Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az President Aliyev attends conference on development of cotton-growing Politics Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:46:00 +0400 By  Azertac A conference on the development of cotton-growing is being held in Saatli on March 28.President Ilham Aliyev is attending the conference. Italy gives green light to TAP pipeline Business Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:29:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay CamalItaly gave the green light to construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), one of the core projects of the Southern Gas Corridor.The OK was given by the Council of State, Italy's top administrative court, arbitrating cases concerning the State administration and the government, RIA Novosti reported.In its ruling, the top administrative court said TAP's environmental impact permit, awarded in 2014, met all the conditions needed.TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union.TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.The pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 km, Albania 215 km, Adriatic Sea 105 km, and Italy 8 km). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, while its lowest point will be 820 meters beneath the sea.The SGC project – that has already began to take shape as a series of pipelines which will carry Azerbaijani supplies to Europe – is a unique project opening up route for Caspian energy sources. Azerbaijani envoy presents credentials to Argentine President Politics Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:18:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijani Ambassador Rashad Aslanov has handed his credentials to President of Argentina Mauricio Macri.Aslanov conveyed greetings of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to the Argentine President, Azertac reported.President Mauricio Macri asked the Ambassador to extend his greetings and best wishes to the Azerbaijani President.They also discussed prospects for the development of cooperation between the two countries in various areas.President Mauricio Macri wished Rashad Aslanov success in his diplomatic activities. Azerbaijan: UN can’t be apart from Karabakh conflict settlement Politics Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0400 By  TrendThe United Nations, which reflects the will of international community, never was and never can be apart from the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s resolution process.Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev made the remark in an interview with Trend on March 27, adding that international peace and security are the priority tasks of the UN according to its charter.Use of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states and acts of aggression are prohibited according to the Charter of the UN, he said.“Armenia, as a state which is committing occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan by the use of force, continues flagrantly violating the Article 2 (Paragraph 4) of the UN Charter,” he noted. “Armenia refuses to abide by the demands of the UN Security Council resolutions No. 822, 853, 874 and 884 and by maintaining its illegal military presence in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan undermines the regional and international peace and security.”Armenia’s pretending to be committed to the UN Charter at the level of foreign minister is nothing but hypocrisy and an attempt to mislead the international community, Hajiyev added.In a press statement Feb. 27, 2017, the UN secretary general urged the resumption of substantive negotiations leading to a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without delay, Hajiyev said.“Azerbaijan commends and supports this statement of the UN secretary general,” he noted. “We have repeatedly stated that the substantive negotiations for the resolution of the conflict launched during the Saint Petersburg meeting of the presidents should be continued.”“At the same time, we support the UN secretary general’s Jan. 1 appeal for peace and his initiative of declaring 2017 the year of peace,” Hajiyev said.In his appeal, the UN secretary general also called for ceasefire and compromise in the negotiations for the conflict’s peaceful settlement, Hajiyev added.It is regrettable that as a result of Armenia’s policy of maintaining the status quo of occupation and continuing annexation of Azerbaijan’s territories, the ceasefire regime since 1994 has not been transformed into the political solution and sustainable peace, he said.“Armenia continues to misuse the ceasefire regime for consolidating occupation and by all means undermines the efforts to achieve progress in the negotiations,” he noted.Armenia’s deviation from the substantive talks and its policy of boycotting and putting pre-conditions to the negotiations over the conflict’s peaceful settlement is proceeding from this fact, Hajiyev said.Armenia understands well that the essence and end-goal of substantive talks is to change the status quo of the occupation on a step-by-step basis, he noted.“In 1993, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions (No. 822, 853, 874 and 884), condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, reaffirming respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory,” Hajiyev said.“In response to Armenia’s territorial claims and actions, the Council reconfirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan and demanded an immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories,” he added. “No country is authorized to misinterpret or downgrade significance of UN Security Council resolutions.”In the resolution No. 873, the Council welcomed and commended the ‘Adjusted timetable of urgent steps to implement Security Council resolutions 822 and 853’, he said.The adjusted timetable prepared under the mandate of resolution No. 853 envisaged withdrawal of armed forces of Armenia within concrete timeframe from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, he noted.The UN Security Council also tasked the OSCE to ensure the implementation of the resolutions when performing its mediation efforts towards the settlement of the conflict, Hajiyev added.The final paragraph of the resolution No. 884 of the UN Security Council reiterates that the secretary general continues to report to the Council on the progress of the Minsk process and on all aspects of the situation on the ground, Hajiyev said.“The OSCE Budapest document of 1995 on mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also confirms that the mandate of the co-chairs is based on the principles of international law, the Helsinki Final Act and the UN Security Council resolutions,” he noted.The UN secretary general in the press release dated Oct. 31, 1994, made it crystal clear that “the position of the United Nations is based on four principles which have been mentioned in the different resolutions of the Security Council,” Hajiyev added.“The first principle is the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the second principle is the inviolability of the international boundaries, the third principle is the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory, and the fourth principle is the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops from occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” he said.“It is also worth noting the resolution of the UN General Assembly on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan of Mar. 14, 2008,” he noted. “We should also bear in mind that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are the permanent members of the UN Security Council.”“The UN and specialized agencies were also actively involved to support Azerbaijan in overcoming the consequences of humanitarian catastrophe which Azerbaijan faced as a result of the conflict,” he said.“In this regard, we particularly appreciate the role and support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in alleviating the humanitarian situation of more than one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs,” Hajiyev added.Based on the UN Security Council resolutions, the efforts of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs must be redoubled, Armenia must be urged to return to the substantive talks and must be demanded to abide by its obligations under the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said.“We are hopeful that 2017, as declared the year of peace by the UN secretary general, will be the end of the continuing occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories by Armenia and will also be the beginning of the lasting peace in the region through substantive negotiations,” he added.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. President Aliyev arrives in Saatli [UPDATE] Politics Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:55:00 +0400 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Saatli region for a visit on March 28, Azertac reported.The head of state laid flowers at a statue of national leader Heydar Aliyev in the center of the city of Saatli.Head of Saatli Region Executive Authority Siragaddin Jabbarov informed President Aliyev about the landscaping work carried out around the statueLater, President Aliyev attended the opening of a newly built 110/35/10 KV Sarijalar substation in the region.The President also attended the opening of newly renovated Saatli-Sarijalar-Gara Nuru-Shirinbayli-Fatalikand-Azadkand highway.President Aliyev  visited local farmer Humay Mammadova`s cotton plantation in Giragli village, Saatli.The President later attended a ceremony to launch water supply systems.Also, President Aliyev attended the inauguration of a 100-seat orphanage-kindergarten in Saatli, whose construction was initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Oil futures supported by weaker dollar, but bloated supply still weighs Business Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:45:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by a weak dollar, but crude continued to be weighed down by surging U.S. production and uncertainty over whether an OPEC-led supply cut is big enough to rebalance the market, Reuters reported.Prices for front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil, had gained 20 cents from their last close to $50.95 per barrel by 0320 GMT.In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 24 cents at $47.97 a barrel.Traders said crude futures were receiving some support from a weak dollar.The greenback has lost 2.9 percent in value against a basket of other leading currencies .DXY since its March peak on doubts over