Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az What Russian sanctions mean for Turkish economy Analytics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:34:00 +0400 By Aygun BadalovaThe economic impact of the Russian sanctions on Turkey announced this weekend will, in general, probably will be limited, William Jackson, Senior Emerging Markets Economist at British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics believes.The maximum losses to the Turkish economy next year will be worth around $4-4.5 billion, or 0.5 percent of GDP, according to the Capital Economics report, obtained by Trend.This weekend, the Russian government announced economic sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for the downing of a Su-24 bomber last week, the report mentioned. There were three prongs to the sanctions. The first is to halt or ban activities by certain, as yet unspecified, Turkish firms and individuals in Russia. Second, imports of certain (also unspecified) goods will be banned. The final prong regards tourism: Russian charter flights to Turkey will be banned.Jackson believes that banning Turkish firms working in Russia is likely to have limited repercussions.“Only 90,000 Turkish nationals work in Russia. More generally, remittances and investment income from Turkish workers and firms abroad (both in Russia and elsewhere) play a small role in the Turkish economy, totalling $848 million and $314 million respectively in 2014 (0.1 percent and 0.05 percent of GDP)," he said.Regarding the ban on imports, Jackson stressed in the report that agricultural goods are likely to be prohibited.“This has typically been Russia’s main form of trade retaliation; indeed, Turkish food products are reportedly already coming under greater scrutiny by regulators. And banning other major Turkish exports – mainly intermediate manufactured goods – would hurt Russia’s struggling industrial sector,” Jackson said.Overall, according to the report, Turkish agricultural exports to Russia amounted to a modest $1.2 billion last year, equivalent to just 0.15 percent of Turkish GDP.“In other words, while particular Turkish agricultural firms may suffer, the impact on Turkish exports, let alone GDP growth, from the import ban is unlikely to be discernible,” he said.Meanwhile, there will be ramifications from the import ban for Russia, Jackson believes.“Turkey accounts for around a quarter of Russia’s total food imports. Sourcing these from elsewhere will be more expensive, particularly since Russia has already banned food imports from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and a few other countries,” economist said.Jackson believes that perhaps the most damaging impact to Turkey from the sanctions will come via tourism.Some 4.8 million Russians visited Turkey last year, accounting for over 10 percent of foreign arrivals, according to the economist.“It’s difficult to make any precise estimates, but to take an extreme example, were no Russian tourists whatsoever to visit Turkey over the whole of 2016, the loss to Turkish tourism revenues might amount to $3 billion, or around 0.4 percent of GDP,” Jackson said.Meanwhile, he believes that the impact on Turkey’s tourism sector will depend heavily on how long the sanctions remain in place. “The Turkish tourism industry is highly seasonal; Russian tourist arrivals have tended to be seven-to-ten times higher in Q2 and Q3 than in Q1. So if the sanctions are lifted soon, the damage should be limited,” economist said.Overall, Jackson believes that while damaging, it’s unlikely the Russian sanctions to be game-changer for Turkey.“The big picture here is that the outlook for Turkey will rarely, if ever, hinge on Russia. Its economy strengthened this year despite Russia’s recession. Factors such as the current account deficit and the recent credit boom are much more important, and indeed more worrying,” Jackson said./By Trend/ Centennial of Rashid Behbudov to be marked in Israel Arts & Entertainment Mon, 30 Nov 2015 21:07:00 +0400 The 100th anniversary of Azerbaijani singer Rashid Behbudov’s will be marked in Netanya, Israel, on December 19.As part of Rashid Behbudov-100 event, the Israeli-Azerbaijani drama troupe Odlar Yurdu will perform at Heichal Hatarbut.Rashid Behbudov was an Azerbaijani singer and actor. His combination of vocal masterpieces ranged from classical performances to lyrical songs. Behbudov's rare vocal talent gave him opportunity to travel beyond the "Iron Curtain" of the Soviet Union, and as a singer he toured with concert performances in several countries of the world, including Iran, Turkey, China, India, Japan, Argentina, and many other countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Rashid was not just a pop singer. He could handle extremely complicated opera roles as well which he proved in the portrayal of Balash in Fikrat Amirov's opera "Sevil" ( 1953)./By AzerTac/ A poll in Armenia reveals bitter realities World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 20:44:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaA poll conducted by the APR Group showed that 57 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with the Armenian National Assembly, and 47 percent with the Armenian President, Serj Sargsyan.The survey was conducted throughout the country by involving 1,300 citizens.The poll revealed that 39 percent of the respondents are willing to leave Armenia for permanent residence in another country. Considering the current situation with migration in the country, those numbers inspire fears for the country’s future.The Armenian people, whose government is not concerned about minimum living standards in the country, are being forced to leave the country. Some 45,000-50,000 people leave Armenia a year. The deteriorating socio-economic situation, high poverty, growing rate of unemployment and an absence of hope for a bright future are said to be among the primary reasons behind the mass migration outflows.According to a survey in connection with the problems in the country, 39 percent of respondents identified a low level of economic development, 44 percent mentioned in migration, and 34 percent named rise in prices.The poverty rate reached 30 percent in Armenia in 2014, showed the other poll conducted by the National Statistical Service. The lowest poverty rate was fixed in Yerevan at 25.2 percent. This figure is 1.4 times lower than in other cities.the overwhelming majority of the interviewed -- 71 percent -- believe that the number of problems is widening as time passes.Indeed, problems are only increasing and touch every sphere in this poor country. Ill-conceived policy of the Armenian government, both internal and foreign, drove the country to the abyss.As of the constitutional amendments which are currently on the agenda, 47 percent of citizens do not trust them.Some 50 percent of respondents are sure that the Armenian society cannot influence on the authorities’ decisions in the political process. Alim Gasimov to delight fans in Baku Arts & Entertainment Mon, 30 Nov 2015 20:23:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThere is good news for the lovers of Azerbaijani national music -- Mugham.Baku’s International Mugham Center will host the concert of the famous national mugham singer, Alim Gasimov, who is world-famous for his unique style of singing.The outstanding singer will please his fans with both old and new songs on December 23.Gasimov perceives and presents mugham not only as an ancient art and a part of Azerbaijan's musical and cultural heritage but also as a constantly developing tradition. His performing style is unique, as it combines deep knowledge of centuries-old rules of mugham with challenging innovations. It is distinguished by extreme intensity, which mesmerizes audiences.He has been passionate about mugham since early childhood, but initially Gasimov sang mugham merely for his own enjoyment.The brilliant performer, thanks to which mugham has been gaining popularity not only in Europe but also in the US, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong.In addition to performing with the famous Silk Road Ensemble, Gasimov performed with the Kronos Quartet as part of his collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia.In 2010, 56-year-old Gasimov recorded the song titled "I'm your Goddess" with world-famous French DJ David Vendetta. Oriental tunes mixed with modern techno music are harmoniously combined in the song.The singer was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize in 1999. He is also a master of the ancient Ashig folk art. Azerbaijan sets up computers producing company Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:50:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan, the country that put emphasis on development of the non-oil sector and the high technology in particular, has created a new company to produce computers for both local use and export.Company H-Tech Invest will manufacture computer equipment at the production facilities of the Mingachevir High Tech Park, a branch of the High Tech Park located in Baku, a source in the telecommunications market of the country told Trend.The H-Tech Invest Company has also received the status of a resident at the High Technology Park.The new company will replace the company KUR, which was established in 2005 and was the only company engaged in assembly-line production of computer equipment and electronics in the South Caucasus region.Earlier, the plant has started production of computer hardware under Acer brand name.The KUR plant recently upgraded its power supply to start the production of brand-name computer equipment. The main goals are to attract foreign capital into the project and to create opportunities to export the finished products to foreign markets.In the near future, the Mingachevir High Tech Park will start production of various high-tech products under the brand Made in Azerbaijan.An initial investment of 2 million manats (about $1.9 million) was allocated to the project.An incubation business center was already established on the territory of the Mingachevir branch. The business incubator is organized on the principle of the incubator operating in Baku and contributes to support innovative ideas and projects as well as new technological solutions at the regional level. Azerbaijan remains attractive for Russian tourists Politics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:21:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaDeveloping tourism sector remains a challenge for Azerbaijan, which is keen to attract more tourists to the country.Overall, tourism has doubled in the country since 2006. In the first eight months of this year, over one million tourists visited the country, while over 2 million people came to Azerbaijan last year, which resulted over $950,000 million in revenue from tourism.The sharp rise is linked with the simplification of the visa regime for tourists, creating greater opportunities for the tourism sector.Azerbaijan has visa-free regimes with a list of countries such as CIS member-states, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and this list will be widen over time.Azerbaijan can offer its tourists, in particular in winter, cultural and health holidays, full of new experiences. Currently, Azerbaijan can accommodate more than 35,000 tourists in its 530 hotels.Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev revealed his country's ambitions to ever increase tourist flow into Azerbaijan, with a particular eye on Russian market."The Russian market continues to be a priority for us. We think that the number of Russian tourists will increase," said Garayev.Azerbaijan has always been among one of the most popular places for trips for Russian tourists and the interest for the Land of Fire should be in no way related to the current disagreement between Turkey and Russia.The flow of Russian tourists to Azerbaijan remains to be very impressive, which can be proved by the fact that Baku is among Top 10 destinations for Russian tourists, according to a Russian travel website.The number of Russian tourists, who traditionally go on holiday to Turkey, may be significantly reduced after the deterioration of relations between these countries and Russian after Turkish Air Force shot down the Russian military plane SU-24 in its airspace on November 24."The tension in the Russian-Turkish relations may lead to a decrease in the tourism between the two countries. But I am sure that the politicians will solve the problem and the process will go back to its normal routine,” Garayev added.He said that the Azerbaijani Tourism Association in collaboration with Azerbaijan Airlines national carrier has done relevant work. "We spoke with representatives of hotels and presented them new packages. Today, the ministry will meet with representatives of the tourism industry, and they will be given new guidelines," the minister said.Azerbaijan has many places of interest, museums and interesting adventures. He said that Azerbaijan should maintain its museums."We must look forward to upgrade and improve our museums, too," Garayev said.It is necessary to improve work in this sphere and take definite measures if needed, he added. Former Uzbek Prime Minister Sultanov dies World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:38:00 +0400 Uzbekistan's government announced on November 30 that former Prime Minister Utkir Sultanov has died at the age of 76. Authorities in Tashkent say Sultanov died on late on November 28 and was buried on November 29 in a state funeral. RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports that Sultanov had suffered for years from a kidney ailment. Sultanov headed Uzbekistan's government from 1995 until 2003. Before that, he had served as the minister of external economic relations and as a deputy prime minister. After Shavkat Mirziyoaev replaced Sultanov as prime minister in December 2003, Sultanov continued to serve in the government as a deputy prime minister until 2006. He also had been the general director of the Chkalov Tashkent Aviation Production Association until 2011. /By Central Asia News/ Removal of anti-Iran sanctions to boost Azerbaijan-Pakistan trade World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:11:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe removal of international sanctions against Iran will unveil new opportunities for economic development of countries in the region.This also creates favorable opportunities for Azerbaijan in terms of increasing trade relations with the countries, with which the country does not have direct routes, including the South Asian countries.After the sanctions against Iran are lifted, Azerbaijan will be able to export or import goods to or from these countries.Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, president of London Chamber of Commerce & Industry said lifting economic sanctions against Iran in the future will certainly increase the volume of bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, the Customs Today news agency reported.In a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Dashgin Shikarov, Arshad said it can be assumed that Pakistan can easily transport goods via Iran to Azerbaijan which will be beneficial for two way trade.Pakistan is one of the first countries that recognized Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991. Since then, Baku and Islamabad possess strong political ties and are the staunch allies within the international organizations.The two friendly countries are also taking measures to raise the economic ties in a level of the political relations.He further voiced regret that Pakistan does not figure prominently among the trading partners of Azerbaijan.Arshad believes the main reason for such a low level of trade is lack of proper information about each other’s markets. He proposed that the commercial sections of the respective embassies should share market survey reports with their national chambers.He said it is necessary to increase private to private contacts and bilateral trade.Arshad went on to add that the ground realities favor trading of such products which are light in weight and costly in terms of value.“Since the businessmen choose to get their shipments airlifted because of difficult and risky land routes, so, we need to identify more such items like sports goods, technical/medical apparatus, tobacco and precious stones etc.,” he said.Arshad also noted that Azerbaijan is keen to strengthen trade and economic ties with Pakistan, saying that joint efforts from the business community of both sides can help tap huge potential exist in both countries.He said bilateral trade between the two countries could be flourished through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions, inviting the Pakistani businessmen to participate in the exhibition and forum being planned for April 2016 in Azerbaijan and Pakistan.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in January-October 2015 amounted to $1.62 million, $1.37 million of which accounted for import from Pakistan, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. The truth about fats Analytics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:01:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliDo you think you practice healthy eating? Do you start your morning with a protein omelet without salt, and finish your day on a boiled chicken breast?In this case the following article will not make you very happy as it will dispel some of the misconceptions you were taught to believe about fat.A recent study in the US has shown that much of what we called "healthy food" has actually led to obesity and diabetes over the past some decades.It turns out that for several generations nutritionists have warned people against the negative effects of fat, claiming fat alone was the root cause of heart diseases and other ailments -- high cholesterol, high blood pressure and so on.Recent research points to the contrary. Cholesterol in food appears to have no effect in cholesterol levels in people's blood.According to the New York Times, people's fear of fat would have been promoted by the food industry as companies worked to push their low fat products onto the public and increase their market share. As it appears their health warnings against fatty products were motivated by their bottom margins and not scientific studies.The research showed that for the past 50 years the amount of fat consumption fell by 25 percent, whereas carbohydrate intake has increased by 30 percent.Fearing gaining excess weight many people have spent hours in markets, looking for products low on “fat”.But, what do contemporary doctors think of that? Fats are a vital part of the membrane that surrounds each cell of the body. If you avoid eating fats, then your body will itself produce saturated fats, contributing to raising cholesterol levels in your blood from proteins and carbohydrates. Therefore we should provide our body with unsaturated fats.Many people, especially those on “a diet” avoid eating butter, despite its great health benefits. Meanwhile, most nutritionist are now ready to confirm that the moderate consumption of butter does not harm the figure, and actually help individuals maintain a healthy weight.Fats play a big role in the ingestion and assimilation by the body of vitamins A, D, E, K. Therefore, if we avoid fats our skin and hair could get unhealthy.Fat is also very helpful (of course, in moderation) for treating stomach illnesses. The vitamin A contained in butter heals minor ulcers in the stomach, and, thanks to the "lubrication" a sick stomach recovers faster. That’s why we should not exclude fat from out diet but instead ensure that we use healthy fats.Based on your fitness level, 10-30 percent of the body weight comes from fat. Gram for gram fats are the most efficient source of food energy. Numerous studies in recent years show that those who constantly eat foods low in fat are more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.Do not be afraid of animal fat, because it is an important carrier of many vitamins and minerals. In moderation it helps ensure our body with essential kinds of fatty acids.Modern nutritionists prefers vegetable fats. However, not all fats have a positive effect on our body. The most beneficial of all fat is olive oil. Science has turned its investigative eye upon it and numerous studies have only reinforced the notion that olive oil is an amazing substance with numerous benefits.With all these trans-fat free products now on our grocery shelves, hydrogenated soybean oil has been replaced with palm kernel oil. This palm oil is in a lot of products that are supposed to be good for you.However, many specialists now advise not to eat anything that has coconut oil or palm kernel oil in it, as they are much higher in saturated fat - about 80%. They are not just useless, but also very harmful.It is not a secret that fats exceed other energy sources due to their caloric content. But, they make you feel satiated faster. So, by avoiding fats you essentially will make your body crave more food.Also remember that when manufacturers remove fat from their products they tend to replace the missing elements with sugar, salt, and flavorings. As we know a diet high in sugar and salt can be extremely unhealthy and damaging to the body.So, now it’s time to bring butter back to your breakfast. Remember fat is good for you! SOCAR, Iran's NIOC mull joint projects in third countries Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 17:48:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR and National Iranian Oil Company have discussed the possibility of implementing joint projects for exploration and production of oil and gas both in Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as in third countries.SOCAR reported that the discussions were held in Tehran during SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev's visit to Iran on November 28.During the visit to Iran, Abdullayev held meetings with this country’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Head of NIOC Rokneddin Javadi.The sides discussed the possibility of cooperation in various fields, in particular, swap operations on oil and gas, trading operations, as well as the projects in the petrochemistry field.Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said that Iran shows interest in Azerbaijan’s offer to use its infrastructure for transporting energy resources to world markets.NIOC holds 10-percent share in the project for development of the giant Shah Deniz gas and condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.Azerbaijan's energy giant SOCAR, which includes production associations Azerneft, made up of companies involved in the production of onshore and offshore oil and gas, Azerkimya, chemical industry enterprises, and Azeriqaz gas distribution, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields; producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate; marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets; and supplying natural gas to the industries and public in Azerbaijan.Also, SOCAR owns gas stations in Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Georgia, and Ukraine. It has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany, and Ukraine, along with trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries. At least six dead in Guatemala prison riot World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 17:36:00 +0400 At least six people died in an overcrowded Guatemala prison on Sunday as prisoners, some armed with AK-47 assault rifles, rioted, according to Reuters.Special police forces and the army were sent to take control of the prison, a spokesman for Guatemala's prisons said.The prison, about 40 miles (65 km) south of Guatemala's capital city, houses 3,092 prisoners but it has capacity for 600.Guatemala awarded Mexican construction company ICA, which has been struggling under a heavy debt burden, a multi-million dollar contract to expand the prison late last year, according to official contract data./By AzerTac/ EU may introduce visa-free regime with Turkey in autumn 2016 World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 17:23:00 +0400 The European Union and Turkey may abolish entry visas in the autumn of 2016 if all criteria for that are met, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday after an emergency EU-Turkey migration summit, TASS has reported."Visa liberalization depended on readmission. If all the requirements were met, it would take place in the autumn of 2016," he said, according to TASS./By AzerTac/ Young Azerbaijani boxers win three European medals Sports Mon, 30 Nov 2015 17:12:00 +0400 Azerbaijani boxers have claimed three medals, including a gold at the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships in Kolobrzeg, Poland.Ruslan Rustamov climbed on to the winner`s rostrum in the 49kg division after beating Irish Stephen McKenna.Other Azerbaijani boxers Ismayil Huseyov (69kg) grabbed the silver, while Elmaddin Ismayilov (60kg) took the bronze medal of the championships./By AzerTac/ Russia can expand restrictive measures against Turkey World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:58:00 +0400 Restrictive measures against Turkey are only the first step and in the case of necessity, they can be expanded, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, TASS reported.Russian government can expand the list of banned products from Turkey and take other restrictive measures against the country, he added.Medvedev also proposed to act pragmatically while taking such measures against Turkey - maximum affect on Ankara and minimum damage to Russia.The prime minister noted that Russia’s restrictive measures against Turkey are a forced response to the aggressive and unfriendly actions of Turkey.Turkish Air Force jets shot down the Russian SU-24 bomber after it entered Turkish airspace Nov. 24. Both pilots managed to eject and the plane crashed on Syrian territory.Relations between Russia and Turkey have deteriorated after the incident.Later, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to take special economic measures against Turkey by banning or restricting the import of certain products from this country./By Trend/ Review of 9 world oil prices for November 23-27 Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:46:00 +0400 The average spot price for nine varieties of oil brands (including North American) last week (November 23-27) amounted to $41.34 per barrel compared to $39.9 per barrel the previous week.The highest average spot price was observed on Bonny Light oil produced in Nigeria, which amounted to $43.92 per barrel compared to $41.77 per barrel the previous week. The density of Bonny Light, used to determine the price of other brands of oil exports in the Gulf, is 33.4-degrees API with a 0.16-percent sulfur content.The average price for Brent last week increased by $2.21 to $43.75 per barrel. The density of Brent Dated is 38.6-39 -degrees API, with up to 1-percent sulfur content.The average spot price for North Sea Forties increased by $2.56 per barrel to $43.14 per barrel last week. Forties has a low sulfur content and high potential to produce gasoline. Its density is about 40.3-degrees API with a 0.56-percent sulfur content.Last week the average spot price for the high-sulfur oil Urals which is a mixture of oil produced in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District and Tatarstan stood at $42.12 per barrel compared to $39.43 per barrel the previous week. The main producers of Urals oil is the Rosneft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, Gazprom Neft, TNK-BP and Tatneft companies. Abroad, this oil is known under the name Siberian Light. In Russia, oil futures for Urals are traded on the FORTS market at the RTS stock exchange.The average spot price for the American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) last week increased by $0.14 per barrel to $40.76 per barrel. WTI's density is 40-degrees API with a 0.4-05-percent sulfur content. This oil is mainly used to produce gasoline and therefore the demand is high, particularly in the U.S. and China.The average spot price for a marker grade of oil produced in Dubai and used as a benchmark in setting prices of other brands of oil exports in the Gulf region Dubai Crude hit $40.26 per barrel compared to $39.49 per barrel the previous week. Dubai Crude is light oil whose density is 31 degrees-API with a 2-percent sulfur content.The average spot price for the American WTS crude oil last week amounted to $40.15 per barrel compared to $39.93 per barrel the previous week. The density of WTS is not less than 30 degrees-API with a 2.5-percent sulfur content.Last week OPEC oil basket price stood at $39.06 per barrel compared to $38.45 per barrel the previous week. The OPEC's price is the average index of physical prices for the following 11 grades of oil: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).Last week the lowest average spot price was observed for the American Mars, which amounted to $38.92 per barrel compared to $37.26 per barrel the previous week. The density of Mars is 28.9-degrees API with a 2.05-percent sulfur content./By Trend/ OSCE holds seminar in Turkmenistan on fighting terrorism Politics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:34:00 +0400 A two-day workshop on tools and templates for joining the Public Key Directory (PKD) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concluded Nov. 30 in Ashgabat, with the aimof enhancing local capacities in preventing terrorists crossing borders undetected using false identities, said the message of the OSCE.The event was organized by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department/Action against Terrorism Unit, in co-operation with the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, and will result in concrete recommendations and steps for Turkmenistan to join the ICAO PKD.Joining the ICAO PKD is a proactive approach in fighting international terrorism and preventing the cross-border movement of terrorists because it allows for a fast and effective multilateral validation that an ePassport is genuine, said the message.Following opening remarks by Simon Deignan of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, the meeting was addressed in a video message by Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.He emphasized the importance of implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters, stressing that “any vulnerabilities in traveler identity or travel document security can facilitate the movement of terrorists and other criminals across borders.”The OSCE is working to increase the membership of the ICAO PKD (currently 24 OSCE participating States and five Partners for Co-operation) by organizing targeted workshops focusing on either awareness-raising or facilitating participation for those States wishing to join./By Trend/ Largest Kazakh national holdings may be liquidated World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:22:00 +0400 President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev doesn't rule out the possibility that such national holdings as Samruk Kazyna, Baiterek and KazAgro may be liquidated after privatization, the press service of the head of state said.Nazarbayev made the remarks Nov.30 while delivering his annual State-of-the-Nation Address in Astana.These holdings will be featured into the new program of privatization after which they either will be transformed into lean and mean organizations or liquidated, according to President Nazarbayev.The head of state said that the privatization process should be transparent and fair, and charged the government to abolish all ineffective tax preferences.“We need to review the entire system of governmental revenues and expenditures,” said the president. “First of all, we need to expand the revenue part of the budget. In 2017 we should introduce sales tax instead of VAT. All inefficient tax preferences must be abolished.”“Tax regimes must be optimized. We need three levels of taxation: general tax, patent for self-employed people and special tax regime for SMEs and agricultural sector,” he said.The National Managing Holding Baiterek includes: JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan, JSC Investment Fund of Kazakhstan, JSC Housing Construction and Savings Bank, JSC Kazakhstan Mortgage Company, JSC KazExportGarant, JSC Entrepreneurship Development Fund Damu, JSC National Agency for Technological Development, JSC Kazakh Fund of Mortgage Guarantees, JSC KazynaCapitalManagement, JSC Baiterek Development, JSC Public Private Partnership Advisory Center./By Trend/ EU hails Azerbaijan's role in energy security Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:08:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan’s role in ensuring the energy security of the EU countries has been once again stressed by one of the EU's officials.Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Climate and Energy, said in an interview with Euronews that the security of energy supply routes is an absolute priority for the EU, and therefore, the EU wants to diversify the supply routes.“What we are doing now, through declaring projects of a community interest and financing to facilitate connecting Europe, which is to say the Connecting Europe Facility, is to support projects with interconnections with the electricity sector and the gas sector, such as the Southern Gas Corridor linking Italy with Azerbaijan, and we can have access to Azerbaijan’s gas,” Cañete noted.The Southern Gas Corridor project envisages the transportation of the gas extracted at the giant Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea. Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas will make a 3,500 kilometer journey from the Caspian Sea into Europe. This requires upgrading the existing infrastructure and the development of a chain of new pipelines.The existing South Caucasus Pipeline will be expanded with a new parallel pipeline across Azerbaijan and Georgia, while the Trans-Anatolian pipeline will transport Shah Deniz gas across Turkey to join the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will take gas through Greece and Albania into Italy.The Southern Gas Corridor is set to change the energy map of the entire region, connecting gas supplies in the Caspian to markets in Europe for the very first time.The first gas supplies through the corridor to Georgia and Turkey are given a target date of late 2018. Gas deliveries to Europe are expected just over a year after the first gas is produced offshore in Azerbaijan.The Southern Gas Corridor pipeline system has been designed to be scalable to twice its initial capacity to accommodate additional gas supplies in the future. Nabat wins award in int'l film festival in Turkey Arts & Entertainment Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:54:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaAzerbaijan’s popular film "Nabat" directed by Elchin Musaoglu has won an award in international Bosphorus Film Festival in Istanbul. Fatima Motamed Arya, the film’s star, has won "the best actress" nomination of the Festival.Produced at Jafar Jabbarly Azerbaijanfilm studio, the film was shot in 2014 and is dedicated to Karabakh war, which erupted after Armenia's unjustified territorial claims against Azerbaijan. The story shows the sad fate of a village's residents who are forced to leave their homes because of the war. But there remains an old woman who refuses to leave her family members buried in the village.Nabat and her husband Isgandar, a former forest guard, old and sick man, live in an isolated house far from the village. The war in the Nagorno-Karabakh has been going on for years, and they lost their son killed in the battle. Their only means of support is milk produced by only cow they have.Premiered on September 5 at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, Nabat has been invited to many high-profile international movie festivals. The film's world distributor is Dreamlab Films.International Bosphorus Film Festival showed and proved that it is an outstanding example for cinema and Turkey’s cultural and art activities with the sections from world cinema and special screenings, panels, workshops that were took place within the festival.International Bosphorus Film Festival, held by Bosphorus Cinema Association is aimed to contribute to the development of motion pictures that have ethical, esthetical and technical integrity in the world. It also supports young producers and directors materially and morally in producing new movies. Athens ready to open direct flights to Tehran World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:44:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaGreece has voiced readiness to open direct flights between Athens and Iran’s capital city Tehran.Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias made the remark in a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, IRNA news agency reported.This came as Iran is taking steps to expand its relations with the European countries.Earlier, several European airliners voiced intention to offer new flights to Iran amid a growing demand as a result of the business and tourist boom in that country. The companies are receiving clear signals of a revival in economic relations between Europe and Iran from the business community and political decision-makers.Kotzias visited Iran to discuss the issues of strengthening economic relations and the preparation for the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.Greece was a key European importer of the Iranian oil before Western sanctions on Tehran brought the oil sales to a halt in 2012.Athens has an outstanding debt owed to Tehran for oil purchases, according to Iranian officials who have not named the figures.The Greek foreign minister’s visit to Tehran will take place against the backdrop of a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – reached on July 14 the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in the Austrian capital Vienna.Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic related to its nuclear program. China harms Iranian iron companies World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:32:00 +0400 The barter of iron with foreign countries such as China has harmed Iran’s domestic iron producers, an Iranian official said.Head of Iranian trade union for iron, Mohammad Azad said that the domestic iron producing companies have become idle as a result of barter and what he termed as “compulsory sale“ of iron, ISNA news agency reported Nov.29.Azad noted that Tehran imports iron from foreign countries, while homemade iron is cheaper and qualified than the imported ones.The iron production has improved in Iran and the quality of Iranian iron is higher than the Asian and European products, he added.He said that in case the country opens the doors for importing iron from Asian and European countries, it will harm the domestic production.Iran exported three million tons of iron and steel within the first half of 2015. While the country produced 8.5 million tons of iron and steel, 5.5 tons of the total amounts were sold domestically.China dominates on the country’s steel market, ISNA news agency reported in September.Iran’s annual crude steel exports is planned to reach four million tons by early 2016, while the country’s crude steel output is projected to increase to 18 million tons.Steel production rose by 6 percent and 6.6 percent in Iran in 2014 and 2013 and the country was the biggest producer of crude steel in the Middle East in 2013./By Trend/ Iran, Hungary sign several documents on mutual co-op World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:20:00 +0400 Iran and Hungary signed eight memorandums of understanding (MoU) on mutual cooperation, Iran’s state IRINN TV reported Nov. 30.Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, heading a delegation of representatives of 95 firms arrived in Tehran Nov. 30 to discuss bilateral ties with senior Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani.It is the first visit of a Hungarian prime minister to the Islamic Republic in the last 27 years.The two sides signed documents for cooperation in various sectors including health, ICT, tourism, culture, science and education as well as investment promotion, double taxation avoidance and prevention of tax evasion on the sidelines of the meeting between Orban and Iran’s first vice-president, Eshaq Jahangiri in Tehran’s Saadabad Palace.Iran and Hungary intend to convene an economic forum to study expansion of Tehran-Budapest cooperation.Visiting Hungarian firms are active in the spheres of healthcare and biotechnology, energy, information and communication technologies, forestry and wood industry, environment and renewable energy, consultation and services, construction and engineering services, beauty industry, and agriculture and food industry.Earlier in May, Rouhani expressed his country’s readiness to develop political, economic, and cultural ties with Hungary during a meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto./By Trend/ Ganja to organize several events next year Society Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:02:00 +0400 /By AzerTac/By Amina NazarliEuropean Youth Forum, Ganja City Executive Authority and Ganja European Capital 2016 organization have inked a memorandum of cooperation in Madrid.The memorandum stipulates the organization of a number of events in Ganja next year. Azerbaijan's second-largest city, Ganja was awarded the European Youth Capital 2016 title in 2013.The "European Youth Capital" is a title awarded to a city for the period of one year, during which it will be given the chance to showcase, through a multi-faceted programme, its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development.Ganja 2016 intends to reveal the potentials of active young people and exploit the links with European youth policies and instruments, and also reflect on the existing connections to the city, the region, and Europe as a whole.The program will cover such priority areas as youth participation, education, social inclusion, employment, and volunteering.The first European Youth Capital was Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2009, followed by Torino, Italy, in 2010, Antwerp, Belgium, in 2011, Braga, Portugal, in 2012, Maribor, Slovenia, in 2013, Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2014, and Cluj Napoca, Romania, in 2015.Some 375 km away from Baku the ancient city of Ganja is more than 4,000 years old.The northeastern foot of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains is a picturesque place which has attracted many people across the centuries. This made the history of the region profound and captivating. Ganja is significant to the politico-economic and cultural life of the country since the earliest of times.Ganja was also the capital of Azerbaijan, when the country first declared its independence in 1918, thus playing a leading role in the history of the country.The region is famous for its nature, namely Goygol Lake and reserve. A large mountain lake surrounded by the mountains of the Lesser Caucasus was formed at a result of a devastating earthquake that destroyed the mountain Kapaz in the 12th century.Despite numerous destructions during its long existence, Ganja has retained the appearance of a beautiful city with many monuments of architecture. One of the main features of the city is the Juma Mosque - Ganja central mosque.Sport is developing in the city now that it has an Olympic Complex with its various sports equipment and infrastructures. Two Azerbaijani boxers into European Championship final Sports Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:53:00 +0400 Two Azerbaijani boxers have reached the final of the European Championship in Poland.Ruslan Rustamov in 49kg weight category defeated Armenian Alen Danielyan 3-0 to progress to the final. He will face Irish Stephen McKenna in the gold medal bout.Ismayil Huseynov in 69kg class qualified for the final after beating Polish Sebastian Wiktorzak 3-0. Huseynov will next take on Irish Michael Nevin./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijan’s Gasimov crowned European Paralympic judo champion Sports Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:40:00 +0400 Azerbaijani Paralympic judo fighter Ramil Gasimov (73kg) has claimed the gold medal at the European Championship in Portugal.In the women`s 63kg weighing class, Afag Sultanova added bronze to Azerbaijan`s medal haul./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers claim 9 medals at Golden Grand-Prix tournament Sports Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:20:00 +0400 Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers have grabbed a clutch of 9 medals, including 2 gold medals at the final of the Gold Grand-Prix tournament commemorating national leader Heydar Aliyev in Baku.The gold medals came from Shalva Gadabadze and Sabah Shariati in the 98kg and 130kg weight divisions respectively.Kamran Mammadov weighing in at 66kg, Rustam Aliyev at 71kg and Rafig Huseynov at 80kg gained silver medals, while Eldaniz Azizli at 59kg, Hasan Aliyev at 66kg, Elvin Mursaliyev at 80kg and Islam Abbasov at 85kg took bronze medals of the tournament.Azerbaijan has 21 medals, including 5 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze medals in the overall medal table./By AzerTac/ Mehriban Efendi: Unique artist from Land of Fire Arts & Entertainment Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:07:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliConsidered a cultural and a revolutionary art movement, surrealism is regarded by many critics as a substantial divergence from traditional art forms.Surrealism mostly attracts unique artists, and Azerbaijan’s most popular surrealist, Mehriban Efendi, is one those artist to whom this kind of art helped show her inner world.Creating her paintings from the age of 5 to 6 years old, Mehriban did not imagine that the masterpieces she draw would be considered surrealism, which allowed Mehriban to express her “space dreams” on canvas.Mehriban officially joined the ranks of professional surrealists in 2010. Since that time, the talented artist achieved great successes, as she conquered international art arenas.Novelist Suzanne Collins, best known as the author of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, in her blog about her favorite artists who inspired her, also included the paintings by the Azerbaijani artist.Being short, dynamic and religious, she wrote, her works seem to have individual resources.“In the beginning, it seems that the images of women were present in every frame, but after a closer look, it became impossible to distinguish one kind of human form represented on the canvas. And this is a trick in her style, which makes the viewer and the work decide what they are looking at,” she said.Efendi is a participant of a major Portuguese "Surrealism Now" project, aimed at finding surrealists and promoting their work in the 21st century.It all began when Portuguese surrealist Bissaya Barreto was instructed to find modern surrealists for the exhibition, who began painting after Salvador Dali.Barreto became familiar with Efendi just before the project began, when the search for artists had been completed and a list drawn up. However, he could not disregard the impressive pictures of Mehriban and sent her a letter, expressing his admiration of her works.The initial number of the “best world surrealists” was limited to just thirty. However, after the decision, the organizers decided to include Efendi onto the list, and thus Azerbaijan became the 31st country on the list, as being home to the best surrealists.“We will make an exception for you,” said the Portuguese artist. “We could not help including such a talented artist onto our list. Your surrealism is peculiar and amazing! "Recently, Efendi received a letter from the Head of the "Byblos" studio, Professor Salvatore Constantine, in which he said that the artist’s paintings will be included in the organization’s latest catalogue.The outstanding artist also worked as a costume designer with the German filmmaker Veit Helmer in his comedy “Absurdistan,” shot in Azerbaijan in 2008.Mehriban admitted that working with Germans was both very interesting and difficult, since it is well known that they appreciate time, and every minute was valuable for them, notes Efendi.“Every day we woke up at 5 o’clock, ate breakfast and were at work at the appointed time. As the project was international, the cast also include actors from different countries, which is why we should express ourselves in pantomime,” she said, adding that the project was very unique in her life.Three years ago, Mehriban also received a promising offer from American artist Virginia Jemenez to participate in different exhibitions throughout the U.S. as part of the “World of Art” project. And earlier in October, she had a chance to put her art on display at the new “Arte De Mundo” gallery in the US state of Michigan.Summing up her beliefs, Efendi notes that culture can save the world and stresses that, “no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to develop and work on yourself.” Iran mulling car manufacturing with Fiat World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:50:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaFollowing improvement in relations between the foreign countries, particularly the European countries, the automobile industry stands as one of the most promising economic sectors to bring big profits to Iran after the lifting of sanctions.An Iranian car manufacturer is reportedly in talks with Italian automaker Fiat SpA to produce cars in Iran which is billed as the Middle East’s biggest auto market.Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Iran’s industry, mine and trade minister has said Fiat has announced its readiness for cooperation with the Iranian automaker that has been welcomed by Iran, Press TV reported.Following a nuclear deal between P5+1 and Iran, the race has tightened for access to Iran’s auto market. European automakers, which were forced to leave the Iranian market after international sanctions on the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program, are now attempting to restore their previous shares in Iran’s vast car market.About 370 Italian traders, including representatives of steel group Danieli, energy company Enel, agricultural machinery maker CNH Industrial, Telecom Italia and several banks, are currently visiting Iran to discuss business opportunities.Fiat, which controls Chrysler, and its subsidiary heavy-truck maker Fiat Industrial SpA halted sales to Iran in 2012 following similar moves by other carmakers under US pressure to cut ties with Tehran.Nematzadeh said more than 10 years ago, negotiations were held between Iranian carmakers and Fiat but the company was not allowed to cooperate with Iran after it started partnership with the United States.He added that Iran was ready to cooperate with Fiat on production of light and commercial vehicles and buses, as well as gas-fueled engines.Nematzadeh further noted that the Islamic Republic is planning to produce 3 million automobiles in less than 10 years, one-third of which will be exported.The auto industry is the second largest source of foreign currency and foreign technology for Iran after oil.Nematzadeh said Iranian automakers are looking for tie-up with reputable companies. “In a number of cases, we are finalizing agreements,” he said.He also added that in the auto parts manufacturing sector, Iran is also interested in cooperation with Italian companies.The automobile industry accounts for nearly 10 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product. The latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers. However, the country’s automotive industry needs modernization after years of sanctions.Sanctions on Iran hit the automotive industry hard, cutting production by 1 million units from its peak of 1.6 million in 2011 and leading to 100,000 job redundancies. Kazakh president urges for investigation of Russian Su-24 bomber World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:11:00 +0400 Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has supported the establishment of a joint commission to investigate the crash of the Russian Su-24M bomber, punishment of the perpetrators and the resumption of relations between Russia and Turkey, Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency reported.