top of page
Online Payment
Azerbaijan takes over ADB Board of Governors chairmanship for 2015
06.05.2014 00:26
A A
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.
Dear User, please take into the consideration the fact that all news are posted to our portal automatically by the system and no human factor is used to estimate the content of information, therefore if you consider this article non-ethical, offensive, illegal or incorrect, we kindly ask you to inform us about this issue.
TOTAL VIEWS
1173
Important news
Popular news
  • Iran says able to overhaul latest aircraft engines
    30.06.2015 09:44
    Tehran, Iran, June 29By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:The Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company is able to prepare the basics for overhauling the latest airplane engines in three to four months and then to carry out the overhaul, the company's CEO Amir Izadi said.By making small changes to th...
  • Azerbaijan sets new standards by organizing Baku 2015 at high level
    30.06.2015 16:07
    /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan has set new standards for hosting large-scale sporting events by organizing the Baku 2015 First European Games.The Land of Fire once again dispelled all doubts and disproved biased statements that the young country would fail to host the First European Games ...
  • Military plane crashes on hotel in Indonesia
    30.06.2015 13:20
    A military transport plane crashed in Medan, the capital of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, RIA Novosti reported June 30.Earlier the spokesman of the country's air forces, Major General Fuad Basya confirmed that there was a crash, involving military transport aircraft Hercules, accordi...
  • Long-term extension of Iran-P5 1 nuclear talks improbable, gaps remain
    30.06.2015 11:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:Despite the remaining gaps between Iran and the six world powers, long-term extension of nuclear talks is improbable, the U.S. State Department's Persian Language Spokesperson Alan Eyre who is a member of the U.S. nuclear negotiator team said....
  • Turkish General Staffв's ex-head warns on creation of safety zones in Syria
    30.06.2015 11:00
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:The units of the armed forces of Turkey can enter Syria to create safety zones there, but they won't be able to leave that country's territory, Kanal7 TV channel quoted the former head of the Turkish General Staff, Ilker Basbug as saying Ju...
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 73 times
    30.06.2015 10:06
    Armenian armed forces violated ceasefire 73 times a day in a single day in different directions along the front line.Oxu.az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that the Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in nameless uplands and Gizilhajili village of G...
  • Iran, P5 1 resume work on drafting text of final nuclear deal
    30.06.2015 09:44
    Senior representatives of Iran and the P5 1 group of countries have held talks on drafting the text of a possible final agreement over Tehranв's nuclear program.According to Press TV, the Iranian deputy foreign ministers, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, held a three-hour meeting with ...
  • Zarif, Lavrov to meet Tuesday in Vienna
    30.06.2015 04:15
    Foreign minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday in Vienna, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told Sputnik."Zarif and Lavrov will have bilateral [meeting] tomorrow. Time is not decided yet," Araghchi sai...
  • Strong and weak candidates for speaker of Turkish parliament
    29.06.2015 22:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:All political parties in Turkey, entitled to be represented in the country's parliament, have already nominated the candidates for the post of speaker. The speaker of the Turkish parliament will be elected this week.The ruling Justice and Devel...
NEWS STORY
  • Belarus can host second European Games
    30.06.2015 19:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/12/minsk_120315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/12/minsk_120315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    The second European Games can take place in Belarus, Maksim Rizhenkov, the first vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, assistant to the president for physical culture, sport and tourism, said.

    "The European Committees have already voiced this proposal," Rizhenkov said in the "Main Broadcast" episode of "Belarus 1" TV channel. "So, the event can be held on the territory of the republic if the country offers conditions meeting the requirements."

    "Belarus has rowing canals, water sports complexes, arenas," he said. "This reduces the initial costs."

    Rizhenkov also said that Belarus, as well as other potential candidate countries, has not refused from holding the European Games.

    The European Games kicked off in Baku June 12 and ended June 28. There was a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports.

    More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe represented their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

    Follow us on Twitter @
    1
  • Baku ready to start building highway for F1
    30.06.2015 19:20
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141483.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141483.jpg
    "We have applied several unusual decisions".

    Famous architect German Tilke said that the works on creation of the highway for holding Grand Prix Azerbaijan will start next week. Oxu.Az reports citing sports.ru that European Games have ended in Baku and now, according to the architect, it is possible to start construction of a racing ring.

    "We have completed the development of the entire project but could not start construction because of European Games. It is clear that the authorities did not want to hold construction during the sporting event.

    We applied several unusual decisions in Baku. The highway will be along in the old city, which is why the ultimate result will be fantastic", Tilke said.
    1
  • Cargolux starts freight transportation via Turkmenistan
    30.06.2015 19:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141827.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141827.jpg
    The Cargolux European all-cargo airline starts freight transportation through the city of Turkmenbashi, said the message of the State Information Agency of Turkmenistan (Turkmen dovlet khabarlary) (TDH).On June 29, this airline will carry out a demonstration flight on the Luxemburg-Turkmenbashi-Baku route, according to the information. Regular cargo flights to the city of Turkmenbashi will start June 30, with the frequency of 4 times a week, namely on the 1st day of the week on the Hong Kong-Turkmenbashi-Budapest route; on the 2nd day of the week '" on Luxembourg-Turkmenbashi-Taipei route; on the 3rd day of the week '" on Hong Kong-Turkmenbashi-Vienna route and on the 6th day of the week '" on Luxembourg-Turkmenbashi-Taipei route.Airline Cargolux is the largest European cargo carrier, which ranks seventh in the world with a growth rate of above 10 percent in 2014 and carries out both regular flights on more than 60 destinations and charter flights to many cities in the world.Contacts of this airline and Turkmenistan have been established since 2009, and during that time a comprehensive assessment of the transit potential of the international airport of Turkmenbashi was carried out.The representatives of the company said that from the geographical and economic points of view, Turkmenbashi Airport is ideally located for transit and commercial flights, as well as technical stops - for refueling and using as a major cargo and logistics center in Central Asia.

    /By
    0
  • Turkmenistan, Russia intensify regional cooperation
    30.06.2015 19:18
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/31/Turkmenistan_Russia_flags_Album_310512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/31/Turkmenistan_Russia_flags_Album_310512.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, June 30

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov exchanged views on key aspects of the general partnership during a telephone conversation, the government of Turkmenistan said June 30.

    The partnership is strategic. It has long-standing experience and considerable potential for further intensification of the relations in a wide range of areas.

    The sides stressed the positive dynamics of bilateral cooperation at the regional level. The two sides also exchanged views on relevant regional and international issues of mutual interest.

    "In this context, the commitment of Turkmenistan and Russia to the constructive partnership was reaffirmed as part of the authoritative international organizations, primarily the UN, to ensure global peace, security and prosperity," a statement said.

    President Berdimuhamedov reaffirmed the invitation for his Russian counterpart to visit Turkmenistan, as well as take part in the international conference devoted to the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan's permanent neutrality status, to be held in Ashgabat in December 2015.

    At the end of the conversation the two leaders expressed confidence that the traditional interstate dialogue will continue successfully developing.

    The telephone conversation was initiated by the Russian side.

    Russia holds leading positions in the ranking of the largest foreign trade partners of Turkmenistan. The cooperation between the two countries has been recently intensified at the regional level.

    More than 190 companies with Russian capital have been registered in Turkmenistan.

    They are implementing more than 240 investment projects.

    Revival, KAMAZ, Itera companies and Siberia airlines and others are among the traditional partners.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    0
  • Turkmenistan, Israel discuss cooperation development
    30.06.2015 19:18
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/20/handshake.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/20/handshake.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, June 30

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    A meeting with Israeli Ambassador Shemi Tzur, who is completing his diplomatic mission in the country, has been held at the Turkmen foreign ministry, the government said June 30.

    The sides said that the regular political consultations are one of the important mechanisms contributing to the promotion of bilateral cooperation.

    Stressing the effective development of mutually beneficial cooperation, the sides discussed the bilateral cooperation in political, trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian spheres.

    Israel has taken an active part in the reconstruction of the Turkmenbashi largest oil refinery in Turkmenistan. Israeli companies were also involved in the country's agricultural projects.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    0
  • Will US-Iran nuclear patience coincide?
    30.06.2015 18:57
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

    A day expected by all observers came in the Iranian nuclear program. This is the deadline for concluding the final nuclear agreement. However, the agreement will not be reached today. Both sides of the negotiations warned about this. They said that they would need more time, perhaps a few more days. But no more, "Six" said.

    Apparently, (if the agreement is concluded), it will be concluded before the US Congress goes on vacation, that is, before July 10. US President Barack Obama signed a bill on May 22. It requires him to send a final agreement on Iran's nuclear program to Congress. President Obama will have to submit the terms of the deal to Congress not later than five days after the conclusion of the deal. He will unlikely postpone this for the period after the holidays. And Iran itself is interested in submitting the agreement to the Congress as soon as possible.

    The matter rests in the fact that Congress has 30 days to consider the agreement. Afterwards, the president is entitled to veto the decision of the Congress within 12 days. In its turn, Congress has 10 days to challenge a veto. During this long procedure, the US will be unable to lift sanctions from Iran. So Tehran is not pleased.

    But the problems can occur even after concluding the agreement.

    Most of the American congressmen (both Republicans and Democrats) don't believe that the idea of a '‹'‹dialogue with Iran is good.

    This is due to not only the history of complex relations between the two nations, but also the influential Israeli lobby in the US, which firmly opposes any agreement with the Islamic Republic.

    Meanwhile, there is an opinion in Congress that the Nobel peace prize winner Obama wants to be remembered as a peacemaker, and thus, makes concessions to Tehran to get a result.

    It means that if the deal successfully passes through the Senate, there will be problems with regard to it in the future.

    According to the agreements reached between the P5 1 and Tehran, the US, the EU and the UN will have to remove the sanctions with Iran's fulfilling its commitments.

    However, a decision of lawmakers will also be needed for a full removal of the sanctions.

    And they can refuse to make concessions to Tehran, leave the timeframe for lifting the sanctions such as the Senate wants, and thus cause escalation of tensions between Iran and the West.

    Observers can only wait for the development of events, the main of which will unfold just after the nuclear deal is concluded.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    2
  • Glimpse beyond Iran supreme leader's nuclear statements
    30.06.2015 18:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/iran_nuclear_30032015.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/iran_nuclear_30032015.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Today is June 30, the last day of imposed deadline for nuclear stand-off between Iran and the P5 1. Both sides say that it is still too soon to tell if a nuclear deal is possible.

    It seems the talks will continue for at least a few days as happened on April 2 in Lausanne, while both sides have rejected long-term extensions of the negotiations.

    Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif who left Vienna for Tehran, will join talks again today. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's atomic agency will also accompany him, which is meaningful according to the experts.

    Some analysts believe that Salehi's participation in the final round of talks who headed Iran's expert team in talks to Lausanne framework deal, shows the Islamic Republic's serious desire to achieve a comprehensive nuclear deal.

    Salehi also is known as being close to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the man who has the final word on important matters in the Islamic Republic.

    Only one week before the nuclear deadline Khamenei made a disputed speech, outlining new redlines for nuclear talks which seem to undercut several parts of the already reachedLausanne framework deal.

    He ruled out freezing a sensitive nuclear work in the country for a long time and said sanctions imposed on it should be lifted as soon it reaches a final deal with the P5 1(the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany).

    Khamenei argued that lifting sanctions should not be linked to the time of verifying Iran's commitments by the international inspectors. He also noted that the period of implementation of nuclear agreement shouldn't be 10-12 years, but much shorter and repeated his refusal to allow inspections of Iranian military sites.

    Meanwhile, according to a fact sheet released by the White House, the Lausanne deal will have Iran to go through inspections of its sensitive nuclear work for the next 10-15 years since the moment of signing the deal.

    The deal also underlines that Iran will be required to grant IAEA the access to investigate suspicious sites anywhere in the country.

    While the US officials announced that they would not be baited into a public debate withIran's Supreme leader, some experts believe that Khamenei's public speeches and statements are not necessarily reflecting his exact stance towards the nuclear issue.

    Considering the fact that the supreme leader always participates in setting the agenda of nuclear talks as the country's negotiators say, the Lausanne deal would not be possible without Khamenei's agreement.

    However one week after the deal Khamenei said he is not neither against, nor in favor of theLausanne deal. He also refused determining the details of the nuclear talks, saying he only outlines the redlines.

    Alongside with his new redlines Khamenei also gave green light to negotiators in his last week's speech, something that is neglected under the shadow of redlines.

    He said that however he is not against criticisms towards the country's nuclear team, but critics should understand that "some necessities" lead the negotiators towards some disputed steps.

    It will not be exaggerated if we say that Iran's fate now depends on the decision of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's most powerful person.

    He can make a hard political decision, considering "the necessities", and choose cooperating with the global community, seeking an end to tensions with other states and repairing ties with entire world, or he can close the doors, saying that he was already right forecasting "the talks will not lead anywhere."

    Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • US imposes sanctions against Russia's major energy companies
    30.06.2015 18:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141482.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141482.jpg
    The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the US Department of the Treasury said it has imposed new sanctions against Russian companies, APA reports citing Lenta.ru.

    The sanctions list, for the first time, included Russia's major energy companies including Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas. The sectoral sanctions ban the companies supply with the equipment and products used in the development of hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic shelf, shale fields and deep areas.

    On June 29, Canada added 3 individuals, 14 legal entities to anti-Russia sanctions list. The sanctions are imposed against leaders of the Eurasian Youth Union Alexander Dugin, Pavel Kanitschev and Andrey Kovalenko, Russian companies Night Wolves Motorcycle Club, Gazprom, Transneft, Surqutnefteqaz, Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation and others.

    In the spring of 2014, the West began to impose sanctions against Russia in connection with the Crimea annexation and Donbass war.
    3
  • Kyrgyzstan increases gold reserves
    30.06.2015 18:28
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141825.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141825.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    Kyrgyzstan's international reserves grew as compared to the beginning of the year to $1. 885 billion, according to the Kyrgyzstan National Bank.

    The international reserves showed a descending trend last year and stood at roughly $1.875 billion in January, 2015.

    Drop in the exchange rate of national currency with regard to U.S. dollar and currency interventions were the key reasons causing fall in the volume of international reserves.

    The decline continued in February amounting to $1.821 billion and reached $1.750 billion in March.

    The government's income in foreign currency, including foreign exchange earnings from the Kumtor and grant fundings had positive implication on the country's international reserves, which amounted to $1.876 billion in April and $1.885 billion in May.

    Kyrgyzstan's National Bank, which annually reviews and approves the countries investment policy, carried out 15 currency interventions this year.

    Kyrgyzstan's international reserves are kept in foreign banks.

    International reserves acting as external assets helps to maintain the national currency in current unstable circumstances.

    Generally, the international reserves include bonds, deposits and one-day REPO operation (purchase-sale of securities).

    Earlier, the National Bank announced its readiness to purchase further gold in the domestic market in an effort to replenish international reserves.

    Kyrgyzstan's gold reserves account for only 8.6 percent of the total volume of international reserves, the special drawing right is 9.5 percent and currency portfolio amounts to 81.9 percent, consisting of American, Australian, Canadian and Singapore dollars, euros, Swiss francs, British pounds, Japanese yen, the Russian ruble, Chinese yuan, the Norwegian and Swedish krona.

    Kyrgyzstan has received more than $2.7 billion from the development of the Kumtor gold mine by foreign investors over 20 years. Kumtor is Kyrgyzstanв's largest industrial asset and accounts for up to 10 percent of GDP in a year.

    Kyrgyzstan with 3 tons of gold ranks 86 for the volume of gold reserves in the world, according to May Statistics of World Gold Council.
    4
  • Kyrgyzstan increases gold reserves
    30.06.2015 18:27
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141825.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141825.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    Kyrgyzstan's international reserves grew as compared to the beginning of the year to $1. 885 billion, according to the Kyrgyzstan National Bank.

    The international reserves showed a descending trend last year and stood at roughly $1.875 billion in January, 2015.

    Drop in the exchange rate of national currency with regard to U.S. dollar and currency interventions were the key reasons causing fall in the volume of international reserves.

    The decline continued in February amounting to $1.821 billion and reached $1.750 billion in March.

    The government's income in foreign currency, including foreign exchange earnings from the Kumtor and grant fundings had positive implication on the country's international reserves, which amounted to $1.876 billion in April and $1.885 billion in May.

    Kyrgyzstan's National Bank, which annually reviews and approves the countries investment policy, carried out 15 currency interventions this year.

    Kyrgyzstan's international reserves are kept in foreign banks.

    International reserves acting as external assets helps to maintain the national currency in current unstable circumstances.

    Generally, the international reserves include bonds, deposits and one-day REPO operation (purchase-sale of securities).

    Earlier, the National Bank announced its readiness to purchase further gold in the domestic market in an effort to replenish international reserves.

    Kyrgyzstan's gold reserves account for only 8.6 percent of the total volume of international reserves, the special drawing right is 9.5 percent and currency portfolio amounts to 81.9 percent, consisting of American, Australian, Canadian and Singapore dollars, euros, Swiss francs, British pounds, Japanese yen, the Russian ruble, Chinese yuan, the Norwegian and Swedish krona.

    Kyrgyzstan has received more than $2.7 billion from the development of the Kumtor gold mine by foreign investors over 20 years. Kumtor is Kyrgyzstanв's largest industrial asset and accounts for up to 10 percent of GDP in a year.

    Kyrgyzstan with 3 tons of gold ranks 86 for the volume of gold reserves in the world, according to May Statistics of World Gold Council.
    3
  • Italy-Kazakhstan economic cooperation discussed in Milan
    30.06.2015 18:25
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141824.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141824.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    Investors are given the opportunity to attract foreign labor without any quotas and permits, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said Kazakhstanв's President at the EXPO Milano 2015 opening ceremony, dedicated to the National Day of Kazakhstan.

    Nursultan Nazarbayev mentioned that a visa-free regime has been established for investors from 10 countries, including Italy, the leading foreign investor in Kazakhstan.

    Kazakhstan will prolong the visa-free regime for investors, and extended it to another 10 countries: Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland from July 15.

    Italian-Kazakh trade and economic cooperation is steadily strengthening each year. According to last yearв's records, the volume of Italy direct investments in Kazakhstan exceeded $17 billion, while the total trade with the EU amounted $55 billion.

    Kazakhstan and Italian cooperation in the technological, energy, transport, trade, economic, and humanitarian fields open new opportunities for improving mutual relations.

    "The Italian direct flows into Kazakhstan amounted about $6 billion since 2005," Nazarbayev stressed, speaking about the growth of mutual trade turnover between the countries.

    The bilateral Italian-Kazakh business forum was held in Milan, within the framework of the EXPO-2015 exhibition, where the sides have signed 20 contracts worth about $500 million.

    The contracts are related to the production of agricultural machinery, food products, textiles, oil, and the construction sectors between the two countries.

    The agreement on the participation share in the exploration and production of the Isatai between the KazMunayGas national company and the Eni Isatai BV Company was the priority of the conversation.

    A memorandum of understanding between the Kazakhstan Ministry of Investment and Development and a number of Italian companies, as well as a memorandum of cooperation between the administration of the Kazakh capital Astana, Kazakhstan Engineering Union and the Italian Federation of Associations engineering industry ANIMA were also signed during the business forum.

    Nazarbayev pointed out that Kazakhstan has become attractive for foreign investors due to its activities within Eurasian Economic Union, with an integrated single market of 180 million people. The trade bloc of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia has introduced the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labor. Kazakhstan can be considered as a gateway to the EEU, he explained.

    Kyrgyzstan's integration into the EEU will favorably effect on the development of agriculture production, and improve technologies and trade relationships with foreign markets in the EEU.

    In socio-economic terms, the removal of customs barriers and the growth of mutual trade will open up investment flow from more economically developed countries of the EEU into Kyrgyzstan.

    Agriculture in mountainous Kyrgyzstan accounts for approximately 24 percent of the country's GDP. Kyrgyzstan's agriculture sector has not only economic, but also social and political importance.
    4
  • Patrick Hickey: Future is bright for Azerbaijan
    30.06.2015 18:23
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141823.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141823.jpg
    "These were the Games on which to build all future European Games. The foundations of an event that will endure and inspire. To the European Olympic family and to our friends around the world, I say this, with complete certainty: the future is bright for Azerbaijan. The future is bright for the European Games. And the future is bright for the magnificent athletes of Europe," said President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey in his speech at the Closing Ceremony of the Baku 2015 European Games.

    Hickey said: "Europe is a continent of contrasts and great rivalries. Of diversity, and history and competition. But here, at the European Games, we came together under a common flag, united by a common belief: that sport '" and the pursuit of the Olympic ideal '" elevates us to a place where what we share means more than what sets us apart. A belief that every four years, for two glorious weeks, we 50 nations of Europe can become one."

    /By AzerTac/
    3
  • Oil price on world markets
    30.06.2015 16:58
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141821.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141821.jpg
    The price of oil has continued to fall in the world markets. On the New York Stock Exchange NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) cost of the US Light crude oil decreased $0.43 to stand at $58.33. Price of British Brent crude oil at the London ICE (InterContinental Exchange Futures) fell $0.49 to trade at $62.01.

