documents will be able to use the proposed financial instruments from September 1, 2017.In July 2015, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the measures for rehabilitation related to the preparations for privatizing the state-owned shares of the IBA.The shortcomings in the management, investment and loan policy of the IBA, as well as financing of less efficient, risky investment projects worsened the Bank's financial state, caused increase in the share of distressed assets and reduced its liquidity.The restructuring plan contemplates a restructuring process to be effected through an exchange of IBA’s senior and junior foreign currency obligations for direct sovereign obligations of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Pending the implementation of the planned restructuring process, and to ensure equal treatment of all affected creditors, IBA has suspended payments of principal and interest with respect to all obligations to be included in the operation (other than interest under trade finance facilities).Among the major foreign creditors of the IBA are the American company Cargill, Citibank, Rubrika Finance Company Limited, Credit Suisse AG.Firstly, the bank appealed to the New York court for support in the process of their restructuring. Foreign creditors will not be able to make claims against IBA assets in the process of voluntary restructuring of the bank's foreign obligations, according to the court decision adopted on May 12, 2017.Then the London court took a positive decision on the IBA to prevent lawsuits in the UK from foreign creditors regarding the bank's assets.The IBA has been operating since 1992 and is one of the country's two state banks.  Uzbekistan creates state entrepreneurial support fund World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:29:00 +0400 By  TrendUzbekistan’s State Entrepreneurial Support Fund will be created under the supervision of the Cabinet of Ministers.According to the relevant presidential decree, the fund’s main objective is to provide financial support to small businesses.The sources of the fund’s resource base will be comprised of the initial contributions from the, to be subsequently abolished, Guarantee Fund for Small Industrial Zones in Tashkent and the Guarantee Fund for the development of small businesses in the amount of $50 million and 100 billion soums, respectively. Additional resources will be formed by the direct transfers from the state budget (within the limits of annually approved allocations for these purposes – 100 billion soums in 2017) and transfers of the part of the annual net profit of the Central Bank allocated to the state budget, as well as foreign loans and grants.Uzbekistan’s president exempted the Fund from paying all kinds of taxes and mandatory transfers to the state trust funds, with the targeted use of the released funds for strengthening the State Entrepreneurial Support Fund’s resource, material and technical base. Turkey’s president due in Azerbaijan Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:13:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Azerbaijan on Sept. 10-11, Turkish media report Aug. 18.Erdogan will be accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as well as other ministers during the visit to Azerbaijan.According to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, trade turnover with Turkey totaled $1.45 billion in January-July 2017 and $766.51 million out of this amount accounted for the export from Azerbaijan to Turkey. Over 170km of TurkStream laid World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:04:00 +0400 By  TrendMore than 170 kilometers of the TurkStream pipeline has already been laid, said Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak.He made the remarks during the 86th Izmir International Fair, RIA Novosti reported.“The construction of the pipeline’s offshore section started in May 2017,” said Novak, adding that TurkStream is meant to improve Turkey’s gas supply and diversify gas deliveries to Europe.TurkStream project envisages construction of two branches of the main gas pipeline under the Black Sea, the capacity of each branch being 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas.One branch is meant to supply gas directly to the Turkish market and the other for the supply of gas by transit through Turkey to Europe. The intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey also stipulates that these two offshore branches should be built by December 2019.On Dec.8, 2016, South Stream Transport B.V., 100-percent subsidiary of Gazprom, signed a contract with Swiss Allseas Group on constructing the first line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline’s offshore segment.Later in February 2017, the two companies inked an agreement on constructing the second line of the pipeline’s offshore section. Muslim Magomayev's memory commemorated in Baku Arts & Entertainment Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:50:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBakuvians have marked the 75th birthday anniversary of legendary singer and composer Muslim Magomayev.The event organized on August 17 was attended by public and art figures, relatives, friends and his loyal fans, Trend Life reported.Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Adalat Valiyev, addressing the opening ceremony, highlighted the invaluable contribution of Muslim Magomayev in the music history of Azerbaijan.Valiyev reminded that to honor the memory of this great musician President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to solemnly mark the 75th birth anniversary of the world famous singer and composer, Muslim.During the year, a number of events will be held across the country, he added.Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin, in turn, stressed that Russia and Azerbaijan were the two countries that Magomayev equally loved.The diplomat said that Russia is madly in love with the works of Muslim Magomayev, and his 75th birthday is celebrated as a great event.The rector of the Azerbaijan state Academy of Arts, Omar Eldarov stressed that despite the incredible talent and fame, Muslim Magomayev was very easy, even a bit shy person.Later, People's Artist of Azerbaijan, Eldar Guliyev addressed the event. "We should be proud that Muslim Magomayev was born in Baku, be proud that we lived with him at one time. Muslim Magomayev sang for the audience, he was singing to each person sitting in the hall, he spoke to everyone...,"said Guliyev.The widow of the artist, People's Artist of the USSR, Tamara Sinyavskaya expressed her gratitude to all, who came and honored the memory of Muslim Magomayev.Talking about the artist, Tamara Sinyavskaya remembered the words of the actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky, who said that Magomayev’s pose of singing is a sign of quality.Then the participants laid flowers to the monument of the legendary singer.The participants also honored memory of  the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Aliyev, and laid flowers on his grave.The memory of the outstanding ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva was also honored. Expert: War in Karabakh may be inevitable if Armenia not compromises Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is approaching its third decade of existence, but the situation in the region does not change in a positive way. The Armenian side continues its military provocations on the frontline, which periodically results in murder of Azerbaijani civilians residing in the frontline villages.Yerevan continues to ignore the implementation of resolutions by the UN Security Council and other international organizations demanding an unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and return of refugees to their homes. The Armenian leadership is trying to hamper the negotiating process over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in a bid to preserve the status quo.However, the resumption of peace talks remains the only reasonable solution for the settlement of the long-standing conflict. The OSCE Minsk Group, which is working to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, continues its efforts to organize the next meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents, which is expected to be held this autumn.Deputy Director of the Institute of Political Studies, Russian expert Daria Grevtsova expressed her point of view regarding the upcoming meeting of the presidents, as well as the positions of the parties on the settlement of the longstanding conflict.“The meeting of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia is being mulled for a long time. