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Azerbaijan to render financial assistance to Afghanistan
17.01.2013 13:06
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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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  • Armenia mired in swamp of stagnation
    29.07.2015 22:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/17/armenia_protest_170715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/17/armenia_protest_170715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    The policies of the Armenian government have brought the country and the people into a swamp, and it will be very difficult to find a way out of it, even if such a thing is possible.

    The results of these policies are known to all: the dependence on Russia in all the areas, the rampant poverty, the economic crisis, the mass emigration, and so on.

    The so-called lsquo;electromaidan' has showed that the Armenians aren't going to any longer tolerate the policies of their government. After all, because of those policies the external and internal sources of Armenia's income are reducing, and the government has to take the people's last money.

    Armenia's economy is in such a poor condition that even the ongoing protests don't stop the government. And as a result, after the electricity tariffs, the government is planning to increase taxes as well.

    The international rating agency, Fitch Ratings is pointing out that such a decision will likely be a difficult task in social and political terms, as shown by recent protests against higher electricity prices.

    In other words, the agency predicts next protests in Armenia.

    Poverty in Armenia is increasing and the people are ready to fight for their last remaining money. According to a survey conducted by the Gallup International Association, people in Armenia are becoming less and less affluent.

    For instance, in November 2014, only five percent of the population assessed their financial state as very poor, whereas in May 2015, the figure rose to 13 percent, i.e. more than doubled.

    And the share of the population with poor financial state has increased from 18 percent to 22 percent.

    However, the protestors in Armenia should think over one thing: the situation would not be so dismal, if not for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict unleashed by Armenia. After all, in fact, Armenia deliberately severed the ties with the largest investors in the region - Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Armenian government also gradually deprives the entrepreneurs of various benefits in order to increase its own revenues. For example, according to the Water Code, 95-percent benefits were considered for fish farms and water users for economic purposes. But, the benefits were reduced by 50 percent in 2013 and now it is planned to cancel the remaining 45 percent.

    Fisheries will have to pay the full amount for the use of water, which is likely to lead to a rise in price for fish products.

    Experts believe that the number of participants in this market will decrease by a third, and the big players will just monopolize it.

    Hard times are ahead of entrepreneurs in Armenia. But on the other hand, were there good times in this country? Recently, it became known that the French giant France Telecom has decided to leave the Armenian telecommunications market. The company is selling the lsquo;Orange Armenia' telecom operator.

    Over the past two years, the company's losses in Armenia totaled about $18 million. Local experts believe that the company is leaving due to the continuing deterioration of the economic situation and investment climate in the country.

    By the way, the majority shareholding (51 percent) of the Ucom company which is negotiating on buying the lsquo;Orange Armenia', belongs to the family of Finance Minister Gagik Khachatryan. So, it is likely that another sphere will be monopolized in Armenia. Two other operators can forget about competition.

    The current situation in Armenia can be shortly described as follows: mass emigration, deep economic crisis and total dependence.

    ---

    Azad Hasanli is Trend Agency's staff journalist

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    16
  • Azerbaijan, Japan to ink one more agreement
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/Flags_Azerbaijan_Japan_070912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/Flags_Azerbaijan_Japan_070912.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Elmir Murad - Trend:

    A grant contract on the project for improvement of the waste management system in Azerbaijan's Balaken District is to be signed this week, Japan's Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend July 29.

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    Edited by CN

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    10
  • Testing exercises of Azerbaijani, foreign athletes held in Baku
    29.07.2015 21:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/29/trend_gymnastika_290715__001.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/29/trend_gymnastika_290715__001.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani team in rhythmic gymnastics continues preparing for the World Championships to be held September 7-13 in Stuttgart.

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    "Following the European Games we had a break for ten days," she said. "We have already started preparing for the World Championships."

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Verification of Iran N-program depends on secret agreement with IAEA
    29.07.2015 20:21
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/iran_iaea_120113_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/iran_iaea_120113_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    A senior nuclear expert believes that the verification of Iran N-program depends on a secret agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and this country's full cooperation with the UN body.

    Secretary of State John Kerry insisted on July 28 the Barak Obama administration has not seen the contents of two side agreements to the Iran nuclear deal reached between that country and the IAEA.

    Besides an agreement between Iran and P5 1 and signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran also signed an bilateral agreement with the IAEA to solve remaining disputes and answer the UN body's questions in coming weeks.

    While ignoring the objections of both Iran and U.S. lawmakers, the implementation of nuclear agreement depends on verification of Iran's nuclear program by the IAEA. Tehran says the removal of sanctions based on nuclear agreement could start in four to six months. Iran has also asked the IAEA to keep the mutual agreement hidden.

    Responding to a question about "how long a time is needed for the IAEA to prove Iran's nuclear activities have been totally peaceful and does the measures, mentioned in the nuclear agreement guarantee this program would remain peaceful?", Toby Dalton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Trend on July 29 that "first, how long it will take the IAEA to be able to say that Iran's program is totally peaceful will depend very heavily on how much Iran cooperates in the investigation of past activities. It could be five years, 10 years, or never - it is impossible to say at this point I think until we know more about the cooperation given by Iran to the IAEA, although the agreement does stipulate that the IAEA should be able to say in eight years that Iran's program is peaceful".

    Iran has agreed to put restrictions in some nuclear activities from eight to 15 years.

    The nuclear expert added that "second, the point that is not acknowledged by critics of the deal is that without these provisions in place through the deal, there would be no process for the IAEA to determine whether the program is peaceful or not. So compared to what existed before the deal, there is a much better chance the IAEA can carry out a thorough investigation that will reach conclusion".

    "Third, there is no guarantee, either under the deal or not under the deal and regardless of the verification provisions in place, that Iran's nuclear program will remain peaceful. That is up to Iran. The deal certainly creates incentives and disincentives for Iran that should limit its desire to build nuclear weapons, and my view is that the deal is more likely to ensure that Iran's program is focused on nuclear energy than nuclear weapons than would a simple continuation of the sanctions regime in place," he said.

    The U.S. Republicans argue that the achieved JCPOA is not enough to ensure Iran's nuclear program would remain peaceful, while Iranian hardliners says the agreement has damaged Iran's rights.

    Edited by CN

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

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    13
  • Nuclear deal great opportunity to end Iranв's isolation
    29.07.2015 20:18
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142508.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142508.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The nuclear agreement was like a spirit bomb that exploded in Iran, leading to renewed hope of future progress for the people of Iran.

    Mohammad Reza Sabzalipour, the president of World Trade Center Tehran, made the remark in an interview with AzerNews commenting on the opportunities that the nuclear deal would open for the Islamic Republic.

    The nuclear deal between the P5 1 and Iran that was clinched in Vienna on July 14 promises to bring big profits to the country after the removal of the international sanctions, ending the countryв's isolation.

    ''The nuclear agreement gives Iran a great opportunity as Iran comes out of political, economic, and international isolation and attains an alliance with the world, especially with the West. This alliance is good for both people of Iran and the West, because it provides an opportunity for Iran for further interaction with others whether through trade, investment, and tourism or for talks on regional issues,'' Sabzalipour said.

    He noted that the agreement will undoubtedly create a positive atmosphere for Iranian economy.

    The economist said the lifting of sanctions, meant to remove the long and difficult barriers that challenged Iranв's economic activities in past years, will open money transfer channels, reduce inflation as a result of foreign trade, facilitate investment in Iranв's industrial and economic sectors, as well as return blocked foreign exchange sources to the government and economic companies.

    He added that these factors can create a positive atmosphere and will be beneficial for the average Iranians.

    However, Sabzalipour also warned that if the government does not correctly control the situation, it could blow up like a balloon into an economic bubble and explode frighteningly sooner or later.

    ''In the second instance, practical effect of measurements and actions which correctly carried out can undoubtedly place a positive effect on Iranв's economy. However, the danger threatening Iran is that government returns to old tradition of 'sell oil and purchase goodsв','' the economist added.

    The nuclear agreement is believed to facilitate economic relations between the West and the Islamic Republic. Many companies representing different sectors of the economy have voiced their intentions, and some of them even engaged in talks with Tehran with the hope of returning to the vast Iranian market immediately after the removal of sanctions.

    Sabzalipour further said the Vienna agreement is not only important for Iran from the economic aspect, but it is also important for other countries in the world, especially for Europe.

    ''Because the old partners of Iranian economy have not craved less than our economic activists to see opening of closed ways,'' he said.

    Europeв's high-ranking officials and representatives of the different companies visit Iran with a purpose to restore broken relations after the nuclear deal, which sought to solve a decade-old nuclear dispute.

    The economist further added that Iranв's access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system is another great milestone that will lift bans on Iranian banks.

    He noted that SWIFT is the first priority for Iran to facilitate foreign trade and international economic relations, since it will affect all trading, agricultural, and industrial changes.

    Gholamali Kamyab, the deputy governor of the CBI for foreign exchange affairs recently said the countryв's state-run banks will soon rejoin SWIFT once Iran's nuclear agreement enters into effect.

    In early 2012, SWIFT announced that under pressure from the European Union, it had decided to discontinue communication services to Iranian banks and financial institutions that were subject to European sanctions. Accordingly, it blocked 30 Iranian banks from using its services, literally cutting off Iran from the global banking system.

    Despite the ban on state-run banks, all Iranian private banks were still connected to the SWIFT system as they were not covered by EU sanctions and could avail themselves of the services provided by the financial network.

    Sabzalipour noted that the agreement gives hope that great opportunities will emerge and many improvements will be seen in Iranian economy in the near future.

