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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It featured demonstration of a promotional video about Azerbaijan.

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

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

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

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

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

On the sidelines of the annual meeting of ADB Board of Governors, Minister Sharifov also held several meetings including with ADB President Takehiko Nakao, Secretary General Maria-Anne Birken, Vice-President of the WB Lora Tak, Director General of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Kiyoshi Kadero, and Director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Hirosh Vatanabe to discuss issues of expanding bilateral cooperation.
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/16/iran_great_britain_160913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/16/iran_great_britain_160913.jpg
    British non-resident Chargeacute; d'Affaires in Iran Ajay Sharma wrote in his twitter page on Friday that he had useful meetings in Tehran during his recent visit of Iran, IRNA reported.

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  • Turkey, Qatar share concerns in Syria, Iraq
    19.12.2014 23:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/24/turkey_katar_flags_240813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/24/turkey_katar_flags_240813.jpg
    Turkey and Qatar share the same concerns in Syria and Iraq, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, Anadolu Agency reported.

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    21
  • Turkish-Russian Union: Armenia on threshold of serious unrest
    19.12.2014 22:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/29/ankara_291113.jpg
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    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Anti-Russian sanctions, applied after the Crimean events by the West, also became in every sense a good chance for Turkey, along with the fact that they forced Moscow to shrink its economic grip and led to a sharp drop in the rate of the ruble.

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    Edited by CN

    ---

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

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  • Azerbaijani gas expansion
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/30/gas_line_300512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/30/gas_line_300512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

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    Edited by CN

    ---

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
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    ---

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  • Goldman Sachs becomes owner of 30% stake of SOCAR container port in Turkey
    19.12.2014 20:20
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

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    SOCAR Turkey Enerji and Goldman Sachs have signed an agreement to sell a 30 percent stake in the Petlim Limancilik A.S. company, 100-percent owned by the Petkim Turkish petrochemical holding, the company told Reuters news agency Dec.19.

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    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Story still developing

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    4
  • Turkmenistan, UAE mull economic cooperation issues
    19.12.2014 20:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/20/handshake.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/20/handshake.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Dec.19

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Foreign ministries of Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have held political consultations and discussed trade and economic cooperation issues in Ashgabat, a message from Turkmen government said on Dec.19.

    The UAE delegation was led by the country's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Jarman.

    During the consultations, the sides focused on cooperation in trade, economic, financial and investment spheres.

    They also exchanged views on the implementation of joint projects in various spheres of cooperation.

    "Positively assessing the investment climate in Turkmenistan, the UAE delegation said that the country's authorities have created favorable conditions for attracting investments," said the message.

    The UAE delegation expressed desire to expand the cooperation with the Turkmen side.

    During the discussions, the sides expressed support to the participation of leading Arab companies in large joint projects with Turkmenistan, especially in the oil and gas sphere.

    Turkmenistan imports various goods, high-tech products and equipment from UAE. At the same time, UAE business circles purchase raw materials and finished products in Turkmenistan.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Germany to allocate preferential loan to Georgia
    19.12.2014 20:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/22/kredit_money_050907_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/22/kredit_money_050907_1.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec.19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Germany decided to allocate to Georgia a preferential loan of 20 million euros, the ministry of finance of Georgia said.

    The loan will be used to finance a new project "The program of safe infrastructure for climate".

    The head of the Economic Cooperation of the German Embassy in Georgia Katharina Derkorn handed over an official notice of this fact to the Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri Dec.19.

    The ministry said that this decision is yet another confirmation of the continuation and deepening of the existing cooperation between the two countries.

    "Support of the German government is important in both the financial terms and the context of deepening relations with Europe," the ministry said.

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    8
  • Azercell launches Ganja office of "Children hotline"
    19.12.2014 20:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/19/azercell_gence_191214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/19/azercell_gence_191214.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    Trend:

    Since its inception, Azercell Telecom has a particular attention to children, conducted number of public awareness campaigns to draw attention to the problems of children, as well as invested in the welfare of children, and to this day continues to implement social projects in this imporatant area.

    Thus, Ganja office of the "Children hotline" service started to operate on Dec.19 with the support of Azercell and by initiative of "Umidli Gelejek" youth organization.

    The main purpose of this service, established in 2010 with the support of Azercell, is to provide social services, emergency psychological, legal assistance and emotional support to each child in a difficult life circumstances, provide children with the relevant advices, and if necessary, to refer them to the appropriate rehabilitation centers, as well as to organize and provide immediate assistance.

    "Children hotline" service in Azerbaijan provides support to children from the state children's institutions, as well as those living and working on the street, subjected to exploitation and abuse, faced with psychological and emotional problems, faced ill-treatment, children with physical and mental disabilities, as well as children from refugees and internally displaced families.

    At the same time, not only children, but adults also can apply to the hotline and get advice on issues related to children. The undeniable advantage of this hotline is to provide anonymity of children that create an opportunity for a sincere conversation with them. On the other hand, calls to the "Children's hotline" from both landline and Azercell numbers are free of charge.

    Ganja office of "Children hotline" will also unite experienced social workers, psychologists and lawyers. Children and young people, as well as adults from Ganja and surrounding areas who call on the issues related to children will receieve psychological, legal, social and other support services.

    During the four years of its operation "Azerbaijan children hotline" received over 11,000 inquiries and calls from children, young people and adults from many cities and regions of our country. The number of calls to the hotline service quarterly increases. The reason is the trust to of this service, positive experience shared between children, as well as awareness campaigns held in Baku and other cities and regions.

    We also would like to remind that since 2010 "Azerbaijani children hotline" is a full-fledge member of the International Children Hotlines Network. The latter unites 178 children hotline services from 143 countries. International Children Hotlines Network's report shows annual 5-percent increase of the calls to similar services all over the world.

    Staying loyal to its traditions, Azerbaijan's leading mobile operator Azercell Telecom, will further support different population groups within its strategy of corporate social responsibility.

    Azercell Telecom LLC was founded in 1996 and since the first years sustains a leading position on the market. Azercell introduced number of technological innovations in Azerbaijan: GSM technology, GPRS/EDGE, 24/7 Customer Care, full-time operating Azercell Express offices, mobile e-service "ASAN imza" (ASAN signature) and others. With 51-percent share of Azerbaijan's mobile market Azercell's network covers 99.8 percent of the country's population. At the present the number of Azercell's subscribers reached 4.6 million people. In 2011 Azercell deployed 3G and in 2012 the fourth generation network - LTE in Azerbaijan. The company is the leader of Azerbaijan's mobile communication industry and the biggest investor in the non-oil sector. Azercell is the part of the TeliaSonera Group of Companies, which has subsidiaries in 17 countries with total number of 186 million subscribers and 27,000 employees.

    Edited by CN

    7
  • Counterfeit alcohol kills over 50 people in Iran
    19.12.2014 19:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Some 53 people died in Iran from consuming counterfeit alcoholic beverages in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (starting in March), head of the Forensic Medical Examination Department of Iranian Justice Ministry Kambiz Sultani said.

    He said this figure is 31 percent less than in the same period of the previous year, Iranian IRNA news agency reported on Dec.19.

    Sultani said counterfeit alcoholic beverages contain methanol, the use of which causes poisoning and leads to death.

    "Home-made counterfeit alcoholic beverages contain methanol instead of ethanol," he added.

    There is no the exact statistics of persons suffering from alcoholism in Iran.

    Over 200 million liters of various alcoholic beverages are produced illegally in Iran per year, according to Hassan Tamini, the deputy chairman of Iranian parliament's Health Commission.

    Iranian media reported that currently, over a million people consume alcoholic beverages in the country and 30 percent of them are women.

    Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the purchase, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was banned in Iran.

    Iranian law envisages imprisonment for the period from six months to one year, 74 lashes and a fine for the purchase or sale of alcoholic beverages.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • BlackBerry third-quarter revenue falls more than expected, shares slide
    19.12.2014 19:05
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450324.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450324.jpg
    BlackBerry Ltd on Friday reported a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter revenue, sending shares of the struggling smartphone maker lower, even as it eked out a small adjusted profit and began generating cash flow again.

    Revenue fell to $793 million (506 million pounds) from $1.19 billion a year earlier, falling short of analysts' expectations of $931.5 million. BlackBerry's Nasdaq-listed shares fell 5.7 percent to $9.50 in premarket trading.

    "Revenue missed consensus by a sizable amount, which is especially troubling because it included one month of new BlackBerry Passport sales," said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello, referring to its unconventional new smartphone, which has a large, square touchscreen and keyboard.

    On a conference call on Friday, BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen said hardware sales in the quarter were weaker than expected as production was limited and the company could only fulfill all device orders early in the fourth quarter.

    At an analyst conference in San Francisco last month, Chen said revenue could slide faster than expected as its revenue profile changes.