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has always been the initiator of negotiations and peaceful solution to the conflict. However, he is ready to meet not just for the sake of meeting, but for developing joint solutions to the problem," Grevtsova said.However, she said, the Armenian side is satisfied with the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh. "Therefore, President Serzh Sargsyan still has nothing to offer Ilham Aliyev. Most likely, the meeting of the presidents is delayed for this reason," the expert added.Grevtsova warned that hostilities may resume in Nagorno-Karabakh if the negotiations not resumed. "The patience of President Ilham Aliyev is not infinite, and if there are no substantive talks and Armenia is not ready to compromise, the aggravation of the situation and a new war are quite possible,” the Russian analyst said.The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict 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 regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. 24th Open Azerbaijan Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship kicks off Sports Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:23:00 +0400 By  TrendThe 24th Open Azerbaijan Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship kicked off at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku Aug. 18.Twenty-five gymnasts in the junior and senior age categories will vie for medals in performances with hoop, ball, ribbon and clubs.Along with representatives of local Ojag Sport Club, Baku Gymnastics School, Start and Zirva sports clubs, as well as Ganja, Gusar and Kurdamir, athletes from abroad will demonstrate their interesting performances.Contests, entertaining flash mob and other events will be organized during the Championship. Prices drop in real estate market of Baku Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliPrices in the real estate market of Baku experienced decrease in prices in July 2017.Nusret Ibrahimov, General Director of the “MBA Group” consulting company told Trend that the drop of price in the secondary market was at the level of 4.29 percent in July, while - 2.55 percent throughout the year.The primary housing market of the capital saw a 4.94-percent decline in July, although the market jumped up by 16.46 percent over the past year.The expert added that the drop in the prices is temporary and is associated with the summer season.Ibrahimov expected revival in the market starting from September.In June 2017, prices in the real estate market of Baku decreased by 0.59 percent.Ibrahimov earlier said that in 2017, the real estate market could grow by 10 percent, which can contribute to the gradual adaptation of the population to the current situation and the restoration of the activities of the Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund (AMF).In Azerbaijan, there is no difference in the rights of foreigners and local citizens for buying a real estate. The foreign citizen, as well as the citizen of Azerbaijan can buy any property, except a land plot.Prices in the market are mainly determined by location, quality of buildings and a number of other factors. OSCE MG preparing Azerbaijani, Armenian presidents’ meeting Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are working on preparing the next meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents, Spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said on August 17, TASS reports.“Now, the co-chairs are working to prepare the next meeting on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. To this end, they held talks in Brussels with Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in July of this year,” she said.Zakharova added that consultations will continue on the sidelines of the regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York in the second half of September, following which a relevant statement will be made.“We are doing everything possible to stabilize the situation and create conditions for the continuation of the negotiation process, aimed at reaching the settlement of the conflict,” she said.Previously, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair from the U.S. Richard Hoagland noted that the MG continues to encourage the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to meet at the earliest possible opportunity and engage in good-faith negotiations.In 2016, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan twice, first in Vienna in May, and the second time in St. Petersburg in June along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. No meeting has been organized this year.Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region. Crude prices fall on world markets Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:48:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaWorld oil prices fall on August 18, following the general trend in the U.S. and Asian markets to actively sell shares.Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, are at $50.97 per barrel, down 0.12 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures are at $47.03 per barrel, down 0.13 percent, according to RIA Novosti.The trend for a decline in prices on the U.S. and Asian stock exchanges was triggered by the growing doubt among traders regarding the implementation of the economic reforms promised by President Donald Trump.Previously, Trump planned to suspend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or nicknamed Obamacare of previous U.S. President Barack Obama, adopted in March 2010 but the Senate voted against the new bill.Moreover, earlier Trump spoke about the development of infrastructure in the country, the implementation of tax reform and the adoption of economic incentives, but no specific comments on these plans, which investors expect, did not follow.Traders also expect data on the number of drilling rigs in the U.S., following the results of the week from the American oil and gas service company Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE), which will be published later on August 18.Analysts note that the decline in oil prices occurs even against the backdrop of positive statistics on the reduction of weekly oil reserves in the U.S.Earlier this week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a decrease in commercial oil reserves in the country by 8.9 million barrels, or 1.9 percent-to 466.5 million barrels. Experts believed that stocks decreased only by 0.64percent.OPEC and other oil producers, such as Azerbaijan, Kingdom of Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Sultanate of Oman, the Russian Federation, Republic of Sudan, and the Republic of South Sudan made a deal in December 2016 to remove 1.8 million barrels a day from the market.OPEC+, trying to reduce a crude glut, decided in May to extend the supply cut through March 2018. Rafael Aghayev 2nd in WKF rating Sports Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:21:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe World Karate Federation (WKF) has updated its rating, where Azerbaijan’s ‘Black Brilliant' Rafael Aghayev was ranked the second.Aghayev took the second place in the category up to 75 kg, reported.The first place belongs to American karate fighter, Thomas Scott.In the women's standings, Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretskaya (68 kg) took the second position, losing first place to Alice Buchinger from Austria.Rafael Aghayev has managed to achieve all of the highest sporting victories in karate; he is multiple European Champion and repeated World Champion.For outstanding sports achievements, he repeatedly has received awards from the leadership of the National Olympic Committee, the Youth and Sport Ministry of Azerbaijan Republic.Moreover, this year Azerbaijan’s ‘black brilliant’ won a gold medal in karate (kumite) competitions at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku.He secured the gold medal thanks to a victory over Pakistani Ghulam Abbas in the 75kg division final.Azerbaijani athlete Irina Zaretskaya is known to us for numerous victories at the international area.She is the owner of the gold medal at the Premier League Karate1 2014 in Almere, bronze at "World Karate Cup 2014", gold at  the Premier League Karate1 2015 in Istanbul, silver at the Premier League Karate1 2017, etc. Azerbaijan resolutely condemns Barcelona terror attack Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:17:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan resolutely condemns the terrorist attacks carried out in Barcelona, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, Hikmat Hajiyev, told Trend Aug. 18.“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the terrorist attacks, and wish speediest recovery to the injured. As a country suffering from terrorism, the Republic of Azerbaijan resolutely condemns all forms and manifestations of terrorism,” he said.In connection with the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev extended condolences to the King of Spain Felipe VI.Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has also sent a letter of condolence to his Spanish counterpart Alfonso Maria Dastis.Thirteen people died and over 100 were injured when a white van ploughed into a crowd in central Barcelona on Aug. 17 evening. The Spanish police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. Uzbek president instructs to increase efficiency of Uzsanoatexport JSC World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:07:00 +0400 By  TrendUzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has adopted a resolution “On measures to further increase efficiency of activities of Uzsanoatexport JSC.”According to the document published Aug. 17 on the website of the Uzbek president, the company is allowed to ship flour and wheat to the trading houses of Uzsanoatexport JSC abroad, under consignment conditions and within the limits approved by the balance sheet of the use of wheat.In addition, it is allowed to further export the products obtained from the processing of raw materials imported by the Uzsanoatexport JSC and placed under the customs regime “processing in the customs territory.”The document establishes that during execution of foreign trade operations by Uzsanoatexport JSC, the period for the receipt of proceeds or re-import regarding export operations should not exceed 90 days from the date of actual export of goods, work and services.Assistance to industrial enterprises of the basic branches of the Uzbek economy in the promotion of their products for export should include lending to enterprises in the form of pre-export financing. SOCAR-AQS launches drilling of next well on West Absheron Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:52:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaSOCAR-AQS has commenced drilling works on Well 33 located on the platform 20 of the West Absheron Field.The well 33 will be drilled to Podkirmakinskaya Layer with depth of 730 m. The Customer of drilling works is Azneft Production Unit.SOCAR-AQS LLC was established as an integrated drilling and well services management company between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic and Absheron Drilling Company in 2007.Currently, SOCAR-AQS implements works on drilling the wells from fixed platforms 7 and 11 located on Shallow Water Gunashli Field, fixed platform 20 on the West Absheron fixed platform 1 located on Umid Field and from fixed platform 6 located on the Bulla Field.The company is a contractor member of IADC since 2009. SOCAR-AQS has been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 international standards for Provision of Integrated Offshore Oil & Gas Drilling and Well Services; Casing Running Services and BOP and Wellhead Equipment Repairing and Testing Services. In 2017, SOCAR-AQS have been certified as meeting the requirements of the API Spec Q2 Quality Management System Standard for the Provision of Integrated Offshore Oil & Gas Drilling & Well Services. Children's fashion in 20th century Arts & Entertainment Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaPrior to the 19th century children were dressed like miniature adults, in similar styles and fabrics.  However starting the 1800s, the rise of new ideas about childhood prompted the appearance of clothing styles specifically for children, colorful and quite distinct from adult fashions.Today, countless clothing stores and boutiques offer the latest fashion trends for kids.To remember the early days of the children’s fashion, Azerbaijani photographer, Emin Alizade, presented a photo shoot called "Children, Fashion, History", Trend Life reports.The photo project aims to show the children's fashion of the 20th century in a modern way.The shooting took place in the country's picturesque region of Guba."I have always been interested in realizing photo projects that are related to the history. It's like to have a time machine- you can travel any epoch. The young models showed a great interest to the project," said Emin Alizade. Baku hosts conference on religious radicalism, extremism Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliA conference entitled "Islamic Solidarity: Ways to Combat Religious Radicalism and Extremism" was held in Baku on August 17 with the support of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations.Representatives of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations, the Znanie Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Muslims Office and the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, religious scholars, as well as experts working in the religious sphere attended the event.The participants discussed the causes of radicalism trends in the religious environment, the role of Islamic solidarity in preventing these tendencies, as well as further enhancing the effectiveness of comprehensive measures in the relevant field.Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations Gunduz Ismayilov spoke about the role of Islamic solidarity in the prevention of religious radicalism. The deputy chairman noted that Islamic solidarity, regardless of race, religion, nationality, calls all people to unity.Ismayilov brought to attention that the announcement of 2017 "The Year of Islamic Solidarity" in Azerbaijan by President Ilham Aliyev, became a message about the possibility of getting rid of religious radicalism and extremism, which became a global problem for the Islamic world.Then the head of the department of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations, Aliheydar Zulfugarov, made a presentation on "Islamic Solidarity: Ways to Combat Religious Radicalism and Extremism".Fuad Nurullayev, deputy chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office, Isahan Valiyev, head of the staff of the Knowledge Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan, Rashad Ilyasov, head of the department of the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism, spoke about threats posed by religious radicalism and extremism against nationality, the essence of traditional Islam. Magnitude 4.3 quake hits Turkey’s Kahramanmaras World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:22:00 +0400 By  TrendA magnitude 4.3 earthquake hit the Kahramanmaras Province in southern Turkey, according to the country’s media outlets.Tremors were recorded at 07:30 local time. The quake occurred at a depth of seven kilometers.No damage or casualties have been reported. Azerbaijani products to be presented at Worldfood Moscow Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani products will be exhibited at the Worldfood Moscow International Food and Drinks Exhibition scheduled for September 11-14.More than 30 national companies will display their products at the country's booth, Azertac reported.During the event, visitors will also be informed of the country's culture, cuisine, tourism, business and investment opportunities.In late 2016, with a view to bring the economy to a new level Azerbaijan started promoting the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand in foreign markets and developed a number of promotional mechanisms, including participation in international exhibitions.Azerbaijan has already showcased its production branded “Made in Azerbaijan” at Gulfood 2017 and Prowein 2017 this year.WorldFood Moscow takes place at the city’s Expocentre. The event was launched in 1991. The exhibition high level is certified by the sign of the UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry).The expo embraces the entire food market and has 11 sectored areas: meat and poultry, fish and seafood, frozen products and semi-processed foods, fruits and vegetables, confections and baked goods, groceries and snacks, preservation, fat-and-oil products, dairy products, tea and coffee, and drinks.The WorldFood Moscow exhibition serves as the best platform for introducing new products to the Russian market. Saudi oil exports fall to 33-month low – JODI Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0400 By  TrendSaudi crude oil exports in June fell by 35,000 barrels per day (b/d) month-on-month to 6.89 million b/d, their lowest level over last 33 months, according to the report of the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).The country’s crude oil export stood at 6.924 million barrels per day in May 2017, according to JODI data.This is while, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil output has increased from 9.880 million barrels per day in May to 10.070 million barrels per day in June 2017, the data shows.Saudi Arabia has undertaken the largest cut in oil output (486,000 barrels per day) among the participants of the OPEC deal signed last year in Vienna.On May 25, 2017, OPEC member countries and non-OPEC parties, Azerbaijan, Kingdom of Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Sultanate of Oman, the Russian Federation, Republic of Sudan, and the Republic of South Sudan agreed to extend the production adjustments for a further period of nine months, with effect from July 1, 2017.The reductions will be on the same terms as those agreed in November. Expert says OSCE MG would better be involved in humanitarian issues Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:59:00 +0400 By  TrendIt would be good if the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs were more involved in humanitarian issues such as the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their native lands, while settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Elkhan Alasgarov, PhD, head of the Expert Council of the Baku International Policy and Security Network (Baku Network).He was commenting on the recent statements by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair from the US Richard Hoagland.Richard Hoagland has earlier told Trend that the United States remains committed to working with the parties of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict.He noted that the issues relating to the return of territories, return of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to their lands, non-use of force, and status for Nagorno-Karabakh are all important elements of a comprehensive settlement the parties need to discuss.