    The Marketing and Economic Operations Department of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan said the price of a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil decreased $0.91 to stand at $62.42 on the world markets.

    /By AzerTac/
    19
  • Turkey: Religious affairs head calls for focus on peace
    30.06.2015 16:54
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141479.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141479.jpg
    Turkeyв's head of religious affairs has said that Islam is under threat because of what he called new misunderstandings and urged Muslims to focus on Islam's message of peace.

    In comments made during an iftar meal organized for ambassadors of Muslim countries Monday evening in Ankara, president of the Presidency of Religious Affairs Mehmet Gormez said: "Islam is under the threat of new misunderstandings. New religious understandings showing up in shades of violence during the last decade have started to threaten the graceful messages of Islam."

    He called on every Muslim to understand the true meaning of Islam. "Look what we did to the world which is our mutual home and homeland. Why did we lose the [Muslim greeting of] lsquo;salaam' in the Islamic world? There is no Islam without lsquo;salaam' and no belief without faith," he added.

    "Rage and hostility are causing hostility against Islam. The Islamic world is not the only one which suffers from security problems," he pointed out.

    "We are passing through a period of time when hearts have been hardened. How can a Muslim, who is obliged to show tenderness even to an ant, attempt to kill his own brother in a mosque by saying Allah Akbar [God is great]?"

    Recalling his visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque, Gormez said that he had witnessed how the place, which consists of mutual faith values of Jews, Christians and Muslims, was now isolated in front of people's eyes.

    "And I painfully observed how Gaza, where two million people live, got transformed into a concentration camp," he added.

    Gormez added that Muslims must focus on Islam's messages of peace and grace.
    6
  • Eros Bologna: Azerbaijan is able to host Summer Olympic Games 2024
    30.06.2015 16:45
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141480.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141480.jpg
    Organization of the Baku 2015 first European Games means Azerbaijan is able to host Summer Olympic Games to be held in 2024.

    The statement came from Secretary General of National Olympic Committee of San Marino Eros Bologna as he shared his opinions on the first European Games, AzerTag reports.

    "The Games which brought together athletes from numerous countries gave to Azerbaijan the opportunity to demonstrate its potential," he said.

    Head of the San Marino delegation Federico Valentino said that the Games have made deep impression on him. "The first European Games is worthy of a higher price. I was eye witness of a high level service in the Athletes village. There were all kinds of conditions there. All the athletes were provided high-quality food products and convenient transportation. During the 17 days of the Games, everything was well organized. We'll participate with pleasure in the sporting events to be held in Azerbaijan in future. I am very lucky to be a part of this historic event. The first European Games was a bright sport event that I will never forget."
    5
  • Azerbaijani artist joins International Platonov Arts Festival
    30.06.2015 16:11
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141815.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141815.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Talented Azerbaijani artist Vusal Rahim, took part in this yearв's International Platonov Arts Festival, named after one of the most influential Russian writers of the twentieth century, Andrey Platonov.

    The 5thВ International Platonov Festival, which has become the leading cultural project in the region for the last five years, was held in Voronezh, Russia, between June 3 and 14. The Festival provided its audience with the unique opportunity to tap into the outstanding creative achievements in a variety of art forms, and is intended to affirm Voronezh as a leader in Russian culture.

    The festival has been held annually and covers genres such as music, theatre, fine arts and literature. For four continuous years the Festival has been attended by prominent musicians, actors, artists and writers of our time. Meanwhile, within the World Music section the famous Azerbaijani musician Alim Gasimov, will perform to Voronezh natives.

    The visual programme at the Platonov Festival, consists of masterpieces created by artists from a range of different countries belonging to the CIS. The exhibition space extends beyond the bounds of gallery walls to meet thousands of spectators on the street. Addressing themes of ancient cults, as well as the history and tradition of their nation, the artists rouse interest in the crossroads between different civilizations and the importance of careful and solicitous attitudes to cultural monuments.

    In his works, Vusal Rahim deals with themes of ancient cults and Shamanism. For the Platonov Festival his works comprised of an outdoor performance namedВ The Universe, and a sculpture entitledВ Woman of Fire. The idea behind ??the performance was to place the artist at the centre of an ever diminishing circle from where he delivered female, male and animal sculptures (figurines) made from red or yellow clay.

    As the artist notes: 'My main inspiration for these figures were ancient religious statues discovered across different eras, not only in various regions of Azerbaijan, but all over the world. The selection of the colour sienna for the circles is linked to its semantics; sienna symbolizes the earth, the soil, where it all began. The artist becomes the Divine Being dressed in white robes, a symbol of purity and power of creationв'.

    Inspired by ancestral heritage, Rahim incorporates ceremonial female figures into his sculptures. He decorates them with patterns and compositions from the traditional art of carpet weaving. Azerbaijani carpets represent an integral part of the Carpet art of the East, and the artistв's use of these traditional techniques along with imagery of the female form, symbolic of fertility, date far back into Azerbaijanв's history. By unifying these different aspects of Azerbaijani culture, inВ Woman of Fire,В the artist achieves a hyperbolic climax in his work.

    Vusal was born in 1987 in Ganja, Azerbaijan. He graduated from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts and received his artistic education within the studio of Kamil Najafzadeh, Peopleв's Artist of Azerbaijan.

    Vusal has participated in numerous exhibitions and projects in Azerbaijan and abroad. He held a solo show namedВ Black WomanВ at Bakuв's YAY Gallery in 2013, and he exhibited in conjunction with an American artistat DUET Gallery (USA) in 2015.
    9
  • Azerbaijani artist joins International Platonov Arts Festival
    30.06.2015 16:09
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141816.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141816.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Talented Azerbaijani artist Vusal Rahim, took part in this yearв's International Platonov Arts Festival, named after one of the most influential Russian writers of the twentieth century, Andrey Platonov.

    The 5thВ International Platonov Festival, which has become the leading cultural project in the region for the last five years, was held in Voronezh, Russia, between June 3 and 14. The Festival provided its audience with the unique opportunity to tap into the outstanding creative achievements in a variety of art forms, and is intended to affirm Voronezh as a leader in Russian culture.

    The festival has been held annually and covers genres such as music, theatre, fine arts and literature. For four continuous years the Festival has been attended by prominent musicians, actors, artists and writers of our time. Meanwhile, within the World Music section the famous Azerbaijani musician Alim Gasimov, will perform to Voronezh natives.

    The visual programme at the Platonov Festival, consists of masterpieces created by artists from a range of different countries belonging to the CIS. The exhibition space extends beyond the bounds of gallery walls to meet thousands of spectators on the street. Addressing themes of ancient cults, as well as the history and tradition of their nation, the artists rouse interest in the crossroads between different civilizations and the importance of careful and solicitous attitudes to cultural monuments.

    In his works, Vusal Rahim deals with themes of ancient cults and Shamanism. For the Platonov Festival his works comprised of an outdoor performance namedВ The Universe, and a sculpture entitledВ Woman of Fire. The idea behind ??the performance was to place the artist at the centre of an ever diminishing circle from where he delivered female, male and animal sculptures (figurines) made from red or yellow clay.

    As the artist notes: 'My main inspiration for these figures were ancient religious statues discovered across different eras, not only in various regions of Azerbaijan, but all over the world. The selection of the colour sienna for the circles is linked to its semantics; sienna symbolizes the earth, the soil, where it all began. The artist becomes the Divine Being dressed in white robes, a symbol of purity and power of creationв'.

    Inspired by ancestral heritage, Rahim incorporates ceremonial female figures into his sculptures. He decorates them with patterns and compositions from the traditional art of carpet weaving. Azerbaijani carpets represent an integral part of the Carpet art of the East, and the artistв's use of these traditional techniques along with imagery of the female form, symbolic of fertility, date far back into Azerbaijanв's history. By unifying these different aspects of Azerbaijani culture, inВ Woman of Fire,В the artist achieves a hyperbolic climax in his work.

    Vusal was born in 1987 in Ganja, Azerbaijan. He graduated from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts and received his artistic education within the studio of Kamil Najafzadeh, Peopleв's Artist of Azerbaijan.

    Vusal has participated in numerous exhibitions and projects in Azerbaijan and abroad. He held a solo show namedВ Black WomanВ at Bakuв's YAY Gallery in 2013, and he exhibited in conjunction with an American artistat DUET Gallery (USA) in 2015.
    5
  • Azerbaijan sets new standards by organizing Baku 2015 at high level
    30.06.2015 16:07
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141817.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141817.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan has set new standards for hosting large-scale sporting events by organizing the Baku 2015 First European Games.

    The Land of Fire once again dispelled all doubts and disproved biased statements that the young country would fail to host the First European Games at the highest level, and thus entered its name into the history of European Sports.

    The audience and the athletes were all impressed by the fascinating and mesmerizing opening and closing ceremonies and the impressive coordination of competitions.

    The European Games, held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on June 12-28, gathered over 6,000 athletes from around Europe to participate in 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic and 12 of which are qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

    Many anti-Azerbaijani circles doubted that the Land of Fire, Azerbaijan, having only been an independent country for 24 years, would even be able to host the first ever European Games, let alone do it so remarkably.

    Baku 2015, the successful result of serious efforts and intense planning, won victory over negative opinions. Right after the opening ceremony, all doubts were dispelled and the ill-wishers failed to disturb its progress.

    The organization of the Games has surpassed all expectations. Hosting the European Games promotes the country and enhances its image in the international arena. The country has proven its ability to cope with the assumed tasks, despite all attempts to discredit Azerbaijan as part of a smear and biased campaign conducted against it.

    The athletes, who had nothing but positive comments regarding the excellent conditions of the accommodation and training facilities, along with fans and viewers around the world, will remember Azerbaijan not only as a beautiful, modern, hospitable country, but as a country that has presented a memorable sporting festivity to the world.

    Today, one thing is very obvious: Azerbaijan has proved its ability to host grand sporting events of international importance with its impressive new sporting infrastructure and logistical experience.

    Azerbaijan has sent a message of peace and brotherhood to all countries via the European Games. The successful hosting of the first European Games in Azerbaijan showed the whole world how much importance the country attaches to sports, a factors in strengthening the ideals of friendship, good-neighborliness, and cooperation throughout the world.

    The Baku 2015 European Games is the beginning of a new era of sports, a step forward on the road to even more sporting events. Azerbaijan has opened a new chapter in the history of sports of this continent.
    5
  • US Ambassador to Azerbaijan visits Council on State Support to NGOs
    30.06.2015 16:01
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141476.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141476.jpg
    Robert Cekuta attended a meeting held in the Council on State Support to NGOs.

