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Azerbaijan to render financial assistance to Afghanistan
17.01.2013 13:06
Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided $150 000 financial aid to Afghanistan within the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Baku office told.

The funds allocated by the Azerbaijani government will be used for application of e-governance methods as a pilot. It is directly related with Azerbaijan`s successful e-governance experience.

"The future of Afghanistan has a special importance for both global security and stability; Azerbaijan actively supports the fraternal-Afghan people in solution of the country's problems," said UN Baku office.

President Ilham Aliyev`s speech made in May in the NATO Summit in Chicago also underlines this.
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  • Azerbaijan and Albania to discuss TAP
    18.12.2014 12:59
    On December 18-20, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev will pay an official visit to Albania to discuss energy cooperation.According to Energy Ministry, Aliyev is expected to meet with Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri.They will discuss current relations, TAP, as well as ...
  • Baku 2015 European Games branding receives international recognition
    19.12.2014 10:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19Trend:Baku 2015 European Games has been recognised for its exceptional new branding by a major international design website.Design Week has named the new look of the inaugural European Games which was launched in August as one of the biggest rebrands of 2014 alongside severa...
  • EU to revise sanctions on Russia next spring
    19.12.2014 07:19
    The European Union will discuss revision of its sanctions regime against Russia in the spring next year, a European diplomat told TASS on Friday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels, adding that tougher sanctions against Russia were not on the bloc's agenda at present."The revision of t...
  • Pentagon: US-led coalition eliminates Islamic State senior leaders
    19.12.2014 04:15
    Numerous senior leaders of the Islamic State (IS) have been destroyed during the US-led coalition airstrikes, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated."I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic ...
  • Ilham Aliyev attended a ceremony to inaugurate the fast crew boat after Muslim Magomayev
    18.12.2014 23:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18Trend:A ceremony to inaugurate the fast crew boat after People's Artists of the USSR, world-renowned singer Muslim Magomayev has been held.President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his wife Mehriban Aliyeva and spouse of Muslim Magomayev, People's Artists...
  • Ex-US co-chairs of MG OSCE, James Warlick mull Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    18.12.2014 17:50
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18By Jamila Jafarova - Trend:Former US co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Carey Cavanaugh and Bob Bradtke, discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with James Warlick, the current US co-chairman, according to a message on Warlick's Twitter page.The conflict between the two ...
  • Meeting of National Commissions and Committees for UNESCO of TURKSOY member states kicks off in Baku
    18.12.2014 17:44
    The traditional (fifth) meeting of the National Commissions and Committees for UNESCO of TURKSOY member states has today kicked off in Baku.The event is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of establishment of National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO.Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elm...
  • Azerbaijanв's great leader believed scholars to be social strata requiring special attention '" Leyla Aliyeva
    18.12.2014 17:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18Trend:The book "Dialogue of cultures: social, political and value aspects" has been released in Moscow.The book has been prepared for printing by the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Azerbaijani National A...
  • Ilham Aliyev at comissioning ceremony of 'Muslim Magomayev'
    18.12.2014 17:19
    The symbolic ribbon was cut by Tamara Sinyavskaya.The ceremony of commissioning of the ship, named after the USSR People's Artist Muslim Magomayev, was held on December 18.Oxu.Az reports with reference to APA that the ceremony was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehr...
  • President Aliyev receives Secretary General of Socialist International
    18.12.2014 16:04
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Secretary General of the Socialist International Luis Ayala.Secretary General of the Socialist International Luis Ayala said he is pleased to be visiting Azerbaijan to attend the 25th jubilee conference of the Azerbaijani Social Democratic Party. He ...
  • "With love from sunny Azerbaijan'' event due in Brussels
    19.12.2014 11:50

    By Amina Nazarli

    The opening ceremony of the exhibition titled "Avec amour de Azerbaidjan ensoleille" (With love from sunny Azerbaijan" will be held in Brussels, Belgium on January 21.

    To be co-organized by the Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Ministry and Azerbaijani embassy in the country, the exhibition will run till February 20.

    The event will feature the works of more than twenty young artists. Created by oil paints, gouache, and other techniques with a different manner, the works are represented in classicism to impressionism and modernism styles.

    The exhibition earlier traveled to Bulgaria, France, Austria, UK, Italy, Hungary and Switzerland.
  • OIC monitors preparation for parliamentary election in Uzbekistan
    19.12.2014 11:50
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec. 19

    By Demir Azizov - Trend:

    An observer mission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) began its activity as part of monitoring the parliamentary election in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek CEC told Trend Dec. 19.

    The mission was headed by Director of the OIC Department of Political Affairs Ali Abolhassani.

    The mission included the representatives of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Palestine and other countries.

    The OIC has been monitoring the election in member-states since 2006. The OIC mission observed the election in Azerbaijan, Algeria, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia and other countries from 2006 to 2014, as well as in Uzbekistan in 2009.

    It was previously reported that the election to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis (lower house of the Uzbek parliament) is to take place on December 21.

    Currently, the mission of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the observers' mission from CIS are operating in Uzbekistan. Moreover, observers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will join them soon.

    Additionally, the CEC has registered around 300 observers from almost 40 countries. Over 340 representatives of the national and foreign media outlets will take part in covering the elections.

    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).

    Each of them nominated 135 MP candidates in accordance with the number of electoral districts.

    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 December 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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  • Christmas celebration in Baku
    19.12.2014 11:41

    By Nigar Orujova

    Officially Azerbaijan does not celebrate Christmas. However, between the official and the unofficial lays a world of difference. And what a difference. As the month of December begins, Baku begins to slowly and gently transform itself. Decorative lights begin to make their first appearances, as do Christmas trees and Christmas carols.

    From Bakuв's shopping malls to neighborhood supermarkets, it becomes impossible not to notice the gentle metamorphosis that Baku takes on.

    The city takes on a magical air of festivity and suddenly everyone old and young start believing in miracles.

    Foreigners living in the capital city tend to go back on Christmas Eve to their home countries, but some want to spend this wonderful time in Baku.

    There is no Christmas without Christmas tree, decorations and gifts. For all these, you should head to both cozy markets and big stores. The flower shops are now full of Christmas trees of all the possible size, from tiny trees that can stand on a table, to the two-meter high beauty.

    Here you can also find decoration both for the tree and the house. Moreover, the decoration can be found in the holiday fairs around the city.

    Gifts for any taste and at any price are also still available, but hurry up if you want to buy something special.

    You can also brighten the mood for this vivid holiday by visiting the Cold Hands Warm Heart charity fair, which is underway on Fountain Square. Here you can also buy presents, enjoy music and tasty baking with hot drinks.

    To visit the Christmas Eve Church Service you should come to the Church of the Virgin Maryв's Immaculate Conception located in Khatai district of Baku near Khatai metro station, at Orujev st. 2A. Services are administered here in three languages, Azerbaijani, English and Russian.

    Stay tight about the place to spend the holiday, if you do not want to deal with cooking. A number of high-class restaurants offer Christmas dinners nights now. There you can feel yourself at home while eating the delicious food and enjoying live music.

    Visit Fairmont Baku located at the gorgeous Flame Towers for Yuletide cheer. Christmas Eve dinner for family and friends may be celebrate in the hotelв's Le Bistro restaurant, in relaxed French style with a four course meal and festive live music from 59 manats per person. Christmas Day dinner also available at Alov Steakhouse and Jazz with four-course meal for 85 manats. For reservation and more information you can call: 99 412 565 48 48.

    Excelsior Hotel Baku also supports the holiday spirit with a Christmas Dinner at Belvedere Restaurant. The warm ambience of this place in along with four-course dinner, live Christmas music and non limited local vine and juices, all these for 49 manats per person, will make you day pleasant and memorable. For reservation call the hotel at: 99 412 496 80 00.

    With all these precautions, you will not miss the spirit of Christmas even in the heart of the southern country.
  • UN to enhance health system in Ebola-hit countries
    19.12.2014 11:36
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for concentrated efforts to enhance the health system of the West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

    "We must think carefully about how to strengthen the healthcare systems of the countries in the region to withstand future outbreak of infectious diseases," Ban told a joint news conference with Ghanaian President John Mahama in Accra late Thursday.

    "The UN will stand with the people in region until such time that we make sure that there is no such cases," he vowed. "We must make sure that the last case of Ebola should be identified and treated and eliminated. "

    Ban urged leaders of other African countries to join the UN in the crusade to help restore the healthcare system of the Ebola-hit countries.

    He expressed satisfaction with efforts exerted by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to help contain the outbreak.

    The UN chief made a brief stop in Accra before visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali to assess the Ebola situation.

    In recent months,Ebola'" a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure '" has killed 6,915 people, mostly in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

    The deadly virus has claimed 3,290 lives in Liberia, 2,085 in Sierra Leone and 1,525 in Guinea.


    WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who is accompanying the UN chief in his regional tour, reaffirmed resolve to assist both affected and unaffected countries.

    "We are also equally mindful of countries that have not yet been affected like in the case of Ghana and we will support you to make sure you are prepared," she said.

    Ghana, which has not recorded any Ebola case, is currently hosting the United Nations Mission forEbolaEmergency Response (UNMEER).

    It serves as a control and command station for the deployment and monitoring of the situation in the affected West African neighbors.