U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to push through his economic agenda.When the dollar weakens, many traders pull money from foreign exchange markets and put it into commodities futures such as gold or crude instead. A weaker dollar also makes oil cheaper for countries using other currencies, potentially spurring import demand."Crude prices tested the support at $50 per barrel for Brent and rebounded from there," said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.Physical fundamentals remained weak, however, with soaring U.S. output undermining efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production to rein in a global fuel supply overhang and prop up prices."We now forecast U.S. crude oil production to reach a multi-decade high by December, within sight of the all-time high reached in 1970," Barclays said in a note to clients.U.S. crude oil output has already risen 8.3 percent since mid-2016 to 9.13 million barrels per day (bpd). Output briefly reached 9.7 million bpd in April 2015, highest since May 1971.Soaring output and brimming inventories have made U.S. WTI crude much cheaper than international peer Brent, which is being supported above $50 per barrel by the OPEC-led production cut.As a result, record amounts of U.S. crude oil have found their way to Asia and other destinations this year, and more is expected to be shipped out as traders take advantage of arbitrage opportunities by sending excess U.S. crude into regions where it can find buyers."The market still seems awash with crude," Trifecta's Vijayakar said. North Korea tests rocket engine: US officials World news Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:37:00 +0400 By  TrendNorth Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine that U.S. officials believe could be part of its program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, officials told Reuters on Monday, Reuters reported.The latest test follows one earlier this month, and is another sign of Pyongyang's advancing weapons program. It comes amid mounting U.S. concerns about additional missile and nuclear tests, potentially in the near future.Several U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the test took place on Friday night and the engine could possibly be used in an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).Earlier this month North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country had conducted a test of a new high-thrust engine at its Tongchang-ri rocket launch station, saying it was "a new birth" of its rocket industry.At the time, North Korea's official media said the engine would help it achieve world-class satellite launch capability, indicating the test was of a new type of rocket engine for long-range missiles.Kim also has said North Korea is close to an ICBM test-launch.North Korea has been testing rocket engines and heat-shields for an ICBM while developing the technology to guide a missile after re-entry into the atmosphere following a liftoff, experts have said.Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is around 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from the North. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,400 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles) or farther.The reclusive state has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in defiance of U.N. resolutions.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a visit to the region that a military response would be "on the table" if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korea and U.S. forces.The Trump administration is still deliberating its policy on North Korea, but appears to be giving priority to less risky options than pre-emptive military strikes.It is considering sweeping sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system as part of a broad review of measures to counter Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threat. Unstable weather awaits Bakuians Society Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:28:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaRainless and changeable cloudy weather is forecast for March 28.The weather will be foggy in some places at night and in the morning.North-west wind will be followed with north-east wind in the evening, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources reported.The temperature will be +4-6?C at night, +10-14?C in daytime in Absheron peninsula, +4-6?C at night, +12-14?C  in the afternoon. Air pressure records 772. Relative humidity will be 80-90% at night, 60-70% in the afternoon.Rainy weather is expected in country's regions. Rain will intensify in some places, snow is expected in mountainous regions.The weather will also be foggy in some places at night and in the morning. West wind will waft. The temperature will be +2-7?C at night, +12-17?C in daytime, +21?C in some places, -1+4?C in mountains at night, +5-10?C in daytime. Currency rates for March 28 Business Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:14:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for Mar. 28 was set at 1.7201 manats and 1.8691 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of manat against those currencies, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.CurrenciesMar. 28, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.72011 euro1 EUR1.8691 Land of Fire becomes attractive destination for travelers Business Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +0400 By  TrendBy Amina NazarliAzerbaijan, a South Caucasus country located at the junction of the two world civilizations, is becoming one of the popular tourist destinations of the region.The land rich with historical, cultural and natural heritage attracts visitors from all over the world. Untouched nature, mineral springs, the world's only oil field treatment - naphthalene, a unique ancient architecture, unique culture, cuisine, and many more enable Azerbaijan to create all types of tourism, including business, sport, medical, cognitive, hunting, exotic, beach and even gastronomic.With its towering Caucasus ranges, fertile valleys, thick forests and beautiful Caspian Sea coast, Azerbaijan is home to a remarkable natural diversity. Huge part of Azerbaijan’s territory is preserved as national parks and reserves, ranging from desert to highlands, to rolling fertile valleys, and marshlands. These landscapes offer a range of unusual flora and fauna, including ancient mountain villages.In addition to the natural and rural attractions, Azerbaijan has a rich cuisine, changing from region to region. ‘Tasting’ Azerbaijan means enjoying juicy apples, pomegranates, grilled meats, kabab, dolma, bozbash, all perfumed with the herbs of untouched woodlands and the spices of the Silk Road.There are ample of things to do in Azerbaijan, be it exploring the country on a horse back or simply savoring the delicious cuisine. The country offers something for every traveler. History lovers can see Gala Fortress, Gobustan, Icherisheher, etc. Adventure seekers can indulge in hiking, horse-riding hunting, etc in Guba, Shamakhi, Lankaran and other regions, or check out the nightlife of Baku.The modern face of the city is of equal interest for the visitors. Buildings of Flame Towers, the sport and entertainment complex Crystal Hall which held a Eurovision contest in 2012, the cultural center of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and others are the unique characters symbolizing Baku.A favorite place for walks for residents and guests of the capital remains transformed and shining by neon lights city Seaside park (Boulevard). The flow of tourists is increasing every year, so in the capital and other tourist areas there is growing number of hotels with the highest level of service. One of Azerbaijan’s strongest assets for tourism development is its service culture – Azerbaijanis are famous for their hospitality. This culture is best reflected in the hotel and restaurant sectors.Last year, 35 hotels were built in the country, while 25 are under construction. In general, there are more than 500 hotels in Azerbaijan.  In 10 years, foreign tourists in Azerbaijan will spend $6 billion a year, according to the report of the World Travel & Tourism Council, WTTC.  The report says that in 2016 the tourism industry of Azerbaijan provided 2.285 billion manats ($1.437 billion) or 4.1 percent of the country's GDP.The WTTC forecasts says that in 2017 tourism will provide 7 percent or 2.446 billion manat of GDP, in 2017-2027 the sector's share will grow by 6.5 percent to 4.581 billion manats ($2.881 billion) or 5.9 percet of GDP.In 2016, some 479.5 million was invested in the tourism sector of Azerbaijan, according to the report, which predicts growth by 6.2 percent in 2017, and by 4.9 percent in the next 10 years.In connection with March holiday – Novruz Bayram, a large number of tourists came to Azerbaijan mainly from Iran, Russia and Arab countries who spent more than a week in the country. Enjoy literature and music night at YARAT Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:23:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaYARAT Contemporary Art Space invites  everyone to enjoy a themed literature and music night dedicated to the modern time mysteries and illusions on April 1.On this special occasion, YARAT will present a program that was prepared in collaboration with the People’s artist Eyyub Yaqubov and his creative team.During the program called "Don’t be fooled" Eyyub Yaqubov will unravel the secret meaning of his music video" Y?x?l?r dünya" (World is falling apart) for the first time. The guests of the event will get a chance to enjoy the poetic and musical elements of the program as well. The highlight of the night will be a live concert by Eyyub Yaqubov. Note, this event was inspired by Orkhan Huseynov’s solo exhibition "Dear Beloved".Agenda:19:00 – 20:00Panel discussion of Eyyub Yaqubov’s music video «Y?x?l?r dünya» with Salim Babullaoglu2nd floor, concert hall20:00 – 20:45Performance by contemporary poetsSalim Babullaoglu, Qismet and Farid Huseyn1st floor, exhibition rooms20:45 – 21:20Taste the mysteryNational food tasting session1st floor, library, 2nd floor, reception area21:30 – 22:15Live instrumental music performances1st floor, exhibition hall22:00 Eyyub Yaqubov’s live performance2nd floor, concert hallAdmission is free. Azerbaijan to welcome Turkish exporters Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliA delegation of the Turkish Eastern Black Sea Exporters Association will visit Azerbaijan and Georgia on May 2-6, said Ahmet Hamdi Gurdogan, the head of the association.He noted that this visit, supported by Turkey’s Economy Ministry, is aimed at strengthening of the trade ties between the countries, Trend reported.