    US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta, head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Robert Lopez and Advisor on Political Affairs of the US Embassy Daniel Slusher attended a meeting held in the Council on State Support to NGOs under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag reports.

    Chairman of the Council, MP Azay Guliyev, spoke of the actions of his organization on strengthening of civil society institutions and financial support to NGOs.

    Ambassador Robert Cekuta told that, Azerbaijan hosted the first European Games at high level and praised the activity of the volunteers. He also emphasized the prospects of bilateral relations and numerous projects of the United States in various fields implemented in Azerbaijan after the restoration of independence.

    Informing the guests about the essence of the changes made to the legislation, Mr. Azay Guliyev said that, these changes serve increasing transparency and accountability in the public sector, ensuring efficient use of existing resources and detection of illegal activity in time.

    Mr. Guliyev said that unfortunately, a number of US government-funded NGOs and media create a negative opinion about Azerbaijan by spreading biased information.

    The meeting stressed the need to continue discussions on the issues of mutual interest.
    5
  • Azerbaijan condemns terrorist attack on Egypt's attorney general
    30.06.2015 16:00
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141477.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141477.jpg
    Azerbaijanв's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement to condemn the terrorist attack, committed on June 29 against Attorney General of the Arab Republic of Egypt Hisham Barakat, APA reports.

    "The Republic of Azerbaijan, as a country suffering from terrorism, deplores all forms and manifestations of terrorism. We express our solidarity with the Egyptian people and government in the fight against terrorism. We offer our deepest condolences to terror victim Hisham Barakat's family members and relatives", said the statement.
    4
  • Top Russian MP urges measures against Canada in response to expanding sanctions
    30.06.2015 15:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141478.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141478.jpg
    Pushkov told the Russian lawmakers that Canada "is the most anti-Russian state today and in the Western alliance, in general, and no doubt, in the Group of Seven"

    Moscow should adopt measures against Canada in response to Ottawa's latest move to expand sanctions against Russia, a senior Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov said on Tuesday, TASS reports.

    "We should not pretend as if nothing is happening and we need to devise a set of measures in regard to Canada," said Pushkov, who heads the foreign affairs committee of the Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

    Pushkov told the Russian lawmakers that Canada "is the most anti-Russian state today and in the Western alliance, in general, and no doubt, in the Group of Seven."

    "The country's government is seeking to strengthen its barely noticeable role in the international affairs and its objective lack of weight and authority by the increased activity in the sphere of sanctions policy," the lawmaker said.

    Speaking on Russia's retaliatory measures, Pushkov said "in this sense, the restrictive embargo on the import of agricultural goods from the EU countries is absolutely justified."

    "I believe we should also respond in a special way to the most aggressive manifestations of the sanctions policy," Pushkov said, confirming that this namely refers to Canada.

    Pushkov also said the statement of Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Russia cannot be allowed back into the G7 "develops a thesis on the irreversibility of confrontation between Russia and the West."

    "It seems that there should be a response to this," he said.

    The way out of the deadlock should start by canceling sanctions against lawmakers by both sides. "Russia and the EU should come out of this situation and restoring the principles of European parliamentarism, expanding interparliamentary dialogue is the only possible way," Pushkov stressed.

    Canada introduced additional economic sanctions against 14 Russian legal entities and three Russian individuals, according to a statement issued by Harper on Monday. Ottawa also imposed a ban on import and export of goods from the territory of Crimea.

    Russian companies Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Surgutneftegaz and Transneft have been included into the extended sanction list of Canada, the country's foreign ministry said.

    Sanctions have been also imposed against Russia's Oboronprom, Chemcomposite, Stankoinstrument, Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, United Aircraft Corporation, Tula Arms Plant, and Sirius. Sanctions will affect Marshall Capital Fund, Eurasian Youth Union, and Night Wolves Motorcycle Club.
    7
  • SOFAZ reveals revenues from ACG, Shah Deniz fields
    30.06.2015 14:54
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141814.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141814.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has earned $113.33 billion from 2001 to June 1, 2015 by developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

    "The fund gained $3.071 billion in January-May, 2015 within the framework of ACG project, including $549 million in May," SOFAZ toldВ TrendВ on June 30.

    The ACG fields have been active since 1997. Its production first started at the Chirag part of the block. It was followed by Azeri Project; Central Azeri in February 2005, West Azeri in December 2005, and East Azeri in October 2006.

    The Deepwater Gunashli section launched production in April 2008.

    SOFAZ also said it gained $2.278 billion of profit from 2007 to June 1, 2015 by implementing the development project of the giant Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea.

    SOFAZ earned some $158.2 million as part of the Shah Deniz project in January-May, 2015, including $41 million in May.

    The Shah Deniz field, one of the world's largest gas-condensate fields, was discovered in 1999. Its gas reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters. Overall, the field has proved to be a secure and reliable supplier of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Europe.

    SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with an asset worth $271 million.

    The main goals of the fund include accumulation of revenues, investment of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations, and maintaining the current social and economic standards in the country.

    SOFAZ's revenues in the first quarter amounted to 2,028 million Azerbaijani manats, while expenses stood at 2,335.6 million manats.
    24
  • Iran will not accept permissions beyond Additional Protocol
    30.06.2015 14:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/28/mohammad_baqer_nobakht_280813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/28/mohammad_baqer_nobakht_280813.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran will not accept permissions beyond the Additional Protocol in nuclear talks, said Iranian government's spokesman, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht.

    "Whatever is announced by the White House spokesman is their objectives, and permissions which are beyond the Additional Protocol are not accepted by us," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Nobakht as saying June 30.

    "[We] are seeking a good agreement. Long-term agreement is not among policies of Iran. Our stances on the talks are clear," he added.

    Referring to news about sending a letter by US President Barack Obama to Iranian officials, Nobakht said: "I do not confirm the sending of a letter by Obama regarding the talks to Iranian officials."

    The Additional Protocol allows unannounced inspections outside of declared nuclear sites and it is seen as a vital tool at the IAEA's disposal to make sure that a country does not have any hidden nuclear work.

    While some Iranian MPs argue that the Islamic Republic can accept implementing Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if access to military sites is excluded, the country's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier this month that selective implementation of the protocol is impossible.

    Iran is not the only country that has concerns over disclosure of its security and industrial secrets, Zarif said, adding industrial secrets are part of the nuclear program of many countries, meanwhile they are adopting the Additional Protocol.

    Access for UN nuclear inspectors to Iranian military sites and the pace and timing of sanctions relief for Tehran are among several major disputes that Iran and the P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) need to resolve before the self-imposed June 30 deadline for a final deal.

    Iran and the P5 1 reached a mutual understanding on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • Around The Rings: Azerbaijan to play greater role in international sport
    30.06.2015 14:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/around_the_rings_300615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/around_the_rings_300615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    Azerbaijan will play a greater role in international sport for 10 years, an article posted at Around The Rings (ATR) website said.

    The inaugural European Games, closed in Baku this weekend, heaped with praise for the smooth operation of the 17-day event, the article said.

    In an interview with Around the Rings, Azerbaijani Minister for Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov says the European Games is a boost for Azerbaijani sports executives to help lead big events in the future of the country, one of the benefits of playing host.

    He says the experience will be evaluated quickly by the government to decide whether to go ahead with a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

    The European Games kicked off in Baku June 12 and ended June 28. There was a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports.

    More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe represented their nations over 17 days of competition.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • Additional countries can join North-South project '" Russian Railways
    30.06.2015 14:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/23/vladimir_yakunin_231014.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/23/vladimir_yakunin_231014.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    North-South transport corridor project that brings together Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, can involve other countries as well, Vladimir Yakunin, head of JSC Russian Railways told Trend June 30.

    He said that the project for construction of Rasht-Astara (Iran) railway is only at the design stage for the present.

    "Taking this into account, theoretically, it is possible to involve other countries in this project," said Yakunin.

    For instance, the participation of India and Oman which are the members of the Coordinating Council of the North-South project and are interested in developing various cargo supply routes via this corridor can be considered, he added.

    Yakunin said that to date, Russian Railways JSC hasn't received appeals from other countries for participation in this project.

    The purpose of creating the North-South international transport corridor is to integrate the highways of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran.

    The 375-kilometers long Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway is currently the missing link in the North-South transport corridor and it will connect the Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will link the railroads of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.

    The construction of the Qazvin-Rasht railway with the length of 205 kilometers has already been completed. Its capacity will be equal to 1.4 million passengers and 5-7 million metric tons of cargo per year, according to the preliminary estimates. As many as 22 tunnels, 15 bridges will be built on the railway. The construction of 15 tunnels has already been completed.

    At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 6 million metric tons of cargo via the North-South corridor per year and further to increase this figure to 15-20 million metric tons.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Moody's: Outlook changes to negative for Azerbaijan's banking system
    30.06.2015 14:47
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141475.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141475.jpg
    The banking system outlook has changed to negative from stable for Azerbaijan (Baa3 stable), says Moody's Investors Service, reflecting the impact of lower global oil prices and currency devaluation on the operating environment for banks, as well as on their asset quality, capital, profitability, and funding.

    The new report "Banking System Outlook: Azerbaijan", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

    Moody's notes that the slump in oil prices has put downward pressure on Azerbaijan's economy, given that the hydrocarbon sector accounted for close to 37% of nominal GDP at the year-end 2014. Moody's forecasts that Azerbaijan's GDP growth will slow to 1.0% in 2015, based on an assumption of oil prices averaging $55 per barrel this year, and that growth will only recover to 1.7% in 2016. Slower economic growth can be partially offset by government spending initiatives backed by a sizable pool of accumulated foreign-currency reserves (70% of GDP as of year-end 2014).

    "Developments in the non-oil economy are the principal determinants for the banks' operating environment, and, as such, dictate the evolution of bank performance," says Maria Malyukova, a Moody's Analyst and author of the report.

    Moody's report says that alongside the weak operating conditions, the local-currency devaluation in February of this year is credit negative for banks. "We believe that banks' asset quality will deteriorate following the local-currency devaluation, as most foreign-currency loans in Azerbaijan are to borrowers that do not have foreign-currency revenues. Moreover, higher inflation reducing consumer spending power and seasoning of banks' loan books amidst a slowdown in lending growth will also contribute to an increase in problem loans to not less than 15% of gross loans this year from 11.4% at the end of 2014," adds Ms. Malyukova.

