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 FM Fidan talks terrorism fight on Niger visit http://www.today.az/news/regions/250809.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 20:18:00 +0400 Terrorism is 'main source of instability in Sahel region,' Hakan Fidan says during news conference in West African country's capital Niamey.Türkiye's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Wednesday said that during a recent visit to Niger, he discussed the fight against terrorism, "which is the main source of instability in the Sahel region.""We discussed what could be done to advance the defense industry and intelligence capacity within the framework of counterterrorism in Niger, as we have done in Somalia."We also discussed what steps we will take against terrorism, which is the main source of instability in the Sahel region," Fidan told reporters in the Nigerien capital Niamey.Turkish National Defense Minister Yasar Guler, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar, National Intelligence Organization chief Ibrahim Kalin and other officials were also present at the news conference.Noting that Türkiye maintains embassies in 44 out of 54 African countries, Fidan said: "Our partnership policy with Africa is progressing and becoming more institutionalized every day. Our joint efforts with African countries in areas such as diplomacy, economy, finance, security, defense, education, and health are intensifying."Fidan underlined that Türkiye's historical ties with Niger date back to the time of the Ottoman Empire and that Turkish officials have been working in recent years to place bilateral ties on more structural footing."As we develop our relations with Africa, we are implementing initiatives that prioritize the benefit and welfare of the local people, our brothers."Peace, security, and stability in Africa are also among our priorities. As you know, the problems of instability and terrorism in the Sahel region have become increasingly chronic," he added.Fidan said they discussed many issues including counterterrorism, education, energy, health, trade, security, and defense while in the West African nation. He added that as a delegation, they met with Nigerian Prime Minister Zeine, ministers, and heads of institutions.They also held three working groups, where detailed discussions on foreign policy, security, defense, energy and mining, economy, and trade took place, said the Turkish foreign minister.Fidan added that they were received by Abdourahamane Tchiani, Niger's president of the national council for the safeguard of the homeland.They evaluated the outcomes of the meetings, and agreed on a series of joint steps, he said.Stressing that Ankara's policy is to share its counterterrorism experience with friendly nations, Fidan underlined that terrorism was one of the major problems faced by Africans."We evaluated how to further advance activities in the fields of education and health, such as the Friendship Hospital and Maarif Schools scholarships."We also discussed enhancing cooperation in the areas of economy and finance. Various topics were addressed, including increasing the number of Turkish investors, contracting services, and strengthening the contractual basis of trade," he said.Noting that they had productive discussions on the issues of energy and mining, Fidan said they agreed to develop cooperation and increase investments."We will systematically follow up on the decisions made. The issues scheduled on the agenda will be implemented in coordination with our relevant ministries and institutions. I hope our visit will be beneficial for both countries," he said. US approaches S Caucasus through military existence in Armenian army [COMMENTARY] http://www.today.az/news/politics/250817.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 20:00:00 +0400 Fatima Latifova The long-standing Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict in the South Caucasus took a completely different direction in the 2020s, bringing new developments to the region. In 2020, the Azerbaijani army launched a counter-offensive operation against Armenian provocations and liberated Garabagh in just 44 days. In September 2023, a one-day local anti-terror operation neutralised separatist Armenian forces in the region.These events attracted the attention of other powerful countries to the South Caucasus. The Garabagh conflict, once thought to have no resolution, is no longer considered a "problem." The ongoing peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, particularly the meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries in Almaty in May, indicate that a new era might begin in the South Caucasus after peace.The Baku-Yerevan relations have changed the balance not only between the two countries but also among all countries interested in the Caspian region. Armenia, which had cold relations with Turkiye due to the conflict, informed Ankara about recognising Palestine as a state before notifying its old ally, Iran. Thus, a new phase in inter-country relations began in the region. Russia, which had always supported Armenia, chose to remain impartial during the Garabagh conflict and did not back Yerevan. Official Yerevan voiced its protest in Moscow by refusing to participate in CSTO meetings.Armenia's leadership, despite feeling threatened in terms of security, managed to attract the attention of the European Union and the United States. The Western alliance, which aims to squeeze Russia in various regions and reduce its sphere of influence, began to use the tension in Armenia-Russia relations to its advantage, leading to the presence of Western forces in the South Caucasus. The EU's monitoring mission on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border can be considered the beginning of this plan.It's worth noting that during the activity of this mission, which involved more than 200 members, the Armenian army repeatedly violated the ceasefire and occasionally provoked Azerbaijan, trying to incite a reaction. However, the representatives of the monitoring mission did not record these incidents, leading to Azerbaijan being portrayed as an aggressive state. During the presidential elections in Azerbaijan in February this year, the Azerbaijani leadership was criticised for "undermining democracy," and claims were made that Armenians voluntarily leaving Azerbaijani territories were subjected to ethnic cleansing. This proved that these forces would never operate within the framework of justice in the region.Recently, the balance of power among the presidential candidates dominating the US agenda has prompted Washington to strengthen its relations with Armenia. The Biden administration, in its attempt to squeeze Russia in the region, has set out to create problems before leaving office. This is because the most supported presidential candidate is Donald Trump. The core of Trump's unusual policy is to strengthen the US economy and relations, which increases the likelihood that his return to power could normalise relations with Russia.It seems that the Biden administration, faced with these facts, is making a final move by sending a message of support to the Armenian army. The news that a US military representative will operate in the Armenian Ministry of Defence is current. US Deputy Secretary of State Uzra Zeya described this step as a strategic phase in US-Armenia relations.In a comment for Azernews on the issue, military expert Azad Isazade stated that the US aims to extricate Armenia from Russian influence.“Undoubtedly, Washington's primary goal is to remove Yerevan from Moscow's influence. It is already clear that US security agencies have been operating in Armenia for a long time and ensuring Pashinyan's security," he noted.The expert mentioned that the US wants to show the international community that Russia will strike Armenia through Azerbaijan.“The US intends to create a new trend. By drawing the world's attention to the region, it hints that any action Russia takes against Armenia will be done through Azerbaijan. The reality, however, is that Azerbaijan currently has no intention of taking any military action against Armenia,” Isazade said.The expert recalled that Azerbaijan has only worked and will continue to work to restore its sovereignty.“Azerbaijan's main goal is to ensure its security and restore its sovereignty. Official Baku is currently focusing on reconstruction efforts in Garabagh and considers the country's development its primary objective.”Interestingly, Washington, which lost its mediation rights last November and apologised to the Azerbaijani leadership for James O'Brien's threatening statements, wanted to resume its mediation activities. The meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia during the NATO summit was an indication of this desire.Washington's renewed special interest in Armenia could contribute to Russia's plans but will undoubtedly strain Azerbaijan-US relations again. The 907th amendment to the "Freedom Support Act" adopted in 1992 at the initiative of the Armenian lobby, shows that the US can never act within the principles of justice. This amendment vetoed direct state aid from the US to Azerbaijan. Because, with this amendment, Washington provided additional support to the occupying Armenia, which brutally killed tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis and destroyed its environment, cities, and villages.Now, Biden's administration's attempt to showcase its last power against Russia and remind the region of its presence will not prevent Joe Biden from leaving the presidency, nor will it pose any threat to the region. With this move, the US simply reminds everyone of its decades-long hypocritical and unjust policies. China invests $600 million in construction of livestock hub in Kazakhstan http://www.today.az/news/regions/250808.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 19:41:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaThe Chinese company Beijing Capital Agro intends to invest over $ 600 million in the meat farming of Kazakhstan, Azernews reports.A major project to create a livestock hub is planned to be implemented by 2030. It is expected that the complex will include more than 600 farms and operating feedlots in Kazakhstan. They will be involved in an anchor partnership."This was announced at a meeting of the head of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan with Chinese companies CITIC Construction and Beijing Capital Agro. It is worth noting that they expressed their interest in long-term cooperation with Kazakhstan for the purchase of beef and live cattle," the message reads.This year, the Chinese authorities lifted restrictions on the export of meat products from the southeastern regions of Kazakhstan. The first batch of beef was exported to China in June.The issue of expanding the list of exported products is also being worked out. There are 10 more types of goods at the stage of development. Ankara calls on Athens to stop 'undermining' bilateral relations http://www.today.az/news/regions/250807.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 19:15:00 +0400 By News CentreAnkara on Wednesday called on the defense minister of Greece to "desist from trying to undermine the joint stance set forth by the leaders of the two countries, which aims to advance the relations between Türkiye and Greece in a constructive manner."The National Defense Ministry in a statement on X strongly condemned Nikos Dendias' remarks, saying that his remarks are "targeting the Turkish Cypriots and the army of the heroic Turkish people with full of lies and slander.""The heroic Turkish army took action in accordance with Türkiye's guarantor rights under international agreements, and saved the Turkish Cypriot people, who were subjected to all kinds of cruelty by the Greek Cypriot side between 1963-1974, from a genocide attempt," the ministry added.Stressing that there has been no bloodshed on the island since 1974, thanks to the presence of the Turkish army, it highlighted that the Turkish army will continue to be the guarantee of peace and tranquility on the island "tomorrow as it was yesterday and today.""Mr. Dendias' endeavors to pursue a political career by causing trouble between Turkish and Greek peoples will not avail," the ministry added.Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation of the island led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece, and the UK. Scientists discover exoplanet with record-breaking elongated retrograde orbit http://www.today.az/news/regions/250806.