“Recent statements of Hoagland are more positive in nature. In one statement he said that one of the main issues in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their lands. In principle, this is not news, as the Azerbaijani refugees are coming back to Karabakh and the return of Jojug Marjanli villagers to their lands is a vivid example of that,” Alasgarov told Trend.As for the non-use of force, mentioned in the US co-chair’s statement, Alasgarov noted that this issue will certainly be very topical after the return of the refugees.“When it comes to compromises in the conflict resolution process, it should be noted that the main compromise on the part of Azerbaijan is granting autonomy to the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is ready to grant a high degree of autonomy,” he said.The expert reminded that in another statement, Richard Hoagland said it would be logical to install new electronic equipment along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and remove snipers. Alasgarov believes that these recommendations, even if realized, will not lead to a decrease in the number of incidents, because the main reason of military clashes is the conflict itself.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. President Aliyev extends condolences to King of Spain Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:33:00 +0400 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sent a letter of condolence to Felipe VI, King of Spain over the terrorist attacks in the country. “We were deeply saddened by the news of heavy casualties and injuries as a result of the horrific terror attacks in your country,” the letter reads.“We are extremely outraged by these ruthless terror acts, and underline the necessity of jointly fighting against all manifestations of terrorism, which has become a terrible disaster, in the most resolute manner.We share your grief over this tragedy. On behalf of the people of Azerbaijan and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest condolences to you, the bereaved families and loved ones of those who died and the whole people of Spain, and wish the injured the swiftest possible recovery.” Deputy FM hails Poland’s cooperation with Azerbaijan in int’l organizations Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:24:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliPolish Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Dziedziczak has praised his country`s cooperation with Azerbaijan in international organizations.At a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku on August 17, Dziedziczak commended Baku for supporting Poland’s bid for the UN Security Council’s non-permanent membership this year.Mammadyarov, for his part, reminded President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Poland in June, emphasizing that the trip gave an impetus to the development of relations between the two countries.He pointed out wide opportunities for cooperation in economy, investments, transportation, energy and other spheres. Mammadyarov also hailed Poland’s supporting the agreement on partnership between Azerbaijan and the European Union.The sides further emphasized the necessity to develop cooperation in the spheres of public diplomacy and culture. The two agreed to prepare a joint programme of activities in connection with the 100th anniversary of Polish settlements in Azerbaijan.Azerbaijan and Poland enjoy significant prospects to expand cooperation in the agricultural, industrial, ICT, tourism and energy sectors.Poland is interested in the East-West and North-South transport corridors and seeks to cooperate with Azerbaijan in this regard. More than 20 companies of Poland operate in Azerbaijan, especially in trade, industry, transport, service, construction, insurance, banking and other fields.Besides, Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR successfully cooperates with Poland’s ORLEN and LOTOS oil companies, as well as Przyjazn company of Poland within the Sarmatia International Pipeline Company.Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee reported that the trade turnover with Poland amounted to $18.202 million in January-April 2017.Poland recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. The Embassy of Poland was established in Baku in 2001. The Embassy of Azerbaijan was established in Warsaw in 2004. No Azerbaijanis among Barcelona terror attack victims Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:13:00 +0400 By  TrendThere are no Azerbaijani nationals among those killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Barcelona.Citizens of at least 18 countries suffered in Barcelona attack, Agence France-Presse reported citing local authorities.Thus, at the time the victims include people from France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Peru, Northern Ireland, Greece, Cuba, Macedonia, China, Italy, Romania and Algeria.A terror attack in Barcelona left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.The deadly events began in the early evening with a van plowing through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona.Authorities said they are working under the assumption that two other deadly events, a terrorist incident in the seaside city of Cambrils and a house explosion farther down the coast in Alcanar, were linked to the van attack in Barcelona that had ISIS taking credit. SOCAR overhauls site in Caspian Sea Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAzerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR has relaunched a near-platform pad #1778 on the offshore field Oil Rocks following its overaul.The company reported that overhaul covered the area of 783 square meters.Some 33 piles were hammered in, assembling of the electrical system was implemented, 40 piles were blocked, and 110 meters of water lines were laid.The Oil Rocks was discovered in 1949. An industrial settlement 100 miles off the coast of Baku, the Oil Rocks is a complete town on the sea. The first oil platform in Azerbaijan, the Oil Rocks was also the first operating offshore oil platform in the world.By the end of 2016 almost 1 million tons of oil was extracted from the field.The forecast for oil production in the country in 2017 stands at 39.797 million, while the figure is 3.7 percent lower than the index of 2016.SOCAR produced 7.52 million tons of oil in 2016 against 8.16 million tons produced in 2015.SOCAR includes such production associations as Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore), Azerikimya (the chemical enterprises) and Azerigas (distributor of gas produced in the country), as well as oil and gas processing plants, service companies, and the facilities involved in geophysical and drilling operations.The company participates in joint ventures (including ventures in Georgia and Turkey), consortia, and operating companies established with SOCAR’s participation.Currently, SOCAR is the only producer of petroleum products in the country, and operates more than 370 petrol stations in Switzerland, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine.  Turkmenistan implements major gas chemical projects World news Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:03:00 +0400 By  TrendAudit meeting, reviewing the results of the work of oil and gas industry’s enterprises over the past seven months of 2017, was organized in Ashgabat, the local Oil and Gas newspaper reported.At the meeting reports on the promotion of several major investment projects, the construction of a gas chemical complex for the production of polyethylene and polypropylene and a plant for the production of high-quality gasoline from natural gas were heard.The gas chemical complex in the Kiyanli settlement (Balkan Region, Turkmenistan) is planned to be commissioned in 2018. The plant is designed to process five billion cubic meters of gas and produce 386,000 tons of polyethylene and 81,000 tons of polypropylene per year. Project is being implemented by South Korea’s LG and Hyundai together with Japan’s TOYO. Total cost of the project is more than $3.4 billion.Meanwhile, a plant for the production of gasoline from natural gas is being built in Ovadandepe (Ahal Region). This project is being implemented by a consortium of companies Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Japan) and Ronesans Endustri Tesisleri Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Turkey).The enterprise is planned to be commissioned in 2018. Plant will annually produce 600,000 tons of RON 92 gasoline, which meets Euro-5 requirements, 12,000 tons of diesel fuel and 115,000 tons of liquefied gas. Total cost of the project is almost $1.7 billion. Funding approved for construction of road in Agsu Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:41:00 +0400 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order to provide funding for the construction of Chaparli-Kandoba-Jalayir road.Under the presidential order, 5.8 million manats is allocated from the state budget for the construction of the road connecting eight residential areas with a total population of 8,000 people, Azertac reported. Sudanese president congratulates President Aliyev Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:36:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Sudan Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir has congratulated President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Azertac reported on August 17.