    BlackBerry had long made money charging system access fees, but now offers some basic services for free. As older devices are retired, that erodes revenue, but the company is aiming to boost hardware sales with its new Passport and Classic phones, buying time to scale up its software business in 2015.

    Cash flow was positive $43 million in the third quarter, versus negative cash flow of $36 million in the second quarter. BlackBerry had said it was targeting break-even cash flow by the end of the fiscal year in February 2015.

    Colin Gillis, tech analyst at BGC Partners in New York, said Chen did a good job controlling expenses.

    "The fact that he overachieved by turning cash flow positive this quarter - that's a great milestone," said Gillis. "It gets easier from here."

    Excluding, a one-time non-cash debenture charge and restructuring charges, the company reported a profit of 1 cent a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected a loss of 5 cents.

    The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported a net loss of $148 million, or 28 cents a share, in the quarter ended Nov. 29. That compared with a year-earlier loss of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 a share.

    BlackBerry launched its long-awaited Classic smartphone on Wednesday, hoping to help win back market share and woo customers still using older versions of its physical keyboard devices. The phone resembles its once wildly popular Bold and Curve handsets.

    Separately, BlackBerry completed its acquisition of Secusmart, a privately held firm specializing in voice and data encryption.
    12
  • FIFA to publish Garcia report in appropriate form
    19.12.2014 18:55
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450325.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450325.jpg
    FIFA's executive committee has unanimously agreed to allow the publication "in an appropriate form" of the report on the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups, but gave no indication of when it might happen.

    Football's governing body had previously said it could not publish the 430-page report of former investigator Michael Garcia for legal reasons but will now do so once "ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded", FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a statement on Friday.

    Football's governing body had been under pressure to publish a redacted version of Garcia's report to help shed light on what happened during the turbulent process for the tournaments awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

    In the statement FIFA said it had asked the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee to publish the report in "an appropriate form" once ongoing procedures against individuals are concluded.

    "Iam pleased they have agreed. It has been a long process to arrive at this point and I understand the views of those who have been critical," Blatter said.

    "We have always been determined that the truth should be known. That is, after all, why we set up an independent Ethics Committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative."

    The decision followed a presentation by Domenico Scala, head of FIFA's audit and compliance committee and one of only six people to have seen the report.

    Garcia, who said himself that the report should be published, spent 18 months investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process, during which he interviewed 75 witnesses.

    In November, FIFA's ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued a 42-page summary based on Garcia's report which identified cases of "inappropriate conduct" in a number of the bids but said there was not enough evidence to justify re-opening the bidding process.

    In Friday's statement, Blatter reiterated that the bidding process for the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would not be re-opened.

    "We will not revisit the 2018 and 2022 vote and a report by independent, external legal experts commissioned by Mr. Scala supports the view that there are no legal groundsto revoke the Executive Committee's decision on the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups," he said.

    "Now it is important that the work of the Ethics Committee continues and that any instances of wrongdoing are fully investigated and their perpetrators pursued and sanctioned."

    Garcia, who appealed against the summary of his investigation, saying it contained misrepresentations, resigned on Wednesday, one day after a FIFA tribunal ruled his application to be inadmissible.

    Blatter announced on Friday that Swiss lawyer Cornel Borbely would take over as acting chairman of the investigatory chamber and said the full Garcia report has been made available to the Swiss General Attorney's office.
    10
  • Azerbaijan gets access to EBRD funds for renewable energy
    19.12.2014 18:54
    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, Dec.19

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested 25 million euros for projects in the Green for Growth Fund (GGF) for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in South-Eastern Europe and the countries of the European Neighborhood (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), according to a report released Dec.19.

    The additional funds allocated by the EBRD, lead to expansion of GGF activity, the report said. "The demand for funding of projects in the field of sustainable energy remains high in South-Eastern Europe, where the effects of the financial crisis still affect bank lending," the report said.

    "Over the years, the EBRD has acquired extensive experience in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and we are pleased to support GGF both directly with these investments and indirectly, by working together to find a high quality projects," said the director on the bank's financial institutions Henry Russell. "Support for projects that promote the development of less expensive and more environmentally friendly resources is good not only for the environment, but also for the economy of the countries in which the EBRD operates."

    With the launch of the Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006 and until 2013 the EBRD invested 13 billion euros in 756 projects on sustainable energy in 35 countries. These projects are expected to lead to an annual reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 62 million metric tons. In 2014, about one-third of all EBRD investments will be linked to sustainable and renewable energy.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • One million people wounded, diseases spreading in Syria
    19.12.2014 18:50
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450322.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450322.jpg
    One million people have been wounded during Syria's civil war and diseases are spreading as regular supplies of medicine fail to reach patients, the World Health Organisation's Syria representative said.

    A plunge in vaccination rates from 90 percent before the war to 52 percent this year and contaminated water have added to the woes, allowing typhoid and hepatitis to advance, Elizabeth Hoff said in an interview late on Thursday.

    More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began in March 2011 with popular protests against President Bashar al-Assad and spiralled into civil war after a crackdown by his security forces.

    "In Syria, they have a million people injured as a direct result of the war. You can see it in the country when you travel around. You see a lot of amputees," said Hoff. "This is the biggest problem."

    She said a collapsed health system, where over half of public hospitals are out of service, has meant that treatments for diseases and injuries are irregular.

    Hoff said that Assad's government -- which demands to sign off on aid convoys -- is still blocking surgical supplies, such as bandages and syringes, from entering rebel-held areas.

    Aid workers say Damascus argues that the equipment would be used to help insurgents.

    "What has been a problem is the regularity of supply," she said. "The (government) approvals are sporadic."

    Syrian officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday or Friday.

    More than 6,500 cases of typhoid were reported this year across Syria and 4,200 cases of measles, the deadliest disease for Syrian children, Hoff said.

    There was just one reported case of polio, which can paralyse children within hours, in 2014 following a vaccination drive, but other new diseases appeared, including myiasis, a tropical disease spread by flies which is also known as screw-worm, with 10 cases seen in the outskirts of Damascus.
    7
  • Georgia ready for launching test train on BTK -ambassador
    19.12.2014 18:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/31/teymuraz_sharashinidze_3100713.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/31/teymuraz_sharashinidze_3100713.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is ready to launch the test train, Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Teimuraz Sharashenidze said at a press conference at Trend news agency on Dec.19.

    The ambassador added that the work on constructing the Georgian section of BTK has been basically completed.

    A test train is expected to run on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway by late 2014 and it is planned to complete the implementation of the project in 2015.

    Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.

    The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007.

    A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A post is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.

    The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.

    Edited by CN

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    14
  • Belarus, Azerbaijan to cooperate in satellite communication
    19.12.2014 18:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/05/space_test_center__051214_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/05/space_test_center__051214_01.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Huseyn Veliyev - Trend:

    Belarus is ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of satellite communications, a message of the Ministry of Communication and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Dec.19 said.

    The issues of cooperation between the two countries in this field are planned to be discussed within the framework of the regular meeting of the Azerbaijani-Belarusian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, which will be held in the first quarter of 2015 in Minsk, according to the message.

    During the session, the meeting of ministers of the industry will take place, which will affect the issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Belarus in the sphere of high technologies, the message said.

    The Belarusian side is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of satellite communications, according to the message. In particular, the two countries consider the possibility of using low-orbit satellites for collaborative research conduct.

    Previously, Belarus and Azerbaijan have agreed to cooperate on the use of information obtained from the Belarusian spacecraft.

    In December 2014, Azerbaijan received control over low-orbit satellites SPOT 7, which was launched in June 2014 as part of the strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and France in the space industry.

    The satellite, dubbed Azersky, was handed over to Azerbaijan's control on the basis of an agreement inked Dec. 2 at the Bakutel-2014 exhibition by Azercosmos, an Azerbaijani state-run company, and the Airbus Defence and Space.

    The Azersky satellite, along with its predecessor, SPOT 6, will be used jointly with Airbus Defence and Space.

    Both satellites are capable of daily surveying an area of six million square kilometers on the Earth surface, or 10 times the size of France.

    The resolution of the images taken will be 1.5 meters.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @h_veliyev

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    6
  • Azerbaijan to minimize its agriculture import
    19.12.2014 18:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138031.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138031.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan becoming self-sufficient as cuts food import as it ensures 78 percent of demand, said Shovket Alizada, the Head of the Azerbaijani Office of the International Humanitarian Organization Oxfam on December 19.''The country imported 22 percent of food products. It is necessary to work to decrease this figure. Azerbaijan ensures itself by 80 percent of vegetables, fruits and meat, while many raw materials are imported from abroad (sugar-95 percent, rice-85 percent, wheat--44 percent),'' Alizada said.

    She also added that in order to see the further positive results, the government should develop small farms. ''The government must develop small farms to increase the interest to the domestic production,'' she noted.