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 18:50:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaAn international team of planetary scientists has discovered in the constellation of the Charioteer a unique giant exoplanet orbiting a star in a very elongated retrograde orbit, the analogs of which astronomers have not previously encountered, Azernews reports.The scientists noted that the study will help uncover the mechanisms of the formation of "hot Jupiters".Planetary scientists made this discovery while studying images that were obtained by the TESS orbiting telescope while observing a large number of stars in the constellation of the Charioteer. The attention of scientists was attracted by the binary star system TIC 241249530, in the glow of which periodic fluctuations were detected, generated by the passage of the planet through the disks of these luminaries.Observations have shown that there is an unusual planet inside it, which is a gas giant that surpasses Jupiter in mass by about five times. It makes one revolution around the central star of the TIC 241249530 system in 165 days and at the same time moves in a record-breaking elongated retrograde orbit - its farthest point is 30 times farther from the sun than the closest site.Periodic approaches of the planet to the star, according to the researchers, "slow down" its movement in a special way, as a result of which in about a billion years its orbit will become more rounded and it will turn into a full-fledged "hot Jupiter". Similar migrations, as scientists suggest, have been experienced by many other large "hot Jupiters" found in the regions of the Milky Way closest to Earth over the past decade and a half. Stock market in Istanbul starts new day with increase http://www.today.az/news/regions/250805.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 18:14:00 +0400 The BIST 100 index at Borsa Istanbul started Wednesday, July 17, 2024, with a 0.12 percent increase, reaching 11,152.32 points.At the opening, the BIST 100 index increased by 12.99 points, or 0.12 percent, compared to the previous closing, reaching 11,152.32 points.The banking index rose by 0.04 percent, while the holding index increased by 0.12 percent. Among the sector indices, the securities investment trust index showed the largest gain, rising by 1.27 percent, whereas the tourism index recorded the biggest loss, declining by 0.30 percent.Following a positive trend observed yesterday, the BIST 100 index at Borsa Istanbul closed the day at 11,139.34 points, marking a 0.67 percent increase. This resulted in a record closing, reaching its peak level of 11,188.12 points.Analysts noted that despite increased risk appetite in the US stock markets due to expectations of two interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) this year, uncertainties surrounding upcoming elections in the country highlighted the search for direction in Asia and Europe.Today, analysts anticipate a busy data schedule, particularly focusing on housing sales statistics in the country, inflation in the Eurozone, construction permits in the USA, and the Fed's Beige Book Report. Technically, they highlighted resistance levels at 11,250 and 11,350 points for the BIST 100 index, with support levels noted at 11,000 and 10,900 points. Baku. Sea. Summer. Festival captures essence of hot weather http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/250792.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 18 Jul 2024 17:55:00 +0400 Laman IsmayilovaThe summer season is here, and all eyes are on the coast.The sounds of waves breaking on the shore is incredibly relaxing. Summer leaves vivid memories that cannot be forgotten.Baku. Sea. Summer Festival celebrates unforgettable moments of the summer season through a photo exhibition featuring works of 15 authors.The photo project united talents like Rustam Huseynov, Joshgun Suleymanov, Nurzia Khalilova, Aydin Mehdiyev, Leyla Agayeva, Valery Bazrukh, Emil Ghazi, Veronica Grigorieva, Teymur Bekirzadeh, Irada Asadova, Fakhraddin Mammadov, Vsevolod Tsurikov, Nigar Babayeva, Ahmad Khatamzade and Maryam Nazarli."Baku. Sea. Summer Festival demonstrates the ascetic beauty of chiaroscuro, creating a visual narrative that transports viewers to the shores of the Caspian Sea and the bustling streets of daytime summer Baku. Spectators actively discussed the photo works with their authors, comparing styles and features of artistic style," Rustam Huseynov told Azernews.The exhibition, which displays 20 photo works, brilliantly captures the essence of Baku's summer, showcasing the interplay of light and shadow, the energy of the sun, and the beauty of the Caspian Sea shore.Furthermore, Arzu Manafli read her poems, noting the unique atmosphere of the vibrant exhibition.The festival venue, the Russian House in Baku, bathed in soft evening light, provided a picturesque backdrop for the event, adding a special ambiance to the celebration of summer's beauty.Inspired by the warmth and timeless allure of the coast, Baku. Sea. Summer. Festival will be remembered for a long time by its participants. Azerbaijan, WB discusses financing of integration of "green energy" http://www.today.az/news/business/250804.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 17:41:00 +0400 Ulviyya Shahin "AzerEnergy" OJSC discussed with the World Bank the issues of financing the integration of large-scale renewable energy sources into the grid to be implemented in Azerbaijan, Azernews reports.The discussions on this matter were held in an online meeting of Baba Rzayev, the head of AzerEnergy OJSC, with the delegation led by the World Bank's regional director for the South Caucasus, Mrs. Rolande Price.At the meeting, at the same time, the 500 kV "Navai" substation to be built, the transmission lines to be built, the environmental and social effects of the activities and other issues were discussed. Vagif Poetry Days kick off in Shusha http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/250818.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 18 Jul 2024 17:00:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova The Vagif Poetry Days has kicked off in front of Molla Panah Vagif Museum-Mausoleum Complex, Azernews reports.The event is co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Culture Ministry.The opening ceremony was attended by state and government officials, well-known scientific and cultural figures of the republic, members of the Azerbaijan Writers' Union, young writers, poets, as well as local residents for the first time.First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Writers' Union, People's Writer Chingiz Abdullayev addressed the opening ceremony.In his speech, People's Writer Chingiz Abdullayev stressed that this year, Vagif Poetry Days coincides with many significant events."First of all, I would like to note that this year’s event is being held for the first time after the complete restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the final victory in the Garabagh War under the leadership of President, Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev. Moreover, the city of Shusha has been declared the Cultural Capital of the Islamic World 2024. This year also marks the 530th anniversary of the birth of the brilliant Azerbaijani poet and thinker Muhammad Fuzuli and the 90th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Writers' Union. More than 100 SPA members are taking part in this poetry festival," he said.President of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Academician Isa Habibbayli said that Molla Panah Vagif is regarded as one of the poets who created a literary school in Azerbaijani literature.Also, one of the main points that distinguishes him from his predecessors is that for the first time he openly and widely introduced the geography of Azerbaijan into the literature." At a time when the Soviet government insidiously pursued a policy of internationalism in Garabagh, the outstanding statesman, National Leader Heydar Aliyev erected such a majestic Vagif Mausoleum in Shusha, which once again confirmed that Garabagh is Azerbaijan. At the same time, the restoration of the Vagif Mausoleum in Shusha, liberated under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, is of great importance. The renewed Vagif Poetry Days are a great holiday of Azerbaijan expressed in the language of poetry and art, which is becoming more beautiful day by day under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. I express my gratitude to the organizers of the Vagif Poetry Days for this wonderful event," ANAS President saidPeople's Writer Elmira Akhundova spoke about National Heydar Aliyev's endless love and concern for Azerbaijani language and literature.She stressed that even in the most difficult times of the Soviet era, Heydar Aliyev encouraged the preservation and development of national thought, the idea of ??Azerbaijanism. The great leader ensured that works that reflected these ideas, aimed at future generations, were awarded the State Prize.Elmira Akhundova, who said that she was taking part in the Vagif Poetry Days for the first time, expressed her gratitude to President, Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijani Army,who gave the joy of these days.Deputy of the 6th convocation of the Azerbaijani Parliament Fazil Mustafa said that, perhaps, the first thing we remember in this beautiful place is a painting from the 1980s."The meaning of this painting can be interpreted in different ways. But in the picture, beautiful snow falling on the shoulders of national leader Heydar Aliyev seems to bless the opening of the Vagif Mausoleum. However, years later this beautiful snow was followed by an avalanche. The whole of Shusha, including this mausoleum, fell under this avalanche. For almost thirty years we could not clear Shusha from this avalanche. It also showed us that at some point we will have to face the risk of losing the values??we have acquired. This is why we need to create such a strong foundation to revive these values. Our lands were liberated from occupation thanks to the brilliant leadership abilities of President, Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev and the heroism of the Azerbaijani Army. After the liberation, this mausoleum seemed to emerge from an avalanche, and the souls of the outstanding personalities who lived here rejoiced. Today, Shusha is once again strengthening its power as a place that has become a symbol of Azerbaijan," said Fazil Mustafa.Chairman of the Azerbaijan Press Council, Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan Writers' Union People's Poet Sabir Rustamkhanli, Secretary of Azerbaijan Writers' Union Rashad Majid, poet-translator Salim Babullaoglu and Chairman of the Kazakh section of Azerbaijan Writers' Union Barat Vusal recited their poems about Shusha's breathtaking nature.In the artistic part, the poetic duet of Muhammad Fuzuli and Molla Panah Vagif performed by Honored Artists Azad Shukurov and Nazir Rustamov was presented to the audience.Honored Artist Nigar Shabanova, soloists Abgul Mirzaliyev, Ilkin Dovlatov and Leyla Rahimli performed with a concert program, which included music pieces like "Qarabag kompozisiyasi", "Shushanin daglar?" and "Bura Vatandir". Azerbaijan's profit from oil exports increases http://www.today.az/news/business/250815.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 16:40:00 +0400 Ulviyya Shahin In the first half of this year, Azerbaijan exported 11,098 thousand tons of oil worth 7,012,103 thousand US dollars, Azernews reports, citing the State Customs Committee.Azerbaijan's oil export revenues decreased by 10.1% compared to the corresponding period of 2023, and the volume of oil decreased by 13.4%.It should be noted that during this period, the share of oil exports in the country's total exports was 54.35%.The State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan regularly publishes data on the country's export activities, including detailed reports on oil exports. These reports provide insights into the volume of oil exported, its market value in US dollars, and comparisons with previous periods to analyze trends in the oil sector.Azerbaijan's oil export statistics are significant indicators of the country's economic health and its role in global energy markets, reflecting both the challenges and opportunities its oil industry faces in a dynamic global economic environment. SOFAZ increases its investments in developed countries http://www.today.az/news/business/250819.