Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az Turkmenoil extracts industrial oil from Altyguyy field World news Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:58:00 +0400 By Aynur JafarovaThe Turkmenoil State Concern of Turkmenistan has extracted a strong inflow of industrial oil from the Altyguyy field.The inflow was received from well No 14 with a depth of 3,800 meters as a result of successful exploration work carried out in the field, Turkmenistan's Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ministry said.The well No 14 produces over 100 tons of high quality oil.Altyguyy was previously recognized as only a gas field. The information about the discovery of oil in the field was released in 2010.Turkmenoil occupies a leading position in Turkmenistan's economy and is involved in the production of oil and gas, chemicals, stone, and bentonite.The Concern is cooperating with various foreign companies for drilling oil and gas fields, overhaul, renovation of equipment for oil and gas fields and oil pipelines, and construction of new pipelines.The Concern is not only involved in drilling work at old fields, but also conducts geological exploration at new areas. Tenders are held from time to time for purchasing the required equipment, special machinery, and chemical reagents.The state concern currently operates about three dozen fields, including more than 600 oil and gas deposits that are at various stages of development.In the years of independence, the Concern was able to increase the oil production from five to eight million tons, and the gas processing reached 11.6 billion cubic meters per year. Azerbaijan promotes ITU ranking Business Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:43:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan has promoted its ranking in the International Telecommunications Union report in terms of internet penetration among individual users.A study of the Union called "State of Broadband Report 2014" shows that Azerbaijan has risen three points compared to last year and ranked 63rd with 58.7 percent among 191 countries.The study was conducted by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at the order of ITU and UNESCO.Among the CIS countries, Azerbaijan ranked second after Russia that settled at the 56th place.The study put Azerbaijan ahead of Belarus (69th place), Kazakhstan (70th place), Moldova (81 seats), Armenia (82 place), Ukraine (94th), Uzbekistan (100 seats), Kyrgyzstan (121 place), Tajikistan (137 place) and Turkmenistan (154th). Neighboring Georgia was ranked 92nd.The world's average index on internet penetration among individual internet users is 37.9 percent.Azerbaijan also ranked first among the CIS countries in terms of broadband internet penetration among home users in developing countries. The country has improved its position by one point, taking 24th place with 58.7 percent, while the world average is 29.9 percent.In fixed broadband Internet per 100 inhabitants, Azerbaijan ranked 48th with 17 percent. The country improved its position by four points. The global average in this segment is 9.4 percent.In the last index on the degree of penetration of mobile broadband, Azerbaijan improved its position by four points, securing 46th place with 43.9 percent. For this indicator, Azerbaijan ranked fifth among the CIS countries, after Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Belarus. Global average in this segment is 26.7 percent.Azerbaijan is now undertaking measures to develop its nonoil segment of economy and ICT is one of the prominent sectors. Over the past five years, the information technology sector of Azerbaijan has doubled.Last year, the country invested about 202.2 million manats (over $257 million) in the ICT sector and postal services. Investment in the development of the ICT sector in Azerbaijan is expected to reach $4 billion by 2020.Earlier, Azerbaijan was elected to the Council of ITU in a group of countries in the 'C' region of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.The election of the council is held in five regions. Azerbaijan joined the council, gaining 94 votes. Beside Azerbaijan, ITU Council includes Poland (133 votes), Bulgaria (124), Russia (124) and Romania (111).Azerbaijan's membership in the ITU Council will last until the end of 2018. The next ITU Plenipotentiary Conference will be held in Dubai in late 2018. Baku 2015 employs 1,000th staff member Arts & Entertainment Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:47:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games celebrated the employment of its 1,000th full-time member of staff on October 31.Aysel Akhundova, from Azerbaijan, was the landmark employee as she joined the Press Operations team as part of the Games Academy Graduate Excellence Programme.Baku 2015 Chief Executive Officer and Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov said: "This is a significant milestone in the continued growth of the Baku 2015 team and I would like to welcome Aysel on board as she joins the journey to the inaugural European Games.""Our blend of international staff with top-level experience and national staff with excellent local knowledge have combined to create a formidable team. I am extremely confident that our whole team's set of skills and expertise will ensure delivery of a spectacular event that will make all of Azerbaijan and the whole of Europe proud," he stressed.Akhundova, 21, who recently graduated in Law from Baku State University, has work experience for some of Azerbaijan's previous other major events, including the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup and the Eurovision 2012 Song Contest."I am extremely proud to have joined the Baku 2015 team and I am looking forward to contributing to this exciting adventure towards the first ever European Games," she said. "For myself and for all of the team, it is a wonderful opportunity to help play a role in this historic event and I am very much looking forward to helping make Baku 2015 become a reality."The Baku 2015 team is now represented by 43 countries from around the world, including Azerbaijan, working across 18 directorates to deliver the European Games.Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said: "Week by week, the Baku 2015 team continues to grow and I am extremely pleased that we have been able to assemble such a quality team of first-class professionals.""The vital blend of international staff and local Azerbaijanis has created a dynamic and fun environment that will help us deliver the best possible event for the cream of European sporting talent," he added.Overall, the first European games will gather more than 6,000 athletes to compete over the 17 days of competition in June 2015. Czech company to build artificial islands in Azerbaijan Business Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:28:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe Czech Republic's biggest construction company, PSJ will take part in the construction project of a city of artificial islands near the coast of the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, the Prague Post agency said on October 30.The value of the contract signed by the PSJ for its participation in the project called the Khazar Islands is estimated to be 395 million euros. PSJ will build four residential buildings.The company will start construction of the first residential building in spring 2015."We have already signed a contract for one island, on which four buildings should be built," the PSJ Export Division Director Jaroslav Jirkovsky said. "We are now trying to secure funding for the first island which is expected to cost about 100 million euros."PSJ's income from foreign contracts made up 59 percent of the company's total revenue in 2013, which amounted to $198 million.The most important markets for PSJ are Russia, Slovakia and Asian countries.It was noted that the PSJ's contract in Azerbaijan is a good opportunity for the company to minimize risks from contracts in Russia and Ukraine resulting from tensions between the two countries.The new city will be located on the artificial island No41, about 25 kilometers south of Baku. The construction project has already started, and will be completed between 2020 and 2025.Khazar Islands, which is under construction on an artificial archipelago25 kilometers south of Baku, will consist of 41 islands of different sizes with a total area of 3,000 hectares on which 19 residential districts will be built.The project will be implemented in three stages. The total investment required in the Khazar Islands project is estimated at $ 100 billion. In general, it is planned to construct 20 km boulevard and 20 bridges.The tallest building of the planet, the 1,050 meter-high Azerbaijan Tower, will be built in the territory of Khazar Islands as part of the second phase of the project. The tower construction is expected to cost $2 billion.The completed Khazar city will have more than 150 schools, numerous hospitals, and clusters of parks, shops, and cultural centers. A yet-to-be-constructed airport will provide international access to the area.The islands will be dominated by high-rise buildings and resort-like accommodations, with miles of unspoiled beaches and warm, shallow waters. Special considerations were taken while designing the island's structures to withstand earthquakes with up to 9.0 magnitude power.So far, works on the project have been financed by the Avesta Group itself. The company hopes to reach an annual profitability margin of 10-15 percent on investments. Azerbaijan, Kuwait to develop ICT co-op Business Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:10:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThere is a great capacity for further development of cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies between Azerbaijan and Kuwait.This was announced by Azerbaijan's Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov at the meeting with a Kuwaiti delegation led by Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah.Noting Kuwait's noteworthy achievements in the ICT field, Abbasov informed the visiting delegation about main activities of his Ministry and spoke about the prospects of future cooperation.For his turn, the Kuwaiti minister said Kuwait attaches particular importance to the establishment of intensive relations with Azerbaijan, and expressed his country's interest in developing the Azerbaijani-Kuwaiti relations based on friendship and cooperation in accordance with the interests of the two nations.Providing detailed information about his country's ICT strategy and public policy in this area, the Kuwaiti delegation put forward the idea of creating a technical group between Azerbaijan and Kuwait in terms of developing bilateral relations, and offering proposals to identify further areas of cooperation in the ICT sector.Furthermore, he said the relationship between the sides have entered into a new stage of development and from this point of view, mutual visits are of great importance. Noting his country's interest in participating in the exhibition Bakutel, he expressed willingness of Kuwait's ICT companies to be represented at the 20th telecommunications exhibition.BakuTel exhibition is the largest telecommunications exhibition in the Caspian basin and the Caucasus that brings international ICT companies, government and media together. This year, the exhibition will be held on December 2-5. Armenian armed forces continue violating ceasefire with Azerbaijan Politics Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:24:00 +0400 The situation on the contact line between Azerbaijan and Armenia has remained tense as the Armenian Armed Forces shattered ceasefire a total of 17 times throughout the day, Azerbaijan`s Defence Ministry said,AzerTag state news agency reported.The ceasefire was violated in Sarijali, Shuraabad villages in Agdam region, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand region, Ashagi Veysalli, Horadiz villages in Fuzuli region.The Armenians were silenced with a retail fire.For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict which emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor.Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories./AzerTAc/ Baku to host parade of countries Arts & Entertainment Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:20:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina Nazarli"Parade of countries" will kicked off in Baku from November 1. The event will last for one year in the shopping center Park Boulevard.Representatives of more than 20 countries will take part at this interesting event.The first country which will open the parade is Russia. The large-scale cultural presentation titled "Window to Russia" will start at 17:00 and run until November 7.The program includes painting exhibitions of young artists "From the mouth of Mikhail Lermontov and Mirza Fatali Akhundov" as well as handicrafts works and souvenirs from Russia."Pomegranate Three" exhibition which will put on display the works of thirty young and talented Azerbaijani artists will be an interesting addition to the event.Referral service, located on the first floor, will provide all visitors with extensive information about admission and studying procedures in Russian universities.The cultural event has been co-organized by Russian Information and Cultural Center in Baku, its art and dance studios, creative youth club "Constellation" and the shopping center Park Boulevard.Moreover, a massive five-minute gymnastics event will be held on the first floor of Park Boulevard at 17:00 from November 1.This mass action is devoted to the first European Games, which will be held in Baku in 2015.The three-time champion and honored coach of Azerbaijan, Nurjahan Askerova and her pupils will hold an exciting class. After the class, participants will have a chance to attend a concert of young pop singers and modern dance performers.The guests will also have an opportunity to visit a fashion shoe of little fashion mongers. They will present collections of fashionable clothing, created by modern designers incorporating the best traditions of Russian and Azerbaijani fashion schools. Baku 2015 opens ticketing sign-up page Analytics Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:59:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games has opened a sign-up page on its website to allow fans to register their interest in purchasing tickets for next summer's event.The website allows international and Azerbaijani supporters to request ticketing updates on the sports program as well as receive all the latest news from Baku 2015.Ticket sales to the general public will open next year, but those who register their interest now will be first to be sent frequent email updates on all the latest developments as the countdown continues.Baku 2015 Chief Operating Officer Simon Clegg said: "The launch of the sign-up page in an important moment as we continue to approach the inaugural European Games.""We know that fans will be keen to secure their place as soon as possible to attend Baku 2015 and watch history in the making for themselves, and this system will make it easy for them to keep up to date with all the latest news and information about the ticket sales process next year," he added.The sign-up page has been developed and implemented by Tickethour, the Official Ticketing Supporter of Baku 2015.Commercial Director of Baku 2015 Charlie Wijeratna said: "We anticipate interest from all over Azerbaijan and across Europe as fans will want to share in this unique experience for the continent's top athletes."This system will be the best place to receive all of the latest Baku 2015 news, so I would urge those interested to sign up as soon as possible to ensure they will be able to secure their seats at the first European Games," he stressed.The first European games will take place from June 12 to 28, 2015. More than 6,000 athletes will compete in a total of 20 sports over the 17 days of competition next year.To register on the website, please visit: AZN exchange rate compared to world currencies on Oct. 31 Analytics Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:41:00 +0400 Below is the exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat (AZN) compared to world currencies and precious metals on Oct. 31, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsOct. 30, 2014Oct. 31, 20141 US dollar1 USD0.78440.78441 euro1 EUR0.98780.98721 Australian dollar1 AUD0.68750.69021 Argentinian peso1 ARS0.09230.0923100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.00730.00731 Brazilian real1 BRL0.31870.32621 UAE dirham1 AED0.21360.21361 South African rand1 ZAR0.07170.072100 South Korean won100 KRW0.07450.07371 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03560.03561 Chilean peso1 CLP0.13570.1361 Chinese Yuan1 CNY0.12830.12841 Danish krone1 DKK0.13270.13261 Georgian lari1 GEL0.44810.44771 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian rupee1 INR0.01280.01281 British pound1 GBP1.25281.2537100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish krona1 SEK0.10620.10661 Swiss franc1 CHF0.81910.81861 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.2080.20821 Canadian dollar1 CAD0.70.69991 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD2.70682.70731 Kazakhstan tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.01370.01351 Lithuanian litas1 LTL0.28690.2862100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.23850.23861 Mexican peso1 MXP0.05820.05841 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.05340.05351 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.11660.1168100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03290.03291 Polish zloty1 PLN0.23410.23411 Russian ruble1 RUR0.01820.01891 Singapore dollar1 SGD0.61320.6131 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.20910.