Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az Azerbaijani pianist performs at Silk Road Music Conference http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163496.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani pianist Turan Manafzade joined the third International Silk Road Music Conference both with a concert performance and as the maestro of the Silk Road Orchestra.The third International Silk Road Music Conference was conducted under the auspices of the Association of Music Trainers (MÜZED) and with the cooperation of the International Community for Turkish Culture (TÜRKSOY) and the Turkic World Musical Education Union (TÜRKMEB), Azertac reported.The first maestro who represented Azerbaijan on the world stage, Manafzade performed works by composers from the Turkic world, including Gara Garayev, Ferit Anlar, Hasan Uçarsu, Khatira Ahmedli Jafar and others.The Silk Road Orchestra is also expected to participate in the 33rd International Society for Music Education (ISME) 2018 Baku World Conference.Turan Manafzade studied conducting at Istanbul Mimar Sinan Faculty of Fine Arts with the famous Italian maestro Antonio Pirolli for a while.Manafzade, who will be granted the title of "the first maestro representing Azerbaijan on the world stage," attracted great attention with the arrangement she made on "Lachin", a traditional Azerbaijan folk song. The "Lachin" video clip by Manafzade  gained popularity on YouTube. A video clip by Manafzade presenting the arrangement she made on "Lachin," an Azerbaijani folk song, was released recently. Azerbaijan issues concessional loans worth 63.3M manats in 1H17 http://www.today.az/news/business/163499.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:49:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAzerbaijan is working on the creation of 38 agrarian parks, the total cost of which is 207 million manats ($121.7 million).Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev made the remarks at an expanded meeting of the ministry's board, dedicated to the results of the first half of 2017.The Minister stressed that the agro-parks are being created in Samukh, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Shabran, Salyan, Shamakhi, Fizuli, Jalilabad and Ismayilly districts, to the establishment of which the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) allocated 76.1 million manats ($44.7 million).He went on to say that currently, 14 modern livestock complexes with total area of 37,300 square meters are being built in 12 regions of the country, 24 large grain farms with total area of 120,300 hectares in 17 regions, 32 large farms with a total area of 44,000 square meters in 20 regions.Addressing the meeting Mustafayev noted that in just 6 months the NFES issued concessional loans in the amount of 63.3 million manats ($37.2 million) to 690 entrepreneurs, adding that investment projects, which will be implemented at the expense of these funds, will help to open more than 2,300 new jobs.To date, more than 33,500 entrepreneurs received concessional loans in the amount of more than 2 billion manats ($1.2 billion).Moreover, the government created mechanisms to support competitive production, such as issuance of document of investment incentives.Azerbaijani businessmen became eligible to get the investment incentives documents following the approval of amendments proposed to the Tax Code of the country.Under the investment incentives document, half of the revenue of an individual entrepreneur, profits of legal entity are exempted from income tax for seven years. Import of equipment for the implementation of the projects is also exempt of VAT and customs duties.Minister stressed that to date173 documents of investment incentives have been issued for implementation of projects worth 1.6 billion manats ($940.5 million) and added that thanks to this projects 11,000 people will be employedMoreover,1.3 million manats ($764.2 million) have been returned to Azerbaijani exporters since early 2017, and 200.4 million manats ($117.8 million) in 2016 as part of the program on the refund of a part of expenditures for the export of non-oil products, the minister added.The state refunds 3-6 percent of the customs value of goods to non-oil exporters within the framework of mechanisms on promoting exports of non-oil products.Further he spoke about creation of Industrial Zones in Aghdam, Aghstafa and Gazakh regions of the republic.Currently, work is underway on creating two industrial zones in Azerbaijan’s Masally and Neftchala districts. The minister noted that 3 enterprises already operate in the Neftchala Industrial Zone and other six enterprises are planned to start operating in 2017.The design work, he said, has already been completed in the Masally Industrial Zone and the creation of infrastructure will begin soon.There is very high interest in this Industrial Zone, and as of now, 33 projects worth over 33 million manats ($19.4 million), which can be implemented in the industrial zone, have been presented to the Economy Ministry.Along with Industrial Zones, five industrial parks have been created in Azerbaijan: Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park, Balakhani, Garadagh, Mingachevir and Pirallahi Industrial Parks.Investors, engaged in industrial parks, are exempted from the value added tax (VAT), customs duties, as well as contributions on compulsory state social insurance to seven years.Encouraging business doing in the country is one of the priorities for the Azerbaijani government, which supports entrepreneurs through creating necessary conditions for the development of a healthy business environment in the country.Further Mustafayev stressed that Azerbaijani companies will take part in a tender for the construction of a gas pipeline in Pakistan, adding that preliminary agreement was reached on the results of the export mission to Pakistan, which was held this year.In total, within the promotion of the Made in Azerbaijan brand 8 export missions were organized to China, the UAE, Germany, Pakistan, Qatar, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.In addition, within the framework of export missions, Azerbaijan has already concluded agreements on the supply of wine to China, apple and pomegranate juice in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Malaysia, industrial paints in Kazakhstan. IMF ready to support Uzbekistan in economy reforming http://www.today.az/news/regions/163495.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:47:00 +0400 By  TrendThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to provide support to Uzbekistan in reforming its economy, the IMF said in a message after the visit of its mission led by Mr. Albert Jaeger to Tashkent July 17–24.“The IMF stands ready to provide further technical cooperation and policy advice to support the authorities’ reform plans,” the IMF said.The mission welcomed the authorities’ comprehensive plans to reform the economy, based on the 2017-2021 strategy for further developing Uzbekistan approved by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.“If implemented in a timely and effective manner, these plans could significantly strengthen the economy’s ability to create good jobs and sustainable growth,” the IMF said.The mission especially welcomed the authorities’ plan to frontload reforms of the foreign exchange system.“Unifying exchange rates and allowing a market-based allocation of foreign exchange resources would allow the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (CBU) to pivot to a stability-oriented monetary policy capable of effectively controlling inflation,” the IMF said.The mission also welcomed the authorities’ determination to work toward improving the quality and transparency of economic statistics. The mission also welcomed the authorities’ intention to join the IMF’s enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS).It was agreed that the next Article IV consultation will take place in fall 2017. Armenia again uses combat UAV against Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/163498.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:46:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe Armenian troops have again committed a provocation against Azerbaijani Armed Forces. They used combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on the line of contact of troops located in the territory of the Tartar region, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on July 25.The handicraft made device stuffed with incendiary substance, explosives and metal elements was dropped to the positions of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces, ultimately injuring soldier Babakishiyev Muraz Kamal oglu.The soldier was delivered to the hospital and currently his life is not in danger. "The National Army takes measures to stop the Armenian provocation," the Defense Ministry said.Armenia uses UAVs against Azerbaijan from time to time. Last time, Azerbaijani Armed Forces destroyed an Armenian UAV over the Azerbaijani positions in the Tartar direction of the front. Moreover, this year the Azerbaijani Army destroyed Armenian UAVs near Agdam and Tovuz regions and the Talish village in March, February and January.Today, it is obvious that by such provocations Armenia tries to hinder the peace talks over the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Although Azerbaijan is long ready to resolve the problem, the Armenian side prefers to continue shelling of the Azerbaijani troops and villages rather than coming to the negotiating table. Erdogan: Turkey not to abandon purchase of S-400 system http://www.today.az/news/regions/163494.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:36:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkey will not abandon the purchase of S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia and nobody should be concerned about it, Turkish media quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying July 25.Erdogan said the US is not concerned about Greece’s using the S-400 system, so why should be the US concerned about Ankara’s purchasing S-400.“Turkey and Russia have already signed an agreement on the purchase of S-400 Triumph system and Ankara will receive it,” Erdogan said.Fikri Isik, Turkey’s former defense minister, said earlier, “it will be impossible to integrate Russian S-400 Triumph into the NATO system.” Azerbaijan, Georgia to hold consultations on border delimitation http://www.today.az/news/politics/163493.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:25:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovNext consultations on delimitation of the state border between Azerbaijan and Georgia will be held in autumn in Tbilisi, a diplomatic source told Trend on July 25.During the consultations, the sides are expected to consider the issues of the state border crossing and to continue discussions on the disputed sections.Both Azerbaijan and Georgia intend to complete negotiations on delimitation of the state border this year. The previous meeting of the Commission took place in April this year in Baku.Earlier, two countries’ foreign ministries stated the need to complete this process. The Chairman of the State Commission for delimitation and demarcation of state border with Georgia from the Azerbaijani side is the Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov.The length of the state border between Azerbaijan and Georgia is 480 kilometers. State Commissions of the two countries have already agreed on the most part of the borderline. Various sources state that 66-70 percent of the borderline is already agreed.Earlier Azerbaijan and Russia completed the delimitation of state border. Currently, the countries hold discussions on demarcation. Azerbaijan, Israel discuss prospects for interaction of law-enforcement authorities http://www.today.az/news/politics/163491.