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Azerbaijan takes over ADB Board of Governors chairmanship for 2015
06.05.2014 00:26
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Azerbaijan has assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the next year.

The country took over ADB chairmanship from Kazakhstan as the Board of Governors convened in Astana for its 47th annual meeting.

Entitled "Rethinking Asia's Challenges at the Crossroads of the Silk Road", the annual meeting saw much discussion on connectivity, innovation, and the need to keep up with the demands of a changing Asia and Pacific.

Participants came from ADB's 67 member countries and beyond, from government ministries and central banks, from business and finance, media, civil society, academia, and youth, cutting across professional, national, regional, and generational boundaries.

ADB President Takehiko Nakao and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev officially opened ADB's 47th Annual Meeting in Astana.

At the opening session, President Nakao spoke of the need for ADB to sharpen its focus to better serve the needs of a developing Asia in rapid transition. He also looked forward to the end of extreme poverty in the region by 2020.

Mr. Nakao reiterated that the biggest challenge in the region remains poverty reduction. With 700 million people below the poverty line, Asia is still home to more than 60% of the world's poor. Using this measure of $1.25 a day, the region is likely to see an end to poverty in the region within the next decade.

"But more than 1.6 billion people living on less than $2 a day remain highly vulnerable to job loss, health problems, prolonged recession, inflation, crop failure, and environmental dangers."

"The challenge for ADB is to help developing member countries eradicate remaining poverty, and support greater inclusiveness to address inequalities," he said. "And there are other challenges: a huge infrastructure gap, environmental degradation and climate change. There is also the question of how to tap the full potential of regional cooperation and integration."

Addressing the event, chairman of ADB annual meeting of the Board of Governors, Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Yerbolat Dassayev noted that the next meeting would beheld in Baku as the chairmanship of the Board of Governors passed to Azerbaijan for the next year.

Azerbaijani Minister of Finance, member of the Board of Governors Samir Sharifov said Azerbaijan would try its best to use the Baku meeting to prove that it is "a trusted partner" of the Asian Development Bank.

The meeting featured the Day of Azerbaijan, which was attended by delegations of the Board of Governors member states, ADB leadership, and prominent public and political figures of Kazakhstan and other countries.

It featured demonstration of a promotional video about Azerbaijan.

Addressing the event, Minister Sharifov noted that the Azerbaijani President had already ordered the creation of the organizing committee for the 48th meeting of ADB Board of Governors to be held in Baku in May, 2015.

He highlighted the country's socio-economic development under President Ilham Aliyev.

ADB President Nakao hailed Azerbaijan's economic growth. He expressed confidence the Baku meeting would be a success.

He said that for the first time the annual meeting of ADB Board of Governors would take place in the Caucasus, adding they had been looking forward to seeing Azerbaijan's rapid development.

The website of the 2015 Baku meeting was presented at the event.

On the sidelines of the annual meeting of ADB Board of Governors, Minister Sharifov also held several meetings including with ADB President Takehiko Nakao, Secretary General Maria-Anne Birken, Vice-President of the WB Lora Tak, Director General of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Kiyoshi Kadero, and Director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Hirosh Vatanabe to discuss issues of expanding bilateral cooperation.
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464338.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464338.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/trend_ismayil_ismayilov_040315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/trend_ismayil_ismayilov_040315.jpg
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139016.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139016.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
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    The companies, which will supply pipes for the construction project of Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), will be required to obtain a certificate from the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE), a message of the TSE posted on its website March 4 said.

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    Turkey's Mannesmann-Noksel-Erciyas and Umran-Emek consortiums, and Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi, as well as the Chinese contractor Baosteel Europe won the tender for the supply of pipes for the TANAP project.

    All the companies that will participate in the construction and supply of the TANAP project in Turkey are exempt from VAT.

    The TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters of this gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Turkey will obtain gas in 2018. The gas will be supplied to Europe in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed. The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Armani blames Madonna
    04.03.2015 17:34
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464304.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464304.jpg
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    04.03.2015 17:34
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139014.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139014.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

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    "The authorities, including Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan are hooligans and brainless creatures, who demand for 5 percent tax from trash sellers. It is like imposing a tax on a deceased man," said salesmen in the trade center.

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    Salesmen claim that the documentation of a large part of the goods in the market is impossible, which is why they argue that paying a 5 percent tax is absurdly wrong. They urged the government to stop such repression and to leave them work in peace.

    "The market is almost dead given the already passivized trade. We can barely pay our rent and earn our daily bread. What does the government want from us?" complained desperate sellers.

    When it became clear that there are teachers, sports trainers, former directors of manufacturing workshops among those earning a living from dirt and dust, the real picture of Armenia's poor social life began to take shape before the eyes.

    Vendors said that the army of unemployed in the country was a direct result of the closure of almost all production facilities.

    "Millionaire statesmen living in their luxurious mansions should not develop such a complicated tax law, which they themselves fail to explain," said the vendors.

    Some 500 people representing small and medium businesses gathered in front of the government building in Yerevan in January to chant against the new law on turnover tax. Angry protesters even called on the prime minister to emerge before the crowd and lively respond to their complaints. Abrahamyan refused to address their complaints.

    Small and medium business owners in Armenia have unanimously opposed the new law when it was first proposed earlier in October. The merchants claim that it is unrealistic to require necessary documents from large businesses, which belong to oligarchs in state power, since they often refuse to produce any document of the bargained products to the small and medium-sized enterprises.

    The Armenian government, in turn, explains that the new law is part of an effort to combat tax evasion by large businesses in the country.

    As Armenia failed to escape the recent worldwide economic crisis due to its lame domestic economy, the reports showed that the gap between the rich and poor in the country has deepened over 2014, making rich people richer, while pushing the poor further down on the ladder of misery.

    Latest data by the National Statistics Committee recorded that 32 percent of Armenia's population is living in poverty, with even less than $20 income per month.
    1
  • Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipelineв's renewal
    04.03.2015 17:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/03/03/Nabucco_030309.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/03/03/Nabucco_030309.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipeline project to be unfrozen, Bulgarian FOCUS News Agency reported citing the country's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

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    Story still developing

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  • Azerbaijan-Czech business relations to develop
    04.03.2015 17:22
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139015.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139015.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic are interested in developing mutual relations in agriculture, industry, oil and gas sectors. The ample opportunities for both countries were discussed at the Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku on March 3.

    Some 32 Czech companies and banks as well as more than 150 businessmen from both sides were taking part in the business forum within the framework of visit of the Czech delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister, Jan Mladek.

    Currently, the Czech Republic mainly imports Azerbaijani oil, while industrial equipment and consumer goods are exported to Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan is interested in establishing joint ventures on the export of agricultural products with the Czech Republic," said Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijanв's Economy and Industry Minister, at the event.

    Mustafayev said the cooperation between the two countries is possible, using the Czech equipment for the food industry and the opportunities offered by the Azerbaijani agriculture.''Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic have a good potential for the development of cooperation in economy, primarily in the industrial sphere,'' he said.''The Czech Republic has invested over $1 billion in Azerbaijan. At present, six major projects implemented in Azerbaijan are funded by Czech companies. Their total value stands at about $2 billion.''

    The minister noted that it is very important that cooperation would not be limited only to Azerbaijan.''The level of Azerbaijani companies allows them to work in European countries, including the Czech Republic,'' Mustafayev said. ''I think that our companies have every opportunity to strengthen their activities in the Czech Republic.''He brought up the experience of an Azerbaijani company dealing with road construction in Serbia as an example of the work of Azerbaijani companies in Europe. The company does not lag behind local companies in Serbia and it actually largely outruns them in terms of quality.

    The minister also noted that the two countries can expand cooperation in tourism, ICT and other areas.

    Consequently, Jan Mladek expressed his satisfaction with the economic development of Azerbaijan, adding that Czech companies successfully operate in the country.

    Talking about the interests of the Czech Republic in purchasing Azerbaijani gas, he added that in this regard, the project for construction of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline is very important.

    The trade turnover between the two countries increased by 23 percent in 2014 up to 1.5 billion euros.

    The Czech banks have provided the country with loans worth $1.5 billion over the past decade, he noted.

    Furthermore, Mladek said that taking into account the failure of Nabucco and South Stream projects and the fact that the implementation of the Turkish Stream project will take quite some time, TANAP currently represents the most real project in this sphere.

    Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijanв's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.

    Addressing the journalists in Baku, Mladek said his country is interested in importing Azerbaijani oil.

    ''One third of the oil delivered to the Czech Republic is produced in Azerbaijan, while the remaining part accounts for Russia,'' said the minister.

    ''Import of Azerbaijani oil is very important for us, since we donв't want to be dependent on one source and one supply route,'' he added.

    Moreover, Mladek said that the Czech Republic is ready to further develop and finance the joint projects with Azerbaijan. In particular, the Czech companies are ready to take part in the construction of metro stations in Baku.

    ''While many countries are undergoing unstable economic situation, Azerbaijan remains a stable country and offers good opportunities for business development,'' he said.

    He added that in general, there are great prospects for the development of Azerbaijani-Czech relations in various spheres. ''Czech companies are interested in developing the cooperation in many fields, for instance in the spheres of energy and agriculture.''

    The Czech Republic does not export agricultural products, however, it supplies equipment for agriculture and food industry to other countries, the minister added.

    Moreover, some Czech companies would like to deliver coaches, locomotives to Azerbaijan and take part in the road construction in this country, Mladek added.