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.16821.16151 Turkish lira1 TRY0.35420.35641 Taiwanese dollar1 TWD0.02580.02581 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.15360.15361 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06030.0603100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.71910.71151 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.61090.6144Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU959.7134942.8488Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.459612.8252Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT995.7958975.0092Palladium (1 ounc1 XPD625.9512614.9696 /Trend/ Remittances to Armenia drastically falling World news Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:59:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevMoney transfers from foreign countries to Armenia are continuously decreasing amid economic crisis in the country.Decrease of the remittances has picked up the pace over the last two months. Local media reports that considerable drop of the transfers from the overseas poses threat to the economy and financial condition of the people.According to the Central Bank's latest data, the amount of the private money transferred to Armenia via bank system in this September was about $153.3 million being below the same figure remitted in the relevant period of the last year. The red balance was roughly $9.2 million, while the total amount of the remittances was about $170 million instead of $180 million.Money transfers to Armenia reduced for the second month in a row, promising to hit the lowest record ever. Decrease of the money sent from the overseas was calculated at 11.5 percent in August.Russian markets play a crucial role in the reduction of remittances. The Central Bank reported that Armenian banks received around $146 million remittances from Russia in this September. The figure is under the indicators of the last month and last year. The total transfers made by Armenian migrant workers in Russia was nearly $157 million last year, which testifies for a considerable fall by $11 million compared to this year. The money transfers made by individuals in Armenia's northern neighbor has dropped for the fourth month in a row.About 85 percent of all remittances that is of great importance for Armenia comes from Russia and the northern giant is the post-Soviet state's second biggest trade partner after the European Union. Economists believe that the sustainable devaluation of the Russian ruble stands behind the current trend experienced in remittances flow. Moreover, the economic stagnation observed in Russia after western sanctions also fuels the reduction of money transfers.Sociometer Sociological Centers report revealed that fathers of about 300,000 Armenian children work and live abroad. It means that those children eat, wear, study, entertain with the money they receive from their fathers. Decrease of the remittances will deteriorate their lives, dismantling the kids' hopes.The IMF forecasted nearly 3.3 percent economic growth in Armenia this year. GDP is calculated at $5,900 per capita to rank Armenia 149th among world's countries.All these portrays the ongoing economic slump in the post-Soviet country. Now the reducing remittances will turn into a catalyst to whip up the economic complexity. Pomegranate paradise in Goychay Arts & Entertainment Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:20:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan is a country of ancient traditions that have been respected for centuries. In addition, the country is keen on creating more pleasant traditions, Pomegranate Festival is among them.This unique and juicy holiday has been celebrated regularly in early November since 2006 around the country and mainly in Goychay.Goychay's pomegranates have gained international recognition as the true Azerbaijani pomegranates. The secret of the magnificent taste and quality of the Goychay pomegranates is unique microclimate and fruitful soil.The main attraction of the beautiful pomegranates is its sweet and healthy seeds. Pomegranate contains 8-19 percent of glucose and fructose, 3-7 percent - citric acid, minerals as well as vitamins, cellulose, and pectin substances. This fruit is extremely rich in antioxidants.Pomegranate juice improves appetite and treats anaemia and other diseases.The king of all fruits, as it is called in Azerbaijan, pomegranate is constantly associated with fertility and strong health.The pomegranate has been praised in the Holy Quran and considered to be a fruit of paradise. For this reason, Azerbaijanis concern this tree and its fruits as sacred.This fruit is also honored in other religious. For the Christians, pomegranate means life and hope for eternal life, for the Jews, it represents righteousness, and for the Chinese it implies wealth and many sons.The Azerbaijani climate, that has nine of eleven climatic zones, is perfect for pomegranate in the southern regions with mild winters and hot summers. The symbol of profusion, pomegranate has been cultivated in the country throughout centuries.The most popular Azerbaijani sorts of pomegranates are Guloysha, Bala Mursal, Nazik gabig, Shah nar, Girmizi gabig, Shelli cross breeding, Girmizi valas Shahnaz, and Agshirin.The attractive feature of the Azerbaijani pomegranates is its non-use of organic fertilizers.Azerbaijan not only grows pomegranates, but also produces pomegranate juice for export. Another export product from pomegranate that is very famous beyond the country is juice concentrate Narsharab, which is used as a sauce to meat and fish.As you can see, pomegranate is a wonder and holding of festival of such a profitable fruit seems evident.The festival gathers the varieties of pomegranates grown in different villages of Goychay and the products made of pomegranate to the exhibition held in the town square.Foreigners and local tourists adore to come here to eat pomegranate and drink its juice to heart's content.Along with degustation, young athletes' performs, concerts, games and quizzes are taking place in the town's center at the holiday. One of the most interesting games is extracting pomegranate juice with hands for time.This holiday is also a perfect opportunity to provide your body with vitamins before the cold winter, so do not miss any chance to see the biggest pomegranate in Goychay. WizzAir to resume flights to Baku next year Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliHungarian Wizz Air airline will not offer flight services on the Budapest-Baku-Budapest route during winter.AZAL Spokesman Maharram Safarli said on October 30 that the company will resume the flights from March 29, 2015 to October 24, 2015.As Deputy Head of Azerbaijani Airlines AZAL Sabir Ilyasov said earlier Hungarian Wizz Air airline will continue to carry out flights on the Budapest-Baku-Budapest route in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement on air service.The memorandum is valid until October 26 and from this date on, the flights along this route will be conducted in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement to be signed between the two counties.Airbus aircrafts of Hungarian airline currently fly from Budapest to Baku on Mondays and Fridays and from Baku to Budapest on Tuesdays and Saturdays.The first Baku-Budapest direct flight opened on June 2013. Budapest, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, which attracts many Azerbaijani tourists.As of January 2014, the passenger traffic exceeded 14,000 people on Budapest-Budapest-Baku route within six months. This year, the company plans to increase passenger traffic up to 26,000 people. Baku 2015 welcomes Serbia's sport minister Sports Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:20:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games has welcomed Serbia's Youth and Sports Minister Vanja Udovicic to the organization's headquarters.Before moving into politics, Udovicic was one of Serbia's most talented Water Polo players and won three Olympic medals - silver at Athens 2004 and bronze at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.Udovicic, who was visiting Azerbaijan for the Global Forum on Youth Policies, was updated on all of the latest progress and developments being made before next year's inaugural European Games.Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Udovicic to the Baku 2015 headquarters."Serbia will be sending a strong team to the inaugural European Games, and we are looking forward to welcoming their athletes to the competition here next year, he stressed.To date, with 50 percent of the sports qualification process complete, Serbia have qualified athletes to compete in Basketball 3x3, Boxing, Canoe Sprint, Gymnastics and Wrestling.In his turn, Udovicic said: "I was very pleased to be able to visit the Baku 2015 offices and some of the competition venues and facilities. This was also an excellent opportunity for me to meet some of the Serbian members of the Baku 2015 team that are helping to make the European Games come alive next year.""In Serbia, our athletes are aware that the European Games as an important event that will become one of the major multi-sport events on the international calendar, so they are very excited about the opportunity to represent our country here in Baku," he added.Overall, the first European games will gather more than 6,000 athletes to compete over the 17 days of competition. Armenian air carrier suspends flights World news Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:05:00 +0400 By Mushvig MehdiyevArmenia's national air carrier Air Armenia has suspended its flights after months of financial difficulties, promising to resume its work in winter.The company faced problems after sending its two aircrafts for technical maintenance service to the Netherlands. So it had to offer services with only one aircraft.There were also other problems resulted from the works by certain ticket sale agents who kept the proceeds as a guarantee for refunding the tickets.The proceeds in Armenia dropped to a critical minimum and now it is impossible to carry out passenger transportation. The airline's administration has decided to restructure the organization's financial policy through strict measures and reform the flight schedule by December 20.Air Armenia's Head Arsen Avetisyan earlier said Russian Rosaeronavigation Company's statement published on September 11 threatened to restrict the air carrier's flights to Russian cities from September 21 and it had subsequently caused great damage to the Armenian company."The statement sparked great panic among passengers, creditors and debtors. Many passengers began to return their purchased tickets. A large number of customers refused to use Armenian air carrier's services. Meanwhile, sales fell by 60 percent," the company said.It added that at the same time all creditors began to demand the debts to be paid, refusing to apply the schedule agreed earlier.Air Armenia has around $405,000 overdue debt to Rosaeronavigation. It currently owes the Russian company about $700,000.Poor performance, inaccurate flights and lack of necessary clientile are the major factors paralyzing the airline's operation.Air Armenia has recently delayed flights from Yerevan to Russian Krasnodar city for three times in a row and caused problems for the passengers who had reserved earlier the flight. The company failed to compensate passengers for the delay and ensuing costs saying it didn't have enough cash to indemnify.Armenia's national air carrier was forced to cancel four flights to Saint Petersburg and two flights to Moscow and Athens earlier on October 6. The massive cancellations came after financial problems with a Dubai-based company. Air Armenia miscarried to pay about $5 million for two airplanes it had purchased from the Arabian aircraft supplier.Air Armenia replaced the collapsed Armavia Company in 2013 as the latter filed bankruptcy after the years of financial hassle. Armenian government, opposition launch joint businesses World news Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:59:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevA business partnership between Armenia's Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and an opposition leader Gagik Tsarukyan has sparked public concerns across the country.Gagik Tsarukyan is currently among the most famous persons in Armenia after his leading role in the new national movement. His Prosperous Armenia party, one of the three driving opposition forces which are uniting under informal "troika" alliance, has orchestrated the recent protest rallies across the country demanding a power change in Armenia. But the new facts revealed by Hetq, an investigative journalism organization, have put Tsarukyan's anti-government activities in doubt.Hetq reported that Tsarukyan owns a number of joint businesses with Hovik Abrahamyan. Hetq's investigation shows that the current "enemies" are in fact close and long-term "friends."Abramyan's nephew Hovaness Abrahamyan owns about 33 percent of the shares of Ecofish Trade company, which is engaged in fishing industry. Tsarukyan controls 34 percent of the company's shares, as the major stakeholder of the business in Ararat region.Abrahamyan's son Argam Abrahamyan and Gagik Tsarukyan also share the stakes of the Franck Muller Yerevan Watch Distribution, a store that sells brand watches manufactured by the Franck Muller company. Around 12 percent of the shop's shares is owned by Abrahamyan Jr., while Tsarukyan benefits by 12 percent of the shares. Armenian entrepreneurs in Moscow control the rest of the company's shares.Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan have same shares in Aysirkap and Forts companies. The two oligarchs own 25 percent of Forts's shares. The rest 50 percent belongs to an Armenian businessman in Moscow.The two Armenian statesmen's business "empire" is not limited to the mentioned businesses. It also includes Abovyan City supermarket. Abrahamyan Jr. and Tsarukyan control the shares of the huge supermarket with Abovyan region's mayor Karen Abovyan.Hotel Imperium Plaza with the total capital of $4.6 million fully belongs to the prime minister's son Argam.The rule of law should unconditionally be obeyed in each country since this is the law which defines the rights and wrongs, as well as the things to do or not to do. The statesmen in Armenia should unambiguously avoid any business engagement as additional sources of income according to the country's constitution. Nevertheless, high-ranking officials of the country breach the law. Huge business network of Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan proves the officials' disrespect towards the constitution.Another important issue is the proximity of the two opposing political figures. Tsarukyan is an opposition leader who is preparing to put forward his candidacy in the next presidential elections. He called for a new power system in Armenia during the latest rally held on October 24. Abrahamyan is the second main political figure in the country after the president. The incumbent government is headed by Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan's demand for the transition of power directly hints to the resignation of the government including the PM.Briefly, Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan are the two "gladiators" fighting each other in the political arena. But when it comes to business, they turn into "Batman and Robin" supporting each other in the prolific operations. Azerbaijan, EU to set up joint committee Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:40:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaWorks are underway to establish a new joint committee between Azerbaijan and the European Union.Malena Mard, head of EU Baku office, told Trend Agency that the committee will monitor the implementation of agreements on visa facilitation between Azerbaijan and the EU, which came into force on 1 September."We want to make sure that the agreement is beneficial to both parties. I think that this step is important for further advancement," Mard said.Regarding the prospects of cooperation between the sides, Mard added that the number of twinning-programs between Azerbaijan and the EU are growing."EU member states together with the Azerbaijani side are exploring ways of cooperation in the fields of tourism, pension system, as well as in the field of the environment and other spheres," Mard said.The EU and Azerbaijan are maintaining relations under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999.Since then the PCA has provided the legal framework for EU-Azerbaijan bilateral relations in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economic, legislative and cultural cooperation.Azerbaijan is also included in the EU program on "Eastern Partnership" adopted on the initiative of Poland and Sweden and approved at the EU summit in Brussels in 2008.The goal of the program is the rapprochement between the EU and Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus. The program envisages significant expansion of political interaction, larger integration of former Soviet republics into EU economy, increasing the volume of financial aid to them and strengthening the energy security. "From Gabala to Johannesburg,The music knows no borders" due in S.Africa Arts & Entertainment Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe classic music concert called "From Gabala to Johannesburg, The music knows no borders" will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 12-13.The event is devoted to the 90th establishment anniversary of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and 20th anniversary of establishment of democracy in South Africa.The event has been co-organized by Azerbaijani Embassy in South Africa, Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the South African NGO "Friends of Azerbaijan."Works of Azerbaijani classical music luminaries such as Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Soltan Hajibeyov and many others will be performed by Azerbaijani conductor Yalchin Adigozelov, Saida Tagizada (piano) and Alexey Miltukh (violoncello) along with Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.The program includes the world's premiere by Sevda Ibrahimova "Confession", which will be performed on the stage of the famous "Linder" concert hall.The concert dedicated to Azerbaijan and its classic music will be held for the first time in South Africa.This year, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra took part in the traditional Gabala International Music Festival, where it gave a number of concerts during the ten-day event.Formed by a group of committed musicians, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra was established in May 2000 following the demise of the National Symphony Orchestra. Azerbaijan-Croatia ties appraised Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:43:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia Vesna Pusic.During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the dynamic development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Croatia in the political, economic and other fields in recent years. The parties noted that there were good opportunities for cooperation in the energy area and stressed the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor in this regard.During the conversation, the sides discussed cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union and a number of issues of mutual interest. /AzerTAc/ Hungary looking for new capacities in Azerbaijan Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:35:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaHungary is highly interested in the development of bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on the eve of his Baku visit.During the visit scheduled for November 3-4, Szijjarto will hold talks with Azerbaijan's foreign minister, minister of economy and industry, minister of agriculture, minister of culture and tourism and head of Azerbaijan's state oil fund."Azerbaijan is a key strategic member of the Eastern Opening Policy. The main aim of my visit to Baku is to further develop our fruitful economic cooperation and enhance our cooperation in other relevant fields as well," the minister told Trend.He added that Hungary also aims to discover new capacities and areas to deepen the relations with Azerbaijan in a mutually beneficial way.Hungary and Azerbaijan could be long-term strategic partners, Szijjarto noted."Our economic, trade and investment relations are dynamically developing. This is reflected in the high-level visits which are organized more frequently between two sides," the minister said.Szijjarto said contractual relationship between Azerbaijan and Hungary is well established, but there are always some capacities to widen the scope of different areas to be covered by agreements."As I mentioned before, the establishment of strategic cooperation between our countries is an important goal; any agreement that can widen the scope of the legal framework of the bilateral cooperation is welcomed by our side," he added.Speaking about the measures to increase the trade turnover between the two countries, he said Hungary would like to achieve greater access to all markets, especially in the target countries of the Eastern Opening strategy."In Azerbaijan, we are following the issue through our embassy in Baku, the Joint Economic Committee and the Hungarian Trade House. The direct flight between our capitals which began in June 2011 contributes to this cause," Szijjarto added.The minister emphasized that Hungary, as a member state of the European Union, views Azerbaijan as an important partner not just on a regional but also on continental level."This approach is reflected in the Hungarian position when it comes to discussing the EU's relations with Azerbaijan in different EU forums as well," he said."The cooperation in the framework of the Eastern Partnership is an important one; in this regard, Hungary is a supporter of the notion of differentiation between different partner countries," Szijjarto added.Hungary interests in AGRIHe also noted that Hungary is interested in the success of the AGRI (Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector) project, which would diversify the sources and routes of natural gas supplies.The members of the AGRI project are the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Georgia's Oil and Gas Corporation, as well as MVM (Hungary) and Romgaz (Romania) companies.Szijjarto said Hungary is involved in the AGRI project on governmental and corporate level as well."The MVM Hungarian Electricity Ltd. joined the AGRI project company in March 2011," he added.He said Hungary, like other members of the project, is waiting for the finalization of the feasibility study. "Let me not speculate on the eventual outcome of the study, but I am to emphasize that Hungary is interested in the success of the project, which would diversify our sources and routes of natural gas supplies."The AGRI project is currently developing. The economically place of the construction of the terminal for liquefied natural gas on the Black Sea coast of Georgia will be determined after developing the feasibility study.The volume of investments needed for implementing the planned work on Georgia's territory will be defined based on this document.The project's feasibility study is being developed by UK's Penspen Company which was chosen via a tender.Three options are considered regarding the capacity of the AGRI project: 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year, 5 billion cubic meters and 8 billion cubic meters. The cost of the project will vary from 1.2 billion euros to 4.5 billion euros depending on these options.Hungary supports Azerbaijan's territorial integritySzijjarto also pointed out that Hungary's principles remain unchanged: the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan should be guaranteed.The minister said it is also crucial to guarantee the protection of rights of national minorities and ethnic groups.Answering a question about Hungary's position towards continued violation of rights of the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs as a result of occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, Szijjarto said Hungary supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group"All conflicts have to be solved through negotiations," he added.The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far. Azerbaijan to increase oil, gas production Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:32:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan is expected to produce about 40.62 million metric tons of oil in 2015 compared to 41.65 million metric tons projected for 2014.In 2013, Azerbaijan produced some 43.15 million metric tons of oil, a source in the Azerbaijani government told Trend Agency on October 28.The source also noted according to the forecasts, oil production volumes will fluctuate until 2018.In 2016, oil production in Azerbaijan will amount to 40.77 million metric tons, in 2017 - 39.42 million metric tons, and in 2018 - to 40.32 million metric tons.The main part of oil of energy-rich Azerbaijan is extracted from giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block of fields in the Caspian Sea.Since the beginning of development of the field around 345 million metric tons of oil and 100 billion cubic meters of gas have been extracted.The source went on adding that the volume of gas production in Azerbaijan will reach 30.2 billion cubic meters in 2018, compared to 28.42 billion cubic meters forecasted for 2014.Azerbaijan produced 29.45 billion cubic meters of gas in 2013.The source also noted although the volumes of gas production forecasted for 2015 and 2014 are equal, it is expected that the gas production volume will increase in 2016.Gas production is expected to hit 29.55 billion cubic meters in 2016 and 29.92 billion cubic meters in 2017, while this figure is forecasted to exceed 30 billion cubic meters in 2018.The major part of Azerbaijan's natural gas is produced from giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.As of September 1, around 55 billion cubic meters of gas and 14 million metric tons of gas condensate was extracted from this field.The proven gas reserves hit 2.3 trillion cubic meters in Azerbaijan, but when it comes to the projected reserves, the figure can reach six trillion cubic meters. Georgia ready for second phase of visa liberalization World news Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:48:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevGeorgia expects a decision on visa-free regime with the EU countries to be adopted by spring, State Minister for European Integration Alexi Petriashvili said.Petriashvili noted that Georgia is ready to move to a new phase of the action plan on visa liberalization."European Commission's assessment is of great importance. That's a big step and will lead Georgia to a visa-free regime with the European Union. We should adopt a favorable decision on visa-free regime by Riga Summit in spring," he said.European Commission approved the second report on Georgia's progress for implementing the visa liberalization. The report states that Georgia meets the demands of the visa dialogue's first phase. The Commission can subsequently start the assessment of the implementation of the second phase's obligations by Georgia."I am satisfied with the result of the assessment and would like to congratulate the Georgian government for their diligence. They proved they are ready to implement legislative changes. It is a significant progress and an important step in the process of Georgia's approximation to the EU with the purpose of creating visa-free relations," European Commissioner on Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said.The Georgian Foreign Ministry welcomed the European Commission's mentioned decision. It noted that the achieved progress is the result of Georgian government bodies' joint work.The Georgian government expressed its readiness to meet the demands envisaged in the second phase of visa liberalization.Georgia has earlier made some corrections to its newly amended visa policy in an effort to keep the right balance between the European Union's requirements and liberal approaches. The updated visa regulations enabled to issue multiple-entry visas for a period of 180 days for the citizens of the countries which apply a visa regime with Georgia. The citizens of the countries which Georgia applies visa-free regime - European states, NATO and CIS member-states, as well as the countries which are the important partners - will have a right to stay in the country for a total of 90 days within a period of six months without an entry visa, according to the corrections. IREIS aims to facilitate property transactions in Abu Dhabi, major int’l