“No matter how hard this may be, I believe it is necessary to jointly create the commission, quickly finish the investigation, identify those responsible, punish them and admit mistakes, restore the relationship,” Nazarbayev said Nov.30 addressing the nation. “I call on our friends in both Russian and Turkey for that.”Turkish-Russian relations have soured dramatically after the downing of a Russian Su-24 jet by Turkey in Syria Nov.24.Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory. Ankara claimed that it downed the Russian bomber because it violated Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have refuted the claims.He said that Kazakhstan has been greatly saddened by events occurred between Russia and Turkey.“So far, we don’t know all the different nuances of this question,” he said. “But the fact is that the Russian bomber didn’t attack Turkey, it was not heading for Turkey, but for war with terrorists. As friends in the struggle, (Russia and Turkey) had to find common ground and didn’t have to spoil the relationships that were forming throughout many years.”Nazarbayev said that he had worked for many years to bring the positions of Russia and Turkey closer, make them friendly since the times of Prime Minister of Turkey Suleyman Demirel and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.“All this, which has been achieved throughout many years, may go down the drain,” said the Kazakh leader with regret./By Trend/ Lifting economic sanctions against Iran to increase Azerbaijani, Pakistani trade Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:56:00 +0400 Lifting economic sanctions against Iran in the future will certainly increase the volume of bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said, the Customs Today news agency reported.He made the remarks within the framework of the meeting with Ambassador of Azerbaijan Dashgin Shikarov.“It can be assumed that Pakistan can easily transport goods via Iran to Azerbaijan which will be beneficial for two way trade,” he said.The LCCI President said that it was very unfortunate Pakistan does not figure prominently among the trading partners of Azerbaijan.He said that the main reason of such a low level of trade is lack of proper information about each other’s markets. He proposed that the commercial sections of the respective embassies should share market survey reports with their national chambers.Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that it is necessary to increase private to private contacts and bilateral trade.He went on to add that the ground realities favor trading of such products which are light in weight and costly in terms of value.“Since the businessmen choose to get their shipments airlifted because of difficult and risky land routes, so, we need to identify more such items like sports goods, technical/medical apparatus, tobacco and precious stones etc.,” he said.He said that Azerbaijan is keen to strengthen trade and economic ties with Pakistan. He went on to add that joint efforts from the business community of both sides can help tap huge potential exist in both countries.Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that bilateral trade between the two countries could be flourished through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions, inviting the Pakistani businessmen to participate in the exhibition and forum being planned for April 2016 in Azerbaijan and Pakistan.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in January-October 2015 amounted to $1.62 million, $1.37 million of which accounted for import from Pakistan, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan/By Trend/ SOCAR to get more oil from new well Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:37:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan's state energy giant SOCAR will annually receive 29.2 million cubic meters of gas and 5,500 tons of condensate from a new well at the Gunashli field in the shallow part of the Caspian Sea.“The drilling of the well has started recently. Its design depth is 4,000 meters. The well is planned to be commissioned in early 2016," the company told Trend on November 27.Azneft Production Association is the customer, while SOCAR-AQS is the drilling contractor.SOCAR, jointly with foreign partners, is developing the deep-water part of the Gunashli field as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block.SOCAR, which includes production associations Azerneft, made up of companies involved in the production of onshore and offshore oil and gas, Azerkimya, chemical industry enterprises, and Azeriqaz gas distribution, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields; producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate; marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets; and supplying natural gas to the industries and public in Azerbaijan.Also, SOCAR owns gas stations in Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Georgia, and Ukraine. It has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany, and Ukraine, along with trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries. AZAL, Eurocontrol ink deal on air traffic control Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:25:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan Airlines and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation signed an agreement in Baku on November 27.The document was undersigned by General Director of Eurocontrol Frank Brenner and AZAL First Vice-President Sabir Ilyasov.The parties agreed to coordinate air-traffic control activity through the creation of an international system to manage air-traffic flow.This coordination will ensure the most efficient use of the airspace and harmonize any other measures necessary to ensure the safe and orderly flow of air traffic.Ilyasov informed the guests about the activity of AZAL, development of the aviation in Azerbaijan, new terminals built in recent years, expansion and strengthening of the airline’s fleet, development of a network of air links with many countries of the world.Brenner, for his part, said Azerbaijan is an important partner for Eurocontrol.He expressed his admiration with the level of development of the navigation system in the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, noting that Azerbaijan has an exceptional geographical situation for flights between Europe and Asia, and for transit.“I see a great potential for cooperation with such rapidly developing country as Azerbaijan,” said the General Director, noting that the air navigation system in Azerbaijan meet modern European standards.AZAL Vice-President Arif Mammadov, commenting on the deal, told journalists that Eurocontrol uses advanced technology and thanks to the agreement, these technologies and programs will be available to Azerbaijan.“Azerbaijan’s airspace will be used more efficiently. Eurocontrol will help us in drawing up plans for aircraft operations and distributing these plans in all European countries for the whole route,” said the vice president.Before the signing ceremony, Eurocontrol delegation familiarized with the building of the main air traffic control center, visited the halls for ground and air flight control, the department of aeronautical meteorology.The guests also visited the National Aviation Academy, familiarized with the Training Center of the Department of Air Navigation, and visited the training class, where pilots, flight attendants and dispatchers are trained, familiarized with the Museum of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation.Eurocontrol was founded in 1960 with the main aim of developing a pan-European air traffic management system in the framework of the Single European Sky project. The organization is working on a seamless pan-European air-traffic management system. Currently it includes 41 countries, with headquarters in Brussels.Azerbaijan Airlines is a major air carrier and one of the leaders of the aviation community of the CIS countries, with the newest airplane fleets, consisting of 25 airplanes. The airline flies to 40 destinations in 19 countries and transported more than 1.8 million passengers in 2014.Azerbaijani civil aviation aircraft fully meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and AZAL is a member of the most prestigious civil aviation association - the International Air Transport Association.AZAL received a prestigious "4 Stars" from the leader in air transport research, the world-famous British consulting company Skytrax in June 2015. German officials warn of new security risk: local extremists recruiting refugees World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:13:00 +0400 The Paris attacks have raised fears of terrorists slipping into Europe by posing as refugees. But in Germany, the top migrant destination, security officials have another worry: Local extremists will recruit the newcomers to join the Islamist cause once they arrive.German authorities warn that migrants seeking out Arabic-language mosques in search of the familiar are increasingly ending up at those attended by Islamist radicals. In interviews, security officials from Berlin to the southwest German state of Saarland said they have registered a sharp rise in the number of asylum-seekers attending mosques they believed attracted extremists.Federal officials said they have counted more than 100 cases in which Islamists known to them have tried to establish contact with refugees. According to state and local agencies across the country, Islamists have offered migrants rides, food, shelter and translation help. In some cases, they have invited them to soccer games and grill parties, or brought them copies of the Quran and conservative Muslim clothing.“They start by saying, ‘We will help you live your faith,’ ” said Torsten Voss, the head of the German domestic intelligence agency’s Hamburg branch. “The Islamist area comes later—that is, of course, their goal.”Security officials across Germany describe the potential radicalization of migrants, still entering the country by the thousands every day, as a challenge that adds to Europe’s existing security threats. With Germany expecting to take in roughly one million asylum-seekers from the Middle East and elsewhere this year, authorities are scrambling to prevent new pockets of radicalism from forming.Intelligence services say they have no evidence of successful recruitment efforts, pointing to the risk as a long-term problem.Many politicians and migrant advocates argue that refugees fleeing Islamic State and religious conflict generally have no interest in extremism. Still, others, including Jewish organizations, warn that many of the migrants are coming from places where radical views are common.“Many of the refugees hail from societies in which anti-Semitism and enmity of Israel are propagated,” Josef Schuster, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said last week, urging that new arrivals be well-integrated and arguing that Germany’s capacity for doing so was limited.Germany—the European Union’s most populous country—hasn’t experienced a major Islamist terror attack in recent years, though it is home to one of Europe’s largest Muslim populations. Part of the reason, security officials say, is that most of Germany’s Muslims have roots in relatively secular Turkey rather than the Arab world.But many of the migrants arriving now are from Syria and other Arab countries and are seeking out Arabic-speaking mosques—some of which have ties to extremists, security officials say.Berlin authorities describe the Ibrahim Al Khalil mosque, inside a ramshackle, two-story brick warehouse in an industrial section of the German capital, as a key meeting point in the city for fundamentalist and potentially militant Muslims. On Friday, many recently arrived migrants were among the several hundreds who gathered for weekly prayers.Many of the migrants there said they were there simply out of convenience. One Syrian man, who said at least 40 people in his refugee shelter rode the subway to Al Khalil every Friday, said he had discovered it via a smartphone app listing nearby mosques.“We come here to do our Islamic duty,” said another Syrian, 27-year-old Ali Kafri.Referring to fundamentalist movements, he added: “We don’t care if it’s a Salafi or a Muslim Brotherhood mosque.”The chairman of the Al Khalil mosque in Berlin, Adnouf Nazir, rejected the authorities’ claim that his congregation had ties to extremism.“We want to live in peace,” Mr. Nazir said. “It can be that some people have other thoughts, but that doesn’t mean that we are responsible for this.”Still, a Berlin security official said the authorities were registering with alarm the rising numbers of refugees at the Al Khalil mosque, as well as two others in Berlin that are seen as meeting points for fundamentalist Muslims.The city distributed a 16-page pamphlet to migrant-shelter workers earlier this month flagging those three mosques and alerting aid workers to the risk.Islamists may “take advantage of the refugees’ emotional situation to influence especially young people ideologically, to build ties to them ideologically, and in the worst case to incite them to acts of violence,” the pamphlet says.Security officials said that because fundamentalist Muslims approaching or recruiting migrants generally aren’t breaking any laws, the best they can do is to keep a close watch on extremist networks and to ask workers at shelters to be on the lookout.Many of the groups identified by security officials as fundamentalist say they have only religious and humanitarian motives in helping refugees.Despite evidence that at least two Paris attackers entered Europe by blending in with the flood of refugees arriving on Greece’s shores, security officials played down the possibility of Islamic State fighters traveling along the well-trodden migrant route and into Germany. They argued that radicalized EU citizens could enter more easily through an airport.