    President Aliyev receives Czech delegation

    The Czech delegation was also received by President Ilham Aliyev on March 3.The parties highlighted the successfully developing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic in political, economic and other fields. It was noted that these relations paved the way for mutual investment making, and that there were good prospects for cooperation in energy field.The sides also exchanged views over the prospects of cooperation in economic area.
    5
  • Turkey, Iraq discuss regional security issues
    04.03.2015 17:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/08/Flags_Turkey_Irag_240412_albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/08/Flags_Turkey_Irag_240412_albom.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:

    Regional security issues were discussed during the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz to Iraq, the Turkish news agency Anadolu said March 4.

    During the visit, Yilmaz met with his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al-Obeidi.

    During the visit, Turkish defense minister of Iraq discussed the fight against the terrorist organization "Islamic State."

    On March 3, two C-130 cargo aircraft of Turkish Air Force with military assistance to Iraq landed at the airport of Al-Muthana, 20 kilometers east of Baghdad.

    Military cargo was shipped to Iraq within the framework of the fight against the ISIS.

    The "Islamic State" (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS) penetrated Syria's territory in 2013. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared "a holy war" against all groups and government forces of Syria.

    Strengthening of the IS in Syria allowed it to return to Iraq, deploying military actions against government forces there.

    In late June of 2014, the IS announced about the creation of the lsquo;Islamic Caliphate' on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. In turn, Iraqi authorities asked the international community for help in fighting the IS.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    3
  • Food prices increase in Georgia
    04.03.2015 16:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/02/Produkt_020409.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/02/Produkt_020409.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Mar. 4

    Trend:

    Food prices have increased in Georgia, the information-analytical portal Georgia Online said March 4.

    The cost of almost all types of food increases in grocery stores of the country, according to information.

    Over the last month, the price of vegetable oil rose in average by 50 tetri. ($1 = 2.14 GEL)

    Sugar and buckwheat prices rose by 25 tetri. Sweets, coffee, salt, hygiene products and detergents prices also rose.

    In addition, starting from March, 1 price for alcoholic beverages also rose, which is associated with an increase in excise duty.

    The cost for all types of Coca-Cola products has increased by 10-25 tetri.

    The prices mainly began to rise after lari began to depreciate, according to the trade representatives

    Lari exchange rate in relation to the US dollar began to decline starting from November 20, 2014.

    On the results of the last trading, lari rate was set at 2,16GEL / $1.

    Until November 20, 2014, exchange rate of the national currency of Georgia was 1, 74-1, 76 GEL / $1.

    In connection with the expected rise in prices in Georgia due to the devaluation of lari exchange rate, the National Bank of the country in February began to tighten monetary policy.

    Edited by CN

    6
  • Novruzali Aslanov awarded 2nd grade order ''For Service to the Motherland''
    04.03.2015 16:58
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137747.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137747.jpg
    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order on awarding Novruzali Aslanov Davud oglu the 2nd grade order ''For Service to the Motherland''.

    Aslanov was awarded for his fruitful activity in Azerbaijan's socio-political life and his merits in the development of the Red Crescent movement, APA reports.
    3
  • Next round of Iran nuclear talks scheduled for March 15-20
    04.03.2015 16:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/24/iran_p5 1__24112013.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/24/iran_p5 1__24112013.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and P5 1 will be held from March 15 to 20.

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarid said that planning for next round of nuclear talks for next weeks is being carried out, ISNA reported March 4.

    Zarif said that during the nuclear talks with P5 1, some results have been achieved, but there are still some disputes over technical and political issues. He didn't go into detail of achievements or disputes.

    The talks between Iran and the P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) were extended until June 30, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement. However, the sides attempt to reach a political accord in March.

    After the parties failed to meet the November 24, 2014 deadline they also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed in November 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

    The sides are attempting to reach a political agreement in March and achieving a comprehensive nuclear agreement is expected by July.

    Edited by CN

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    8
  • ''Romantic Mugham'' drawing published on postmarks of Hungary
    04.03.2015 16:35
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139010.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139010.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    A splendid blend of three fabulous national instruments - the tar, gaval and kamancha - has gained a mandate to get published on postmarks in Hungary.

    "Romantic Mugham" by Chingiz Mehbaliyev, an Azerbaijani artist, which was first exhibited in Budapest in 2013, drew the attention of the Post Office for its unique composition.

    The artist painted the sketches while observing an elderly man listening to Mugam, a magnificent musical genre, which has conquered many hearts by its unexplainable mystery.

    "The elderly man had his eyes closed and was fantasizing while listening to Mugam. It was pretty clear to me that he was remembering his youth. The elderly man was putting his head into his shoulders and having his eyes closed," he said while talking about how the idea of the painting came about.

    "The Mugam took him to very far places'¦ to his romantic youth," continued the artist. "To me the man looked like the Mugam, melting under the influence of love,"The picture describes 3 musical instruments: - the tar, qaval and kamancha, which melt and mixed with each other. The tar is fallen into the qaval and the Kamancha is leaned on the leather of the qaval. There is a candle on the kamancha which is on fire and on the other side the artist protrayed a flying butterfly.The national musical instruments described at the painting seems sheltered to each other while acting together. The candle which is on fire on the Kamancha and the butterfly flying on the opposite side are the symbol of love. But they got apart from each other like the elderly man who got apart from his youth and love.The Mugam musical instruments touch the older generation who listen to Mugam and get nostalgic feelings. It seems like Mugam melts itself and pour into the souls of audience.

    Chingiz was born with a passionate love for colors. He was the youngest participant in the international art exhibition dedicated to the 800th anniversary of Mevlana Djalaleddin Rumi, organized by UNESCO in 2007.

    He took part in the international cartoon contest "Molla Nesreddin, Azerbaijan" and became a member of Azerbaijan Cartoonists Union. The artist was invited to Bartin, Turkey, to display his arts and after much success he became a member of SESAN ("Serbest Sanatchilar" - Free Artworkers) in 2010.

    A year later, his painting "Colors dedicated to Imadaddin Nasimi" attracted the attention of the jury of the international art contest among CIS member states and his painting was included in the final catalog of the contest.
    8
  • Only one regime unhappy with nuclear talks '" Rouhani
    04.03.2015 16:28
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/hassan_rouhani_060813_4.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/hassan_rouhani_060813_4.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that Iran is looking for a nuclear agreement that would benefit the whole world.

    We hope that the Group P5 1 would adopt a wise approach to the talks, the president said, speaking of the Western countries negotiating over Iran's nuclear program.

    Rouhani who was speaking during the cabinet meeting, stated that while everyone is happy with the nuclear talks, there is only one side that speaks against them, Fars news agency reported Mar. 4.

    "An aggressive, occupying regime which finds its survival in war is unhappy and angry about the negotiations," he said.

    "This regime is worried about regional peace; you can see that the Nusrah Front, with all the atrocity it commits, is supported by this regime."

    He further stated "People all over the world, no less people in the US, are smarter than to [be fooled by] the soft words of a regime whose job has always been to make war. A regime which, despite all international regulations and away from the international watchdogs, has sought nuclear bombs, made bombs, stored a large number of bombs, and by not signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, does not allow IAEA inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities."

    Rouhani asserted that the Islamic Republic has always pursued a plan for a nuke-free Middle East in the United Nations.

    "Accusations against Iran are made by a regime which has attacked its neighbors time and again, killing innocent people, and targeting children in Gaza. This regime, which is in fact a terrorist government, is now talking of peace and of future hazards, while it has been the greatest hazard to the region," the Iranian President pointed out.

    He noted "Such words will not affect the will of nations or governments. The basis in our negations with the world is goodwill versus goodwill, honesty versus honesty, certainty versus certainty, and trust versus trust."

    Edited by CN

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    8
  • Baku 2015 marks 100 Days To Go by unveiling first European Games medal design
    04.03.2015 16:17
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137745.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137745.jpg
    Baku 2015 European Games today marked the start of the 100 Days To Go countdown by revealing the design of medals for the inaugural event, to be held on 12-28 June this year.

    Baku 2015 also announced that tickets for children and teenagers under 16 will be free of charge at most competition events, while adult admission will be affordably priced. The new-look Baku 2015 website was also launched.

    The gold, silver and bronze medals revealed today feature unique iconography developed in line with the decorative Baku 2015 branding. The design, which features the Baku 2015 logo at its centre, is a metaphor for the dynamic, beautiful and culturally-rich host city, while the reverse face features the European Olympic Committees emblem and word mark.

    The medal design was created by renowned jeweller Adamas, which also produced the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games medals, in collaboration with Azerbaijani artist Nargiz Huseynova. They will be manufactured locally by Azersouvenir.

    Mr Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015, said: "It has always been our intention to recognise the first European Games athletes' achievements with a medal design as unique as the occasion itself. There are now only 100 days before the start of the Games, and I am sure that these beautiful medals will provide athletes with inspiration and raise the public's anticipation even further during the countdown to the event in June."

    Mr James Macleod, Director of Athlete Services and Operations at Baku 2015, added: "Winning a medal at the first European Games will be a career-defining moment for athletes competing at Baku 2015. The medal designs capture that sense of achievement, along with a creative allusion to Azerbaijani motifs which celebrates our host country."

    Baku 2015 also today announced its ticketing policy for the inaugural European Games. Adult tickets for sport sessions will range between AZN 2 - AZN 5, according to competition round (ie. preliminary or final), seat category, and venue. Children and teenagers under 16 will benefit from complimentary admission to most venues when accompanied by an adult (aged 18 ) in possession of ID and a valid ticket for the session. The only exceptions will be events held at the Heydar Aliyev Arena and National Gymnastics Arena, where admission for under-16s will cost just AZN 1.