“Although, Turkey’s trade ties with Azerbaijan and Georgia significantly increased in recent years, they have not achieved the desired level. In 2016, 13 percent of the total export of Turkey’s East Black Sea Region accounted for Georgia, while only 1.7 percent accounted for Azerbaijan, which does not reflect the real potential of the region,” Gurdogan said.He noted that export from the East Black Sea Region could account for at least half of Turkey’s total export to Azerbaijan and Georgia.This visit to Azerbaijan and Georgia will contribute to the growth of export opportunities in the region, according to Gurdogan.The delegation of the Association, which covers Trabzon, Rize and Artvin provinces of Turkey's Eastern Black Sea Region, is expected to hold business meetings and research the local markets.Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $2.3 billion in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.The trade turnover between the three countries currently amounts to $4.2 billion.   The countries plan to bolster trilateral economic cooperation and increase the volume of trade turnover to the level of $20 billion.   OSCE MG co-chairs meet Armenian FM Politics Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:53:00 +0400 By  TrendArmenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian held a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who are on a visit in Yerevan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry tweeted Mar. 27.The two sides discussed the further steps aimed at the implementation of agreements on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg.The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group visited Azerbaijan on Mar. 10-11, where they had several meetings with the country’s leadership.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Azerbaijani Army targets all military objects of Armenia, Ministry says Politics Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:51:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan will suppress any threat from Armenia immediately and decisively, the country's Defense Ministry stated.   “The enemy [Armenia] should understand that all military facilities and other strategic objects located in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, including Armenia are under constant target of the Azerbaijani army,” said the ministry. Earlier Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that if needed, he will give an order to strike with Iskander missiles. The Armenian president’s statement on a possible use of Iskander operational-tactical missiles is a primitive step, which is intended for the internal audience and aimed at strengthening the shaken authority of his criminal gang and increasing his pre-election rating, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense told APA on March 27.“As a result of retaliatory actions to be taken by the Azerbaijani army, Armenia will not avoid large-scale casualties and destruction, which will lead to disastrous and irreversible consequences for it. Before making such irresponsible statements, the Armenian authorities should think about the fate of the population,” Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry warned.Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region. Kazakhstan interested in Azerbaijan’s experience in defense industry sector World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:46:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan's Ambassador to Kazakhstan Rashad Mammadov met with Kazakh Minister of Defense and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov on March 27 to discuss issues of the mutual interest.The parties highlighted the solid foundation laid between the two countries for cooperation in all fields, during the period of independence, adding that this cooperation will contribute to further development and strengthening of two countries.They also stressed that both countries, which are resource-rich and located in an advantageous geographical location for international transport corridors, faced with similar challenges after gaining the independence and turned to each other's experiences in the period of state-building.Atamkulov spoke about the high level of cooperation between two countries and shared his pleasant impressions about Azerbaijan, stressing that Azerbaijan has become one of the region's independent state, as a result of the economic achievements and powerful policy.Building an independent army plays an important role in Azerbaijan's achievements, the minister added. Praising Azerbaijan’s achievements in the creation of the defense industry complex, the minister emphasized Kazakhstan’s interest in Azerbaijan’s experience in this field.In turn, Mammadov raised the issue of the continuing occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, talked about the historical aspects of the problem and consequences of the conflict.The diplomat noted that the goal of creating a powerful military-industrial complex in Azerbaijan is an urgent need to ensure the territorial integrity of the state. Mammadov also spoke about the successful cooperation of Azerbaijan with a number of states in the sphere of military-industrial complex.The ambassador also informed the Kazakh minister about ADEX exhibition held annually and products displayed here, stressing the importance of increasing the number of contracts signed during this event every year. Rashad Mammadov invited Kazakhstan to attend this exhibition.The two also highlighted that Kazakhstan intends to get acquainted with products made in Azerbaijan's military industrial complex and pays special attention to cooperation in this field. For this purpose, Kazakhstan will actively participate in the ADEX exhibition to be held in Baku.Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are both Turkic countries and share close historical, religious and cultural ties. Today, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are more interested in intensification of cooperation in many areas, particularly logistics and infrastructure.  Necessary measures are taken to better utilize the opportunity driven from the passage of shortest East-West transport corridor through the territories of the countries. German team visits architectural gems of Baku Sports Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:34:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaMembers of the German national football team have toured Baku and visited Icherisheher as they were in the city to face the Azerbaijani team in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying round.The German Football Union’s social media pages inform that the football players visited city's architectural gems-Shirvanshah's palace, Maiden Tower, Old City and other places.The match between Azerbaijan and Germany in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying round took place on March 26. The German team defeated Azerbaijan with a score of 4-1.The game was held at the Republican stadium named after Tofik Bakhramov. </div></div></body> </html> Turkmen leader dissatisfied with local airlines World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:19:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaTurkmenistan's president criticized the work of national airlines, who he entrusted to carry out quality and scaly services.   President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at a regular meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country recalled that he had previously given instructions concerning the development of local airlines, however, the pace of work is extremely slow.Expressing his dissatisfaction with the administration of Turkmenhavayollary (Turkmen Airlines) over their work to meet the demand of the country's population, as well as ministries and departments for air transportation, the head of state stressed the slow work carried out in this direction, the Turkmen government said in a statement."For example, in the south of the Lebap velayat (province), industry is developing rapidly, bridges, railways, large enterprises and settlements are being built, but it takes quite much time to get to these places," the  Turkmen leader said. He mentioned a similar situation existing in the city of Garabogaz of the Balkan velayat.In this regard, the president urged to build new airports on the ground, emphasizing the expediency of temporary use of helicopters for the transport of people and goods.Currently, Turkmenistan Airlines, in addition to domestic flights, carries out regular flights to dozens of countries. The area of the flights is constantly expanding. Construction of new and reconstruction of the existing airports, terminals, facilities of engineering purposes is underway in Ashgabat and the regions of Turkmenistan, within the National Program of Civil Aviation Development of the country for 2012-2030.Formation of modern transport and communication system is one of the basic principles of the economic strategy of Turkmenistan consistently implemented by the Turkmen leader.The new International Airport opened in September 2016. In accordance with the strategic priorities of the policy of President Berdimuhamedov, the new International Airport contributed to the development of the Turkmen aviation activation of mutually beneficial trade-economic and humanitarian ties, tourism, and full integration of Turkmenistan into the world economic system.Turkmenistan, which has a favorable geographical location, aims to strengthen its position of an important transit and transportation hub of regional and continental importance. Miss & Mister Turkvision Azerbaijan 2017 finalists named Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:17:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBaku has hosted the semi-final of the beauty contest Miss & Mister Turkvision Azerbaijan 2017.The main aim of the project is to select best models that will represent Azerbaijan at various international competitions. The winners will be awarded with prizes.  