    ''It is good, considering positive experiences of Lausanne and Vienna agreements, Tadbir va Omid ('Prudence and Hopeв') government try to use similar and powerful teams for economic diplomacy to figure out grand changes in various sectors,'' he said.

    Under the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all economic and financial sanctions against Iran will be removed. In addition, all bans on Iranв's Central Bank, shipping, oil industry, and many other companies will be lifted.
    8
  • Two women suspected of having ties to IS detained in Turkey
    29.07.2015 19:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/10/15/Arrest_151008.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/10/15/Arrest_151008.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Two women suspected of having ties to the "Islamic State" terrorist organization have been detained in Turkey 's Istanbul city, Kanal7 TV channel reported July 29.

    The detainees are also suspected of preparing terrorist attacks in Istanbul.

    No information has been provided about the citizenship of the detainees.

    One of the avenues in Istanbul was closed due to the threat of terrorist attack July 28.

    Head of the Turkish wing of the "Islamic State" Halis Bayancuk, known as Abu Hanzalah was detained July 27. Bayancuk was actively involved in recruiting Turkish citizens to send them to Syria and Iraq .

    The Turkish air force started large-scale operations July 25 in Iraq 's north against the IS militants.

    A total of over 1,300 people have been detained to date as a result of the anti-terrorist operations in Turkey.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
  • Turkey to open its air base for fighting terrorists
    29.07.2015 19:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/30/mid_turkey_301014.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/30/mid_turkey_301014.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Д°ncirlik air base in Turkey's Adana province can be used in combating the "Islamic State" terrorist organization, the message from Turkey's Foreign Ministry said July 29.

    The date of starting the use of Incirlik base against the IS hasn't been determined yet, but it is expected that in coming days, it will be opened to the US and coalition forces holding military operations against the IS, said the message.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said that in the case of necessity, Incirlik military base can be partly used in the operations against the "Islamic State".

    Turkish parliament adopted the so-called Syrian mandate in 2012. Under this mandate, Ankara is empowered to take any measures against terror and other threats against the country, repulse the threat that can come from terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, protect the country's interests before and after the crisis, as well as, in the case of necessity, to involve the army in the military operations in other countries (Syria and Iraq).

    The mandate envisages the possibility of presence of foreign troops on the country's territory and their use at the discretion of the Turkish government when needed.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Batch of Armenian brandy destroyed in Baku
    29.07.2015 19:36
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142257.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142257.jpg
    The State Committee has disseminated the information.

    On July 29, a batch of products, imported into the country through smuggling and confiscated by the customs authorities, was destroyed on the designated area near the town of Sumgayit with participation of media representatives, Oxu.Az reports with reference to the State Customs Committee.

    The information says that according to the conclusion of the Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, a total of 64,802 boxes of different tobacco products unsuitable for use were destroyed.

    According to the Center for Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice, 207 kg of sausage, 91 kg of smoked fish and 218 cans of caviar with expired date were destroyed.

    Also 611 bottles of beer and 864 liters of wine produced by artisanal methods that did not meet the standard requirements.

    In addition, 446 bottles of mineral water, 659 bottles of lemonade, 3815 soft and energy drinks, as well as 317 bottles of different liquid oils in connection with the expiration date had been destroyed.

    Also, according to the conclusion of forensic Center, 311,071 pieces of fireworks hazardous to human health, as well as 252 counterfeit mobile phones were destroyed.

    In addition, among the goods confiscated by customs officers 31 bottle of cognac, 51 pack of cigarettes and 23 cans of coffee were also destroyed.
    5
  • Azerbaijan might have key role in diversification of resources for EU - Hungarian ex-official
    29.07.2015 19:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/06/gas_pipeline_060612_3.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/06/gas_pipeline_060612_3.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    The EU is concerned about energy security, and Azerbaijan might have a key role in the diversification of the resources and the routes, Levente Kozma, the former Hungarian senior foreign policy adviser (2003-2010), told Trend July 29.

    Kozma said since Hungary is still very reliant on Russia's gas, and a significant part of it comes through Ukraine, his country is exposed to the Russian-Ukrainian conflicts, and not only to the military ones.

    "Hungary is seeking to diversify not only its energy sources, but also the way energy gets to Hungary," he said.

    Kozma also said Azerbaijan has been a friend of Hungary both at the time when the leftist government was in power in his country and now during the rule of the current right government of Viktor Orbaacute;n.

    He added that the good intergovernmental and personal relations, the common interests in cooperation created a good basis for commercial, cultural and every kind of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Hungary.

    "We, Hungarians, hear more and more about Azerbaijan and more and more business delegations are travelling back and forth," said Kozma.

    It should be noted that according to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee (SCC) the trade between Azerbaijan and Hungary in January-February 2015 stood at $2.881 million, or 1.8 times less than the same period of last year.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • French FMв's visit to Iran represents resumption of political dialogue, says ambassador
    29.07.2015 19:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/18/iran_france_flags_180615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/18/iran_france_flags_180615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    The visit of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to Iran represents a resumption of the political dialogue between France and Iran at the highest level, French ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier told Trend July 29.

    "Following the historic agreement reached in Vienna on July 14, Laurent Fabius visits Tehran on July 29," he said. "This is the first visit to Iran by a French foreign minister in 12 years."

    He will be received by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and will meet his counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, parliament chairman Ali Larijani, vice president and head of the Environmental Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar; the minister of industry, mining and trade MohammadReza Nematadeh and Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Monnier added.

    Iran and P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) reached a historic agreement on Iran's nuclear program July 14.

    The negotiations ended with adoption of a joint comprehensive action plan. If Iran carries out this plan, the economic and financial sanctions earlier imposed on it by the UN Security Council, the US and EU will be lifted.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Azerbaijan ready to take advantage of lifted Iranian sanctions
    29.07.2015 19:32
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142256.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142256.jpg
    Azerbaijan is ready to take advantage of lifted sanctions on Iran that will happen approximately in 50 days.

    According to Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy and Industry, on August 3-4 Minister Shahin Mustafayev will visit Iran.

    "The visit will be aimed to discuss the current situation and prospects for bilateral relations and cooperation," the Ministry says.

    The Minister, who is a co-chairman of the Azerbaijani-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic, Trade and Humanitarian Cooperation, will be accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, SOCAR, Azerbaijan Railways, Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping Company, the Central Bank and the Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources.

    Kazakhstan was the first among CIS countries to send its delegation to Iran with the same purposes.
    7
  • Tajikistan, China mull cooperation
    29.07.2015 19:25
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142500.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142500.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    China-Tajikistan business cooperation will enter a new stage, Chairman of Tajikistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Sharif Said said at a meeting with an economic delegation from Chinaв's Shanxi Province, according to the TajikTA Agency.

    Said mentioned that trade turnover will increase to $3 billion as a result of strengthening China-Tajikistan economic ties.

    The sides discussed further prospects for cooperation in trade, investment, banking, and finance.

    Said called on the Chinese side to invest in construction projects, using local raw materials and modern Chinese technologies to spur investment in Tajikistan.

    He also suggested creating a joint venture on building multistory houses and tourist infrastructure, which will help develop both the local economy and strengthen ties with China.

    Moreover, Chinese company Dong Ying Heli Investment and Development Co. Ltd will train Tajik specialists to operate a future oil refinery after its construction, which will commence in the Danghara free economic zone (FEZ) by late 2015.

    This announcement was made recently by Lochin Fayzullozoda, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Investment and State Property Management of Tajikistan.

    Fayzullozoda mentioned that according to a Tajik government decision, 70 percent of employees working at the foreign companies in Tajikistan must be Tajik citizens.

    For this purpose, the Chinese company decided to send Tajik citizens to study in China, providing them with necessary theoretical and practical skills to work at the oil refinery.

    Fayzullozoda also noted that the refinery project '" with Chinese investment in the amount of $460 million '" consists of two stages.

    In the first stage, the refineryв's capacity will be 500,000 tons of crude oil per year, worth over $160 million; and in the second stage it will reach 1.2 million tons, worth over $300 million

    The Chinese company has already signed contracts with partners in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia on the delivery of crude oil to the Danghara oil refinery.

    All construction work is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
    6
  • Davutoglu: Let them not test our patience
    29.07.2015 19:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142255.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142255.jpg
    "Turkey has the strength to fight not only three, but also 33 terrorist groups."

    657 terrorist attacks have been committeed in Turkey from July 7. ISIL, the PKK and DHKP (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front) started the large-scale attacks.

    According to Oxu.Az, the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu told this at a meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which he represents.

    Davutoglu said that the first aim of the tripartite attack are the Turkish state, democracy and human rights.

    "The second goal is to attack the public order, the third is Turkey's international credibility. Despite the fact that some do not respond to our claims, as long as the AKP staff standa on their feet, democracy in Turkey will also live.

    If we have martyrs, we will continue to take all necessary steps against those who have caused their deaths. Let then not test our patience. "

    Davutoglu said that Turkey is able to deal not only with the three, but also with the 33 terrorist groups:

    "We will show our strength."
    9
  • Iran seeks to build car plant in Azerbaijan
    29.07.2015 19:18
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142502.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142502.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Iran is expanding relations with Azerbaijan in different sectors.

    Iran Khodro negotiates with the Azerbaijani side to build car assembly plant in Azerbaijan, IKCO Managing Director Hashem Yeke Zare told Trend.

    ''Currently, Iran Khodro exports cars to Azerbaijan, but at the same time the company plans to open a Complete Knock Down in the country,'' he said.