    The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will have a separate pricing scheme, with affordable seats priced at AZN 20 and AZN 10, respectively, for spectators of all ages.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: "I am very proud of our ticketing policy announced today, which will allow us to share the experience of the European Games competitions with the widest possible audience, including families. Baku 2015 is focused on Europe's athletes and their commitment to sporting excellence, and bringing the inspiration they provide to the public.

    "It is also wonderful to mark the beginning of the 100 day countdown by revealing the iconic design of the first European Games medals, and to look forward to the great sporting feats our continent's sportsmen and women will accomplish here in Baku. We are committed to providing athletes with the perfect stage upon which to shine, and I believe that these marvellous medal designs will provide recognition that is worthy of their efforts."

    Details of admission prices to Baku 2015 European Games competitions and Ceremonies can be found on the new website at www.baku2015.com.
    7
  • Azerbaijani, Bulgarian presidents hold one-on-one meeting
    04.03.2015 16:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/president_tekbetek_gorus_bolgaria_040315_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/president_tekbetek_gorus_bolgaria_040315_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev held a one-on-one meeting in Sofia on March 4.

    During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations between the two countries in the political, economic, energy, humanitarian, cultural and other areas, and stressed the importance of high-level reciprocal visits.

    It was noted that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's official visit to Bulgaria will make a huge contribution to the further strengthening of the bilateral ties.

    Moreover, it was emphasized that there are big prospects and good opportunities for the expansion of the cooperation.

    The parties also exchanged views over bilateral relations and international issues.

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    7
  • Central bank unveiles average interest rates on deposits
    04.03.2015 16:15
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137744.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137744.jpg
    The Bank issued a statement.

    The average interest rate on deposits decreased.

    Thus, according to the February 1, 2015, the average interest rate on bank deposits and deposits made in the national currency, ie in manats, is 8.82%, and in foreign currency - 8.93%, Oxu.az reports with reference to the Central Bank.

    The average interest rate on deposits and deposits of legal entities in manat was 5.66%, in foreign currency - 4.36%.

    The average interest rate on deposits and deposits of individuals in manat was 9.41%, in foreign currency - 10.05%.
    4
  • Ministry conducts another raid
    04.03.2015 16:09
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137743.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137743.jpg
    Artificially inflated prices revealed.

    Ministry of Economy and Industry continues raids to prevent artificial price increases.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Ministry of Economy and Industry that during the inspections in the "Seval" supermarket, located at the Absheron region, on the Baku-Sumgait route in "Absheron" youth town and owned by Ahad Ahadov, it was found that the prices quoted on goods do not correspond to those type in the fiscal memory of a cash register, which indicates the cheating of buyers and artificially increase of prices.

    Serious measures in accordance with the law were taken against a person who has committed an offense.

    Control measures in the consumer market continued.
    8
  • Azerbaijani gymnasts leading at Bakuв's Open Joint Championships in Gymnastics
    04.03.2015 15:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/trend_oleq_stepko_040315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/trend_oleq_stepko_040315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Azerbaijani gymnasts Oleg Stepko and Kristina Pravdina are currently in the lead in the all-around competition at the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics in Baku March 4.

    Azerbaijan's representative Oleg Stepko with 45 points is in the lead among the men in all-around competition following three rotations.

    Another Azerbaijani gymnast Petr Pahnyuk with 43.550 points ranks second. The Croatian winner of the Olympic Games in London Filip Ude with 42.850 points is third.

    Azerbaijani gymnast Kristina Pravdina with 26.233 points is in the lead in the all-around competition among women following two rotations.

    Turkish gymnast Tutya Yilmaz with 25.299 points is second. Another gymnast of Azerbaijan Yulia Inshina with 24.932 points ranks third.

    The medal winners among men will be determined in the all-around competition after six rotations and among women following four rotations.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics has started in Baku. This is the test championship on the eve of the European Games.

    The official opening ceremony of the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics was held in Baku on March 4.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts will compete for medals both in the all-around and the individual competitions.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    9
  • Azerbaijani Air Force join first ever military drills abroad
    04.03.2015 15:48
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139009.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139009.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Turkish and Azerbaijani air forces started joint drills in Turkey's Konya region on March 3. The exercise turned to be remarkable as it is the Azerbaijani Air Forces' first ever attendance in a military drill abroad.

    Six fighters and 106 personnel of the Azerbaijani Air Forces joined the ongoing drills TURAZ Sahini-2015 alongside their Turkish counterparts.

    The drills that will last until April 2 are expected to see the active involvement of fighting jets MIG-29 and F-16 from the both air forces.

    Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said TURAZ Sahini-2015 military training was organized as part of the plan for military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Three MIG-29 combat jets, three Su-25 fighters and a military transport aircraft Il-76 of the Azerbaijani Air Forces will reportedly take part in the drills.

    Commander of Turkish Air Forces, Colonel Abdurrahim Arslan said 6 combat jets of MIG-29 and SU-25 types landed on the airbase in the first day of the drills, according to Turkish media outlet Anadolu Ajansi.

    "It is a historical day. First we experienced drills in Azerbaijan last September. Now we are again feeling the delight of joint drills in between the two brother countries," Arslan noted.

    Azerbaijani Air Forces Commander, Colonel Elchin Akhundov said he was very honored and glad to join the drills, namely in Turkey.

    "Thanks, Turkey! Thanks for warm welcome and for a historical day. Azerbaijani Air Forces joined its first ever military exercises abroad in Turkey. We are very happy, we wrote history here," Akhundov added.

    Earlier in September, the Turkish Air Forces joined large-scale military exercises in Azerbaijan, with a squad of over 30 combat jets to carry out joint missions with their Azerbaijani counterparts.

    Furthermore, four Mi-17 military transport helicopters were dispatched to the air base in Konya to partake in the international search and rescue drills ?SIK-2015.

    ISIK-2015 exercises, which will last until April 13, will involve military equipment of the air force of several countries, along with Azerbaijani and Turkish forces, to carry out certain tasks on planning joint activities, exploring the possibilities of interaction and coordination during operations, as well as the search and rescue operations.

    Azerbaijan-Turkey joint exercises serve primarily to test and reinforce planned joint activities of both countries' air force, explore the possibilities of joint actions and coordination in view of conducting combat operations and destruction of ground targets with air strikes.

    Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan's independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The two countries have very good relations almost in every field, including political, economical, military and defense, touristic, cultural and more.

    Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey started in 1992 with an agreement signed on military education. The agreement established the close and sustainable cooperation of the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments on defense and security fields.

    Turkey's continuous military assistance to Azerbaijan surpassed $200 million in 2010. Azerbaijan army possesses various Turkish-made military equipment, as Turkey is among the main arms suppliers to Azerbaijan. Over 20 Turkish defense industry companies hold cooperation and commercial relations with the South Caucasus country.
    7
  • Baku 2015: 100 days left
    04.03.2015 15:36
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139008.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139008.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Only 100 days to go before Baku's historic European Games scheduled for June.

    The inaugural sporting event will open in the newly-built brand Olympic Stadium in Baku on June 12. Through 17 days of competition, over 6,000 sportsmen will represent 50 countries in 20 sports.

    Baku 2015 is going places with presentation in major European cities including Paris, Cannes, Berlin, Athens, Istanbul and others. The presentation is also expected in Rome soon.

    At present, Baku is preparing to host athletes and tourists. Along with the construction and refurbishment of its sport facilities, the city itself is changing. By now, some 318 hotels have been licensed throughout the country.

    The museums and historical sites are also getting ready. The Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to extend the opening hours of all tourists attractions.

    Moreover, a number of theaters are expected to deliver performances in Russian and English languages, or include translations in their show performances in June.

    A special edition of Baku Guide catalog will be also issued during the Games and distributed in the hotels of the capital city. Information kiosks will also function in the airports and Baku will provide visitors with detailed information.

    Starting April 25, the torch relay ceremony of Baku 2015 will visit 51 cities of Azerbaijan.

    The tickets for 21 stadia and facilities in Baku and Mingachevir city, where the games will take place, are planned to go on sale in March.

    As of now, Baku is training volunteers and professionals to organize all outstanding event. Guests are welcomed to the Land of Fire to experience a series of unforgettable ceremonies this June. Toward this the country has spared no efforts.
    9
  • First Baku-2015 European Games presentation to be held in Rome
    04.03.2015 15:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/01/baku_2015_1st_european_games_logo_new_010714.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/01/baku_2015_1st_european_games_logo_new_010714.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Ulker Dunyamaliyeva - Trend:

    The Italian capital, Rome will host a presentation of Baku-2015 European Games, the message of the ministry of youth and sport of Azerbaijan said Mar.4.

    In this regard, the Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov is on an official visit to Italy, said the ministry.

    Presentation, which will be held today at the National Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna) in Rome, will be attended by the President of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey, the President of the National Olympic Committee of Italy Giovanni Malago, Education Minister of Italy Stefania Giannini and other officials.

    During the presentation of the Baku-2015 European Games about 300 guests will be able to see an exhibition reflecting the culture, history and traditions of Azerbaijan.

    At the end of the event a concert program will be organized for the attenders.

    Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    3
  • Number of borrowers in Azerbaijan continues to grow
    04.03.2015 15:20
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137742.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137742.jpg
    As of February 1, 2015, the number of borrowers in Azerbaijan made 2,342,233 persons, up 17.7% or 353,077 persons from previous year, Central Bank of Azerbaijan told APA-Economics.

    Of this, 10,822 are legal entities, 2,310,615 individuals and 20,796 business entities.

    According to statistical data, 348,454 persons have been added to the list of individual borrowers since January, 2014. Legal entity borrowers list added 613 persons, business entities - 4,010.

    In January, 2015, number of individuals borrowed from banks rose 25,389, business entities - 287 and legal entities - 47.