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:17:00 +0400 Director of Security Authority of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Nir Ben Moshe has visited Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Internal Affairs. He met with officials of the ministry to discuss prospects for developing cooperation between the law-enforcement bodies of the two countries, Azertac reported.Ben Moshe was informed of reforms conducted in Azerbaijan in the field of law-enforcement, adoption of police-related laws meeting European standards, as well as the ministry`s accomplishments in combating crime. He was also informed of the occupation of Azerbaijan`s lands by the Armenian armed forces.Ben Moshe hailed tolerance towards representatives of different cultures, ethnicities and religions in Azerbaijan. He expressed his confidence that cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Israeli law-enforcement authorities will continue to develop. Tehran creates commission to study moves against Washington’s sanctions http://www.today.az/news/regions/163492.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:05:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaIran has set up a commission to take required measures against the sanctions imposed by the U.S. over Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile development, Trend reported.Reformist MP Soheila Jelodarzadeh said that Iran is not after retaliation and it merely looks for justice but if the super powers put forward excessive demands the nation would take the necessary measures by all means.She further added that the parliamentary commission is currently planning to deal with possible situation regarding the new sanctions.Earlier, the United States brought 18 organizations and individuals to the list of sanctions on Iran's missile program.In particular, the list of sanctions included two Iranian organizations that the U.S. believes are involved in the ballistic missile program, seven organizations and five private individuals supporting the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the elite component of the Armed Forces, as well as a "criminal organization, two Iranian businessmen and a company that organized the theft of American and Western computer programs."U.S. accuses Iran of support for Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Palestinian Jihad, "threats to Israel and stability in the Middle East," support for Syrian authorities and Husit rebels in Yemen.Tehran condemned Washington's sanctions, saying that it would impose retaliatory sanctions against American individuals and companies.Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is voting today, on July 25, to impose new sanctions against Iran and Russia as well as North Korea. Earlier, Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on the legislation which "would limit any potential effort by Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow."Since the signing historical Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. has retained sanctions against Iran on the missile program, human rights and on suspicion that Tehran sponsors terrorism.Currently, presidential administration is reviewing policy on Iran, not only looking at Tehran's compliance with the nuclear deal but also its behavior in the region. Extraordinary End of The World Inspired Artworks http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163490.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:59:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan's young artist Arzu Khalilova has presented art project "Sublimation" inspired by the world end.The supposition around the nearing end of life on the Earth is the very question of global concern throughout the world. Many people are wondering whether there the end to the world and opinions differ dramatically in this regard.  .In her artworks, Arzu does not create a picture of the end of the world, but shows sublimation of living beings.As a defence mechanism, sublimation is the channeling of unacceptable feelings into more acceptable ones.In psychology, it's a defense mechanism where that transforms energy into creativity. "Everything new and extraordinary inspires me," she says. "The main direction in which I work is graphics, I am very fascinated by this genre because it is modern and very diverse. It is difficult to imagine the sphere of human life, where today graphic images are not used. Even in the digital space there are always new items of the next graphic editors, which once again confirms the relevance of this genre."Arzu considers herself a representative of the modern trend in the visual arts."I do not reject the classical school at the same time, because this is the basis of the basics, but life continues, and the world that is now changing and developing with lightning-fast speed," she added.Arzu studied at European Lyceum in Baku, Washington High School in Missouri USA, and Glion University of Higher Education in SwitzerlandHer father is the famous artist Azad Khalilov, and his brother Rauf is a filmmaker and composer of electronic music. Arzu taught drawing lessons to children in Arts Council Azerbaijan. In 2005, at the age of 12, Arzu played a starring role of Rauf Khalilov's "Universal Game" short film. In 2007, the movie was presented at the 52nd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. In 2010, she played in the movie "Stability", filmed by her brother. Arzu played her role behind the scenes, voicing in English. In 2012, movie was presented at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. 25 state properties privatized at latest auction http://www.today.az/news/business/163489.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:30:00 +0400 By Azernews By Sara IsrafilbayovaThe State Committee on Property Issues held next auction of privatization on July 25, following which 25 state properties were privatized in Azerbaijan.Seven of the sold objects are small state enterprises, 11 non-residential areas and 7 vehicles.Two small state enterprises and nine non-residential areas were privatized in Baku, five small state enterprises and two non-residential areas were privatized in other cities and regions of the country.State properties privatized in the capital city are located in the Binagadi, Yasamal, Nizami, Khatai and Narimanov regions.In order to protect state property and effectively manage it in the new economic realities, President of Azerbaijan signed a decree on 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.The portal for privatization – privatization.az, 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 develop the business environment of Azerbaijan.Moreover, the State Committee on Property Issues held the first electronic auction on July 4.The "electronic auction" service, which is available on the website privatization.az, combines the privatization procedure of vehicles and equipment. In the future, it will be possible to privatize small state enterprises and facilities, joint-stock companies through electronic auction. Now, the corresponding work in programming is being implemented. Turkey creating special commission for historical heritage http://www.today.az/news/regions/163487.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:15:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkey will create a special commission for historical heritage, the country’s media reported.Reportedly, the commission will have the right to appeal to foreign countries on the return of historical artifacts related to the heritage of Turkey.The commission will include MPs from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the Republican People’s Party (CHP).According to the Turkish media, the commission will have to present within three months a list of all the artifacts taken out of the country during the First and Second World Wars. Ancient settlements found in country's southern region http://www.today.az/news/society/163486.html Society Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:55:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliScientists discovered ancient settlements in the southern region of Azerbaijan Yardimli.Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the ANAS discovered new monuments during the archaeological excavations.Head of the expedition PhD. Anar Agalarzade told Trend that the work was carried out in graveyard monuments, stone box graves and mounds in Saribulag and Chichekli pastures located 2,000 meters above the sea level.“During the excavations in mounds scientists found a large number of pottery fragments, labor tools, heat and animal bones. We suppose that these burial monuments are of a ritual character and belong to late Bronze – early Iron Ages.The scientists also revealed two types of mounds such as stone-covered mounds and chrome plated surrounded mounds.“All these diversities are important factors to study culture and funeral rites of people leading semi-nomadic way of life, who lived here in the II millennium-I millennium BC.Agalarzade said that coal residues and animal bones withdrawn from the tomb monuments will be send to relevant laboratories for determining their history and functional purpose.The head of the expedition also said that they found ancient dwelling places in Elbeyi, Jalalyurdu, Shahnishan and Darakechmez pastures.“Today, there are modern settlements in these places and this indicates that Azerbaijani people have kept the traditions and principles of economic life for thousands of years.Yardimli region is rich with ancient archaeologist findings. Earlier in 2014 archaeologists found more than 30 burial mounds and tombs dating back to II-I centuries BC in Yardimli’s Alar village.   Arab Four puts nine organizations on blacklist http://www.today.az/news/regions/163485.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:49:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaThe recent decision of Arab countries to add new people and entities to the blacklist for links with Qatar will less likely result in prompt Gulf crisis resolution, which is high considered to be a number one priority for the international community.Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have added nine entities and nine individuals to their individual ban lists because of alleged links to Qatar.Earlier, these four countries have already put 59 people and 12 organizations on blacklists for financing terrorism and receiving support from Qatar. The Arab countries promised that the list of people and organizations supporting terrorism will be updated.The list has been replenished by entities from Libya and Yemen, as well as individuals from Qatar, Yemen and Kuwait, who have direct and indirect links to Qatari authorities. Saudi-led block has accused the listed individuals of assisting the terrorist groups Jabhat al Nusra and Al Qaeda.Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain in June cut off diplomatic relations, severed air, land and sea links with Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting terrorism, and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries within two weeks.In early July, the Arab states sent a list of demand and required Doha to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation. Doha refused to fulfill these requirements calling the list unrealistic and not actionable. On July 19, Saudi-led block reduced the list of requirements for Qatar and urged Doha to commit to six common 'principles' on combating "extremism" and "terrorism", and to negotiate a plan with specific measures to implement them without a specific time-frame.These principles include commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all their forms and to prevent their financing, suspending all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence, full compliance with the Riyadh Agreement of 2013, adherence to all the outcomes of the Arab Islamic American Summit held in May 2017, and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of states.Currently, Kuwait acts as the main mediator in the crisis.  Russian embassy not entitled to comment on Azerbaijani court's decision: press-attache http://www.today.az/news/politics/163484.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe Russian Embassy in Baku refused to comment on the decision taken by the Azerbaijani court with regard to Alexander Lapshin, a citizen of Russia. "The Russian Embassy does not consider itself entitled to comment on the decision of the Azerbaijani court," press attaché of the Embassy Denis Apashkin told RIA Novosti on July 25.The Russian Embassy in Baku will provide the necessary assistance to Alexander Lapshin, citizen of Russia and Israel arrested in Azerbaijan, if he requests the transfer Apashkin added. Last week, the Baku Court on Grave Crimes sentenced the blogger Lapshin to three years of imprisonment on charges of his illegal visits to the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani lands and a criminal conspiracy with the Armenians living there.