    Moody's says that the revaluation of FX assets and higher credit losses are pressuring Azeri banks' profitability and capitalisation. "We project average credit costs of around 3% of gross loans in 2015, absorbing most of banks' pre-provision profits this year and reducing their internal capital generation ability. We estimate the immediate negative effect on system-wide banks' capitalisation from the revaluation of foreign-currency assets at around 2 percentage points. However, most rated banks' buffers are sufficient to absorb expected losses under the central scenario of our stress test. On the funding side, the devaluation weakened depositor confidence, causing significant deposit shifts into foreign currency, widening mismatches between banks' FX assets and FX liabilities", explains Ms Malyukova.
    6
  • Azerbaijani border guards prevent smuggling attempt by sea
    30.06.2015 14:00
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141474.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141474.jpg
    Azerbaijanв's State Border Service (SBS) continues to carry out necessary actions for reliable security of sea borders and the tightening of control on compliance with rules on the countryв's sector of the Caspian Sea.

    In June of this year, border guards detained a group of criminals attempting to carry smuggled products into Azerbaijan by sea. On 19 June 2015, according to information that smuggled products would be brought from Russia by sea through the area of the SBS "Muqtadir" coastal checkpoint, the coastal zone was closed and a border guard ship began to conduct surveillance on the area. In an operation carried out on 20 June 2015 around 1:00 AM, a group of eight persons carrying on a motor boat 804 kg sturgeon, 7kg smoked fish and 2.4 kg black caviar were detained.

    On 29 June 2015 around 09:30 AM, during the documentation of a fishing boat, which was back from the sea, as the actions of two crew members arouse suspicion, the boat was thoroughly inspected in the coastal surveillance station and a secret compartment was found in the front and middle parts of the boat. During the inspection of the secret compartment, 36 packages with a total of 1,550 grams of dried marijuana, 4,600 boxes of Kent cigarettes, 2,000 boxes of MM cigarettes, 5,970 convoluted Altra-200 medicines, 15 Samsung-Galaxy mobile phones were found and seized. The initial investigation revealed that the smuggled goods were brought by a gang from Iran by sea.

    Criminal cases have been launched on both facts, investigation is underway.
    15
  • Azerbaijan restores tea culture
    30.06.2015 13:24
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141810.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141810.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan has unveiled yet another tea processing factory.

    The countryв's region of Astara opened ''Astarachay'' tea processing factory, built on a similar project in Korea.

    The factory has an area of about five hectares. Its production capacity is 12 tons per day with an in intent to increase production up to 24 tons per day.

    Thanks to the latest technology employed in the factory, the company will be able to produce eight packages of tea per minute.

    Agricultural enterprise "Astarachay" was established in 2010. It produces a variety of agricultural products, but the company is mainly focused on tea. Astarachay owns a total of 640 hectares, 400 hectares of which is allocated to the tea plantations.

    "Astarachay" also deals with rice growers. The sown area for rice accounted for 20 hectares as of 2014, and some 102 tons of rice were collected.

    This year, the company is going to allocate 120 hectares for growing rice; it has purchased all of the necessary equipment for this purpose.

    Tea growing in Azerbaijan was founded in the early 1930s in the Southern cities of Astara and Lankaran.

    The main producer of tea in Azerbaijan is Azersun Holding, which collects tea leaves from the Lankaran and Astara locations, as well as its tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

    Local tea is exported to almost all of the CIS countries, as well as to Europe and America.

    Azerbaijani tea culture enjoys a time-honored history and profound richness, carrying both material and spiritual elements. Since ancient times, tea is an integral part of peopleв's daily life in Azerbaijan. People here drink tea in special tea glass known as "Armudu," literally ''pear-shaped.''

    According to the State Statistics Committee, a total of 474.2 tons of tea leaves were collected in the country in 2014, while in 2013, this figure was 570 tons.

    Despite the slight decrease in the collection of tea last year, in 2015 this figure is higher. As of June some 251.8 tons of tea leaves were collected in the country, which is by 14.2 percent more than in January-May 2014.

    However, Azerbaijan not only exports, but it imports tea as well. Azerbaijanв's domestic production cannot account for demand in Azerbaijan, forcing the country to import from other major tea producing countries.

    Russia exported 134 tons of tea in 2013 to Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan exported 2,900 tons of tea (mainly Ceylon Tea packs) back to Russia.
    18
  • Iran not to filter Telegram mobile app
    30.06.2015 13:21
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/04/mobile_04.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/04/mobile_04.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi rejected rumors about filtering Telegram mobile app in the country.

    "Unfortunately there are some rumors in social networks about restriction or filtration of Telegram by the ministry of telecommunications. These are just rumors and are not true at all," Iran 's Tasnim news agency quoted Vaezi as saying June 30.

    "My colleagues and I at the ministry of telecommunications have no plan to restrict social networks and are aware of the application of such networks in today's life. Meanwhile, I urge users to avoid spreading such reports in social networks unless they are confident about correctness of the reports."

    Vaezi said in May that implementing the second phase of the smart filtering system will be launched in the next two months.

    It is not clear which social networks the new phase will cover, he added.

    The first phase of the project was started last December by limiting access to certain pages on Instagram, a popular photo-sharing network.

    The Islamic Republic's smart filtering software is capable of accurate and rapid detection of "inappropriate" content (including text, image and video) online.

    Vaezi further rejected reports that the ministry has implemented restriction on access to Viber mobile application. Recent problems with Viber and Instagram networks are not related to Iran's Internet, he said, adding Iran has not limited access to those networks.

    Iran's Culture Minister Ali Jannati earlier said that 9.5 million Iranians use the social app Viber and 4-4.5 million use Facebook.

    It should be noted that several of world's most popular networks, such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in Iran, while users are still able to access them via proxies. A proxy allows bypassing lsquo;gates' meant to block certain sites.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    7
  • Military plane crashes on hotel in Indonesia
    30.06.2015 13:20
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/millitary_plane_crash_300615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/millitary_plane_crash_300615.jpg
    A military transport plane crashed in Medan, the capital of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, RIA Novosti reported June 30.

    Earlier the spokesman of the country's air forces, Major General Fuad Basya confirmed that there was a crash, involving military transport aircraft Hercules, according to some reports.

    The exact death toll is yet unknown. The Indonesian news website Detik quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the plane exploded in the air over the Golden Eleven Hotel and before falling it hit two buildings.

    Detik said there is still fire at the crash site; it is being extinguished by dozens of fire trucks. Earlier it was reported that the plane crashed in the town cemetery.

    This is the second accident this year involving the US-made aircraft used by the Indonesian air force.

    In April, an F-16 fighter caught fire while trying to take off from the military airfield Halim Perdanakusuma in Jakarta.

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
    9
  • Azerbaijan to launch agricultural centers in Russia
    30.06.2015 13:20
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141473.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141473.jpg
    "It is envisaged to expand the supply of poultry meat and eggs."

    Today, the post-Soviet states and especially Russia remain the traditional market for Azerbaijani farmers.

    According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from the Minister of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Heydar Asadov in an interview to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".

    The minister said that active cooperation with relevant government agencies Russia established.

    "In particular, Russian consumers will be offered a wide range of animal products along with the fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, grape wines.

    And first of it is envisaged to expand the supply of poultry meat and eggs," H. Asadov said.

    The Minister said that in order to enhance agricultural supply in the Russian market, it is planned to create national agricultural centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian regions, thus providing large-scale exports of long-term contracts.
    9
  • Igor Yermilin: Russia must be in step with Azerbaijan
    30.06.2015 12:38
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141471.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141471.jpg
    "Azerbaijan is already building a strategy for the creation of the "Formula 1" team".

    President of the Russian Automobile Federation Igor Yermilin cited the example of Azerbaijan, which, according to him, ready to create its team in the "Formula 1".

    "In today's situation, I see no problem to form the Russian team, which has the potential to get into the top five of the best racing teams in the world - Oxu.Az quoting Yermilin's words, published in "Izvestia". - With our technology, especially in the field of space and military aircraft, with smart and talented people, with the presence of large Russian companies that can provide financing, we can show the world our achievements.

    It is insulting, that Azerbaijan, which will host the Grand Prix next year, is already building a strategy to build its national team and Russia - does not. The Government of Azerbaijan believes that in order to adequately represent their country, they need to have their own racing team and its pilot.

    I think this is real with those goals and tasks which the country assigns to itself. And Russia must be in step with Azerbaijan. I am ready to pick up and make the Russian team.

    We have to think about the race not only as entertainment and a way to attract tourists, we must show the world that Russia is a technically advanced power ".

    It should be noted that the European Grand Prix, "Formula 1" will be held in Azerbaijan in autumn next year.
    8
  • Second week of first European Games in photos
    30.06.2015 11:41
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/trend_eurogames_photos_300615_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/trend_eurogames_photos_300615_01.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    Trend:

    The second week of the first European Games in Baku has remained in people's memory by interesting competitions.

    The fans witnessed the bitter competition of basketball players, football players, swimmers, judokas, volleyball players and other athletes.

    Trend news agency presents its readers the highlights of the second week of the European Games in photos.

    The European Games kicked off in Baku June 12 and ended June 28. There was a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports.

    More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe represented their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    15
  • Long-term extension of Iran-P5 1 nuclear talks improbable, gaps remain
    30.06.2015 11:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/23/alan_eyre.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/23/alan_eyre.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    Despite the remaining gaps between Iran and the six world powers, long-term extension of nuclear talks is improbable, the U.S. State Department's Persian Language Spokesperson Alan Eyre who is a member of the U.S. nuclear negotiator team said.

    Iran and the group P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) are holding the intense talks to hammer out a comprehensive nuclear deal by the end of June. The sides reached a framework nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    All parties are committed to reach an inclusive and sustainable agreement, Eyre told Trend June 28.

    "This is a good opportunity which should not be lost. The negotiators have been pursuing intense and non-stop talks for two weeks to resolve remaining differences," he added.

    However the senior diplomat underlined that some main differences and gaps are still in place.

    "Although technical solutions are available for these problems, but some tough political decisions should be taken over the next few days to reach a favorable agreement, i.e. an agreement within the Lausanne agreement," he underlined.

    Eyre also said that some foreign ministers from the P5 1, plus the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, will join the talks in coming days to assess the general progress and to consult and confer, as well.

    The direct and continuous contacts between negotiators and their heads of governments are necessary in this stage, he said.

    Eyre further said that the period of the diplomats' staying in Vienna is unclear, adding perhaps they will move between Vienna and their capitals in the coming days.

    While responding to a question about possible extension of the talks, Eyre said that the parties still seek to reach the intended deal before June 30.