    In January, appeals received by the Centralized Credit Organization (CCO) rose by 69.09%. The CCO received 338,820 appeals from member organizations. 322,947 of these appeals have been received from banks. 15,873 persons appealed to get information about credit history.

    Individuals' appeals rose 1.6 times in January. The number of appeals made 15,873 in January, 2015.

    The number of borrowers with the information in credit registry makes 2,342,233, number of credit information - 9,159,169. Guarantors made 1,083,605.
    9
  • National Security Ministry conducts antiterrorist operation
    04.03.2015 14:53
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137741.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137741.jpg
    A number of people were arrested, plenty of weapons and ammunition seized.

    The Ministry of National Security (MNS) detained in an antiterrorist operation a group of Azerbaijani citizens suspected of planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the Republic of Azerbaijan and committing other grave crimes. The detainees are Khalilov Niyameddin Iltifat, Bayimov Rufis Ahmad, Hashimli Rashad Shovkat, Musayev Ilgar Fikrat, Rzayev Anar Rza and Abdullayev Jeyhun Fazil.

    During inspection, 4 Makarov pistols, a TT pistol, 5 pistol cartridges, 35 cartridges, 1 kg TNT, 2 RGD-5 hand grenades were found and seized from them and their houses, the MNS Public Relations Department told APA.
    6
  • Georgia begins new project to promote economy
    04.03.2015 14:37
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/11/trend_tbilisi_070514_32.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/11/trend_tbilisi_070514_32.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Mar.4

    By - Trend:

    Georgia begins a new project, which aims to promote sustained economic development and stability of the enterprises in the country with the assistance of the US government, referring to the association of trade unions of Georgia, the information-analytical portal Georgia Online said March 4.

    The project involves strengthening of trade unions, increasing their role and implementation of labor rights in the workplace, according to information. The emphasis will be placed on improving the functioning of labor security service, legal services of employed people and prevention of violations of labor rights.

    On March 4, Georgia will host a presentation of the project Promotion to enhancing workers' organizations in Georgia supported by the US government. The presentation will be attended by representatives of the Department of Labor of United States, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, diplomatic corps, the Georgian Cabinet of ministers, in particular, ministers of labor, health and social security, and other high-ranking persons.

    The US delegation arrived in Georgia on March, 2. During the visit, they are meeting with members of the Georgian government, union leaders and representatives of industry organizations, women's committee of trade unions and the Youth GTUC youth organization.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Turkmenistan, Turkey sign package of intergovernmental documents
    04.03.2015 14:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/19/Turkey_Turkmenistan_flags_Album_190512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/19/Turkey_Turkmenistan_flags_Album_190512.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Mar. 4

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Turkmenistan and Turkey signed a package of bilateral documents as part of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's official visit to Turkey on March 3-4, Altyn Asyr national TV channel reported March 4.

    The signing ceremony took place following the talks between President Berdimuhamedov and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In particular, an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the fields of social protection and employment; an intergovernmental agreement on international coordinated cargo transportation; an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation between the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey and an intergovernmental agreement on a number of other documents were signed.

    The presidents of Turkmenistan and Turkey signed the joint statement.

    Edited by CN

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    3
  • Official welcoming ceremony for Azerbaijani President held in Sofia
    04.03.2015 14:28
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137738.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137738.jpg
    An official welcoming ceremony for President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was held Wednesday in the Alexander Nevsky Square of Sofia.

    A guard of honor was arranged for President Ilham Aliyev in the square decorated with national flags of the two countries.

    Azerbaijani President was welcomed by his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliyev. The chief of the guard of honor reported to the President of Azerbaijan. National anthems of Azerbaijan and Bulgaria were played. The heads of state reviewed the guard of honor.

    The Azerbaijani President saluted Azerbaijani soldiers.

    State and government officials of Bulgaria were introduced to President Ilham Aliyev and members of the Azerbaijani delegation were introduced to President Rosen Plevneliyev.

    The guard of honor marched in front of the heads of state to the accompaniment of a military march.
    4
  • WizzAir resumes flights between Budapest and Baku
    04.03.2015 14:28
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137739.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137739.jpg
    Flights will be operated twice a week.

    Hungarian airline "WizzAir" resumes the flights on the Budapest-Baku-Budapest route, according to the company's website from March 29, 2015.

    According to Oxu.Az flights will be operated twice a week.

    The departure from Budapest will be at 23:45 on Wednesdays and Sundays and arrival in Baku - at 6:30.

    Departure from Baku - at 7:05 am on Thursdays and Mondays, arrival in Budapest - 8:10.

    The cost of a one-way ticket is EUR 49.99.

    Flights will be operated until 21 October 2015.

    WizzAir Company started operating direct flights from Budapest to Baku from June, 2013.
    8
  • Defense Ministry responded to the statement
    04.03.2015 14:19
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464229.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464229.jpg
    Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan responded to the statements of Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan.

    According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, the statement of Seyran Ohanyan is a next fiction of a hangman, who stained his conscience and honour with the blood of innocent people.

    ''The person, who killed civilians, including children, women and the old people in Khojaly and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan, doesnв't have a moral right to speak about humanity insulting the Azerbaijani people who fought for the liberation of their lands. His staring into eyes of his children, children and relatives of the Armenians unduly killed and injured in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as a villain and barbarous parent who shed the blood of hundreds of children, clearly proves that he is mentally abnormal. Today and for many years, the Armenian people suffer losses every day because of unbelievable arrogance of Ohanyan and criminal Armenian leadership. We urge the Armenian parents not to send their children to death for the sake of meaningless dreams. You will face heavier and crushing losses, unless the last Armenian occupier leaves the territory of Azerbaijan,'' the Ministry underlined.
    8
  • Azerbaijani government passes new decision on foodstuffs
    04.03.2015 14:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137737.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137737.jpg
    The government has passed a new decision regarding foodstuffs.

    Changes have been made into the rules of state hygienic registration and keeping state register of foodstuffs.

    The respective decision was made by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.

    In line with the decision, the state duty for veterinary and hygienic certificates can be paid only via banks, post, plastic cards, e-payment points or through internet.
    5
  • Turkey blocks website of its first atheist association
    04.03.2015 14:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/27/web_closed_270115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/27/web_closed_270115.jpg
    It took less than a year for a Turkish court to block the website of the country's first official atheism association hurriyet daily news reported

    The Atheism Association, the first of its kind in any Muslim-majority country, was officially founded in Istanbul's Asian-side neighborhood of Kadikoy in April 2014. However, the Golbasi 2nd Civil Court of Peace in Ankara has finally moved to block the association's website, according to the group's statement on March 3, 2015.

    As of March 4, Turkish internet users could not access www.ateizmdernegi.org without using tools to bypass blockings, such as a VPN.

    The court ruling cites Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Law, which forbids "provoking the people for hate and enmity or degrading them."

    The association has issued a statement to criticize the blocking. "Three months ago, the European Space Agency managed to put Philae on a one-km wide comet named 67P, which has a speed of 135,00p km/h, after a 3,907-day-long journey to a location 500 million km away. Meanwhile, courts in Turkey are still busy blocking websites, citing laws with vague expressions and trying to make a certain belief dominate the others," it stated.

    The Atheism Association also described the court's decision as "a historic example of accumulating legislative, executive and judicial powers in one hand," claiming that Turkey is "drifting away from the level of modern civilizations as fast as its judiciary system drifts away from reason."

    The association had recently declared in a statement that it was officially recognized by the European Union and invited by universities and think-tanks to speak at their events. Morgan Elizabeth Romano, its vice president, had stressed in her recent addresses that Article 216 is seriously harming freedom of expression in Turkey.

    In an interview with daily Agos last year, the founders of the association, Tolga Д°nci and Ahmet Balyemez, said they thought there should be a place to provide legal support to people facing problems as atheists.

    Only three weeks after its foundation, the association had to install a panic button, which is directly connected to the police center near its headquarters in Istanbul, due to death threats.

    In the past, the Turkish government or the courts blocked access to a number of popular websites, including YouTube and Twitter. More than 66,000 websites are still blocked in Turkey.

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    6
  • Azerbaijani president visits tomb of Unknown Soldier in Sofia, Bulgaria
    04.03.2015 14:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Alexander Nevsky Square in Sofia March 4.

    The guard of honor was arranged for the Azerbaijani president.

    President Aliyev laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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    3
  • Armenia's current economy reminiscent of 2009 crisis
    04.03.2015 13:56
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139004.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139004.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Armenia's hard-pressed economic indicators remain a sour point for Yerevan as officials have yet to find a solution to the sinking of the country's economy. So far the government has failed in keeping up with economic forecast.

    In 2014, the gross domestic product in this former Soviet country grew by 3.4 percent, disproving the expected target announced by the government earlier last year. The figure also fell by 0.1 percent under the GDP growth rate registered in 2013, exposing a year-on-year economic downfall.

    Under former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan's tenure (he resigned in early April), the government set its 2014 economic growth target at 5.2 percent. Only a few months after Sargsyan resigned, the new PM, Hovik Abrahamyan had to lower such estimates to 4 percent, pointing to severe economic difficulties.

    The Central Bank of Armenia which appeared a little more cautious than the government, actually calculated a growth of at 3.9 percent. The falling private remittances from Russia greatly affected the Bank's forecast.

    Meanwhile, Abrahamyan's government had to reduce its economic growth target for this year based on several factors including financial delusion and severe export-import dis-balance. Moreover, while the state budget was developed based on a target of 4.1 percent GDP growth forecast, the Central Bank announced that in 2015 it will fluctuate between 0.4 percent and 2 percent range.