Following the first semi-final, 40 participants, including 14 men and women reached the final, Trend Life reported.The jury members included head of school ST Models and project Miss and Mister Turkvision Azerbaijan 2017 Suleyman Tanahirli, head of the modeling Agency Venera Sama Hasanova, winner of "Eurovision 2011" Eldar Gasimov, winner of Miss and Mister Turkvision Azerbaijan 2016 Shovket Asadullayeva, winner of Best model of Azerbaijan 2004 Ilgar Aliyev, stylist Anar Agakishiev, designer Sako Abbasov, beautician Emilya Zahirova and business lady Ulker Jafarova. The project's directors are Javid Guliyev and Orkhan Takakhirli, general manager – Akber Mammadli.The stunning show featured brilliant performance of Farid Mammadov`s group.The gala evening was hosted by Umid Suleymanov. GUAM urges to solve conflicts based on states’ territorial integrity Politics Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaConflicts in the GUAM area should be solved based on sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states, says the final statement of the heads of governments of the GUAM member states.The statement was adopted at the summit of the heads of governments of the member states of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova) in Kiev on March 27The GUAM format was created by post-Soviet states in 1997 during the summit of heads of the EU states in Strasbourg. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the format and four years later withdrew.“Expressing deep concern over the conflicts, continuing in the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity and impeding the sustainable development of GUAM member states, we reaffirm our commitment for their speedy settlement on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of states,” says the statement.The government heads of the GUAM member states reaffirmed their commitment to the decisions, resolutions and documents adopted at the GUAM summits, as well as the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Since the 1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan, but they have not been enforced to this day.While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years. Bulgaria might lose gas contract with Azerbaijan? Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:05:00 +0400 By  TrendBulgaria may lose the gas contract with Azerbaijan if the construction of Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) is not completed by 2020, said Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Nikolay Pavlov in an interview with "24 chasa".Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz has a long-term contract for 25 years with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR for supply of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Shah Deniz 2, said the minister, adding that this is one third of Bulgaria’s domestic consumption.“We need to be able to receive this gas. If the interconnector is not ready, we may lose the contract. The gas interconnector is a continuation of the Southern Gas Corridor and is part of the Vertical Gas Corridor of the European Union,” added Pavlov.The minister talked about the shortcomings in the implementation of the IGB project.“There is a delay in the preparation of a cost-benefit analysis that will show what further grant funding we have to seek from the EU. ICGB has been aware of the necessity for such an analysis since March 2016. So far, this analysis hasn’t been ready and its assignment is delayed,” he said.The utilization of the 45 million-euro grant provided by the European Commission in 2009 hasn’t started yet and the deadline for its utilization is 2018, he said, adding that there is a real risk for these funds to be lost.“The technical design is another reason of concern. It was approved by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works on 15 January 2016 with one-year validity, which actually expired on 15 January 2017. The request for its extension was submitted on 20 January 2017. The deadline had been missed,” added Pavlov.IGB is a gas pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field. IGB is expected to be connected to the Trans Adriatic pipeline via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets.The initial capacity of IGB will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas. Population of Azerbaijan to reach 10M Society Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:52:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliThe number of Azerbaijan’s population continues to grow very fast.As for February 1, 2017, the population of Azerbaijan reached 9,816,100 people, having increased by 0.1 percent since the beginning of the year.About 12,200 births were registered this January. This indicator features 14.8 births per 1,000 people in the country. Some 53 percent of newborns were boys, while 47 percent were girls.During the first two months of this year, the registry offices recorded 4,300 marriages and 1,100 divorces.   This January, the number of people who came to Azerbaijan for permanent residence made up 146 people and this exceeded the number of those who left the country made up 97.Azerbaijan is among leading European countries in terms of natural population growth, which in turn contributes to the development of economy.The "Azerbaijan 2020: Look into the future" Concept of Development reads that during the period covered by the concept, the country's population will increase by 1.1 per cent a year on average and is expected to total about 10.2 million in 2020. More state objects to be offered to entrepreneurs Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:38:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan’s State Committee on Property Issues will hold another auction on April 18, 2017 for privatization of 141 state objects.These objects include 29 small businesses, 25 joint-stock companies and 87 non-residential areas, the agency announced on March 27.The state objects to be put up for sale mainly operate in the fields of construction, industry, transport and others.The small businesses are located in Baku, Sumgayit, Shamkir, Lankaran, Zagatala, Tartar, Balakan and other regions of Azerbaijan.The third stage of privatization in Azerbaijan started in the framework of the presidential decree dated May 19, 2016. Under the decree, the acceleration of the state property privatization process has been defined as an important direction of the economic policy.So far, over 700 state enterprises and objects have been put for sale. More than 300 new state-owned enterprises and facilities were declared open for privatization in Azerbaijan in 2016.The portal for privatization –, launched in July 2016, reflects all necessary information about the facilities, their addresses, location, and even initial cost and aims at facilitation of the process. The website is available in two languages - Azerbaijani and English. “Why Azerbaijan is special” section available on the website explains the reasons and advantages of investing in the country.The privatization process is designed to attract both foreign and local investors, as well as improve the business environment of Azerbaijan. Karabakh horse monument unveiled in Belgium Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:25:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaA monument to Karabakh horses, one of the world’s oldest breeds, was unveiled in the city of Ham, Belgium.The monument honoring graceful and majestic Karabakh horses, which are regarded as a heritage of Azerbaijani people, was erected with the support of Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation and presented to the municipality of Ham, Azertac reported.Ham City Mayor Dirk De Vis, addressing the unveiling ceremony, hailed close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Belgium. He described the erection of the monument to Karabakh horses, which are famous all over the world due to exceptional qualities, as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.Chair of Belgium-Azerbaijan Friendship Society Ayhan Demirchi hailed the Azerbaijani community's efforts to bring the two countries and nations closer to each other, saying the erection of the monument is a landmark event in this regard.Azerbaijani Ambassador to Belgium Fuad Isgandarov, in turn, described the successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the city of Ham as the best example of cultural and inter-religious dialogue.Breathing Karabakh horses, whose fine build and golden sheen make it a wonder to behold, are also valued for their resistance in mountainous terrain and mild temper.Unfortunately, the number of Karabakh horses began to decline in the backdrop of the civil and ethnic wars in the Caucasus and Karabakh region. Although they are exiled from their homeland due to the Armenian aggression, Karabakh horses adapt very well to a variety of natural conditions. New strains are being developed in lowland Karabakh, as well as in other regions of Azerbaijan: villages near Baku, regions at the foot of the Northern and Southern Caucasus and the central lowlands, all with different climates.They are mountain horses, so they are not very tall, 1.48-1.52metres (up to 15 hands). They are slim, with attractive faces and are kind and gentle by nature.Despite their delicate appearance they are known for their stamina and they have been very successful racers. Their suppleness also made them the ideal mount for traditional games like Chovgan and Sur-papa.Karabakh breed horses were repeatedly presented at the celebration of the anniversary of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reign in 2012. Before, the English queen received a golden horse of Karabakh as a gift in 1956.  