    President Mahama, for his part, reiterated his call for countries of the world to sh un stigmatization of West Africans due to theEbola epidemic.

    He commended airlines that have restored flights to the hitherto isolated countries.

    "Air Ivoire is flying regular flights into the three countries now and many airlines have resumed [their flights]," said Mahama, who is also the current chairman of ECOWAS.

    "I think that with the assistance of UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the national governments, they have put in stronger screening procedures and so it makes it possible for airlines to feel confident that they can fly into these countries without any fear," he noted.
  • Ambassador of Peru appointed to Azerbaijan
    19.12.2014 11:31
    Baku , Azerbaijan , Dec. 19

    By Jamila Jafarova - Trend:

    An Ambassador of Peru to Turkey Jorge Enrique Abarca Del Carpio has simultaneously been appointed to Azerbaijan as well, according to the Supreme Resolution published in El Peruano (Peruvian Official Daily).

    The document indicates that the ambassador will stay in the residence in Ankara, Turkey. Credentials and full powers have been issued in accordance with "Law on Diplomatic Service" and its Regulations approved by Supreme Decree Nordm; 130-2003-RE.

    The credentials have also been submitted for the affirmative vote of the Council of Ministers.

    The Supreme Resolution was signed by President of Peru Ollanta Humala Tasso and Foreign Affairs Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez Reinel.

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  • Teenager commits suicide in Baku
    19.12.2014 11:04
    A teenager committed suicide in Baku yesterday, Pirallahi District Police Department told APA.

    District resident Rzayev Nijat Alibala, born in 2000, hanged himself in his house. The causes of the suicide are not known.

    The Police also said that Nijat was the 8th grade student at the secondary school No231.

    Khazar District Prosecutor's Office is investigating the case.
  • Elton John and David Furnish are getting married
    19.12.2014 10:59
    Elton John and David Furnish will tie the knot at the weekend, following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Britain. A spokesperson for the couple, who have been together for more than two decades and are parents to sons Zachary and Elijah, confirmed that they would marry in a private ceremony.

    Same-sex couple have been able to marry in Britain since March; previously they could form civil partnerships, which carried the same legal status as marriage but without the title.

    Elton, 67, and David, 52, entered into a civil partnership in December 2005, which they celebrated with a star-studded reception in Windsor, attended by stars including David and Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

    In March, shortly the legalisation of same-sex marriage came in, Elton confirmed to Matt Lauer that the couple were planning a quiet wedding, and that their children would be present.

    "For this legislation to come through is joyous and we should celebrate it," Elton said. "We shouldn't just say, 'Oh well, we have a civil partnership, we're not going to bother to get married'."

    In a separate interview around the same time, David confirmed to Attitude magazine that the couple would tie the knot. "Elton and I will marry," he said. "As a high-profile couple, we feel it is our duty to do it to make sure that everyone knows this is something that many gay men living in this country never dreamed would happen."

    Elton and David first met in 1993. Their son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born via surrogate in December 2010, followed by Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John in January 2013.
  • AZERNEWS releases another print issue
    19.12.2014 10:55
    A new print edition of the AZERNEWS online newspaper was released on December 19.

    The new edition includes articles about the possibility of the realization of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline, expert view on Germany's involvement in OSCE Minsk Group, desperate situation of human rights in Armenia, toys and their role in children's development, as well as Christmas celebrations in Baku and etc.

    AZERNEWS is an associate member of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

    The online newspaper is available at www.azer
  • Probable German help in solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    19.12.2014 10:45

    By Sara Rajabova

    The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is finally moving ahead '" albeit at a typical slow European bureaucratic pace on the question of Nagorno-Karabakh. After 20 years of no progress at all, the Minsk Group, tasked within the organization with finding a solution to the two decade old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh has finally decided to inch ahead progressing from ''no progress at all'' to a more aggressive stance of ''mulling it over.'' With any luck, this next step will see another generation of bureaucrats accomplishing little more than collect their salaries.

    Yet all is not lost in the next phase which will include yet more bureaucrats from the European Union, with Germany being added as a new co-chair. Germanyв's inclusion comes at the detriment of Turkey, who some experts considered would make a good candidate.

    The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan said Washington highly appreciated Germanyв's participation in the consultations of OSCE Minsk Group members.

    ''We see great value in exchanging ideas with Minsk Group members, to include Germany as OSCE Minsk Group member, on moving the peace process forward,'' the embassy toldВ TrendAgency on December 17. An embassyв's spokesperson added that the U.S. was looking forward to resumption of talks early next year.

    Elman Nasirov, political expert and Director of the Institute of Political Studies of the Academy of Public Administration said the Minsk Group aims to win the support of the German government in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as the mediation function of the co-chairs is not efficient.

    He stated that there was hope that Germanyв's involvement in this process would inject new momentum to the talks.

    ''It seems that Germanyв's cooperation with the permanent members of the UN Security Council in P5 1 format in the negotiations over Iranв's nuclear energy programhas not escaped the notice of the co-chairs,'' Nasirov said.

    The expert, however, noted that Germanyв's involvement in the conflict resolution couldnв't be effective for some reasons.

    Germanyв's preference, however, seems to gravitate more towards settling the Ukraine crisis rather than look into the South Caucasus conflict.

    Nasirov said Germanyв's preference to settle the Ukraine crisis rather than Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as part of its post-soviet policy, extremely limits co-chairmenв's hopes in Berlin.

    ''It could be predicted that currently Germanyв's cooperation with the Minsk Group co-chairs will not serve to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It will serve to the 'mediation between mediatorsв' for the sake of reconciliation,'' Nasirov said.

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

    Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. However, the negotiations have been largely fruitless so far despite the efforts of the co-chair countries for over 20 years.

    Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories.
  • Turkish ex-presidentв's son establishes party
    19.12.2014 10:44
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkish ex-President Turgut Ozal's son Ahmet Ozal created a new political party, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported Dec. 19.

    The new party is called "ANA Parti". Its activity will be based on the ideas of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk.

    Currently, there are 76 political parties in Turkey. Only four of them are represented in the parliament, namely, the Justice and Development Party, Republican People's Party, National Action Party and the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party.


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  • Miners on strike in Turkey
    19.12.2014 10:39
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The miners are on strike in the Turkish province of Zonguldak, the Turkish TRT Haber TV channel said Dec. 19.

    The protests are being staged because of some dismissals of workers in several mines. The number of dismissed people has not been publicized.

    On Dec. 18 over 400 miners locked themselves in the mines, demanding the dismissed workers to be re-employed.

    There are 740 coal mines and 48,706 miners in Turkey.


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  • Baku 2015 European Games branding receives international recognition
    19.12.2014 10:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19


    Baku 2015 European Games has been recognised for its exceptional new branding by a major international design website.

    Design Week has named the new look of the inaugural European Games which was launched in August as one of the biggest rebrands of 2014 alongside several other high-profile companies.

    The brand was developed by Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committees' design team alongside renowned agency SomeOne, based in London.

    "I would like to congratulate everyone who worked on the rebrand, which is already immediately identifiable with the inaugural European Games and has also brightened up the city streets here in Baku," Mr Simon Clegg, Baku 2015 Chief Operating Officer, said.

    "The recognition by Design Week is a great achievement and helps to raise awareness of the European Games around the world."

    Inspired by the natural beauty of Baku, the striking rebrand will feature on venues, tickets, uniforms and all official merchandising of the inaugural European Games.

    Central to the new brand is the pomegranate tree, which symbolises unity in Azerbaijani folklore. Interwoven with the branches of the tree are historical symbols of the country's heritage and culture, along with eye-catching pictograms of the different sports and disciplines.

    "The colourful brand is central to the marketing activity that will help to promote the European Games globally," Mr Charlie Wijeratna, Commercial Director of Baku 2015, said.

    "We are very proud of our work that is already recognised instantly as being innovative and representative of Baku 2015."

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  • Turkmenistan to purchase aircraft for local airlines
    19.12.2014 10:34
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Dec. 19

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    Turkmenistan held an international monitoring of aviation equipment to purchase new aircraft for local airlines, the Turkmen government said in a message.

    The message also said necessary measures are taken to bring the air harbors in Turkmenistan's regions, including the ones in the Atamyrat city of the Lebap region and the Garabogaz city of the Balkan region, in line with international standards.

    Turkmenistan Airlines is actively using Boeing liners for international and domestic flights, while the outdated Soviet-style aircraft are put on sale.

    At a recent government meeting, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said the Turkmen aviators will further be able to expand the regular international passenger transportations and increase the frequency of flights on existing routes.

    Edited by SI

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  • Estonian FM to visit Georgia
    19.12.2014 10:29
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Estonian Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus will pay an official visit to Georgia Dec. 19, the Georgian foreign ministry told Trend.

    Georgia is the first country, after a number of the Baltic countries and Scandinavia, to be visited by Estonia's new minister.

    "We consider this visit as an expression of Estonia's special support and solidarity with Georgia," the speaker of the Georgian foreign ministry David Kereselidze said.

    During the visit, Pentus-Rosimannus will meet with the Georgian president, prime minister and foreign minister.

    The sides will discuss bilateral relations and European integration of Georgia.

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  • Kazakhstan's parliament passes law on accession of Armenia to EAEC
    19.12.2014 10:29
    Parliament of Kazakhstan passed a law on accession of Armenia to EAEC, reports citing RIA Novosti.