“The Embassy is in contact with Lapshin’s lawyer and family. The Embassy will continue to participate in the protection of Lapshin’s rights within its competence,” said Apashkin.Commenting on the possible extradition of Lapshin to Russia, the press attaché said that Russia and Azerbaijan have an agreement to transfer convicted persons to serve their sentence in the country of their citizenship.“If Lapshin wants to take the opportunity provided for by this agreement, the Embassy will provide him with all necessary assistance,” Apashkin said.Earlier, Lapshin’s lawyer Eduard Chernin told Trend that the issue of his extradition is not on the agenda, as it is impossible as long as the court decision doesn’t come into force.Blogger Lapshin violated Azerbaijani laws on state border in April, 2011 and October, 2012. Helped by his accomplices in the occupied territories, Lapshin paid a number of visits to Azerbaijan’s occupied lands, where he voiced support for "independence" of the illegal regime, and made public calls against Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territorial integrity on April 6 and June 29, 2016.The blogger was arrested in Minsk in late 2016 and transferred to Baku in February 2017.By the decision of the Baku Court on Grave Crimes, Lapshin will serve his three-year sentence in a general regime colony.Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia are considered illegal, and any individuals paying such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's “black list.” Sea Cup-2017 Introductory briefing, Judicial Commission meeting held in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/163483.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:13:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAn Introductory briefing on security measures, organization and procedure for the international contest Sea Cup-2017 as well as a meeting of the Judicial Commission were held at the Azerbaijan Naval Forces headquarters on July 24.Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported that during the event, the commission reviewed previously approved Regulation of the competition, and heard the proposals of the parties on additional changes and organizational issues. The meeting also clarified a list of Judicial Commission and the time of the inspection of the places where the episodes will be held.Berths, training facilities and other training centers, are fully prepared for conducting the Sea Cup-2017 competition at a high level, the Defense Ministry noted.On July 22 and 23, the delegations of the Iranian, Kazakh and Russian Navies arrived at the Baku port to take part in the competition. The contest, to be held in the territorial waters of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea on August 1-11, will consist of three stages, including “Artillery firings,” “Ship damage control and rescue training,” and “Maritime training.”Meanwhile, a delegation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces departed for Moscow on July 24 to participate in the competitions “Tank Biathlon” and “Field Kitchen” to be conducted as part of the International Army Games-2017.Another group of Azerbaijani servicemen will leave for Kazakhstan in the coming days to take part in the competitions “Sniper line” and “Masters of artillery fire.”The Sea Cup is held in the framework of the International Army Games. The competition has become a modern form of military training. Last year, Azerbaijan successfully performed in the Army Games held in Russia.Participating in the contests Tank biathlon and Caspian Cup of the international military competition, representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces became the winners of various stages in both categories. Azerbaijani military seamen ranked second at the Caspian Cup 2016 and were awarded with special medals. Turkish businessmen to invest in Azerbaijani hazelnut orchards http://www.today.az/news/business/163488.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:02:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliTurkey, ranking the world's third largest producer of hazelnuts after China and the U.S., invests in Azerbaijan in order not to lose leadership in the hazelnut market.Turkish businessmen began buying or renting hazelnut gardens in Azerbaijan and Georgia in large quantities, according to the Turkish media.“Currently, hazelnuts are grown on an area of 32,000 hectares in Georgia, and in 42,000 hectares Azerbaijan," said a company official represented in the sector. "The potential of the two countries is measured by hundreds of thousands of hectares. If the necessary measures are not taken, the primacy in the hazelnut market can move to countries that we do not consider to be competitors.” Today large international companies specializing in the production of chocolate invest large investments in the expansion of hazelnut areas in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Chile and Argentina in order to take Turkey's lead.Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the U.S. and other countries in total, produce about 30 percent of the total hazelnut production manufactured in Turkey. This means approximately 250,000-300,000 tons. About 70 percent of world production and export of hazelnut falls on Turkey.Last year, Turkey earned revenues of nearly $2 billion from exports of the nuts, mainly to Italy, France and Germany.Relying on its amazingly rich and variable nature, Azerbaijan plans to expand the exports of hazelnuts.In Azerbaijan, the hazelnut production and the exports of persimmons fetch biggest revenue among agricultural produce, therefore, the country pays very serious attention to these two areas.Last year hazelnut orchards were established on an area of 13,000 hectares of a total 30,000 hectares of hazelnut orchards. The future goal of the country is to establish hazelnut orchards on a further 40,000 hectares, expanding the geography of hazelnut production, which currently involves 13 regions of the country.Hazelnuts are produced in Baku, Absheron, Ganja-Gazakh, Sheki-Zagatala, Upper Karabakh, Lankaran, and other regions of the country.Meanwhile, one of the regions of Azerbaijan -- Gabala is increasing export of hazelnuts to Europe.Cultivation of hazelnuts is significantly important for the region. Built in 2005, the plant in Gabala also processes hazelnuts from neighboring regions such as Oguz, Zagatala and Gakh.The plant produces products from nuts, including peanut puree, chocolate cream, sweet and salty hazelnut as well as chocolate with hazelnuts.Azerbaijan entered top ten countries with the largest production of hazelnuts in 2012, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. However, the country could not reach large revenues from the export of hazelnuts.Despite the fact that the main market for the national product is Russia, specialists claim that it is more profitable for the country to export to Europe, as hazelnuts are sold more expensive there. Meeting between Aliyev, Putin: cooperation and regional problems http://www.today.az/news/politics/163497.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliImportant regional and international issues were on the agenda of the meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and President Vladimir Putin, as they met in Sochi on July 21.The meeting was not announced previously, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reported about it at the last moment. In diplomacy it is accepted so that if the meeting is not announced, it means that it is planned to meet briefly in connection with some important issues.It is past a long time since Putin and Aliyev met last time, what means many questions have accumulated in bilateral relations.The subject of these discussions was not only bilateral relations, but also the complex of the geopolitical situation in the region and its assessment in a global context.Baku and Moscow have many joint plans for the future, said President Putin, expressing his satisfaction to have the opportunity to discuss both the bilateral relations and the situation in the region.  “The situation in the region is complex. I hope that our meeting today will allow us to find ways of solving all difficult problems,” he said.The very genre of the working meeting involved discussing a certain specific issue or issues for receiving or transmitting information and sharing assessments. The need for such contact appears only when there is mutual interest and a need to make an agreed decision.It turns out that there is a situation that calls for personal intervention of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia. But what is the situation? There is no answer to this question, since the parties did not make explanatory statements following the results of the talks.Analyzing the activities of Russian diplomacy in the Transcaucasian direction, it can be concluded that Moscow began to pay increased attention to the problems of security and stability in this region, as there is a real danger of systemic transfer of conflict from the Middle East to Transcaucasia.Some experts claim that Azerbaijan's cooperation with Russia can solve many economic, political, regional and geopolitical issues. The heads of state certainly considered the issues of the international agenda, in particular coordinated possible actions of Moscow and Baku on resolving the Syrian problem, where Russia is one of the main players and Azerbaijan is an observer.Another important topic of the talks was the development of cooperation in trilateral formats, such as Azerbaijan-Russia-Turkey and Azerbaijan-Russia-Iran, which became even closer recently, aiming to provide serious support to regional development.The level of personal communication between the heads of the two states allows them to just meet unexpectedly, as it was on Friday evening during Russian leader’s vacation in Sochi, and discuss the agenda of bilateral relations as effectively as possible. This fact largely determines the level and quality of relations between the two states, which are currently at the highest level.“Of course, we will also talk about how the bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation are developing. We have a great deal of works and joint projects for the future,” said the Russian leader.President Aliyev, for his part, expressed his confidence that the meeting will give a good impetus to the development of friendly relations.“We meet on a regular basis. These meetings give a good impetus to the development of our bilateral relations, which successfully continue. We are satisfied with the level, high level of our relations. We enjoy active cooperation in political, trade and economic, humanitarian areas. There are good prospects in the fields of transport and energy. Our relations are multifaceted, and cover almost all areas of our life. Of course, we need to regularly conduct consultations on important issues – regional affairs, global politics, bilateral relations and the strengthening of security in our region,” noted the Azerbaijani president.No doubt, the main topic of the discussions between the two neighboring leaders was the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in view of the latest incident occurred in 400 meters from the frontline, when residents of the Alkhanly village Sahiba Allahverdiyeva, 50, and her granddaughter Zahra Guliyeva, 2, were killed as result of Armenian provocation.  Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan are under the control of the Armenian military and separatists since a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended in 1994. Negotiations lasting for over 20 years have brought little progress in resolving the conflict, though a fragile truce has been in place.Russia is one of the important co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group established to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the main force in the region, and an important partner for Azerbaijan.The northern neighbor is simply more active than other co-chairing countries such as France and the U. S., that’s why Azerbaijan is increasing the pressure.Thus, Baku and Moscow once again made it clear that the strategic character of friendly and good-neighborly relations between the two countries is unshakable.Modern relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are a great example of strategic partnership, when the positions of the two countries coincide on most of the key issues. Moreover, these relations are even stronger given the fact that they are based on mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.The legal framework of relations between the two countries includes more than 200 interstate, intergovernmental and interregional agreements. In addition, the economic factor is also important, as Russia is one of the main trade partners of Azerbaijan, and the development of mechanisms for regional cooperation in the trilateral format generally provides for the same approaches of the two countries to many issues.The presidents' meeting in Sochi is of crucial importance in terms of discussing the bilateral and regional issues, and searching the ways of addressing the current complex problems in the region.Proceeding from Moscow's actions, Baku places certain hopes on Russia not only as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the country, geographically and historically closely connected with the South Caucasus, but also as a strategic partner, relations with which have been tested over time. Ashgabat, Bishkek mull prospects of trade, economic co-op http://www.today.az/news/regions/163480.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:51:00 +0400 By  TrendPresidents of Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Almazbek Atambayev, during a phone conversation confirmed the existence of great potential for enhancing relations on a wide range of areas.In this regard, the sides noted the expediency of joint work on the issues of expanding the range of mutually supplied goods and services, creating conditions for establishing a dialogue between representatives of business circles.The two presidents called for further stimulation of scientific, educational and cultural contacts, active cooperation in the field of sports and tourism.Meanwhile, Berdimuhamedov and Atambayev exchanged views on relevant issues of mutual interest of regional and international agenda.They also emphasized that the existing high level of mutual understanding and trust is a solid foundation for productive interaction both at the bilateral level and in the multilateral format, in particular, within big international organizations and structures, primarily the UN and the CIS.Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan are involved in a big project for the delivery of Central Asian gas to China, primarily from Turkmenistan.The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been purchasing natural fuel in this region since 2009, after the first two branches of the gas pipeline (A and B) from Turkmenistan through the territories of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were launched. The third branch (C) has been commissioned recently, which also runs along this route.Currently, work is underway to build the additional fourth branch (D) – on a new transit route – through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. OPEC+ Monitoring Committee sums up results for 1H17 http://www.today.az/news/business/163481.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:45:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaMinisters from the OPEC and other non-OPEC producers met in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on July 24.The ministerial committee on monitoring the fulfillment of the agreement on the reduction of oil production in OPEC + countries, following the results of the fourth meeting held for the first time in St. Petersburg, announced the results of the transaction for the first half of 2017, having estimated its level at 98 percent, according to RIA Novosti.The ministerial committee includes representatives of Venezuela, Kuwait, Algeria, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Secretary General of OPEC Mohammed Barkindo.OPEC and other oil producing countries reduced oil production by 351 million barrels in January-June, according to the committee.Energy Minister of Russia Alexander Novak said that the full implementation of obligations by the countries of the transaction will withdraw from the market about 200,000 barrels of oil per day.Thus, despite the high level of commitment to the agreement, the committee encourages all participants to implementation of the transaction by 100 percent.The ministerial committee will continue to cooperate with all parties individually, especially those, whose level does not yet correspond to the agreements, the statement says.The Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, in turn, suggested participants in the deal take into account export data when monitoring the implementation of the Vienna agreement, explaining this by the fact that the data on oil exports sometimes do not match the data on its production.The sides also mentioned situation in Libya and Nigeria, which currently enjoys the privileged right not to limit production under the Vienna agreement in connection with attacks by military groups on oil and gas facilities of these countries.In order to clarify the situation, representatives of Libya and Nigeria were invited to the Technical Committee on July 22 and presented their plans for oil production.Earlier, Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu stated that Nigeria would support limiting its oil production to a stable level of 1.8 million barrels per day against the current 1.7 million barrels per day.Following the meeting of the ministerial committee Khalid Al-Falih stressed that the OPEC and non-OPEC members will continue to support the process of restoring oil production in Libya and Nigeria.OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached an agreement in December 2016 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.Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.The parties decided to extend the production adjustments for a further period of nine months, in May 2017. Azerbaijani judokas win 13 medals in Prague http://www.today.az/news/sports/163478.html Sports Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:16:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani judo fighters have claimed 13 medals including four golds, five silvers and four bronzes at the Junior European Cup Prague 2017 held in the Czech Republic.The tournament involved 308 fighters from 27 countries.Azerbaijan’s squad included 20 fighters, including five female fighters.The last day of the prestigious championship was successful for Azerbaijani judokas.Zelim Kotsoyev and Musa Shakaraliyev, who compete in the weight category of 100 kilograms, won all their opponents to reach the final.Gold medals came from Rakhshan Bakhshaliyev (55kg), Ahmad Yusifov (60kg), Zelim Kotsoyev (+100kg) and Nazakat Azizova (women`s 52kg), Azertac reported.Judo is one of the most developed kinds of sport in Azerbaijan, where the National Judo Federation was established in 1972.The Azerbaijani judo fighter, silver medalist of Rio-2016 Summer Olympic Games, Rustam Orujov was named the best in Azerbaijan's male team. Moreover, he is the strongest in the world in his weight class of 73kg, as well as among all weight classes.The Azerbaijani judokas also showed good performance at the Rio-2016, bringing home two silver medals.Next year the country's capital Baku will host the World Judo Championships 2018 among adults. YARAT to screen detective movie http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163479.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:05:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman Ismayilova"Sara" detective movie by Elvin Ahmadov will be screened at “YARAT” Contemporary Art Space on July 28.The detective story revolves around a young woman who lost her husband and is chased by criminals who are trying to murder her.Sara’s father-in-law is concerned with her security and hires a professional body guard who is also a martial arts master...The full-length movie will be shown in Azerbaijani language.YARAT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally. Based in Baku, YARAT (meaning CREATE in Azerbaijani) was founded by Aida Mahmudova in 2011.It realizes its mission through an on-going program of exhibitions, education events and festivals. YARAT facilitates exchange between local and international artistic networks, including foundations, galleries and museums. Third round of Common Aviation Area Agreement to be held in October http://www.today.az/news/business/163477.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:48:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAzerbaijan and the European Union (EU) agreed for the larger part on the draft Common Aviation Area Agreement.Azerbaijani Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Fuad Isgandarov made the remarks in an interview with Trend.He noted that this is a rather complicated technical project, but at the same time it has its political and economic component. “I think the dynamics of the talks on this document provide an opportunity to make optimistic conclusions about its prospects,” Isgandarov added.Brussels hosted the second round of negotiations on signing of an EU-Azerbaijan Common Aviation Area Agreement on July 4-5.A delegation led by Director of the country’s State Civil Aviation Administration Arif Mammadov represented Azerbaijan in the negotiations.Moreover, the delegation included employees of the State Civil Aviation Administration and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Belgium, as well as representatives of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry.The remarks and proposals of the Azerbaijani side were discussed, and a number of issues were clarified. The sides signed a protocol following the meeting.The Ambassador stressed that the third round of the negotiations on the draft Common Aviation Area Agreement is planned to be held in Baku in October.It is expected that the final version of the agreement will be prepared at the meeting in Baku.Further, the Ambassador touched upon the Belgian-Azerbaijani relations.He went on to say that today, the political dialogue between Azerbaijan and Belgium is at a high level, which was evidenced by the meeting of King Philippe of Belgium with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Brussels during a visit at the invitation of the European Council’s President Donald Tusk.Isgandarov emphasized that the two countries have great potential for the development of economic cooperation.The diplomat added that Azerbaijan expects greater involvement of European companies in the implementation of transport corridor projects in the country, further adding that along with the energy cooperation, Azerbaijan is also interested in attracting Belgian investments in other spheres of the economy.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Belgium amounted to $31.435 million in January-June 2017, increasing by $873,180 or 2.9 percent, as compared to the same period of 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Statistics Committee.Currently, the bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.The EU is Azerbaijan’s major trade partner. This 28-member-states union with a total population of more than 500 million people is Azerbaijan's biggest economic partner accounting for the country’s 38 percent of foreign trade share. Erdogan: U.S. shouldn’t worry about Turkey’s purchase of S-400 from Russia http://www.today.az/news/regions/163476.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:29:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaTurkey sees no reason for concern from the U.S. in connection with the Ankara-Moscow talks on the purchase of Russian S-400 air missile defense system, RIA Novosti reported."Why would it be worrying? Every country needs to take certain measures for its own security," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Ankara on July 25.The statement was made only a day after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces Joseph Dunford said that Turkey's purchase of the S-400 complexes from Russia would cause concern in Washington.