    In view of such a lowering of economic expectation by both the Armenian government and international financial institutions, lowering the GDP growth outlook should not come as an unexpected surprise.The International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecast for Armenia in 2015 from 3.5 to 2.6 percent in early fall.

    The major disappointing forecast for Armenia's 2015 GDP growth came from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which advised not to expect any economic growth in Armenia at all, linking it to the economic challenges which Russia currently faces.The World Bank came up with a comparably "optimistic" prediction for Armeniaв's economic growth in 2015, with an expected rise of 3.3 percent. But even the world's top banker had to lower its expectation from an earlier forecast of 5 percent.

    Hrant Bagratyan, a local economist and member of parliament, said "the transition from large production setup to a smaller manufacturing setup in the wake of an economic downturn could harm Armenia rather than benefit it."

    "I can say it has already happened. Newly applied funded pension system inflicted a very bad economic blow on Armenia's GDP," he noted.

    Bagratyan expects the economic hassle to go on in Armenia given the dram's unavoidable fall. Making remarks on Armenia's integration into the Eurasian Economic Union, Bagratyan called it a wrong decision, reminding the lack of precaution of seeking appropriate solutions despite prior warnings on Russia's economic crisis.

    Meanwhile, 168 Zham, a local newspaper wrote that the Armenian government is having difficulties in meeting its short term financial obligations -- salaries and loans repayment following a sharp fall in its export of wine and brandy.

    "Brandy and wine export to foreign markets has almost stopped," claimed the newspaper.
    7
  • Ilham Aliyev expresses condolences to Afghan president
    04.03.2015 13:56
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev expressed condolences to the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on March 3, due to a recent natural disaster in the country.

    "I am deeply saddened by the news of heavy human loss and damages in the aftermath of a natural disaster in the north-east of your country," Aliyev said in the condolence letter.

    "On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I extend my deep condolences to you, families and loved ones of those who died and the people of Afghanistan, and wish the injured recovery," said the president.

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    5
  • EU expects new agreement with Kazakhstan in 2015
    04.03.2015 13:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    Trend:

    EU and Kazakhstan expect to sign a new enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement in 2015, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars RinkД"viДЌs said, RIA Novosti reported March 4.

    Latvia is presiding in the EU.

    "As for the signing of the enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement, we discussed the content and the possible date of signing," RinkД"viДЌs said at a joint press-conference with Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov. "Both sides intend to sign the agreement as soon as possible. There are some legal and technical issues, rather than political. I hope that we will be able to sign this agreement this year. I will not announce the month and the day. But I think I can speak on behalf of my EU colleagues that there is an interest to prepare and sign an agreement in 2015."

    Idrissov said that Kazakhstan has invited the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to visit the country to sign an agreement.

    "On behalf of my president, I invite Juncker to visit Kazakhstan in connection with the signing of this agreement," Idrissov said. "This is a comprehensive document covering 29 areas in which the EU and Kazakhstan agreed to cooperate. The regional and global security, the rule of law and national construction are among these areas."

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Iran-US talks on Tehran's nuclear program being held in good atmosphere
    04.03.2015 13:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Iran_nuclear_program_120113_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Iran_nuclear_program_120113_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By - Trend:

    Iran-US talks on Tehran's nuclear program are being held in a good atmosphere, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told RIA Novosti news agency.

    "The atmosphere at the talks is good," he said.

    At the same time, he said that after the recent statement by US President Barack Obama to freeze Iran's nuclear program for at least 10 years, "the negotiations were tense at first."

    Earlier in an interview with Reuters international news agency, the US leader said that reaching a final agreement on Iran's nuclear program is possible if Tehran suspends it at least for 10 years. Iran needs to keep its program in the current state during a few years measured by "double digit" so that one could make sure that the country does not have nuclear weapon, according to Obama.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the statements of the US president as part of an advertising campaign aimed at US audience.

    Iran and six powerful countries called the Group P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) started a new round of talks on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program March 2.

    The sides wrapped up four days of intense talks on Feb. 23, after which they maintained that great steps had been taken toward reaching a final agreement.

    The talks between Iran and the P5 1 were extended until June 30, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement. However, the sides attempt to reach a political accord in March.

    After the parties failed to meet the November 24, 2014 deadline they also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed in November 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

    Edited by CN

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    4
  • Georgia to join NATO not to start alliance-Russia war '" speaker
    04.03.2015 13:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, March 4

    Trend:

    Georgia wants to join NATO not to start a war between the alliance and Russia, but to complete it, the chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili said at Georgetown University, Georgia Online reported.

    Usupashvili discussed Georgia's foreign policy priorities, the country's desire to join the EU and NATO, threats coming from Russia and the lari devaluation, Georgia's office of Voice of America.

    "The purpose of my visit to Washington is to convince the US partners that Georgia is a reliable partner," Usupashvili said.

    Usupashvili discussed the Ukrainian conflict.

    "This conflict is a continuation of the war of August 2008 in Georgia.

    "Our position remains unchanged," he said. "Ukraine's events are a direct continuation of the incident in Georgia in August 2008. These are different components of the plan. We tell our friends that amid the horrific events in Ukraine, Russian aggression is underway in Georgia. This is a single process. We must confront it together."

    Large-scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008.

    Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.

    Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August.

    In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Quantity of biogenic substances in Kur and Araz rivers exceeds norm
    04.03.2015 13:32
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139001.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139001.jpg
    The National Monitoring Department on Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan has conducted a monitoring on the rivers Kur and Araz in the third decade of February to study the level of pollution of the rivers and their branches.The monitoring results revealed that the water flow due to the impact of untreated waste water and sewage industry dropped on the territory of Georgia and Armenia to the water, the amount of biogenic substances in the Kur River and its tributaries is much higher than normal, the Ministry said. The level of phenol and copper in the water has exceeded the norm in Aghstafachay River either.A similar situation was observed in the Aghstafachay reservoir, Shikhli-2, as well as Araz River - Horadiz, Birinji Shahsevan, Bahramtapa points.The oxygen regime of water at all points ranges within health standards./By AzerTac/
    3
  • Iran demands one-stage nuclear deal, lifting all sanctions
    04.03.2015 13:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/03/marziyeh_afkham_030913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/03/marziyeh_afkham_030913.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    The spokeswoman of Iran's Foreign Ministry says that Iran demands a one-stage nuclear agreement with P5 1, while all sanctions must be eliminated totally.

    Marzieh Afkham said during a press conference on March 4 that Iran is negotiating "very seriously" about lifting the sanctions, while the nuclear talks include a range of topics like uranium enrichment, activities of nuclear site, research and developments, etc, IRNA reported.

    Afkham added that it's too early to predict any result, but the current talks between Iran six powers would clarify the situation in coming days.

    The talks between Iran and the P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) were extended until June 30, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement. However, the sides attempt to reach a political accord in March.

    After the parties failed to meet the November 24, 2014 deadline they also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed in November 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

    The sides are attempting to reach a political agreement in March and the comprehensive nuclear agreement is expected to be achieved by July.

    However, Afkham said that Iran demands a one-stage agreement. She added that the P5 1 group reached an internal position during last months to attempt to achieve a political accord in March.

    Edited by CN

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    3
  • Baku wants to resolve the Caspian Sea status
    04.03.2015 13:24
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139003.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139003.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan is committed to resolve the issue of the Caspian Sea status as part of the sovereign and mutually beneficial partnership among all Caspian littoral countries, said Khalaf Khalafov, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister.

    He made the statement at the 39th meeting of the expert group on the Caspian Sea legal status determination in Baku on March 4, which is attended by representatives of all five Caspian littoral countries.

    The meeting aims to negotiate the text of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, and determine the agenda and date of the next summit which will be held in Astana this year.

    ''The third Caspian summit held in Baku in 2010 gave a new impetus to address the main issues related to the Caspian Sea status,'' Khalafov said. ''In particular, these issues relate to the common approaches to coordinate the delimitation of the relevant water areas and the protection of biological marine resources.''

    "An important document regulating the activity of the Caspian-littoral countries was adopted in Astrakhan at the same summit in 2014," he said.

    The official stressed that Azerbaijan has already completed the intestate procedures to approve the agreements made at the Astrakhan summit.

    "I am confident that the principles agreed by the presidents in Astrakhan will be taken into account while negotiating the draft convention," Khalafov said.

    The deputy minister said mutual trust between all sides, in particular, the regional stability, security and economic activity in the Caspian Sea is important.

    Khalafov stressed the need for stability in the Caspian Sea, taking into account the interests of all sides and undiminished security for all and each other.

    "The issues related to the strengthening of international cooperation, improving of the investment climate, developing and transporting of energy resources to the international markets are among the priorities of the coastal countries," Khalafov said. ''Creating of the safe communications and increasing of the number of highly profitable and environmentally friendly technologies are also among them.''

    The uncertainty of the legal status of the Caspian Sea hampers effort to effectively help the fateful water reservoir that is endangered now.

    The Caspian Sea is a home to 80-85 percent of the world sturgeon, now witnessing a sharp decrease of these fish species.

    Moreover, the Caspian Sea with its rich natural resources is also home to about 141 other fish species. However, this natural wonder is struggling with different problems including pollution.

    Five coastal states, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran, signed a framework convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.

    In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to implement sovereign rights for subsoil use, and the protocol to this agreement was signed May 2002. Agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and the protocol were signed on November 29, 2001 and February 27, 2003 respectively.

    Also, an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea was signed by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia May 14, 2003.

    Significant progress has been achieved in drafting a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in September 2014. The convention possibly may be signed at the Kazakhstan summit this year.
    5
  • School Cup competition due in Baku
    04.03.2015 13:23
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139005.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139005.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan Cycling Federation will organize a cycling competition for Baku' schools on March 4.