    To this end, the organization is implementing the project titled ''Improvement of food security through the development of small-scale farmers''.

    Azerbaijan is also preparing a law on the establishment of advisory services in the field of agriculture. "This law will create a local service that will support and advise farmers on a number of issues," Alizada stressed.

    The agricultural sector is important not only for increasing Azerbaijan's export potential, but also for restoring and protecting the country's food security. Protecting the quality and price of food stuff produced in Azerbaijan and producing them in accordance with quality standards are among the main priorities of the country's food security.

    Azerbaijan is meeting the population's demands for meat products by 90 percent, poultry meat by 81 percent, eggs by 80 percent, dairy products by 75 percent, vegetable oil by 65 percent, and butter by 50 percent through local production.

    Over the past ten days, as a result of measures adopted in Azerbaijan to ensure food security, the production of husbandry goods has increased by 3.1 times, cattle-breeding by 3.4 times, meat production by 1.6 times, and grain production by 1.4 times.
    17
  • Five Ukrainian soldiers killed ahead of peace talks
    19.12.2014 18:14
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450320.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450320.jpg
    Ukraine's forces on Friday reported the death of five soldiers in the first bloody day of clashes with pro-Russian insurgents in the separatist east in more than week.

    Defence spokesman Andriy Lysenko said another seven Ukrainian troops were wounded ahead of long-delayed peace talks the two sides hope to stage with the help of European Union and Russian envoys in the Belarussian capital Minsk by Monday.
    7
  • Crimean Armenians receive national cultural autonomy
    19.12.2014 18:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/13/krim_131213_19.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/13/krim_131213_19.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    Trend:

    Russia's Justice Ministry ratified Dec. 13 the creation of an Armenian regional national cultural autonomy in Ukraine's breakaway region of Crimea, the head of Armenian community of Crimea, Vagharshak Melkonian, said, the 1in.am news website reported Dec. 19.

    The Crimean Armenian community appealed in October to the Foreign Ministry of Armenia to open a consulate in the territory of the separatist Crimea.

    Some 15,000 to 20,000 Armenians live in the Crimea.

    It should be noted that the Armenians living in the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, insisting on their own autonomy, have many times moved on to make separation and independence claims.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • German Foreign Minister: Nagorno-Karabakh is occupied by Armenia
    19.12.2014 18:14
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135899.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135899.jpg
    "The co-chairs conduct confidential talks."

    Germany holds the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the spotlight.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to APA that the information is provided by the official website of the German Foreign Ministry.

    The report noted that the German Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stefan Steinlein held a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Pierre Andrieu (France), Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (USA), as well as with the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk on December 12:

    "The meeting discussed the possibility of a political solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has lasted for more than 20 years amid growing tensions risk, the creation of the parties trust and greater involvement of the EU in the settlement process".

    The OSCE Minsk Group has been mediating the conflict over the Nagorno Karabakh, which belongs to Azerbaijan in terms of international law but is occupied by Armenia. The co-chairs are holding confidential talks with the conflict parties-Armenia and Azerbaijan.

    Numerous meetings were also over the past months with the participation of both countries. All the same a clear growth in the number of deaths on the ceasefire line and the fact of terminating an Armenian combat helicopter by Azerbaijan on 12 November were recorded in 2014".
    6
  • Georgia awaiting confirmation on fulfilment of terms for visa liberalization
    19.12.2014 18:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/10/tbilisi_070514_032.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/10/tbilisi_070514_032.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia expects that at the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga (21-22 May, 2015), the European Commission will confirm Georgia's conformity with all the terms for visa liberalization with the EU, the Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said Dec. 19.

    She made the remarks at a joint press conference with her Estonian counterpart, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus.

    Beruchashvili said the action plan for visa liberalization consists of two parts, technical and political.

    "The technical envisages the completion of two phases of the action plan on visa liberalization, which are common procedures for all countries that are included in this process," she said.

    Beruchashvili added that Georgia has a number of commitments on fulfilment of the tasks of the two phases.

    "The first phase was successfully completed at this stage, and we moved on to the second phase - the phase of implementation. Our task is to fulfil all the commitments indicated in this action plan prior to the Riga summit and get a recommendation from the European Commission that Georgia is ready to receive a visa-free regime. This, of course, requires the consent of the EU," Beruchashvili said.

    She added that in this regard, it will be very important to have the support of Estonia and other countries.

    "No need to hope that the decision will be made in Riga and on the second day we will be able to move freely throughout Europe. In Riga, we are waiting for confirmation that Georgia has done everything that it had to do in terms of technical parameters," Beruchashvili said.

    Edited by SI

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    5
  • Price rise of goods sparks protest in Yerevan
    19.12.2014 18:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/12/armenia_protest_121213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/12/armenia_protest_121213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    Trend:

    Dozens of citizens gathered in front of the government building in Armenia's capital, Yerevan Dec.19 to protest in connection the depreciation of the dram rate and the rising price of goods, Armenia Today news agency said.

    Protestors intend to present six requirements to the government, that must be implemented by December 23. The protesters said that the failure to comply with these requirements will result in a social explosion, the consequences of which will be unpredictable for the current government.

    Protesters demand that the government reduce the prices for essential commodities to pre-crisis levels, eliminate monopolies, prohibit speculative USD remittances from Armenia to Russia and the ruble from Russia to Armenia, stop the process of Armenia's accession to the EAU.

    Also, protesters demand lowering the gas prices at gas stations, and strikes will be organized in cooperation with taxi drivers. The list of requirements also included conversion of USD loans of citizens, in case of failure to fulfill it, the authors of the initiative urge the citizens who have USD loans not to fulfill their obligations.

    Translated by EA

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Armenia to receive 50M euros for reservoir construction on border with Turkey
    19.12.2014 18:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    Trend:

    German Bank for Reconstruction KfW will provide Armenia with 50 million euros for the construction of the reservoir, Novosti-Armenia news agency said.

    The project of loan agreement was approved at the meeting of the Armenian government.

    Funds will be provided for the restoration and completion of Kaps reservoir on river Akhuryan, bordering with Turkey. Another 2 million euros will be allocated as a grant for technical support. The volume of irrigation water reservoir will amount to 25 million cubic meters, it will help the management of the waters of the upper stream of the Akhuryan river.

    Funds will be provided for 15 years with a grace period of five years, the rate will be fixed on the day of signing the contract.

    Translated by EA

    Edited by CN

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    4
  • Academician: If you are a real man, go and fight in Karabakh
    19.12.2014 17:55
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135898.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135898.jpg
    Humanism and patriotism are the basis of Islam.

    Islam cannot be aggressive. Forces that are trying to use religion for different purposes can mislead naiuml;ve young people. It is necessary to work for religious enlightenment. Such works are conducted in Azerbaijan, but practice shows that they do not suffice.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to APA that the statement came from Azerbaijani academician V.Mammadaliyev.

    He said that by making use of the lack of experience of our young people, they are taken to Afghanistan and Syria for participation in fights. Those who seek to gain power interpret Islam for their purposes and mislead the young people. We should prevent people from falling under their influence and taking part in fights in Afghanistan and Syria in an attempt to create ISIL:

    "If you are a real man, go and fight in Karabakh, what are you doing in Syria? It is necessary to stop the use of our women and young people.

    Mammadaliyev expressed confidence that there have never been clashes on religious ground in Azerbaijan.
    6
  • Cameron Diaz engaged to Benji Madden
    19.12.2014 17:51
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450317.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450317.jpg
    Cameron Diaz is engaged to her boyfriend, Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden, multiple sources confirm to Us Weekly.

    The Charlieв's Angels actress, 42, who has previously dated Justin Timberlake and Alex Rodriguez, amongst others, first stepped out with Madden, 35, in May of this year. And after a whirlwind seven-month romance the happy couple are ready to make things official!

    "Everyone thinks it's wild but are so happy for them," one source told Us. "Benji always tends to fall in love easily, but this time it's for real and he landed a great girl. They obviously both make each other incredibly happy and there's nothing better than that."

    In September, a friend of the couple revealed to Us that Madden (whose twin brother and bandmate is Joel Madden, husband of Nicole Richie), was keen to do things right when it came to his relationship with Diaz.

    "He is more traditional then her," the pal said. "She really doesn't care about getting married but wants babies. He wants to get engaged and married first."

    In fact the couple have Diaz's pal (and soon-to-be sister-in-law) Richie to thank for their happiness.
    14
  • SOCAR to gasify Albania
    19.12.2014 17:49
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135897.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135897.jpg
    The sides have signed relevant Memorandum.

    The delegation consisting of Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov and President of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev is on a visit to Albania.

    SOCAR told APA-Economics that Azerbaijani delegation has today held meetings with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta, and Minister for Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri. They discussed bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Albania, cooperation on TAP and other regional projects.