    Senate (upper house) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan at the plenary session on Friday passed a law "On ratification of the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Armenia to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union of 29 May 2014," the agency "Novosti-Kazakhstan" say.

    According to the Senate Committee on Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development, the law designed to implement the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Armenia to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed by the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in Minsk on 10 October 2014.

    "From the date of entry into force of Armenia becomes a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and takes on obligations under the contract. The adoption of the bill would allow Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union to create the conditions for further development of economic integration in order to improve the living standards of their people," conclusion of the relevant committee says.

    According to the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia turnover makes $ 7.7 mln. Kazakhstan opens the possibility of expanding cooperation with Armenia in metallurgy, agriculture and construction.

    Treaty on the EAEC was signed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29 this year in Astana, the document comes into force on 1 January 2015.
  • Armenian armed forces violate ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 40 times in a day
    19.12.2014 10:19
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Over the past 24 hours, the Armenian armed forces 42 times violated the ceasefire on various parts of the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Dec. 19.

    On that day, Armenian armed forces located in the villages of Aygepar and Aygedzor of Armenia's Berd district, opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in the villages of Alibayli and Munjuglu in the Tovuz district.

    Armenian armed forces located in the village of Berkaber of Armenia's Ijavan district, opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in the village of Gizilhajili in the Gazakh district.

    Armenian armed forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani positions located near the villages of Yusifjanli, Shikhlar, Sarijali, Marzili, Shuraabad, Novruzlu of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino of the Khojavand district, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli of the Fizuli district and Mehdili of the Jabrayil district.

    The Azerbaijani armed forces were fired at from the nameless heights in the districts of Fuzuli, Goranboy and Khojavand.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

    Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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  • Armenians violate ceasefire
    19.12.2014 10:18
    Armenian armed forces have violated ceasefire 42 times.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to sources in the Defense Ministry that Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions in Munjuhlu and Alibeyli villages of Tovuz from their posts in Aygedzor and Aygepar villages of the Berd region of Armenia and at Azerbaijani positions in Gyzylhajili village of Gazakh from their posts in the Berkaber village of Ijevan.

    In addition, Azerbaijani positions were subjected to fire from positions near Yusifjanly, Shikhlar, Merzili, Sarijaly, Shuraabad, Novruzlu villages of Agdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashaghy Seyidahmadli villages of Fizuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil, as well as from positions on nameless heights of Khojavand, Fizuli and Jabrayil regions.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
  • Pakistan military: 32 militants killed in ambush
    19.12.2014 10:10
    The Pakistani military says it has killed 32 militants in an ambush in the country's rugged northwest, AP reported.

    In a statement Friday the military said the militants were moving through the Tirah Valley of the Khyber region to the border with Afghanistan when they were targeted by Pakistani forces.

    The military said three of its forces were wounded in the incident.

    This comes on top of an earlier announcement by the military that it killed 27 militants in air strikes and ground operations in the Khyber area.

    The operations come days after the massacre Tuesday of 148 people - most of them children - in a school by Taliban militants.

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  • Victoria Beckham reveals the Beckham's Christmas plans
    19.12.2014 10:05
    18 DECEMBER 2014 Victoria Beckham has opened up about her and husband David Beckham's plans for the Christmas period, revealing that she hopes to see the new West End production of Cats, and how her young daughter, Harper, will be visiting the ballet for the first time.

    "This year has been so busy with the London shop opening, there hasn't been the time for theatre visits," recalled Victoria, before adding: "I did take Harper to sing-along Frozen, which she loved.

    Speaking to the Evening Standard at last week's Evening Standard Theatre Awards Victoria revealed that it will be a fun Christmas for young fashion icon Harper, who will be visiting the ballet for the first time.

    "David and I are also taking Harper to the ballet over Christmas. I remember, as a girl, loving the story of The Nutcracker", said Victoria.

    Victoria also told the paper that she is hoping to catch Nicole Scherzinger in the newly-opened production of Cats, adding: "I'm looking forward to seeing Cats - I studied it at musical college and I know every word to every song.

    "I went to see the original London production, which was fabulous."

    Victoria and David stepped out together at the awards despite having been involved in a car accident just the day before. London's power couple were dashing as they graced the red carpet to pose together.

    Davidwas dapper in a navy suit with black lapels and matching black bow tie, while Victoria, who stayed close to her husband throughout the evening, opted for one of her own designs with a strapless two-tone black longline gown.
  • Putin praises ErdoДџan as '˜tough manв' for defying EU over pipeline decision
    19.12.2014 09:43
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan as a ''tough man,'' praising him for not being intimidated by a potential Western reaction against Russiaв's decision to scrap the South Stream gas pipeline in favor of replacing it with a route through Turkey.

    Putin surprised European countries during a visit to the Turkish capital Ankara on Dec. 1, when he announced that Moscow was scrapping the South Stream gas pipeline that was set to pass through Bulgaria, citing EU objections as the reason. He said Russia would instead build a gas hub at the border between Turkey and Greece to pump gas to southern Europe, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    Speaking at his annual end-of-the year news conference on Dec. 18, the Russian president said he was aware that Europe would be infuriated by the decision and claimed to have asked ErdoДџan to keep the deal confidential "for now."

    However, he said, the Turkish president refused to keep the decision under wraps, in defiance of any potential criticism.

    "I had no doubt [about Europe's reaction]. I told ErdoДџan, lsquo;Maybe we shall keep the deal we reached a secret for now, not disclose it. Let's not anger the Europeans. But ErdoДџan is tough guy and he explained to me that we had not stolen anyone's possession and hiding it was unnecessary," Putin said.

    Pipeline decision lsquo;depends on Europe'

    Speaking of the pipeline issue, Putin said there is "no safer or more reliable route than the pipeline that will pass through Turkey."

    When asked about whether using Turkish territories for building a gas hub makes Russia more dependent on the country, Putin claimed this was already a pre-planned decision and setbacks in the South Stream line had diverted Russia's direction towards Turkey.

    "Everyone depends on each other in this world. We already had a plan to build a southbound pipeline for years. Turkey is one of our most reliable partners hellip; When the South Stream hit a rough patch, as an emerging economy Turkey demanded more gas from us. Responding to this request positively, we decided to divert the new pipeline toward Turkey. I'm glad we did. This way, primarily Turkey will be getting the gas it needs from us," he said.

    The Russian president also asserted that the organization of a new European gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece now depended on Europe.

    "To a large extent, this depends on our European counterparts. Would they like to have stable, absolutely guaranteed, risk-free energy supplies from Russia, which they need? If so, we shall be working, and via Greece we may reach Macedonia, and further Serbia, and then to go again to Baumgartner in Austria. If they are not interested, we shall not do so," he said.

    Cooperation with Turkey

    On the issue of European calls for Turkey to join Western sanctions against Moscow, Putin reiterated his commitment to enhancing his country's cooperation with Turkey.

    "We have many common interests with Turkey over regional issues. Therefore we are determined to develop our relations with Turkey and we will," he said.
  • Georgian parliamentary autumn session to close Dec. 19
    19.12.2014 09:39
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 19

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The autumn session of the Georgian parliament will be closed in the format of the bureau Dec. 19.

    A decision was made at the bureau's meeting. An extraordinary meeting will not be convened this week. Therefore, the autumn session of the Georgian supreme legislative body will end by the bureau's meeting.

    The extraordinary sessions will be held next week. The MPs will finalize the initiated bills by late December.

    An extraordinary session of the parliament is convened by the president.

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  • US will not support Palestinian draft UN resolution
    19.12.2014 09:34
    The United States will not support a draft resolution submitted to the UN that demands Israel's withdrawal from Palestinian lands, according to a US official Anadolu agency reported

    "We have seen the draft of the resolution in the UN Security Council and it is not something that we would support," said Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman.

    The draft submitted Wednesday night by Jordan to the Security Council, sets a deadline of 2017 for the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from land it seized in 1967.

    Palestinian-American diplomat Riyad H. Mansour, the Permanent Observer for Palestine to the UN, said despite the position of the US, the effort will continue in order to get the Security Council to adopt language to move forward.

    "We will continue negotiating with all of them and with the Americans if they are ready and willing so that we perhaps can succeed in having something adopted by the Security Council to open a serious door to peace," he said.

    The draft resolution further seeks "a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution [to the conflict] that brings an end to the Israeli occupation."

    Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the draft an "act of aggression."

    The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

    Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state - a move never recognized by the international community.

    Palestinians want a state of their own in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel, as its capital.

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  • Baku State University signs agreements with Dagestan and Tbilisi universities
    19.12.2014 09:24
    Baku State University (BSU) has today signed cooperation agreements with Dagestan and Tbilisi state universities, AzerTag reports.

    The documents were signed by BSU rector, academician Abel Maharramov, rector of Dagestan State University, professor Murtazali Rabadanov and rector of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, academician Vladimer Papava.

    The agreements will see the universities carry out student and teacher exchange, and organize joint conferences and symposiums.
  • European Parliament approves EU-Georgia association deal
    19.12.2014 09:20
    The European Parliament gave its green light to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on Thursday.