markets Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:44:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe sixth edition of International Real Estate and Investment Show (IREIS 2014), the only dedicated real estate event that targets investors and end-users rather than trade visitors, will focus on high net worth individuals living in the UAE, according to organizers Dome Exhibitions.IREIS, which is scheduled to be held on November 20 to 22, 2014 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), aims to provide a snapshot of property markets in the Middle East, Europe and the Asia Pacific region and is looking to influence the real estate investment decisions of the 7.5 million-strong expatriate community living in the UAE.The recently published 2014 Global Investor Sentiment Report by Colliers International, the leading real estate services organization, painted the overall picture of investor confidence worldwide as one of improving with expectations of increasing transactional volumes in 2014. The report particularly mentioned key Asian cities including Singapore, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong to be the top five cities to focus on the future."The key objective of the event is to facilitate and enhance property transactions in Abu Dhabi and major international markets given the UAE's appeal as a leading destination for large numbers of expatriates from all over the world. As the leading investor and end user-centric property event, IREIS will offer a wide selection of properties at different price ranges in key international markets," Antoine Georges, a Managing Director at Dome Exhibitions said.The 2014 Global Investor Sentiment Report found out that despite the increasing globalization of the real estate investment market, investors, particularly Asians, still prefer their home markets. Some 77 percent of Asian respondents to Colliers International's survey considered Asia to be their primary investment focus during next 12 months. Additionally, 62 percent of Asian investors believed Asia's property market would improve over the next 12 months.Expatriates from the UAE, one of the top global destination for expatriates, is remitted an estimated over $ 20 billion to their home countries according to a report issued by the UAE Foreign Ministry in 2012, which has had a significant impact on the economic growth in recipient countries. A major chunk of these remittances are used to invest in houses and lands as a preferred savings mechanism for expatriates amid rising real estate prices worldwide."IREIS 2014 will benefit those looking to invest in real estate projects in their home countries to find the finest properties that suit their budgets and requirements, while offering them access to mortgage options and answering their queries relating to the investment climate and relevant real estate regulations in the UAE and abroad. Additionally, it serves as an ideal platform for those seeking suitable units for the purpose of leasing, investment or buying in freehold areas in the country, " Georges added.The real estate market in Abu Dhabi is currently witnessing a resurgence backed by the strong performance of other economic sectors. Experts in the industry attribute the improving conditions in Abu Dhabi market, especially in prime areas, to a number of factors, most notably the new structural changes in Abu Dhabi's economy that is rapidly shifting its focus to sectors such as tourism, hospitality, media, aviation, manufacturing and renewable energy as articulated by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. This has led to a huge influx of well-educated and highly-skilled and financially enabled expatriate professionals to the emirate.Expatriates are looking for high quality housing units both in the UAE and in their home countries, which has prompted Abu Dhabi's decision to designate certain areas as freehold properties where foreigners can buy and own real estate such as Reem Island, Saadiyat Island and Al Raha Beach.Despite the significant number of new stock has entered Abu Dhabi real estate market in recent years, demand is expected to remain strong due to underlying demographic and economic drivers.Colliers International's Abu Dhabi Real Estate Overview for the second quarter of 2014 found the residential market in Abu Dhabi currently supplied with 241,000 units whereas the demand is for 292,000 units. The shortage of 51,000 units or 21 percent of current supply, coupled with the growing housing demand from expatriates has pushed the rental prices up by 12 percent and sales prices by 9 percent year on year basis. The report also found an opportunity for non-national investment in affordable housing sector with Emirate's population increasing 5.5 percent year on year.IREIS 2014 is anticipated to attract nearly 10,000 visitors and more than 70 exhibitors from over 20 countries, including the UAE, Saudi, U.S., UK, Poland, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Thailand, Portugal and Azerbaijan among others.IREIS 2014 will gather key investors, developers, financiers, property advisors, real estate consultants, architects as well as regional and international investment promotion authorities related to the real estate sector. The definitive property event is set to host a number of associated initiatives including an international conference, country-specific presentations, business networking meetings and investor exchanges. DOME Exhibitions, organizers of IREIS 2014, hosts exhibitions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and helps businesses in the UAE to extend their reach and enhance their visibility in the global marketplace. Azerbaijan increases gold reserves by 17 pct Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:37:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe central banks of developing countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia increased their gold reserves in September, a report by Dow Jones shows said citing data from the International Monetary Fund.Azerbaijan increased its official gold reserves for the second consecutive month, the report noted. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan increased its reserves by 17.4 percent, bringing them up to 868.321 ounces."The central banks of developing countries have increased their gold reserves over the past few years amid uncertain prospects of the reserve currencies such as the dollar and the euro," the report said.Russia, which is one of the largest holders of precious metals in the world, increased its reserves by 1.2 million ounces, according to the IMF. The Central Bank of Russia, which buys gold from the domestic gold producing industry, currently has reserves of 37 million ounces of gold.Kazakhstan, adding 68,000 ounces to its reserves in September, brought them up to the amount of 5.9 million ounces."At the same time, countries like the Czech Republic and Mexico reduced their reserves," the report said.Earlier, Anglo Asian Mining plc, a company involved in the extraction of precious metals in Azerbaijan, revealed plans to become the most leading precious metals and copper producer in the Caucasus.AAM has 75 tons of dry copper concentrate and 550 tons of wet copper concentrate stockpiles to sell.The company has the right to develop six deposits in the south-west of Azerbaijan - Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gyzyl Bulag, Vezhnali, and Soyutlu- under a production sharing agreement signed in August 1997 with Azerbaijan's government.The resource base of the company exceeds 36 tons of gold, 292 tons of silver and 94.000 tons of copper.The gold produced at the mines is sent for treatment to Switzerland. The ingots are brought to Azerbaijan and stored on the government's account.Overall, Anglo Asian's production in the nine months of the year reached 43,232 ounces of gold, 27,419 ounces of silver and 580 tons of copper. Synergy Baku Cyclists to join Tour of Taihu Lake Sports Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:19:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe Tour of Taihu Lake will be held in China from November 1 to 9.The Synergy Baku Cycling' riders will continue their racing schedule in China to build on their impressive performance in the just-ended Tour of Hainan.Team captain Maxim Averin will attend the competition along with national champions Elchin Asadov, Enver Asanov, Ismail Ilyasov, Samir Jabrayilov and Alex Surutkovych. Only Christoph Schweizer will not take part at the race in eastern China.The nine-stage race is mostly flat, offering bunch sprint finishes. The weather for the first few days is expected to be about 20 degrees C with light rain.The squad recently competed successfully in the Tour of Hainan, where it took the fifth place among 20 teams, standing above such strong teams as Holland Belkin-Pro Cycling Team, Australian Drapac Professional Cycling and Team Novo Nordisk of the U.S.Team manager David McQuaid praised the Azeri riders for their unity and strong performance.Being loyal to its slogan "For a sustainable future" Synergy Group OJSC is the main sponsor of the first professional cycling team of Azerbaijan "Synergy Baku Cycling Project". Outflow from Armenia gains new momentum after Russia's new decisions World news Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:17:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevEmigration from Armenia is incessantly growing. About 500,000 residents have permanently left the country so far.The latest move by Russia to simplify the employment terms for Armenian immigrants has posed a new emigration threat to the post-Soviet state.Russian government plans to apply new quotas for the placement of labor migrants in Russia. Analysts and political experts view it as the first glimpse of Armenia's joint life with the EEU. Russia intends to reduce the quotas for the migrants working in agricultural, transport and construction fields. It can deliver the hardest blow on Armenia since its emigrants work mainly in the mentioned fields.Russia explains the new measures with its plans to employ its own residents. It means that the guest workers in the northern giant's territory need either to bribe or apply for getting Russian citizenship. Emigration from Armenia can gain a new momentum to enter into new scale after application of Russia's new decision. The latest statistical data revealed that about 10,000 Armenian citizens were granted Russian citizenship in January to September of this year. The figure is predicted to rise and reach a catastrophic level in near future.Armenian Statistical Service's latest data reported that around 113,000 citizens left the country in the first nine months of this year, while about 60,000 of them rejected to come back. Modern emigration trend in the former Soviet state is expected to be the worst of all times in Armenia's history.Russia, at the same time, plans to facilitate terms of working for the immigrant workers from Armenia. The government views it as the main argument to support the EEU integration. The analysts hold different stance on the issue. They believe it is a real threat for the country as it will allow the jobless people to get easily employed in Russia.The Armenian authorities are not keen to confess to the new emigration threat. In other words, decreasing number of citizens means decreasing responsibilities of the government. No state program has recently been reported in the country amid the massive outflow proving the government's inactivity towards the problem.Russia is facing a serious demographic problem and Moscow openly announced its intention to attract compatriots from the CIS states. Experts claim that Russia needs about 300,000 migrants each year to fill its huge demographic gap.Russia prefers the emigrants with a desire of applying for Russian citizenship. The government has adopted several decisions in this regard, for instance facilitated granting of citizenship for the foreign workers upon cancellation of citizenship of their native countries.Latest report of the Sociometer Sociological Center exposed the real social hurdle in the country characterized by 42 percent of malnourished and 32 percent of poor people. The average daily food intake is 142 calories in Armenia being extremely below the internationally recognized norm of 2,232 calories intake per day.All these factors encourage Armenians to leave their country. "East or West, home is best" saying has lost its impact to sparkle the South Caucasus nation's patriotism feelings. These days, hunger and anger are the most widespread feelings among Armenians. Pomegranate tree exhibition opens in Baku Arts & Entertainment Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:38:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina Nazarli"Pomegranate Tree" exhibition of young Azerbaijani artists was held in Shirvanshahs Palace Complex in the ancient part of Baku - Icheri Sheher on October 29.The exhibition is dedicated to the upcoming holiday of pomegranate, which is celebrated annually in Azerbaijan in early November.The event was organized by creative youth club "Constellation" at the Russian Information and Cultural Center (RICC) in Baku.Speaking at the event, Head of Museum-Reserve Rena Rzayeva noted that this exhibition is not the first one, which the museum is holding jointly with the creative youth club "Constellation" at the RICC.It was emphasized that such events attract young people to the museum promoting art and beauty among them.Head of Russian cooperation in Azerbaijan Valentin Denisov, Rena Rzayeva and Head of the club "Constellation" Munavvar Mukhtarova presented special diplomas to the exhibition's participants.Mukhtarova added that the exhibition will last for one week in Park Boulevard from November 1.Thirty young and talented artists displayed their works at the exhibition.The pomegranate is a unique fruit, and Azerbaijan is the only country in the world which grows all varieties of pomegranate. The bright juicy fruit has long been a symbol of Azerbaijan.Since 2006 the Pomegranate Festival being held on the harvesting time has been celebrated in Azerbaijan's Goychay region in early November.The varieties of pomegranates grown in different villages of Goychay and the products made of pomegranate are brought to the center of the region and shown at an exhibition in the town square.Young athletes' performances and concerts take place in the town's center as well.The main purpose of the holiday is to promote the region's culture and its economic capacities to attract more tourists. Geopolitical risks hampering TAPI pipeline's implementation, expert says Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:07:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaGeopolitical risks are hampering the implementation process of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan, Doctor of Political Sciences Elkhan Nuriyev believes.He told Trend Agency that the current situation connected with the construction of the TAPI pipeline is reminiscent of renewal of the "Great Game" around the Central Asian region, involving Pakistan, Iran, Russia and Central Asian countries."Currently, the prospect of increased competition is preserved, and it occurs on the background of high geopolitical risks that make the TAPI project practically impossible," he said.The TAPI project with the proposed capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year will extend from Galkynysh field in Turkmenistan through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar to its final point at a settlement on the Pakistani-Indian border.