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 16:21:00 +0400 Ulviyya ShahinThe State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) announced the division of its investment portfolio as of July 1 of the current year based on the development levels of countries, Azernews reports, citing the Fund.This distribution was 65.3% for developed countries, 12.3% for developing countries, and 7.6% for international financial organizations.It should be noted that the remaining portion of the investments (14.8%) was allocated to gold.As of April 1, these figures were 65% for developed countries, 13.8% for developing countries, 8% for international financial organizations, and 13.2% for gold.As of January 1 of this year, the value of investment property of SOFAZ was 1 billion 536,719 million manats.By the end of last year, the investment property of SOFAZ was 1.6% of its assets. This rate was 1.9% by the end of the previous year. SCO Culture Ministers discuss prospects of cooperation http://www.today.az/news/society/250793.html Society Thu, 18 Jul 2024 16:02:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova The Culture Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries have discussed the prospects of cooperation, Azernews reports.The meeting was organized within the International Art Festival- Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk, held in Belarus.The Azerbaijan Culture Minister Adil Karimli, who addressed the meeting, first congratulated the Republic of Belarus on its recent SCO full membership.Recalling the signing of a memorandum between Azerbaijan and the SCO in 2016, Adilm Karimli stressed the importance of enhancing cultural partnership within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.The Culture Minister underlined that the participation of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the SCO summit held in Astana on July 4 , shows once again the country's intention to deepen cooperation within the framework of this organization."We value our status as dialogue partners in the SCO and strive to deepen cooperation in various fields, including culture, education, science and other fields. Our goal is not only to strengthen relations, but also to use the existing potential to support sustainable development," said the minister.Adil Karimli also drew attention to the fact that Cultural Days of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were organized in Azerbaijan this year.Stating that Azerbaijan will host the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - COP29 in November 2024, the minister added that this prestigious event also has a cultural agendaA meeting of the ministers of culture is planned within the framework of COP29. This meeting will also be an important opportunity to discuss the negative impact of climate change on cultural heritage.Note that Culture Days of SCO member-countries were organized as part of the Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk.The Culture Days kicked off with the gala concert "Together with the SCO for the sake of peace and creativity" in Vitebsk's Victory Square. Delegations of member countries of the organization also participated in the event.Since its inception in 2001, the SCO has mainly focused on regional security issues and its fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism.To date, the SCO's priorities also include regional development. The SCO has been an observer in the UN General Assembly since 2005.Azerbaijan was granted the status of a dialogue partner in the SCO on July 10, 2015. According to the Memorandum signed in Beijing on March 14, 2016,The country's membership in the SCO has opened up new opportunities for cooperation in such areas as strengthening regional security and stability, cooperation in the field of trade and investment, energy, telecommunications, and agriculture, as well as the promotion of direct contacts between small and medium-sized businesses; interaction on legal and customs issues, etc. President Ilham Aliyev is participating in roundtable on "Energy and Connectivity" ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/250816.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 15:50:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is participating in a roundtable on “Energy and Connectivity” as part of the 4th summit of the European Political Community in Oxford, Azernews reports. Azerbaijan's imports increase last year http://www.today.az/news/business/250794.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 15:41:00 +0400 Ulviyya ShahinIn the first half of this year, Azerbaijan's foreign trade turnover amounted to 21 billion 768 million US dollars, Azernews reports, citing the State Customs Committee.This figure is 4 billion 398 million dollars, or 16.8% less than in the same period of 2023.Over the past year, Azerbaijan's exports decreased by 28.2% to 12 billion 900 million US dollars, while imports increased by 8.2% to 8 billion 867 million US dollars.As a result, a positive trade balance of 4 billion 33 million dollars was achieved. This represents a decrease of 58.7% compared to the previous year. Azerbaijan's Hajiyev: Baku appreciates London's peace initiative http://www.today.az/news/politics/250795.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 15:22:00 +0400 Fatima LatifovaAzerbaijan highly appreciates the UK's peace initiative, Azernews reports, citing Hikmat Hajiyev, the Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, as he responded to the media.It should be noted that Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declined the proposed meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during the European Political Community meeting in London. The initiative for the meeting was proposed by the United Kingdom.Hajiyev recalled that a similar meeting was proposed in the format of the Munich Security Conference, where a meeting took place between the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia.“At the Munich Security Conference, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz participated at the beginning of the meeting, which then continued in a bilateral format between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The UK, as the host, proposed a meeting in the same format,” he said.The Assistant to the President noted that while Armenia talks about peace on various platforms, its refusal to participate in a meeting that serves to advance the peace agenda is incomprehensible, and the international community should assess this. Multifaceted meeting in UK: President Ilham Aliyev attends 4th EPC Summit http://www.today.az/news/politics/250803.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 15:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsElnur EnverogluThe 4th European Political Community summit is being held in Oxford, near London, and what is most important is Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to the UK to attend the event. President Ilham Aliyev is attending the summit at the invitation of Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. During the summit, it was planned to hold a meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss the peace agenda at the proposal of the host country.Armenia's refusal to attend the meeting reflects its intention to withdraw from dialogue and advance the peace agendaThe United Kingdom, as the host of the European Political Community, proposed holding a meeting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, suggesting it follow the format of the meeting between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia at the Munich Security Conference. This was told by Hikmat Hajiyev, the Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, to local journalists following Pashinyan's refusal to attend the meeting.Hajiyev recalled German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's attendance at the beginning of the meeting at Munich Security Conference and said that the meeting continued in a bilateral format between Azerbaijan and Armenia. So this time, the UK, as the host, proposed a meeting in the same format.According to the Azerbaijani official, Armenia's refusal to attend this meeting is a reflection of its intention to withdraw from dialogue and advance the peace agenda."While Armenia talks about peace on various platforms, its refusal to participate in a meeting that serves to advance the peace agenda is unacceptable. The international community should assess whether Armenia is actually rejecting opportunities for dialogue rather than advancing them. We highly appreciate the UK's initiative for peace from our side," H.Hajiyev said.If we take a closer look at the issue, it is impossible to find any reason or need for Armenia to avoid the meeting. Before that, for example, the meetings of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the most recent Washington summit reflected that the peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan would lead to positive results. Armenia's rejection of Great Britain's offer and refusal to meet with the Azerbaijani side only reflects Armenia's non-serious and reluctant approach to the peace issue once again.As mentioned, President Ilham Aliyev's visit to the United Kingdom was multifaceted. Thus, the head of state met with the Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Luc Frieden. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg once again emphasised the importance of obtaining more information about Azerbaijan and the region and the stability of the region for his country. He pointed out that Luxembourg's regional policy is balanced.In addition, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg exchanged views on issues of cooperation in high technologies, healthcare, investments, transportation, and other fields.The importance of Azerbaijan hosting COP29 was emphasised at the meeting. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg pointed out that he intends to participate in this event.During his participation in the summit, President Ilham Aliyev also had talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Swiss President Viola Amher.Azerbaijan's participation in the European Political Community summit at the invitation of Great Britain has another historical and strategic significance. Because one of the main directions in Azerbaijan's successful multifaceted foreign policy is relations with Great Britain. As mentioned, relations between Great Britain and Azerbaijan are of historical and strategic importance. The modern history of relations between the two countries dates back to the early 1990s. Great Britain was one of the first Western countries to recognise the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence. The United Kingdom recognised the independence of Azerbaijan on December 31, 1991. Diplomatic relations between our countries were established on March 11, 1992. So far, many successful achievements have been made in terms of expanding relations between the two countries, and now Azerbaijan-UK relations have reached the highest level of development.Previous meeting in Spain's GranadaIt should be recalled that the 3rd EPC meeting was held in Granada, Spain, on October 5 of last year. Thus, the Alhambra hosted the Royal reception and dinner of the 3rd EPC summit, where the date and venue for the summit were announced in February 2023.So, before talking about the event in details, let's review the past year.It should be noted that the meeting held in Granada on October 5, 2023, was held without the participation of Azerbaijan. At that time, President Ilham Aliyev openly refused to attend the summit.What was the reason for Azerbaijan's refusal to attend the 3rd meeting?In general, 2023 can be considered the most decisive period in the political history of Azerbaijan. On September 19 of last year, local anti-terrorist operations conducted by the Azerbaijani army against Armenian separatism became the object of wide discussion in Western circles. Many international organizations and even members of the European Union parliament voted on the issue and proposed boycott campaigns and even sanctions measures against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, which tried to clear its sovereign territories from the invading Armenian separatism, was subjected to anti-Azerbaijani slogans and pressures carried out with the active participation of France at that time.The 3rd EPC summit was the period when Yerevan relied mostly on official Paris and its “staunch” political partners in the European Union. The ICRC operating in Garabagh, the European Mission group monitoring our territories with binoculars on the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and other organizations were looking for an opportunity to put pressure on Azerbaijan. It was evident from the beginning that Azerbaijan's meeting with Armenia would be insincere and non-objective among the political group that is poised against Azerbaijan, takes a biased and extremely pro-Armenian position.Currently, the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to participate in the event reflects the changing geopolitical and geostrategic realities in the region. Against the background of the steps taken towards peace, the meeting of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev is now focused on a completely different issue - peace and peace negotiations again.Although the main topic of the EPC summit is the issue of illegal immigration, this time the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis will be the main topic of discussion at the event. The meeting between the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia and the joint participation of representatives from European countries in the meeting increase the hopes that the peace agreement between the two countries will be signed soon. The successful policy of Azerbaijan in the last ten months has already radically changed the attitude towards Azerbaijan among the countries of the European Union and even in the entire Western society.The political conundrum and internal problems in France have already weakened the influence of the previous Yerevan-Paris union. Politicians working "with determination" in favour of Armenia in the European Union recognise Azerbaijan's unchanging position and reckon with its political will.The European Political Community (EPC), which includes EU and non-EU countries, is holding its 4th summit in the UK on Thursday to discuss Ukraine, energy, democracy protection, and irregular migration.Heads of state or government from about 45 European countries are attending the summit in Oxford, near London, the capital of England.British Prime Minister Keir Starmer met with heads of state and participants who were attending the summit.The summit will be Starmer's first international meeting since assuming office on July 6. King Charles III will also host a reception for summit participants.