    The deal will establish deep political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia, including the progressive opening up of their respective markets. The deal is the third in a new series of association agreements that the European Parliament has been asked to ratify, after those with Ukraine and Moldova. It was approved by 490 votes to 76, with 57 abstentions, AzerTag reports.

    "The European Parliament's ratification of the Association Agreement with Georgia has opened a new chapter in European Union relations with Georgia", said rapporteur Andrejs Mamikins. "Georgia has made significant progress in reforms and strengthening its relations with the EU. We welcome recent judicial reforms designed to strengthen Georgia's democratic institutions and support the efforts of Georgian society to achieve further democratisation. Although much work remains to be done, experience shows that Georgians prefer to solve their problems, not to avoid them. I think that Europe should now show its real solidarity with Georgia and its people", he added.

    The Parliament also notes that Georgia has made significant progress in reforms and that like any other European state, it has EU membership prospects if the conditions are met. However, it urges Georgia to consolidate the reforms, end selective and political use of justice and work towards a society of pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, solidarity and equality between women and men.
  • President signs decree
    19.12.2014 09:20
    State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage was established under Ministry of Culture and Tourism, APA reports.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has issued an order on establishment of State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage established under Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

    APA reports that according to the order, State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage has been established under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on the basis of United Management of Building Objects, its regulations has been confirmed.

    Upper limit on the number of employees of the Apparatus of the State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage is 23.
  • Bakcell opens new Customer Service Center in Nakhchivan
    19.12.2014 09:14
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19


    Bakcell - the First Mobile Operator and Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan, continues to expand its network of sales and service centers in the country's regions, in order to bring its services and products even closer to Customers. Thus, a new Customer Service Center and dealer store of Bakcell were opened yesterday at the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

    The opening ceremony was also attended by Ali Mikayilov, the deputy minister of Communications and New Technologies of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Expressing his congratulations to "Bakcell", Mr. Mikayilov has noted that he is very pleased to see the company's activities being expanded in Nakhchivan.

    "We have a regional development strategy to make our services and products more accessible for our subscribers living in different regions of Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan holds a special place amongst these regions. In particular, we've worked hard during the last six months, in order to expand our operations here. The results of the efforts are already visible: today we are opening a new service center and a dealer shop in Nakhchivan. Moreover, a mobile sales vehicle is starting to operate for the first time on the territory of the Autonomous Republic. We are witnessing how fast this region is developing, and Bakcell is very pleased to be a part of this development. I would like to thank all concerned organizations in Nakhchivan for showing us their special and valuable attention", said Mr. Fedja Hadzic, Chief Sales Officer of Bakcell.

    BakcellIM Sales and Customer Service Center offers full range of services for the subscribers at the address of Nakhchivan city, Tabriz street 1.

    Various gifts were presented to the guests, during the opening ceremony of the dealer shop, located at the address of Nakhchivan city, Heydar Aliyev avenue 37.

    During the opening ceremony, the guests were also introduced to Bakcell's mobile sales and service point, which is the first of its kind in Nakhchivan. The center is set up on the special vehicle and will provide services for the Bakcell subscribers on the whole territory of the Autonomous Republic. Within the frames of the campaign, the subscribers who acquire free of charge numbers with the DoДџmaCIN tariff from this mobile center will get a 30 minute bonus every month for a period of 6 months.

    It should be noted that DoДџmaCIN subscribers pay only 2 qepiks for a minute of on-net calls, and 4 qepiks for a minute of off-net calls.

    In addition, Sür@ Internet package for 3 months and free of charge Sür@ data card can be received for only 18 AZN under the terms of the campaign intended for Nakhchivan. Being committed to its "Get closer" philosophy, Bakcell will continue expanding its network of sales and service centers, in order to make its products and services even closer and more accessible for its customers.

    Bakcell, The First Mobile Operator and the Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan, offers a variety of products for modern mobile communications customers. Bakcell provides class leading 3G mobile internet experience in the country under the Sür@ brand name.

    As one of the largest national non-oil investors, Bakcell today continues making large investments in the economy of Azerbaijan through its investments in state-of-the-art telecommunication technology and its people who service our customers.

    Bakcell's network covers more than 99% of the population and 93% of the land area of the country (excluding occupied territories). Bakcell is a leader in innovation and it focuses on bringing the best of the mobile internet to Azerbaijanis through new partnerships and its Sür@ services.

    For more information about Bakcell products and services, please visit or call 555.For press releases please see (or for press releases in English).

    If you are not a Bakcell subscriber, but wish to find out about Bakcell and its services, please call 055 000 05 55.

  • Beijing clears debt to Tehran by financing Iranian projects
    19.12.2014 08:39
    Tehran, Iran, Dec. 16

    By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

    Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Chairman Asadollah Asgaroladi said that China has financed several Iranian projects.

    "We agreed to receive our money in the form of goods and finance," the official explained, Iran's Mizan News Agency reported on Dec. 16.

    "The country has no debt to us anymore, except for the goods," he said.

    "Bank of Industry and Mine, Parsian, and Pasargad banks are currently working in this regard," the official explained.

    In November 2013, Iran announced that about $30 billion of its oil revenues have been blocked by Chinese banks due to the sanctions imposed on Tehran's banking system.

    The two countries agreed over Chinese companies' financing of Iranian projects as an approach to return the blocked assets.

    In December 2013, Asgaroladi announced that the annual trade between Iran and China may reach $38 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2014).

    According to Iran Customs Administration, the country's total non-oil exports to foreign countries (excluding gas condensates) stood at $31.332 billion in previous year (which ended on March 20), while the country's

    total imports amounted to $50.818 billion.

    The figures mark annual trade balance of -19.486 billion dollars for Iran.

    Iran's annual trade turnover is projected to reach $160 billion by the end of the fifth five-year development plan (March 2016).

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  • Gas export against Iranв's interest
    19.12.2014 08:09
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    Former high-ranking Oil Ministry official believes that any gas export is against Iran's interest.

    Iran has the world's biggest has reserves, holding 33.6 trillion cubic meters, or 18 percent of global proved gas reserves, but has been suffering from gas shortage.

    Mahmood Khaghani, now retired, who has had over 33 years of service in senior international positions in the Iranian Oil Ministry, including as the head of the ministry's Caspian Sea and Central Asia Department told Trend Dec.18 that the first priority for Iran is developing the petrochemical sector, fed by natural gas to boost value-added products instead of exporting the raw gas. "Therefore, delivering gas to any country including Europe is not a serious matter, while there is not any real transport project on the table".

    Iran has about 135 million cubic meters of gas per day (mcm/d) export contracts with Iraq, Oman and Pakistan. The Middle Eastern country also exporting about 27 mcm/d of gas to Turkey, while itself suffers from gas shortage in winter.

    Khaghani who served as the director for energy, minerals and environment at the ECO Secretariat in 1996-2000 added that Iran currently hosts the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the regional ten states with 450 million population, including Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan with huge gas reserves.

    He said that during the third minstrel meeting of ECO (December 2008), the members of ECO decided to convert a part of their gas production to electricity and establish a power grid to export the power to other countries like Iraq, Syria, even EU.

    Khaghani added that exporting power is more profitable than exporting the raw natural gas.

    Currently, Iran exports about 8 billion KWh of electricity annually.

    "Unfortunately the present gas transferring projects are political-motivated plans," Khaghani said. The former oil ministry's top official said that EU should take part in Iran's upstream gas project and after producing the gas, it's their own option to choose whether they want to transfer this gas through pipeline to EU, or they want to produce LNG, etc. Iran shouldn't think of supplying its own produced gas to Europe.

    He said that Iran should also feed its gas to petrochemical units.

    Iran's petrochemical sector's capacity is about 60 million metric tons per annum, but Iran produced only 40 million tons of petrochemicals during the last fiscal year, ended on March 2014.

    Despite increasing the country's gas production by 15 percent during 2014, the output gas hasn't met the petrochemical units' needed gas feeds yet.

    The latest report about the country's petrochemical production level during the last eight months, indicate that Iran produced only 30 million metric tons of petrochemicals, due to shortage in gas feedstock.

    Iran increased gas production, a major feedstock for petrochemical units, by 75 million cubic meters per day (mcmpd) during 2014 -mostly after July- however, the internal consumption growth was in a high level that delivering more gas to petrochemical units remained approximately unchanged.

    Iran increased gas supply to the domestic sectors by 11 billion cubic meters (bcm) during first eight month of current fiscal year to 110.75 bcm, which of 39.525 bcm was supplied to power plants, indicates a 7.9- bcm increase, according to the National Iranian Gas Company's statistics. Then, Iran only increased about 3.1 bcm of gas supply to other sectors, including housing, industrial sectors, CNG plants, gas injections to old oil fields, etc.

    On the other hand, Iran's housing sector's gas consumption rose by 2.5 times since last month (compared to the last months in spring and summer) to above 365 mcmpd and is expected to reach 450 mcmpd in winter).

    Iran's gas production level in 2013 was around 485 mcmpd and with regarding a 75-mcmpd increase during 2014, the country's production is about 560 mcmpd. However, Iran is supplying 110 mcmpd of gas to the industrial sector, then the country wouldn't increase the petrochemical production level during winter and the final production likely would stand at 42 million metric tons in current fiscal year.