    "It is likely that some extra days may be required as it was in Lausanne, but there is no need to have a plan on a long extension and there is no mention of it," the senior diplomat added.

    Adequacy-seeking rather than excessive demands

    The US diplomat also touched upon Iranian officials' comments which say "Western excessive demands" are the problem preventing a deal.

    I have frequently heard this phrase "excessive demands" about the P5 1 demands, but the reality is that the better phrase is "adequacy-seeking," he stressed.

    The global community greatly worried about the peacefulness of Iran's nuclear program because of the country's lack of commitment to nuclear obligations and a lack of transparency over its nuclear program, Eyre said.

    "The Islamic Republic claims that it has not, does not, and will not seek nuclear weapons. We are asking that Iran works sufficiently to establish that claim, that is, it should conduct enough cooperation and create enough transparency to prove that," the US diplomat said.

    While commenting on the recent comments of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, who outlined Iran's red lines for talks, the US diplomat said that the negotiation teams focused on their work in the negotiation room.

    Khamenei on June 23 ruled out freezing of sensitive nuclear work in the country for a long time and said that sanctions imposed on it should be lifted as soon it reaches a final deal with the P5 1. He said that the period of implementation of nuclear agreement shouldn't be 10-12 years, but much shorter.

    "All countries have their red lines, outlined by their governments to pursue their national interests and expediency. As the saying goes, the matter is on the knees of the gods," Eyre noted.

    "But our solid contention is that there is a consensual approach within the Lausanne framework. What is needed to reach that is to make difficult political decisions."

    The senior diplomat also expressed hope that in the few days ahead, all efforts of reaching a deal in Vienna will bear fruit.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • MG mulling new meeting between Azerbaijani, Armenian presidents
    30.06.2015 11:06
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141802.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141802.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The OSCE Minsk Group is working on organizing a meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents.

    James Warlick, Minsk Groupв's U.S. co-chair, has said mediating a new meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is the main point in the OSCE Minsk Groupв's call.

    ''We have agreed to intensify the dialogue between the parties,'' Warlick said in an interview with local media.

    The latest meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and President Serzh Sargsyan took place in Paris, France back in October of last year through the French president's initiative.

    Warlick expressed hope that the next meeting between the two presidents occurs this year.

    He also voiced disagreement with opinion that the negotiations have reached a deadlock.

    ''Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan do not want war. Though there was an opportunity for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the negotiations that took place until now, it has not been used effectively,'' Warlick said.

    He noted that now there is a new opportunity for this, and it needs to be utilized effectively.

    The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents periodically meet to discuss the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the margins of negotiations. However, the talks have so far failed to produce any genuine results, given the Armenian side's inclination to remain belligerent rather than engage in peace-making.

    The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since then,a lengthy war in the early 1990s displaced over one million Azerbaijanis and led Armenian armed forces to occupy over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

    Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway based on a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.

    The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.
    12
  • Caspian Sea environment requires measures, expert says
    30.06.2015 11:05
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141801.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic141801.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    The water level in the Caspian Sea has decreased considerably over the past ten years, extending the coastal area.

    The change in the water level on the Caspian Sea enacts significant changes to the landscape of the shore and has created a greater area for the fabulous Baku seashore boulevard.

    The Caspian Sea level has decreased by 28 meters over the past 10 years due to climatic changes, said Ramiz Mammadov, the director of the Geography Institute at the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences.

    "The level of the Caspian Sea, which is located below the world ocean level, is minus 28 meters," he told AzerNews.

    The Caspian is considered the largest closed lake on the planet, with an area of 371,000 square kilometers, brackish water, and features similar to those of a sea, since it has a maximum depth of 1,025 meters.

    Measurements of the water level in the Caspian Sea have shown that in the first century, the sea level had remained roughly unchanged from 1837 to 1930, ranging between minus 25 and minus 26 meters, according to Window to Baku portal.

    A sharp drop of nearly two meters, from minus 25.88 to minus 27.84 meters, could be seen in the period from 1929 to 1941, and the water level was recorded at minus 29.01 meters in 1977.

    Then, the water level in the sea dropped to the level of minus 26.66 meters by 1995 and reached minus 27.17 meters in 2001.

    The water level in the Caspian Sea has decreased by 0.56 meters, reaching 27.43 meters in 2014, according to the Baltic system of heights.

    Natural changes effect significant fluctuations in the Caspian Sea, washing the coasts of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Changes in height of sea level are connected to the climate fluctuations in the Caspianв's tributaries'"the Volga, Urals, Samur, Kura, Terek and Sefidrud river basins'"constituting about 80 percent of the Caspian Sea water balance.

    Each beach has its own water balance, which includes rivers flowing into it, precipitation and evaporation from the surface, said Mammadov.

    "Any change in the water balance brings alternations into the sea level," he noted.

    The Volga River, with a capacity of 200 cubic kilometers remains a major source of water for the Caspian. River capacity can be seen declining when compared to its previous capacity of 300 cubic kilometers.

    With regards to the Caspian Sea environment, which is on the countriesв' sustainability agenda, Mammadov stressed that the conditions for sea pollution date back to the Soviet Union.

    "Today's stressful ecological state of the Caspian Sea is connected with extensive development of the economy of the Caspian region's industry," Mammadov said.

    In his opinion, the rivers and sea pollution are related to the Caspianв's uncertain international legal status, maritime traffic, and coastal industrial facilities. The new sources of pollution are being created as a result of the changing sea level, which floods coastal areas. Pesticides, used in agriculture since Soviet times, wash into the Caspianв's tributaries (rivers) and flow into the sea, affecting its ecological state.

    Mammadov sees a solution to the ecological problem in the large-scale program, which would integrate all coastal countries.

    The program can be based on the Regional International Tehran Convention on the Caspian Seaв's recommendations on marine environment protection from pollution, including the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable and rational use of the biological resources signed in 2003among the five littoral countries.

    If the existing Convention includes the program, where the main condition would be zero discharge into the Caspian Sea, then the sea ecology problem would be resolved in the near future, Mammadov said.

    The zero discharge quota includes a ban on dumping oil and gas products into the Caspian Sea, and regulates maritime traffic pollution and the pollution from the coastal area facilities.

    The full program should be implemented in compliance with a modern tracking system for the Caspian Sea.

    The professor noted that special attention should be given to the monitoring, which would be carried out by different facilities, including remote monitoring by satellites, and observation mechanisms on the ground.

    "Such program will naturally create rapid information transfer on the state of the marine environment. It is a great work with big spending and lots of agreements," said Mammadov.

    In his view, the program enacted by Baltic Sea countries can serve as a model.

    The EU endorsed the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in October 2009, under which EU Member States, EU regions, trans-Baltic organizations, financing institutions, and non-governmental organizations agreed to promote a more balanced development of the region.

    The Caspianв's lingering unsettled status is an impediment to tackling the environmental problems of the sea.

    The international legal status of the Caspian Sea became one of the most controversial issues facing the coastal countries of the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The discovery of a large number of oil and gas deposits under the seabed has increased need to resolve the issue.

    The environment is the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land on which our food grows. In answering questions such as "what does the environment mean for our lives and why we should protect it?" we do not always notice how we relate to the land and to each other.
    6
  • Turkish General Staffв's ex-head warns on creation of safety zones in Syria
    30.06.2015 11:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/ilker_bashbug_300615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/30/ilker_bashbug_300615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The units of the armed forces of Turkey can enter Syria to create safety zones there, but they won't be able to leave that country's territory, Kanal7 TV channel quoted the former head of the Turkish General Staff, Ilker Basbug as saying June 30.

    He said it is needed to take into account that Syria is not Iraq, and various groups, including Al Qaeda and "Islamic State", are fighting there.

    Earlier it was reported that the former head of the General Staff urged Ankara to support the Syrian government.

    Basbug said that currently Syria is in a critical situation, and both pro-Iranian and pro-Western forces are active on its territory.

    "I believe that to achieve peace in Syria and to prevent the widening of the conflict, Turkey and other countries should support the Syrian government," he said.

    Previously, it was also reported that Turkey is considering the creation of safe zones in Syria between the cities of Aleppo, Idlib and the Turkish border, with the inclusion of the border towns of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), Jarabulus and others.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier urged the UN to make a decision regarding the creation of safety zones in Syria.

    Turkey's authorities have been actively promoting the issue of establishing the safety zone in the north of Syria.

    The Syrian authorities have repeatedly condemned the intention of the Turkish government and said that Damascus strongly rejects the creation of buffer zones, no matter where they are located.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Lovers' Day celebrated in Azerbaijan
    30.06.2015 10:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141470.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141470.jpg
    Lovers' Day is celebrated in Azerbaijan on 30 June.

    It has been already a few years that this date symbolizes the wedding of Ilham Allahverdiyev, who died in January events of 1990. After his death, his wife Fariza committed suicide. In honor of this true love, the date of their wedding became Lovers' Day.

    The couple married in 1989.
    8
  • Oil still stuck in the $60 box but possible Iran deal would take it down
    30.06.2015 10:19
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy / Saxo Bank

    Following one of the biggest crude oil selloffs in recent memory the prices of both WTI crude and Brent crude have now remained range-bound for two months. While other financial markets have been preoccupied with the future of Greece and its potential impact on markets, an eerie calm has descended upon the oil market. Since recovering from a $42 low back in March, WTI crude oil has since established a tight range around $60/bbl. The average price during the past 41 trading days has been $59.65 and this level has been traded on all but 13 days during this period. A sideways trading pattern like this has been seen before but coming after a long period of extreme price moves, it has surprised many observers.

    The upside potential seems limited to around $65 given the potential for a return or pick-up in US shale production at this level, the downside seems equally limited.

    A breakthrough in the Iran nuclear negotiations currently approaching their June 30 deadline should lead to increased exports from this important Opec member. Speculation that 50 million barrels from floating storage could be unleashed on the market could initially have quite a negative impact on oil prices. Iran, however, is desperately short of investments to improve its production ability and this will take time to implement.

    Over the coming months and into next year Opec is hoping that US production will continue to slow and that a continued rise in global demand eventually will allow the price to move higher as the risk of oversupply will fade despite the above mentioned pick-up in US production.

    A continued bumpy ride for oil can therefore be expected and with the risk of rising supply, as refinery demand slows, towards the end of the current quarter the upside potential seems limited, thereby skewing the short-term risk to the downside.

    During the coming quarter we see Brent crude trade predominantly within a $55 to $70 range and WTI crude within $50 to $65 range with the downside risk most likely to be seen towards the end of this period unless an agreement with Iran is reached within the next couple of weeks.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    17
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 73 times
    30.06.2015 10:06
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141469.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141469.jpg
    Armenian armed forces violated ceasefire 73 times a day in a single day in different directions along the front line.