- 1st EPC Summit since 2022The EPC invited leaders from 27 EU members, as well as Türkiye, Western Balkan countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, UK, Iceland, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.During the meeting, they discussed Russia's attack on Ukraine, the energy crisis, and the economic situation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined via videoconference.Moreover, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also held a quadrilateral meeting with Macron and EU Council President Charles Michel on the sidelines of the summit. This format was repeated at subsequent summits.The summit concluded with the decision to continue the EPC.- 2nd summit in MoldovaThe second EPC meeting in Moldova sent a strong unity message to Moscow from the EU and Western countries.It highlighted support for Moldova amid concerns about Russia's intentions following Ukraine. President Zelenskyy attended in person, focusing on Ukraine's support, alongside discussions on peace efforts between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the crisis in Kosovo.- 3rd summit in SpainUnder Spain's EU presidency, leaders met in Granada to discuss "digitalization, energy-ecological transition, and multilateralism – Europe's political future" in roundtable meetings and bilateral discussions.Despite Ukraine and Zelenskyy's support being a key focus, planned talks between Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders did not occur due to disagreements over participation requirements, which led to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev opting not to attend, impacting the summit's agenda, which focused on Garabagh developments. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev talked to Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban [VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/250801.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:50:00 +0400 Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, held talks with Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, on the sidelines of the 4th summit of the European Political Community, Azernews reports.The talks, conducted in a friendly atmosphere, focused on bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.They also recalled the Hungarian Prime Minister’s visit to Shusha for the Informal Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States and the meetings held during the summit. </body> </html> President Ilham Aliyev participates in opening plenary session of 4th summit of European ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/250796.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:40:00 +0400 The opening plenary session of the 4th summit of the European Political Community gets underway in Oxford, Azernews reports.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is participating in the event. President Ilham Aliyev talks to President of Switzerland Viola Amherd in Oxford [PHOTOS/VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/250800.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:29:00 +0400 Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, held talks with Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation, on the sidelines of the 4th summit of the European Political Community, Azernews reports.During the conversation, they exchanged views on bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Switzerland and the development of the regional peace agenda.The sides discussed the contributions of Swiss companies to the restoration and construction efforts in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.The Presidents also exchanged views on COP29 and climate change. Next European Political Community summit to be held in Hungary http://www.today.az/news/regions/250797.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:19:00 +0400 The next summit of the European Political Community will be held in Hungary on November 7.The decision was made at the 4th summit of the European Political Community held in Oxford, near London.It should be recalled that the first European Political Community summit was held in Prague in October 2022 with the participation of 44 countries. Garabagh traditional clothing on display in Shusha http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/250798.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 18 Jul 2024 13:39:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova Shusha City State Reserve Department has showcased Garabagh traditional costumes of the 18th-19th centuries, Azernews reports. The national costumes were demonstrated at Xanl?q Muxtar Karvansara.The exhibition presents samples of men's and women's clothing created according to original sketches. The main goal of the project is to preserve and popularize Garabagh cultural heritage.Widely known for its unique cut and vibrant colors, Garabagh traditional costumes are considered an integral component of Azerbaijan's national, spiritual and material values.They reflect the traditions and customs, worldview, creativity, and national thinking of the people.The exhibition allows us to trace the evolution of Garabagh clothing and its influence on modern Azerbaijani culture.It also provides an excellent opportunity to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of Garabagh of past centuries, and appreciate the skill of the artisans and designers who recreated these unique costumes. Shahdag Running Festival held for second time http://www.today.az/news/sports/250790.html Sports Thu, 18 Jul 2024 13:17:00 +0400 Laman IsmayilovaA Shahdag Running Festival has been held for the second year to promote a healthy lifestyle and increase interest in sports among people.The two-day competition was organised by the joint initiative of the Shahdag Tourism Centre and the Mountaineering Sports Club.About 500 runners competed in four categories for first place in vertical running and trail running.At the end, the winners were given various gifts and medals by the Shahdag Tourism Centre and other organisations participating in the organisation of the event.During the festival, various running competitions in fun costumes were organised for the adults and children who participated in the event.Within the framework of the competition, musical entertainment programs were shown to the participants.Recall that 200 runners took part in the competition held last year. At this year's festival, the number of participants reached 500.The Shahdag Mountain Resort is ideal for tourists of all ages. Well-known as the country's first ski resort, the resort is located in Shahdag National Park, 32 km off Gusar District, 2,350 metres above sea level.The resort plays an important role in the development of winter tourism in the country. Local and foreign tourists are showing great interest in winter tourism. All conditions for this have been created in Shahdag.In 2023, Russia's TurStat analytical agency listed the Shahdag Mountain Resort among the top 5 ski resorts in the CIS. President Ilham Aliyev meets with Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden in Oxford [PHOTOS/VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/250799.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 13:01:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Luc Frieden in Oxford at the latter’s request, Azernews reports.During the meeting, discussions revolved around bilateral relations between the two countries.Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden once again stressed the importance of obtaining more information about Azerbaijan and the region, as well as the regional stability for his country. The Prime Minister noted that Luxembourg's regional policy is characterized by a balanced approach.President Ilham Aliyev provided insight into the regional processes, and emphasized the importance of a balanced policy towards the region, respecting the positions of all parties.Touching upon the bilateral relations between the two countries, they emphasized that there are great prospects for the development of relations based on mutual respect and trust.They exchanged views on cooperation between Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in high technologies, healthcare, investments, cargo transportation and other sectors.During the conversation, they hailed the fact that Azerbaijan maintains close relations with the European Union and its members. The European Political Community was highlighted as an important platform for discussions.They highlighted the significance of Azerbaijan’s hosting COP29.The Prime Minister of Luxembourg expressed his intention to participate in this event. Azerbaijan-Israel strengthen strategic alliance through economic cooperation http://www.today.az/news/business/250789.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 13:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsNazrin AbdulAzerbaijan's foreign policy successes have positioned it as a pivotal player in international alliances, with Israel emerging as a key partner within these frameworks. The bilateral relationship between Azerbaijan and Israel is anchored not only in economic and strategic benefits but also in deep-rooted historical and cultural ties, symbolizing a model of coexistence amidst historical challenges.Since Israel's recognition of Azerbaijan's independence in December 1991, bilateral relations have steadily progressed. In recent years, these ties have witnessed a notable surge characterized by strengthened cooperation, increased reciprocal visits, expanded trade volumes, heightened investment flows, and the exploration of new industrial sectors for mutual engagement.A significant milestone in bilateral diplomacy occurred on June 28-29, 2009, when Israeli President Shimon Peres undertook an official visit to Azerbaijan accompanied by three ministers and a delegation of 50 business leaders. During this visit, agreements were signed focusing on cooperation in communications, as well as in education, science, and technology—a testament to the broadening scope of collaboration between the two nations.Israel and Azerbaijan have forged significant collaborations in the defense industry sector, solidifying Israel's position as Azerbaijan's leading supplier of military equipment. According to Israeli military authorities in 2012, Azerbaijan procured defense systems totaling $1.6 billion from Israel. The latest generation drones, believed to be acquired from Israel, were notably deployed during skirmishes in April. Azerbaijan aims to further enhance its defense capabilities through technological advancements facilitated by Israel.During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit, President Ilham Aliyev publicly disclosed the extensive scale of military cooperation between the two nations for the first time. President Aliyev emphasized that Azerbaijan has benefitted from approximately $4.85 billion in military technology from Israel, underscoring Israel's pivotal role as Azerbaijan's primary supplier of advanced weaponry and high-tech solutions. The total value of signed contracts between the two countries amounts to $5 billion.Of particular note is the contract encompassing the supply of "suicide drones," a cutting-edge technology developed in Israel. These drones utilize radio waves for precise detection and elimination of enemy positions, marking a significant advancement in Azerbaijan's military capabilities. Prior to this collaboration, Azerbaijan had not integrated such sophisticated technology into its armed forces.Throughout the Second Garabagh War and the subsequent period of reclaiming and restoring territories, Azerbaijan has acknowledged Israel's steadfast support. This strategic partnership underscores mutual trust and the strategic alignment of interests between the two nations in regional security affairs.Furthermore, Israel has articulated its inaugural interest in exporting natural gas to Europe through Azerbaijan using the pipeline