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

    Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

    Edited by CN

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  • EU to revise sanctions on Russia next spring
    19.12.2014 07:19
    The European Union will discuss revision of its sanctions regime against Russia in the spring next year, a European diplomat told TASS on Friday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels, adding that tougher sanctions against Russia were not on the bloc's agenda at present.

    "The revision of the sanctions regime against Russia will be considered at a European Council meeting in spring 2015," the diplomat said.

    "At this point, the current restrictive measures against individuals [blacklists of Russian and Ukrainian citizens] will expire, and it will be necessary to decide whether to extend the sanctions or revise them," he said, noting that "a lot will depend on practical steps to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine".

    The diplomat said the current recessionary financial trends in the Russian economy eliminated the possibility of new EU economic sanctions.

    "The deteriorating economic environment in Russia threatens EU countries with stagnation which could undermine their post-crisis recovery efforts," the diplomat said.

    "Under the worst-case scenario and if Russia declares default, European financial institutions will also sustain heavy losses which could have a knock-on effect. That is why new economic sanctions are out of the question," he added.

    At the same time, if the situation in Ukraine escalated again, the EU could expand its blacklist of individuals banning more Russian and Ukrainian nationals from entry to EU member states and freezing their European assets, the diplomat said.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • George Soros may be appointed head of National Bank of Ukraine
    19.12.2014 05:11
    Baku - APA. Famous American billionaire George Soros may be appointed head of the National Bank of Ukraine.

    APA reports that Ukraine's Channel 112 disseminated this information quoting sources in Verkhovna Rada and people around Petro Poroshenko.

    Former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is also named among the candidates for the post of head of the National Bank of Ukraine.

    There are currently 5 candidates. There are representatives of the U.S. Federal Reserve System among them.
  • Pentagon: US-led coalition eliminates Islamic State senior leaders
    19.12.2014 04:15
    Numerous senior leaders of the Islamic State (IS) have been destroyed during the US-led coalition airstrikes, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated.

    "I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant," Kirby said in a statement published Thursday.

    Kirby underscored that the loss of "key leaders" diminishes IS ability to command and supervise current operations against Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

    "The success of these airstrikes demonstrates the coalition's resolve in enabling the ISF to disrupt and degrade ISIL as they continue to regain control of their territory," Kirby concluded.

    The US-led international coalition, formed in September, has been performing airstrikes in Syria and Iraq in an effort to eliminate IS extremists.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Italy's president Napolitano announces retirement
    19.12.2014 02:54
    Giorgio Napolitano announced his retirement as Italian president Thursday before the expiry of his term in 2020, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Napolitano, 89, president himself confirmed his resignation which he said was because of his age.

    The octogenarian has been Italy's president for more than eight years. In 2013, he was elected as president for the second time.

    He was first elected to parliament in 1953. He previously served as Italy's speaker of the lower house of parliament and as interior minister.

    According to the IMF, Italy is the ninth-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in the EU.

    Politicians in the country have been publicly squabbling as the country's economic woes continue.

    Italy's unemployment rate increased to 12.7 percent in November 2013, up from 12.5 percent in October, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

    The institute's most recent data showed that the number of Italian families who lived in poverty was on the rise, while a record number of businesses filed for bankruptcy.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iranian army to use home-made military chopper in upcoming wargames
    19.12.2014 01:34
    Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari announced that the home-made military helicopter will be deployed in the upcoming military maneuvers codenamed 'Prophet Mohammad' (PBUH), IRNA reported.

    'The Iranian Ground Force will use its most up-to-date weapons in the upcoming maneuver,' Brigadier General Heidari said on Thursday.

    He noted that Zolfaqar and Samsam tanks as well as several armored vehicles will also be used in this maneuver.

    'Different kinds of anti-armored and anti-tank missiles as well as different air defense systems will be deployed in the Prophet Mohammad wargames,' Brigadier General Heidari said.

    He noted that the Iranian Ground Force will use its capabilities in electronic warfare in the upcoming military maneuvers.

    Prophet Mohammad drills will be held in a area covering the east of Strait of Hormuz to the southernmost of the Gulf of Aden from December 25 to December 31.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Russian Central Bank may limit currency exchange spreads for banks
    19.12.2014 00:54
    The Russian Central Bank may introduce limits on the spread between purchase and sale rates of foreign currencies for the country's banks to prevent speculations with retail clients seeking to exchange money, Deputy Chairman Mikhail Sukhov told reporters Thursday.

    "We will look at the duration and scale of this phenomenon. Any administrative measures have their pros and contras, but if we need to act harsher to freeze the enthusiasm, we will act this way," Sukhov said.

    The limit on the difference between a bank's currency purchase and sale rate was 15% until 2014 but since the measure was abolished, some banks set a spread of up to 10 rubles for currency exchange during periods of the fastest ruble weakening.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Ilham Aliyev attended a ceremony to inaugurate the fast crew boat after Muslim Magomayev
    18.12.2014 23:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18


    A ceremony to inaugurate the fast crew boat after People's Artists of the USSR, world-renowned singer Muslim Magomayev has been held.

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his wife Mehriban Aliyeva and spouse of Muslim Magomayev, People's Artists of the USSR Tamara Sinyavskaya attended the ceremony.

    Tamara Sinyavskaya cut the ribbon symbolizing the launch of the boat.

    Then Muslim Magomayev`s famous "Azerbaijan" song was performed.

    A picture was taken.

    President Ilham Aliyev reviewed the conditions created at the facility. Chairman of "Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company" CJSC Rauf Valiyev informed the head of state that the fast crew boat Muslim Magomayev was purchased under a long-term alliance agreement with Caspian Marine Services company. The length of the boat is 70m, width is 16m, and height of the side is 6m. It was built with lightweight marine-grade aluminium. The world's largest fast crew was constructed at Australian Incat Tasmania shipyard. Having completed sea trials, the boat departed to Baku on October 4. A corner reflecting photos of Muslim Magomayev was created at the facility. President Ilham Aliyev was told that the boat arrived in Baku port on December 4. The facility can carry 150 passengers.

    People's Artists of the USSR Tamara Sinyavskaya thanked President Ilham Aliyev for his attention to memory of Muslim Magomayev.

    President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the creative work of Muslim Magomayev, adding his memory will live forever in the hearts of the people of Azerbaijan.

    Tamara Sinyavskaya pushed the button to launch the boat.

    The new high-speed boat will allow operational efficiency over helicopter transfer for both passengers and cargo, while reducing stress on passengers.

    President Ilham Aliyev also reviewed the Lankaran towing-supply vessel. The vessel is 74.5m in length and 17.2m in width. The Lankaran towing-supply vessel is the leader in the Caspian Sea for its technical indicators. The tractive force of the 16,320-horsepower vessel is 207 tons.

    Then President Ilham Aliyev had a conversation with the captain of a vessel sailing in the Black Sea under Azerbaijani flag through a video conference.

    President Ilham Aliyev gave relevant instructions.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Kazakhstan to use port in China for intв'l transportations
    18.12.2014 21:29
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Dec. 18

    By Daniar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Kazakhstan wants to make maximum use of its port of Lianyungang in China with container trains travelling between China and Europe.

    A framework agreement, signed in Astana by the KTZ-Express JSC and the Lianyungang port, will be a basis for this.

    The agreement was inked following a meeting of the Kazakhstan-China Business Council to strengthen and improve international transportations via the new Eurasian continental transport corridor

    Samruk-Kazyna, a wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan, said the agreement stipulates arranging travels of container trains on a regular basis on the China-Europe and China-Central Asia routes with the Lianyungang port's direct participation, as well as the creation of favorable conditions for transportations and boosting transit.

    Under the agreement, the parties also intend to boost the capacity of the infrastructure of the Chinese-Kazakh logistics terminal Lianyungang and complete the construction of a railway siding adjacent to the terminal.

    "The parties also intend to develop joint cooperation in logistics and supply chain, and to carry out researches to explore the possibilities of transporting grain and other agricultural products," Samruk-Kazyna's message read.

    Aside from that, the sides agreed to take necessary measures for bringing cargoes to China/Southeast Asia-Central Asia/Europe, and reorientation of freight traffic from the existing sea routes to the port of Lianyungang.

    The Lianyungang port is located on the Yellow Sea.

    The Kazakh-Chinese Business Council was established at the instruction of the heads of the two countries in 2013.

    The council was created to further promote trade and economic cooperation, promotion and development of collaboration between Kazakhstan and China in various sectors of the economy.

  • Shell explosion kills three people in Iran
    18.12.2014 20:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    A shell exploded in the city of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's western province of Kermanshah, killing three members of one family, according to the website of Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA).

    Reportedly, the shell was left over from the Iran-Iraq war.

    The message quoted the MP from Sarpol-e Zahab, the member of the parliamentary commission on security and foreign policy, Fathollah Hosseini as saying that the explosion killed a woman and her two sons.

    "The shell was buried in the yard of their home. Another unexploded shell was found there," he said.

    Hosseini suggested inviting in this regard the ministers of defense and internal affairs to the parliament, so that they answered MPs' questions.

    "Back in 2012, it was announced that the territory of Sarpol-e Zahab was completely cleared of mines and shells. But, unfortunately, we are still witnessing such incidents. I sent letters to both ministries, saying that these agencies are responsible for such incidents," the MP said.