“How many times have we talked with America, but it did not work there, so whether we like it or not, we began making plans about the S-400 SAM. Our interested departments are negotiating, and this step will be taken," he added.Erdogan also noted that negotiations on the missile system had been "largely" completed.Previously, Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Kozhin noted that Moscow sees no obstacles to the delivery of the S-400 to Turkey in connection with its membership in NATO.In early June, General Director of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said that Russia and Turkey agreed on all technical issues on the conclusion of a contract for the supply of Ankara S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.The S-400 is Russia's next-generation air defense system, carrying three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. The weapon is capable of tracking and destroying all existing aerial targets, including ballistics and cruise missiles. FM: Armenia politicizes falsification of history, religion at state level http://www.today.az/news/politics/163475.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:12:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovArmenian foreign minister’s visit to the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar region under the pretext of participating at a religious ceremony Gandzasar 777 is another example of how Armenia politicizes the falsification of history and religion at the state level, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend on July 24.On July 23, the Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian visited an event in the Ganjasar temple in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. Armenians have long tried to misappropriate the temple, claiming it’s allegedly Armenian, while the temple dates back to the ancient state of Caucasian Albania, which was located in the territories of present-day Azerbaijan.“I would like to remind Armenia’s FM that the Albanian-Christian temple, located in the Kalbajar region occupied by Armenian armed forces, is called Ganjasar, but not Gandzasar, and it has nothing to do with the Armenian Orthodox Church,” said Hajiyev, adding that this has been proved by Azerbaijan and foreign historians.The architecture and composition of the temple complex and sculpture elements confirm the temple’s belonging to the architecture of Caucasian Albania, said Hajiyev, adding that the pseudo-Armenian historiography is unable to explain the difference between the Ganjasar temple and an Armenian church.Spokesman noted that in general, Armenia’s appropriation of Islamic and Christian temples belonging to the Azerbaijani people is a grave violation of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions.“Participation of the Armenian FM at the event once again demonstrates that Armenia is not interested in a peaceful settlement of the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict and tries to strengthen the status quo, continuing the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent regions,” Hajiyev said.Today, Armenia wants to justify its claims to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and therefore is engaged in misappropriation of tangible and intangible heritage of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Armenians destroyed almost all cultural heritage of Azerbaijan in the occupied lands. Since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenian aggressors destroyed 1,200 historical and architectural monuments of Azerbaijan, looted 27 museums, over 100,000 items were exported to Armenia. In addition, the Armenian occupiers destroyed 152 religious monuments and 62 mosques, 4.6 million books in 927 libraries, including the Holy Quran and rare Islamic manuscripts.It is obvious that all these actions of Armenian aggressors are aimed at misleading the international community about the real history of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey to invest $1 billion in renewable energy sources http://www.today.az/news/regions/163474.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaBeing an energy importing country Turkey strives to develop its renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on other countries. Turkey plans to invest $1 billion in renewable energy sources, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said.A tender to be announced soon is expected to attract the world's leading companies in the field of wind power station construction.The minister noted that the new power plants will increase the energy security of Turkey and reduce its dependence on other countries.Albayrak also stressed that the new project of renewable energy sources will generate about 3,750 jobs.Wind farms will be located in five regions of Turkey, including the capital - Ankara, he added.Turkey's demand for energy and electricity is increasing rapidly and heavily dependent on expensive imported energy resources [around 70 percent] that place a big burden on the economy.At the same time, Turkey is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of renewable resources – hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and others. For geothermal energy the country is ranked first in Europe and seventh in the world. In addition, the solar energy is abundant due to its geographical position in the world. Turkey is also one of the countries in the world possessing high hydroenergy potential. Wind energy potential in Turkey is estimated at 160 TWh.Encouraging policies backed by favorable feed-in tariffs are expected to increase their share in the national grid in the coming years. The Turkish government has made it a priority to increase the share of renewable sources in the country’s total installed power to a remarkable 30 percent by 2023. Cybercriminal steals 3.7M manats from Azerbaijani bank, gets caught http://www.today.az/news/society/163473.html Society Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:44:00 +0400 By  TrendA cybercriminal, who stole more than 3.7 million manats from one of Azerbaijan’s commercial banks, has been caught and extradited to Azerbaijan, said the country's State Security Service.Foreign national Danila Dorin, who stole the funds, was arrested in Spain on July 23 and then extradited to Azerbaijan, according to the message.Dorin is a member of the cybercrime group that was stealing money from ATMs and the accounts not only in the Azerbaijani banks, but also in banks of other countries, said the message.A criminal case has been initiated under articles 177.3.2 (theft with causing major damage) and 273.4 (illegal interference in a computer system or computer information) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.Other group members have already been identified and investigation is currently ongoing, according to the message.The State Security Service said it will provide legal assistance to law enforcement agencies of the countries where the group committed similar cybercrimes. Iran vows to back Palestinian movements http://www.today.az/news/regions/163472.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:36:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has issued a statement condemning "Israel's siege of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem and its crackdown on Palestinian worshippers".The statement further added that the guards will not hesitate to help the Palestinian movement, Tasnim news agency reported.On July 23, Foreign Ministry of Iran also issued similar statement and condemned the Israeli crackdown on Palestinians.The statements apparently referred to the restrictions imposed by Israel to limit access to the holy Muslim shrine by Palestinians.For 10 days, Jerusalem has been in the grip of the worst bloodshed for years over Israel's decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the Old City's holy compound, Reuters reported.Israel put the devices in place on July 16, two days after two Israeli policemen were shot and killed by Israeli-Arab attackers who had concealed weapons in the compound in the heart of the Old City. Georgia says ready to expand partnership with Turkmenistan http://www.today.az/news/regions/163471.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:28:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili sent a letter to his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Turkmen government said in a message.In his letter, Margvelashvili expressed readiness to deepen and expand mutually beneficial partnership with Turkmenistan.The Georgian president pointed out the high level of bilateral relations built upon the principles of friendship and mutual respect, reads the government message.It was earlier reported that Ashgabat and Tbilisi are studying projects on creation of transport and transit infrastructure between the Caspian and Black Sea regions, the use of which will ensure broad interregional integration with the states of Europe and the Middle East. Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey’s arms? http://www.today.az/news/regions/163469.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:13:00 +0400 By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:The long-forgotten phrase “Islamic resistance” literally revived after the victory of President Donald Trump in the US elections. What kind of resistance there can be without Hamas, and, of course, without the Muslim Brotherhood, which became a headache for Qatar.As is known, these two organizations are among the key reasons which led to the Qatar crisis, the initiative on the resolution of which was taken by Ankara.Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as part of his Middle East tour, visited Kuwait, as well as Saudi Arabia, which is seen as the initiator of this crisis. Erdogan also held several meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud.It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has already unblocked today the access to the Al-Jazeera TV channel, as well as to Qatari internet resources. According to Arab analysts, these decisions, like the previous steps, are a positive move for the speedy resolution of the crisis.Previously, the states that boycotted Qatar demanded that Doha meet 12 conditions, whereas now the list of demands has been reduced to six. Meanwhile, the closure of Turkey’s Al-Rayyan military base in Qatar was excluded from the list of demands.It is obvious that the Saudi-led bloc and Qatar will be able to agree on a partial resolution of the crisis, but there is still an unresolved issue on the agenda regarding Doha’s support to such organizations as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.Several analysts in Turkey are confident that despite Qatar’s political support to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the activities of these organizations are of concern to Qatar itself and, particularly, to Turkey. Atilgan Bayar, adviser to Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the expert on foreign and domestic policy of Turkey, has the similar opinion.Some Arab media outlets also hint that the latest clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem are a clear provocation of Hamas supporters. The call for a new intifada in Palestine is a provocation by the Hamas organization, which ideologically doesn’t differ from the Muslim Brotherhood.Speaking about the solution of the Qatari crisis, it should be noted that Erdogan also visited Doha as part of the Middle East tour. It is not excluded that during the Turkish president’s visit, the further activities of the Muslim Brotherhood will also be discussed.Unlike some Arab countries, Turkey doesn’t recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Earlier, Turkey’s former Deputy Prime Minister and current Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus in an interview with the Turkish media said, “if we take into account the recent changes in the region, we can say that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only organization that has managed to prove that it can become democratic.” The Muslim Brotherhood was successful in Iraq, Syria, Libya and in particular, in Tunisia, he added.At the same time, it is obvious that Ankara has always wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to be more secular and similar to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). To this end, Erdogan has