infrastructure jointly owned by Azerbaijan and Turkiye. Prime Minister Netanyahu underscored Israel's intention to leverage the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project for this purpose. Israel's participation in TANAP is poised to significantly enhance energy cooperation between the two nations, marking a milestone in their bilateral relations.The collaboration between Azerbaijan and Israel in the oil and gas sector, encompassing exploration, production, and hydrocarbon transportation, holds significant strategic importance, leveraging SOCAR's established expertise in the field. Recent discussions between Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and a delegation led by Israel's Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem underscored the ongoing positive trajectory of bilateral relations. Both parties expressed satisfaction with their cooperation in the energy sector, particularly in hydrocarbons.Moreover, discussions highlighted joint efforts in oil supply, trading of petroleum products, and infrastructure development, with a focus on future prospects. Azerbaijan's initiatives to augment its share of renewable energy within its energy mix and projects aimed at integrating these energy sources through regional green energy corridors were also deliberated. The potential for advancing cooperation in green energy and other promising sectors was examined, underscoring the pivotal role of government-private sector collaboration in these endeavors.It is worth noting Azerbaijan's successful implementation of its economic modernization agenda. Here, Israel's contribution is pivotal, particularly in knowledge exchange across advanced technologies such as green energy, smart city initiatives, and smart village concepts. Opportunities for Israeli firms to establish operations and initiate new projects within Azerbaijan's Alat Free Economic Zone were highlighted. Additionally, exploring avenues for SOCAR's engagement in hydrogen resource exploitation in Israel remains a crucial consideration for bilateral economic ties.Concurrently, Azerbaijan stands to benefit significantly from studying Israel's expertise in water resource management, seawater desalination, desertification mitigation, and agricultural practices suited for arid and semi-arid conditions.Drawing on these insights, collaborative efforts with Israeli enterprises are ongoing. Notably, an Israeli company has recently established a dairy farm in Agali village, Zangilan region. Discussions also encompass projects focused on water resource management, renewable energy utilization, and rural development.The burgeoning economic ties between Azerbaijan and Israel, underscored by robust indicators of mutual economic engagement, are noteworthy. Israel ranks among the largest purchasers of Azerbaijani oil, reflecting deep cooperation in energy, trade, infrastructure, and high technology sectors. Conversely, Azerbaijan serves as a primary oil supplier to Israel, with its share of Israeli oil imports increasing from approximately 30% two years ago to about 40% last year. Additionally, Azerbaijan exports significant volumes of oil products to Israel.The scope of bilateral cooperation extends beyond these sectors to encompass tourism, energy, agriculture, healthcare, cybersecurity, and others. Notably, the tourism sector is experiencing growth, evident in rising numbers of Israeli tourists visiting Azerbaijan. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen highlighted this trend during discussions with the Azerbaijani President, emphasizing opportunities for further bilateral trade enhancement.Since 1993, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has operated regular flights connecting Baku and Tel Aviv, facilitating increased connectivity between the two nations. In Azerbaijan's mobile telecommunications sector, the initial investment from Israeli company Bakcell marked a pivotal milestone, establishing the first mobile phone operator in the Azerbaijani market. The bilateral economic framework was formally established with the signing of the Agreement on the Protection and Promotion of Investments in February 2007.Significantly, forums such as the Azerbaijan-Israel Construction Forum in July 2009 and the Azerbaijan-Israel Business Forum in June 2009 have fostered direct engagement between Israeli and Azerbaijani companies, further enhancing bilateral economic cooperation. Israeli firms, including "Binui" and "Shikun," have actively participated in infrastructure projects such as the Muganli-Yevlakh highway reconstruction, spanning 156 km.Currently, multiple Israeli companies are operational in Azerbaijan, contributing to the steady growth of bilateral trade, which reached $4 billion in 2009. Recent data indicates a notable increase in trade turnover, surpassing half a billion US dollars during January-April 2023, marking a 33.5% rise from the previous year. Moreover, significant strides in investments were observed, exemplified by the Azerbaijan Investment Company's agreement with "OurCrowd," Israel's prominent global crowdfunding platform, in July 2022.In February of this year, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy announced a $1 million investment in LARGIX, an Israeli startup specializing in industrial product development, highlighting ongoing collaborative initiatives in innovative sectors.The multifaceted approach adopted by the Presidents of Israel and Azerbaijan to expand cooperation across emerging fields underscores the limitless potential inherent in their bilateral relations. Notably, both nations are exploring opportunities in renewable energy sources, reflecting Azerbaijan's proactive integration of renewable energy in liberated territories and Israel's commitment to sharing its expertise in this pivotal area.In conclusion, the evolving partnership between Azerbaijan and Israel exemplifies a robust alliance built on strategic economic cooperation, mutual respect, and shared ambitions across multiple sectors. From defense industry collaboration and energy projects like TANAP to advancements in agriculture, tourism, and high technology, both nations continue to expand their bilateral relations.The substantial growth in trade turnover and investments underscores the mutual benefits derived from these collaborations, promising a future marked by innovative solutions and sustainable development initiatives. As Azerbaijan modernizes its economy and Israel shares its technological expertise, the partnership between these two nations appears poised to further flourish, driven by a shared commitment to progress and prosperity. President Ilham Aliyev is on working visit to England to participate in 4th summit of European ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/250791.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 12:40:00 +0400 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is on a working visit to England to participate in the 4th summit of the European Political Community at the invitation of Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Azernews reports.The President of Azerbaijan arrived at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, welcomed the head of state.</p></body> </html> Azerbaijan applies to change its status in SCO http://www.today.az/news/politics/250788.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 12:37:00 +0400 Fatima Latifova Azerbaijan has applied to change its status from a dialogue partner to an observer country in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Azernews reports, citing Iran's national coordinator in the SCO Secretariat, Mehrdad Kiayei, as he told to the newspaper "Izvestia.""Several countries, including Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, and others, have applied to join the organization. These countries (except for Bangladesh) want to change their status from dialogue partners to observer status. In principle, we are ready to consider this issue and reach a certain conclusion in agreement with the respective applicants and member states of the organization," he said.Note that Azerbaijan places significant emphasis on fostering relations with Central Asian countries, particularly its engagements with the Turkic states in the region. In recent years, there has been a steady exchange of visits between President Ilham Aliyev and leaders from Central Asian nations.President Ilham Aliyev's participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, on July 3-4 underscores Azerbaijan's growing international influence. This marked his fourth visit to Kazakhstan in the last two years and highlights Azerbaijan's deepening ties with SCO.Cooperation in the East-West and North-South transport corridors represents a pivotal area of collaboration between Azerbaijan and SCO member states. Positioned strategically, Azerbaijan's substantial investments in transportation infrastructure hold the potential to position the country as a pivotal transportation and logistics hub in Eurasia. Azerbaijan holds departure ceremony for Olympic team http://www.today.az/news/sports/250779.html Sports Thu, 18 Jul 2024 12:15:00 +0400 Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan has hosted a departure ceremony for its Olympic team, Azernews reports.The ceremony took place at the National Gymnastics Arena. The National Anthem of Azerbaijan was played at the event.Welcoming the participants of the event, the Minister of Youth and Sports Farid Gayibov said that the athletes will go to the Olympics for the first time as representatives of a sovereign country whose territorial integrity has been restored. He stressed that he expects success from all the athletes who will participate in the Olympic Games.Later, the memory of the martyrs and deceased sportsmen was commemorated with a 1-minute silence.Then the flag bearers of Azerbaijan in Paris-2024 were announced. Female judoka Gultaj Mammadaliyeva and boxer Mahammad Abdullayev have been named Azerbaijani team's flag bearers for the opening ceremony at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games on July 26.The event continued with the artistic part after the presentation of the specially designed sports uniforms of the representatives of Azerbaijan for the Olympic Games.At the Paris Olympics, Azerbaijan will be represented by 48 athletes in 17 programs in 15 sports.The 2024 Summer Olympics will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024.Paris will become the second city after London to host the Summer Olympics three times.The Games will feature football, tennis, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, volleyball, weightlifting, basketball, fencing, taekwondo, athletics, wrestling, and other sports, as well as the debut of breakdancing as an Olympic event. Turkiye's Cahit Baghci speaks about women rights in Azerbaijan and Turkiye http://www.today.az/news/politics/250778.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 11:56:00 +0400 Fatima LatifovaTurkiye and Azerbaijan granted women the right to vote and be elected before many Western countries, Azernews reports, citing Turkiye's Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Cahit Baghc?, as he spoke at the conference on "Women in the Islamic World: Traditions and Challenges" held in the city of Shusha.The ambassador spoke about the efforts to increase the participation and role of women in public and political life in Turkiye and Azerbaijan:"In Turkiye's 2024 action plan, serious measures are planned to prevent violence against women. We also see significant steps being taken in Azerbaijan regarding women's and children's rights, important laws being passed, and various activities being carried out. As the Turkish state, we are always ready to share our experiences with official Baku in this direction. In fact, there is an action plan between our countries in this area, and we are implementing it together." Junior badminton players claim bronze medals at Istanbul Youth Open 2024 http://www.today.az/news/sports/250780.html Sports Thu, 18 Jul 2024 11:37:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova Azerbaijani junior badminton players have secured two bronze medals at Istanbul Youth Open 2024, Azernews reports.The medals were claimed by Ulvi Huseynov and Amirkhan Imanov in the Men's Doubles U17 event, and Omar Teymurlu and Kalina Koseva (representative of Bulgaria) in the Mixed Doubles U13 event.The Azerbaijan Badminton Federation is considered an active partner within the global and European badminton communities.In 2023, Baku hosted the Congress of the Badminton Europe Confederation for the first time.The large-scale event covered the issues on the agenda of badminton competitions during the preparation period for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.The motto of the Congress was Inclusive Badminton, celebrating the accessibility of badminton for all.In 2025, Azerbaijan's capital will host the European Badminton Championship for mixed teams. Azerbaijani oil price increase http://www.today.az/news/business/250781.