“If I’m planning an attack on Europe, I would choose the more secure and simpler path,” said Helmut Albert, the top domestic intelligence official in the state of Saarland. “I would find people from Western Europe with clean papers who are probably not known to the security agencies. I would train them, and I would send them to conduct the attack.”In Saarland, on the French border, intelligence officials have long had an eye on several mosques they say attract followers of the fundamentalist Islamic strain known as Salafism. Officials noticed in early September that newly arrived migrants were increasingly frequenting those mosques, Mr. Albert said.Mr. Albert said that migrants now attend Friday prayers at those places of worship in numbers ranging from 50 to 200 per mosque—sometimes accounting for half the faithful in attendance. The migrants appeared to be going to those mosques simply to hear sermons in Arabic and talk to Arabic-speaking locals, he said. But in the long run, he said he worried they might become susceptible to the more fundamentalist ideology of other worshipers.“We’re watching to see whether, over time, the refugees start going there not only because the sermons are in Arabic but because they’ve joined the movement,” Mr. Albert said in an interview.The wave of migration is exacerbating a problem that has vexed German security officials for years: how to deal with fundamentalist Muslim preachers who they suspect play a role in radicalizing youths but don’t appear to be breaking laws in doing so.One of the most prominent of such preachers, a German convert to Islam named Pierre Vogel, published a how-to guide on Facebook in September on reaching out to migrants to help them in their worship, though it makes no suggestion of drawing them into extremism. The Salafist preacher urged his followers to bring gifts and a compass to help Muslim asylum-seekers pray in the direction of Mecca.The human tide coming to Germany has created an opportunity for good deeds—known in Islamic tradition as hasanat—that would be rewarded after death, he said in a video posted online.“We have the gold rush, like in America in the time of gold when one found the gold mines,” Mr. Vogel said in the video. “One can now get gold mines of hasanat.” Mr. Vogel, who has said he rejects violence in the name of Islam, didn’t respond to requests for comment.Some 70% of the migrants arriving in Germany are believed to be Muslims, according to a spokeswoman for the federal domestic intelligence service. A top German expert on Islamic radicalization, Claudia Dantschke, said she was increasingly getting queries from local officials on which mosques to recommend to migrants and which ones to avoid.“These people don’t arrive here ready to be radicalized,” said Ms. Dantschke, who runs a counseling program for radicalized Muslims. She added that refugees needed to be quickly given a chance to integrate into German society. “We are responsible as to whether or not they ever become open to radicalization.”/By The Wall Street Journal/ Italy-Azerbaijan Cooperation and Friendship Society to be presented in Rome Society Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:45:00 +0400 The Italy-Azerbaijan Cooperation and Friendship Society will be presented in Rome on November 30.Italy's well-known figures, including singer Al Bano, the ex-Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella, the actresses Elizabeth Pellini, Emanuela Titocchia, Demetra Hampton, Marchesa Daniela D'Aragon, Claudio Lotito, Eleonora Vallone and many others are expected to attend the event.The Society, co-chairing by journalist and entrepreneur Dundar Kesapli and Azerbaijani Rashad Gurbanov, will promote strengthening and contribution of the development of bilateral relations between Italy and Azerbaijan in various fields, including culture, politics, economy, tourism and sport./By AzerTac/ Kazakhstan produces 1.5 billion tons of coal World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:37:00 +0400 Kazakhstan has produced 1.5 billion tons of thermal coal since starting the development of Bogatyr open-pit coal mine 45 years ago, the country’s Samruk-Energo company said Nov.30.Bogatyr coal mine provides Kazakhstan’s power plants with fuel, while at least 30 percent of coal is exported to Russia.Bogatyr Komir company operating at Bogatyr coal mine is one of the world’s largest enterprises that carries out open-cast coal mining at two mines – Bogatyr and Severny.The total balance sheet reserves of the company near 3 billion tons of coal. Today, the Bogatyr Komir company accounts for about 65 percent of the total volume of coal mined in the Ekibastuz basin.Bogatyr Komir is equally owned by Samruk-Energo and Russian Rusal company./By Trend/ Georgia reduces export to Turkey World news Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:25:00 +0400 The volume of Georgia’s export to Turkey in Jan.-Oct. 2015 has dropped by 18 percent ($35 million) compared to the same period in 2014 and exceeded $160.5 million, Sputnik Georgia reported citing the National Statistics Office of Georgia.Georgia has exported semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel valued at $19 million to Turkey in Jan.-Oct. 2015, or $6.2 million less compared to the same period in 2014.The country’s electricity export to Turkey has increased by $ 2 million and neared $17 million, while the export of knitted products has grown by $ 3.8 million and exceeded $34.4 million.Georgia’s foreign trade turnover with Turkey exceeded $1.2 billion in Jan.-Oct. 2015, or 22 percent less than in the same period in 2014./By Trend/ President Aliyev visits Belarus Politics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:16:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was on a one-day official visit to Belarus on November 28.As part of the Minsk visit, President Aliyev first visited a monument to the victory in the Great Patriotic War in 1941-1945 in Victory Square in Minsk, and the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War History.Later, an official welcoming ceremony for President Aliyev was held at the Independence Palace in Minsk, where Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko welcomed his Azerbaijani counterpart.Following the official welcoming ceremony, the two presidents held a one-on-one meeting.During the meeting President Lukashenko said that thanks to the development of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations, the trade turnover between the two countries increased, and various problematic political issues were solved."Actually we are determined and we agreed with you to do our utmost to achieve maximum results. Nevertheless, in these difficult times in terms of economy we manage to keep the trade turnover nearly at the level we had at best times. However, our trade turnover with all the countries has significantly decreased. Therefore we have done a lot, laid a good foundation for our relations. We have established a practice of annual communication at the highest level – one year in our country, the next one in yours," he said.President Aliyev, in turn, invited his Belarusian counterpart to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan next year. President Aliyev believes that there are many issues to be discussed."First of all, each visit is a political recognition of a strategic nature of our relations. Second, we address a lot of issues on all fronts – both in political sphere, foreign policy, economy, industry. There are not any restrictions in the issues of our cooperation with Belarus, and we see very positive dynamics, results in many areas," he stressed.The presidents also exchanged views on the bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.Following their one-on-one meeting, the two presidents met in an expanded format, which was followed by a ceremony of signing the documents between the two countries.President Aliyev and President Lukashenko signed a Joint Declaration.Other signed documents include an agreement on Socio-Economic Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Belarus until 2025, a protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Compulsory State Social Insurance, and an agreement on Cooperation between Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Science Development Foundation under the Azerbaijani President and Belarus National Academy of Sciences, Foundation for Fundamental Research of Belarus.After the signing ceremony, the Azerbaijani and Belarusian presidents made statements for the press.President Aliyev completed his official visit to Belarus on November 28.Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Belarus were established in 1993, but Azerbaijan and Belarus started to get closer during past decade.Currently the two countries enjoy high level ties in various fields and closely cooperate within international organizations. Belarus opened embassy in Azerbaijan in February 2006, Azerbaijan opened embassy in Belarus in August 2006.The Belarus-Azerbaijan mutual trade turnover totaled $330.8 million in 2014, according to the Belarusian government. This figure stood at $74.95 million in January-October 2015.Belarus' main exports include products of wood working, mechanical engineering, foodstuffs, medications, ferrous metals and glassware. Azerbaijan's exports comprise oil products, hydrocarbons, juices, agricultural products, aluminum goods.Currently the two countries are implementing the long-term social and economic cooperation program through 2015. Belarus has been implementing projects in logistics, public catering, and trade with a total amount of Azerbaijani investment of over $20 million. Minsk and Baku operate regular flights. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 100 times a day Politics Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:14:00 +0400 Armenian armed forces have broken the ceasefire with Azerbaijan 100 times in various parts of the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijani defense ministry said Nov.30.Armenian armed forces located in the villages of Voskevan, Doveh of Armenia’s Noyemberyan district, Berkaber village of Armenia’s Ijevan district opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces located in the villages of Gizilhajili, Gushchu Ayrim and Kemerli of Gazakh district.Azerbaijani positions also underwent fire from the positions located near the village of Talish, Gulustan of Goranboy district, Chilyaburt, Yarimja of Terter, Shikhlar, Javahirli, Kengerli, Sarijali, Novruzlu, Shuraabad, Garagashli, Merzili, Yusifjanli of Aghdam district, Kuropatkino of Khojavend, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Gorgan, Ashagi Seyidahmadli of Fizuli district and Mehdili of Jabrayil district.Another ceasefire violation came from the positions located on the nameless heights of Goranboy, Khojavend, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.Azerbaijani armed forces carried out 102 strikes on enemy positions.