    The event is dedicated to March 5 '" the day of Sports and Physical Culture. With the support of the Sabail Youth and Sport Administration, the Federation will set up the Veloparkв's cycle lanes for riders starting at 11:00 a.m.

    Up to 20 teams from different schools will compete.

    Three men and one woman from each participating team will compete in a relay race.

    The top three qualified teams will get prizes ranging from 200, 150 and 100 manats. The winners will also receive medals and cups.

    In December last year there was another School Cup competition held for the Narimanov district schools. It aimed to prepare and encourage Azerbaijan' youth to participate in competitive sports.

    One of the main commitments standing as a priority for the Cycling Federation is to establish new cycling schools and clubs across Azerbaijan's provinces, as well as stimulating the young generation into loving the sport.

    The federation has enrolled a number of young energetic enthusiasts to train them in view of competing in the International, Olympic and World Championships.

    At the moment cycling schools and clubs running in Azerbaijan receive both material and moral supports from the Federation.

    The first professional cycling competition was held in Azerbaijan in May 2012 with the participation of 17 teams from 15 countries.

    Holding the annual cycling competition in Azerbaijan shows the rising domestic interest in the sports.

    A lack of cycling tracks and cycling sport infrastructure remain obstacles to be overcome in view of promoting the speedy development of the sports in the city. The state has already taken a series measures to develop cycling. A bike park was recently opened in Baku. The government is also planning to construct cycling tracks.
    4
  • Iran to start gas exports to Iraq
    04.03.2015 13:07
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139000.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139000.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Energy-rich Iran plans to export natural gas to neighboring Iraq within months.

    An Iranian official has said Iranв's gas flow to the Iraqi capital Baghdad could begin as early as May 2015, if the countryв's security situation improves.

    Alireza Kameli, the head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company said Iran will start with a daily supply of four million cubic meters of gas to Baghdad, which could later rise to 35 million, IRNA news agency reported.

    Kameli said the National Iranian Gas Company has pledged to finalize the pipeline project for the export of gas to Iraq soon.

    Iran also plans to export natural gas to Iraqв's southern city of Basra in 2016. Kameli said Tehran seeks to supply Iraq with a combined volume of 70 million cubic meters of gas from the two pipelines in the future.

    He went on to note that Iran is set to sign an agreement with Iraq in the next Iranian calendar year (starting on March 21, 2015) to supply natural gas to Basra. He added that the country will start export of natural gas to Basra one year after signing the agreement.

    Under the deal, Iran would pump 5 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to the Iraqi city, Kameli said, adding that the figure is planned to rise to 30 mcm within 6 years.

    Last January, Hamid Reza Araqi, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company said a total of 14 domestic consortia had voiced readiness to finance the construction of a pipeline that will transport natural gas from Iran to its western neighbor.

    The groups of companies have already received the necessary documents related to investments in the project, and should offer their qualifications by the set deadline, Araqi said adding that the company qualifications will be later reviewed by NIGC, and companies capable of financing up to $ 1.5 billion will be declared eligible.

    Araqi further noted that a total of $ 500 million is needed in order to start the project, adding that any interested party holding such a capital will be able to initiate the work and fulfill their obligations within the next two years.

    Under a signed 2012 agreement, Iran was to start exporting gas to Iraq in 2014 through the new pipeline, which is to feed three power plants in Iraq. There was also talk of a second pipeline, to the southern Iraqi city of Basra and in 2013, Iraq approved the construction of a $10 billion Iranian natural gas pipeline across its territory that will connect Iran to key ally Syria.

    After Russia, Iran has the worldв's second-largest natural gas reserves, though nearly 90 percent of its production is consumed domestically. It exports gas to Turkey and imports gas from Turkmenistan.
    7
  • Greater U.S. leadership is required for a peaceful resolution
    04.03.2015 12:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137736.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137736.jpg
    News.Az interviews David A. Merkel, Senior Fellow, The Atlantic Council.

    There is an opinion that the South Caucasus and Azebaijan in particular are not in priority in American foreign policy. How would you comment on Mrs. V.Nuland's visit to the region in this regard?

    Her visit is a good start, but six years into the Obama Administration more is needed than a good start.

    Can we hope that this visit will help to improve relations between Azerbaijan and the US?

    The current United States - Azerbaijan relationship can be characterized as one stuck on a single issue with a U.S. Administration who has lost its way and is out of steam. Making the prospects of progress in the next two years doubtful.

    While the U.S. only has one President at a time, at this point one should look to the next U.S. Administration be it Republican or Democratic. A future U.S. - Azerbaijan partnership can focus on the issues that will confront the 45th U.S. President. Such issues as Iran, Russia, Islam in a modern society , Middle East stability and energy security. The next U.S. Administration, will certainly have a clearer view of the world and an interest in Eurasia than has been the case the last six years, and recognize the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and what its peaceful resolution would mean to regional stability.

    When it comes to the conflict resolution on post-soviet space the US is likely engage fully in Ukraine but doesn't pay much attention to the Karabakh problem. How can you explain different approaches of the US to the same separatism problem in Ukraine and Azerbaijan?

    Greater U.S. leadership is required for a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Obama Administration has missed an opportunity. Its naive and as it turned out disastrous Russia Reset left Moscow with the view that it was able to dictate the bilateral agenda and that the U.S. would play only a subsidiary role in countries Moscow views to have a privileged sphere of influence.

    More and more experts (especially after dramatic events in Ukraine) say that Russia is a major mediator in conflicts at the area of former USSR. Anyway what is your view on NK problem and role of the US in peace process?

    Moscow can not be realistically characterized as a mediator looking to reduce conflict. It has been the direct cause of the conflict and instability that prevent Central Asia and the Caucasus from greater prosperity and stability. It has seen that frozen conflicts, serve its purpose of preventing or stalling Euro- Atlantic integration.

    By the way V.Nuland and Iranian FM Mr. Zarif have paid their visits to Azerbaijan at the same days. Aren't there any concerns in Washington in regard of relations between Azerbaijan and its neighbor Iran?

    The Obama Administration is committed to its negotiations with Tehran. The fear in the U.S.. with our Gulf allies and Israel is that President Obama's desire to have a legacy foreign policy success will lead him to sign a deal not in our national security interest and worked to paper over its shortcomings and call any criticism unrealistic of warmongering.
    3
  • US budget caps could complicate Israelв's missile funding request
    04.03.2015 12:27
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/22/USA_Israel_flags_220413.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/22/USA_Israel_flags_220413.jpg
    Mandatory caps due to resume this year for the U.S. defense budget could complicate Congress' ability to honor Israel's request for $317 million in extra funding for missile defense programs on top of $158 million already requested by the White House, Al Arabia reported.

    U.S. lawmakers continue to strongly support Israel, but congressional aides said Israel's push for more than $475 million in U.S. funding for missile defense programs in fiscal 2016 could run into trouble if Congress does not ease or rescind budget caps on the overall level of the U.S. defense budget.

    "We've been very generous with the Israelis ... but the first step is to see where we are on the budget resolution. Anything else is putting the cart before the horse," said one aide on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

    Two other aides cited "frustration" about the size of the Israeli request given the current budget uncertainty.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter and other U.S. officials have warned that cutting the Pentagon's proposed 2016 budget by $38 billion to stick to the caps would harm the U.S. military's ability to respond to crises around the world.

    It remains unclear if deficit hawks in the Republican-controlled Congress will agree to lift the budget caps.

    Israeli officials last week asked lawmakers for $41.2 million for the short-range Iron Dome rocket interceptor, which has already received more than $1.2 billion in U.S. funding, and $268 million for further development of the longer-range David's Sling and Arrow 3 missile defense programs.

    They also requested $165 million for initial procurement of both systems, said two aides familiar with the request.

    A senior Democratic aide said Israel had shifted its focus from Iron Dome, now a mature system, to completing development of David's Sling, which defends against cruise missiles.

    Depending on what was included, Israel's request was potentially as high as $488 million, the aide said.

    The House committee aide said the procurement request would require a new U.S.-Israeli bilateral agreement allowing co-production of the new weapons systems by U.S. and Israeli firms.

    "This can't just be a blank check to the Israelis," the aide said.

    Raytheon Co is working with Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd on the Iron Dome and David's Sling programs. The Arrow program is jointly developed by Boeing Co and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

    Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said Congress was likely to approve the request, if the budget caps are lifted, but the funds would be taken from other programs, including Lockheed Martin Corp's Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program.

    John Isaacs, senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said one possibility would be for Congress to include the Israeli programs in a supplemental request for war funding, or "overseas contingency operations."

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    7
  • Turkey to build its first domestic cosmodrome
    04.03.2015 12:27
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/21/baykonur.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/21/baykonur.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:

    Turkey will build its own cosmodrome and the Institute for Space Research (Uzay Ajansi), the Turkish newspaper Sabah said Mar.4 referring to Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication of Turkey Lutfi Elvan.

    Elvan said the place for construction of the cosmodrome and the institute has already been defined.

    "Cosmodrome and the Institute for Space Research will be built on the territory of one of the central provinces of Turkey," Elvan said, adding that construction of the cosmodrome and the institute are among the country's priorities.

    It is planned that after the construction of the cosmodrome, Turkey will launch domestic satellites from it, as well as lease the launch complexes.

    All Turkish satellites were launched into space from the Kazakh cosmodrome Baikonur and the Chinese base Jiuquan.

    The first Turkish reconnaissance satellite RASAT was launched in 2011.