    Iran intends to get a license from the relevant Azerbaijani authorities to build the assembly plant, he says."The plant will be built by using an Azerbaijani businessmanв's investments,'' he said. ''Cars will be assembled in Azerbaijan."The company plans to begin car production in Azerbaijan roughly two years after obtaining the license.Zarem described companyв's plans to manufacture 10,000 cars per year in Azerbaijan, which will be exported.He added that Iran plans to export 2,000 cars to Azerbaijan in 2015.Iran Khodro Company manufactured around 360,000 cars in 2015 and expects to increase this figure to 600,000 in 2015. This represents a significant drop form the nearly 1.091 million cars that were manufactured in Iran in 2014. The country hopes to bring this figure to 3 million by 2025.The number of cars exported to Azerbaijan from January to June 2015 was 17,640, or 48.7 percent less than in the same period of 2014, according to the countryв's State Customs Committee.

    Car imports have continued to fall in Azerbaijan since introducing the Euro-4 ecological standard over a year ago. In the first half of 2015, the country imported 17,640 vehicles, compared to the 34,359 units in the same period last year.

    The State Customs Committee reports that 15,745 out of the total number of vehicle imports in the first six months of this year were cars and motor vehicles.

    Azerbaijan serves as an integral role in regional projects thanks to its advantageous geographical location. The active implementation of projects in energy and other sectors will allow Azerbaijan to enter a new market, which corresponds to an overall strategy to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil and gas.

    Iran, as a powerful oil country, has had little opportunity to improve cooperation with Azerbaijan in the various economic sectors due the international sanctions. After Iran becomes free from the Western sanctions, however, it will be open to further business agreements and relations.

    Azerbaijan, in turn, represents a good example of a country with substantial experience in a number of fields.

    Azerbaijan and Iran have already seen some progress and an economic delegation from Azerbaijan will travel to Iran on August 3. Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev will lead the delegation of both government and private sector officials. The minister will be accompanied by representatives of energy, transport, telecommunications, banking, and oil companies.
    7
  • Southern Gas Corridorв's capitalization increases by over 7 times
    29.07.2015 19:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/gas_line_main_250215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/gas_line_main_250215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    The Southern Gas Corridor CJSC's registered capital increased up to $725 million upon the decisions of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders' Meeting, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) said.

    The company's initial capital amounted to $100 million. But its capital increased to $300 million in February 2015 as a result of changes in the nominal share of the company.

    "SOFAZ transferred $318.75 million to the treasury account of the country's Ministry of Economy and Industry in the first half of 2015," the statement said. "As a result, the share of the fund's capital of the company has reached $369.75 million (51 percent)."

    According to a decision of the state commission, established upon a decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the authorized capital of the Southern Gas Corridor CJSC increased once every two months in order to maintain the ratio of shares of the Ministry of Economy and Industry and SOCAR.

    SOFAZ allocated $ 2.5 billion to the company to finance the stake in the project in 2014.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the establishment of the company in February 2014 for the effective project management of the second stage of Shah Deniz gas condensate field development, the expansion of the South Caucasus gas pipeline, Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic (TAP) gas pipelines.

    SOFAZ was instructed to ensure equity funding in the company that is in direct state ownership.

    The funds to be delivered to the company to finance the equity will be ensured in the form of long-term investments in terms of return.

    The Southern Gas Corridor is a project that will enable Europe to diversify its sources of hydrocarbon supply and boost energy security and Azerbaijan - to get a new market in the face of Europe.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Number of hepatitis infection cases decreased
    29.07.2015 18:51
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142499.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142499.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    The number of cases of patients infected with viral hepatitis has decreased in Azerbaijan, according to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health.

    Infection cases decreased as a direct result of educational programs and other steps taken in the country.

    The Commission on the organization of the examination and treatment of persons infected with hepatitis was created with the goal of treating the disease and informing the public on the proper means of prevention.

    A new survey to diagnose patients with the hepatitis was unveiled and the corresponding instructions were given to the heads of city and district health departments.

    All of the necessary measures were taken to ensure that the medical institutions are equipped properly and that the infected patients are provided with the appropriate medication.

    Last year in Baku 155 people were infected with the hepatitis B virus, 52 of them are women.

    The State Statistics Committee states that, including the infected last year, 66 people suffering from acute hepatitis B virus, 23 of them are women. With Hepatitis C virus were infected 44 people, 16 of them are women. These numbers are roughly coincide with the figures of year 2013.

    In addition, in Baku in 2013, viral hepatitis among children 0-4 years was registered in only one child.

    Scientists have identified 5 unique strains of the hepatitis virus, identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. While all cause liver disease, they vary in their effects.
    8
  • Azerbaijan- France archaeological cooperation delivers results
    29.07.2015 18:42
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142496.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142496.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography under the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, the French National Research Center, and the Paris Saint-Germain, with the joint efforts of the staff of the National Museum of archaeological excavations in the village of Lerik, discovered a 3,000-year-old sarcophagus in Monidigah, Lerik.

    The discovery was confirmed by Abuzar Alekperov, the head of the archaeological collection of artifacts at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.

    Alekperov says that French archaeologists Jacques de Morgan and his brother Henry Morgan led an archaeological exploration in Lerik in the late 19th century, where they discovered bronze and iron-age stone graves and a considerable amount of artifacts.

    A joint archaeological expedition between Azerbaijan and France in 2011 was established at the initiative of the French team.

    The stone boxes found during the archeological searches were partly damaged.

    They are sample of the artifacts, including pottery, jewelry, weapons, household equipment, that was found on site. All of the findings were placed in special containers for preservation.

    Professor Michel Casanova from France, who led the expedition, told APA's south bureau that Monidigah artifacts will be taken to France to be examined in the laboratory, "We hope that these materials will be of great importance in the study of history."
    8
  • '˜Security, not business should be key in Iranian nuke dealв'
    29.07.2015 18:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/29/kozma_290715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/29/kozma_290715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    Security, not business should be a key driving factor of the Iranian nuclear deal, Levente Kozma, former senior foreign policy advisor to three Hungarian prime ministers Peter Medgyessy, Ferenc Gyurcsany and Gordon Bajnai told Trend July 29.

    Iran and P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) reached a historic agreement on Iran's nuclear program July 14.

    The negotiations ended with adoption of a joint comprehensive action plan. If Iran carries out this plan, the economic and financial sanctions earlier imposed on it by the UN Security Council, the US and EU will be lifted.

    Iran should get the right to get involved in the international commercial network, according to Kozma.

    Iran has the right to nuclear energy, but the agreement should make sure Iran won't develop nuclear reactors for military purpose, he added.

    Iran should give up its goal to erase Israel from the map, and instead of confrontation with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, it should focus on cooperation, said Kozma.

    The former senior adviser said that combating the "Islamic State" is a key and Iran is a major actor in that fight, in which Hungary takes part as well with more than a hundred soldiers.

    ---

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    6
  • Azerbaijan needs new model to finance business activity, WB says
    29.07.2015 18:28
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142498.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142498.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan needs to switch to a new model of state financing of business activity and population. This remark was made by Angela Prigozhina, the World Bank coordinator for private and financial sector in the Southern Caucasus.

    ''As of today, Azerbaijan has quite large program for encouragement and development of small and medium-sized enterprises through state funds,'' she told Trend. "However, Azerbaijanв's National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support and similar structures largely depend on state resources. Therefore, it is needed to switch to a new modern funding model, that is, to diversify the resource base with help of other sources."Prigozhina said that, in the future, it is necessary to improve the mechanism of the allocation of resources for SMEs as part of state programs. At the same time, the funds allocated from the state budget could be used more effectively to improve cash flow efficiency.''Given the current situation in the global economy, Azerbaijan, in order to replace the fiscal costs with private capital, needs to take additional measures to attract both domestic and foreign investments,'' she noted. ''It is very important to develop the stock market to allow companies to attract funds through the issuance of securities.''The WB coordinator believes that one of the tasks of the Azerbaijani government is to support further economic development by providing a large number of enterprises with access to long-term and inexpensive resources and by stimulating mortgage lending that will allow it to resolve housing problems for many people."It is also important to stimulate attracting the populationв's deposits to banks and allow returning these resources back to economy," she stressed.Another issue is related to reducing the interest rates on loans. The WB representative believes that the establishment of a private loan office and a mobile property registry is one of the priorities for Azerbaijan."This will create preconditions for increasing lending to the population and SMEs," she said. "These two reforms havenв't been carried out in Azerbaijan and accordingly, they are very relevant and should be carried out as soon as possible."A package of amendments to the laws on personal data, banks, non-bank credit organizations and the Code of Administrative Offences is currently discussed as part of the establishment of a credit bureau.After making changes regulating the activity of private credit bureaus, a technical partner of the first bureau will be chosen.Some 11 banks and two non-bank credit organizations are the potential founders of the country's first private credit bureau.Among them are Access Bank, AGBank, Azerbaijan Senaye Banki, Bank Respublika, Demir Bank, Muganbank, PASHA Bank, Turan Bank, Yap? Kredit Bank Azerbaijan, UniBank, Kapital Bank, Finka Azerbaijan and AzerKredit.As for the personal property registry, it will be governed by a future law on secured transactions. IFC is helping Azerbaijan establish the registry and the credit bureau and the bill is still being finalized by the CBA.

    Azerbaijan has been taking various measures toward the development of SMEs, and as a result, positive trends in local entrepreneurship are being reported in the country.

    State support for business activities is the main focus of the State Programs on socio-economic development of regions of Azerbaijan in 2004-2008, 2009-2013, and 2014-2018.