    The Iran-Iraq war lasted from 1980 to 1988 for the control of the strategically important strait between Iran and Iraq and the Shatt al-Arab river.

    The war ended in August 1988 as a result of a ceasefire.

    Land areas in Iranian provinces of Ilam (1,700 hectares), Khuzestan (1.3 million hectares), Kermanshah (691,000 hectares), Western Azerbaijan (59,000 hectares) and Kurdistan (1,480 hectares) were mined during the war.

    It was assumed that after the war around 16 million mines could remain in these areas.

    Iran has done a lot in recent years to clear the country of landmines.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter @JafarovTemkin

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Russia-Iran oil contract has a number of unsettled issues
    18.12.2014 18:54
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18


    Russia is sincerely aspiring for realization of an oil contract with Iran, but there is a set of problems, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said Dec. 18 at a press conference in Moscow, the RIA Novosti news agency said.

    Regarding Iran's nuclear program, the president noted that the Iranian leadership has shown flexibility in solving the nuclear issue.

    "We are very close to the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue," Putin added.

    The president further noted that he doesn't rule out his visit to Tehran.

    Edited by CN

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  • EU approves new Crimea sanctions
    18.12.2014 18:44
    The EU imposed additional sanctions Thursday on Crimea, banning all investment and restricting trade to force home the message the bloc will not recognise Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine territory.

    "The annexation is illegal and what we are doing is part of the non-recognition" policy, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said, calling on Russia to help end the Ukraine crisis which has cost more than 4,600 lives since Moscow seized Crimea in March.
  • Turkish FM calls for Palestinian state on 1967 borders
    18.12.2014 18:25
    A Palestinian state should be established as soon as possible within the 1967 borders, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, SIA reports quoting the AA.

    Cavusoglu, speaking after decorating the outgoing Palestinian ambassador in Ankara with outstanding service award, accused Israelв's ''aggressive and ugly attitude'' towards holy places in Palestine of bringing new chaos to the region.

    Israel briefly closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in October after an extremist rabbi was wounded in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.

    "There is no explanation that Palestinians were debarred from having the right to found their own state, when Israel got that right in 1948," Cavusoglu said, after giving Nabil Maarouf an award for outstanding service."

    The Turkish foreign minister said that Palestine has been passing through a hard period because of Israel's actions.

    Tension has been running high in the West Bank and Jerusalem since July when a total of 2,145 Palestinians '" mostly civilians '" were killed and thousands of residential homes and public facilities were totally or partially destroyed during Israel's 51-day military operation on the Gaza Strip.

    Palestine, which declared independence in 1988, unsuccessfully applied for UN membership in 2011; it became a UN non-member observer state in 2012.

    More than 130 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, despite objections by Israel.

    Palestinians aim to establish a state within pre-1967 war borders with a capital in East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel.

    ''We are sure that, sooner or later, with the support of Turkey and our Muslim brothers, the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital will be established'', Maarouf told reporters.

    Maarouf, who is due to leave Turkey after serving nine years as the Palestinian ambassador in Ankara, said that his work had been easy do thanks to Turkeyв's political and economic support.

    ''The Turkish government and Turkish people strongly support the Palestinian issue,'' he said, adding that Ankara had not ignored one of his requests while on duty.

    The ambassador thanked Turkey for its support in internationalizing the Palestinian issue: ''Today Europe is closer to Palestine; we are gaining friends,'' he said.

    The European Parliament voted Wednesday for a nonbinding resolution calling for recognition of Palestinian statehood to take place as a result of peace talks with Israel.

    The joint resolution backs "in principle" the recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution to the conflict.

    Separately, the EU General Court ruled on Wednesday that the decision to list Hamas on a 2001 terrorist list was not based on "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet."

    Despite the courtв's decision, the "the EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organization," European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.
  • Armenia sees growth in food prices
    18.12.2014 18:19
    Food prices are growing rapidly in Armenia.

    This was stated today by Armenian Prime Minister Ovik Abramyan at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, APA reports.

    He told Artak Shabonyan, chairman of the commission for the protection of economic competition, to keep him up to date about the prices of consumer goods on a daily basis.

    "A serious increase was seen yesterday in the prices of sugar, flour, and some other necessary products. Unfounded price increase is inadmissible," said O. Abramyan, adding that the changes in the foreign exchange market have affected the country's economy.
  • 'Prophet Muhammad's hair' to be delivered to Moscow for Muslim believers' worship
    18.12.2014 18:04
    Strands of hair said to be of the Prophet Muhammad will be brought to Moscow from southern Russia's Dagestan republic for Muslim believers' worship at a January 25 celebration of the spiritual leader's birth.

    The relic will be delivered by charter flight from Makhachkala to Crocus City Hall for celebrations of "Mavlid-an-Nabi", translated from Arabic as the "Prophet's birth". It comes to Moscow for the first time, escorted by Moscow Muslim Spiritual Department head Mufti Ildar Alyautdinov.

    Muhammad's birth is commemorated on the 12th day of every third consecutive month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, though the exact birth date is unknown. It was first celebrated 300 years after Islam was acknowledged as the Muslim religion and is chronicled in ancient writings.

    Celebrations are accompanied by mass prayers and readings of Muslim literature. By tradition, guests are invited to visit the homes of friends, hear readings of the prophet's life and give money to the poor.
  • Georgiaв's ex-president deprived of presidential passport
    18.12.2014 18:04
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili was deprived of the presidential passport.

    Saakashvili himself made the announcement Dec. 18 in Strasbourg.

    "I learned at an airline that my presidential passport was revoked, despite the fact that it is provided by the law to me until the end of my life," he said.

    Georgia's ex-president, Saakashvili, as well as the incumbent president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, attended Dec. 18 the voting on ratification of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU in the European Parliament.

    Saakashvili arrived in Strasbourg at an invitation of the European People's Party (EPP).

    Saakashvili left Georgia immediately after the inauguration of the new president, Margvelashvili, in November 2013, and since then hasn't returned to his homeland.

    Georgian prosecutor general's office indicted the ex-president in absentia in four criminal cases namely, the embezzlement of state funds for personal use, dispersal of a protest on Nov. 7, 2007, beating the MP Valery Gelashvili in 2005, and the murder of the employee of the United Bank of Georgia, Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

    Currently, Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia.

    Aside from that, the prosecutor general's office appealed to Interpol to declare Saakashvili internationally wanted.

    Edited by CN

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  • Georgia, European Parliament mull bilateral relations
    18.12.2014 18:04
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec.18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with Vice President of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki in Strasbourg, France on Dec.18.

    During the meeting, the sides focused on the bilateral cooperation issues and the plans for the period after ratification of the association agreement between EU and Georgia, Georgian Presidential Administration told Trend.

    They also discussed the ongoing reforms in Georgia and the obligations undertaken by the country in accordance with the association agreement.

    Czarnecki expressed support to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He emphasized the progress achieved by Georgia in the last period.

    Edited by CN

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  • Billionaire Niel to Buy Orange Switzerland for $2.9 Billion
    18.12.2014 17:59
    French billionaire Xavier Niel is to buy carrier Orange Switzerland for 2.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.9 billion), as he turns his attention back to Europe after a failed bid for T-Mobile US Inc.

    Nielв's NJJ Capital, a subsidiary of his private investment fund Kima Ventures, will buy the business from a group of funds advised by Apax Partners, according to a statement.

    With a net worth edging close to $8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index -- much of which consists of a controlling stake in French phone company Iliad SA -- Niel is seeking to diversify outside his home country. Iliad has transformed Franceв's telecommunications industry by slashing mobile fees, sparking a price war that has led to firings, restructuring and disposals at rivals such as SFR and Bouygues Telecom.

    Niel made an unsuccessful bid earlier this year to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom AG. Orange Switzerland, which bears the Orange brand but was sold by Franceв's Orange SA in 2012 to Apax, has 1.6 million customers.

    Swisscom AG , Switzerlandв's largest phone company, fell 5 percent in Zurich on speculation that Orange under Niel would mimic his aggressive French price cuts in the Alpine country of 8.1 million people.
  • Ex-US co-chairs of MG OSCE, James Warlick mull Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    18.12.2014 17:50
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

    By Jamila Jafarova - Trend:

    Former US co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Carey Cavanaugh and Bob Bradtke, discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with James Warlick, the current US co-chairman, according to a message on Warlick's Twitter page.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

    Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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  • Russia to oppose Azerbaijan in Europe, revive Nabucco
    18.12.2014 17:50
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.18

    By Aynur Gasimova - Trend:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time confirmed that Moscow intends to directly compete with the supplies of gas from Azerbaijan, and to revive the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which was previously planned for Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe and which was actively criticized by Moscow.

    Vladimir Putin said at the annual press conference Dec.18 that the creation of a gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece depends on Europe, and with its help Moscow could deliver its gas to Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and the Austrian Baumgarten.

    Greece and Southern Europe countries are now considered key priority markets for Azerbaijani gas, and the gas from the Shah Deniz field is planned to be delivered exactly to them.

    The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will go to Italy through Greece, Albania, was chosen for this purpose, and its branches will make it possible to supply gas to the countries formed after the collapse of Yugoslavia - Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia.

    The gas markets of these countries are so small that there is no place for two suppliers there. And if Russia enters this market with its gas, to put it mildly, the situation will become difficult.