Last year 15 Azerbaijani Karabakh breed horses and a team of national dancers performed at the final night of the Royal Windsor Horse Show to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Iran's Rouhani leaves Tehran for Moscow World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:17:00 +0400 By  TrendIranian President Hassan Rouhani has departed from Tehran for an official visit to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, IRNA reported.The sides are expected to ink about 10 documents for expansion of cooperation in various areas, particularly in economic, trade and industrial spheres during the two-day visit.Trade turnover between the two countries saw a huge surge over the past year, rising by 80 percent to more than $2 billion, with energy, agriculture and defense sales forming the bulk of the transactions.Iran and Russia have targeted to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $10 billion over the coming three years. Turkmenistan prepares for 5th Asian Games World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:05:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkmen embassy in Baku released video about preparation for the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games which will be held in Ashgabat on September 17-27, 2017.There will be 21 sports included in the Games. In addition to the 19 sports originally involved in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Turkmen traditional wrestling Goresh, and Equestrian Jumping were added to the competition schedule. The proposal was accepted by the Olympic Council of Asia and jointly approved.In 2010, the Olympic Council of Asia, the National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan and the administration of Ashgabat city signed an agreement to stage the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan. Turkish citizens abroad voting in constitution referendum World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:48:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Turkish citizens residing abroad started to vote in the referendum to make amendments to the country’s constitution, said a message posted on the website of Turkey’s Supreme Board of Election March 27.The referendum on amendments to the constitution, which envisage the introduction of the presidential form of government, will be held in Turkey on April 16.According to the message, there are 2,929,389 Turkish voters abroad who will be able to vote in 119 diplomatic missions of Turkey in 57 countries or at 32 checkpoints of the country.The voting will be held abroad from March 27 to April 9, while at the checkpoints - from March 27 to April 16, the message said.According to the message, the Turkish citizens residing or staying in Azerbaijan will be able to vote at the Turkish embassy in Baku on April 9 and the general consulates in Azerbaijani city of Ganja and Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.There are more than 6,000 Turkish citizens in Azerbaijan who have the right to vote, the message said. Russian minister says early to speak about more oil cuts Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay CamalRussia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak has announced that it is too early to talk about the expediency of extending the OPEC oil output cut deal.Additional time and first of all, additional analysis of the market situation is needed for making a decision on more cuts, Novak told RT following the Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Kuwait.The Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) convened in Kuwait City for its second meeting on March 26. It announced that, based on the Report of the Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Technical Committee (JTC) for the month of February 2017, OPEC and participating non-OPEC countries have continued their progress towards full conformity with their voluntary adjustments in production.As of February 2017, the OPEC and participating non-OPEC countries achieved a conformity level of 94 percent, an increase of 8 percentage points over the January 2017 performance.“It is only the end of March. The exchange of views held by ministers and the proposals which were put forward during the meeting mean that all the participating countries have an opportunity to consider this issue till the next ministerial meeting, give instructions to OPEC secretariat on providing additional market analysis for January-April, give forecasts on implementation in May, June and for the second half of 2017,” he said.Novak pointed out that during the meeting, it was agreed to hold Russia-OPEC dialogue in Moscow on May 31.Regarding the oil price, the Russian minister said that it depends on the market situation, as well as the demand and supply balance.Meanwhile, oil prices dipped on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity outweighed talks that an OPEC-led production cut initially due to end in mid-2017 may be extended. Since mid-2016, U.S. oil production has risen by 700,000 bpd, or 8.3 percent, to 9.13 million bpd, government data shows C-OUT-T-EIA.In late 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices.OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1, with top exporter Saudi Arabia cutting as much as 486,000 bpd. Baku joins "Earth Hour 2017" ecological campaign Society Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:04:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina Nazarli‘Earth Hour 2017’ took place in Baku on March 25 as the city joined hundreds of cities around the world which switched off their lights for one hour as a demonstration of concern for our planet.Earth Hour, an international campaign that spreads the awareness of environmental issues, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. As the official national coordinator for Earth Hour 2017 in Azerbaijan, IDEA and Azerbaijani representative office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF Azerbaijan) encouraged everyone to take part, show support, and join in to take action on climate change.The participants of the action, meeting in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center, one of the unique pearls of the world architecture, watched the process of switching-off of the lights for one hour on the facades of the largest buildings in the central part of Baku. Participants took part in the symbolic action of countdown "60+" and cycling. During this earth hour held under the motto ‘Shine a light on climate action’, the participants enjoyed performance of well-known dance groups, entertainment master classes on zumba, incendiary music and other surprises.As the largest environmental movement in the world, Earth Hour brings millions of people together to fight climate change. The campaign, which began in 2007 in Sydney, was marked in 178 countries, 7,000 cities and even the International Space Station.During “Earth Hour” actions, facade lights of famous buildings are turned-off in the big cities at 20:30 in the local time for an hour and the attendants promote energy saving through this symbolic action. With this symbolic movement, the participants of the action draw public attention to the threats that arise as a result of climate change, and encourage energy savings. AGF presents video with participation of national team Sports Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:59:00 +0400 By AzernewsAzerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has released a video footage featuring the country’s national team in rhythmic gymnastics in group exercises.AGF, which was founded in 1956, has experienced revival since 2002 and the renewed federation lifted this popular sport to a new level.Thanks to a high-level and dynamic activity of the Federation, Azerbaijani gymnastics has been able to break into the world sporting arena.This year AGF was included into the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) rating list of the “Meritorious” Federations.The FIG Executive Committee defines the meritorious federations based on the points given for their activities during the year – the organization of the World Championships and World Cups, hosting of meetings of the FIG governing bodies, holding of the FIG Coaching Academy and International Judges’ Courses, as well as participation in the mentioned events.Due to its dynamic and professional activity, the AGF has placed itself among the 10 strongest federations for the three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016).</p> </body> </html> Mstislav Rostropovich Festival to open in Moscow Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:27:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe 8th International Festival of Mstislav Rostropovich opens today at the Moscow State Conservatory.The festival’s concept is based on the interrelation of the musical cultures of four countries that were of particular importance in the life and activity of the maestro: Russia, the United States, France and Japan.The festival will run until April 4 and during the event famous collectives and conductors will perform classical works, Trend Life reported.A memorial plague to Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich will be also unveiled in Moscow on March 27.Born in Baku, Azerbaijan Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, and he was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights.Rostropovich was a huge influence on the younger generation of cellists. Many have openly acknowledged their debt to his example. In the Daily Telegraph, Julian Lloyd Webber called him "probably the greatest cellist of all time."He inspired and premiered over 100 pieces and formed long-standing artistic partnerships with  such prominent composers as  iDmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutos?awski, Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Norbert Moret, Andreas Makris and Benjamin Britten.A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has become one of the West leading conductors.He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1966.They performed together regularly. Baku 2017 interviews para-judo athlete Ilham Zakiyev [VIDEO] Sports Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:15:00 +0400 Azerbaijan’s para-judo athlete Ilham Zakiyev was interviewed by the official website of Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Game.Zakiyev is 6 times European Champion and 2 times World Champion.He won gold medal at the Athens and Beijing 2008 Paralympics and bronze medal at London 2012 Paralympics. He is a gold medalist of Baku 2015 European Games.Ilham Zakiyev received honored master of sports title in 2009. He was awarded with Honour order in 2008. In 2015 after the European Games President awarded him with the second Honour order. He is the only athlete that has Honor order in Azerbaijan.In 2012, he was awarded with Progress medal. Besides that Ilham has received Golden Chenar award of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.Ilham Zakiyev is one of the Athlete Ambassadors of Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.Don’t miss the inspirational video-interview with Ilham Zakiyev.The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games is an exciting multi-sport event uniting the Islamic world, which will take place from 12 – 22 May 2017.Athletes from Islamic countries around the world will be representing their nations over 10 days of competition across 20 different sports which include 23 disciplines (Athletics and Para Athletics, Aquatics – Diving, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Water Polo, Basketball 3x3, Football, Gymnastics – Artistic, Gymnastics – Rhythmic, Wushu, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo and Blind Judo, Wrestling – Greco, Wrestling – Freestyle, Shooting, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Zurkhaneh, Karate, Taekwondo and Weightlifting) in 16 modern competition venues in Baku.Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku was awarded the Games at the General Assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Jeddah in July 2013. </body> </html> Azerbaijan frees import of fuel oil of customs duties anew Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:53:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliEnergy-rich Azerbaijan exempted the import of fuel oil used by Azerenergy for electricity production of the customs duty.Corresponding amendments to the "Customs Rates for Export-Import Operations" were adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan.The decision will be valid until January 1, 2018.This decision was made with the aim of meeting the fuel needs for electricity generation in the country, based on the proposal of SOCAR, agreed with the Ministries of Finance, Economy, Energy and the State Customs Committee.The validity of the previous exemption expired on January 1, 2017. Import of fuel oil was exempted from customs duties from May 6, 2016.Along with the import of fuel oil, Azerbaijan also produces it in the country.Last year the country produced 485,800 tons of fuel oil against 148.100 tons a year earlier, according to the State Statistics Committee. At the same time, fuel oil consumption in 2016 was 887.400 tons (2.2 times a year).In January-February 2017, Azerbaijan produced 144.900 tons of fuel oil, and this is 37 percent less than the same period of 2016.Since August 2015 Azerbaijan started partially using black oil as fuel at its thermal power stations. Before that since 2001 Azerbaijan always used natural gas to generate power.Plans to increase the use of fuel oil in the domestic market have been developed by the Government in 2013. In February, the excise duty on domestic fuel oil was reduced 49 times to relieve pressure on producers of electricity and heat, and thus prevent the increase in prices for electricity, which costs 0.06 manat per kW. And now threefold reduction in the price of fuel oil, which becomes a major fuel for power generation, should make producers of electricity and heat even more cost-effective, as well as distribution companies, who complain about the high prices of manufacturers Rainless weather to prevail in Baku Society Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:41:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaChangeable cloudy weather awaits Bakuians on March 27, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources reported.The weather will be foggy in some places. Mild south wind will be followed with north-west wind in the afternoon. The temperature will be +5-8?C at night, +11-16?C, +18?C in some places  in daytime in Absheron peninsula, +6-8?C at night, +14-16?C  in the afternoon. Air pressure records 756. Relative humidity will be 75-85% at night, 60-65% in the afternoon.Rainless weather is expected country's regions. It will be foggy in some places at night and in the morning. West wind will waft. The temperature will be +2-7?C at night, +14-18?C in daytime, +21?C in some places, -1+4?C in mountains at night, +6-11?C in daytime. Oil prices fall amid high U.S. drilling activity Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:33:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices dipped on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity outweighed talks that an OPEC-led production cut initially due to end in mid-2017 may be extended, Reuters reported.Prices for front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil, eased 7 cents from their last close to $50.73 per barrel by 0145 GMT.In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 14 cents at $47.83 a barrel.Traders said that prices received some support from talks over the weekend between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, aimed at extending a production cut beyond the middle of the year in order to prop up the market."OPEC and non-OPEC decided to get ahead of the game this weekend, announcing they are reviewing whether the output curb deal should be extended," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, adding that this had given crude some support.But the OPEC-led cuts were offset by rising drilling activity and oil production in the United States, which traders said contributed to financial traders reducing their long positions in crude futures to the lowest level since early December."The U.S. oil rig count continued its surge ... Since its trough on May 27, 2016, producers have added 336 oil rigs (+106 percent) in the U.S.," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.The U.S. bank said that should the rig count stay at the current levels and the impact of a backlog of previously closed rigs returning to production was considered, then U.S. oil production would rise by 235,000 bpd between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first half of 2017.Since mid-2016, U.S. oil production has risen by 700,000 bpd, or 8.3 percent, to 9.13 million bpd, government data shows C-OUT-T-EIA. Armenian militaries keep high tension on frontline Politics Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe Armenian side continues military provocations and the violation of the ceasefire regime with Azerbaijan. The number of ceasefire breaches by the aggressor country was exceeding 100 times every day during the Novruz holiday.Only on March 26, the Armenian Armed Forces have 111 times violated the ceasefire in various directions along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that the Armenian army was using heavy machine guns.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Jafarli, Gushchu Ayrim, Farahli, Kamarli and Qaymagli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Ijevan district and in the Voskevan, Shavarshavan, Berdavan and Barekamavan villages of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the Alibayli, Aghdam and Munjuglu villages, as well as on nameless heights of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Aygepar, Mosesgekh, Chinari villages and on nameless heights of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Garaveliler village and on nameless heights of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh, Chilaburt villages of the Tartar district, Garagashli, Yusifjanli, Bash Garvand, Shikhlar, Marzili, Javakhirli and Shirvanli villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district.The Azerbaijani army positions were also shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Gorgan, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli and Ashagi Seyidahmadli villages of the Fuzuli district, Mehdili village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions on nameless heights of the Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan.Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. 41 PKK terrorists killed in Turkey, northern Iraq World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0400 By  TrendA total of 41 PKK terrorists were killed in separate operations in Turkey and northern Iraq, according to official sources on Sunday, Anadolu reported.At least 14 terrorists were killed in an air-backed operation by gendarmerie forces in Turkey's eastern Tunceli province early Sunday, the governor's office said in a statement.The operation left one soldier injured, the statement said, adding that the operation was ongoing in the region.On Saturday, 19 terrorists were killed in two air-backed operations in southeastern Hakkari province's Yuksekova district, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on its website.The Turkish military also conducted on Friday several air operations in northern Iraq, killing eight terrorists, the statement added.Since it resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children. Erdogan criticizes Swiss government over PKK rally World news Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:35:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday slammed again the Swiss government over a mass meeting of the members and sympathizers of the PKK terrorist group in capital Bern, Anadolu reported.Some 250 PKK members and supporters took part in a rally in front of the Federal Parliament building in the Swiss capital Bern on Saturday. In the meeting, a banner read "Kill Erdogan", picturing him with a gun pointed at his head."It is very interesting indeed that this terrorist organization is taking to the streets hand in hand with their leftist parties," Erdogan said during an opening ceremony in Istanbul's Gaziosmanpasa district.The president was referring to the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP) and The Swiss Green Party which supported the meeting, which saw no police intervention despite the banner calling for Erdogan's death.The rally was also attended by supporters of the far-left terrorist group DHKP-C, and YPG, the armed wing of PYD, which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK."Where is this place? Switzerland. Where is this place? The Netherlands. Where is this place? Belgium. Where is this place? Germany," Erdogan said in reference to the EU countries allowing public demonstrations of the PKK."When we say this, they get upset. Don't. What goes around comes around," Erdogan added.The president said Turkey did not harbor any hostile feelings for any country or society, and just wanted to establish "the best" relations with everyone."I have a message for our neighbors, and in particular the European countries, U.S. and Russia. We are not enemies with anyone. Quite the contrary, we would like to establish the best possible political, economic and social relations with each country and society," he said. Baku : A city of contrasts Society Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:19:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBaku is  a city of extremely sharp contrasts. Every step taken out the front door guaranteed to be an adventure. Wonderful parks and alleys, wide avenues, majestic and modern buildings, squares and bridges are today the essential attributes of Azerbaijani capital.  