    One of the main steps in the promotion of SMEs was the establishment of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support in October 1992. This was the first financial institution under the Economy and Industry Ministry engaged in the allocation of loans to small and medium businesses, including soft loans from the state budget.

    Preferential loans worth 160.2 million manats were issued to 4,720 entrepreneurs throughout the country from the beginning of the year. Also, the number of non-bank credit organizations has increased to 20, with the aim of simplifying small enterprises' access to preferential loans.

    Azerbaijan also launched the electronic information portal on permissions in October 2011. This portal allows the entrepreneurs to increase awareness about the list of documents and procedures required for acquiring valid permits. .

    As a result of targeted measures implemented over the past 10 years, over 1.2 million new jobs and 55,600 new enterprises have been established. All of these measures paved the way for the increase of business activities and gave a strong impetus to the development of small businesses in the regions. From January-March 2015, the number of enterprises increased by 1.9 percent and as of April 1, this figure reached 96,398. Some 1,714 new legal entities were registered in this period.
    6
  • Italian Saipem does not earn €1.232 bln due to South Stream project cancellation
    29.07.2015 18:25
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142254.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142254.jpg
    Italiaв's Saipem, the contractor in the South Stream pipeline construction project, did not earn €1.232 bln due to cancellation of the project by Gazprom, the company said on Wednesday in its financial report.

    Saipem said the total backlog includes the effects of the cancellation of the South Stream contract amounting to euro;1.232 bln following the notification of termination, ITAR TASS reports.

    South Stream Transport B.V., the Gazprom's subsidiary, informed Saipem on July 9 about the termination of the contract to build the first line of the gas pipeline's subsea segment executed in 2014. The decision was dictated by the impossibility of reaching the agreement on many issues of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project implementation, South Stream Transport said. The Gazprom's subsidiary also said it will start negotiation with potential contractors for laying the first line of the Turkish Stream project.

    The Turkish Stream gas pipeline project will be an alternative to the cancelled South Stream project.
    6
  • Erdogan begins China trip with wreath laying ceremony
    29.07.2015 18:17
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/17/Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan_150412_albom_5.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/17/Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan_150412_albom_5.jpg
    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began an official visit to China on Wednesday with a visit to the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square, where he placed a wreath Anadolu Agency reported.

    He then travelled to the National People's Congress for a private meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

    The visit lasted for around an hour and was closed to media.

    Accompanying Erdogan were Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Transport Minister Feridun Bilgin, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.

    The three-day trip is Erdogan's first to the country as president, and follows a previous visit in 2012 as prime minister.

    Since his first election win of 2003, diplomatic relations -- established between the two countries in 1971 -- have significantly improved, peaking over the last 10 years through several high-level bilateral visits.

    Erdogan told reporters before leaving for China on Tuesday that outside of visiting Muslim ethnic groups, his goal is to improve bilateral relations.

    Along with trade meetings, he said that a forum would also be held between local businessmen and those accompanying him from Turkey, with some agreements already waiting to be signed.

    "I believe during the talks we will take key steps in Turkey -China cooperation both in infrastructure and superstructure,"Erdogan said at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to flying to China.

    The trip follows a diplomatic spat between Beijing and Ankara after around 180 Uighur Turks held at detention centers in Thailand were sent to Turkey, and a subsequent 109 moved to China.

    The Uighur -- thought to number around 350 -- had been at the center of a diplomatic tug-of-war, with China identifying them as from northwestern Xinjiang, while Turkey has welcomed them as its own.

    Erdogan said Tuesday that during his visit ministers would meet representatives from the Uighur and Hui Muslim communities.

    On leaving China on July 30, Erdogan is scheduled to fly to Indonesia, where he will meet President Joko Widodo and participate in a Turkey-Indonesia Business Forum.

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    10
  • Nuclear conclusion should mark better Iran-EU ties: Rouhani
    29.07.2015 17:25
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142253.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142253.jpg
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers should pave the way for further promotion of ties between Tehran and Europe.

    "The nuclear agreement should mark [Iran's] better cooperation with Europe," Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Tehran on Wednesday, PressTV reports.

    On July 14, Iran and the P5 1 countries - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany - finalized the text of an agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

    Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for a set of commitments by the P5 1, including the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

    Rouhani said that Iran-France cooperation over the Vienna agreement should constitute the base for future relations on the basis of mutual trust.

    He said that the nuclear agreement benefits Iran, the P5 1 countries and all regional players, adding that it is a significant step in turning threats into opportunities.

    The Iranian president also urged all countries involved in the nuclear talks to do their utmost to "safeguard the agreement."

    "The Iranian government is steadfast in the path of [implementing] the agreement, and we will fulfill our commitments as long as the opposite side is committed to its obligations," Rouhani said.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on July 29, 2015.

    Fabius, for his part, said that French companies are eager to return to the Iranian market for job-creating investment, stressing the need for Paris to make up for lost opportunities in relations with Iran.

    He also invited Rouhani to visit France on behalf of French President François Hollande.

    The French foreign minister arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday for a day-long visit to hold talks with the country's high-ranking officials.

    Earlier in the day, he held talks with Zarif and then attended a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart.

    Fabius' visit to Iran is the first by a French foreign minister to the Islamic Republic in 12 years.

    Fabius' visit to Iran, which comes at the invitation of his Iranian opposite number, has raised some criticisms in Iran, especially over France's hard line towards Iran in the course of negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program.

    Days before the conclusion of the talks on July 14, Fabius urged other negotiators to take a tough stance on Iran, insisting that Paris will not sign off on a deal if Tehran rules out inspections of its military sites as part of the final agreement.

    Fabius is also under fire for his role in the export of HIV-contaminated blood products to a number of countries, including Iran, in the 1980s, when he was in office as France's prime minister.
    16
  • Turkish Air Force neutralizes 200 PKK militants in Iraq
    29.07.2015 17:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/03/Turk_Plane_F16_030712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/03/Turk_Plane_F16_030712.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The Turkish Air Force neutralized 200 PKK militants in northern Iraq, Turkish Milliyet newspaper wrote July 29.

    The air strikes were made on PKK positions near the settlements of Zap, Gare, Metina, Avshin and Qandil in northern Iraq.

    Turkey's air force started large-scale operations July 25 in Iraq's north where the PKK camps as located.

    Turkish Parliament adopted the so-called Syrian mandate in 2012. Under this mandate, Ankara is empowered to take any measures against terror and other threats against the country, repulse the threat that can come from terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, protect the country's interests before and after the crisis, as well as, in the case of necessity, to involve the army in the military operations in other countries (Syria and Iraq).

    The mandate envisages the possibility of presence of foreign troops on the country's territory and their use at the discretion of the Turkish government when needed.

    Edited by CN

    ---

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    7
  • ADB adjusts strategy for Tajikistan
    29.07.2015 17:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142493.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142493.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    The Asian Development Bank has adjusted its strategy for Tajikistan. Bank representative Rajesh Vasudevan told local Tajik media that funds will be spent on improving the investment climate, training young people, and improving the trade.

    "In its new strategy, the ADB has decreased funding for projects in the field of transport and energy infrastructure, paying more attention to projects on climate change adaptation," he noted. "The ADB plans to decrease funding of energy projects in Tajikistan from 80 to 55 percent of total assistance."

    Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe hosted its second consultative workshop on July 28 as part of the process on developing a new Country Partnership Strategy for 2016-2020.

    Tajikistan joined the ADB in 1998 and to date, the ADB has approved a total of roughly $1.3 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. The ADB-Tajikistan partnership has promoted social development, upgraded and built new infrastructure, expanded agricultural production, and encouraged regional cooperation and trade under the CAREC Program.

    According to the Tajik Finance Ministry, the ADB is one of the main donors and lenders to the country.

    Since 1998, the volume of ADB financing in various sectors of the Tajik economy was over $1.3 billion. Most of the allocated funds are grants. From 2008 and on, the ADB has been providing financial assistance to Tajikistan exclusively on a free basis.

    The bank mostly finances the projects in the fields of transport, energy, and irrigation, many of which are of regional importance.

    The ADB, based in Manila, dedicates itself to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members '" 48 of which are from the Asia-Pacific region.
    7
  • PM: Turkey geared up for decisive fight against PKK and IS
    29.07.2015 17:18
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/13/trend_ahmet_davutoglu_071212.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/13/trend_ahmet_davutoglu_071212.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey will continue military operations against the terrorists of the "Kurdistan Workers' Party" (PKK) and the "Islamic State" (IS), since Ankara is set to a decisive fight against these terrorist organizations, TRT Haber quoted Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying July 29.

    He said the terrorists were hoping that after the parliamentary election the power in Turkey will weaken, but they were wrong.

    "Turkish authorities are capable of responding to any provocations of the terrorists. The citizens' security is important for us than anything else," said the PM.

    Turkish air force started a large-scale operation July 25 in Iraq's north where the PKK camps are located.

    Turkey's parliament passed in 2012 the so-called "Syrian mandate". Under the mandate, Ankara may take any actions to combat terrorism and other threats turned against the country, and reflect the danger that may spring from terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

    Ankara, according to the mandate, also may protect the country's interests before and after crises, and, if necessary, engage the army in military operations in other countries (Syria and Iraq).

    The mandate stipulates the possibility of presence of foreign military units in the country and their use (if necessary) at the discretion of the Turkish government.