    In his statement, the Russian president mentioned Baumgarten, Austria. This town is the end point of Nabucco project. It was designed for Azerbaijani gas supply through the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe.

    The Nabucco project concept envisages the construction of a 3,900-kilometer pipeline through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria's Baumgarten. Although this project was planned to stretch from the Turkish-Bulgarian border, it will not be difficult to supply gas there from the Turkish-Greek border, where Russia plans to create a gas hub.

    Despite that the consortium developing Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field, has not chosen Nabucco, the pipeline's intended route has not lost its relevance yet.

    Its major disadvantage for Azerbaijan was that the gas pipeline's capacity of 31 billion cubic meters per year exceeded the estimated volume of 10 billion cubic meters..

    As a result, two-thirds of the pipeline's capacity would have remained unused, while the attracted and spent funds would have to be returned from the full capacity of the gas pipeline.

    However, Russia doesn't have such a problem. The country is ready to deliver about 50 billion cubic meters of gas to the border of Turkey and Greece, and this volume will more than fill the estimated capacity of Nabucco.

    There is another problem however. Vladimir Putin said it himself - the issue of creating a gas hub depends on Europe.

    It depends on Europe - which earlier did everything possible to hack the "South Stream" to death - whether it wants to receive Russia's gas from Turkey or not. This is a great question.

    However, today, it is clear that some countries have already begun to put pressure on the EU from the inside.

    Thus, Bulgaria announced about the resumption of talks on the "South Stream".

    Apparently, Bulgaria wants to get additional preferences within the EU, since its negotiations with Russia alone will not bring any results.

    Although Russia still needs to develop the new gas pipeline project, find funds for financing it and reach a common ground with Europe (which is unlikely now), many things will depend on Turkey.

    Currently, Turkey is not only a transit state, but also a direct participant of the lsquo;Southern Gas Corridor'.

    Through its state companies, Turkey participates in the development of Shah Deniz field, South Caucasus gas pipeline and is one of the largest shareholders of the Trans Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP). TANAP is designed to run through the entire territory of this country.

    Therefore, today Turkey faces only one question: Is the country ready to compete with itself?

    Edited by SI


    Aynur Gasimova is the head of Trend Agency's English news service, follow her on Twitter @AynuraGM

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  • Meeting of National Commissions and Committees for UNESCO of TURKSOY member states kicks off in Baku
    18.12.2014 17:44
    The traditional (fifth) meeting of the National Commissions and Committees for UNESCO of TURKSOY member states has today kicked off in Baku.

    The event is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of establishment of National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO.

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov welcomed the guests and said it is not accidental Baku hosts the event.

    ''This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of establishment of National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO. Azerbaijan has been closely cooperating with UNESCO in all important spheres, including education, science, culture, communication. Azerbaijan joined almost all conventions of the organization, became a member of various committees and hosted many international events,'' he noted.

    The FM said the policy pursued by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, ensured rapid development in social, economic, cultural and other fields, as well as expanded the stateв's activities in the field of strengthening peace, prosperity, global intercultural dialogue and inter-religious tolerance in the world.

    ''We should emphasize the importance of Intercultural Dialogue Forum and Baku International Humanitarian Forum being held with the participation of UNESCO and TURKSOY in this regard. The works of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation headed by Mehriban Aliyeva in development of relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO, promotion of our cultural heritage in the world and their preservation for future generations are of particular importance. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has a great contribution to protection and development of Azerbaijan's oral folk literature and music heritage, provision of care for the material and non-material heritage of our country, as well as restoration of historical, religious and cultural monuments in Azerbaijan and abroad, opening of schools, kindergartens, health centers, scientific, cultural and social centers. ''Framework Agreement for cooperation in the fields of education, sciences, culture and communication between the Government of Azerbaijan and UNESCO'' was signed in Paris, 2013 that envisaged Azerbaijanв's providing UNESCO with a financial contribution of $5 million for implementation of many large-scale projects,'' he added.

    The meeting aims at exploring the possibilities of cooperation of Turkish-speaking countries in UNESCO, implementing various projects, discussing necessary issues such as inclusion of joint nominations into relevant lists of UNESCO and strengthening the relations between the countries. During the event, four round tables will be held on cultural and natural heritage, intangible cultural heritage, education and the memory of world programme.

    The meeting is attended by government representatives, UNESCO and TURKSOY officials, heads of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, TURKPA, International Turkish Academy, secretary generals and members of the National Commissions and Committees for UNESCO and other officials and experts for the fields of culture, science, education, information and communication technologies and activity of UNESCO.
  • Typo2 makes iPhone 6 Blackberry-ish
    18.12.2014 17:39
    Less than a day after Blackberry launched the Classic in New York, Typo Keyboards has announced that the Typo2 keyboard for iPhone 6 is now available in Singapore.

    So, if you upgraded recently to an iPhone 6 and want a physical keyboard for the phone, you can now get one. It'll probably make a great Christmas gift for that iPhone 6-toting loved one too.

    Typo said in a statement today that the Typo2 layout matches closely that of the iOS virtual keyboard and desktop-computer keyboards, making transition to the Typo2 easy.

    However, the Typo2 is only available for the iPhone 6 (and iPhone 5 or 5S). If you're using a iPhone 6 Plus, you're out of luck.

    The Typo2 for iPhone 6, selling at $179, is currently available in Singapore at retailers like ante@Tangs Orchard, Digital Style, EpiCentre, EpiLife, istudio, and nubox.
  • Azerbaijanв's great leader believed scholars to be social strata requiring special attention '" Leyla Aliyeva
    18.12.2014 17:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18


    The book "Dialogue of cultures: social, political and value aspects" has been released in Moscow.

    The book has been prepared for printing by the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Institute of Culturology, the Russian Association of Philosophy and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

    The book has been prepared on the bases of the materials of the forum "Dialogue of cultures: social, political and value aspects" devoted to Azerbaijani National Leader Heydar Aliyev.

    The foreword to the book has been written by Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.

    It is noted in the foreword that this book is the result of the discussions and thoughts of scholars from Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and a number of other countries about the dialogue of cultures and its versatility and dynamics during the period of globalization.

    "Heydar Aliyev very well understood the necessity of international cooperation for the country's successful development and emphasized friendly neighbourhood relations with Russia and other former Soviet republics," Aliyeva wrote.

    "He was sure that development of national culture was closely related with the ability to master the best features of the world heritage. He very well knew that cultures of different peoples had unique elements, defining the possibilities of dialogue and consolidation in solving universal and global problems. Just for this reason, Azerbaijan is today considered one of the most tolerant countries of the world, a home to people with different religions, languages and traditions."

    It is emphasized in the foreword that relying on Heydar Aliyev's statehood strategy meant, first of all, to confidently realize the modernization course, and successfully implement the "Azerbaijan 2020" concept, providing development of communication means, cities and regions, and lifting population's well-being.

    "Heydar Aliyev was confident that development of science was of significant importance for the society. All his life, he remained loyal to this belief, and believed the scholars were a social strata requiring special careful attention. The careful attention of the National Leader towards the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan - the primary wealth of our people - is exemplary," said the foreword.

    "Today Heydar Aliyev is not among us, but his works and ideas live on," Aliyeva wrote. "We have the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which marked its 10th anniversary this year. The Foundation continues all the initiatives set by the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, and successfully implements them".

    Printed after being edited by doctor of philosophy, first Vice-president of the Russian Association of Philosophy Alexander Chumakov and Director of the Globalization and Stable Development Institute of the Academy of the International Independent Ecology and Policy University, professor Nizami Mammadov, the book contains speeches by well-known scholars on the themes of formation of global thinking, political and legal aspects of multiculturalism, diversity of the world and universal values.

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  • 12 detained in media operation sent to Turkish court for arrest
    18.12.2014 17:34
    A total of 16 people who were detained in a Dec. 14 operation on media groups linked to the Fethullah GГјlen movement have been sent to court after their testimonies were taken by police.

    Twelve suspects, including the editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, Ekrem DumanlД±, and the head of the Samanyolu Media Group, Hidayet Karaca, were sent to court with demands for their arrest, while probation was sought for the other four, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The 12 suspects were sent to court on charges of being members of a terrorist organization, engaging in slander and deprivation of liberty, reports stated.

    Meanwhile, former Siirt Police Department head Mutlu EkizoДџlu and another officer were released by prosecutors. Twelve other suspects detained during the operation were released earlier.

    A melee erupted between security officers and DumanlД±'s lawyers when the judge permitted only one attorney to enter the courtroom during the editor-in-chief's questioning.

    DumanlД±'s testimony at the police station lasted seven hours, during which Public Prosecutor Fuzuli AydoДџdu asked him questions about U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and about an Islamic group called "TahЕџiyeciler."

    DumanlД± reportedly said he was a follower Gülen's books and ideas, but had never received orders from the cleric to publish a piece on a specific subject in the newspaper.

    Gülen has no title as a manager at daily Zaman, but only has a column in which his pieces are published on Fridays, DumanlД± said, rejecting any claims that the scholar was intervening in the newspaper's publishing policy.

    DumanlД± pleaded not guilty, saying he was not a member of any organization.
  • Ilham Aliyev at comissioning ceremony of 'Muslim Magomayev'
    18.12.2014 17:19
    The symbolic ribbon was cut by Tamara Sinyavskaya.