“Please accept my sincere greetings on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sudan and Azerbaijan,” said Sudan’s president in his congratulatory letter.“Since the independence of Azerbaijan the relations between our countries have marked fruitful, successful cooperation in different areas of mutual interest guided by dynamic political dialogue. Comprehensive partnership in economic, trade, technical, humanitarian and people-to-people contacts will be extended and developed steadily and extensively,” noted Al-Bashir.“I am confident that with joint endeavors we can utilize better our potential and achieve our goals,” he noted.“Your Excellency, please accept my best wishes for your personal good health as well as prosperity and well-being of the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” added Sudan’s president. Armenia continues breaking ceasefire with Azerbaijan Politics Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:26:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 112 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on August 18.Armenians were using large-caliber machine guns.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Gizilhajili, Bala Jafarli villages and on nameless heights of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the Berkaber, Vazashen villages and on nameless heights of the Ijevan district.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions in the Kokhanabi, Aghbulag, Munjuglu villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Chinari and Aygedzor villages of Armenia’s Berd district.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Zamanli village and on nameless heights of the Gadabay district also underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh village of the Tartar district, Bash Garvand, Garagashli, Yusifjanli and Marzili villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Ashagi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagarda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Gorgan, Horadiz villages of the Fuzuli district, Nuzgar and Mehdili villages of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions located on nameless heights in the Goygol, Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam and Khojavand districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Currency rates for August 18 Business Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:01:00 +0400 By  TrendThe official exchange rate for US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for August 18 was set at 1.7008 manats and 1.9963 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of Azerbaijani manat against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.CurrenciesAug. 18, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.70081 euro1 EUR1.9963 Semyon Chterev quits as Azerbaijan`s wrestling manager Sports Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:40:00 +0400 By Azertac Head coach of the Azerbaijani national women’s wrestling team Semyon Chterev has left his post as his contract with the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation expired.The Bulgarian coach had managed the Azerbaijani female wrestlers since 2014. Real Madrid wins 10th Spanish Super Cup Sports Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:39:00 +0400 By AzertacReal Madrid has won the Supercopa de Espana for a 10th time thanks to a convincing 5-1 aggregate victory against arch-rivals Barcelona.Los Blancos added a couple of goals to their tally at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening for a 2-0 home win, seeing them close in on their opponents’ tally of 12 titles.Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema netted the only goals of the night, ensuring that Madrid have kicked off their 2017-18 campaign in style by lifting both the Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup in the past week.Madrid, sitting on that two-goal lead from the first leg at Camp Nou, were unwilling to sit back and protect their advantage and instead went all out for another right from the off.They were rewarded for their positivity, too, as Asensio added another gem to his growing collection by picking out the top corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s net with a fine strike from 30 yards out.Toni Kroos also failed to find a way through when picked out in a good position, but it would matter little as Benzema made sure of the victory for his side 39 minutes in thanks to a well-taken goal.The Frenchman required one touch to set the ball and another to drill it into the bottom corner, giving Los Blancos plenty of breathing space with a quarter of the two-legged tie still to play.Suarez was proving to be Barcelona’s best hope of netting a consolation, heading the ball against the post after Messi’s initial shot was parried by Navas, having also set up a chance for Roberto which the wing-back failed to take. Australian minister: Azerbaijan is a strategically important country in the region Society Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:31:00 +0400 “Azerbaijan is a strategically important country in the region," said Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells as she responded to Azerbaijani student Ilkin Aliyev's question about the purpose and results of her recent visit to Azerbaijan at a meeting with masters and doctoral students at the Australian National University.The Azerbaijani student also asked about the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture and tourism, Azertac reported. The Australian minister hailed great potential for developing cooperation between the two countries. "I believe that Australia and Azerbaijan can enhance cooperation in the mining industry, service sector, education, agriculture and other areas. We are ready to continue and develop cooperation with Azerbaijan."Praising Azerbaijan's rich culture, Minister Fierravanti-Wells described Azerbaijan as a country of big strategic importance in the region."As Azerbaijan and Australia are geographically far from each other, bilateral relations in business and tourism fields have been weakly developed. The purpose of the visit to Azerbaijan was to ensure constant development of these relations and to launch new projects," the minister said.Saying a group of the Australian businessmen will soon pay a visit to Azerbaijan, Fierravanti-Wells hailed the development of Australia-Azerbaijan interparliamentary relations as excellent.The Australian minister expressed her hope that cooperation between the two countries will further develop in all areas. Lima seeks to boost political ,economic-commercial ties with Baku Politics Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:14:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan and Peru can cooperate at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, said Luis Chang Boldrini, the Charge d'Affaires e.p. of Peruvian embassy in Baku.Peru and Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations in 1996 and since then the relations between the two countries have evolved in a sustained way, however, not at the speed and with the strength of the two countries’ full potential, said the diplomat.“There are some landmarks that we can mention as the 2007 Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Peru and Azerbaijan, the 2012 Agreement for the Cooperation between our two Diplomatic Academies, the 2014 agreement for the exemption of the requirement of visas for diplomatic and service passports,” he told Trend.The diplomat recalled that in 2015, Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Lima and in 2017, Peru inaugurated its embassy in Baku.Boldrini pointed out that on July 28, he met with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and discussed the relations between Peru and Azerbaijan, and how to re-launch them with opening of Peruvian embassy in Baku.