    A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Azerbaijan and Albania on cooperation in the development of master plan on gasifying of Albania.
    4
  • Kazakh President to visit Ukraine
    19.12.2014 17:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/24/Nursultan_Nazarbayev_240912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/24/Nursultan_Nazarbayev_240912.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will visit Ukraine with a working visit on Dec 22, Kazakh presidency reported on Dec. 19.

    Within the meeting Nazarbayev will hold talks with the leadership of the country.

    Morever Nazarbayev will take part in the regular session of Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Moscow on December 23. The session will be also attended by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

    Within the visit to Moscow Kazakh President will also participate in the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on the eve of the creation of Eurasian Economic Union which will start working on from 1 January 2015.

    The Presidents of Russia, Belarus and Armenia and Kyrgyzstan will also take part in the meeting.

    Edited by S.I.

    Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    8
  • Earthquake jolts western Iran
    19.12.2014 17:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/zelzele.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/zelzele.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    An earthquake of 4.2 magnitudes was recorded near the Murmuri city of Iran's Ilam province on Dec. 19, at around 05:18 (UTC/GMT 3:30 hours), the Iranian news agency IRNA said.

    No report has been made on the destruction and casualties.

    Earlier, in August, the Murmuri city was jolted by an earthquake of magnitude 6.2, resulting in 260 people being injured. The earthquake also damaged half of the houses in the city.

    Edited by SI

    --

    Follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

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    4
  • Agreement ratification confirms European perspective of Georgia
    19.12.2014 17:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/23/evroparlament_231013.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/23/evroparlament_231013.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The European Parliament's ratification of the Georgia-EU association agreement confirms the support for the European perspective of the country, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said Dec. 18.

    "On behalf of all Georgians, I would like to thank the MEPs for their confidence in our country," he said. "We have recently spared no effort to carry out democratic reforms, which stipulated our success. We will be provided with an appropriate action plan thanks to the association agreement to ensure to continue this process and to reach the goal - the final accession to the EU."

    He said that today Georgia is an example of the successful partnership with Europe.

    "We are determined to fully and rapidly implement this agreement for the European standards to be fully introduced in the country," he said. "Georgia is a country of stable democracy, active economy. It has the appropriate skills. It is also a faithful contributor in international security."

    The European Parliament ratified the association agreement with Georgia in Strasbourg on December 18.

    Around 11 EU member-states, namely, Denmark, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Malta, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden and Croatia ratified the association agreement between Georgia and the EU.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Bosnia lifts visa requirements for Azerbaijan
    19.12.2014 17:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku,Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Jamila Jafarova- Trend:

    The Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers has lifted visa requirements for Azerbaijan , according to Turkishweekly journal.

    Along with Azerbaijan, other countries such as United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain; Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, the Bahamas, Mauritius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Seychelles are able to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina visa-free.

    The decision was taken unanimously. The number of visa-free countries for Bosnia-Herzegovina has now risen to 72.

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    6
  • Occupants demand life imprisonment for Dilgam Asgarov
    19.12.2014 17:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135896.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135896.jpg
    Occupants are demanding life imprisonment for Dilgam Asgarov.

    "Prosecutor" Karen Gabrielyan made a speech at the "trial" of Azerbaijanis - Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev - who were taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, demanding to sentence Dilgam Asgarov to life imprisonment and Shahbaz Guliyev to 22 years in prison, APA reports citing Armenian media.

    In July this year Russian citizen Dilgam Asgarov and Azerbaijani citizen Shahbaz Guliyev were taken hostage by Armenians in occupied Kalbajar region. Another Azerbaijani citizen Hasan Hasanov was shot to death. Hasanov's body was taken to Baku and buried. The illegal "trial" of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev began in Nagorno-Karabakh on October 27.
    6
  • CIS Executive Committee head arrives in Uzbekistan to monitor elections
    19.12.2014 17:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/21/Eelections_210912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/21/Eelections_210912.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec.19

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, Secretary Sergei Lebedev has arrived in Uzbekistan, Uzbek Central Election Commission told Trend on Dec.19.

    He will head the mission of observers from CIS countries in the elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis (parliament) and local public authorities to be held on Dec.21.

    The mission included 13 representatives of CIS Executive Committee.

    Long-term observers from CIS led by the First Deputy Executive Secretary of CIS Vladimir Garkun have started to work in Uzbekistan since Dec.7.

    CIS observers' mission includes over 70 representatives of election, legislative and executive bodies, public organizations, media, as well as scholars and political analysts from all CIS countries.

    Uzbek CEC said that aside from CIS mission, the elections will be observed by the mission of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

    Additionally, representatives from 35 countries have expressed desire to participate in observing the parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan.

    Earlier, four political parties of Uzbekistan were allowed to take part in the election.

    These are the Liberal Democratic Party, People's Democratic Party, the Democratic Party Milly Tiklanish (National Revival), and the Social Democratic Party Adolat (Justice).

    A total of 535 people have been registered as candidates.

    Uzbekistan's bicameral parliament was created in 2005. Its legislative chamber permanently employs 150 MPs from four political parties and the Uzbek Ecological Movement. They were elected in Dec. 2009 for a five-year period.

    The MPs from the Ecological Movement will be elected at a conference on Dec. 21.

    The parliament's upper house, known as the Senate, employs 100 MPs elected in equal numbers, i.e. six MPs from the Karakalpakstan Republic, regions and the city of Tashkent.

    Aside from that, the Uzbek president appoints 16 members of the Senate from among the most distinguished citizens.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • EU bans export of 200 items to Crimea
    19.12.2014 17:25
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450306.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450306.jpg
    The European Union has imposed a ban on the supplies of more than 200 items, from cigarette lighters to yachts, ships, floating structures, planes, spacecraft and spare parts for them to Crimea. The full list is contained in the addendum to the list of new trading restrictions for Crimea, agreed on Thursday and published by the EUв's Official Journal.

    The goods are grouped into eight classes, but as a matter of fact the supplies of any industrial products to Crimea are prohibited.

    Also, the European Union bans its companies from providing tourist services in Crimea, and the cruise ships belonging to the European companies or flying the EU flag, from visiting seven ports '"Sevastopol, Kerch, Yalta, Feodosiya, Yevpatoria, Chernomorsk and Kamysh-Burun.

    The European companies are not allowed to provide know-how and equipment for transport, telecommunications, energy, hydrocarbons and minerals exploration and development, as well as assistance and mediatory services in creating related infrastructures.
    7
  • UK calls Armenian diaspora a significant obstacle in Karabakh conflict solution
    19.12.2014 17:21
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138030.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138030.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    UK Foreign and Commonwealth Officeв's new report showed the Armenian diaspora, which is main source of survival of the Armenian government, as a significant obstacle in achieving peace on the decades-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    ''Sentiment within elements of the Diaspora will remain a significant obstacle to achieve compromise-based solutions over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and Armeniaв's relations with Turkey,'' the Foreign Office said in the report entitled 'Armenia's Diaspora '" It's Role and Influence'.

    Based on this report, it can be concluded that the United Kingdom finds guilty the Armenian diaspora in further aggravation of Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation and delay in settling of the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    This occupation '" which has continued for over 20 years '" has resulted in 875,000 Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons remaining in camps spread across Azerbaijan, the report says.

    The report also notes that this has bankrupted the Armenian economy, as borders with two neighbors '" Azerbaijan and Turkey '" have remained shut since 1993, increasing Armeniaв's reliance on Russia.

    Turkey cut diplomatic ties and closed its border with Armenia after the country invaded Azerbaijan's territories. Ankara set Armenia's withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan as a precondition for establishing diplomatic relations with the country.

    Besides, Yerevan has sidelined from all the energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan, because of its continuing policy of aggression.

    ''It has consequently not benefited from any of the current or future energy pipelines carrying Azerbaijani oil and gas to Europe. Instead, the country is set to join the Kremlin-led Eurasian Customs Union on 1 January, despite the fact that international sanctions on Russia are, in turn, having a detrimental knock-on effect on the Armenian economy,'' The Foreign Office said.

    Armenia has the smallest economy and smallest population in the South Caucasus. According to the FCO report, it is estimated that the Armenian population only amounts to 2.9 million persons and has shrunk by almost one million since 1992.

    The Foreign Office said diaspora Armenians are continuing to shore up the ailing Armenian economy. Since 1991, the country has received several billion dollarsв' worth of financial support from U.S.-based diaspora of Armenians.

    Moreover, the report highlights diasporaв's continuous and significant support to the so-called ''Nagorno-Karabakh Republic'', which was formed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

    The Armenian diaspora has made sizeable contributions towards the Armenian economy, health and education, including subsidizing those regions of Azerbaijan that remain under illegal Armenian occupation. These areas have received high levels of diaspora support, both in terms of funding and technical assistance, according to the report.