    The ceremony of commissioning of the ship, named after the USSR People's Artist Muslim Magomayev, was held on December 18.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to APA that the ceremony was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva and spouse of Muslim Magomayev Tamara Sinyavskaya.

    The symbolic ribbon was cut by Tamara Sinyavskaya. Then the well-known song of Muslim Magomayev "Azerbaijan" was sounded.

    The memory photo was taken at the end.
  • France to not change its stance on Armenia, ambassador says
    18.12.2014 17:10
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    France's relation to Armenia, and to the events of 1915 will not change, said the French Ambassador to Turkey Laurent Bili Dec. 18 in an interview with the TRT Haber news channel.

    He said Ankara is aware of the attitude of Paris towards Yerevan, and doesn't expect that France will change its stance on Armenia.

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

    Turkey in turn has always denied that "the genocide" took place.

    Strengthening the efforts to promote the so-called genocide in the world, Armenians have achieved its recognition by the parliaments of some countries.

    Although Turkey has repeatedly proposed to create an independent commission to investigate the events of 1915, Armenia continues to reject this proposal.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Putin says Russia, Turkey have many coinciding regional interests
    18.12.2014 17:09
    Moscow, Russia, Dec.18

    By Orkhan Yolchuyev - Trend:

    Russia and Turkey have many coinciding regional interests and these issues shouldn't be resolved without Turkey's active participation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his 10th annual press conference on Dec.18.

    He said Russia is interested in having relations with Turkey, adding that the country will develop these relations.

    Regarding the Cyprus issue, Putin said Russia tries to hold a balanced position on it and bring to a solution that would suit both Turkish and Greek parts of the island.

    Turkey sent a seismic research vessel called Barbados to the region to search for oil and gas deposits. Greek Cyprus considered it a violation of its territorial waters. Following this, in October 2014 the Greek Cypriots halted peace talks about the island, which is ethnically divided between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

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  • Virna Lisi dead at 78
    18.12.2014 17:05
    Italian actress Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s and later established herself an acclaimed character actress, has died at the age of 78.

    Italian media quoted her son as saying that Lisi had passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, a month after being diagnosed with an incurable illness.

    Born in Ancona in 1936, she was an established cinema and theatre actress before Hollywood producers looking for a new Marilyn Monroe came calling in the mid-1960s.

    With Jack Lemmon she made "How to Murder Your Wife" in 1965 and followed up by starring alongside Tony Curtis in "Not with my Wife, You Don't" and with Sinatra in "Assault on a Queen" the following year.

    Reluctant to be restricted to love-interest roles based on her looks, she turned down the sexy part taken by Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim's "Barbarella" (1968) and moved back to Europe after only three years of a seven-year contract with Paramount studios.

    While in Hollywood, she maintained a parallel career in European cinema, notably playing a lead role in "The Birds, the Bees and the Italians," which shared the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at the Cannes film festival in 1966.

    After taking a break from acting in the early 1970s, Lisi successfully reinvented herself as a character actress with a broad range.

    Her portrayal of Catherine de' Medici in "La Reine Margot" (1994) saw her pick up both a French Cesar and the best actress award at Cannes.

    She also worked extensively in television and made the last of her nearly 80 films, "Il Piu Bel Giorno Della Mia Vita," in 2002.

    She is survived by her son Corrado Pesci and three grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years, the architect Franco Pesci, died in 2013.
  • Switzerland cuts 2015 growth forecast
    18.12.2014 17:04
    Switzerland on Thursday cut its growth forecast for 2015 as a recovery in the eurozone turns out to be more sluggish than earlier thought.

    The national statistics agency said it still expects Swiss output to expand by 1.8 percent this year.

    But the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO said growth for 2015 would be at 2.1 percent rather than the previously forecasted 2.4 percent.

    "In the eurozone, ... the economic recovery has been more difficult than hoped for during the year coming to an end, and growth perspectives remain moderate," SECO said in a statement.

    It raised concern over the debt and deficit problems plaguing France and Italy and noted that even European powerhouse Germany was expecting to post only muted growth.

    The agency said that as long as the gradual eurozone recovery continues, Swiss growth prospects for the two years to come "remain relatively favourable", with output growth forecasted to reach 2.4 percent in 2016.

    At the same time, SECO warned that the economic outlook could still cast a shadow over Swiss growth prospects.

    Political complications following a Swiss popular vote in February to curb immigration from EU countries, which has soured ties with Switzerland's main trading partner, might also "compromise the expected improvement in the Swiss outlook", it said.
  • Kazakh President orders to analyze relations between Russia and West
    18.12.2014 16:59
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered to the head of Kazakh Foreign Ministry Erlan Idrissov to analyze the relations between Russia and West, the presidency reported on Dec. 18.

    "In the current environment it is necessary to continuously analyze the international situation in the context of the development of relations between Russia and the West, as well as trends in the global economy", the president said.

    The president noted that the interest of other countries to Kazakhstan is growing and mutually beneficial cooperation with these countries is developing.

    Erlan Idrissov also stressed that foreign countries support initiatives of Kazakh president. He said new economic policy initiated by President Nazarbayev is highly assessed in the world.

    "It is perceived as an objective and well-verified program which will ensure a stable and sustainable growth of Kazakhstan in difficult environment," the minister said.

    During the meeting Idrissov reported on the results of year in the international area.

    The president in turn gave relevant instructions.

    Edited by S.I.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • U.S. vows strong support to Georgia's economic reforms
    18.12.2014 16:55

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The U.S. government has launched a new five-year project titled "Governing for Growth (G4G) in Georgia" to support Georgiaв's economic reforms.

    The U.S, Agency for International Development officially launched the new $19.3 million project in Tbilisi on December 11.

    Stephen Haykin, USAID Mission Director, once more emphasized the US governmentв's strong support for Georgiaв's economic development.

    The G4G was designed to enhance governance in specific business areas, including tax and customs administration, trade facilitation, land registration, electricity trading policy and water resource management.

    "We believe that a quality, inclusive dialogue, and especially a well-informed evidence-based policy making will lead to passing of laws that work more effectively with better compliance'', said Milo Stevanovich, G4G Chief of Party.

    The G4G will begin in those spheres where the other USAID projects have been left off earlier. The EPI (Economic Prosperity Initiative), HIPP (Hydropower Investment Promotion Project), and HPEP (Hydro Power and Energy Planning) projects boosted Georgiaв's competitiveness in energy, agriculture, trading, and manufacturing fields of great significance, as well as improved Georgiaв's business environment.

    The G4G aims to intensify support for Georgian-led reform efforts based on the gains from the previous initiatives. The project will be directed to build a culture of collaborative consultation where policies and laws will benefit from a constructive public input.
  • Bulgaria seeks Azerbaijani investment
    18.12.2014 16:49

    By Amina Nazarli

    Bulgaria is interested in attracting Azerbaijani investments in different fields, said Emil Kerimov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria.He noted that a business-forum aimed on establishing closer business relations between the two countries is planned to be held further. The investment opportunities of the country will also be featured during the forum.The diplomat called agriculture and tourism as the foreground fields for development of cooperation between the two sides.Bulgarian Agriculture Minister visited Azerbaijan in May 2014. The two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of agriculture.

    ''Bulgaria with its great opportunities and experience in this field is a very important country for us. Bulgaria has an experience in specialist training in this field,'' he said. ''An agreement on cooperation between Ganja Agricultural Academy and Plovdiv Agriculture University has already been signed. As part of the agreement, the two sides are expected to exchange experience with each other. Bulgaria may also export agricultural fertilizers as well as machinery to Azerbaijan.''

    Tourism is another sphere for cooperation between the two countries. Tourist field in Bulgaria is very developed.

    The Tourism Ministry is interested in the growing tourist flow. Today, the two countries do not have a direct air flights. However, if the tourist flow grows, the two countries may think about launching the flight, the ambassador added.

    The potential trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria does not correspond with the existing turnover. For the nine months of this year the trade turnover between them amounted at $123 million, according to the Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee.

    Generally, Kerimov praised this year in terms of economic relations, calling it productive enough for cooperation.''During the year, many mutual official and business visits, including visits of president, prime-minister, economy, agriculture, education ministers of Bulgaria to Azerbaijan were carried out. This year the Energy and Industry Minister, SOCARв's head visited Bulgaria,'' he stressed.

    Kerimov added that only this year 10 documents were signed in such areas as environment, banking, education and law-energy.

    Bulgaria recognized the independence of Azerbaijan on January 14, 1992. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 5, 1992. The embassy of Bulgaria in Azerbaijan was opened in December 1999.
  • Georgian Diaspora Investment Support Association works over 100 projects
    18.12.2014 16:49
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The Georgian Diaspora Investment Support Association is working over 100 projects, the chairman of the association Giorgi Svanidze said during a meeting with the chairman of the Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee under the Georgian Parliament Gubaz Sanikidze and his first deputy Shalva Kiknavelidze, the parliament said Dec. 18.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the association's further plans.

    Svanidze said that the simplification of visa regime is of great importance while working over the projects. This will attract more tourists to the country and facilitate the investment process for investors.

    Sanikidze confirmed the political will of the country's authorities to take all necessary measures for new investments and compatriots' repatriation.

    edited by CN

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