“The priorities for our embassy will be set in two main areas: political and economic-commercial. Peru and Azerbaijan play an important role in their regions. Both countries have important national interests and are influential in the region,” he said. “Both countries have the possibility to cooperate and exchange their experience in foreign policy and world affairs. We can cooperate at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.”For this reason, the two sides are now working to organize the first meeting as part of the implementation of the Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Peru and Azerbaijan, said the diplomat.“We hope to bring to Azerbaijan a high level delegation for this first meeting. We also have a Peru-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship League that brings together the congressmen of both countries and creates awareness on issues of reciprocal interest for the benefit of both sides,” he added. State Internet provider launches Secure Internet service Business Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0400 By Azernews By Rashid ShirinovSecure Internet service will be available to users of the state Internet service provider BakinterNet in September, a source in the telecommunication market of Azerbaijan told Trend on August 17.The source said that details of the implementation of this service are being worked out. They will give users the opportunity of filtering unwanted Internet content.This will allow to protect the younger generation from the influence of inappropriate websites by restricting access to them. These are web pages with adult content, gambling, profanity, information that promote violence, and other web resources. Users will be granted access only to trusted Internet websites which have been filtered and are have only useful information.Currently, the content filtering service is available to users of the public Internet service provider AztelecomNet, and is promoted under the name "SAF - safe Internet."In Azerbaijan, with over 9.8 million people, about 77 percent of the population has an internet connection.Today, children start their acquaintance with high technology and the Internet from early infancy. Adults should realize both physiological and psychological danger of the Internet and all the means to access it.Earlier, the Teaching and Innovation Center of the Institute of Information Technologies of ANAS reported it will create a center of child safety on the Internet. The Center will be engaged in an intellectual analysis of the obtained information, thus playing an important role in solving this problem. President Ilham Aliyev congratulates Indonesian counterpart Politics Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:14:00 +0400 By TrendThe President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has sent a congratulatory letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo.“On behalf of the people of Azerbaijan and my own, I extend my most sincere congratulations to You and to the people of Your country on the occasion of the national holiday of the Republic of Indonesia – the Independence Day,” Ilham Aliyev said in his letter.“I believe that friendship and cooperation between Azerbaijan and Indonesia will continue to develop and strengthen in the best interests of our peoples. On this joyful day, let me extend my best wishes to You and wish peace and prosperity to the friendly people of Indonesia.” Azerbaijani currency rates for August 17 Business Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:15:00 +0400 By TrendThe official exchange rates for the US dollar (USD) and euro (EUR) to Azerbaijani manat (AZN) for August 17 were set at 1.7008 AZN and 2.0035 AZN, respectively.Rates of the AZN against the world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), are shown below.Currencies and precious metalsAug. 17, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.70081 euro1 EUR2.00351 Australian dollar1 AUD1.351 Argentine peso1 ARS0.0989100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.87761 Brazilian real1 BRL0.53941 UAE dirham1 AED0.46311 South African rand1 ZAR0.1291100 South Korean won100 KRW0.14981 Czech koruna1 CZK0.07691 Chilean peso1 CLP0.26361 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.2551 Danish krone1 DKK0.26941 Georgian lari1 GEL0.70791 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.21741 Indian rupee1 INR0.02651 British pound1 GBP2.1952100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0127100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00451 Swedish krona1 SEK0.21081 Swiss franc1 CHF1.76321 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.47031 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.34911 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.63461 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00511 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0246100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11281 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.39621 Mexican peso1 MXP0.09641 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.09541 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.09561 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.215100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.04091 Polish zloty1 PLN0.46951 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02861 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.24791 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.45351 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.38931 Turkish lira1 TRY0.48371 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05611 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.19151 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.48661 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.0665100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.54791 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.2465Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2164.6932Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG29.1364Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1637.8704Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD1523.9168 Armenia again breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan Society Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:14:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 117 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Aug. 17.Armenians were using large-caliber machine guns.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Gaymagli village of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the Barekamavan village of the Noyemberyan district.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions in the Aghdam, Aghbulag and Munjuglu villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Mosesgekh, Chinari and Aygedzor villages of Armenia’s Berd district.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Goyali village of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh and Chilaburt villages of the Tartar district, Shikhlar, Kangarli, Sarijali, Yusifjanli villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Gobu Dilagarda, Garakhanbayli villages of the Fuzuli district, Nuzgar village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions located on nameless heights in the Goygol, Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam and Khojavand districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. TURKSOY Youth Chamber Choir shines in Turkey Arts & Entertainment Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaTURKSOY Youth Chamber Choir of artists from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey gave a concert in Ankara, Turkey.The gala concert took place at "Ari" hall of Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT, Trend Life reported. The choir brilliantly performed folk songs of the Turkic peoples.During the concert marking the 100th birthday of the famous Kazakh composer, Bakytzhan Baikadamov (1917-1977), the musicians performed music pieces from his repertoire.Moreover, classical works sounded on the stage. The gala concert was conducted by Elnara Kerimova (Azerbaijan) and Gulmira Kuttybadamova.The Secretary General of TURKSOY, Dusen Kaseinov, accompanied on violin during a performance of work "To the Artist" by Olgert Gravitis.After the concert, TURKSOY Youth Chamber Choir members shared their impressions.Elnara Karimova stressed the importance of joint performance of musicians from different countries."There are many songs of different countries in our repertoire. They are particularly folk songs. For example, we learn songs from different regions of Anatolia, whether it's Ankara, the Black Sea region, etc. At the same time, the choir performs Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Turkmen and Uzbek folk songs, warmly received by the listeners. At first, these songs may seem strange, but there is a great affinity in language, and the meaning of the song is always clear. Melodies and the culture of our peoples are very close," she said.The student of Azerbaijan national Conservatory, Nigar Jalilova, joined the Youth Choir in 2017."It's interesting for me to work in an international choir where everyone speaks in Turkish, Azerbaijani and Russian," she said.Miran Janabai from Kyrgyzstan believes that TURKSOY is very important cultural and educational project that has no analogues in the world."The Choir consists of very strong and gifted musicians of the Turkic countries. We try to learn the music of the Turkic countries and to introduce it to others," he said.One of the new members of the project is Merbol Kuspanov from Kazakhstan. He said that for three years he dreamed of performing in the choir, and after receiving the invitation he impatiently counted the days remaining before the trip to Ankara. "The Youth Choir is a great school for performers. The languages of our peoples are very close. However, the phonetic differences affect the flow of the melody and lead to diversity. We want to present this diversity as a treasure. Music of the Turkic world has its own special spirit, special color and melody ", he said.Gokhan Kalender representing Turkey, expressed excitement over the joint performance of musicians within the Choir."This year we will record a new album, which will be the result of a great work. I think that the album, which will include Western classical music and music of the Turkic world, will be of great interest ", he said.TURKSOY Youth Chamber Choir was created in 2015.  