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as a transactional advisor on TAPI gas pipeline project. Its main task is to develop the project company TAPI Ltd., as well as to search for a leader of the consortium to implement one of the largest energy projects in the vast Asian space.The expert went on adding that a significant part of the gas pipeline will pass through unstable regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the border between India and Pakistan. This will create serious problems that will make it impossible to rely on the successful implementation of the project."In addition, the complex relations between India and Pakistan threaten the stability of gas supplies from Turkmenistan," he noted.The expert believes the TAPI project is a costly one, and operation of the pipeline, in case of its construction, will be associated with high security costs."Even if the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline begins in 2015, its fate will remain uncertain, since much of it depends on the development of domestic political processes in Afghanistan in the coming years," Nuriyev said. "Thus, lack of security is a major obstacle to real progress in the implementation of this project."The expert thinks the construction of the TAPI will enhance the integration of Afghanistan into the international economic system."However, it is necessary that the project would contribute to strengthening the geo-economic cooperation, rather than strengthening geopolitical rivalry to achieve this goal," he added.TAPI is not only a regional project envisaging the transportation of Turkmen gas, but also a global one. The implementation of the project will strengthen Turkmenistan's independence, and its gas supplies to world markets will increase significantly.The project is an opportunity to contribute to the stability of Afghanistan, and its implementation could contribute to the rehabilitation process in the post-war country. It will also create job opportunities and provide Afghanistan with guaranteed revenue from the transit. These oak sticks make your cheap whiskey taste more expensive Weird / Interesting Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:37:00 +0400 Kickstarter features the most awesome inventions! The latest one we’ve found is the ‘Whiskey Element’, a simple tool that claims to make cheap whiskey taste like fine expensive liquor in just 24 hours. “Customize your whiskey in 24 hours,” the product page reads. “It’s your whiskey, drink it the way you want.”The product is the brainchild of a Portland-based company called Time & Oak. They argue that the best and most expensive whiskeys are made after they are aged in quality oak barrels. But if you can’t afford to buy the finest whiskeys, you can probably settle for their Whiskey Elements, which are nothing more than specially designed oak sticks.By simply adding the stick to a bottle of cheap whiskey, they claim that you can replicate the taste of high quality liquor in no time at all. That’s because their ‘accelerated transpiration through capillary action’ can properly age cheap whiskey into a quality one by filtering impurities and infusing additional wood flavor in the spirit.“After a year of development, 6 patents filed, hundreds of samples tested, 3 ovens destroyed and a couple of nights we don’t really remember, you can now get 3 years of aging ‘effects’ (time travel not included) in just 24 hours, and have complete control of the flavor,” the crowd-funding campaign page states . “This is the taste of tradition combined with the spark of innovation to create an efficient aging method for whiskey.”The inventors at Time & Oak said that they got the idea for the product when they walked into a liquor store last year and asked themselves ‘what’s the difference between top shelf and well-whiskey?’ “And then it hit us – if the goal is for the whiskey to filter in and out of the wood to remove toxins, get infused with flavor, and pull out those rich colors, what if the barrel isn’t the best design to achieve this process?”“Wood barrels are really only good at containing the whiskey, because the wood is cut vertically so that the capillaries aren’t exposed to the liquid; otherwise the whiskey would slowly seep out the sides of the wood like a wet paper bag.” So they designed a product that takes advantage of ‘transpiration through capillary action’ by cutting the wood horizontally. The horizontally cut ‘element’ of wood provides a shorter distance for whiskey to travel through its repetitive exposure to the capillaries, so it matures much faster and becomes of a much higher quality. They call this ‘accelerated transpiration through capillary action’.To prove their point, Time & Oak have conducted an extensive ‘before’ and ‘after’ chemical analysis. Their findings suggest that after being  treated with a Whiskey Element, cheap whiskey shares a lot of chemical similarities with high-end spirits. All it takes is one stick to age a fifth and two to age a half-gallon bottle. Each stick can only be used once for maximum effectiveness.The company has come up with sticks of various flavors as well – there’s vanilla, maple, smokey and peaty. These flavors aren’t added through artificial chemicals, they insist, but are infused naturally through a proprietary curing process that adds subtle flavor differences to the wood.With one day to go before their project closes, the company has managed to raise over $172,000, with more than 4,500 backers. If you hurry, you could be one of the backers too, and the proud owner of a pair of their signature flavor elements for just $12 or more. Interested?/Odditycentral.Com/ Iran to up medicine export to Russia World news Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:31:00 +0400 Iran plans to export $120 million worth of medicine to Russia over the next three years, Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Soren Sattar said during his visit to.Currently, the total value of medicine exports from Iran to Russia is $30 million annually. Among them are sclerosis and cancer medicines, Iribnews reported.Sattar said that Iran ranks seventh in nanotechnologies in the world. "Iran has achieved some success in the production of new medicines and intends to cooperate with Russia in this area," he said.During his Russia visit, Sattar was accompanied by the experts in the field of medicines, medical and nanotechnologies, as well as the oil and gas sector.During the visit, the meetings were held with Russian officials./Trend/ Paris meeting focused on issues without progress Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:20:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaOne of the main achievements of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents' Paris meeting was the call of French President Francois Hollande on two conflicting sides to start working on a comprehensive peace treaty.Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister told local media commenting on the results of the recent meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents.He stressed that Azerbaijan has repeatedly expressed its readiness to start the works.Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting on October 27 in Paris with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen to discuss the settlement process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The two presidents held a face to face meeting, which was followed by another joint meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.Afterwards, a joint meeting was held attended by President Hollande, President Aliyev, President Sargsyan and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen.Mammadyarov said during the Paris meeting, the negotiations were held in several stages and focused on the issues on which no progress has been achieved so far."In general, each presidential meeting is positive. Such meetings allow understanding the mood of the opposing sides to promote the process of settlement of the conflict," Mammadyarov added.Mammadyarov said President Aliyev reiterated Azerbaijan's principal position during the meeting: First, Armenian armed forces should withdraw from Azerbaijan's occupied territories in order to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict."As soon as this demand is met - a demand which is clearly supported by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and reflected in the resolutions of the UN Security Council- there will be great opportunities to ensure security in the region, to open borders and communications and to agree on issues related to the confidence-building measures," the minister said.Mammadyarov further added that if there are no Armenian troops on the Azerbaijani territories, the country will no more need snipers and the number of military incidents would decrease significantly."Then we will make peace and economic development in the region," he said.Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far. Azerbaijan among top 20 countries for starting business Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:59:00 +0400 By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan, an energy-rich South Caucasus country with favorable conditions for doing business, has entered the list of top 20 countries in terms of preparing the ground for starting a business.According to the annual ranking of Doing Business-2015 prepared by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation and released on October 29, Azerbaijan took the 12th place among the 189 world countries, leaving behind such countries as China (128th), Austria (101st), Belgium (14th), Brazil (167th), Croatia (88th), Czech Republic (110th), and others."Azerbaijan has made ??the process of starting business easier by reducing the time to obtain an electronic signature for online registration of the tax accounting," the report said.Azerbaijan is also among the top 10 countries in terms of the greatest number of reforms carried out in the country. The country has implemented reforms in the fields of ??starting business, registration of property and payment of taxes.Compared with last year's results, Azerbaijan achieved the greatest success on such subheadings as the payment of taxes (33rd versus 77th a year ago), dealing with construction permits (150th against 180th) and connection to the electricity system (159th against 181st)."Azerbaijan has simplified the transfer of immovable property to the ownership by introducing an electronic system for help on charge," the report said. "In addition, the country has simplified payment of taxes for companies by introducing an electronic system of registration and payment of social insurance contributions."In general, Azerbaijan is ranked 80th in the Doing Business-2015 report.Azerbaijan's ranking consists of the following indices: establishing enterprise business - 12th, tax payment - 33rd, international trade - 166th, registration of ownership - 10th, obtaining construction permits - 150th, lending - 104th, insolvency settlement - 94th, contract enforcement - 31st, protection of investors' rights - 51st, connection to the power supply system - 159th.Singapore is at the top of world ranking on creating the most favorable conditions for business. The top ten countries include New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, Korea, Norway, US, Great Britain, Finland, Australia.Among the post-Soviet countries Georgia (15th), was followed by Estonia (17th), Latvia (23rd), Lithuania (24th), Belarus (57th), Russia (62nd), Moldova (63rd) and Kazakhstan (77th) keep leading positions. Azerbaijan is followed by Ukraine (96th), Kyrgyzstan (102nd), Uzbekistan (141st) and Tajikistan (166th).Azerbaijan's all macroeconomic indicators favor the profitability of doing business in the country. In recent years, the non-oil industry in Azerbaijan has developed rapidly. GDP has increased by 16 times over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, the average salary of the nation has increased by twenty-fold over the last 20 years.The business activities are very successful in the country due to the growth of incomes of population.The taxation of business in Azerbaijan enjoys more favorable conditions than in Europe. The highest income tax rate of the country is below twice the European average.Also, all legislative and practical conditions have already been created for the development of business in Azerbaijan.As a result of the implementation of various reforms on regulations and the improvement of legislation in the area of improving the business climate, Azerbaijan's economy has improved its position in the world's leading economic reports and now it is among the advanced countries.The analytical report prepared by Euromonitor International released on October 28 said Azerbaijan is in the list of top 5 countries in the world in terms of growth in annual disposable income in 2014.The report noted in the face of a slowing oil industry, the non-oil sector has become the main growth engine and employment generator in Azerbaijan, underpinning the country's income growth."Closely behind in the third place is Azerbaijan with total annual real disposable income forecast to grow by 11.5 percent year-on-year and per household annual disposable income to grow by 10 percent year-on-year in 2014," the report noted.The experts of Euromonitor International forecast that education will be the strongest performing consumer expenditure category in 2014 in Azerbaijan, soaring by 18 percent year-on-year in real terms, on the back of a buoyant adult education sector.Besides Azerbaijan, the list of top 5 countries with fastest growth in annual disposable income in 2014 includes Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and China. Baku 2015 hosts wrestling demonstration Sports Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:40:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku 2015 European Games has hosted a Wrestling demonstration at the organization's headquarters with six members of Azerbaijan's national cadet team.The powerful athletes showed off their ability and technique to more than 500 members of staff in a series of exhibition matches.Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said: "We are very grateful to everyone from the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation for taking time out of their busy schedule to show our staff what they are capable of."Wrestling will be a hugely popular event at next year's inaugural European Games, so it was an honor to have some of Azerbaijan's best young athletes here in our headquarters, he added.The wrestlers were joined by General Secretary of the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation Ajdar Jafarov who helped explain the demonstration.Jafarov said: "Our young athletes enjoyed the opportunity to show their talents to members of the Baku 2015 team. We are very much looking forward to representing our nation next year at Baku 2015 and we are all hopeful of making all of Azerbaijan proud when the Games begin."The cadet wrestlers who participated were Sabutay Amishov and Fizuli Huseynov (Freestyle), Ismayil Mammadov and Parvin Abdullayev (Greco-Roman), and female wrestlers Sahila Ocaqverdiyeva and Adelina Mirzayeva.Wrestling will take place over six days of competition in the Heydar Aliyev Arena at next year's European Games, with approximately 480 athletes competing for the 24 gold medals available.Overall, the first European games will gather more than 6,000 athletes to compete over the 17 days of competition. European Film Festival opens in Baku Arts & Entertainment Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:39:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe fifth European Film Festival 2014 will open in Baku on October 30.The festival that will run till November 8 is organized by the delegation of the European Union (EU) and the embassies of the European Union member states jointly with "Park Cinema".The European Film Festival is unique in that it draws upon the diverse and rich cultures of Europe, EU Baku office head Malena Mard said on the eve of the Festival."The Festival allows us to explore the many benefits of cultural diversity. Culture is what in many ways makes people hope and dream, it brings people together," she said.The programme of the European Film Festival included the screening of films from 16 European Union countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan.The films representing various genres - comedy, drama, documentary, animation, made the Festival attractive to all types of the film lovers. The Croatian film "The Mysterious Boy" and Finnish animation film "Niko 2 - little brother, big trouble" will be of particular interest to kids and teenagers.The venue of the Festival is Park Cinema in Park Boulevard, Neftchilar Avenue.The films will be shown twice per weekday (16.00 and 18.00) and once a day on weekends. Entrance to all films is free and no tickets are needed.The European Film Festivals have been organized by the EU delegation in Azerbaijan since 2010 and serve to further building and strengthening the cultural links between the European Union countries and Azerbaijan contributing to better mutual understanding. AZN exchange rate compared to world currencies on Oct. 30 Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:26:00 +0400 Below is the exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat (AZN) compared to world currencies and precious metals on Oct. 30, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsOct. 29, 2014Oct. 30, 20141 US dollar1 USD0.78430.78441 euro1 EUR0.9990.98781 Australian dollar1 AUD0.69560.68751 Argentinian peso1 ARS0.09230.0923100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.00730.00731 Brazilian real1 BRL0.31860.31871 UAE dirham1 AED0.21350.21361 South African rand1 ZAR0.07220.0717100 South Korean won100 KRW0.07490.07451 Czech koruna1 CZK0.03590.03561 Chilean peso1 CLP0.13550.13571 Chinese Yuan1 CNY0.12830.12831 Danish krone1 DKK0.13420.13271 Georgian lari1 GEL0.44740.44811 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.10110.10111 Indian rupee1 INR0.01280.01281 British pound1 GBP1.2661.2528100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00650.0065100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0030.0031 Swedish krona1 SEK0.10690.10621 Swiss franc1 CHF0.82830.81911 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.20930.2081 Canadian dollar1 CAD0.70270.71 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD2.71212.70681 Kazakhstan tenge1 KZT0.00430.00431 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.01360.01371 Lithuanian litas1 LTL0.28930.2869100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.05180.05181 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.240.23851 Mexican peso1 MXP0.05840.05821 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.05340.05341 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.10970.10971 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.11860.1166100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03290.03291 Polish zloty1 PLN0.2370.23411 Russian ruble1 RUR0.01850.01821 Singapore dollar1 SGD0.61630.61321 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.2090.20911 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1.1671.16821 Turkish lira1 TRY0.35550.35421 Taiwanese dollar1 TWD0.02580.02581 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.15360.15361 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.27520.27521 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.06030.0603100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.72530.71911 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.62260.6109Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU964.1008959.7134Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG13.529213.4596Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT992.1395995.7958Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD621.1656625.9512 /Trend/ Azerbaijan allocates $1 million to fight Ebola virus Society Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:59:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAmidst the continued threat emanating from the deadly Ebola virus, Azerbaijan has allocated $1 million as part of an international effort to fight the outbreak of the dreaded virus.This amount has been transferred to the Global Fund of the United Nations, at the instruction of President Ilham Aliyev.In total, the European Commission has earmarked about 204 million euros in aid to the fight against Ebola virus.The International Monetary Fund has already allocated $130 million to fight the Ebola virus and World Bank threw in some $200 million.Moreover, recently the European Commission has allocated 24.4 million euros to promote investigation into the virus vaccine and method of treating diseases.Meanwhile, the WHO is testing a handful of experimental vaccines.The WHO announced plans on October 24 to produce millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines by the end of 2015.Hundreds of thousands of doses should be available to help affected countries before the end of June, the WHO said.Individual cases of infection were recorded in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe. The UN Security Council recognizes that the disease is spreading faster than physicians have time to take action.The world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak, widespread in West Africa in March 2014, has already killed 4,922 people so far with more than 9,000 people infected.There have been no reported cases of Ebola infection in Azerbaijan so far."Until today, 10-12 people appealed to the State Anti-Plague Station for information about the disease," Shair Gurbanov, the Deputy Director of the Republican Anti-Plague Station of the Azerbaijani Health Ministry said.Earlier this month Azerbaijan has purchased special hazmat suits and equipment as part of preventive measures against the Ebola virus. One hundred sets of these suits, as well as medical examination tests have been bought by the order of the Azerbaijani Health Ministry.The dangerous disease spreads only via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people.The incubation period of Ebola is maximum 21 days. People are infectious until their blood and secretions contain viruses, which lasts up to 60 days.To protect yourself against the disease, it is necessary to observe personal hygiene. President Ilham Aliyev hold meetings Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:35:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received head of the United Nations Department of Public Information Maher Nasser, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi, Director General for Democracy of the Council of Europe Snejana Samardzic-Markovic and UNESCO Assistant Director-General Lalla Aïcha Ben Barka.Head of the United Nations Department of Public Information Maher Nasser thanked the head of state for excellent organization of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies, and congratulated the President on Azerbaijan`s great achievements. He noted that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon showed great interest in the event, and noted the significance of a video address by the Secretary-General to the forum participants. Maher Nasser stressed the importance of holding the Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku for the first time in terms of the expansion of international cooperation in the field of youth policy.United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi underlined the importance of the fact that the event was the first global forum of the UN on youth policies. He noted that the forum was the largest event on youth policies so far, adding it brought together the greatest number of countries and delegates. Ahmad Alhendawi thanked the head of state for supporting the organization of the forum at a high level.President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the significance of holding the First Global Forum on Youth Policies in Azerbaijan. Describing the video address by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the forum as an expression of the importance attached to the event at the international level, the head of state said that Azerbaijan had already become a venue for holding the most prestigious international events. President Ilham Aliyev noted that this would contribute to a further expansion of cooperation among countries and nations. ***President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of State for Youth Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah.The Minister conveyed greetings and best wishes on behalf of Emir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister to the head of state.He congratulated President Ilham Aliyev and all Azerbaijani people on the opening of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku. Expressing satisfaction with his visit to Azerbaijan, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs thanked for the invitation and hospitality.President Ilham Aliyev recalled his visit to Kuwait and his meetings with the Kuwaiti leadership. Noting that the existing ties between the two countries are a good example of bilateral cooperation, the head of state stressed the importance of the fact that Azerbaijan and Kuwait have always supported each other and protected interests of each other within international organizations. President Ilham Aliyev noted the significance of the expansion of relations between the two countries in the field of youth policy.President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the greetings of the Emir of the State of Kuwait, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister and asked Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah to communicate his greetings to the Emir of the State of Kuwait, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister./AzerTAc/ Famous opera singer to give concert in Baku Arts & Entertainment Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliFrance's famous opera singer Laurent Naouri will give a concert at UNS Creative Scene Theatre in Baku at 19:00 on October 31.The outstanding and one of the most popular baritones of our time, Naouri will perform for the first time in Baku and this will allow the city residents to closely get acquainted with his talent.Naouri has already given concerts on many influential stages such as Opera Bastille, Theatre on Champs Elysees, Opera Theatres, of Lyon, Strasbourg, Geneva, as well as in the festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Glayborn and Baden-Baden.In his repertoire, Nouri combines seemingly popular destinations such as Baroque opera and Mahler songs, operetta and opuses of academic composers of the twentieth century.His repertoire includes some of the most popular works of the opera world - "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart, "Carmen" by Bizet, "La Traviata" by Verdi and many other masterpieces of world classics.The tickets of this amazing show are available in the box offices of the city. The ticket prices are 10-30 manats.The UNS Theatre is located at Neftchiler avenue, 69 in Baku. Turkish diaspora fighting so-called "Armenian genocide" claims Politics Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:27:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevThe Turkish diaspora is entrusted with great tasks to combat the claims about the so-called "Armenian genocide", Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Ismail Alper Coshkun said."One of the main reasons behind the historical misinterpretation of both Turkey and Azerbaijan is the power of diasporas acting against Azerbaijan and the Turkic world mainly in the Western countries," he noted.Coshkun said the claims about the so-called "genocide" enounced by Armenia and the Armenian lobby against Turkey were not something new. The Armenian lobby plans to work efficiently to attract more supporters for the "genocide" in 2015."The campaign on demonizing Turkey and its history will not end in 2015," he said. "Armenians will not stop to come up with their claims."Coshkun added that Armenia and the Armenian lobby are on the wrong way. "They are trying to convince the entire world of the real events of 1915," he said. "This is not corresponding to reality and prevents the creation of a common future in the region."The ambassador noted that the Armenian government and the Armenian lobby use the so-called "genocide" issue to defend themselves. "The Armenian government is trying to focus on the centenary of the so-called "Armenian genocide", instead of providing its population with jobs," he noted.The diplomat added that despite Armenia's attempts, there are no events in the history of Turkey and Azerbaijan that may defile the countries' past and cast a shadow on their future.The ambassador urged Armenians to read Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement on the events of 1915 he made during his rule as prime minister."Turkey will not allow falsification of any historical fact. Our archives are open for the investigation of the events of 1915. There are people who are influenced by the parliaments of several countries. They have never been to Turkey. They do not know our history. However, they are ready to support Armenia's claims linked to the so-called "genocide". We will expand the joint work with Azerbaijan to investigate the historical facts," he added.Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor the Ottoman Empire has allegedly carried out a "genocide" against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Armenia could achieve its recognition by the parliaments of some countries simultaneously with strengthening its efforts to promote the so-called "genocide" worldwide. Financial institutions interested in Azerbaijan's economy Business Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:12:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Aynur JafarovaAzerbaijan's economy is the most interesting economy across the globe from the standpoint of the development dynamics. That's why it is now at the center of attention of many financial institutions.This was announced by Head of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Elman Rustamov at a business forum held with the participation of members of the Caspian European Club (CEIBC) in Baku on October 28."They [international finance institutions] show interest in the Azerbaijani phenomenon and the reasons behind its sustainable economic development," he said.During the forum, the participants discussed the prospects of sustainable development of the financial-banking sector of Azerbaijan, major trends at global markets and their influence on the development of the banking system of the country.Rustamov spoke in details about the work of CBA, major aspects of the state policy in the finance-banking field, the development of the banking system, as well as prospects of further development of this sector."The state thoroughly monitors the economic policy which is being implemented in the country, in particular in the non-oil sector," he said.Rustamov also disclosed major indicators of development in the banking sector."The state policy is based on capitalization of oil revenues within the non-oil sector of the economy in the most efficient manner," he said.Rustamov went on adding that the falling oil prices in the world markets and sanctions against Russia do not pose a serious threat to the economy of Azerbaijan as the country's economy is sufficiently resistant to external factors."At present, there is an ongoing trend of declining in oil prices," Rustamov said. "However, the impact of this factor on the economy of the countries is minimal due to the fact that the average price was $103-104 in 2014. Macroeconomic stability in the country, strategic currency reserves in the amount of 74 percent of GDP and the minimum level of public debt create possibilities for maneuvering in such conditions."The CBA head also noted the average oil price in 2015 will amount to $99.5, while the price would stand at $90 per barrel in the draft state budget of Azerbaijan for 2015. Fiscal projections for 2014 are formed at a price of $100 per barrel of oil.Rustamov also said that the impact of Russian sanctions on Azerbaijan is very low."Azerbaijan is among the countries which will experience the smallest impact of these sanctions, since the country's dependence on Russia's economy is less than 3 percent," he said.Later, Rustamov told journalists that the Azerbaijani banks which control about 99 percent of the assets of the banking system will fulfill the requirements of CBA to increase the total capital to 50 million manats by the end of 2014."According to forecasts, five or six banks will not be able to fulfill the requirements for capitalization, but the proportion of their assets in the total assets of the banking sector of the country is about one percent, which will not have a strong impact on the banking system of Azerbaijan," he added.Touching on the mortgage lending, Rustamov said the issue of adoption of a new strategy to develop the mortgage lending in Azerbaijan needs to be mulled over for a long time."The mortgage strategy was presented to the government; it contains a lot of interesting points and developments, and currently, active multilateral discussions are underway," Rustamov added. Wealthy civil servants growing in Armenia World news Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:30:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevWhile Armenia's legislation strictly calls on civil servants not to get engaged in business, Levon Arazyan, a court judge has violated the law by organizing a business network.Hetq, a partner of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, revealed that the court judge of Ararat and Vayots Dzor regions has additional sources of revenue other than his main profession. Local people in those regions said the statesman owns numerous businesses which he has registered under his relatives' names.They urge that a night club named "Black Angel" in Artashat town reportedly belongs to Arazyan. Moreover, a two-storey beauty salon Ri Ki belongs to the judge's wife Karineh Mikayelyan. Arazyan's business greediness is not limited to the mentioned centers as he owns a drugstore just next to the beauty salon.As a judge, Arazyan is supposed to be the guardian of justice. Nonetheless, a seduction of fortune puts his image in doubt as he expanded the business initially with an auto repair shop in Artashat. The Nersik Production Cooperative locating on an one-hectare area is also owned by the judge. Arazyan has also registered several hectares of areas in Artashat under his father's name.Artashat Municipality said these businesses and lands were all in tax arrears. Arazyan's illegal business activity breached the tax regulations with about $1,500 unpaid taxes in total.Armenia is reportedly a poor country with a disabled economy and unstable financial atmosphere based on WEF, IMF and World Bank data. Analysts predict an Asian type of population for the country since a certain group of people is making huge fortunes on the backdrop of about 1.2 million malnourished residents.Meanwhile, Armenian police chief's main advisor and a member of the Council of Justice Grigor Badiryan is reportedly among the main business owners. Badiryan owns about 65 percent share of Baktek Eco Ltd. Company. He is also Armenia's Honorary Consul to Belgium.Baktek Eco Ltd. is engaged in production activities in the Ardjoud gold mine which is located in 12 kilometers northwest of the town of Vanadzor on the left bank of the Pampak River.The World Bank Data reports that around 32.4 percent of Armenians live under the recognized poverty line. The share of the Gross National Income in the country is reportedly $3.79 per capita. Residents of the post-Soviet country are unable to live a well-provided life since the average monthly salary is only $360.The facts about civil servants' business engagements in Armenia have turned into a regular event. Official declarations have earlier revealed the names of 19 millionaire MPs in Armenia's National Assembly. Political figures in the face of Gagik Tsarukyan, Samvel Aleksanyan, Manvel Grigoryan, Armine Nagdalyan, Avet Adonts and others are "creme de la creme" in the post-Soviet state. They are sleeping with huge money under their pillows, unaware of conditions of their 1.4 million absolutely poor compatriots. USGAM, a Center for International Strategy and Security Studies, reported that over 200,000 Armenians beg in the streets in a hope to hear the sound of a coin dropping into their cans. Tolerance, main pillar of politics in Azerbaijan Society Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:15:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliTolerance traditions of Azerbaijan have been appraised at the meeting of Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli and Head of the Azerbaijan Office of the American Jews Support Organization (Vaad L Hatzolas Nidchei Yisroel), Rabbi Shmuel Simantov.During the October 28 meeting, Gurbanli noted that people of several religious live in peace in Azerbaijan. He stressed that tolerance is the main pillar of politics in Azerbaijan."Azerbaijani citizens are able to take the maximum opportunity provided by the Law on "Freedom of Religion". Religious stability in Azerbaijan's socio-political life stands out as compared to those in other countries. All religious confessions share equal opportunities. Today, Azerbaijan is the model of tolerance in the world," Gurbanli said.Simantov, for his part, provided information about the organization.He noted that as a Jewish community, they always speak about the tolerance of Azerbaijani people and the importance which President Ilham Aliyev attaches to it."We promote Azerbaijan both in Israel and America, as we were born in Azerbaijan and this land is our birthplace. Azerbaijanis always respect Jewish people and we always support Azerbaijani people and state," he said.The chairman also expressed his satisfaction with the care provided to the Jewish people and the high level of religion-state relations in Azerbaijan.The sides also mulled bilateral cooperation and joint projects, which may strengthen fraternal ties between the two sides.At the end of the meeting, Gurbanli presented a book about religious temples to Simantov.The Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples enjoy a long tradition of tolerance and interaction. Estimated 9,000 Jews in the country are "fully part" of Azerbaijani society.Several synagogues are operating in the capital of Azerbaijan, as well as in Guba and Oguz regions. Synagogue, opened in Baku in 2003 is one of the largest one in Europe. In September 2003, the first Jewish school was opened in Baku. Delusional Victory Holds The Promise Of Change Analytics Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:02:00 +0400 By Alon Ben-Meir Although the expected resumption of indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas in Cairo was postponed, it will likely take place in the next few weeks as the two sides appear to seek a new and more sustainable ceasefire. Should Israel and Hamas achieve their stated objectives – namely, the complete lifting of the Israeli blockade as well the building of sea and airports as demanded by Hamas, against the total demilitarization of Gaza as demanded by Israel – the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians, as a whole, will take a dramatically different turn, change the nature of the conflict, and substantially improve the prospect for peace. The question is, will their political circumstances and the reality they face lead to such an outcome?It should first be noted that while they deny each other’s right to exist, the fact that they are negotiating, albeit indirectly, amounts to a de facto recognition of each other’s reality and certain prerogatives.Second, contrary to their claims of victory, the last war produced no winners – only losers – and their weaknesses and failures were on full display, forcing them to reassess their plans and objectives for the future.Israeli intelligence was taken by surprise about how extensive Hamas’ tunnel network was and how they were strategically constructed to attack Israel from the rear. The military assigned untrained, poorly informed, and ill-equipped soldiers to destroy the tunnels.In fifty days of fighting, the military ran low on munitions and called on the US to come to its rescue while suffering from intense international condemnation for the death of nearly 1,500 Palestinian civilians.Hamas’ ability to rain nearly 4,600 rockets on Israel sent shockwaves throughout the country, forcing thousands of Israelis to flee to shelters while Hamas continued to fire rockets up to the last minute; it was still left with thousands more that Israeli forces could not destroy.Hamas did not fare any better. It subjected Gaza to destructive Israeli air raids, far surpassing previous fighting that left nearly half the Strip in ruins along with the destruction of tunnels, on which hundreds of millions of dollars were spent.While Hamas is claiming victory, it emerged more isolated than ever before and remains vulnerable to Israel’s military incursions and at its mercy to ease the blockade.In an interview with Egyptian television, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said: “I don’t delude myself by saying, ‘It was a victory.’ What victory?...  For what did we suffer through those 50 days? We had 2,200 fatalities, 10,000 injured, 40,000 homes and facilities and factories destroyed. Tell me, what did we achieve?”Notwithstanding what both sides have suffered, under the current circumstances, Israel will not meet Hamas’ demands to lift the blockade and allow it to build a sea and airport. Conversely, Hamas will reject Israel’s demands to demilitarize Gaza and surrender its cache of rockets.That said, is there any prospect that they can still achieve their goals, and under what circumstances? Hamas knows the futility of provoking Israel and the destruction it would incur, and conversely, Israel knows that Hamas is a reality, a grassroots movement, resilient, can sustain pain and pressure, and is there to stay.There is a strong likelihood, then, that another ceasefire agreement will be reached that would entail concessions by both sides: Israel would ease the blockade provided that PA security personnel be permitted to monitor the border crossings, and UN observers would ensure that all building materials are used for housing and infrastructure.Although historically reason has eluded Israelis and Palestinians, I believe that the last war just might have awakened both sides to a new bitter reality. Israelis and Palestinians in the know, with whom I spoke, strongly suggest that to prevent another deadly flare-up, a new and longer-lasting ceasefire agreement must not be an end in and of itself.Since neither can wish the other away and because the status quo is not sustainable, only an agreement that consists of a number of phases over a period of at least three years with the ultimate objective of demilitarizing Gaza and lifting the blockade would work.That is, built-in reciprocity would allow for confidence-building, provided that both live up to the commitments they make. For example, by destroying a mutually agreed upon number of rockets, Israel would allow the building of a seaport.The second phase may entail the destruction of another batch of rockets against allowing freer travel to and from Gaza, etc. Each phase will have to be implemented at specific intervals and monitored by an EU commission, supported by the US, to ensure compliance by both sides.Indeed, as long as Israel undisputedly does not want to reoccupy the Strip and Hamas does not want to see Gaza in ruins time and again, such an agreement will stand the test of time. It will make the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians more substantive and a peace agreement far more plausible than before.Egypt’s role as the facilitator now and in the future is extremely important as Cairo has a national interest in preventing another Israeli-Hamas war, and also has concerns over the intensifying terrorist activities in the Sinai. Moreover, Cairo wants to keep Hamas at bay and distance it from Iran and Turkey.There should be no public disclosure about the full extent of the agreement, as both sides do not wish to reveal how far they have gone in one swoop. Indeed, only what will transpire on the ground and how mutually beneficial it is, is what will matter.Just as critical is the requirement that both sides stop their acrimonious public narratives in order to prepare their citizens for changing their attitudes toward one another, with historic implications.It should be remembered that the damage inflicted by Israel in the West Bank during the second Intifada in 2000, which destroyed much of what the PA built since 1993, provided a rude awakening to the PA, which realized that the use of force against Israel is futile and counterproductive.This lesson was not lost in Israel either, which suffered from 117 suicide bombers that killed more than 1,000 Israelis during the same period. This led to a renunciation of violence by the PA and security cooperation between the two sides.The last Hamas-Israel war should be no less instructive. Notwithstanding the ideological differences between the secular PLO and the religiously-committed Hamas, the latter will inevitably come to the same conclusion as history has shown even religious convictions will eventually adapt to the unshakable reality and inevitable change.Both reason and reality point to this direction, which neither Israel nor Hamas can ignore without serious and potentially ominous consequences. Iran holds cyber defense exercise World news Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:57:00 +0400 Iran is holding cyber defense exercises in five provinces, head of the Islamic Republic’s Passive Defense Organization, Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali said, the official IRNA news agency reported Oct. 29.Testing the official organizations’ resistance against cyber threats is among the goals of the drill, Jalali said.For the first time, Iran held security operations center (SOC) drill in the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, he added.Early in May, Jalali underlined his organization's full preparedness to defend the country against any possible cyber attacks by enemy states, and informed that Iran plans to make use of an indigenous cyber defense system in near future.Speaking at the second national conference on cyber defense, Jalali underlined the necessity for nationwide preparedness against “enemies' cyber threats.”Jalali noted that Iran should consider developing a smart domestic cyber defense model as a top priority. In relevant