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 10:57:00 +0400 Ulviyya ShahinThe price of Azerbaijani oil has increased in the world market, Azernews reports.The price of one barrel of "Azeri Light" brand oil increased by $0.68 or 0.76 percent to $89.27.Note that the lowest price of "Azeri Light" oil was recorded on April 21, 2020 (US$15.81), and the maximum price was recorded in July 2008 (US$149.66). COP29 volunteers organize environmental action in Icherisheher http://www.today.az/news/society/250782.html Society Thu, 18 Jul 2024 10:38:00 +0400 Ulviyya ShahinCOP29 Azerbaijan Operating Company organized an environmental action under the slogan "Reuse for our little friends," aiming to encourage collective participation and responsibility in environmental protection, Azernews reports citing the event took place in Icherisheher in partnership with the "Icherisheher" State Historical-Architectural Reserve.As part of the campaign, COP29 volunteers gathered to create functional bird nests from pre-collected waste materials. They captured the public's interest with practical demonstrations on crafting various types of bird nests using different waste materials. Additionally, they shared intriguing facts about the benefits of waste reduction through recycling. The bird nests were subsequently installed in the park area of Icherisheher, catering to the food and water needs of birds and small animals.Further nests are scheduled for installation in the Castle Reserve.This initiative, driven by COP29 volunteers who combined theoretical knowledge with practical activities, aims to underscore the link between waste management—an important climate issue—and the protection of the environment, flora, and fauna. It seeks to raise public awareness about adopting environmentally sustainable practices like responsible waste management in everyday life. Moreover, it emphasizes the crucial role of collective efforts in achieving these goals once more. Professionalism of Azerbaijani snipers increases [VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/250783.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 10:19:00 +0400 Fatima Latifova Under the training plan of the Land Forces for 2024, a specialty session was held with sniper units and sniper qualified military personnel of commando military units, Azernews reports.The servicemen accomplished practical shooting exercises from sniper rifles in various episodes to further improve practical capabilities and shooting skills.The tasks on taking the firing position and bringing the weapon into combat state, detection and destruction of imaginary enemy targets were fulfilled with professionalism. Azerbaijan's Shusha hosts Women in Islamic World: Traditions and Challenges conference http://www.today.az/news/politics/250784.html Politics Thu, 18 Jul 2024 10:00:00 +0400 Fatima Latifova The conference on "Women in the Islamic World: Traditions and Challenges" has started in Shusha, Azernews reports.The conference is organized by the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs and is attended by the committee's chair Bahar Muradova, the President's special representative in Shusha district Ayd?n Karimov, Turkey's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Cahid Ba?ç?, Morocco's Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and Family Aavatif Hayar, Deputy of the VI convocation of the National Assembly, Chair of the Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova, public figures, media representatives, and various state agency employees.During the panel session on "Women in the Islamic World: Tradition and Modern Challenges," discussions will include the role of women in the restoration and sustainable development of Karabakh, the protection of women's rights in the globalizing world within the context of the Islamic community, the Islamic perspective on human and environmental relations, and other topics. New challenges will also be highlighted. Russia's Lavrov discloses details of Istanbul talks regarding Ukraine http://www.today.az/news/regions/250785.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 09:00:00 +0400 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced some details of the Istanbul talks regarding Ukraine, Azernews reports, citing the Russian minister telling at a press conference at the UN.According to him, if the agreement reached in Istanbul was signed between the delegations of the two countries in April 2022, Ukraine would remain within the borders of 1991, except for Crimea (annexed by Russia - Note) and territories controlled by Russian troops at that time.It should be noted that on March 10, within the framework of the diplomatic forum held in Antalya, a meeting was held between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia, Dmitry Kuleba and Sergey Lavrov, and on March 29, negotiations at the delegation level were started in Istanbul.During the meeting, the Ukrainian side handed over the draft agreement ("Istanbul Communiqué") to the representatives of Russia. Here, among other issues, it was suggested that Ukraine is ready for non-alignment status as a non-nuclear country under special security guarantees and that the Crimean issue should be resolved through diplomacy within 15 years. Azerbaijan, World Bank enter new phase of partnership strategy [COMMENTARY] http://www.today.az/news/business/250786.html Business Thu, 18 Jul 2024 08:30:00 +0400 Ulviyya Shahin Azerbaijan's collaboration with the World Bank, spanning over two decades, continues to evolve with new strategies. With a focus on various sectors, the World Bank has committed $4 billion in guaranteed loans across Azerbaijan, completing 51 out of 54 projects totaling $3.6 billion. As discussions proceed, the World Bank's Board of Directors aims to approve a new partnership strategy for 2025-2029 by the end of October. This strategy aims to support Azerbaijan's goals in transitioning to a "green" economy and expanding renewable energy sources, alongside enhancing employment opportunities and workforce skills.Speaking about the major successes and challenges of the projects funded by the World Bank in Azerbaijan thus far, the US-based expert, and national security analyst, Irina Tsukerman told Azernews that the Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project (ACIP) enhanced seed quality, plant and animal health, supply chains, and access to finance for 6,381 Azerbaijani farmers."ACIPs helped boost output by an average of 69.5% for the 60% of agribusinesses that showed the most improvement. This success has generated income for the rural poor and is providing support to a viable non-oil economic pillar for the country. However, the project has been challenged by Azerbaijan's dependency on oil. When the ACIP was appraised in 2013, agriculture employed 40% of the Azerbaijani workforce—more than any other industry—but only contributed 5% of GDP. This underperformance was caused by challenges such as a lack of improved seeds and productive livestock breeds, outdated processing technologies, a market structure that did not encourage long-term investment and planning, and limited access to funding. Ratings for the Judicial Modernization Project for Azerbaijan were as follows: outcomes were unsatisfactory, the risk to development outcome was low or negligible, the Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and the Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Some lessons learned included: Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) arrangements need to closely follow the key project activities if target values are expected to be met and attributed to the project. Consistent and timely monitoring is then necessary throughout the project cycle. Restructuring documentation should be reviewed holistically and for internal consistency to prevent situations where, for example, the results framework retains elements that are no longer funded due to reallocations between components. Preliminary results and outcomes should be used and applied on a continued basis to further inform project design and activities. The development objective of the Regional Connectivity and Development Project for Azerbaijan is to provide safe, efficient, and climate-resilient transport connectivity and improve market accessibility along the Salyan-Bilasuvar road corridor. "According to her, this project has four components."The first component, Road Connectivity, has the following sub-components: (i) Regional Road Rehabilitation; and (ii) Construction Supervision. The second component, Road Sector Sustainability, has the following sub-components: (i) Road Network Management Systems; and (ii) Develop Systems for Road User Charging (RUC) and Prevention of Overloading. The third component, Local Development and Logistics, has the following sub-components: (i) Develop Road-side Logistics and Market Facilities; and (ii) Advisory and Training Initiatives. The fourth component, Project Management and Impacts, has the following sub-components: (i) Support for Project Management; and (ii) Results Measurement and Impact Assessment. This project was initially challenged by the occupation of Garabagh and the closure of roads and corridors, as well as by energy-related challenges. However, the liberation of the Armenian-occupied territories is contributing to significantly increased connectivity including the building of smart cities and the implementation or discussion of the opening roads and corridors such as Lachin and Zangazur. Currently, Azerbaijan is participating in several internal connectivity projects as well as external projects with various other countries."Touching on the main objectives of the World Bank's new partnership strategy for Azerbaijan covering 2025-2029, Irina Tsukerman noted that the new partnership is designed to support Azerbaijan's goals in overcoming COVID-related economic obstacles, providing an effective pathway away from oil dependency and towards a green energy transition, and facilitating a green economy."That includes the expansion of Azerbaijan's employment support program: The World Bank plans to allocate an additional 150 million USD to this program, which aims to promote job creation and improve the skills of the workforce. The second project envisages the expansion of the use of renewable energy sources (AZURE). As part of this project, the Bank plans to allocate 250 million US dollars to support Azerbaijan's transition to a "green" economy through the development of wind and solar energy, according to preliminary estimates."As for how the World Bank's allocated 4 billion USD in guaranteed loans for Azerbaijan have been utilized across different sectors, she emphasized that these loans included US$100 million, supporting the Judicial Services and Smart Infrastructure Project (JSSIP)."This project builds on the past Judicial Modernization Project and aims at improved access, transparency, and efficiency of selected judicial services. The second loan, for US$50 million, was an Additional Financing for the ongoing Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project (AzRIP), which helped rural communities in Azerbaijan improve their well-being by supporting small-scale infrastructure and income-generating activities, targeting over 1400 villages. A US$47.1 million loan from the World Bank to Azerbaijan went as financing for the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project. Most of the budget went to projects in the areas of transport, social protection, water supply and irrigation, agriculture, ecology, justice, and more recently smart infrastructure, and green energy and climate change-related projects. The connectivity projects included the building of roads in various areas. Other loans include rapid technical assistance projects and educational projects aimed at skill-building for vulnerable populations as well as to improve civic engagement. This also includes the education and health facilities building, potable water, drainage, and tertiary irrigation in support of local economic activities."The expert added that the World Bank Group uses evaluations to assess its performance and results, providing feedback at multiple levels: (a) to inform strategies, corporate processes, and managerial decisions; (b) to shape sectoral, thematic, and country partnership strategies and programs; and (c) to enhance the design and implementation of lending, investment, advisory, and knowledge services at project and operational levels."Evaluation within the World Bank Group encompasses various types, processes, and roles across its institutions, evolving to meet organizational needs and client requirements. It distinguishes among three main evaluation modalities: independent evaluation, mandatory self-evaluation, and demand-driven self-evaluation.Independent evaluations, conducted by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), are fully independent and focus on accountability and learning. They report directly to the