    Oxu.az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that the Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in nameless uplands and Gizilhajili village of Gazakh district from their posts in Vazashen and Berkaber villages of Armenia's Ijevan district, positions in Gaymagli and Ashaghi Eskipara villages of Gazakh district from the posts in Barekamavan and Voskepar villages of Noyemberyan district, positions in Alibeyli, Aghdam, Kokhanebi and Aghbulag villages of Tovuz district from the posts in Aygepar, Mosesgekh and Chinari villages of Berd district and positions in nameless uplands of Gadabay district from the posts in nameless uplands of Krasnoselsk district.

    Azerbaijani positions also underwent fire from the positions located near Tapgaragoyunlu village of Goranboy, Aghdam, Chilaburt, Yarimja and Goyarkh villages of Terter, Shuraabad, Kengerli, Shiklar, Garagashli and Yusifjanli villages of Aghdam, Garakhanbeyli, Horadiz, Ashaghi Seyidahmedli villages of Fuzuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil district and nameless uplands of Goygol, Goranboy, Khojavand, Jabrayil and Fuzuli districts.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
    8
  • Iran says able to overhaul latest aircraft engines
    30.06.2015 09:44
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/22/iran_plane_220713_7.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/22/iran_plane_220713_7.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, June 29

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    The Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company is able to prepare the basics for overhauling the latest airplane engines in three to four months and then to carry out the overhaul, the company's CEO Amir Izadi said.

    By making small changes to the production line, the firm is able to repair any sort of engine, he stressed, Fars news agency reported June 29.

    He said despite international pressure, the company has become able to repair and overhaul various military and civil aircraft by relying on domestic knowhow.

    The US-led sanctions on aircraft and spare parts exports to Iran have left the Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleet in the Middle East, but in the world.

    Last year, Ali Reza Jahangirian, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said the country's airliners would need to order 400 aircraft over the next 10 years to replace its depleting and ageing fleet.

    Out of Iran's 250 commercial planes, about 150 were flying while the rest are "not functional" due to a lack of spare parts, the Iranian official said at the time.

    Iran's four largest carriers - Iran Air, Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and Iran Air Tours - all have average fleet age above 22 years, according to the Iranian media outlets.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Iran, P5 1 resume work on drafting text of final nuclear deal
    30.06.2015 09:44
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141467.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141467.jpg
    Senior representatives of Iran and the P5 1 group of countries have held talks on drafting the text of a possible final agreement over Tehranв's nuclear program.

    According to Press TV, the Iranian deputy foreign ministers, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, held a three-hour meeting with European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Monday.

    The members of Iran's negotiating team also held discussions with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman on the draft of the final deal.

    Meanwhile, experts from Iran, led by director general for political and international security affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry, Hamid Baeidinejad, and the six world powers held simultaneous talks.

    Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia - plus Germany are holding talks to finalize the text of a possible deal over Iran's nuclear program by the end of June.

    The two sides reached a mutual understanding on the key parameters of the potential deal in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    Foreign ministers returning to Vienna

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who returned to Tehran from Vienna early Monday, is scheduled to rejoin the nuclear talks on Tuesday.

    Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and Hossein Fereydoun, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's special aide, are also set to join the negotiating team.

    French and German foreign ministers Laurent Fabius and Frank-Walter Steinmeier as well as British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond are set to return to the Austrian capital for sensitive nuclear talks as a self-imposed June-end deadline arrives Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters on Monday, the French foreign minister said he plans to return to Vienna as Iran and the world powers work to finalize a landmark deal on Iran's nuclear program.

    "I will be back in Vienna this week," Fabius said.

    "We have made some progress, but still it is not the end of the process," he added.

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said he would head to Vienna on Tuesday.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that it is still too soon to tell if a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran is within reach.

    "We're just working and it's too early to make any judgments," Kerry told reporters in Vienna.

    The top US diplomat sat with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna on Monday.

    On Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister held separate intensive talks with Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Hammond, and Steinmeier in Vienna. Zarif also met with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong.
    7
  • Junior Azerbaijani wrestlers win 15 medals in Istanbul
    30.06.2015 09:29
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141465.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141465.jpg
    According to AzerTag, Azerbaijani wrestlers have claimed a clutch of 15 medals, including 5 golds in the Junior European Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The gold medals came from Said Hamidov, Sebire Aliyeva, Nofel Babayev, Islam Abbasov and Orkhan Nuriyev.

    Azerbaijan ranked fourth in the overall medal table behind Georgia, Turkey and Russia.
    12
  • Sit-in stopped in Yerevanв's Liberty Square
    30.06.2015 09:29
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141466.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141466.jpg
    For technical reasons, the ''No to Plunder'' initiative has for one day postponed the open-ended sit-in in Yerevanв's Liberty Square, despite yesterdayв's announcement.

    The initiative member Maxim Sargsyan told Armenian News - NEWS.am that they postpone the sit-in today for technical reasons. According to him, "The No to Plunder" initiative will hold a press conference on June 30, during which they will present their further action plan. Certain changes may also take place in the managing staff of the initiative.

    Maxim Sargsyan said part of the initiative members will be in Baghramyan Avenue, but the "No to Plunder" will no longer coordinate the protest actions in the Avenue.
    12
  • Canada introduces additional economic sanctions against Russia
    30.06.2015 09:26
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141464.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141464.jpg
    Canada introduced additional economic sanctions against 14 Russian legal entities and three individuals. Such information is contained in the statement of Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper posted on the internet page of the Canadian government on Monday, TASS reports.

    Furthermore, Canada imposed a ban on import and export of goods from the territory of Crimea.

    Names of companies and Russian citizens in the lsquo;black list' will be published in the nearest future.
    8
  • Georgian PM reiterates support for constitutional ban of same-sex Marriage
    30.06.2015 09:26
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141463.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141463.jpg
    PM Irakli Garibashvili reiterated that he will ''always'' be in favor of introducing a constitutional clause that would define marriage as union of a man and a woman.

    He first voiced the proposal last year, when the government tabled anti-discrimination bill, which was approved by the Parliament in May, 2014, Civil.ge reports.

    Article 36 of the Georgian constitution currently reads: "Marriage shall be based upon equality of rights and free will of spouses."

    But same-sex marriage is already banned by Georgia's civil code, which defines marriage as "voluntary union of a man and a woman.

    Asked in an interview with the Georgian newspaper Asaval-Dasavali if he still supports constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, the PM responded: "I have not changed my opinion; I still maintain the same opinion and always will."

    "What our state is based on? - On our religious belief, which has brought us to these days, and on institution of family, which modern strong Georgia should be based on. Family is called a second temple and I believe, that the family is a source of all good," he said in the newspaper interview published on June 29.

    "Therefore, as Prime Minister and as a citizen of Georgia, I will do everything in order to make a clause in the constitution that will define marriage as union of a man and a woman. Today every country in the world decides this issue on its own. We think, that's how this issue should be addressed in Georgia," Garibashvili said.'
    9
  • Turkey ready for 'any contingency' in border security: PM
    30.06.2015 09:17
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141462.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141462.jpg
    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey was ready to respond to "any contingency" in terms of its border security along the frontiers with Syria and Iraq.

    "If we ever reach to a conclusion that Turkey's borders are under any threat, our country is ready for any contingency and it has done everything necessary for that readiness," Davutoglu told an opening ceremony of an exhibition in Istanbul, Anadolu agency reports.

    In the past few weeks, Turkey has been witnessing another massive inflow of Syrian refugees from Tal Abyad and nearby areas as they flee clashes between Daesh and YPG fighters.

    The Syrian border city was captured on June 15 by the YPG with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in northeastern Syria to push back Daesh forces.

    YPG, or the Syrian-Kurdish People's Defense Units, is the armed wing of the pro-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Union Party, or PYD, which Turkey has designated as a terror organization.

    By capturing Tel Abyad, Kurdish forces connected the two pieces of land they have controlled in northern Syria along the Turkish border, which Kurdish rebels call Jazirah and Kobani "cantons".

    The lining up of the forces of the Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria has prompted concerns that these groups aim to found a Kurdish state or a full autonomous region.

    "[...] it should be known that the Turkish Armed Forces, our nation and our security forces as a whole are vigilant to maintain the peaceful environment in our country and there will be no room for any neglect in this matter," Davutoglu said.
    14
  • Mehriban Aliyeva: We are the soldiers of our land
    30.06.2015 09:04
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141459.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141459.jpg
    "It is the biggest honor to serve Azerbaijan".

    We have proved to the world once again that no vicious forces can indimidate us, and justice, good intentions and unity will always win.

    According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from the first lady of Azerbaijan, chairman of the European Games Operating Committee Mehriban Aliyev speaking at the awarding ceremony following the European Games.

    Addressing Ilham Aliyev, the first lady said:

    "We are grateful to you for the pleasant moments that we have lived within those 17 days. Using the sporting terms, I can say that throughout those 17 days the people of Azerbaijan were a team and you were an honored captain of this team.

    And in this case, it is certainly impossible not to win. It is the biggest honor to serve our homeland, our native Azerbaijan. It is the biggest happiness to live, seeing the results of our service.

    Mr.President, each of us is a soldier of our land and we are ready to serve further for the future of Azerbaijan.

    Thank you for raising Azerbaijan to such heights. May God save you and Azerbaijan", the first lady said.
    10
  • Minister: There were attempts to hack European Games website
    30.06.2015 09:03
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141460.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141460.jpg
    Azerbaijan has done everything to resist provocations.

    Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov has shared his thoughts about the negative publications regarding Azerbaijan and European Games in a number of foreign media.

    "Before European Games and during their conduction, we have seen numerous attempts of various forces to overshadow the preparations held in Azerbaijan for the European Games and the negative comments about the Games via media", the minister said, "On the first days of the Games, there was more negative information in media and social networks, but gradually the number of positive comments went growing. Azerbaijan has done everything possible to resist provocations".
    8
  • Protest action held in Mingechevir
    30.06.2015 08:49
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141458.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/141458.jpg
    The displaced persons held a protest in Mingechevir.

    The statement came from board member of the Parent Association of Mingechevir Yegana Nabiyeva.

    According to Oxu.Az, she said the protesters blocked the traffic on the bridge via Kur river. Their only demand was to allocate them apartments.

    "After completion of the European Games, the refugees expected that they will be allocated apartments in the Athletes Village in Mingechevir. But there are more refugees than apartments. Therefore, those who wanted to settle in the Athletes Village blocked the traffic on the bridge. The protest was dispersed by the police", Nabiyeva said.