Incredible harmony of ancient and modern makes this city unique and beautiful.The bustling metropolis is filled with modern skyscrapers that stand side by side with hundreds of ancient monuments.Centuries-long history is reflected in its medieval landmarks, where the special place is given to the Old city called Icherisheher. The Old City is a unique town within the city of Baku with its own infrastructure and residential communities. The fortress is located in the center of Baku along the coast of the Caspian Sea. The unique historic monuments and a wide range of tourism options make Icherisheher one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.Baku Boulevard is a place where you can enjoy  the Caspian Sea and breathtaking night view of Baku.Shopping malls, business centers, restaurants, tea houses are well worth seeing. currency rates for March 27 Business Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:14:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for Mar. 27 was set at 1.7201 manats and 1.8654 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of manat against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsMar. 27, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.72011 euro1 EUR1.86541 Australian dollar1 AUD1.31291 Argentine peso1 ARS0.1103100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.91621 Brazilian real1 BRL0.55351 UAE dirham1 AED0.46831 South African rand1 ZAR0.1386100 South Korean won100 KRW0.15441 Czech koruna1 CZK0.0691 Chilean peso1 CLP0.26061 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.25031 Danish krone1 DKK0.25081 Georgian lari1 GEL0.70571 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.22151 Indian rupee1 INR0.02641 British pound1 GBP2.1549100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0129100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00461 Swedish krona1 SEK0.19591 Swiss franc1 CHF1.74131 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.47271 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.29081 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.63781 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00541 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0248100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11411 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.38991 Mexican peso1 MXP0.09161 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.08821 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.09451 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.2034100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.04851 Polish zloty1 PLN0.43711 Russian ruble1 RUB0.03021 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.23361 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.45871 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.34471 Turkish lira1 TRY0.47711 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05681 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.20991 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.49221 Ukrainian hryvna1 UAH0.0634100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.55771 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.2122Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2145.8248Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG30.7038Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1658.1764Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD1403.6016 Ilham Aliyev receives credentials of incoming Portuguese, Danish ambassadors (PHOTO) Politics Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:14:00 +0400 By TrendPresident of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received credentials of newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Denmark Svend Olling.Ambassador Svend Olling reviewed a guard of honor.Svend Olling presented his credentials to President Ilham Aliyev.President Ilham Aliyev then had a conversation with the Ambassador.The head of state stressed the necessity of developing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Denmark in various areas, including in the field of economy. President Ilham Aliyev noted low level of cooperation between the two countries in the economic sphere, including trade, and underlined the need to have more business contacts.Touching upon successful activity of Danish companies in Azerbaijan, Ambassador Svend Olling said his country`s company invested in Azerbaijan`s oil sector. Noting that Carlsberg operates in Azerbaijan, he pointed out now they attract investors to Azerbaijan`s food industry. The Ambassador said the Danish companies will bring modern technology to Azerbaijan, and they plan to open a turkey factory in Ismayilli district jointly with Azerbaijan`s partners. The Danish diplomat noted that an agreement on elimination of double taxation will be signed between the two countries, and vowed he will spare no efforts to contribute to expanding the bilateral bonds.The head of state underlined that the Danish companies` investing in non-oil sector of Azerbaijan`s regions correspond to Azerbaijan`s economic policy, and stressed the importance of it in terms of developing regions, expanding local production, reducing dependence on imports and increasing export opportunities.They also exchanged views over the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.The Danish diplomat noted that his country supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.Moreover, President Aliyev received credentials of newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Portugal Paula Leal da Silva.Ambassador Paula Leal da Silva reviewed a guard of honor.Paula Leal da Silva presented her credentials to President Ilham Aliyev.President Ilham Aliyev then had a conversation with the Ambassador.Ambassador Paula Leal da Silva conveyed the best wishes and deep respects of President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa to the head of state.She noted that it is her first visit to Azerbaijan, and the development of Baku made a deep impression on her. Paula Leal da Silva said Portugal is very interested in strengthening and deepening bilateral ties with Azerbaijan.The head of state noted that Azerbaijan is also keen to expand cooperation with Portugal. President Ilham Aliyev underlined the significance of conducting political consultations between the two countries, and increasing the level of economic activity and business relations.They noted that the two countries enjoy good opportunities for cooperation in the tourism sector, and discussed prospects for expansion of the bilateral bonds in this area.The head of state thanked for the greetings of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa, and asked the Ambassador to extend his greetings to the Portuguese President and Prime Minister. Italy remains leader among Azerbaijan’s foreign trade partners Business Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:29:00 +0400 By TrendItaly ranked first in the list of Azerbaijan’s foreign trading partners in Jan.-Feb. 2017 with a trade turnover of $461.5 million, said a report of Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.Italy’s share among Azerbaijan’s trade partners is 17.57 percent. Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Italy increased by 41.4 percent in Jan.-Feb. 2017, as compared to the same period of 2016, according to the report.Turkey ranked second among Azerbaijan's trading partners in the first two months of 2017. Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $239.02 million in Jan.-Feb. 2017, which is an increase of almost 70 percent compared to the same period of 2016. Turkey’s share among Azerbaijan’s trade partners is 9.1 percent.Russia with a share of 8.96 percent ($235.4 million) ranked third among trade partners of Azerbaijan in Jan.-Feb. 2017. Russia is followed by China with 8.72 percent ($228.95 million) and Germany with 4.82 percent ($126.57 million).The share of the top five countries in total trade turnover of Azerbaijan is 49.17 percent.Azerbaijani products worth $422.67 million (25.55 percent) were exported to Italy. Italy is followed by China with a share of 7.46 percent ($123.35 million), Israel with 6.76 percent ($111.89 million), Taiwan with 6.55 percent ($108.39 million) and Portugal with 5.97 percent ($98.66 million).The share of these countries in total export volume of Azerbaijan is 52.29 percent.Azerbaijan's foreign trade turnover with 137 countries totaled $2.63 billion in Jan.-Feb. 2017, which is 20.09 percent more than in the same period of 2016. Azerbaijan carried out export operations in the amount of $1.65 billion and import operations – $971.97 million. Azerbaijani president congratulates Bangladeshi counterpart Politics Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:47:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has sent a congratulatory letter to Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid."On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I extend my most sincere congratulations to you and your people on the occasion of the public holiday of the People's Republic of Bangladesh – Independence Day.On this remarkable day, I wish you robust health, success in your work, and the friendly people of Bangladesh peace and prosperity" said the congratulatory letter. Azerbaijan, US – strategic partners: envoy Politics Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:35:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan is in a strategic partnership with the US, said Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the US, in an interview posted on the website.“We're allies in many ways. We have common goals, common visions,” the envoy said, adding he believes that focusing on small irregularities is a mistake.Suleymanov, speaking of Azerbaijan’s history and culture, noted that geography plays a key role in understanding the country.He said Azerbaijan is a bridge connecting cultures as it borders Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East.Influence of different cultures provides for a very secular, very modern and extremely diverse and inclusive society, according to him.The diplomat noted that Azerbaijan has an excellent relationship with the neighbors, excluding Armenia.“Unfortunately, as a result of the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the relationship between Azerbaijan and Armenia is non-existent. I am hoping that we will see an improvement in this area. But, of course, that conflict needs to be resolved.”Speaking about development of the oil industry in Azerbaijan, the envoy noted that oil helped to make the country’s capital Baku a cosmopolitan international city and Azerbaijan invests in infrastructure development.He said Azerbaijan is considered to be among the best countries for investments by the World Bank.The country’s economy grew enormously and the GDP growth in 2008-2009 was the fastest in the world, which is certainly energy related, the envoy said, adding energy resources cannot solve everything and it is necessary to invest in infrastructure.Suleymanov noted that the oil price falling decreased Azerbaijani revenue significantly.“At the same time, I think, overall, we managed to maintain normalcy, the social payments, maintain the salaries. People are understanding that there is a difficulty but it is difficult to relate it to the global shocks.”The envoy further noted that people’s attempts to impose their own vision of what democracy should look like are a mistake, he said, adding that democracy is different everywhere.