    Edited by SI

    ---

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    5
  • Kazakhstan's accession to WTO carries risks, Russian minister says
    29.07.2015 16:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142491.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142491.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization carries risks, since the level of tariff protection for a number of items will be lower than those fixed by the Common Customs Tariff of the Eurasian Economic Union.

    This remark was made by Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev in an interview with the 'Russia 24' channel on July 27, ITAR-TASS reported.

    "Of course, certain problems and risks arise here. They are connected with the fact that the conditions for membership of Kazakhstan at the WTO imply a decline of the level of tariff protection for a large number of items. They are lower than fixed by the Common Customs Tariff of the Eurasian Economic Union," he said.

    The minister pointed out two problems, the first being a technical issue.

    "We, together with our Kazakh colleagues, should ensure the customs administration of such a quality that would not allow products from third countries to come to our markets through the lower barrier and distort trade conditions on which we have agreed when we entered the World Trade Organization," the minister noted.

    The second issue is that, "According to the WTO rules, after a three-year transition period, the country has the right to apply for adjustment of tariffs, and refinement of compensation that can be obtained in a form of improvement of tariffs on some items," Ulyukayev said.

    The press service of the ministry told ITAR-TASS that for Kazakhstan to adhere to its commitments as a member of the WTO, there are several issues that need to be addressed within the EEU.

    These issues are particularly related to Kazakhstan having tariff conditions differing from its commitments to the Common Customs Tariff of the Eurasian Economic Union.

    "We have already established an interagency working group to address these issues and plan to discuss them within the Eurasian Economic Commission," the ministry said.

    Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the protocol on the nationв's accession to the WTO on July 27 at the WTO General Council session in Geneva.

    The accession to the worldв's largest trade alliance came after talks lasting almost two decades to allow Kazakhstan to embrace global competition on beneficial terms.

    ''Kazakhstan will soon start operating under the WTO rules. However, we have been adjusting our economic policies for a long time in this direction by removing barriers, acting as an engine of regional integration, and promoting the principles of open collaboration,'' Nazarbayev said.

    Director-General Roberto AzevГЄdo signed the Protocol on the Accession of Kazakhstan on behalf of the WTO, following the General Councilв's approval of the terms of entry for the Central Asian country.

    ''This is a truly historic occasion for Kazakhstan, and for the WTO. For Kazakhstan, this is recognition of the efforts you have made over recent years and your commitment to this process. It is an endorsement of the extensive program of reforms, which you have undertaken,'' AzevГЄdo stressed.

    AzevГЄdo called the decision to join the WTO a ''message to the world that Kazakhstan is open for business.''

    ''Kazakhstanв's accession adds an important voice to our discussions here. It brings the organization closer to the heart of Central Asia. And it brings us closer to our goal of universal membership,'' he said.

    The negotiations on Kazakhstanв's membership were finalized by the Working Party on June 10. Kazakhstanв's WTO accession package was adopted by the 52-member Working Party through a referendum on June 22.

    During the course of the negotiations, Kazakhstan adopted 50 new laws and introduced amendments to 10 international agreements within the framework set out both by the Customs Union and the EEU.

    Throughout the long period of talks with the WTO, Kazakhstanв's GDP per capita increased 18-fold and reached the levels of Central and Eastern Europe. The countryв's external trade volume increased to $120 billion annually, of which more than 90 percent is with WTO member states.

    ''Kazakhstan is rich in mineral resources, and we intend to change the structure of our economy to remove the dependency on exporting raw materials. Today 54% of our GDP is linked to the services industry. It includes the financial sector, telecommunications, construction, energy, and transport. The liberalization of the financial services within the WTO will proceed in parallel with the process of establishing the Astana International Financial Centre. We hope that it will become a backbone of Kazakhstanв's financial infrastructure, and eventually a financial hub for the entire region. We invite all countries to participate in this project,'' Nazarbayev said.

    Experts believe that membership would facilitate Kazakhstanв's trade with more than 160 other WTO member countries. It is also expected to generate accelerated economic growth by opening up Kazakhstan to foreign investors. Such an opportunity would be most welcome as the country is currently experiencing economic hardship due to the dramatic fall in global oil prices. On the other hand, Kazakhstan is affected by Russia's economic slump as well.

    Kazakhstan's geographic location also paves the way for the country's membership in the trade organization. Located in the heart of the Eurasian continent, Kazakhstan could serve as a transit route from East to West and from South to North. The country has been developing its railways and roads in recent years with an aim to become a central hub along the major trade routes.
    15
  • Ancient Nakhchivani flags discovered in St. Petersburg
    29.07.2015 16:15
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142489.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142489.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Dr. Parvin Gozalov, a PhD in History, who is an employee at the Azerbaijani National History Museum, discovered two flags belonging to the Azerbaijani Nakhchivan Khanate.

    The discoveries were found during a scientific excursion to St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Both flags were found at Russiaв's State Hermitage, the National History Museum. Before now, the flags were presented in various foreign museums as "eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Muslims flags".

    The first flag can be traced back to 1812 and was taken as a trophy by Major General Pyotr Kotlyarevsky at the Battle of Aslanduz. The flag is indicated in the archival documents of the State Hermitage as the ''Trophy of the Battles of Years 1912, 1913, 1914''.

    The flag has rectangular form, with a length of 145 cm, and a width of 159 cm.

    The second flag of the Nakhchivan Khanate is dated to 1827 and was taken as a trophy by General Ivan Paskevich during the occupation of the khanate.

    The length of the flag is 178 cm, and the width is 144 cm.

    The Nakhchivan Khanate was founded in 1747. It covered the area from Zangazur range of mountains to Araz River. The center of Khanate was Nakhichivan city and it bordered the Garabagh, Garadagh, Khoy, Maku and Yerevan khanates. It was divided into the mahals of Nakhichevan, Alinjachay, Mavazikhatun, Daralayaz, Khok and others. The area of khanate was annexed to Russia according to Turkmanchay Treaty in 1828.
    6
  • Japan to modernize earthquake monitoring system in Turkmenistan
    29.07.2015 16:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/zelzele.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/zelzele.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 29

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The earthquake monitoring system will be modernized in Ashgabat, "Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper reported.

    The implementation of this project is envisaged in a separate paragraph of the joint statement on new partnership between Turkmenistan and Japan, according to the newspaper.

    The document was signed by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Recently, Turkmenistan has hosted a meeting with the delegation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the sites for installing the equipment were reviewed, the tasks of the joint coordinating committee were determined and the action plan for the future was agreed upon, said the report.

    The joint work carried out by the sides is aimed at developing the seismological research and, consequently, to further enhance the population's safety in Turkmenistan, according to the newspaper.

    JICA is expected to hand over the modern seismological equipment, digital seismic stations, and the data processing and interpretation software to Turkmenistan.

    It is planned to install three digital seismic stations and 10 sets of equipment (including installation on high-rise buildings) around Ashgabat.

    Turkmen specialists will pass training and study the modern seismic data processing technologies in Japan, said the newspaper.

    Turkmenistan sits on a seismically dangerous zone. On October 6, 1948, Ashgabat was hit by a catastrophic earthquake, the strength of which reached 10 points, leading to numerous casualties.

    Edited by SI

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    7
  • Iran: Pessimism and optimism
    29.07.2015 15:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/28/trend_zarif-mogherini_280715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/28/trend_zarif-mogherini_280715.jpg
    By Claude Salhani - Trend:

    The visit to Tehran earlier this week by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has raised new hopes among optimists that the deal signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5 1 earlier this month will use trade and industry to bring Iran closer to its neighbors, thus emulating the European Union example.

    Indeed, the concept of the founding fathers of the European Economic Community, the pre-cursor to the European Union, was to create such economic closeness among the member states that the very concept of war between any member states would become unthinkable. Countries that throughout history had been fighting each other for centuries, today are economic partners in trade and commerce and allies in the wars on drugs and terrorism.

    Today the very notion of an armed conflict between France and the United Kingdom is unimaginable. A war between the Dutch and the Spaniards is just not possible, nor is war between France and Germany.

    The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, often referred to as the P5 1, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, reached an agreement regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions July 14. As in everything else, there are those who support the motion and those who oppose it. There are the pro-Iran and the anti-Iran groups, lobbies and then there are the pessimists and optimists.

    A pessimist is someone who will always see the down side of thing, whereas the optimist always looks on the bright side of every situation.

    As could be expected, the recent accords between Iran and the P5 1 has produced a wide ranging array of views and counterviews from both optimists and pessimists.

    And if you listen closely, eventually, they both begin to make sense at some point.

    The optimists are grabbing at straws, hoping sometimes against all odds that the smallest bit of information will lead to bigger and more positive developments.

    Some optimists are banking on hopes that with time Iran will mature as a society, and can be pushed and prodded by economic and trade incentives to follow the EU example and convert to adopting a commercial outlook to life rather than the current focus on religion.

    Uniting the Middle East with one major religion and two or three languages should be relatively simple when compared to Europe who had to face the Herculean task of dealing with 27 nations speaking 23 different languages as diverse as French, Lithuanian, Hungarian and Maltese, practicing dozens of different religions, but united in the single largest economic market in the world.

    War in Europe today is unimaginable because the EU has intertwined the economies of its member states in such a manner that it is simply unthinkable for any two members to resort to armed conflict any longer. How difficult could it be for the Middle East where there are only two languages and far fewer religions?

    What facilitated the task of uniting the Europeans and allowed for this economic unity was the mindset of the Europeans and the absence of religious fervor that is incrusted in the Iranian and in Islamic societies and in Muslim countries far more so than religion is in Europe.