    The city police office of Mingechevir confirmed the information about the protest action.

    "A group of refugee women held an action. They demanded to allocate them apartments. We have communicated their demands to the executive power of the city. We explained them that the apartments are allocated not by the police but the respective committee for refugees. The women accepted our explanations and ended the action", the police office said.
    11
  • Iran after buying flight inspection aircraft
    30.06.2015 08:21
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, June 29

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran is going to buy a specialized aircraft for flight inspection.

    The Islamic Republic's Supreme National Security Council has issued permission for buying a flight inspection aircraft, Iranian Airports Co. board of directors member Ahmad Momeni Rokh said.

    He said the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization is now following the purchase of a flight inspection aircraft, Tasnim news agency reported June 29.

    The official added that right now Iran has under lease a Falcon 2000 aircraft that it uses for flight inspection.

    "However, we need an aircraft with specialized panel for doing the flight inspection," Momeni Rokh noted.

    He said that despite sanctions, Iran is able to purchase the inspection aircraft it needs.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Tsipras pledges to resign if Greeks accept ultimatum in referendum
    30.06.2015 04:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/26/alexis_tsipras_260115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/26/alexis_tsipras_260115.jpg
    Greek government is ready to resign if the country's population supports the creditor's ultimatum demanding to continue the austerity policy in the country in the upcoming referendum, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said, Sputnik reported.

    On Saturday, Tsipras announced that a snap referendum on whether to accept a bailout proposal by Greece's creditors in exchange for unpopular austerity measures would take place on July 5.

    "If the nation wants poverty, which will not allow us to raise the head, we will respect the choice, but will not execute it," the prime minister said in an interview with Greek ERT television on Monday.

    He added that if Greek people want "insulted and humiliated" prime minister, they will have to elect someone else.

    Tsipras backs a 'No' vote in next Sunday's referendum and argues that a rejection of international creditors' proposal by the public would better arm Athens in future possible talks to unlock the next bailout package.

    In return for the financial aid, the creditors mdash; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB) mdash; stipulated that Greece should fulfil certain demands, including austerity measures and cuts in social benefits, continuous monitoring of the Greek economy by the lenders and unpopular economic reforms.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    39
  • Zarif, Lavrov to meet Tuesday in Vienna
    30.06.2015 04:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/17/mohammad-javad-zarif.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/17/mohammad-javad-zarif.jpg
    Foreign minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday in Vienna, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told Sputnik.

    "Zarif and Lavrov will have bilateral [meeting] tomorrow. Time is not decided yet," Araghchi said.

    Negotiators from Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Iran convened in Vienna last week to iron out the remaining differences and reach a final agreement to guarantee the peaceful nature of the Tehran's nuclear program, putting an end to a decade-long standoff.

    Tuesday, June 30, is the final day before the deadline expires for Iran and the P5 1 to reach a final consensus on the Iranian nuclear program.

    The work is still under way, and the deal is expected to be signed a few days after the deadline.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
  • Iran is an ideal choice for foreign investment, minister says
    30.06.2015 02:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/31/ali_tayyebnia_310714.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/31/ali_tayyebnia_310714.jpg
    IRI Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Tayebnia said in Beijing on Monday that Iran is an ideal choice for foreign investment.

    Tayebnia, who is in Beijing to attend a meeting to sign articles of agreement (AOA) of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which outlines the legal framework and management structure of the institution, told IRNA before leaving the country that there are considerable opportunities for investment in Iran which make the country distinctive worldwide.

    He said abundant natural resources, educated and well-experienced workforce, and easy access to the neighboring states as well as cheap energy sources are among the advantages of Iran for foreign investment.

    He added that foreign investment law in Iran provides necessary support for foreign investors.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    25
  • Fereydoun, Salehi to join Iranian negotiators
    30.06.2015 00:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/13/Salehi_130213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/13/Salehi_130213.jpg
    President's special aide, Hossein Fereydoun, and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali-Akbar Salehi, will join the Iranian nuclear negotiation team here.

    Salehi and Fereydoun will join Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif in his visit to Vienna on Tuesday. Zarif had returned to Tehran on Monday on a pre-planned schedule.

    Salehi and Fereydoun were also present in the previous talks.

    Zarif held bilateral and intensive talks with the US State Secretary John Kerry, the European Union's Foreign Policy Coordinator, Federica Mogherini, German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, on Sunday evening after talks with the UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

    Informed observers in Vienna believe that there is possibility of a deal in case of the West's flexibility and refusal to push for excessive demand

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    21
  • Anti-Iran sanctions issue remains unresolved at nuclear talks
    29.06.2015 23:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/17/p5 1_171013.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/17/p5 1_171013.jpg
    Russia, China, France, the UK, the US, Germany and Iran are facing a June 30 deadline in talks on comprehensive nuclear deal. "It is not settled yet," the source said on condition of anonymity.

    The talks on the Iranian nuclear program between P5 1 and Tehran will continue for at least a week, the source said.

    "Another week," the source said when asked how long the diplomats plan to stay in Vienna for the reaching a comprehensive deal on Iran.

    On Sunday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said there would be no long-term extension to the talks.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    24
  • Strong and weak candidates for speaker of Turkish parliament
    29.06.2015 22:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/20/turkey_parliament_200315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/20/turkey_parliament_200315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    All political parties in Turkey, entitled to be represented in the country's parliament, have already nominated the candidates for the post of speaker. The speaker of the Turkish parliament will be elected this week.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkey has nominated Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Nationalist Movement Party - former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for the post of speaker. The Republican People's Party has nominated former party leader Deniz Baykal.

    At present, Baykal temporarily heads the Turkish parliament.

    The Peoples' Democratic Party nominated Dengir Mir Mehmet FД±rat, the former deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party. Later he joined the Peoples' Democratic Party.

    Each party is confident that its candidate will be elected speaker of the parliament. Meanwhile, taking into account the past activity of the candidates, it is clear that there are both strong and weak political figures having no chance to hold this post.

    Despite all his charisma and political experience, Deniz Baykal, who is temporarily heading Turkey's parliament, has no great chances to become the permanent speaker.

    Baykal resigned from the post of the head of Republican People's Party in 2010 due to the scandalous video about his personal life. Interestingly, that time he accused Fethullah Gulen, but not the country's government of what happened. This incident became a serious blow for Baykal and he didn't show any political activity for almost five years.

    Previously, the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was a single candidate in the presidential election from the Republican People's Party and Nationalist Movement Party. Despite Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory, Ihsanoglu gathered the major part of votes in the voting held at Turkey's embassies abroad.

    Despite that CHP and MHP will unlikely vote this time for a single candidate, such a possibility should not be totally ruled out. This gives Ihsanoglu some advantages as compared to the other parliamentary speaker candidates.

    A little is known about the other parliamentary speaker candidate, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat. But it should be noted that Firat is the co-author of the democratic settlement of the Kurdish problem, which kicked off in 2009, after which a part of the PKK militants left Turkey and moved to the neighboring Iraq.

    In 2000, Firat was running to the president's post from the pro-Islamic Fazilet Party (Virtue Party).

    However, all this doesn't give him any advantage.

    Turkey's defense minister, Ismet Yilmaz, the parliamentary speaker candidate from the country's ruling Justice and Development Party, unlike the other two candidates, has more stable political views.

    So, one can assert that the main race for the position of the parliament's speaker will be between Ismet Yilmaz and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

    However, Ismet Yilmaz is the strongest candidate for that position.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    24
  • EBRD allocates major energy loan to Turkey
    29.06.2015 21:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/17/EBRD_logo_Album_170512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/17/EBRD_logo_Album_170512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

    By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) allocated a long-term financial package to a project for creation of the Efeler largest geothermal power plant in Turkey, said the EBRD in a message June 29.

    The EBRD allocated a $200 million loan for a period of 15 years in addition to the loans granted to the Turkiye Д°s Bankasi ($325 million), Turkiye Sinai Kalkinma Bankasi ($130 million) and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank ($65 million).

    The Efeler power plant is being built by the subsidiary of the Gurish Holding, one of the leaders in the renewable energy sources in Turkey.

    Turkey's overall geothermal electricity production potential stands at four gigawatts, while the existing capacity reaches 427 megawatts.

    The EBRD also said that by 2023, Turkey's capacity for hydropower production would rise by 34 gigawatts, the wind power production - by 20 gigawatts, the solar energy production - by 5 gigawatts, the energy production from biomass - by one gigawatt and the geothermal energy production - by one gigawatt.

    The EBRD started to invest in Turkey in 2009. Over the past six years, the EBRD has invested over $5.5 billion in Turkey to finance more than 150 projects.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    17
  • Shootout on border of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
    29.06.2015 20:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/31/border_soldiers_310713.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/31/border_soldiers_310713.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    A shootout took place on the state border of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan June 29 between the two countries' border detachments, the Kyrgyz border service said.

    The border service said in a message that the Kyrgyz border detachment rebuked the Uzbek border guards who were at the time on the state border.

    "In response to the Kyrgyz servicemen's demands not to violate the state border and carry out patrol at a certain distance from the state border, the Uzbek border detachment opened fire on the Kyrgyz servicemen," said the message.

    The exchange of fire between the two countries' border detachments took place at an undocumented site of their border.

    There are no casualties on the Kyrgyz side.

    An investigation was launched into the incident.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Protestors intend to hold march in Yerevanв's center tonight
    29.06.2015 20:42
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/29/armenia_protest_290615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/29/armenia_protest_290615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29

    Trend:

    The participants of the protest action against the increase of electricity tariffs in Armenia, intend to hold a march on Yerevan's central streets and then return to the Marshal Baghramyan Avenue and stay there "until gaining a victory", the organizers of the protest action said.

    "We have only one demand - to suspend the fulfillment of the decision on increasing the tariffs for electricity," the organizers of the protest action added, RIA Novosti reported.

    Yerevan's central avenue, where the buildings of the presidential administration, parliament, the Constitutional Court and several embassies are located, have been blocked by the protestors for more than a week.

    On June 23, the Armenian police broke up a rally in the center of the country's capital. The rally was held in protest against the increased electricity tariffs. The protests in the streets resulted in use of water cannons against people. Over 230 people got arrested as a result of violent crackdown, including journalists of Gala TV, the Radio Liberty's Armenian office, the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper, the Hetq, News.am, Panarmenian.net news agencies.

    On June 17, Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission, considering a request from the distribution company, Electric Networks of Armenia, which is a subsidiary of the Inter RAO UES, raised the electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015). This caused discontent among the population that believes the rise in the cost of electricity will lead to higher prices for essential goods and many services.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
MORE NEWS...
Exchange Rates of Central Bank