    Turkey launched its second satellite - Gokturk-2 from the Chinese Jiuquan base on December 18, 2012. The satellite is used for defense purposes.

    Turkey plans to launch Turksat 3A satellite in 2019.

    ---

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    9
  • Open Gymnastics Championship starts in Baku
    04.03.2015 12:19
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138999.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138999.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Baku will host the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics on March 4-6.

    Some 133 gymnasts from 22 countries will compete for medals both in the all-around and individual events. The championship is a test event before the historic Baku 2015 European Games which scheduled for this June.

    Famous gymnasts such as two-time World champion Russian Yana Kudravceva, Olympic silver medalist from Croatia Filip Ude, Europe champion Alexander Shatilov from Israel will attend the event.

    The draw ceremony of gymnastics disciplines for the first European Games and a press conference were held before the event on March 3.

    The draw determined the order in which gymnasts will compete in the competition disciplines at the first European Games. The event was the first sports competition draw to be held for the inaugural Games.

    The press conference was attended by Farid Gayibov, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Secretary General, Sabri Gulmaliyev, AGF marketing director and Georges Guelzec, European Union of Gymnastics President, as well as other high officials of the UEG.

    For the first time in the history one sporting event will present six different gymnastic disciplines four of which are Olympic.

    Gymnasts will compete in rhythmic gymnastics, men and women artistic gymnastics, acrobatics, aerobics and trampoline.

    "A history is written in Baku, the image of gymnastics will change here,'' Guelzec said.

    He stressed the importance of the test event to estimate readiness of the Organizing Committee of the Baku 2015 European Games Baku to conduct competitions in gymnastics within the Games.

    Farid Gayibov said that holding the competitions in six gymnastics disciplines is a very difficult task. "I think we can handle this," he stressed.

    ''The upcoming first European Games in Baku will present gymnastics along with 19 other sports. So, we decided to invite neighboring countries to the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship," the secretary general added.

    The free event is open to the public, which is welcomed at the new National Gymnastics Arena, 6,800-capacity purpose-built venue.

    Pierce Oв'Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, for his turn, noted that the National Gymnastics Arena is completely ready for the European Games.

    ''Foreign visitors say that this is the best arena for gymnastics, which they have ever visited,'' he noted.

    Oв'Callaghan also noted that torch relay of the European Games will begin on April 25 and will cover 51 cities of Azerbaijan.

    Azerbaijani citizens can be proud of what the country has achieved, he added.

    The biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan's history, Baku 2015 will attract more than 6,000 athletes to represent 50 countries in 20 sports.

    Moreover, the new logo and renovated website of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation were presented at the event.

    Sabri Gulmaliyev said the new logo symbolizes a flower as itв's in harmony with gymnastics. The new logo uses the colors of the Caspian Sea and the ancient classical architecture of Baku.

    The renovated website was designed to generate the public's attention and promote the sport, giving details about the national team and its main achievements.
    6
  • AZAL introduces innovations
    04.03.2015 12:19
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137734.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137734.jpg
    The company has disseminated an information.

    Starting from March 1, 2015 the morning flights of "Azerbaijan Airlines" CJSC on the Baku-Istanbul-Baku route departing from Baku at 09.45 with a return flight from Istanbul at 12.20 local time are performed on the liner Boeing 787 "Dreamliner".

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to AZAL that the use of this innovative type of aircraft allows AZAL to offer passengers not only to a qualitatively new level of comfort, but also expands the range of services provided.

    On the first day of spring the passengers of Istanbul flights will be able to travel in premium economy class, which has several advantages compared to the conventional economy class.

    This is the second direction in the route network of AZAL, on which the service of premium economy class is introduced. The same class of service is introduced on the airline flights to New York.

    The Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" joined the fleet of AZAL in December 2014.
    4
  • Azerbaijan, UK discuss future plans
    04.03.2015 12:12
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464193.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464193.jpg
    Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov met with the envoy of the British Prime Minister for issues of Trade with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Charles Hendry and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddig.

    Speaking at the meeting, Minister Ali Abbasov said that successful partnership that extends between Azerbaijan and UK has great potential for further expansion of economic cooperation, including in the field of communications and high technologies. Speaking of mutual interest to the development of information technologies, the satellite industry between the two countries, the minister spoke about ties established with major British telecommunications company British Telecom. It was noted that several UK consulting companies have already started their activities in Azerbaijani market.

    The minister praised the signing of Memorandum of Understanding ''On Economic and Trade Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'' as part of the visit of Charles Hendry to our country and expressed hope that this document which will serve to further strengthening of ties will open up new opportunities for cooperation in the field of information and high technologies.

    In turn, expressing satisfaction with the development of relations with Azerbaijan, Charles Hendry brought to the attention that the memorandum will serve to expand cooperation, and the sphere of information technologies is the main part of the cooperation in the document. Speaking about participation of UK in satellite projects, in particular on the activities of the satellite company Inmarsat, the envoy expressed interest in joint projects in the field of satellite industry with Azerbaijan.

    Noting the role of the international telecommunications and information technologies exhibition and conference Bakutel in deepening ties, Charles Hendry said the exhibition and conference Bakutel 2014 was attended by more than 7 British companies, and this number will be increased in the future.

    The sides also exchanged views on other areas of mutual interest, discussed future plans in the directions of further cooperation.
    4
  • Ljubljana, Baku stress importance of tiesв' development
    04.03.2015 12:03
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138998.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138998.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Azerbaijani and Slovenian officials have focused on the development of bilateral cooperation during their recent gathering.

    The Slovenian delegation led by Mitja Bervar, the president of the Sloveniaв's National Council paid a two-day visit to Azerbaijan on March 2.

    President Ilham Aliyev received the Slovenian delegation on March 3, Azerbaijani presidentв's website reported.

    The sides expressed satisfaction in regards to bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Slovenia in various fields, as well as in the political sphere.

    They stressed an importance of high-level visits for the expansion of bilateral ties, expressing confidence that Slovenian delegationв's visit further enhance relations between the two countries

    Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijani foreign minister said during the meeting with the Slovenian delegation led by Bervar that Azerbaijan attaches special importance to the development of relations with the countries of Balkan region.

    During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Slovenia, emphasizing the importance of developing the cooperation, Azerbaijani foreign ministry said.

    Bervar reminded his audience about a statement made by the supreme legislative body of Slovenia on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 over Armeniaв's territorial claims against its South Caucasian neighbor.

    Bervar added that this statement supports the peaceful settlement of the conflict within OSCE Minsk Group and on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions.

    The precarious cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was reached after a lengthy war that displaced over a million Azerbaijanis and has been in place between the two South Caucasus countries since 1994. Since the hostilities, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia's withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but to this day they have not been enforced.

    Moreover, Bervar congratulated Azerbaijan over holding the upcoming first European Games in Baku in June 2015 and said a lot of Slovenian athletes will participate in the Games.

    Mammadyarov, for his part, said changing the internationally recognized borders is inadmissible, stressing that each country should respect the norms and principles of international law.

    He further added that Azerbaijan and Slovenia are bound by historical ties, noting that Azerbaijanis showed courage during the liberation of Slovenia from fascist invaders during the World War II.

    Mammadyarov also said the two countries have the opportunity to develop bilateral cooperation in the spheres of energy, economy and trade, investments, culture and sports.

    Slovenia recognized Azerbaijanв's independence in December, 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in February, 1996.

    The Azerbaijani State Customs Committeeв's data showed that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Slovenia as of 2014 amount to $8.659 million. Around $8.65 million accounted for the imports from Slovenia to Azerbaijan, while $13,150 for export to Slovenia.
    7
  • Baku hosts Azerbaijanв's Open United Gymnastics Championship
    04.03.2015 11:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/23/gimnastika_230215_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/23/gimnastika_230215_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    Trend:

    Azerbaijan's Open United Gymnastics Championship has started in Baku. This is the test championship on the eve of the European Games.

    Around 133 gymnasts from 22 countries will compete for medals both in the all-around and the individual competitions.

    Such well-known gymnasts, as two-time absolute world champion Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia, rhythmic gymnastics), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), European champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel, both - sports gymnastics) and other athletes arrived in the capital of Azerbaijan - Baku.

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    6
  • Russiaв's Reserve Fund drops 19.5%, National Welfare Fund downs 10% by March 1
    04.03.2015 11:47
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137733.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137733.jpg
    Russiaв's international reserves fell by $124.135 billion or 24.4% in 2014, TASS reports.

    Russia's Reserve Fund set up to accumulate surplus oil revenues and cushion the budget against a sharp fall in oil prices decreased by 19.5% in February to 4.721 trillion rubles ($75.75 bln) by March 1 from 5.865 trillion rubles ($85.09 billion) as of February 1, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

    Russia's National Welfare Fund established to help the government implement pension reform dropped by 10% in February to stay at 4.591 trillion rubles ($73.66 billion) as compared to 5.1 trillion rubles ($74.02 billion) a month ago, the ministry said.

    The State Statistics Service registered the highest level of the Reserve Fund at $137.34 billion (12.5% of the GDP) in February 2009, while the lowest level was at $25.21 billion (1.4% of the GDP) in January 2012.

    The highest level of the National Welfare Fund was at $93.38 billion (7% of the GDP) in November 2009, while the lowest level was at $31.92 billion (1.9% of the GDP) in September 2008.

    Since the beginning of the year, the Reserve Fund has lost 4.5% and the National Welfare Fund has lost 4.6%.

    On January 15 - February 28, 2015 the Reserve Fund's investment losses were estimated at 4.13 billion roubles ($66 million), the National Welfare Fund's losses were at 2.45 billion roubles ($39 million).