“I would say Azerbaijan is an emerging democracy, but it's a democracy which takes into account its own pace of development. It focuses on the building blocks of democracy. I would even say civil society,” Suleymanov said.Inclusiveness, diversity, and respect for women, respect for minorities – those are important factors and without that there can be no democracy, he added. Armenian president aims to calm public anger by new agreement with EU World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:18:00 +0400 By  TrendArmenian President Serzh Sargsyan, by announcing a new EU-Armenia agreement, wants to soothe popular anger over the worsening domestic socio-economic situation, reads an article posted on the website of The Jamestown Foundation.On Feb. 27, Armenia concluded negotiations with the EU on a comprehensive and expanded partnership agreement, which is expected to be signed this year, possibly as early as May, said the article.“The government is also trying to change the narrative that Armenia has become Russia’s vassal, which has completely distanced itself from the West.”The elections will be the first since the constitutional amendments of 2017 that have restructured the country from a presidential to a parliamentary republic. The amendments are viewed as serving incumbent President Sargsyan’s plan to maintain power as prime minister. In the meantime, domestic tensions in Armenia are rising. Recent armed incidents involving parliamentary candidates of the ruling and opposition parties are just a case in point, according to the article.“Over the past year, particularly after the deadly April 2016 clashes with Azerbaijan in Karabakh, significant swathes of Armenian society have become disillusioned with Russia.”Furthermore, Armenia’s diplomatic failure to rally support from its allies within the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), particularly from Belarus and Kazakhstan, is another factor driving Yerevan to upgrade its relations with the EU, read the article.The article stated that Sargsyan publicly criticized the CSTO during his recent visit to Russia, where he met with his counterpart, Vladimir Putin.“It was following a meeting with Putin on September 3, 2013, that President Sargsyan initially abandoned the AA [Association Agreement] to join the Russia-led Customs Union and then the EEU. He recently stated that the 2013 decision was motivated by the fact that “otherwise Armenia would pay for Russian energy supplies at world market prices.”President Sargsyan has suggested that the new agreement is not much different from the 2013 agreement, the article said.But in fact, the agreement is drastically different because it lacks any free-trade component due to Armenia’s obligations under the EEU. Moreover, the country’s memberships in the EEU and CSTO effectively bar serious European integration perspectives for Armenia, according to the article.It was also noted that the full text of the agreement has not yet been made public, and the details remain unspecified.“This allows Yerevan, in the meantime, to sell the domestic audience on the importance of the new agreement, which is likely to be little more than a rhetorical upgrade of existing Armenian-EU relations.” S&P revises outlook on Kazakh Grain Insurance company World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:28:00 +0400 By  TrendThe International Rating Agency S&P Global Ratings has revised its outlook on Kazakhstan-based Grain Insurance Co. JSC to developing from positive, the rating agency said.At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'B' long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings, as well as its 'kzBB+' national scale rating on the company.“The outlook revision stems from the possibility that Grain Insurance's capital or performance may be affected by changes in the business fortune of its shareholder. In our base-case scenario, however, we expect the main rating factors will remain balanced over the next 12 months, and we continue to see positive developments in the company's enterprise risk management,” S&P said.The rating affirmation reflects the view of the company's highly vulnerable business risk profile and weak financial risk profile.S&P believes that Grain Insurance's weak competitive position, stemming from its very small size in terms of premium written, 1.6 billion Kazakhstani tenge (or $4.6 million) in 2016, and its predominant focus on the agricultural sector, are so far not affected. Grain Insurance's financial risk profile continues to be supported by capital adequacy that significantly exceeds the threshold for the 'AAA' level, as well as by overall positive view that the regulatory framework provides some protection against negative intervention from shareholders.“We note, however, that given uncertainties with regards to the future business fortunes of Nurlan Tleubaev, and ongoing financial difficulties across his businesses, we cannot rule out direct or indirect effects on Grain Insurance,” S&P said.The developing outlook on Grain Insurance indicates that S&P could affirm, raise, or lower its ratings on the company during the next 12 months.A positive rating action would depend on Grain Insurance's financial and business risk profiles remaining immune to the ongoing financial difficulties of its shareholder, as well as on improvements in Grain Insurance's enterprise risk management, notably the tightening and further enhancement of risk management practices linked to catastrophe and accumulation risks.S&P could take a negative rating action if it sees that Grain Insurance's financial or business risk profile is weakening as a result of its shareholder's ongoing financial difficulties. In particular, the rating agency could downgrade the company if it observes significant deterioration of capitalization or if it believes that its current niche competitive position is at risk. Iran receives third Airbus today World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:06:00 +0400 By  TrendIran says it expects the third new Airbus aircraft from a batch of 100 planes purchased from the European aviation giant to land at an airport in Tehran this evening.Farhad Parvaresh, the managing director of Iran’s national flag carrier Iran Air, arrived in French City of Toulouse on March 24 to take delivery of the third plane, IRNA news agency reported.Last January, Iran signed a deal worth $18 billion with Airbus to purchase 100 new planes including 46 A320 Family, 38 A330 Family, and 16 A350 XWB aircraft. Iran received its first Airbus (A320) in January.Following years of sanctions, Iran’s aviation industry has become aged and remains underdeveloped. The country plans to buy about 500 new aircraft in future. Azerbaijani oil prices for March 20 – 24 Business Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:49:00 +0400 By  TrendAverage price of AZERI LT CIF, extracted at Azerbaijan’s Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block of fields, was $51.99 per barrel on March 20-24 or $0.55 per barrel less than the previous week.The highest price of AZERI LT was $53.06 per barrel, while the lowest price was $51.38 per barrel during the reporting period.Azerbaijan sells AZERI LT via the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Georgian ports of Batumi and Supsa. The oil is supplied to Ceyhan via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and to Georgia via the Baku-Supsa pipeline, as well as by rail.Average price of URALS (EX-NOVO), exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port, was $47.08 per barrel on March 20-24 or $0.61 per barrel less than the previous week.The highest price for URALS was $47.95 per barrel and the lowest price was $46.47 per barrel on March 20-24.Azerbaijan sells the oil supplied via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline through Russia’s Novorossiysk port.Average price of Brent Dated was $50.1 per barrel on March 20-24 or $0.1 per barrel less than the previous week.The highest price for Brent was $50.86 per barrel and the lowest price was $49.59 during the reporting period. Uzbek, Russian PMs to hold talks in late March World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:37:00 +0400 By  TrendPrime ministers of Uzbekistan and Russia Abdulla Aripov and Dmitry Medvedev will mull economic cooperation between the two countries in Moscow Mar. 28, a representative of the Uzbek government told Trend.The sides will discuss expansion of trade and economic cooperation, increasing supplies of marketable products, implementation of joint projects in energy, transportation and agriculture, as well as cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian spheres, according to the government representative.It was noted that the PMs’ meeting will precede the state visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Russia, scheduled for early April.Russia is one of Uzbekistan’s leading trading partners – about 20 percent of the Uzbek foreign trade turnover accounts for this country. The Uzbekistan-Russia trade turnover exceeded $4 billion in 2016. Russia invested more than $6 billion in the Uzbek economy. Uzbek president to visit China in May World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:28:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will pay a state visit to China in May.This was announced at a meeting of the subcommittee on trade and economic cooperation of the Uzbek-Chinese intergovernmental committee on cooperation in Tashkent.Preparations are currently ongoing for the visit, according to the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade.China is the largest investor in the Uzbek economy – the total volume of Chinese investment currently amounts to $7.6 billion. Iran’s oil exports to EU to hit 800,000 bpd World news Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:12:00 +0400 By  TrendIran expects increase in its crude oil exports to the European countries during the next two months, Ali Kardor, the country’s deputy oil minister, said.Iran currently exports over 500,000 barrels of oil to Europe on a daily basis, Kardor said, IRNA news agency reported March 18.Kardor, who heads the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said that his company aims to increase the figure to 800,000 barrels per day within the next two months.Iran exported 2.298 billion barrels of crude oil per day in February, he said, adding that the country’s condensate exports reached 700,000 barrels per day in the period.Kardor said that Iran’s crude oil output will reach 4 million barrels per day by May.Europe’s share of Iranian oil exports was 767,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December 2016, up by 10 percent from November, and very close to pre-sanction export levels that averaged 800,000 bpd.