    Will the Middle East ever reach the point where they will be able to do what the European did and look towards a brighter future without strife?

    Time will tell.

    Claude Salhani is senior editor at Trend Agency and a political analyst.

    You can follow Claude on Twitter @ClaudeSalhani.

    Edited by CN

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    20
  • Iran wonв't accept UN resolution on ballistic program
    29.07.2015 15:12
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/ali_akbar_velayati_060613_6.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/ali_akbar_velayati_060613_6.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran will not accept a UN Security Council resolution that restricts Iran's ballistic missile activities, said Ali Akbar Velayati, head of Iran Expediency Council's Center for Strategic Research.

    The UN Security Council resolution on Iran's defense capability is rejected and the Islamic Republic will by no means accept it, Iran's Fars news agency quoted Velayati as saying July 29.

    This resolution was passed under the influence of imperial and hegemonic powers, aiming to weaken Iran's defensive capability, Velayati said.

    "The move is intended to deprive Iran of independence. They want either not to see Iran or see it as a subordinated country. This contradicts objectives of the Islamic Republic."

    The resolution 2231 which was passed unanimously on July 20 by members of the UN Security Council endorses a nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5 1(the US, UK, Germany, France, China and Russia ) in Vienna July 14.

    Under the Security Council resolution, another resolution will be required that lifts restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile activities after eight years. This was part of a compromise worked out by diplomats at the nuclear talks to avert an impasse.

    Iran's Foreign Ministry issued a statement after the Security Council vote, commending the acceptance of the agreement but also asserting that Iran would continue to strengthen its military capabilities for defensive purposes. The Foreign Ministry emphasized that missile technology was not part of the nuclear agreement.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Polish bikers injured in traffic accident in Azerbaijan
    29.07.2015 15:11
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142252.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142252.jpg
    Two Polish bikers were injured in a traffic accident in Shekiв's Qirkhbulaq village on the Qaramaryam-Ismayilli-Sheki highway at 11:30AM on Wednesday, APAв's Sheki-Zaqatala bureau reported.

    Baku city resident Hijran Alekber qizi Qarabeyli (1957) lost control of the Prado (state license plate 90-UF-696) she was driving and struck two bikers moving on the same road.

    The driver and the Polish citizens Eyva Petrovski (1976) and Pyotr Muravski (1964) were hospitalized in Sheki District Central Hospital with injuries of varying severity.

    The hospital told APA that driver Garabeyli was released for ambulatory treatment as she had slight injuries. Petrovski was diagnosed with a fracture in the thoracic vertebra and was admitted to the intensive care ward in the hospital, while Muravski was admitted to the surgery department with a diagnosis of a fracture in the right wrist.

    The investigation and inquiry department of the Internal Ministry's Main State Traffic Police Office is investigating the fact.
    10
  • Russian businessman put on intв'l wanted list for illegal activities in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh
    29.07.2015 14:40
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142483.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142483.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Russian businessman German Sterligov, who illegally visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, has been put on an international wanted list.

    A decision was made by the Nasimi District Court to arrest Sterligov being that there is sufficient evidence to charge him, according to the message from Azerbaijani Prosecutor Generalв's Office released on July 28.

    Sterligov and his family members illegally visited Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia, putting him on Azerbaijanв's list of undesirable persons.

    The report noted that the National Central Bureau of Interpol in Azerbaijan carries out the necessary measures to detect and catch Sterligov for investigation.

    The report also mentioned that the Investigation Department on Grave Crimes under the Prosecutor General's Office continues building a criminal case under articles 281.2 and 318.2 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan against Sterligov, the head of the Board of Directors of German Sterligov Group of Companies, and others who illegally crossed into the occupied territories avoiding checkpoints.

    The businessmanв's lawyer told BBC News on July 6 that Sterligov left Russia and went to Nagorno-Karabakh. Sterligov put up his livestock and vehicle fleet for sale before leaving.

    Moreover, in order to popularize the separatist regime internationally, Sterligov held a press conference in Shusha on July 13, 2015. He also posted information in social networks to support the ''independence'' of the separatist regime in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, thereby calling for a violation of Azerbaijanв's internationally recognized territorial integrity, the illegal use of natural resources from the occupied lands, money laundering, and so on.

    Azerbaijanв's foreign ministry and diplomatic missions pay special attention to illegal activities in the occupied areas of Azerbaijan. The work is consistently carried out to prevent illicit visits and activity.

    Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia are considered illegal, and individuals who pay such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's "black list".

    Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats against unauthorized visits to territories under Armenian occupation, stating that such visits violate international law.

    Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian, and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
    19
  • Dolma what surge that word can start
    29.07.2015 14:39
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142485.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142485.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    There is a traditional meal in the Land of Fire that no Azerbaijani can imagine living without. It is the number one guest of all feasts along with rich flavored pilaf. Of course, I am talking about Dolma.

    This stuffed meal is widely prepared in kitchens across the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia. However, in Azerbaijan this dish is iconic, you can meet it at every table during the traditional holiday.

    There are many varieties of this dish, including vitamin full vegetables. In spring, when many fresh grape leaves appear - the main product for making dolma. Summer brings aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to stuff. In autumn dolma is made out of cabbage leaves, apple and quince. During the cold winters, it is made of preserved grape leaves.

    The filling is also diverse, but dolma is basically prepared from meat, rice and aromatic herbs.

    Fresh grape leaves are the healthier option for spring, as they are full of vitamin C.

    In regions of Azerbaijan, dolma is also made of the leaves of the lime tree, quince, beech tree, sorrel, bean leaves, pennycress and other plants.

    The name of this delicious dish came from the process of its creation, and means to stuff. Today, you can stuff your own dolma, which is quite simple.

    For this, you will need 400g lamb meat, 120g rice, 80 g onions, 60g herbs such as coriander, dill and mint, 160g grape leaves, 80g yogurt, 40g melted butter, salt and pepper.

    Mince the boneless lamb and onions for stuffing, and add rice, nicely chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Parboil fresh grape leaves until half-ready. Mix the filling well and wrap each grape leaf around some 25g of filling.

    Then you need a saucepan to prepare this flavored meal. Place the prepared dolma in the pan and add water to cover it. In an hour you will sense the driving crazy smack, which means, that dolma is ready.

    Serve it to your loved ones with yogurt in a separate bowl. You can add some garlic in it.

    Another healthy meal in the spring with its choppy weather is kelem dolmasi or stuffed cabbage leaves.

    Take 600g of lamb meat, 80g rice and 60g onion, 900g cabbage, 250g chestnut, 60g coriander, 40g wine vinegar or a little lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.

    The cooking technique is pretty much the same as for cooking grape leaves dolma. Mince the lamb with the onions, adding the rice the mix then the shelled and chopped chestnuts, chopped coriander, pepper and salt and mix well. Simmer the cabbage in boiling water and peel off the leaves. Stuff the cabbage leaves with the meat mixture.

    Place the dolma in a saucepan and prepare in bouillon or water pouring a sauce made of sugar and vinegar over the dolma 20 minutes before they are cooked. Serve the cabbage dolma with yogurt as well.

    Dolma is an incredibly delicious meal and it is likely once you've tried you will be left wanting more. It is easy to prepare, delicious to eat and healthy to enjoy.

    Nush olsun!
    8
  • Baku awards prominent young chemists of world
    29.07.2015 14:38
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142484.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142484.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The Chinese team has boisterously won the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad in Baku.

    The Chemistry Olympiad, organized by Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, had been underway in Azerbaijan from July 20 to 29. The IChO 2015 gathered 300 young chemists from 75 countries of 5 continents, as well as over 250 professional chemists, experts, professors, supervisors, and team leaders.

    ''We have together ended the intense, exciting and ever-changing week, which was full of different shades. What have we learned during this week?'' President of the 47th Chemistry Olympiad and Rector of Baku Branch of Moscow State University Nargiz Pashayeva addressed the participants of the IChO 2015 closing ceremony.

    ''We have learned that life is really a huge lab, as we have written in our motto. And we have witnessed again that the most expensive and the only irreplaceable instrument of this lab is a human brain. And we have found out that human is the catalyst of all processes, going on the Earth,'' she stressed.

    The president noted that the young scientists are on the right path. ''Your choice is science, your choice is chemistry. And I want you to be loyal to this choice of yours.''

    The future of chemistry

    The Chinese team won the top spot in the competition. Yifu Ouyang was named the absolute winner, or the best theoretician, and awarded the gold medal.

    Ouyang said the IChO was a great event and was a wonderful experience. ''All that I can advise to the participants of the next Olympiad is to not be so nervous and try not to think about things from before. When Iв've finished my practical exam I just simply let it go and did my best in the next exam and got this victory.''

    The best experimenter title went to David I-Hsuan Wang from the United States. Scott Xiao from Canada earned silver in the category, while Latvian Edgars Kletnieks received bronze.

    The Azerbaijani team was represented by Dilgam Ahmadli, Sergey Styopin, Huseyn Babayev, and Ruslan Mammadov. Styopin and Babayev each won bronze medals at the Olympiad.

    Styopin said the results were not bad, but he unfortunately missed silver by just a couple of points.

    At the closing ceremony, Duckhwan Lee, the chair of the IChO Steering Committee and professor of Chemistry and Science Communications at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea said, ''For students, the tasks happened to be a bit difficult. But you are not supposed to solve easy tasks. Easy tasks are not for you. You have a responsibility to deal with hard ones.''

    Lee stressed that it was a phenomenal Olympiad. ''The best one in 12 years I witnessed and participated in my life,'' he added.