repeatedly called on the Muslim Brotherhood to carry out internal reforms.However, as it is known, after the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from the political life of Egypt, arrests of leaders of the banned organization began in the country. After being banned, the Muslim Brotherhood moved into underground activity, which is not new for them, and this, in turn, will affect the political life of Egypt in the future.Despite the ban in Egypt, one of the ideological mentors of the organization, theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi is in Qatar today. Back in 2014, Egypt demanded from Qatar to extradite al-Qaradawi, but Qatar rejected this demand of Egypt. But, what if Qatar agrees to extradite Sheikh al-Qaradawi in order to resolve the crisis?Meanwhile, even the Arab countries that don’t recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization may refuse to accept al-Qaradawi, because in almost all Arab countries there is an opinion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a real threat to the authorities.Of course, Turkey is an exception in this issue. It isn’t known yet how the Qatar crisis will develop in the future, but if Qatar decides to expel Al-Qaradawi, Ankara may agree to accept the theologian. Turkey’s real estate sales to foreigners down in 1H17 http://www.today.az/news/regions/163470.html World news Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:00:00 +0400 By  TrendIn 1H17, 97,579 real estate properties were sold to foreigners in Turkey, which is 8.1 percent less compared to the same period of 2016, says a report of the Turkish Statistical Institute.Istanbul ranks first and Ankara ranks second in real estate sales to foreigners. Foreigners purchased 17,970 properties (18.4 percent of total sales) in Istanbul and 10,160 properties (10.4 percent of total sales) in Ankara in 1H17, according to the report.The Turkish city of Izmir ranks third – foreigners bought 6,034 real estate properties (6.2 percent of total sales) in the city in 1H17.Citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait bought 1,645, 1,517 and 798 properties, respectively, in Turkey in the reporting period.Azerbaijani citizens bought 333 properties in Turkey in 1H17, said the report. Sochi meeting to contribute to Karabakh conflict settlement: expert http://www.today.az/news/politics/163468.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:50:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Russia and his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on July 21 is important in terms of developing the relations between the two countries, said Arzu Nagiyev, a political analyst and deputy director general of Trend Agency.The expert said he believes that holding of this meeting at the initiative of the Russian president shows that Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of Russia.“The announcements made in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict show that Azerbaijan is an important partner and has a casting vote in solving regional problems as well as economic, political and military issues. As is known, it is impossible to implement economic projects and solve military and political issues in the region without Azerbaijan and Russia. And this is despite the fact that pro-Armenian and anti-Azerbaijani forces in the leadership of Armenia and Russia hinder this and will continue to do so,” he said.The main issue of interest for Azerbaijan at the Sochi meeting was the process of resolving the deadlocked Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the expert.“In the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, as a successor to the Soviet Union, plays a key role in resolving this conflict and has a mechanism of full pressure on Armenia. One of the main issues discussed at the meeting was related to the steps to be taken to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is also extremely important that the heads of state mulled this issue one-on-one, and I think this will contribute to the settlement of the conflict.”The fact that prior to this meeting, Ilham Aliyev met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no less important, according to Nagiyev.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. Armenia again violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/163467.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:39:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 140 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said July 25.The Armenian armed forces were using large-caliber machine guns and 60-mm mortars.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Kohnegishlag village of the Agstafa district, Kamarli, Gaymagli, Gizilhajili villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Noyemberyan district, as well as in the Paravakar, Berkaber villages of the Ijevan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions in the Aghdam, Kokhanabi and Munjuglu villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Chinari and Aygedzor villages of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions in the Zamanli village and on nameless heights of Azerbaijan’s Gadabay district also underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Krasnoselsk district of Armenia.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh, Chilaburt villages of the Tartar district, Shikhlar, Bash Garvand, Javahirli, Garagashli, Yusifjanli, Marzili villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Ashagi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagarda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Gorgan, Kurdler and Horadiz villages of the Fuzuli district, Nuzgar, Mehdili villages of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions located on nameless heights of the Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam and Khojavand districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Currency rates for July 25 http://www.today.az/news/business/163466.html Business Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:25:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for July 25 was set at 1.7012 manats and 1.9839 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of Azerbaijani manat against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsJuly 25, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.70121 euro1 EUR1.98391 Australian dollar1 AUD1.35071 Argentine peso1 ARS0.0976100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.87261 Brazilian real1 BRL0.54081 UAE dirham1 AED0.46321 South African rand1 ZAR0.1315100 South Korean won100 KRW0.15261 Czech koruna1 CZK0.07621 Chilean peso1 CLP0.26091 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.25211 Danish krone1 DKK0.26681 Georgian lari1 GEL0.70781 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.21791 Indian rupee1 INR0.02641 British pound1 GBP2.2164100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0128100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00471 Swedish krona1 SEK0.20731 Swiss franc1 CHF1.79741 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.47721 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.36121 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.63031 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00521 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0246100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11281 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.39751 Mexican peso1 MXP0.09611 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.09391 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.09511 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.2127100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.04211 Polish zloty1 PLN0.46541 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02841 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.24981 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.45361 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.38741 Turkish lira1 TRY0.47871 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05611 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.19331 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.48681 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.0659100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.53271 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.2655Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2135.9417Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG28.0409Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1594.0244Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD1440.9164 Ilham Aliyev approves funding for Zire-Turkan highway’s construction http://www.today.az/news/politics/163465.html Politics Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:13:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order to provide funding for the construction of Zire-Turkan highway.Under the presidential order, three million manats is allocated from the Presidential Contingency Fund for the construction of the highway, which connects two residential areas with the total population of 24,000 people. Azerbaijani budo fighters win world cup http://www.today.az/news/sports/163439.html Sports Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:00:00 +0400 By  Azertac Two Azerbaijani fighters have won gold medals at the budo world cup held in Lankaran.Nijat Heydarov and Mehrali Qasimov secured the titles in 75kg and +95kg weight categories.The world cup brought together 400 fighters from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Iran and Kazakhstan. Tehran Stock Exchange returning to 81,000 points http://www.today.az/news/regions/163464.html World news Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:30:00 +0400 By  TrendMain index of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) gained70 points on Monday and reached 80933, according to the official website of TSE.The figure was 80162.5 on July 19.According to the TSE official website, 558,000 shares valued at $59 million (1.9 trillion rials) were traded for the day.Comparing to starting of May, the main index of TSE increased by 1000 points, or 1.28 percent. Number of Turkish army generals down 40% after coup attempt http://www.today.az/news/regions/163463.html World news Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:22:00 +0400 By  TrendAs a result of purges in Turkey’s armed forces after the July 15 military coup attempt, the number of generals and admirals decreased by 40 percent, the Turkish media report.There were 236 generals and admirals in the Turkish armed forces before the coup attempt, and currently, their number totals 196.Reportedly, after the military coup attempt, about 13,000 servicemen were accepted into the Turkish armed forces, and most of them are reserve officers.On July 15, 2016, Turkish authorities said a military coup attempt took place in the country as a group of servicemen announced about transition of power to them. However, the rebelling servicemen started to surrender July 16 and Turkish authorities said the coup attempt failed. More than 200 people were killed during the attempted coup. Lawyer: Lapshin's extradition is not yet possible http://www.today.az/news/podcasting/163462.html Podcasting Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe issue of extradition of the blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was sentenced to three years in prison in Baku, is not on the agenda, Lapshin’s lawyer Eduard Chernin told Trend on July 24.Last week, the Baku Court on Grave Crimes sentenced the blogger to three years of imprisonment on charges of his illegal visits to the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani lands and a criminal conspiracy with the Armenians living there.Chernin said the extradition is impossible as long as the court decision doesn’t come into force.“The verdict against Lapshin has not yet entered into force. Therefore, he is still contained in the Baku detention facility No. 1,” said the lawyer.Chernin added that he will meet with Lapshin next week.