Boards and target audiences include management, staff, clients, and development partners.Mandatory self-evaluations are conducted by operational units within the World Bank, IFC, and MIGA, closely linked to decision-making and organizational learning processes. These evaluations are embedded in project cycles and validated by IEG to ensure behavioral independence.Demand-driven self-evaluations respond to specific demands from donors, clients, or internal initiatives, often managed or commissioned externally but embedded within managerial processes with behavioral independence.Overall, these evaluation systems help the World Bank Group monitor and improve performance across sectors, regions, and corporate levels, informing decision-making and enhancing development outcomes."According to the expert who talked about the future cooperation between Azerbaijan and the World Bank mentioned that the areas for cooperation under discussion include future additional energy projects, employment support to address the access of the developing communities to small businesses, social protection, technology, and innovation, and additional skill building and social reform projects."Most of the support is aimed at funding and strengthening alternative energy solutions, research & development, and implementation of green energy projects such as smart cities, particularly in the areas of reconstruction of Garabagh or rebuilding areas of cities which suffered damage from the war or otherwise require extensive renovation," I.Tsukerman concluded. Belarus introduces visa-free travel for citizens of European countries http://www.today.az/news/regions/250787.html World news Thu, 18 Jul 2024 08:00:00 +0400 President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has supported the proposal to establish a procedure for temporary visa-free entry, exit and stay in the country through all road and railway checkpoints for citizens of 35 European countries in addition, Azernews reports."In order to further demonstrate the openness and peacefulness of our country, commitment to the principles of good neighborliness, as well as to simplify interpersonal contacts and improve freedom of movement, the President of the Republic of Belarus supported the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies to establish a procedure for temporary visa-free entry, exit and stay in the Republic of Belarus through all road and railway checkpoints for additional citizens of 35 European countries states," the Foreign Ministry said.Technically, this procedure will take effect from 8:00 a.m. on July 19, 2024.Thus, citizens of all European countries in respect of which Belarus applies the visa regime, from July 19, can enter and leave through all land and air international checkpoints of the country's state border with valid documents and stay in Belarus for no more than 30 days from the date of entry.This procedure for visa-free entry and exit will be valid until December 31, 2024.The current regime of visa-free entry through land checkpoints for citizens of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and other countries is also maintained. Moon cave ready for astronaut exploration http://www.today.az/news/regions/250776.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 23:21:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaScientists have confirmed that there is a cave on the Moon that astronauts can use for long-term missions, Azernews reports.Scientists have analyzed radar measurements of the lunar probe of the US Aerospace Agency (NASA).Noting that the cave is located about 400 kilometers from the landing site of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the scientists said that the cave was formed as a result of the collapse of a lava tube. They noted that this cave could host astronauts for long-term missions in the future, as it is protected from the harsh environmental conditions of the Moon. Romanians working abroad are the largest investors in the country's economy http://www.today.az/news/regions/250775.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 22:19:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaRomanians working abroad are the largest investors in the country's economy, Azernews reports.This is stated in a new study by the National Bank of Romania, according to which in 2023, money transfers sent by the diaspora reached a record 6.5 billion euros. This amount, equivalent to 2 percent of Romania's GDP, slightly exceeds the total value of foreign direct investment.Money transfers sent by the diaspora have become a constant source of foreign currency, helping to maintain the leu (national currency) and cover the current account deficit.The UK remains in first place in the top countries of origin of money transfers to Romania with 1.5 billion euros. Germany took second place with 1.4 billion euros, followed by Italy and Spain. China suspends consultations with the United States on arms control http://www.today.az/news/regions/250774.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 21:52:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaChina has decided to suspend consultations with the United States on arms control and non-proliferation due to the sale of weapons by the American side to the administration of the island of Taiwan, Azernews reports."For a certain period of time, the United States continued to sell arms to the Taiwan administration, despite China's strong opposition and repeated negotiations. China has decided to suspend the next round of consultations on arms control and non-proliferation with the United States," he said.The diplomat blamed the American side for the incident and stressed Beijing's readiness to maintain appropriate contacts with Washington "on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation." He called on the United States to "respect China's core interests and create the conditions necessary for dialogue and consultation between the two sides." Georgia has more than doubled the import of passenger cars from China http://www.today.az/news/regions/250773.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 21:18:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaGeorgia more than doubled the import of passenger cars from China in January-May this year, Azernews reports.It is reported that in January-May of this year, Georgia imported 1,100 passenger cars from China with a total value of $ 18.6 million, which is 116 percent more than in the same period of 2023.In addition, during the reporting period, Georgia imported 492 trucks from China worth $19.9 million. This is 139 percent more than in the same period last year.At the same time, Georgia purchased 83 units of special-purpose equipment from China in the amount of 6.6 million dollars, which is 186 percent more than in the same period last year.In addition, China intends to open a car market in Georgia.Only Chinese-made cars will be sold on the market. Extreme poverty in Cuba rose to 89 percent http://www.today.az/news/regions/250772.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 20:44:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaFive months after the start of the economic package, the level of extreme poverty in Cuba increased to 89 percent, Azernews reports.According to the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH), 19 percent of the population survive with less than 5 euros per month, 33 percent - less than 15 euros, 19 percent – less than 30 euros. Only 3 percent of the respondents earn more than 195 euros per month.The State of Social Rights in Cuba report notes that these figures reflect the situation of poverty, shortages of food and medicine, and unreliability of basic public services, which millions of Cuban families believe are suppressing them. Lack of confidence in the future is at the heart of the observed growing migration flow. In Europe, they talked about the AI model of the fighter of the future http://www.today.az/news/regions/250771.html World news Wed, 17 Jul 2024 20:15:00 +0400 By Alimat AliyevaInitially, the artificial intelligence (AI) models in the European fighter of the future Future Combat Air System (FCS) will be "frozen", that is, they will not be trained directly in the process of performing a combat mission. Defense News writes about this, Azernews reports.According to Thomas Grohs, head of the Future capabilities department at Airbus, chief engineer of the FCAS project, AI models for deciding whether to strike the enemy will be developed and retrained outside the board of a promising combat aircraft. Nevertheless, in the future, model training can be integrated into the aerial platform itself, which, in addition to the lead fighter, includes, in particular, guided unmanned aerial vehicles."I don't see much difference between the decisions that a robot or a human makes," Grohs said. Israeli expert: It is natural for Armenia to be jealous about Baku-Tel Aviv relations http://www.today.az/news/politics/250770.html Politics Wed, 17 Jul 2024 19:58:00 +0400 By Fatima LatifovaThe strengthening of relations between Azerbaijan and Israel has become more evident in recent years. These relations are primarily manifested in the economic, energy, and military sectors and hold strategic significance for both countries.In the economic sector, cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel is accompanied by an increase in trade turnover. Azerbaijan is an important energy supplier for Israel, particularly in terms of oil and gas exports. Israel, in turn, provides support to Azerbaijan in the fields of agricultural technologies, water management systems, and high technologies.In the military sector, there is also significant cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel. Israel exports modern military technologies and weapons to Azerbaijan, which enhances Azerbaijan's defence capabilities and serves as an important factor for regional security.This close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel worries Armenia. Armenia believes that the military relations between Azerbaijan and Israel, especially the arms sales that help modernise the Azerbaijani army, will change the regional power balance. Additionally, economic and energy cooperation is seen as a threat to Armenia's economic security.In his comment to Azernews on the issue, Dean Shmuel Elmas, Geopolitics and Energy Analyst in the Israeli most popular financial newspaper, Globes, and M.A student for International Relations and Maritime Strategy at Haifa University stated that Azerbaijan-Israel relations seriously concern Armenians.“Armenia is the main regional partner of Iran, and therefore the Armenians see the Israeli-Azerbaijani historic ties as a threat. So, it is natural for Armenia to be jealous about this burgeoning relations. Moreover, we know how significant the Israeli-made weapons and ammunition are for the Azerbaijani armed forces and their recent conflicts with Armenia,” he said.The expert brought attention to the diplomatic relations between the two countries.“Israel is the best partner of Azerbaijan in our region, and we know the great relations between President Aliyev and Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he noted.The analyst stressed that Israel hosts so many intelligent Azerbaijani students that are part of the bright Azerbaijani future.“Let's take the education sector as an example. Israeli education companies help Azerbaijan improve its technology education. At the same time, we have amazing Azerbaijani students in Israel that I've met, and I know that they are a major part of Azerbaijan's bright future. I can give examples of Raphael Nabizade and Said Omanov, whom I know personally,” the expert said.The expert also discussed the options for the Armenians in the sphere of education.