    ''The unrecognized 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republicв' has received proportionally very high levels of Diaspora support since 1992 in the form of both funding and technical assistance (e.g. Armenian Diaspora doctors, teachers, engineers, etc. undertaking voluntary secondments to institutions in NK),'' the Foreign Office said.

    The report also notes that ''the diaspora is steadily bankrupting this small nation, ensuring that it remains totally dependent on Russia, and vetoing any moves towards a peaceful diplomatic solution, based on international law.''

    Meanwhile, it is used in the report ''inter-communal violence of 1915'' referring to the so-called 'Armenian genocideв', which wasnв't warmly accepted by the Armenian community.

    The Armenian media accused the UK of denying the so-called 'Armenian genocideв'.

    ''Keeping in line with its long-held policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, the report refers to the events of the 1915 as 'inter-communal violence of 1915в','' the Armenian media wrote.

    Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor the Ottoman Empire has allegedly carried out a "genocide" against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Armenia could achieve its recognition by the parliaments of some countries simultaneously with strengthening its efforts to promote the so-called "genocide" worldwide.
    12
  • PM to hold meeting of commission on Georgiaв's EU integration
    19.12.2014 17:21
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/04/irakli_garibashvili_040614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/04/irakli_garibashvili_040614.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The 51st meeting of the commission on Georgia's EU integration will be held in the administration of the Georgian government under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili Dec. 19.

    The heads of all governmental departments involved in the European integration process will attend the meeting.

    The resolution on the implementation of the association agreement between Georgia and the EU will be considered at the meeting, Garibashvili's press-service told Trend.

    The draft national action plan for 2015 and the resolution on the implementation of the action plan 2014, the Georgian government's strategy on European integration for 2014-2017 will be also considered at the meeting.

    Edited by CN

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    4
  • The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Georgia in the last nine months made $870 mln
    19.12.2014 17:15
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450298.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450298.jpg
    ''The year 2014 has been extremely fruitful and significant in terms of relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia'', Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Teymuraz Sharashenidze said today in a press conference dedicated to the outcomes of the works done during the Georgian Dream-led coalition government.

    A political dialogue between the two countries continues, more than 50 mutual visits took place in 2014.'' added the diplomat.

    ''The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Georgia in the last nine months made $870 mln. This figure will exceed $1 bln by the end of the year'', he stressed.

    The ambassador also noted that the Georgian section of the Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway is ready for a test movement of the train.
    6
  • US Embassy in Azerbaijan clarifies meeting with political party heads
    19.12.2014 17:15
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/03/USA_embassy_031212.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    The US remains a strong advocate for an independent, sovereign and democratic Azerbaijan, and doesn't prejudge or attempt to influence the outcome of any electoral process, a message from the US Embassy in Azerbaijan said Dec. 19.

    "We look forward to continued cooperation with the government and people of Azerbaijan on a range of issues," the message read.

    "The US Embassy is aware of reports that put forth anonymous claims about US policy on upcoming elections in Azerbaijan that are grossly inaccurate," the message said. "The US Embassy was not asked to verify these claims and we firmly reject them. Chargeacute; Hogan did indeed meet with several political parties across the political spectrum to better understand their views."

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    4
  • Special status for terror victims proposed in Azerbaijan
    19.12.2014 17:06
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135894.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135894.jpg
    A special status for terror victims is proposed in Azerbaijan, Chairman of the parliamentв's committee for social policy Hadi Rajabli said today at the committeeв's meeting.

    According to him, the parliament received a letter in this regard on behalf of the civil society, and the committee backs the proposal, APA reports.

    "Despite a special status is proposed for terror victims, the committee has taken a more appropriate step based on the issue; to give a completely different, special status to terror victims. Because martyrdom is achieved during a war, or it usually happens in time of war. But terror occurs in time of tranquility, or it can occur to someone unexpectedly," he added.

    H. Rajabli said the committee sends this proposal to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population as a letter, and after learning the ministry's financial capacity to prepare the project, a relevant bill will be worked out. The bill will be about annexes to the law on the fight against terrorism.
    8
  • EBRD to finance modernization of municipal infrastructure in Kazakh city of Kyzylorda
    19.12.2014 17:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will finance the modernization of municipal infrastructure facilities in Kyzylorda, the capital of the Kazakhstan's Kyzylorda region, the bank reported on Dec. 19.

    Several financing agreements worth over $70 million were signed at the Bank's Headquarters in London by EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, and the head of Kyzylorda region, Krymbek Kusherbayev, on 18 December 2014.

    "The funds will be used to finance improvements in water and wastewater, heating, electricity and street lighting," the bank said.

    The EBRD will provide financing to three municipal companies in the city of Kyzylorda.

    Up to $10 million will be lent to Kyzylorda Su Zhuyesi, a municipal water management company, to rehabilitate and upgrade its infrastructure network. The project will result in better water and wastewater services, greater energy and water efficiency, reduced losses and improved environmental standards.

    In addition, up to $24 million, comprising an EBRD tranche of up to $18.5 million and a tranche of up to $5.5 million from the Clean Technology Fund, will be lent to Kyzylordateploelektrocentr, a municipal district heating and electricity production company. The financing will not only help to modernize the district heating network and production facilities, but will also introduce individual building-level heating substations to improve energy efficiency, cut losses and reduce CO2 emissions.

    Lastly, up to 4.5 billion tenge ($24.7 million equivalent) will be lent to the Kyzylorda Regional Electricity Company, a power utility company responsible for distributing electricity to the entire Kyzylorda region. Funds will be used to modernize the electricity distribution network, including installing modern metering and automated control systems, and upgrading electricity transformers and distribution lines. The project is expected to cut annual electricity losses by 30 million kWh, which is the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

    The Bank is also considering lending up to 2.3 billion tenge ($12.5 million equivalent) for modern, energy efficient street lighting in the city of Kyzylorda. The EBRD has already signed a pre-financing agreement with the regional and city authorities to start preparing the project.

    This wide-ranging modernization program in Kyzylorda is also supported by the government of Kazakhstan, which is providing a grant of up to 3.9 billion tenge ($21.7 million equivalent) to co-finance water and district heating modernization projects. This support comes as part of the Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement, which was signed between the Bank and the government of Kazakhstan in May.

    To date, the EBRD has invested over $6.7 billion in Kazakhstan's economy.

    Edited by CN

    Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    4
  • All presidents of Georgia supported European integration
    19.12.2014 17:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/29/georgia_eu_flags_290314.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/29/georgia_eu_flags_290314.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    All the presidents of Georgia supported European integration, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said at a press-conference in Strasbourg Dec. 18.

    "This is a special and important day for my country," the president said. "We are getting closer to the European family."

    He said that all the presidents of Georgia - Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze, Saakashvili, as well as the current government, supported this idea.

    "Georgia will reach the ultimate goal," he said. "It will become a full member of the EU and the European family."

    Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili was also in Strasbourg. The European People's Party invited him for the ratification.

    The Georgia-EU association agreement was ratified in the European Parliament.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • KazMunaiGas - Processing and Marketing names new managing director
    19.12.2014 17:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/04/KAzmunaygaz_040213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/04/KAzmunaygaz_040213.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Dec.19

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    KazMunaiGas - Processing and Marketing JSC, a subsidiary of the Kazakhstan-based oil and gas giant KazMunaiGas has named its new managing director.

    Serik Baiseksenov took up the post, according to the company's press service.

    Born in 1960, Baiseksenov is a graduate of the Gubkin Moscow Institute of Petrochemical and Gas Industry.

    He boasts more than 30 years of extensive experience in oil and gas sector.

    Throughout his career Baiseksenov worked for Uralsk Munai Onimderi OJSC, Kazakhoil Products LLP, KazMunaiGas JSC, CASPI BITUM LLP and Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries JSC.

    In 2013-2014, he worked as first deputy general director, chief engineer of CASPI BITUM LLP, first deputy chairman of the Board of Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries JSC.

    The KazMunaiGas - Processing and Marketing JSC is a 100-percent subsidiary of the Kazakh national company KazMunaiGas.

    The company owns shares in the Atyrau Oil Refinery LLP (99.53 percent), PetroKazakhstan Oil Products LLP (49.7 percent), Pavlodar Petrochemical Plant LLP (100 percent), KazMunaiGas OnС-mderС- LLP (100 percent), Caspi Bitum JV (50 percent), and others.

    The main activities of the KazMunaiGas - Processing and Marketing JSC include management of oil refining assets, export of oil and oil products, and the development of retail sales of petroleum products.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Iran FM rejected UN human right resolution
    19.12.2014 17:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/20/Iran_MID_XIN_200412_04.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/20/Iran_MID_XIN_200412_04.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Temkin Jafarov- Trend:

    Iran's Foreign Ministry rejected the resolution of United Nation's General Assembly on Iran, condemning human right abuse.