    ''It was also a great opportunity for us to appreciate the beauty of Azerbaijan. It was a great pleasure for all of us to have a chance to experience the wonderful city of Baku, wonderful competition, rich and various landscape, historical and cultural heritage and the generosity and hospitality of the people at Baku Branch of Moscow State University and everyone in the street. It was a great pleasure for us to be here in Baku, Azerbaijan. We will keep these in our memory for a long time,'' he said.

    The chair praised Rector Nargiz Pashayeva as a good manager and organizer not only for her own University, but also for this wonderful international event that brought together over 500 people from all over the world. ''It was a very complicated event but she was able to manage it in a really wonderful and professional way.''

    IChO at Baku Branch of Moscow State University

    The teaching staff at the University, under Rector Nargiz Pashayeva, helped strictly monitor and supervise the tremendous event.

    The participantsв' level of knowledge was tested in the classes and laboratories of Baku Branch of Moscow State University by experimental and theoretical exams. Students attempted to solve tasks requiring original and non-standard approaches in a matter of 5 hours.

    The participants that came to Baku to take part in this great science competition enjoyed the state-of-the-art facilities of the Baku Branch of Moscow State University, featuring laboratories equipped with the latest technology and brand new equipment.

    During their stay in the Azerbaijani capital, participants were given tours of Baku and the national museums of the city.

    The international jury, comprised of two representatives of each participating country, discussed and evaluated the participantsв' exam answers.

    The decision to hold the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad in Azerbaijan was made in 2012 in Washington. Azerbaijan is the second country in the CIS after Russia to host the International Chemistry Olympiad.

    The 47th Chemistry Olympiad is held with support from the Azerbaijani Education Ministry, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, and the Heydar Aliyev Center.

    The next International Chemistry Olympiad will be held in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2016. The flag of the IChO was handed over to Pakistan at a farewell party for the 47th IChO in Baku.
    11
  • Next Proton carrier rocket to be launched on August 28
    29.07.2015 14:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142247.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142247.jpg
    Preparations for launches of the Proton-M carrier rocket resume at the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan after temporary suspension after the crash in May.

    "The next launch is planned to be made with British communications satellite Inmarsat 5 F3. In accordance with the new schedule of launches, the next launch is scheduled for August 28," Khrunichev Center communications department said on Wednesday, ITAR TASS reports.

    Proton launches were temporarily suspended after the Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M acceleration unit and Mexica's Mexsat-1 satellite crashed on May 16. A minute before the Briz-M acceleration unit with the Mexican satellite was expected to separate from the carrier rocket, an emergency situation occurred at an altitude of 161 km, due to which the rocket's head section and third stage failed to separate and burnt up in the dense layers of the Earth's atmosphere above the Trans-Baikal area in East Siberia.

    Roscosmos space agency said the crash occurred because of an old deficiency in the construction of engines. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the recent accident "is miraculously similar" to the crashes in 1988 and 2014, when the state commission also failed to establish the exact causes for malfunctions.

    Roscosmos head Igor Komarov ordered the Khrunichev Center to develop and implement a plan on eliminating deficiency in the construction and design of engines.
    6
  • PKK militants blow up oil pipeline in Turkey
    29.07.2015 14:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/09/11/pipe_blast.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/09/11/pipe_blast.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The militants of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have blown up the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline running through Turkey's Sirnak province, Anadolu agency reported July 29 citing Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz.

    Following the pipeline explosion, oil transportation from Iraq to Turkey was suspended, according to the minister.

    Earlier, PKK militants blew up a section of the main pipe of Iran-Turkey gas pipeline in Turkey's Agri province.

    Turkish air force started large-scale operations July 25 in Iraq's north where the PKK camps as located.

    Turkish Parliament adopted the so-called Syrian mandate in 2012. Under this mandate, Ankara is empowered to take any measures against terror and other threats against the country, repulse the threat that can come from terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, protect the country's interests before and after the crisis, as well as, in the case of necessity, to involve the army in the military operations in other countries (Syria and Iraq).

    The mandate envisages the possibility of presence of foreign troops on the country's territory and their use at the discretion of the Turkish government when needed.

    ---

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    8
  • Greece, Azerbaijan resuming DESFA talks
    29.07.2015 14:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/04/logo_desfa__040215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/04/logo_desfa__040215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Next week, the Greek government will resume talks with Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR on the sale of a controlling interest in Greece's gas transmission system operator DESFA, the Kathimerini newspaper quoted Panos Skourletis, the productive reconstruction, environment and energy minister of Greece, as saying July 29.

    The main topic of discussion, as Skourletis said, will be the share in DESFA, which will be sold to SOCAR.

    In early May, Bloomberg reported that Greece's government is considering the sale of 49 percent share in DESFA to SOCAR.

    SOCAR won a tender in December 2013 on the sale of the 66 percent share in DESFA for 400 million euros.

    Currently, the deal is being considered by European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition, and the procedure will last until late 2015.

    In November 2014, the European Commission started an inquiry into the compliance of the deal on acquisition of a stake in DESFA with the EU's regulations.

    SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries on its balance sheet, and also owns filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

    SOCAR is also the co-owner of Turkey's largest petrochemical complex Petkim and other assets in Turkey.

    The company is currently carrying out work as part of ensuring the Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe.

    Work is underway in this regard within the second stage of development of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field, and for expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline.

    Aside from that projects are being developed for construction of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

    Edited by SI

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    11
  • Azerbaijan economic delegation to travel to Iran
    29.07.2015 14:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/21/trend_mohsun_pekayin_aambassador_210415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/21/trend_mohsun_pekayin_aambassador_210415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: An economic delegation from Azerbaijan will travel to Iran on August 3, Iranian ambassador to Baku, Mohsen Pak Ayeen told Trend.

    Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev will lead the delegation of both government and private sector officials, he added.

    The visit will take place at the invitation of Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, the Iranian ambassador said.

    Representatives of energy, transport, telecommunications, banking, and oil companies will accompany Mustafayev, he added.

    In a meeting between Pak Ayeen and Mustafayev in Baku, the Azerbaijnai minister referred to the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5 1 as an important measure toward regional stability and security, Iran's embassy to Baku reported.

    Mustafayev added that Baku has not ever been involved in anti-Iran sanctions and has always backed Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

    He also said that his visit to Tehran will pave the way for holding the 10th joint economic committee meeting in the second half of the current year.

    The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said that Iran pays special importance to countries that stood by the Iranian nation during the unjust sanctions. "Presidents of the two countries met several times over the past two years. Iran wants friendly ties with all regional countries. We hope that relations between Tehran and Baku will increase in this line."'Ё

    Azerbaijan was the 12th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

    Iran exported $435.34 million of non-oil goods to Azerbaijan and imported $22.22 million of non-oil goods from the country.

    Edited by CN

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    11
  • Oil pipeline blown up in east Turkey
    29.07.2015 14:32
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142248.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142248.jpg
    Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline has been attacked in Sirnak province, Taner Yildiz, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister said on Wednesday.

    According to a statement released by the Turkish Energy Ministry, Yildiz said the suspected sabotage bombing took place 18 kilometers inside the Cizre district of Sirnak province, next to the border with Iraq, Anadolu agency reports.

    "Just after the explosion we've closed the oil valves to stop extra oil flow. We have taken measures and attack won't have an effect on oil supply and demand," he said.

    Turkey's energy system has suffered many attacks recently, Yildiz said, adding that terrorists are taking aim at Turkey's strategic position, stability and development.

    On Tuesday, the Turkey-Iran natural gas pipeline was targeted by an explosion in Agri province near the Iran border.

    The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has a maximum operational capacity of 400,000 barrels per day, but actual flows are around 300,000 barrels per day due to attacks on the pipeline, which frequently disrupt the operation, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq's reconstruction.

    The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has a storage capacity of 1.6 million barrel per day.
    8
  • Chief of Turkish General Staff to resign
    29.07.2015 14:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/trend_necdet_ozel_170111_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/trend_necdet_ozel_170111_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Chief of General Staff of Turkish Armed Force Necdet Ozel will resign in late July, Kanal7 TV channel reported July 29.

    Previously, Ozel was expected to vacate his post in late August.

    It was earlier reported that he will take this step due to health problems.

    Necdet Ozel was appointed chief of Turkish General Staff on Aug.4, 2011.

    Reportedly, Land Forces Commander General Hulusi Akar will replace him on this post.

    Akar has been the land forces commander of Turkish armed forces since 2013.

    Edited by SI

    ---

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    10
  • Azerbaijanв's military ships moor in Makhachkala port
    29.07.2015 14:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142249.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142249.jpg
    Azerbaijani Naval Forcesв' ships have moored in the port of Makhachkala.

    APA reports quoting RIA Novosti that two patrol boats and a tugboat will compete in Caspian Cup - 2015 International Army Games.

    According to the press service of the Southern Military District of Russia, following the welcoming ceremony, the competitors from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan visited sea landfills in Dagestan ship. Russian seamen demonstrated the guests the procedure to pass routes and fulfillment of combat assignments.

    Caspian Cup - 2015 International Army Games will be held on August 3-15 in specially equipped landfill with a total area of 300 km in the Caspian Sea.
    9
  • Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters claim 3 medals at Korea Open
    29.07.2015 13:55
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142482.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142482.jpg
    Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters have grabbed three medals at the Korea Open international tournament.

    Winner of the Baku 2015 European Games Milad Beigi Karcegani took gold in the 80kg weight category.

    Sina Bahrami (63kg) and female fighter Patimat Abakarova (49kg) claimed bronze medals.