“While we know the top-class level of the Israeli universities, what are the options for the Armenian next generation? Tehran University? That's why I am sure that with the leadership of Ambassadors Mukhtar Mammadov and George Deek, other new mutual records are near,” he noted.The expert emphasized that despite all this, the Armenians are still criticizing Azerbaijan-Israel relations.They are trying over and over again, in the U.S., Israel, and elsewhere. In Hebrew, we usually say "A barking dog doesn't bite". So they make noises, but when you are making noise - You don't work. This is what is all about. The basis of the Israeli-Azerbaijani relations is hard and long mutual work. This is why the relations are so successful.It should be noted that the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Israel is carried out in accordance with the national interests of both countries and holds strategic significance. Although this cooperation increases Armenia's concerns, it strengthens the positions of Azerbaijan and Israel on regional and global levels. Time will show how these processes will develop in the future, but current trends indicate that the relations between these two countries will further strengthen. SOCAR announces admission to scholarship program http://www.today.az/news/society/250777.html Society Wed, 17 Jul 2024 19:15:00 +0400 "Offshore Subsea Operations Technology" and "Offshore Drilling Technology" are announced for Chaycuma Vocational School under Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University (ZBEU) in cooperation with "Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakl???" of Azerbaijan State Oil Company (SOCAR). The scholarship program includes tuition fees and a monthly stipend of 350 AZN for admitted individuals during the 2-year vocational training. Additionally, SOCAR will provide round-trip airfare between Azerbaijan and Turkiye twice per academic year.Who can apply for the scholarship program?To be eligible for the program, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:Must be a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan.Must have completed secondary education.Should possess foreign language skills (Turkish C-1 and English B-1 levels).Applicants whose English language proficiency does not meet the requirements may undergo an additional 1-year preparatory period at the vocational school based on exam results. Expenses during this period will be covered by SOCAR.What are the stages of the selection process?The selection process consists of the following stages:Application stage via the Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University's relevant system.Language proficiency test in English and Turkish (exams organized by Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University employees in Baku).Selection and admission stage (conducted by Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University).How to apply?For more information about the vocational school and the specialties:Detailed information on "Offshore Drilling Technology".Detailed information on "Offshore Subsea Operations Technology".Click here for the application link.Application Deadline: July 31, 2024*SOCAR is not responsible for the employment of graduates upon program completion.For technical issues and further inquiries related to the application, please contact [email protected] additional questions about the program:Contact numbers: +994508410532, +994508410711Email: [email protected] Northern Regional Centre of Ombudsman holds educational events http://www.today.az/news/society/250769.html Society Wed, 17 Jul 2024 18:43:00 +0400 By Fatima LatifovaA series of educational events on the topic "Ensuring Citizens' Voting Rights" were held by the Northern Regional Centre of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Quba and Gusar in connection with the extraordinary elections to the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azernews reports.At the events, attended by local youth and public representatives, the head of the Regional Centre, B. Afandiyev, provided information on the provisions of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the organisation of the voting process, the rights and duties of observers, the functions of election commission members, voters' rights, and other issues. He stated that a series of events were being conducted by the Ombudsman's Office to educate the population about voting rights.At the end, questions from the participants were answered. Azerbaijan's cultural centre to host Vagif Poetry Days http://www.today.az/news/society/250768.html Society Wed, 17 Jul 2024 18:21:00 +0400 By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan's cultural centre, Shusha City, will host Vagif Poetry Days on July 17-19, Azernews reports.The event is co-organised by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Culture Ministry.Well-known figures of literature, culture, and science, as well as poets and writers from the Turkish republics visiting Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Writers' Union, will participate in the Vagif Poetry Days.As part of Vagif Poetry Days, events will be organised in various historical and cultural places in Shusha, including the Molla Panah Vagif Museum Mausoleum Complex, restored by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, as well as the House of Khurshidbanu Natavan, in front of the Shusha City Executive Authority and the Shusha Hotel and Congress Centre.On January 14, 1982, the mausoleum of the great poet and statesman Molla Panah Vagif (1717-1797) and the House of Poetry were inaugurated in Shusha with the participation of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.It was at that event that National Leader Heydar Aliyev supported the initiative of the Azerbaijani literary figures in this direction and gave an instruction to hold the Vagif Poetry Days.The festival of speech and art was organised for the first time in July 1982.The Vagif Poetry Days, which have a forty-two-year history, are being organised for the fourth time in Shusha city, which was freed from occupation. Film Agency celebrates birthday anniversary of outstanding director http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/250762.html Arts & Entertainment Wed, 17 Jul 2024 17:57:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova Azerbaijan Film Agency has hosted a commemorative event to mark the 115th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding film director Niyazi Badalov, Azernews reports.Supported by the Culture Ministry, the photo exhibition reflecting the film director's life, was demonstrated at State Film Fund. A video about the film director was also screened as part of the event.In his speech, director of the State Film Fund, Honoured Art Worker Jamil Guliyev, hailed Niyazi Badalov's great role in the history of Azerbaijani documentary cinema.Jamil Guliyev also noted that rare director's script belonging to him is preserved in the fund's museum.Honoured Art Wworker and film critic Ayd?n Kazimzade shared his memories about Niyazi Badalov. He recalled that the prominent film director made up to 40 documentaries.The film critic pointed out that the portraits of the war heroes of the Second World War and its aftermath occupy a special place in the director's work.Through his films, Niyazi Badalov reflected the image resolution of the war and the rear front with unique colours.Doctor of Philosophy in Philology Firudin Qurbansoy said that the film director put his heart into his films, which is felt in every screen work.Speaking on behalf of the director's family members, Doctor of Philosophy in History Esmira Javadova thanked the State Film Fund for organising the event.In conclusion, Niyazi Badalov's documentaries "His name was Serafino" and "Relay" were shown to the guests of the event.Niyazi Badalov is regarded as one of the founders of Azerbaijani documentary cinema.The film director produced dozens of short documentaries and newsreels for magazines like Soviet Azerbaijan, Young Generation, News of the Day, Across the Country of Soviets, etc.Badalov also took part in dubbing Soviet films. He taught film technology at the acting department of the Azerbaijan State Theater College.Over his life, Niyazi Badalov produced dozens of films, including General Hazi Aslanov (1945), Muhammad Fuzuli (1958), M.F. Akhundov (1962), People's Poet Samad Vurgun (1965), Island in the Mountains (1971), Bridge Over the Caspian Sea (1988), and others.Niyazi Badalov was also a member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Azerbaijan SSR.Honoured Art Worker Aydin Kazimzade stressed that the outstanding filmmaker contributed to the formation and development of Azerbaijani documentary cinema.Next, the audience enjoyed Niyazi Badalov's films-150 years. Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Island in the Mountains, and Relay Race. COP29 President Babayev urges renewed climate focus http://www.today.az/news/business/250763.html Business Wed, 17 Jul 2024 17:35:00 +0400 Nazrin Abdul In the face of growing geopolitical tensions and international uncertainties, we must remain focused on the critical imperative of global cooperation and actionable solutions for climate change.This message is conveyed in a letter addressed to COP29 President Mukhtar Babayev and all participants of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP), Azernews reports.In this letter, Mukhtar Babayev outlines the objectives and expectations for COP29, the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties. He emphasized that COP29 will serve as a litmus test for the Paris Agreement and for global efforts to combat climate change.The COP29 President highlighted the central principles of the summit and discussed strategies to elevate the ambition of climate goals. Babayev stated, “In our consultations for the COP29 presidency, we have presented a vision built on two parallel tracks: raising ambition and creating conditions for effective climate action, along with securing climate finance. These two pillars reinforce each other and are essential for the successful implementation of our key mandates and activities. Our focus is on building trust, fostering solidarity, and maintaining momentum.”Furthermore, Babayev affirmed that the COP29 presidency will continue to engage actively with all parties involved and expressed optimism that the upcoming summit will achieve significant success. Azerbaijan Mini-Football Championship starts this fall http://www.today.az/news/sports/250764.html Sports Wed, 17 Jul 2024 17:17:00 +0400 Laman Ismayilova The Azerbaijan Minifootball Federation has announced the starting date of the Azerbaijan Mini-Football Championship, Azernews reports.The 2024–25 season will start on October 3, 2024. The games of the championship will be held at the stadium of the Baku Tennis Academy.Recall that the winner of the last season was Birbasha Baku.Established on September 29, 2017, the Azerbaijan Minifootball Federation (AMF) focuses on the development and promotion of mini-football in Azerbaijan.In 2018, the Federation became a member of the European Minifootball Federation and World Minifootball Federations, which gives Azerbaijan the opportunity to participate in international minifootball tournaments.One of the main activities of the Federation is the organisation of domestic and international competitions. The AMF regularly hosts tournaments and leagues throughout the year and sends the national mini-soccer team to international tournaments to represent Azerbaijan on the global stage and promote the country's reputation as a competitive force in the sport.The Federation works with schools, community groups, and other organisations to raise awareness of the sport and encourage more people to take part in it. This includes organising promotional events, public relations programmes, and media campaigns to increase the development and popularity of mini-football in Azerbaijan. Ersin Tatar: Victory in Second Garabagh War strengthened Azerbaijan even more http://www.today.az/news/politics/250765.html Politics Wed, 17 Jul 2024 17:00:00 +0400 Fatima LatifovaBrotherly Azerbaijan will always have a special place in our hearts, Azernews reports citing the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ersin Tatar, as he said during a meeting in Nicosia with a group of family members of the martyrs of the Second Garabagh War.The leader of the Turkish Cypriots expressed his pleasure in meeting with the relatives of Azerbaijan's heroes. According to him, relations between the TRNC and Azerbaijan have reached an important level."These achievements have been made possible with the support of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an," the politician saidErsin Tatar highlighted the growing importance of solidarity and unity among Turkish states, as well as the development of trade and political relations, against the backdrop of globalisation processes. He stressed: "I particularly consider the establishment of connections among the youth of Turkish states to be very important. The young generation of our countries should get to know each other better and strengthen their ties."The TRNC President mentioned that during the 44-day Patriotic War, Turkish Cypriots prayed for their Azerbaijani brothers. Addressing the guests from Azerbaijan, Ersin Tatar said: "The loss of people who are dear to us deeply saddened the Turkish Cypriots, but the victory in the Garabagh War became a bright page in history. Remember that martyrs who gave their lives for their homeland do not die. We will not forget, and we will not let the martyrs be forgotten. They sacrificed their lives to reclaim their native lands. This Victory has further strengthened Azerbaijan."He recalled that there are also many martyrs in Cyprus. "Our people do not forget the martyrs. They live in our hearts forever," said Ersin Tatar.Sevinc Orucova, the head of the "Victory" Public Union for Supporting the Families of Azerbaijani Martyrs, in turn, noted the importance of developing relations between the public structures of Azerbaijan and the TRNC.The visit of the members of the martyr families to Nicosia will continue until July 28.