“After the meeting we will know whether he will appeal the court’s decision. Lapshin hasn’t yet made any decision in this regard,” the lawyer said.Blogger Lapshin was charged with his illegal visits to the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani lands and a criminal conspiracy with the Armenians living there. He violated Azerbaijani laws on state border in April 2011 and October 2012.Helped by his accomplices in the occupied territories, Lapshin paid a number of visits to Azerbaijan’s occupied lands, where he voiced support for "independence" of the illegal regime, and made public calls against Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territorial integrity on April 6 and June 29, 2016.The blogger was arrested in Minsk in late 2016 and transferred to Baku in February 2017.By the decision of the Baku Court on Grave Crimes, Lapshin will serve his three-year sentence in a general regime colony.Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia are considered illegal, and any individuals paying such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's “black list.” List of those who can purchase social housing expanded http://www.today.az/news/business/163461.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:53:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliThe list of categories of Azerbaijani citizens, who can purchase social housing built in several districts of the capital is expanded.So, scientists with a three-year experience will also be able to purchase housing in Azerbaijan on preferential terms, according to the State Agency for Housing Construction.Citizens belonging to this category will be able to purchase housing regardless of age or marital status.Social houses can also be purchased by civil servants with 15 years of work experience falling under a special type of public service. This category includes employees of the prosecution, justice, defense, emergency, internal affairs, foreign affairs, customs and tax authorities, the State Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the border guard service.Currently, these civil servants can already use the electronic application system. For scientific workers such an opportunity will be provided in the near future.The monthly payment for the purchase of a three-room apartment in a mortgage will not exceed 300 manats ($176.2) and for a one-room apartment it will amount to 130-150 manats ($76.4-$88.1).The State Housing Construction Agency (MIDA) under the Azerbaijani President was established in April 2016. At present, the MIDA is building the first preferential residential complex in Yasamal district of Baku, which is planned to be completed in mid-2018.The complex in Yasamal, for the construction of which was allocated a land area of 11.6 hectares, will consist of 29 multi-apartment buildings. A number of social facilities will be built in the complex, including a 240-seat kindergarten and a 960-seat secondary school. Overall, MIDA attracted investments worth 10 million manats ($5.9 million) for the construction of three residential buildings in Yasamal.One building will be transferred to the disposal of the State Agency for the sale of apartments under the program "Social Housing”, remaining 2 buildings will be sold by the investor at market prices.The second project on construction of social houses will also be implemented in the capital city. Within the second project, houses are planned to be constructed in Surakhani district, near Hovsan settlement and cover an area of some 20 hectares.Recently the national Parliament increased the expenditures of the state budget for concessional mortgages and construction of social housing by half. Under the amendments to the law "On state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2017" it is planned to allocate additional 50 million manats ($29.4 million) from the state budget.In the initial budget for the current year, expenditures under this item were 100 million manats ($58.7 million).A preferential mortgage is issued only in the Azerbaijani manat and given to citizens of the country.There are two types of product, including social [maximum period 30 years] and standard mortgage [maximum period 25 years], while the annual interest rate on services amounts to 4 and 8 percent respectively.Mortgage is given only for an apartment or private house and its amount should not be more than 80 percent of the market price of the property.  Mortgage payments cannot exceed 70 percent of borrower’s total monthly income. Azerbaijan's ballet star to perform in London http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163460.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:45:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan's ballet dancer Timur Askarov will perform in London together with ballet troupe of the Mariinsky Theatre.The traditional tours of the ballet troupe and Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra will take place at Royal Opera House Covent Garden from July 24 to August 12, Trend Life reported.The three weeks of festival will feature a wide range of performances: "Swan lake", "don Quixote", "Bayadere", "Anna Karenina" as well as a program of one-act works "Contrasts".Timur Askarov is a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre. (Azerbaijan). He graduated from the Baku Choreographic School in 2008. In 2008-2009, Timur played in the troupe of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre.Between 2009-2011, he joined the Ukraine's National Academic Opera and Ballet theatre.Timur Askarov is the winner of the prize "Soul of dance" in the nomination "Rising star" (Ballet magazine, 2012).In 2013, he was named the best among men in the duo category at International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers, which took place at the Bolshoi Theatre.His repertoire includes such works as "Giselle" (count Albrech), "La Bayadere " (Solor), "Swan Lake" (Prince Siegfried, Pas de trois), "Midsummer night's Dream" (Oberon),  "Nutcracker (Prince), "Carmen-Suite" (José), "Legend of love" (Farkhad) and other images. Azerbaijan's ballet star to perform in London http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163459.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan's ballet dancer Timur Askarov will perform in London together with ballet troupe of the Mariinsky Theatre.The traditional tours of the ballet troupe and Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra will take place at Royal Opera House Covent Garden from July 24 to August 12, Trend Life reported.The three weeks of festival will feature a wide range of performances: "Swan lake", "don Quixote", "Bayadere", "Anna Karenina" as well as a program of one-act works "Contrasts".Timur Askarov is a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre. (Azerbaijan). He graduated from the Baku Choreographic School in 2008. In 2008-2009, Timur played in the troupe of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre.Between 2009-2011, he joined the Ukraine's National Academic Opera and Ballet theatre.Timur Askarov is the winner of the prize "Soul of dance" in the nomination "Rising star" (Ballet magazine, 2012).In 2013, he was named the best among men in the duo category at International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers, which took place at the Bolshoi Theatre.His repertoire includes such works as "Giselle" (count Albrech), "La Bayadere " (Solor), "Swan Lake" (Prince Siegfried, Pas de trois), "Midsummer night's Dream" (Oberon),  "Nutcracker (Prince), "Carmen-Suite" (José), "Legend of love" (Farkhad) and other images. IMF reconsider forecast of world oil prices for 2017-2018 http://www.today.az/news/business/163458.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:27:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered the forecast for world oil prices for 2017-2018 by about $3 per barrel.As a result, the estimated price based on futures markets as of June 1, 2017 is $ 51.9 for 2017 and $52 for 2018, according to IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update, July 2017.Earlier, in the April forecast, the IMF, on the contrary, raised its forecast for world oil prices for 2017 by about $4 to $55.23 per barrel, for 2018 - by $2, to $55.06 per barrel.The report reads that oil prices have declined due to the high levels of oil reserves in the U.S. and an increase in supply, and overall inflation has also generally declined with the weakening effect of commodity price growth in the second half of 2016 and is still well below the central banks' most countries with developed economies.Core inflation has remained broadly stable. It has largely been stable in emerging economies as well, with a few, such as Brazil and Russia, witnessing strong declines.Earlier, Minister for Economic Development Maksim Oreshkin stated that the agency could raise the forecast for the average annual oil price for 2017, which now stands at $45.6 per barrel.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership.The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system -- the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other.  TAP to be safe for environment http://www.today.az/news/business/163457.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaItalian Ministry of Environment guarantees that the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will not have any negative impact or consequences for the territories through which it will pass.This was stated by TAP's country manager for Italy Michele Mario Elia at the expert meeting on environmental and climate issues in Italy, Italian media outlets reported.He noted that TAP will link Italy with Azerbaijan's gas fields and will make Italy energy independent by providing it with about 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.The country manager recalled that the TAP consortium was granted permits for the construction from the authorities of Apulia region, with whom it closely cooperates.Michele Mario Elia also underlined that TAP has no contraindication from the point of safety as it uses the same technologies and standards as the 35,000-kilometers long gas network already operating in Italy.The European Union recognizes the role of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in addressing the urgent energy policy objective of ensuring security and diversity of energy supply to Europe.Once built, TAP will play a part in helping secure Europe’s energy future. One of the most important energy infrastructure projects will allow Caspian natural gas to flow into Europe’s energy markets.TAP has been given a Project of Common Interest (PCI) status for its role in opening up the Southern Gas Corridor, one of 12 so-called energy corridors identified by the EU as priorities for the achievement of European energy policy objectives. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.The pipeline will connect 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 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent). Azerbaijan, Hungary identify promising areas of cooperation http://www.today.az/news/politics/163456.html Politics Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:41:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan and Hungary have identified promising areas of cooperation during the meeting of two countries’ foreign ministers in Budapest on July 24.The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov underlined that strategic partnership relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary create productive ground for the development of comprehensive cooperation.Mammadyarov also noted that the support by the Hungarian government for the just position of Azerbaijan on Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and firm stance on resolution of the conflict on the basis of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is highly appreciated.Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, in turn, noted the important role of Azerbaijan in ensuring energy security of Europe and expressed interest of Hungary in import of Azerbaijani gas.Szijjarto also emphasized the successful activity of Hungarian companies in Azerbaijan, noting that the partners of Hungary from Western Europe are competing for the Azerbaijani market.Both sides expressed interest in developing cooperation in such spheres as transport, agriculture, industry, education, pharmaceuticals and others.During the meeting, the ministers also discussed the preparations for highest-level negotiations and for the next meeting of the intergovernmental trade-economic cooperation commission.Among the South Caucasus countries, Hungary has the highest trade turnover with Azerbaijan. To be more exact, over 50 percent of the Hungarian trade with the South Caucasus region accounts for Azerbaijan. Last year, the trade turnover between two countries amounted to more than $50 million. OPEC, non-OPEC states unlikely to cancel production cut deal http://www.today.az/news/business/163455.