remarks in June, Deputy Head of Passive Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Ali Heidari said his organization enjoys necessary equipment and experienced experts to defend Iran against enemies' cyber attacks./Trend/ Azerbaijan to be guest country at int'l tourism exhibition Arts & Entertainment Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:47:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliMediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism exhibition (XVII "La Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico") will be held in Paestum, Italy on October 30-November 2.Azerbaijan will join the exhibition as an official guest country.Azerbaijan`s participation in the event as an official guest country is realized with the support of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as Azerbaijani Embassy in Italy.The presentation ceremony of the 1st European Games to be held in Baku in 2015 will be held as part of the exhibition.Azerbaijani jazz performer Elchin Shirinov and State Song and Dance Ensemble will perform at the event.A night of Azerbaijani cuisine will be organized as part of the event on October 31.Azerbaijani delegation led by deputy minister of culture and tourism Vagif Aliyev will attend the event.To underline the importance of cultural heritage as a factor of intercultural dialogue, social integration and economic development, the event promotes cooperation among peoples through participation and exchange of experiences: after Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, France, Algeria, Greece, Libya, Peru, Portugal, Cambodia, Turkey, and Venezuela, the official guest country for 2014 will be Azerbaijan.It is a successful format, as testified by the collaboration of international organizations such as UNESCO, UNWTO and ICCROM, but also by 10.000 visitors, 130 exhibitors with 25 foreign countries, 50 conferences and meetings, 300 speakers, 250 offer operators, 100 journalists.The Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism confirms itself as an unique international event and home of the only exhibition hall in the world dedicated to archaeological heritage and to ArchaeoVirtual.It is also the first international event dedicated to multimedia, interactive and virtual technologies and place for the study and debate on cultural heritage and tourism issues.Moreover, the exhibition will be meeting place for professional business, touristic and cultural operators and for travelers; business opportunity inside the inspiring location of the Archaeological Museum with the Workshop between foreign buyers and cultural and archaeological tourism offer. Azerbaijan's chess players show their best in Georgia Sports Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:26:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe grandiose 24th European Youth Chess Championship 2014 wrapped up in Batumi, coastal town in Georgia.Co-organized by Georgian Chess Federation and European Chess Association, the championship was held from October 18 to 29.The competition gathered 989 young chess players from 45 European countries, divided in 12 categories: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18, boys and girls separately.Chess players from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech, Dania, England, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Austria and many others took part in the championship.Azerbaijani chess players including Parviz Gasimov, Ulviyya Fataliyeva, Aydan Hojjatova, Govhar Beydullayeva and Malak Ismayil successfully presented the country in this influential competition.Azerbaijan won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.In the oldest Girls section, WFM Ulviyya (ELO 2117) won the championship with 8 points and very solid play. Silver went to WFM Nato Imnadze (ELO 2175) from Georgia, and bronze went to Russian WIM Anna Styazhkina (ELO 2205) with 7 points.In the group U10, the member of national team, Malak brought the second gold medal to the team's haul, with 7.5 points. Mariam Mkrtchyan from Armenia took the second place, while the bronze medal went Anastassia Sinitsina from Estonia.Another national member Govhar (ELO 1671), showing good result took silver medal with 7 points. Ekaterina Goltseva (ELO 2030) from Russia became the Champion U12 with 8.0 points while bronze went to Aleksandra Maltsevskaya (ELO 1991) from Russia also with 7 points.Azerbaijani chess player Aydan (ELO 2104) won the bronze medal with 7 points. Mai Narva (ELO 2123) from Estonia won the group U16 with 7.5 points, followed by Georgian WFM Nino Khomeriki (ELO 2168) with 7 points.One more bronze medal was brought by Parviz, who gained 7 points. Timur Fakhrutdinov from Russia (ELO 2290) became the winner of the group U14. He gained 7.5 points, the same as FM Aram Hakobyan (ELO 2245) from Armenia, who won silver. Baku bracing for World Challenge Sports Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:30:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku is reparing for one of the speediest events of the year, Baku World Challenge race that will thrill up the city on November 1-2.The race in Azerbaijan's capital will be the final round of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series. With the best GT teams in the world present at Baku, the Blancpain Sprint Series finale promises an amazing racing.The overall title of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series will be awarded at the Baku World Challenge, as well as the title of the Silver Cup.In addition to the Blancpain Sprint Series, more than 20 of the fastest GT's on the planet, some extra teams have decided to travel to Azerbaijan to participate at the Baku World Challenge.This will be part of Blancpain Endurance Series stalwarts Boutsen Ginion Racing, who will bring their McLaren MP4-12C, the GT Russian Team, on a Mercedes SLS AMG, and the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Beechdean AMR. Overall, more than nine high-class car brands will be represented at the Baku World Challenge.Baku has recently gained some experiences in holding large-scale racing competitions.Azerbaijan's capital hosted 2013 FIA GT Series season finale on November 22-24. Some 14 international race teams and 30 GT cars took part in the FIA GT Series Final round on a newly designed 4-kilometer long street - circuit, which stretched along the Caspian Sea and centered around the National Flag.Baku also hosted its first racing Baku City Challenge in October 2012, presenting a spectacular urban motorsport experience, and attracted the attention of city residents. Approximately 120 countries broadcast the show for 300 million people.The Baku World Challenge 2014 will welcome 750 people from Paris, London and Dusseldorf, 30 GT cars and 15 historical F1s bolides.There will 16 Platinum drivers, 17 Gold drivers, 24 Silver drivers, and 2 Bronze drivers at the Baku's event that ensures the breathtaking race.One of the favorites of the race, Maximilian Gotz from HTP Motorsport Mercedes said he will handle the upcoming Baku weekend like any other race weekend."We will try to find a great set-up during the practice sessions, while getting familiar with the - at least for me - unknown track. During the race, we might not risk 100 percent, but will certainly give 100 percent. Winning the title would be awesome. We certainly want to win the race to have a nice end of the season, especially since we still have the chance to become teams' champion and for Maxi Buhk to take the overall Blancpain GT Series title," he said to track of the race will pass the most significant part of the city, showing the beauty of the capital.Before the race, a parade of the fastest cars in the world will be organized at 19:00 on October 31. The cars' show will start from the State Flag Square and stretch to the Heydar Aliyev Center. Here, the racers will be signing autographs. An opportunity to be photographed with the racecar will also be given on this day.Moreover, Baku residents will also have a chance to enjoy an amazing concert after the first day of the race. Nicole Scherzinger, Will.I.Am, from "Black Eyed Peas" and soloist of "LMFAO" Redfoo will perform as part of the Adrenaline festival in the biggest Baku concert hall Crystal Hall on November 1.The tickets in the box offices of the city costs from 8 manats to 35 manats for the race and from 20 manats for the concert. Hannover hosts Azerbaijani Culture Days Arts & Entertainment Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:49:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe Azerbaijan's State Symphonic Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli gave a magnificent concert as part of the Days of Azerbaijani Culture in Hannover, Germany, on October 28.The concert was held with the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Azerbaijan Embassy in Germany at Hannover Congress Center.Speaking at the concert, Ambassador Parviz Shahbazov said this event is one of the series of events held at the initiative of Azerbaijan's First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva.He also talked about the rapid development of Azerbaijan, its rich music traditions, and brought this fact to the attention of the audience that Nagorno-Karabakh, known as the "conservatoire" of Azerbaijan, has been occupied by Armenia.The host of the event gave information about the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its president Mehriban Aliyeva and underscored significant works done by the foundation and its head in Azerbaijan and foreign countries towards promoting cultural heritage, propagation of cultural relations and education of the youth.The concert, conducted by Fuad Ibrahimov played pieces of national and classic music.The guests were presented the book "German traces in Azerbaijan", a new publication of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Written by German professor doctor Eva Maria Auch, the book interprets Germans' inhabitation of Azerbaijan in terms of history, and reflects scientific data, maps and photos.Within the framework of the event, visitors got acquainted with the photo-exhibition "German traces in Azerbaijan" and an exposition consisting of art works by winners of the competition "Germany through an artist's eyes".The event was attended by deputies of the Lower Saxony Federal Lands' parliament, members of Hannover city council, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Germany, representatives of the public and press, as well as Turkish consul Mehmet Gunay, President of the University of Hannover Erchi Barke, Deputy Mayor of Hannover Thomas Herrman, Hannover's Police Chief Uwe Luhrig, City Councillor Maximilian Oppelt and Chairman of Jewish Community in Lower Saxony Michael Furst.The foundation will also organize a concert in Dusseldorf in the frame of the Days on November 4.A concert by a jazz group led by Elchin Shirinov will be held at Dusseldorf's Shauspiel Concert Hall on this day. During the concert, the audience will have a chance to listen to Azerbaijani national music in oud and balaban, in addition to jazz improvisations.Previous cultural events held by the foundation abroad include exhibitions on the 20th anniversary of restoration of national independence by Azerbaijan and marking the 870th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Strasbourg, and Rome. Georgian minister says Abkhazia has only two options World news Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:30:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Mushvig MehdiyevThe Georgian State minister believes that Abkhazia has to decide between two options - disappearance or a European future with Georgia.Georgian State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic ?ntegration Alexi Petriashvili noted that a meeting of the Security Council discussed the authorities' proposal to Abkhazians and Ossetians. "We have one more time discussed Georgian government's proposal to our brothers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Our friends there have only two options - complete disappearance or a European future with strong and democratic Georgia. I think, our Abkhazian brothers are aware of it," he said..Meanwhile, the Abkhazian authorities said the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's proposal on the autonomous status within Georgia was the next illusory utopia."Garibashvili's proposal is an illusory utopia which denies to realize the existing reality," the Abkhazian government stated.Authorities of Abkhazia, a separatist republic that claimed its independence from Georgia in 2006 and is backed by Russia, also added that Abkhazia is firmly going on the way to independence and will line up its own policy.Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has earlier proposed to Abkhazians and Ossetians an autonomy within Georgia saying it was his friendly offer.At the same time, Garibashvili said Abkhazian and South Ossetian residents' efforts to create an independent state was a utopia. "You will not be happy without us and we will not be happy without you," he said.Georgian armed forces launched military actions in the territory of its South Ossetia region on August 8, 2008. They clashed with Russian military troops and were forced to leave the region. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. Tbilisi has strictly condemned Russia's actions and broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow to recognize Abkazia and South Ossetia as occupied territories. Azerbaijani MP criticizes int’l community over double standards Politics Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:27:00 +0400 /AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAn Azerbaijani MP slammed international community, particularly the U.S. over demonstrating double standards towards Azerbaijan.Siyavush Novruzov, who is also the deputy acting secretary of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party, said on October 28 that the United States, as the co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group, has made no statements about the necessity of returning of the occupied Azerbaijani territories over the past 20 years.Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.The large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.Novruzov said that despite the repeated democratic elections in Azerbaijan, the United States have not yet referred to this fact in its statements."This is another clear example of the dual policy of international organizations and major powers. Therefore, we propose to send an appeal to the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group and demand a clarification of these issues on behalf of the Azerbaijani parliament," Novruzov said.He went on to say that the U.S. issued a statement immediately after Ukraine election calling it fair and transparent."We do not interfere in this election, it is their internal matter. But it is impossible to remain silent when we see such attitude. We all know how and under which conditions the parliamentary election was held there. But the U.S. leadership, which promotes democracy and justice in the world, declared the validity of the election right away and expressed their readiness to help return of Crimea to Ukraine," Novruzov said. President Ilham Aliyev stresses importance of youth forum Politics Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:46:00 +0400 An official opening ceremony of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies has been held in Baku.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony.The head of state made a speech at the event. /AzerTAc/