    Marzieh Afkham, spokeswoman of Foreign Ministry said that Iran rejects the approved resolution completely, IRNA reported Dec.19.

    Afkham said that it's unfortunate that some western countries that abuse human rights themselves, are attempting to misuse the human right issue as a political leverage against Iran.

    "Iran has repeatedly answered the claims mentioned on the resolution with documents and arguments and the UN wouldn't has approved that if some countries hadn't taken the biased position.

    The U.N. General Assembly has approved resolutions criticizing the human rights situations of North Korea, Iran and Syria on Dec.18.

    The resolution called on Iran to stop a range of abuses including torture, gender discrimination and the targeting of activists and journalists. Iran's representative protested that the resolution doesn't acknowledge "positive developments" since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter @JafarovTemkin

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    6
  • US ambassador to Armenia highlights Azerbaijan's importance
    19.12.2014 17:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/29/john_heffern_291014.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/29/john_heffern_291014.jpg
    Azerbaijan is a very important partner for the US, the outgoing ambassador of the US in Armenia, John Heffern said Dec. 19 at a farewell press conference, Novosti-Armenia news agency reported.

    "We are working closely with Azerbaijan in a number of areas," he said, brining Afghanistan as an example.

    Heffern added that Azerbaijan is crucially important in terms of cooperation in the energy sector - the delivery of natural gas and oil to Southern Europe.

    He further said Azerbaijan is also important in terms of building relations with Iran.

    Edited by SI

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    6
  • Abutalibov says 'no' to Islamists
    19.12.2014 16:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135893.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135893.jpg
    "But we want to hold a rally not for such purposes."

    Baku City Executive Power responded to the request of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan which has no state registration, in connection with the meeting.

    The Islamic Party of Azerbaijan appealed to the executive power of Baku with a request to give them permission to hold the rally at the stadium near the metro station "Inshaatchilar" on December 21. Islamists said that at the rally they intend to demand the release of political prisoners, raise the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, etc.

    According to Oxu.Az the chairman of the Party Elchin Manafov told to the "Media forum" that the municipality did not give permission for the rally:

    "In response, the Head of Department of Executive Power Zaur Ramazanov said that this decision was taken on the basis of points of the Law "On freedom of assembly". You claim yourself to be the representatives of the unregistered party, the ordinary citizens, all this creates confusion...

    The mayor's office said that the meeting, accompanied by calls to discrimination, hostility or violence, which promotes ethnic, racial or religious hatred are prohibited. But we want to hold a rally not for such purposes. We intend to hold a protest in order to demand to stop the pressure on the Islamists, as well as to solve the problem in connection with Karabakh.

    On December 20 we will hold a press conference at which we require to clarify this question ... ".

    The state registration of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan was eliminated in 1995. Party leader Movsum Samedov is being under arrest since 2011.

    The head of the Baku City Executive Power is Hajibala Abutalibov.
    6
  • OPEC didn't want to make the first step
    19.12.2014 16:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/18/vagif_sharifov_181213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/18/vagif_sharifov_181213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    Trend:

    British radio station Share Radio had a Qamp;A with oil markets expert, Trend Agency's deputy director, Vagif Sharifov, about the situation in the oil market and its impact on the Russian economy.

    How are the oil markets doing this morning?

    The price of OPEC basket stood this morning at $55 per barrel. WTI for the January futures is $56 and Brent futures for the February is $60. If we compare the spot price for "Brent dated" in December with that of November we can see that figures have fallen by 20 percent. But comparing this month with December 2013, we see the oil price has fallen by a double. The OPEC position is still as the same as it was in November.

    They are not going to reduce oil production to support prices and Saudis say there is no politics involved in the issue. Their oil minister said this week that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board hasn't worked. So it actually means OPEC didn't want to cut the production on its own and didn't want to be, you know, the pioneer in making the first step.

    What impact, in your opinion, President Vladimir Putin's speech had?

    Despite the fact that Russia keeps some 15 percent of world oil production, the world is now producing more oil than consumers need. OPEC alone produces at least 30 million barrels of oil per day. Usually the oil market has strong immediate reaction if some big oil producing country says it is going to cut or increase supplies. But now what we have heard is only the reaction of Russia itself to the declining oil market.

    Oil companies in Russia - any chance for them to come out of the situation?

    The oil prices began to fall in the autumn of this year, when the demand actually is always starting to grow (in the middle of September as usual). The OPEC's position in that case is very strange - to keep oil production on a high level despite the falling oil prices on a daily basis.

    There is a chance for Russia's big oil companies. It is now called "to be flexible". What it actually means is to cut the staff by some 15-20 percent and therefore to try to cut the costs. For example, Russia's gas giant Gazprom official told reporters that it would be wrong to exclude the possibility of optimizing the organizational structure in the future.

    ---

    Vagif Sharifov, is an oil markets expert, development director at Trend Agency. Follow him on Twitter:@VagifSharifov

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    6
  • German BASF calls off contract with Gazprom
    19.12.2014 16:41
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Mass media: Europe establishes energy union against Russia

    Baku. Musa Ahmadov - APA-Economics. Germany's BASF and Russia's OAO Gazprom have called off an asset-swap deal amid mounting political tensions between Russia and the West,

    According to Kommersant newspaper, the European Parliament is developing a plan on establishment of EU Energy Union. This organization will be made publicly available in January, 2015. Herein, main points are common gas supply for European companies and imposing new restrictions to the capital of Russian companies in energy sector.

    The newspaper also reported that it has got EP action plan on establishment of energy union in 2015-2016: "As provided in the several normative documents of Europe, this plan also includes significant items in connection with mutual relations with Russia, main gas supplier of Europe".

    The report says that though the main supporter of the idea is E European Council President Donald Tusk, the politicians don't share same position. Particularly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on to be careful in this regard.
    8
  • Mozambique legalises abortion to stem maternal deaths
    19.12.2014 16:39
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450282.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450282.jpg
    Mozambique has legalised abortion, making it one of the few countries in Africa to allow women to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

    President Armando Guebuza on Thursday quietly signed into law a revised penal code bill that eases prohibitions in abortion regulations, a move hailed by health groups.

    The new law specifies that abortions will have to be carried out in recognised and designated health centres by qualified practitioners.

    Termination must be carried out within the first 12 weeks but in case of rape, the period is extended to 16 weeks.

    It will also be allowed when the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the health or life of the mother or in case of foetal abnormality.

    In Mozambique, the earlier law outlawing abortion, except in cases where the mother?s life or health is endangered, dates to the late 19th century, when the mainly Catholic Portuguese controlled the country. The other major creed in Mozambique is Islam, a faith which also does not support abortion.

    The reform came after a decade of spirited lobbying by reproductive health advocates in Mozambique, where clandestine abortions are one of the leading causes of deaths among pregnant women and girls.

    Abortion accounts for 11 percent of maternal deaths in Mozambique, according to health watchdogs.

    The move is a victory for women, because it's not so "restrictive" anymore, said Ivone Zilhao a Maputo-based sexual and reproductive health doctor with Pathfinder, an international NGO that promotes safe and legal abortion services.

    Many African countries have strict laws that prohibit abortion, leaving many women to resort to resort to secret and unsafe methods of termination.

    Cape Verde, South Africa and Tunisia are the few countries that allow for therapeutic abortion.

    The World Health Organization estimates that one in every five pregnancies worldwide ends in induced abortion and that around 47,000 women die due to complications linked to unsafe abortion.
    6
  • Russia interested in soonest solution of Palestinian independence status '" FM
    19.12.2014 16:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135892.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135892.jpg
    Russia is interested in the soonest resolution of the issue concerning the state status of Palestine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

    The Russian foreign minister said that Russia recognized the state of Palestine in the late 1980s.

    "Therefore, we have no questions whatsoever concerning the recognition of the Palestinian statehood as it was proposed by the UN Security Council's draft resolution," Lavrov said. "There is still a question on how the peace process will be developing in the future."

    "We are currently in intensive contacts with Palestinians, as well as participants of the quartet of the international mediators, to understand how this situation can impact all efforts on the recovery of the peace process from the dead-end, which it reached this year," he said.

    According to Lavrov, "we are working with all involved parties so they would finally realize their responsibility for the final settlement (of the Middle East conflict), including all issues concerning the eventual status of the Palestinian state."

    Read also

    UN Security Council draft resolution gives 12 months to create Palestinian state

    European Court of Justice removes Hamas movement from terrorist organizations' list

    Support grows for recognizing Palestinian people's right to create own state mdash; diplomat

    International mediators should interfere with settlement of Middle East conflict mdash; Abbas

    "We are interested that it all could happen as soon as possible," Lavrov added.

    The UN Security Council draft resolution welcomes an idea of holding an international conference to resume Palestinian-Israeli dialogue halted in the spring of 2014. The document also said that all Israeli forces should leave occupied territories not later than in 2017.