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./By Trend/ US dollar rises, euro drops in Azerbaijan Business Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:01:00 +0400 The official exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat was set at 1.0512 manats and 1.1130 manats, respectively as of Nov.30.Below is the exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat compared to the world currencies and precious metals on Nov.30, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsNov.27, 2015Nov.30, 20151 US dollar1 USD1.05111.05121 euro1 EUR1.11521.1131 Australian dollar1 AUD0.75970.75571 Argentine peso1 ARS0.10860.1083100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.00570.00581 Brazilian real1 BRL0.28080.27331 UAE dirham1 AED0.28620.28621 South African rand1 ZAR0.07360.073100 South Korean won100 KRW0.09150.09081 Czech crown1 CZK0.04130.04121 Chilean peso1 CLP0.14730.14741 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.16440.16431 Danish krone1 DKK0.14950.14921 Georgian lari1 GEL0.43890.43851 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.13560.13561 Indian rupee1 INR0.01570.01571 British pound1 GBP1.58641.5798100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00760.0076100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00350.00351 Swedish krona1 SEK0.12040.12021 Swiss franc1 CHF1.02621.01951 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.2710.27041 Canadian dollar1 CAD0.79020.78561 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD3.45533.44931 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00340.00341 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.01440.0144100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.06970.06971 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.24830.24661 Mexican peso1 MXP0.06340.06331 Moldavian leu1 MDL0.05230.05231 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.13420.13431 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.12140.1208100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.03840.03841 Polish zloty1 PLN0.26090.26061 Russian ruble1 RUB0.0160.01581 Singapore dollar1 SGD0.74640.74411 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.28010.28011 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights )1 SDR1.44371.44391 Turkish lira1 TRY0.35890.35891 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.03230.03221 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.1590.1591 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.30030.30031 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.04480.0447100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.85740.85651 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.69070.6881Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU1125.72811111.5389Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG14.85214.7694Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT893.435869.3424Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD586.5138579.2112/By Trend/ Participants of Gold Grand-Prix tournament visits Heydar Aliyev monument Sports Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:40:00 +0400 Participants of the international wrestling Gold Grand-Prix tournament commemorating Azerbaijan`s national leader Heydar Aliyev have today visited a monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev in a park in front of the Heydar Aliyev Palace.They put a wreath and flowers at the monument./By AzerTac/ Iran expects highest regional growth next year World news Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:01:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe Islamic Republic, which is impatiently looking forward the removal of international sanctions, has said it will reach highest regional growth in the coming year.Ali Tayyeb-Nia, Iran’s economic and finance minister said based on international economic forecasts, next year Iran is going to herald the highest economic growth across the region extending from north of Africa to the Middle East, IRNA news agency reported.Tayyeb-Nia said the international experts foresee a bright future for Iran's economy.Following the removal of sanctions, Iran will be able to enjoy new possibilities and access to foreign resources that were inaccessible due to the sanctions.Tayyeb-Nia said this will open up possibilities for the Islamic Republic to export more oil and at the same time sell its oil in advance.He also added that the removal of sanctions will also boost Iran's banking, insurance and shipping sectors.All these factors will surely have positive and meaningful effects on Iran's economic growth and they will help us better deal with inflation and recession.The country has already observed the economic improvement after the lifting of some prohibitions imposed earlier against the country.The Iranian government could decrease high-level inflation and unemployment in the country for a short period of time.Iran's Statistics Center has recently announced that the inflation rate in Iran's urban areas for the 12-month period to the eighth Iranian calendar month of Aban (ended on November 22) hit 13.1 percent, 0.2 percent less compared to the preceding month.The country's point-to-point inflation in the mentioned month also decreased by 0.1 percent to 10.8 percent.The inflation rate in Iran in 2005 was about 10.4 percent, but in mid-2013, when Iranian president Hassan Rouhani came to power, the inflation rate and point-to-point inflation rate were 37.5 percent and 44 percent, respectively.Rouhani has promised to decrease the inflation rate to 5 percent by 2017.The government also expects around five percent economic growth in 2016. The nuclear agreement with world powers will allow Iran to restore crude oil exports, attract foreign investment, and establish economic links with the world.Since coming to office in 2013, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has ridden out recession and presided over a growth rate of about three percent by following a tight monetary and fiscal policy. Mugham and Mediterranean music to merge in Baku Arts & Entertainment Fri, 27 Nov 2015 20:31:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThis weekend, splendid sounds of two different musical cultures will be woven into one in Baku.The International Mugham Center will host exciting concert entitled “Meeting of Mugham and Mediterranean music” with participation of Azerbaijani and Italian musicians.The concert scheduled for 19:00 on November 29, will feature the folk music of the two nations.Organized by the International Mugham Center, the event will be supported by the Italian embassy in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan-Italy associationThe concert program will bring together prominent artist such as Fikret Verdiyev (tar), Rafael Aliyev (kamancha), Khanlar Jafarov (garmon), Elshan Gasimov (nagara), as well as trio of Nando Citarella, Mauro Palmas and Gabriella Aiello.Mugham, a unique musical and poetic phenomenon, was created based on historical and cultural traditions that have existed for centuries in Azerbaijan.Recognized as a masterpiece of the UNESCO’s Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity the Azerbaijani Mugham is one of the most valuable monuments of the material and spiritual culture of the nation and the greatest achievement of the musical and poetic art of the Azerbaijani people.Mugham entered into global cultural heritage at the beginning of the last century by attracting the attention of cultural experts and music critics around the globe.The lyrical music of Mugham attracts the young and old with its delightful sounds. At present, this pearl of Azerbaijani music art continues to take new forms, attracting attention worldwide. Iran loses huge money due to smuggling World news Fri, 27 Nov 2015 19:42:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaSmuggling has become a headache for Iran in recent years, as the Islamic Republic is losing huge amount of money due to such illegal acts.Habibollah Haqiqi, Head of Campaign against Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Currency said the illegal actions of smugglers in Iran bring them over $20 billion a year.He went on to say that the smugglers’ actions also prevent to create about two million new jobs in the country, IRNA news agency reported.Experts say every $1 billion make it possible to open up to 100,000 new jobs, he added.Haqiqi further said the smugglers illegally bring poor quality medicine and cosmetic products to Iran, thus creating certain threat to the population’s health.Iranian authorities have previously said fuel, currency, household accessories, clothing and mobile phones are most of all smuggled into Iran.Iran’s Customs Administration announced that of Iran's annual $11 billion in cigarette imports, 25percent, or $3.6 billion, is smuggled into the country. Drug trafficking is estimated to be worth $3 billion.Iran is also combating against drug trafficking. In recent years it is in a determined effort to stop the most prolific flow of drugs in the world, a flood of heroin and opium bound for the Persian Gulf and Europe. Iran, as the first link in that long and lucrative smuggling chain, has for decades fought a battle against.Nearly a decade ago Sistan va Baluchestan Province was an active battlefield, where more than 3,900 Iranian border police officers lost their lives fighting often better-equipped drug gangs along nearly 600 miles of Iran’s eastern border. Disrepair of Sarsang reservoir may result in fresh humanitarian crisis, PACE says Politics Fri, 27 Nov 2015 19:22:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaEuropean parliamentarians have warned that the state of disrepair of the Sarsang dam could result in a “major disaster with great loss of human life” and possibly a fresh humanitarian crisis.PACE Political Affairs Committee adopted a draft resolution based on a report prepared by parliamentarian Milica Markovic with regard to the Sarsang reservoir, located in Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia.Adopting the draft resolution based on a report prepared by Markovic, an MP from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the parliamentarians said the lack of regular maintenance work for over 20 years on the Sarsang reservoir, located in one of the areas of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia, “poses a danger to the whole border region.”Sarsang, Azerbaijan’s highest water reservoir, which is situated 726 meters above sea level, was built on top of the Tartar River during the Soviet times in 1976. Since 1992, the Sarsang reservoir has been under the control of the Armenian armed forces, and as a result, frontline regions have been deprived of water.In the draft resolution, adopted on November 23 on the report entitled "Intentional deprivation of the residents of the Azerbaijani border regions of water" PACE demanded Armenia’s pullout from the zone of Sarsang reservoir, and called for ending the use of water resources for the benefit of one of the parties to the conflict or as a means of pressure on the other.In view of this urgent humanitarian problem, the committee requested the immediate withdrawal of Armenian armed forces, thus allowing access by independent engineers and hydrologists to carry out a detailed on-the-spot survey and international supervision of the irrigation canals, the state of the Sarsang dam, the schedule of water releases during the autumn and winter, and aquifer over exploitation.PACE added that the parliamentarians also requested the Armenian authorities to cease using water resources as tools of political influence or an instrument of pressure.The Armenian side intentionally opens the floodgates during the winter months and causes flooding in the surrounding areas. But, it does not allow using it in summer. As a result, there are serious problems in providing people and farms with water and preserving the biodiversity.The international conventions envisage that the use of water is an integral part of human rights.During 20 years of occupation, the technical facilities and equipment of the Sarsang reservoir have been driven into dire conditions due to a lack of maintenance and up keep. The probability of the destruction as a result of malfunction, natural disaster, or sabotage is extremely high and is now a real threat for Azerbaijan.Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict for over two decades. Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that sparked a lengthy war in the early 1990s.The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but they have not been enforced to date. The brave world of super-commuters Weird / Interesting Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:54:00 +0400 Gerad Kite used to spend his lunch hour walking along London's Marylebone Road breathing in the traffic fumes. Now, more often than not, the acupuncturist can be found sitting in the garden of his 17th century home in Southwest France, taking a leisurely lunch or working on his new book.Kite hasn’t given up his career. Rather, he is one of a growing number of super-commuters – people who travel 145 km (90 miles) or more each way to their place of work. Many swap the daily commute for weekly or fortnightly travel and say their faraway homes give them a lifestyle not achievable within a shorter commute.Every two weeks Kite flies 965 km (600 miles) to London from his local airport, cramming in two weeks’ worth of client treatments into several days. He rents a room near his work when he’s in town.His income declined when he made the switch to super-commuting, but Kite said his travel expenses are low and the cost of living in France is much lower than in London — to the point he’s been able to pay off his debts.