The same year, the Choir participated in the Second European Shoir Games in Magdeburg (Germany), where it represented the musical culture of the Turkic world. The choir won gold medals in three categories.In 2016, TURKSOY Youth Chamber Choir participated in the music festival Junger Künstler  with 10 concerts. Ankara sends protest note to Germany World news Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:45:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Ali MustafayevTurkey has sent a protest note to Germany, accusing the country of providing support to a FETO member.Germany is providing an asylum to Adil Oksuz, a theology professor accused by the Turkish authorities of being an influential figure within the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). He is also among the masterminds of the military coup attempt of July 2016.Oksuz was arrested in Turkey on July 16, 2016 but was subsequently released and has since disappeared.Ankara has informed the German authorities that Oksuz is one of the prime suspects of the July 15 defeated coup attempt and an international fugitive.Ankara also demanded the authorities of Germany to immediately extradite Oksuz to Turkey, Trend reports.FETO and its leader Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of last year, that martyred 250 people and left nearly 2,200 injured. Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.Since the 2016 defeated coup attempt, nearly 4,000 FETO suspects have come to Germany from Turkey and other countries, according to Anadolu Agency.Several FETO suspects, including former soldiers and diplomats, have applied for asylum in various German federal states.Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Germany must change its hostile attitude towards Turkey.Cavusoglu, talking to TRT Haber network, said that an active anti-Turkish propaganda is being held in Germany.“Turkey does not oppose Germany and sees no reason to spoil relations with that country,” he said. “If there are any problems in the relations, Germany should sit down at the negotiating table and discuss this issue with Turkey," Cavusoglu said.Earlier, Cavusoglu said that the Bundestag has parliamentarians, who actively support the terrorist Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK).He claimed that some of them are trying to withdraw the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations.The ties between Turkey and Germany have been strained since the failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, and tensions have worsened over multiple issues including a referendum campaign to expand Turkish President's powers. German authorities banned some Turkish ministers from campaigning for ethnic Turk votes in Germany during the April referendum. The relations deteriorated further after Ankara blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting the servicemen at the Incirlik Air Base.Despite further compromise made by the Turkish government regarding the German deputies’ visit to military base in Konya, the relations between the two countries are being strained to date. Most picturesque valleys in Land of Fire Society Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan has long been known for its breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, and the majestic beauty of the Caspian Sea.The best way for visitors, who are seeking an authentic experience, getting to know the locals and enjoying the awe-inspiring nature that the country is known for, should seek out the tiny villages, nestled high in the mountains, and its picturesque valleys.The valleys of the country create a whimsical sight for visitors. They are so colorful that definitely are must-see for every photographer. As if someone had spilled paint instead of planting flowers, these fields seem like a color palette.So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the Land of Fire!Shah YaylagThe valley ‘Shah Yaylag’ is located close to the Khinalig village, located 2,000 meters above the sea level.Khinalig is famous for its unique language, peculiar customs and traditions. The wonderful village, nestled in the mountains strikes with its unique architecture.The picturesque village, included into UNESCO's List of World Heritage is often called the museum under the open sky.Shahnabat YaylagThe Shahnabat valley is near the Laza settlement, on the northeast spurs of the Main Caucasian Ridge, at bottom of a high mountainous plateau "Shah Yaylag". Lovers of horseback riding will enjoy a horseback riding tour here.Several waterfalls are visible on the road from Gusar town to the Laza village full with trees and rocky slopes. Khan YaylagThe valley Khan Yaylag is inhabited during the summer months. In the ancient times, the khan (ruler) of Sheki region together with his family and servants was resting here.Ivanovka YaylagThe Ismayilli region is home to the most picturesque valley of the country- Ivanovka Yaylag. The valley lies between the Goychay-Davabatan rivers, some 500- 800 meters above sea level.With over 3,000 inhabitants, the Ivanovka village is situated 200 kilometers away from the capital city in the northern Ismayilli region. Being dispossessed from their homeland, the hardworking Molokans did not lose courage and quickly got accustomed to their new location.Khoshbulag YaylagDashkesan region is famous for its favorable nature. The Khoshbulag valley, is visited by many people suffering from asthma and bronchitis. They say the climate here has a beneficial effect on such patients. There are about 50 springs in Khoshbulag. Alat FTZ establishment – strategic decision for Azerbaijan Business Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:28:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan has succeeded in diversification of the routes of supply of its hydrocarbon resources having seven oil and gas pipelines going in different directions.Now it is becoming an active participant and even originator of new trade routes crossing its territory. In addition to well-known East-West (China-Europe) and North-South (Russia-Iran) transport corridors there are several new ones with the country being at the heart of them. Some of the projects are in the stage of negotiations, and some have been already in progress with test container trains passing through the country to their new destination.According to “Strategic road map for the development of logistics and trade”, adopted in late 2016, it is planned to increase Azerbaijan’s share of maritime cargo transportation via the Central Asia-Black Sea route to 40 percent, via the Central Asia-Europe route to 25 percent, via the China-Europe route to 3 percent, via the Russia-Iran route to 40 percent and via the Iran-Black Sea route to 25 percent.Ability of Azerbaijan as a transit country to receive and transship great volumes of cargo will require availability of sophisticated transport infrastructure.For the time being, a first-rate international trade port is being built near town of Alat south of Baku. This port, together with geographic location of Azerbaijan at the crossroads of Asia and Europe and its largest trade fleet on the Caspian Sea, makes it an important transit part of the Eurasian goods flow process. Estimated transshipment of the new port complex is: up to 10-11 million tons of cargo and 50 thousand TEU at the first stage, 17 million tons of cargo and 150 thousand TEU at the second stage and up to 25 million tons of cargo and 1 million TEU at the third stage of the project implementation. Stage 1 is planned to be completed for the rest of 2017. In 2016, the Port transshipped three million tons of cargo. The volume of cargo transportation through the Port (excluding bulk oil) grew 43.5 percent and amounted to 1.9 million tons in the