    The initial variant of the document submitted by Palestinian delegation in October set a deadline of 24 months.
    4
  • Istanbul court releases chief editor of Zaman newspaper
    19.12.2014 16:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/28/court_281114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/28/court_281114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A court in the Turkish city of Istanbul made a decision to release the editor-in chief of the Zaman newspaper, Ekrem Dumanli, TRT Haber news channel reported Dec. 19.

    Reportedly, Dumanli was forbidden to leave the country.

    It was also reported that the court decided to arrest the head of the Samanyolu broadcasting company.

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Story still developing

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    10
  • Education minister: No doctors of sciences under 30 at Azerbaijani universities
    19.12.2014 16:14
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135891.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135891.jpg
    Nearly half of the scientists in Azerbaijan are involved in the country's education sphere.

    Education Minister Mikayil Jabbarov has made such a statement in his speech at the first congress of Azerbaijani scientists.

    The minister said 939 out of 1,267 doctors of sciences and 5,011 out of 10,444 doctors of philosophy currently work in the education sphere. He also said analysis of the age of doctors of sciences working in the education area shows that there are no doctors of sciences under 30 years of age at state universities. Those over 61 years of age constitute 63.9%.

    As for doctors of sciences, according to the minister, 0.7% of them are under the age of 30, while 18% are above 61.

    "Taking the situation into account, we intend to take some measures. First of all, works are underway to form and improve legislation on PhD, organize PhD education and prepare normative legal documents defining its content, develop and confirm education programs, adjust PhD education to the Bologna process and enhance the quality of education, and apply per capita financing. Our current education system must be able to produce adroit personnel who would be capable of learning throughout their life," the minister concluded.
    7
  • Any format of dialogue with Russia should serve Georgiaв's interests '" FM
    19.12.2014 16:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/12/08/Georgia_Tbilisi_MID_081208.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/12/08/Georgia_Tbilisi_MID_081208.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec.19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Any format of a dialogue will all states, especially Russia, today should serve Georgia's state interests, Georgia's Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said during a joint press conference with Estonian Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus in Tbilisi on Dec.19.

    She was commenting on the remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his 10th annual press conference on Dec.18.

    During that press conference, Russian president expressed readiness to meet with Georgian leadership.

    "If Georgian leadership deems possible, we will be glad to see any representative of Georgian government, whether the prime minister or president in Moscow," Putin said.

    Beruchashvili said that currently, Georgian Foreign Ministry doesn't work on this issue.

    "I wish Russia would give signals not contradicting with the international law and the universal agreements and declarations that are signed by the country itself," Beruchashvili said, adding that unfortunately, there are no such signals from Moscow.

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

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

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

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

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    5
  • Nominee for ''World Award for Teachers'' among best teachers of Azerbaijan
    19.12.2014 16:01
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135890.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135890.jpg
    The nominee for ''World Award for Teachers'' is among best teachers of Azerbaijan.

    Muhammad Garakishiyev - Azerbaijani English teacher of high school after Academician Zarifa Aliyeva in Balakan District, is among the 50 candidates for the "World Award for Teachers", established by the "Varkey GEMS Fund", the honorary head of which is the USA's former president Bill Clinton. As appeared, he is also among the winners of the competition "The best teacher" in Azerbaijan for m2013-2014s.

    Under the Presidential Order, dated December 17, 2014, along with others, Muhammad Garakishiyev who excelled in the "Best Teacher" contest, held in the 2012/2013 academic year, was awarded with single-time money prize of AZN 5,000.

    "I am happy. This award is of special importance for me. I am deeply thankful to the President for care and attention to the development of education, the teachers. This encourages us to work better", Muahmmad Garakishiyev said in his exclusive interview to AzerTAc.
    11
  • Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross expecting their first baby together
    19.12.2014 15:51
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450252.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450252.jpg
    Congratulations to Ashlee Simpson and her new husband Evan Ross. Just three months after the happy couple tied the knot, it has been revealed that they are expecting their first baby together. The new arrival will join Ashlee's six-year-old son Bronx, from her marriage to musician Pete Wentz.

    Evan, 26, hinted at the possibility of starting a family with his 30-year-old wife last month at The Hunger Games: Mockingjay premiere. "I would love to (have kids)," he told E! News. "As many as possible."

    Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross are expecting their first child together

    The actor added, "I got married, I have new music and I'm part of Hunger Games. It's been a great year."

    Evan '" son of Motown icon Diana Ross '" and Ashlee enjoyed a whirlwind romance. The first went public as a couple in the summer of 2013, and Evan popped the question in January during a romantic break in Hawaii.

    Eight months later, they tied the knot in a romantic Bohemian-style ceremony at Diana's Connecticut estate '" the mother of the groom also officiated the marriage.

    "The wedding went perfectly," Diana, 70, later told US Weekly. "We had a beautiful rainbow surrounding us, loving family and friends, great music and great speeches from loving and caring friends, and joyful children dancing the night away."

    She added, "Wishing Evan and Ashlee congratulations. I want only love, happiness and joy for my son and his bride".
    10
  • Russia leap to up cereals export to Iran amid economic crisis
    19.12.2014 15:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    By Dalga Khatinoglu

    While Russia's revenues from oil exports have been halved due to declining oil price and the economic crisis inside the country is deteriorating, Moscow leapt to increase cereals export to Iran.

    The monthly reports of Iran's Anzali port, the main gate for importing Russian commodities indicate a soaring rise in imports, as well as a resumption of petroleum products' transmission operations.

    During last month (October 23 to November 23), Iran's wheat imports through Anzali port increased by 3 times to 43,130 tons compared to the same month last year. The country also imported 1,215 tons of barley, while the figure for the same period in last year was zero.

    The statistics of Anzali port also indicate that some 14,877 tons of oily products were discharged in port during last month, but didn't put this in the "imports list" specifically.

    Iran didn't imported any oil products from Russia during the same month last year.

    The statistics indicate that the volume of loading/discharge in Anzali port increased from 1.42 million metric tons to 1.8 million metric tons during the last eight months, indicating a 26.2 percent increase. the traffic of entered ships also rose from 503 to 534.

    Now, Andrey Luganskiy, Russia's trade representative in Tehran says that Russia produces 110 million metric tons of cereals and plans to boost exports to Iran until the end of current year.

    He said that Iran's ports are located in shallow waters and the entering of heavy ships there is impossible, but Russia can transit the cereals to Iran via a Black Sea route.

    The detailed statistics released by Iran Custom Administration indicates that Iran's exports to Russia during last eight months reached $200 million- almost unchanged- while imported $500 million worth of commodities from Russia showed a 9 percent increase. However, the detailed custom statistics reflect that Iran increased export to Russia 219.4 percent, while imports declined by 25 percent during the last month.

    Iran-Russia's trade turnover before imposed sanctions on Iran in mid-2012 was about $2.3 billion annually, but declined to around $1.06 billion during the last year.

    Wheat, rice, soybean meal as well as corn place first, second, forth and fifth most valuable commodities list which Iran imported over the last eight months. The value of these goods was about $4 billion, while the country's total imports during the last eight months were $34 billion.

    Both of Russia and Iran are suffering from western sanctions, a drop in national currency value and declining oil prices.

    Iran's national currency, the rial, lost its value by 3 times during last three years, while the Russian ruble has lost 50 percent of its value versus the US dollar since the beginning of 2014.

    While oil exports share about 13 percent of both countries' GDP, their budgets depend about 50 percent on oil export revenues. The price of oil has has halved during the last four months to below $60 a barrel.

    Edited by CN

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    11
  • Ziya Mammadov receives citizens in Khachmaz
    19.12.2014 15:39
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135889.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135889.jpg
    Azerbaijan's Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov received residents of Khachmaz, Guba and Gusar in Khachmaz under the schedule of receiving citizens by heads of the central executive bodies in the cities and regins.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to AzerTag that citizens' appeals were viewed during the reception held at the conference hall of the Khachmaz historical museum with participation of heads of other structures of the Transport Ministry.

    The appeals were mainly related to the repair of regional and rural roads, bridges, security on railway passes, as well as employment.

    Some issues were solved on the spot.

    Others were taken under control.

    The irrelevant appeals were registered for submission to the relevant structures.
    15
  • Modern technologies will allow increasing Azerbaijan's onshore oil production '" SOCAR
    19.12.2014 15:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/20/socar_logo_new_200914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/20/socar_logo_new_200914.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    Increasing of the oil recovery ratio by 10-15 percent would allow to increase the oil production at Azerbaijan's onshore fields, First Vice President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh said on Dec.19.

    He made the remarks during the first congress of Azerbaijani scientists.

    Yusifzadeh said with 40-45-percent oil recovery ratio, around 1 billion metric tons of oil was produced at the country's onshore fields.