“It's a better lifestyle,” Kite said.Experts who study commuting estimate there could be hundreds of thousands of super-commuters worldwide, made possible in large part because of technological advances and the proliferation of low-cost airlines. Combined, these make it cheaper and easier for employees to work and commute from remote locations.For instance, across Europe, low-cost airlines Easyjet and Ryanair now offer over 1,000 routes between them, with the cost of return flights between European destinations sometimes as low as 40 euros ($50), about the same price as a weekly travel pass on London's underground train network. In fact, a growing number of Easyjet's 12 million annual business travellers are super-commuters, according to the airline.Between 2002 and 2009, the most up-to-date data available, New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation found that the number of super-commuters in Houston doubled to 251,200, accounting for 13.2% of the local workforce. In Manhattan, the group grew by 60% to 59,000, with Philadelphia – 161 km (100 miles) away from the city centre – the biggest source of the city's long-distance workers.But super-commuting is much broader than such relatively short-distance trips. London's Metropolitan Police once had a police officer who commuted from New Zealand – 19,312 km (12,000 miles) away – working two months on and two months off. It is estimated that around 300,000 Lebanese travel three hours by plane to work in the Persian Gulf, often in the oil industry, yet maintain residency in Lebanon. Less extreme: the 322 km (200 miles) roundtrip from Tucson to Phoenix, the most popular super-commute in the United States, counting almost 55,000 workers who work in a range of industries, according to the Rudin Center research.David Furlong, a 52-year-old financier, recently purchased a property in the south of France and commutes weekly to the City of London, a move made possible because his employer allows him to work one day per week from home.He’s in London Monday through Thursday, and works from his home office on Friday. It costs him more to maintain two homes, but the trade-off is long weekends in the sun and a calmer home environment. That’s one reason higher costs, or a loss of income, are worth it to some people who want a more peaceful life at home.Furlong said he had a “wake-up call” after several friends and colleagues passed away at an early age, he believes partly as a result of over-work.“At that point, I told myself I had to change something. It was about finding balance in my life,” he said.When work beckonsOne New York City super-commuter is the husband of Megan Bearce, author of Super Commuter Couples: Staying Together When a Job Keeps You Apart. Just six months after the family relocated to Minneapolis, Bearce's husband was offered his dream job in New York, more than 1,600 km (1,000 miles) away.The couple decided to give it a try, and four years later they have not looked back.“It's actually been really great,” Bearce said, although she advises would-be commuters to “weigh what it is costing you financially and emotionally.”Long-distance commuting can mean greater expenses, for instance, but “if you are going to New York, for example, the salary increase may offset the higher cost”, she said.Not everyone who opts to super-commute does so out of choice, according to Bearce. In the US, after the financial crisis it was difficult, if not impossible, to sell homes in some areas of the country and the job market was extremely tight. People had to look further away for work, but were unable to move, she said. The same has been true outside the US, too.Eudald Ayats, a 35-year-old chemical engineer, lives in Barcelona, Spain where the economy is still suffering after a long recession. So, when he received a good job offer in Brussels, a two-hour trip by plane, he negotiated commuting and housing costs with his employer and now commutes weekly between the two cities. This decision means he can continue living with his partner, who remains in Barcelona.“We have a better financial situation, and we both have jobs we love,” he said. “Work-life balance has shifted to two extremes [for me]. Monday to Friday morning is full work-mode, usually meaning long work hours, while Friday evening to Sunday is full family-mode, where working is forbidden with very rare exceptions.”Proceed with careWhatever the motivation for super-commuting, those who have done it advise caution.“Have a Plan B if after six months it's not worth it,” Bearce said. And, Kite’s advice is to test the super-commute lifestyle before you leap. “Experiment first and then do it,” he said.Terrence Karner, a 43-year-old consultant with advisory firm Deloitte in Chicago, is in the middle of a six-month placement with his firm's New York office to pursue better opportunities. He commutes weekly from Chicago and, while the work is stimulating, he’s sensitive to the pressures the long-distance commute puts on his wife.“It is very, very important to be respectful of your spouse’s time commitments when you’re not there.” he said. “When I’m not at my house, I know that my wife is very busy with the kids and the house.”Early on, Karner said he felt lonely during the week and it was hard to resist picking up the phone to call frequently — and harder still to hear his wife say she was too busy to talk.Even so, the trade-off has been worth it, he said.“It was outside of the comfort zone for me and my family,” Karner said, but the increased opportunities he’s had in New York have been a big benefit. “It's probably a cliche to say it, but the world economy demands it.” Gold Grand-Prix tournament kicks off in Baku Sports Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:09:00 +0400 The international wrestling Gold Grand-Prix tournament commemorating Azerbaijan`s national leader Heydar Aliyev has today started in Baku.A total of more than 400 wrestlers from 32 countries will compete in the Grand Prix.Azerbaijan`s hopes will be pinned on 22 wrestlers.The wrestlers will compete in three categories as freestyle, women`s and Greco-Roman events on November 27, 28 and 29 respectively./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijan`s Orujov claims bronze at Jeju Grand Prix Sports Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:50:00 +0400 Azerbaijani judo fighter Rustam Orujov (73kg) has won the bronze medal on the second day of the Grand Prix tournament in Jeju, the Republic of Korea.Orujov secured the medal after defeating Belgian Sami Chouchi.The tournament brings together 434 fighters from 71 countries./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijan expects no sensational decisions by OPEC Business Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:39:00 +0400 Azerbaijan doesn’t expect any sensational decisions from the upcoming December meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the country’s energy minister Natig Aliyev told reporters Nov.27.The OPEC meeting will be held December 4 in Vienna.“No decisions can be expected in terms of oil production level, most likely, it [the production] will remain unchanged,” Aliyev said. “The currently declared quota for production of 30 million barrels of oil per day significantly exceeds its daily consumption. In order for the oil prices to rise, OPEC should cut production, but it won’t happen.”Due to the prolonged fall in oil prices things reached the point when OPEC asks countries outside the cartel to reduce production while leaving its own one at the same level. Saudi Arabia has openly stated that it doesn’t want to lose its market position and invites all those who are not part of OPEC to reduce oil production in order to strengthen prices.Since the beginning of the last fall in oil prices, some OPEC member countries have repeatedly asked their colleagues in the cartel to reduce production, because they incur huge losses due to sharp and prolonged twofold decrease of commodity prices.“Even if Azerbaijan reduces oil production, it won’t affect prices on the global market,” the minister said. “In addition, such a decision will be made not by the state, but an international consortium of companies that develop the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli block of fields.The main oil output in Azerbaijan comes from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field. This offshore block produces Azeri Light oil with 0.15 percent sulfur and 35 degrees API.The contract for the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli development, with proven reserve of nearly 1 billion tons of oil, was signed in 1994. Shares in the contract are as follow: BP (operator) - 35.78 percent, Chevron - 11.27 percent, Inpex - 10.96 percent, AzACG - 11.65 percent, Statoil - 8.56 percent, Exxon - 8 percent, TPAO - 6.75 percent, Itochu - 4.3 percent and ONGC - 2.72 percent./By Trend/ Low oil prices seriously affect Kazakh economy, expert says World news Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:28:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaThe situation in Kazakhstan's economy is likely worse than it was predicted at the beginning of the year, Dosym Satpayev, the Director of the Kazakh Risk Assessment Group, believes."Since the end of last year, the Kazakh government is trying to prevent rising unemployment. The government has signed memorandums with large Kazakh enterprises that they will guarantee the preservation of jobs, or in the case of layoff of an employee, they will search another job for him/her," the expert told Trend on November 25.On November 23, Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik suggested that more than 40,000 employees of the oil and gas sector of the country could face layoffs, and wages will be reduced by a third if oil prices remain at a low level in 2016. Next year, the major international financial institutions expect the average price of Brent at $55-$58 per barrel."The statement made by Vladimir Shkolnik, says that the situation is worse than expected by the government. Most likely, the government expected that the economic situation will recover slightly by mid-year. But it turned out that the situation is worse - the price of oil dropped below $50. It is clear that it made our officials to be more pessimistic than they were earlier the year," Satpayev noted.The expert believes that unemployment increases not only in the oil and gas sector, but almost in all sectors of the Kazakh economy."This year, an unfavorable economic environment evolved for Kazakh businessmen due to the fact that cheaper Russian and Belarusian goods entered the markets of the country, which made Kazakh producers uncompetitive," he stressed. "So, the problem is more serious."A decline is observed in the attractiveness of Kazakhstan's labor market for foreign professionals, because since the recent significant depreciation of Kazakhstan's national currency-tenge, payment of wages in dollar terms does not correspond to their requirements.Satpayev excluded the possibility that reduction of jobs in Kazakhstan will lead to labor migration from the country, as a similar deterioration in the economic situation is observed in the former Soviet Union and in foreign countries."To prevent unemployment in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to support SMEs - entrepreneurship, which could "pull" a considerable part of the labor force," he said. "This requires state policy of preferential crediting."Satpayev also expressed hope that the situation with the low oil prices will force Kazakh officials to reconsider their approaches to the economy and to reflect more detailed on the development of the non-oil sector."Experience shows that high oil prices will not help improve the competitiveness of our economy. During these 20 years, we, unfortunately, did not establish an alternative economy, which could compensate for the current crisis in the mining sector," he concluded. Turkmenistan to launch stage 3 of Galkynysh field's development World news Fri, 27 Nov 2015 17:17:00 +0400 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaEnergy-rich Turkmenistan intends to launch the third stage of development of the giant Galkynysh gas field and bring the field's production capacity to 95 billion cubic meters of gas in the near future.This was announced by Ashyrguly Begliyev, the Chairman of the Turkmengaz State Concern, at a recent Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan conference in capital Ashgabat.He said that one of the major oil and gas projects in Turkmenistan is the industrial development of the Galkynysh field, which is known as the second largest in the world. This field will serve as a major source of natural gas for future export pipelines."To date, the facilities with a capacity of 30 billion of marketable gas per year have been commissioned, the second stage of a similar capacity was started in 2014, and it is expected that the third stage of resettlement of the Galkynysh gas field with a capacity of 35 billion cubic meters of marketable gas annually will begin at the end of this year," he noted."As a result, the production only from this field will stand at 95 billion cubic meters of marketable gas per year," Begliyev added.The Galkynysh field stands apart from the more than 180 deposits of hydrocarbon resources discovered in Turkmenistan.An independent audit showed that the reserves of the Galkynysh field, together with the Yashlar deposits, to date, are estimated at 26.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, taking into account the reserves of the newly discovered Garakel field included in the block of deposits -- up to 27.4 trillion cubic meters.Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest proven gas reserves in the world, is actively implementing an energy strategy aimed at increasing exports of the blue fuel and diversifying its supply routes to the largest global markets, where the demand for energy resources is growing.Being one of the key players in the gas market of the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia, Turkmenistan produces about 70-80 billion cubic meters of gas a year. It possesses some 17 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, with some estimates placing that figure upwards of 25 or 26 trillion cubic meters.