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:34:00 +0400 By  TrendAs OPEC and some of non-OPEC oil producers are meeting in Russia to discuss the oil market, an Iranian official and an expert told Trend that cancelling the oil production deal is unlikely.Before, Russia and Kazakhstan have said that they may leave the oil cut deal, however, Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday that Libya and Nigeria were approaching the moment when their output should be capped due to significant rises in recent months, Reuters reported.Libya has been producing over 1 million bpd, below its capacity of 1.4 million to 1.6 million bpd but near its record high since violence erupted in 2011. Nigeria has also ramped up the output. The two have now increased their output by about 700,000 to 800,000 bpd since the OPEC-led pact was agreed.According to the deal, OPEC should decrease output by 1.2 mb/d during January 2017-March 2018. Non-OPEC producers also had agreed to decrease output by 558,000 b/d.Meanwhile, Iranian expert Behzad Ahmadi Nia told Trend July 24 that the discussions are focused on forcing Libya and Nigeria to join the oil cut deal.An Iranian official, who asked to remain anonymous, also told Trend that regarding the hard fluctuations in oil price, both OPEC and non-OPEC producers are keen to help market to be established.“In case some of the obliged nations want to leave the oil cut deal, the prices would plunge,” said the official, adding that “they may even deepen the oil cut volume as well”.OPEC sources told Reuters on Saturday that Nigeria could cap output if it managed to sustain production at 1.8 million bpd for 90 days. They also said Libya could struggle to sustain output at above 1 million bpd and hence a cap was not needed.The option of deeper output cuts has so far been ruled out, OPEC sources said. Non-OPEC member Oman's oil minister Mohammed al Rumhy told reporters he saw no need for additional production cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC producers. OPEC oil prices fall combine with the next one http://www.today.az/news/business/163453.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:16:00 +0400 By  TrendThe price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $46.99 a barrel on Friday, July 21 compared with $47.48 the previous day, the cartel said in a message.The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of 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).On July 21 oil prices are decreasing as well. The price for September futures of Brent oil decreased by 0.04 percent to $48.02 per barrel as of 4:41 a.m. EDT (UTC-4). The price for September futures of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 0.09 percent and stood at $45.73 per barrel as of 4:41 a.m. EDT (UTC-4). Top judiciary official calls on US to release jailed Iranians http://www.today.az/news/regions/163454.html World news Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:12:00 +0400 By  TrendThe head of Iran’s Judiciary System called on the U.S. for “immediate release” of Iranians jailed in the United States, Tasnim news agency reported July 24.Ayatollah Sadeh Amoli Larijani said that detaining Iranian citizens in the US is against international lows.He also called the seizing of Iranian properties in the United States “a clear theft”.Larijani’s statement came after Donald Trump on July 21 warned that Iran could face "new and serious consequences" if Tehran refuses to free "unjustly detained" American citizens.Just one day after Trump’s warning, Tehran called for the freedom of Iranians who have recently been arrested across the world “at the US request”.Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi has said that a group of Iran nationals have recently been arrested in several countries across the globe on the charges of bypassing the sanctions on the Islamic Republic, ISNA news agency reported.About 12 Iranians are in prison in the US due to violating Washington’s sanctions on Iran. Four American citizens also were sentenced to prison in Iran, are charged on security issues.A New York jury also has ruled in June 2017 that US can seize a Manhattan skyscraper worth as much as $1 billion from an Iranian-American charitable foundation accused of violating sanctions against Iran. Zhara 2017: Italian tenor to join summer festival http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/163452.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:54:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaNew program has been announced for one of the most exited summer festivals -- Zhara-2017.The Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Russia, singer Polad Bulbuloglu and People's Artists of Georgia Vakhtang Kikabidze will join Russian artists.The summer festival involving celebrities will take place in the Sea Breeze recreation center on July 27-31.The splendid festival is a joint project of Azerbaijani singer Emin Agalarov, honored artist of the Russian Federation Grigory Leps and founder of the Russian radio award "Golden gramophone", Sergey Kozhevnikov.Emin Agalarov, Grigory Leps, Leonid Agutin, LOBODA, Jah Khalib, "MBAND", Monatik, Valeria, Max Barskih, Vera Brezhneva, Alexey Vorobyov, Azad Shabanov and others will lit up the festival's first day.The second day of the festival will feature the event timed to the 70th anniversary of popular singer Sofia Rotaru, to be enriched with brilliant performances of  Polad Bulbuloglu, EMIN, Timur Rodriguez, Potap and Nastya, Artik & Asti, LOBODA, Slava, Ani Lorak, AISEL etc.The astonishing news for music lovers was the joining of Russia's famous singer Alla Pugacheva to the festival . Indeed, it was a great surprise for all her fans in Baku, but that’s not all -- the evening of the great singer will be on June 29.Filipp Kirkorov, Alessandro Safina, Laima Vaikule, Stas Mikhailov, A'studio, Dima Bilan, Kristina Orbakaite, LOBODA, Grigory Leps, Valery Meladze, EMIN, Ani Lorak, Oleg Gazmanov, Diana Arbenina, Nigar Jamal, Aleksandr Panayotov and others will also mesmerize the Baku audience.The festival will end with fascinating concert dedicated to the 55th anniversary of Gregory Leps.Sergey Lazarev, Dima Bilan, Nargis, Alexander Panayotov, Lolita and many others will close one of the most-awaited summer festivals in the City of Winds.Alla Pugacheva, Stas Mikhailov, EMIN, Sergey Lazarev, Valeriy Meladze, Nargiz Zakirova, Dima Bilan, Lolita, Vakhtang Kikabidze, Roya Aykhan, Vladimir Presnyakov, Aleksandr Marshal,"IOWA" and others will close the festival. Azerbaijan to eliminate non-digital services in banking sector http://www.today.az/news/business/163451.html Business Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:32:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAll banks of Azerbaijan will provide digital banking services in 3-5 years.Zakir Nuriyev, Head of the Association of Banks of Azerbaijan (ABA) made the remarks in an interview with Trend."I believe that Azerbaijani banks have already accepted this challenge and have been working in this direction for several years, about 24 banks are already providing Internet banking services, about 12 banks provide mobile banking services, and their number is growing every year. The banking sector itself in the next few years will already complete the processes necessary to respond to these challenges, and we will no longer have banks that do not provide digital services,” Nuriyev said.He went on to say the full transition to digital banking requires a lot of investment and creation of the necessary infrastructure, adding that it is very important to establish own production.The Head of the ABA added that transition to digital banking leads to the growth of cyber threats and now the main goal is to create a system that can prevent cyber attacksTouching upon the facts of revealing counterfeit bills in ATMs, Nuriyev noted that at present banks are actively struggling with this problem.The latest innovation in this area has become the equipping of all ATMs with surveillance cameras, which allows to track the entire process step-by-step, and view the entire process from beginning to end.Digitalization is not just a challenge to the banking sector, it is a challenge to the 21st century, and this challenge is today faced by the economies of the whole world and Azerbaijan is not an exception.The law on Non-Cash Payments, which is still the most discussed in business circles, has come into force since January 1, 2017.The law was adopted given the need to strengthen accounting in the financial system, through the development of non-cash payments.The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) and MasterCard have launched Cashless Azerbaijan project, which includes 3 stages, in February 2017.The first stage is measuring the country's cash economy, the second-to define a strategy for non-cash payments, and the third stage-to prepare a detailed plan of actions.The first stage of the project was presented on July 20, the goal of which, is to diagnose the factors that cause a high level of cash in the economy, measure the volume of the cash economy, reduce the volume of cash payments and develop cashless payments. Turkmenistan interested in foreign investors for its gas and chemical industry http://www.today.az/news/regions/163450.html World news Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaEnergy-rich Turkmenistan invites foreign investors to participate in the development of the gas and chemical industry.Central Asian country plans to build several large gas chemical complexes, a source in the fuel and energy complex of the country said, Trend reported.These large complexes will focus on the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, monoethylene glycol, dimethyl ether and other chemical products using modern technologies for extraction of ethane from natural gas, as well as using methanol to olefin technology for methane recovery and processing.In addition, the work on the construction of a plant for the production of liquid petroleum products from natural gas (using GTL technology) is currently underway.Turkmenistan is ready to study other proposals on the organization of investment projects aimed at high-technology processing of natural gas and the production of export-oriented products, according to the source.It is possible to use several forms of mutually beneficial cooperation for participation in the implementation of the project, including Production Sharing Agreements, service contracts - for field development projects and construction of gas chemical plants, and creation of joint ventures - for servicing and repairing oil and gas equipment, managing the production process as well as marketing.The country aims at strengthening the development of the gas and chemical industry in the next 10 years by implementing numerous projects in this area. Particularly, it is planned to reconstruct a natural gas processing plant and launch production of liquefied gas at the Bagaja deposit in Lebap province and build a gas and chemical complex with the capacity of 80,000 tons of styrene-butadiene rubber and 45,000 tons of polystyrene per year on its basis.A big investment project is proposed to be implemented at the field of Central Karakum, located near the Yylanly gas compressor station in the Dashoguz province. As part of the project, it is planned to build a plant to process two billion cubic meters of natural gas and produce 70,000 tons of liquefied gas.The country also plans to build a gas and chemical complex in the Kiyanly village of Balkan province in order to produce 200,000 tons of linear low-density polyethylene, 390,000 tons of polypropylene, 100,000 tons of polyvinylchloride, 10,000 tons of liquefied gas, 82,000 tons of caustic soda and 10,000 tons of hydrochloric acid.Turkmenistan is one of the key players in the energy industry of the Caspian region. The Central Asian state has the world's fourth largest natural gas reserves.Currently, the country supplies gas to China and Iran.