    "It would be possible to double this volume of production, however, there are no technical opportunities for that," Yusifzadeh added.

    The first vice president said that great attention should be paid to increasing the oil recovery ratio.

    Moreover, in terms of prospects for discovery of gas fields in Azerbaijan, SOCAR is carrying out work on developing Mesozoic deposits.

    "This work was carried out during the Soviet period as well, however, due to the lack of necessary technologies, it was not possible to achieve industrial production," Yusifzadeh added. "But now it is possible, taking into account the technological advances."

    Major part of oil produced in Azerbaijan falls to Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil and gas fields' block, the proven oil reserve of which is estimated at one billion metric tons.

    Over 30 million metric tons of oil is produced from the block that is developed by SOCAR jointly with foreign companies.

    SOCAR also independently develops a number of onshore and offshore fields from which it produces over 8 million metric tons of oil per year.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail

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    19
  • Moscow to host meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs at the CIS Economic Council
    19.12.2014 15:25
    http://sia.az/images/fotoyoxdur.gif
    http://sia.az/images/fotoyoxdur.gif
    Meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs at the CIS Economic Council will be held in Moscow on January 21.

    According to CIS Executive Committee, five issues have been included in the agenda of the meeting.

    Members of the Committee will discuss Interstate Innovation Partnership Program of CIS member states and the progress of implementation of complex measures in 2014 on implementation of Interstate Innovation Partnership Programme in 2012-2014s, the range of measures for the period 2015-2016 on implementation during the period of 2020 of Interstate Innovation Partnership Program, production, consumption, import and export outlook of the most important product of the CIS countries in 2015, the history and the draft agenda of 65th meeting of CIS Economic Council.
    14
  • Contracts worth $10B made within Shah Deniz-2 project
    19.12.2014 15:24
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/03/Shah_Deniz_030313.JPG
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/03/Shah_Deniz_030313.JPG
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Contracts worth $10 billion have already been signed within the second phase of the development project of Shah Deniz Azerbaijani gas condensate field, the regional president of BP in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gordon Birrell told reporters.

    "One year has already passed since the time of the final investment decision on the development project of the second phase of Shah Deniz Azerbaijani gas condensate field," said Birrell. "I can say that during this time the project has considerably advanced. Until today, we have signed contracts worth a total of $10 billion. Basically, these are contracts for construction. Decisions on contractors in the construction work were made. These contracts give us the opportunity to begin the construction. Now employment, mostly of the citizens of Azerbaijan is going on."

    He said that work to expand the Sangachal terminal within the project of the Southern Gas Corridor has already begun. "Azerbaijan receives all the necessary materials for the construction of the pipeline," said Birrell. "With the help of the government of Azerbaijan, we acquired 200 kilometers of territory, necessary for the construction, established the points at which the pipes will be stored. I can say that thanks to the support of the state and SOCAR, all work will be completed on time and within the planned budget. The first gas will go to Turkey on schedule - in late 2018, and gas will reach Europe a year later - in late 2019."

    The TANAP project envisages gas transportation from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkey.

    The initial capacity of TANAP is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters of the total volume of gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe per year. In the future, capacity of the pipeline can be increased to 31 billion cubic meters.

    It is planned to commission TANAP in 2018. The project's cost is estimated at $10-11 billion.

    Currently, SOCAR legally holds 70 percent of share in the TANAP project, while Turkey's Botas owns 30 percent share. The procedure of legal execution of the transaction on purchasing 12 percent of SOCAR's share in the TANAP project by BP will be completed by late 2014.

    Subsequently, the shareholders of the TANAP will be as follows: SOCAR - 58 percent, Botas - 30 percent and BP - 12 percent.

    The TAP project was selected by the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development as the transportation route to the European markets. The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.

    Construction of TAP is planned to begin in 2016. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year.

    The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field, which has proven reserve of 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, was signed on June 4, 1996.

    About 9.8 billion cubic meters of gas and 2.48 million metric tons of condensate (19.6 million barrels) were produced at the Shah Deniz field in 2013, compared to 7.73 billion cubic meters of gas and 2 million metric tons of condensate in 2012.

    The shareholders are: BP, operator (28.8 percent), Statoil (15.5 percent), NICO (10 percent), Total (10 percent), Lukoil (10 percent), TPAO (9 percent) and SOCAR (16.7 percent). These percentages include the recent purchases of equity from Statoil by BP and SOCAR.

    Earlier, Total has entered into an agreement to sell its interest in Shah Deniz to TPAO. After the transaction is over, the share of the latter in the project will be 19 percent.

    Moreover, Norway's Statoil company has sold its 15.5-percent share in the Shah Deniz project to the Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas. The transactions on the sale and purchase of the shares haven't been completed yet.

    Edited by CN

    --

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    9
  • Where in the world is Azerbaijan?
    19.12.2014 15:21
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138029.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138029.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijani scientists in consultation with international institutions and experts on the matter have concluded after heavy studies that at least 12 percent of the country is located in Europe.

    "The border of Europe and Asia passes through Azerbaijan,'' said Ramiz Mammadov, the Director of the Geography Institute of ANAS said at a conference on December 17.

    He noted that many scientists and experts around the world have discovered that the border between Europe and Asia in Caucasus lies not along the Kuma'"Manych Depression, but along the Great Dividing Range further on the Absheron Peninsula. This will allow the country to be recognized as European along Russia (23 percent) and Turkey (3 percent).

    The border between Europe and Asia was marked during the IGUв's 20th conference, which was held in London in 1964. Earlier in 2013, Mammadov said that the international scientific and geographical rules were not taken into account when the borders were determined. In particular, the watershed of the Greater Caucasus Mountains and other natural and geographical factors were not considered and the border was arbitrarily drawn through the center of the Kuma-Manych Depression.

    The boundary that separates Europe and Asia originates in the Black Sea, goes through the watershed of the Greater Caucasus, Dubrar Mountains, the northern part of the Absheron Peninsula and beyond -- across the Caspian Sea, connecting with the line which was suggested by Russian and Kazakh scientists. Then it crosses the Magistau Peninsula in Kazakhstan, along the eastern foothills of the Ural Mountains and then links to the border in the Arctic Ocean.

    Mammadov also stressed that it is necessary to adopt a range of measures for the positive solution of this issue. At first we should discuss and then implement them via the International Geographical Union (IGU).

    Javid Abdullayev, the Head of the of Geo-location and Information Technology Department of the State Committee for Land and Cartography suggested to implement some multidisciplinary research as well as to establish a joint commission of the State Committee and ANAS.

    Rashid Fataliyev, a PhD in Geological and Mineralogical Sciences and the deputy head of the petrochemicals department at the Cabinet of Ministers, who firstly raised the issue, noted that it will be appropriate to consider the Great Dividing Range as the border between the two continents.

    ''After approval of the issue by the IGU, the border will be clarified and this information will be included in the whole textbooks, encyclopedia and maps,'' Fataliyev underlined.

    He also added that Prime Minister Artur Rasizada is informed on the issue. He has ordered the relative officials to adopt appropriate measures.
    14
  • Exchange rate of AZN compared to world currencies on Dec.19
    19.12.2014 15:15
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138027.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138027.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azercosmos JSC has signed an agreement with MTV Lebanon, a leading television station in Lebanon and Central East.

    Based on the agreement, the companyв's programs will be broadcast via Azerspace-1 satellite.

    "MTV Livan" is the first Lebanese TV channel which will be broadcasted via satellite of Azerbaijan. The satelliteв's resources will pave the way for broadcasting "MTV Lebanon" programs in the countries of the Persian Gulf, Central East, North Africa and Europe.

    This cooperation is very important for ''Azercosmos'', as it gives the company an opportunity to enter Lebanon telecommunication market.

    As part of the agreement, the "MTV Lebanon" company entrusted the management of its mobile TV station and satellite Uplink-channel to Azercosmos.

    As the only satellite operator in the Caucasus, Azerkosmos provides satellite resources with telecommunication services, digital broadcasting and VSAT networks.

    Azerspace-1 satellite, launched into orbit in February 2013, is on the position of 46 degrees east longitude, and its signal covers the territory of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

    Some 80 percent of the satellite's resources are available for commercial purposes. Currently, Azerspace-1 broadcasts cover 120 TV and Radio channels. The TV content is available when satellite antennas configured with 11,169 MHz frequency, 20,400 speed, Horizontal and FEC - 5/6 polarization.

    Azerspace-1's term of exploitation in the orbit will remain legal for up to 15 years. Baku is expected to earn $500-600 million by operating the satellite.

    Azerbaijanв's space agency Azercosmos also jointly uses the low-earth-orbit satellites SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 together with the French company "Airbus Defence and Space".

    Each of these satellites is capable of daily surveying an Earth's surface area up to three million square kilometers.
    5
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