    Russia's international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets managed by the Central Bank of Russia. They comprise foreign currency, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a reserve position in the International Monetary Fund and monetary gold.

    Russia's international reserves fell by $124.135 billion or 24.4% in 2014 to $385.46 billion as of January 1, 2015.
    3
  • Azerbaijan orders for three Boeing airplanes worth over $1.1B
    04.03.2015 11:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/boeing_747_040315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/04/boeing_747_040315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Boeing and Azerbaijan-based Silk Way West today announced an order for three 747-8 Freighter airplanes valued at more than $1.1 billion at current list prices, Bloomberg reported March 4.

    "Silk Way Airlines' success and profitability as a cargo operator is a direct result of investing in its fleet and services and growing its regional and international footprint," said Zaur Akhundov, president, Silk Way Group of Companies. "I am confident we will maintain our rate of growth, supported by three new Boeing 747-8 Freighters."

    "The 747-8 is perfectly suited to meet the needs of Silk Way Group for their growing cargo business," said Marty Bentrott, vice president, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We value our partnership with Silk Way West and are grateful for their enduring confidence in Boeing and the 747-8 Freighter."

    Silk Way West is an enterprise of the Silk Way Group, which includes 23 companies working in the aviation industry and related services. The airline currently operates seven Boeing airplanes, including two 767-300 Freighters, three 747-400 Freighters and two 747-8 Freighters.

    Compared one on one, the 747-8 Freighter has no competitors. The 747-8 Freighter provides cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. The 747-8 Freighter offers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400, while keeping its iconic nose door.

    ---

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    5
  • NATO hails sustainable U.S. support to Georgia
    04.03.2015 11:31
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138988.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138988.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    A top NATO commander claims that it is essential for the United States to train, advise and equip the national security forces of Georgia, as the country and the region focus on maintaining regional stability and security.

    NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and Chief of the U.S. European Command, Philip Breedlove said the U.S. offer to support Georgia and other U.S. partner countries in light of the ongoing instability in the region was essential for each side.

    "As the U.S. partners, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine face a security challenges from Russia unlike the NATO ally nations," he said in his recent report presented to the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee.

    Breedlove blamed Russia for interfering and putting pressure on all those three countries' efforts to fully implement the political and economic reforms for advancing their democracy and for integrating with Europe.

    The post-Soviet nations who aspire to join NATO must also be allowed to continue and accelerate their transition from Soviet-era systems to modern NATO-interoperable systems and equipment, claimed Breedlove.

    Having already observed the use of Russian military force in the 1990s and in 2008, Georgia faced a particular threat from Russia's occupation of Abkhazia and South Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), added the NATO commander.

    In fact, Breedlove believes, Russia deliberately and actively perpetuates these conflicts by manipulating its support to the participants, while engaging in international diplomatic resolution efforts only to the extent necessary to prevent the resumption of all-out violence.

    NATO attaches a special attention to Georgia viewing the country as one of its future members. Regular mutual visits at top official level serve NATO's interests to ensure a sustainable support to Georgia, such as building a training camp in the country's territory.

    Russia's official position on the military bloc's active involvement in the regional issues was quite strict, as a top Russian diplomat said the military activity of NATO in Transcaucasia threatens the stability of the region.

    In one of his interviews with Tass, a Russian media outlet, Grigori Karasin, Russian deputy foreign minister, said NATO-Georgia military programs always threatened the region's stability and disturb the neighboring countries.

    "We called on the Georgian and the U.S. representatives to take a careful approach to this issue, since it can upset the balances in the region leading to serious consequences for the regional stability," Karasin noted.
    5
  • Presentation of book devoted to academician Zarifa Aliyeva held in Copenhagen
    04.03.2015 11:09
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138987.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138987.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Copenhagen hosted the International Forum of the World Health Organization, dedicated to the problem of resistance to antimicrobial drugs, on February 24-27.

    The presentation of the book called ''Basic Infection Control'', devoted to outstanding ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva was also held as part of the event, AzerTac state news agency reported.

    The author of the book is Aydin Salmanov, Head of the International Science and Medical Center named after Zarifa Aliyeva in Kiev. Representatives from the U.S., Europe and some CIS countries worked on the book.

    Salmanov has already penned 220 scientific work, as well as 10 monographs, three textbooks and one book for medical students. He is also an author of three Ukrainian medical laws.

    Addressing the event, Salmanov said that some copies of the book were presented to the World Health Organizationв's library.

    The book was also warmly welcomed by doctor Danilo Lo Fo Wong, the enior advisor in antimicrobial resistance, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

    He highly appreciated the book, saying that it will be recommended to European countries.

    The book has important scientific and practical information about the infectious safety of patients and how to ensure optimal conditions for the provision of quality health care, as well as risk management in the implementation of therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

    The book is designed for health organizers and managers, doctors of different specialties, pharmacists, epidemiologists, as well as teachers and students of higher medical educational institutions of I-IV levels.
    7
  • Need more communication? Forget shyness
    04.03.2015 11:08
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138995.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138995.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    - Why donв't you talk?

    - I am just a listener!

    Thatв's part of my nature. some people say when others ask them why they are so speechless while taking time with others hiding their shyness behind the excuse of being a ''listener.''

    Reasons

    But, what causes some people to be silent amid noisy companions and play the role of an audience for others?

    Shyness is a sense that makes you feel uncomfortable to communicate with strangers for fear of being embarrassed. Thatв's why we can feel ourselves shy in one company and comfortable in another one.

    For example, in a room full of people whom we know, shyness will be a hindrance to you. It is not because we know these people, but because they know us including our behavior and character. So, we are not afraid of getting into an awkward situation and simply can express our opinions.

    However, in a room full of strangers we cannot predict the reactions of others. So, in such situation all our complexes begin to emerge.

    Since many people may be considered as shy, letв's divide them into several groups, depending on how this feature is usually seen.

    First group is those who prefer to meet certain people rarer than others. This category of people includes scientists, artists and poets, who are called introverts.

    They are likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though he or she may enjoy interactions with close friends.

    Psychologist Ibrahim Ibrahimov says mistaking introversion for shyness is a common error. ''Introverts, prefer solitary to social activities.''

    But, shy people fear social encounters, as when these people go on a string of this feeling, they deliberately deprive themselves of many valuable prospects. For example, they are afraid to approach the person whom they like, and get acquainted with him/her.

    As for an example, Bill Gates, the worldв's richest man, is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by othersв' opinions of him: heв's an introvert, but not a shy man.

    Those people among the second group are more around us, physiologists say. They are shy only in certain situations or when dealing with certain people. Perhaps the greatest part of mankind can be safely included in this group.

    The most common cause of shyness in these people is lack of social skills. In general, they just refuse something including happy dating, promising opportunities, achievement of their goals and desires.

    The psychological trauma in childhood is another cause of shyness, some psychologists say.

    ''Shyness is oneв's inferiority complex deeply rooted in childhood,'' Ibrahimov says. The actions which turned into an object of ridicule in the past leave an indelible mark on human psychology, the physiologist said.

    ''Shyness, of course, is useful for the development of society,'' physiologist Nigar Mammadova says.

    But, ''personality often suffers from this feeling, when parents bring up their offspring on constant shaming,'' Mammadova claims.

    There is also another kind of people, who feel awkward with those whom they donв't like and try to hide this feeling from others. They begin to behave differently which puts them under the limelight.

    How to remove shyness

    Shyness in reality is a poor personal quality, which creates a lot of problems. It limits your skills and cultivates other harmful personal qualities including self-doubt, weakness of character, and leaves you prone to others' influence.

    ''It is a social phobia,'' Ibrahimov says, ''which restricts one to express him/herself and be a part of the society.''

    Mammadova says that ''excessive timidity and shyness is a demonstration of some weakness''. You will just get off on the wrong foot on others, the physiologist noted.

    Indeed, self-confident and independent personality is quickly catches the eye, as many women prefer those members of opposite sex who shows the greatest perseverance and even a little arrogance in dealing with them.

    Shyness is simply an internal feeling, but also an unpleasant feeling that arises in very awkward situations. And some people usually avoid such situations in order not to experience these feelings.

    However, this is the wrong option. To overcome shyness one doesnв't need to strive to express such feelings, but learn to act against them.

    ''I stop to be shy as soon as I start to act,'' said Inna Dehant, an expert on emotional stability. She called this principle ''20 seconds of courage.''

    ''If you want to do, ask or say something you must do it immediately, do it within 20 seconds, right away and without any analysis and plan. So, shyness would be removed.'' she says.

    Talking to somebody and sharing your emotions with those who experience the same feelings can help you fight against the unpleasant sense. Getting involved in such groups can give you an opportunity to get out of shyness.

    ''Sometimes shyness is temporary,'' noted Mammadova finally ''many people grow out of it with time.''

    So, donв't be shy and don't let others scare you back into your shell. Take a deep breath and hold your head up.
    6
  • Turkey to fight Armenian propaganda '" Turkish PM
    04.03.2015 11:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:

    Turkey will fight against Armenian propaganda of 1915 events, which is presented by the Armenians as the so-called Armenian genocide, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, Turkish TV channel Haber7 reported Mar.4.

    Davutoglu said earlier that the emphasis on the 1915 events hinders the normalization of relations between Ankara and Yerevan.

    Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor, the Ottoman Empire allegedly carried out "genocide" against the Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Turkey in turn has always denied "the genocide" took place.

    Speaking further, Davutoglu also said that in 2015 Turkey will pay attention to the events connected with the murder of Turkish diplomats by militants of Armenian terrorist organization ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia). Some 42 Turkish diplomats were killed as a result of terrorist activity of ASALA.

    ---

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    5
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