first half of 2017.But, taking account of world experience, Azerbaijan is not going to limit itself only with the port logistics and storage activities. In March 2016, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on establishment of a free trade zone type special economic area covering the territory of the Port, where a range of value-added goods and services, mainly meant for export, such as processing, light manufacturing and assembling, refinishing, labeling will be performed before cargo is shipped for a new trade market.By now business circles from Turkey, Italy, Estonia, Russia, China and Austria are showing their interest in business terms at Alat FTZ.To make it world-class, the Ministry of Economy and the Port of Baku have entered into an advisory agreement with the world famous DP World Group from Emirates, one of the world’s major port operators with 78 marine and inland terminals in its portfolio, to share its international experience in multi-modal transport links, logistics and the supply chain across its network.By late May, DP World has already prepared a feasibility study, regulations governing special economic zones, and a master plan for phase one of the project.DP World also suggested creating an independent arbitration system in the FTZ, where it will be guided not only by legal system of Azerbaijan, but also by international law.Establishment of the FTZ is now at its initial stage. Documents prepared by DP World Group shall undergo an examination and then be approved. This is why, as an example, let’s have a quick look at what the major trade and logistics hub in the Middle East and a flagship subsidiary of DP World Group - Jebel Ali free trade zone (JAFZA) - is like, as it can be a model for future development of Alat FTZ.JAFZA was established near the Jebel Ali Port and commenced operations in 1985 with 19 companies.As of now, there are more than 7100 companies from over 100 countries having business registration within JAFZA, providing about 140,000 jobs and attracting more than 20% of the UAE’s foreign direct investment. JAFZA contributes to national economy by creating more than 50% of all exports in the entire Dubai emirate.JAFZA grew its non-oil foreign trade by 17 percent from 23.9 million to 27.9 million tons in 2016, worth $80.2 billion, says the official website of the FTZ.Machinery, electronics and electrical goods accounted for 49% of JAFZA’s total trade. Petrochemicals, oil and gas sector had 16% of total trade, followed by food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) (8%), textiles and garments (7%), automotive and spare parts (6%).JAFZA registered 122 new companies from 33 countries during the first three months of 2017. Of them, 20 percent were in the general trading and retail sector, followed by 11 percent in steel and building materials, with 10 percent each in the automotive & transport, equipment, machinery and services sectors.JAFZA has implemented a digital signature system so that the documents can be directly emailed to customers’ registered email addresses.JAFZA also has launched a special educational program that provides UAE nationals with work experience and employment opportunities. Training periods range from 6 to 12 months with a monthly salary with the possibility of employment in the companies working within JAFZA.Finally, JAFZA offers some unique incentives for the one who is going to register a business there. That includes 100 percent foreign ownership, zero percent corporate tax for a period of 50 years, zero percent import and export duties, no personal income tax, unrestricted capital and profits repatriation, no recruitment restrictions, etc.In spite of the global downturn, growth of international trade volumes continues and this fact indicates that Azerbaijan has made a strategic decision with establishing a regional trade hub on the Caspian shore. Attracting investment capital, creating employment, generating export revenues, transfer of know-how into the country – this is not a full list of what the nation can benefit from, but provided that a business-friendly environment is generated in Alat FTZ and all kinds of bureaucratic red tape are minimized. Turkish expert says Iraq facing threat of split World news Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:10:00 +0400 By  TrendHolding a referendum on independence in Iraq’s Kurdish Autonomous Region threatens the country with a split, which can lead to disastrous consequences in the region, Cahit Tuz, vice-president of the Sarkiyat research center in Turkey, told Trend on August 16.He noted that today, not only Iraq, but also some other countries of the region are facing the threat of secession.“The countries of the region should decide what their priorities are, and the preservation of sovereignty should be such priority,” Cahit Tuz said.According to the expert, holding the independence referendum is an erroneous decision.“This referendum is also a threat to stability in the region,” he said.It should be noted that the referendum on independence will be held on September 25.Earlier, Masoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, had said that opposition to the referendum would be met with “a bloody war”. Preparations for the referendum have been completed, he noted.Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Kurdish administration of Iraq will regretful of holding an independence referendum.“Iraq’s integrity is a priority for Turkey,” noted Erdogan, adding that a referendum on independence of the Kurdish autonomy means the beginning of Iraq’s disintegration. Baku displays traditions and culture of 150 counties Arts & Entertainment Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:08:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe second day of the 41st World Scout Conference running in Baku saw a big exhibition dedicated to culture and traditions of the participating countries.The event started with presentation of the national cuisine of 150 participating countries. Later, guests familiarized with cultural samples of the nations.The national dances and incredible performances added a special color for the night, Azertac reported.The Conference, which is organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and hosted by the Azerbaijan Scout Association, with the support of the Youth and Sport Ministry of Azerbaijan, will be held at the Baku Congress Centre until August 18, 2017.The WOSM is the largest international Scouting organization, attracting millions of young people who become active citizens, creating positive changes in the societies in which they live.The WOSM has 166 members- national scout organizations, which collectively have over 40 million participants.The Association of Scouts of Azerbaijan is the national Scouting organization of Azerbaijan and was founded in 1997, and became the member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement on August 20, 2000. Turkmenistan stands for sustainable, equitable access to energy resources World news Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:52:00 +0400 By  TrendOne of the main directions of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy strategy is cooperation in the energy sector, ensuring sustainable and equitable access to energy resources, the Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary state news agency reported, Aug. 16.The report is dedicated to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, to be held soon in New York.Turkmenistan will strictly and unswervingly implement the provisions of relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly aimed at ensuring reliable and stable energy supply, and, to this end, the country reaffirms its readiness to develop close cooperation with all interested states and international organizations, says the report.Turkmenistan will chair the International Energy Charter Conference throughout 2017, and in accordance with the concept of its chairmanship, Ashgabat is taking a series of comprehensive measures aimed to intensify the process of developing a new international legal mechanism in the field of sustainable energy.Moreover, Turkmenistan will actively participate in the process of creating the organizational, legal, economic and technical, as well as other conditions necessary for the diversification of energy sources and energy supply routes, says the report.As part of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan considers it expedient to review the question of the beginning of a process for summarization of the conclusions and recommendations of international meetings and conferences on energy issues held under the auspices of the UN, with the future goal of their concentrated presentation in a relevant multilateral UN document.Turkmenistan is one of key players in the gas market of the Caspian region and Central Asia. Currently, the country exports natural gas to China and Iran. Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world for its natural gas reserves, and the country is looking for new markets in Europe and Asia.