    /By AzerTac/
    16
  • Iraq against bombing of PKK positions by Turkish air force
    29.07.2015 13:52
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/26/avia_zerbe_bomb_blast_260315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/26/avia_zerbe_bomb_blast_260315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is against the military operations carried out by Turkish air force in his country's north, said the statement from Iraqi Cabinet of Ministers July 29.

    Iraq and Turkey are brotherly countries, but Turkey should respect Iraq's sovereignty, according to the statement.

    Turkish air force started large-scale operations July 25 in Iraq's north where the PKK camps as located.

    Turkish Parliament adopted the so-called Syrian mandate in 2012. Under this mandate, Ankara is empowered to take any measures against terror and other threats against the country, repulse the threat that can come from terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, protect the country's interests before and after the crisis, as well as, in the case of necessity, to involve the army in the military operations in other countries (Syria and Iraq).

    The mandate envisages the possibility of presence of foreign troops on the country's territory and their use at the discretion of the Turkish government when needed.

    Edited by SI

    ---

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    6
  • Water mafia: Why Delhi is buying water on the black market
    29.07.2015 13:16
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142480.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142480.jpg
    In the congested Delhi neighbourhood Sangam Vihar, home to 500,000 people, the air is fraught with anticipation.

    Rows of men and women are gathered in its narrow lanes, some sitting on their haunches. Large plastic drums are placed strategically in front of them.

    Suddenly a cry goes up: "It's here, it's here."

    A water tanker backs into the lane, and the place descends into chaos.

    Young men charge towards the truck, clambering onto the top with pipes, which are then lowered into the tank. Others push the drums in place - there's a mad scramble to fill them up with clean water.

    Fights break out as some people are pushed out of the way.

    "It's always like this," Jainisha Khatoon says. "People push and pull. We get abused. That's when I step back."

    In 15 minutes, the water runs out and the tanker drives away, leaving many desperate people behind.

    "It only comes once every 10 days or so," says Rupa Jha, another resident.

    "How do you expect it to last? We have to buy water from private suppliers. Water's always available but at a price."

    About 20% of Delhi's population have no access to piped water and have to be supplied by water tankers. But the difference between demand and supply is more than 750 million litres a day.

    So they have to rely on the black market - water supplied by private contractors, or "the water mafia", as it has come to be known.

    "It's always existed here. A network of people who steal water and then supply it to those who need it," says Anuj Porwal, a social activist from Sangam Vihar.

    "They have the backing of the police and local politicians. That's why no one can stop them," he alleges.

    The allegations have always been denied.

    It costs about $10 (ВЈ6) to buy 200 litres of water from the mafia. In contrast, water provided by the city government is free, when available.

    "I make about $80 a month. So you can imagine how hard it is for us to come up with that kind of cash," says Bimla, another resident of the area.

    Under the cover of darkness, the mafia works to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

    It is 04:00 at Balla, a sandy enclave by the banks of the Yamuna river that flows through Delhi.

    The single street, with a few shops and houses on either side, is deserted save for a few stray dogs.

    It's also dark - most of the streetlights are switched off or are missing.

    A row of tankers snake through the street and then pull into one of several alleys. Men jump out and quickly haul thick pipes which are then rigged into the tanks.

    The other end of the pipes are attached to borewells sunk deep into the ground. With a low hum, thousands of litres of water are pumped into the trucks.

    It takes less than half an hour to fill up a truck. As one leaves, another takes its place. Details are entered into a logbook.

    It's a well organised operation that is conducted swiftly and stealthily.

    "No one really challenges them because they can be dangerous," one local resident warns us.

    The men themselves are reluctant to talk.

    When one does, he offers this by way of explanation: "We only supply water to those areas that need it."

    The immediate fallout of this informal, but shadowy, syndicate is that many of Delhi's residents - especially its poorest - are paying a price for a resource that's meant to be freely available.

    But there's a long-term impact too.

    The mafia is drawing out water from India's groundwater, which is slowly being critically depleted.

    If unchecked it could lead to a potentially devastating social and economic cost.

    /By BBC/
    10
  • French city Colmar to host cultural events dedicated to Azerbaijan
    29.07.2015 13:12
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142244.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142244.jpg
    The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), in co-operation with the Mayorв's Office in Colmar, are organising a series of cultural events in Colmar from 7'"12 September 2015, TEAS told APA.

    On 7 September, the quartet led by Emil Afrasiyab, a major artist and one of the leading exponents amongst the younger generation of Azerbaijani jazz musicians, will participate in the opening of the 20th edition of the Festival de Jazz de Colmar. The concert will be broadcast live on local TV channel TV7.

    In his compositions, this outstanding pianist combines jazz with elements of mugham, a highly complex traditional Azerbaijani musical genre that is predominantly improvised. His reputation was initially established in his homeland, but his career path changed when he won the Public Prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2011. The three remaining members of his quartet are talented French musicians - Raphaeuml;l Pannier (drums), Antoine Katz (bass) and Alexandre Madeline (tenor saxophone). The concert follows Emil's acclaimed performance in two French festivals this year - the Festival Jazz agrave; Saint-Germain des Preacute;s Paris and Sunnyside at Reims.

    From 8-12 September 2015, TEAS will present the exhibition Azerbaijan Through the Lens at the Pocirc;le Meacute;dia Culture Edmond Gerrer. The exhibition brings together 30 stunning photographs of Azerbaijan. It provides an invaluable opportunity for the population of Colmar to discover the different facets of this country, which is located between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea and combines elements of the Orient and the West in terms of its landscapes, culture and architecture.

    These photographs are the fruit of a competition organised by TEAS in 2012, having been selected from around 750 submissions from both amateur and professional photographers located across the world. The jury comprised the world-renowned photographer Henry Dallal - best-known for his photographs of Queen Elizabeth II - and Caroline Metcalfe, Photographic Director for Condeacute; Nast Traveller magazine.

    TEAS has also said that a charter of friendship and co-operation was signed between the town of Colmar and the Azerbaijani town of Sheki on 19 May. This charter serves to officialise the amicable relationship between the towns that dates back to 2013.
    7
  • Azerbaijani ships enter Makhachkala port
    29.07.2015 13:12
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142245.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142245.jpg
    Azerbaijani ships have arrived in Makhachkala for participation in international contest Caspian Cup - 2015.

    "Two patrol escort 205 project motor boats and a tow boat of the marine forces of Azerbaijan have entered the port of Makhachkala", assistant supreme commander of the Russia marine forces on public relations and mass media Igor Dygalo said.

    In the Caspian Sea the Azerbaijani ships met small missile ships of the Caspian flotilla Grad Svijazsk and Uglic. The raid towboat RB-39 accompanied the foreign division to the port.

    The Caspian Cup will be held in the Caspian Sea on a specially equipped polygon of a total area of approximately 300 sq meters from 1 to 15 August.

    The contest participants will particularly terminate small offshore and air targets, sailing mines, rescue the creaw of the 'drowning' vessel.
    7
  • Armenian companies on verge of bankruptcy
    29.07.2015 12:37
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142477.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142477.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    As a result of the miserable economic situation in Armenia, the countryв's companies have been going bankrupt one after another.

    The Armenian companies suffer great losses under the harsh economic conditions that have worsened as the corrupt government has been unable to eliminate the consequences of the economic crisis.

    The Orange Armenia telecommunication company takes the first place on the list of Armenian companies that have suffered losses of more than one million drams ($ 2.093 ), Armenian media reports referring to Armeniaв's State Revenue Committee.

    Orange Armenia does not have the scale necessary for generating required investments. The company declared a loss of 43.3 billion drams for the previous year.

    The situation for the other companies is also not pleasing as they continue suffer losses.

    Gazprom Armenia holds comes in second for the size of its losses with 32 billion drams (about $67 million). It was followed by Nairit having lost 29.1 billion drams (about $61 million), and Rusal Armenal with 18.9 billion (about $40 million) in losses.

    The other companies in the list included Electric Networks of Armenia, Armenian Railway Company, Spayka, Glendale Hills, Hrazdan cement, Ararat cement, Armenian Public Television and others.

    The companies that are on the verge of the bankruptcy are forced to sell their shares to the international companies in order to avoid being declared bankrupt.

    The number of companies in the list that have suffered losses of more than one million drams is a staggering 775. The total amount of damages amounts to about 260 million drams (about $544 million).

    As a result of the economic slowdown in Russia, which is Armeniaв's biggest trading partner, the economic situation in the country has worsened due to a decline in remittances into the country. Money transfers from Russia to Armenia decreased by 40 percent, which consequently, led to a significant drop in governmentв's revenues.

    As the experts forecast that the cash from Russia will continue decline, one can expect that Yerevanв's revenues will keep falling in the coming months. This consequently leads to the lower economic growth or no growth in the country.

    The forecasts of the international financial and rating organizations also show economic decline.

    Fitch Ratings reported on July 27 that the government deficit for 2015 is likely to come in at 3.5 percent of GDP, compared with a target of 2.3 percent in the original budget.

    The organization said a tax hike and similar measures could lead to an exacerbation of the political situation in the country, such as the recent demonstrations against a hike in electricity costs in the country. It said these measures will likely face strong social and political challenges, as the recent protests against higher consumer electricity charges demonstrate.

    Fitch Ratings also highlighted the fact that Armenia's large exposure to Russia increases risks to its growth prospects and balance of payments, and weighs on the rating as a result. Russia is an important source of Armenia's net receipts of workers' remittances (80 percent in 2014) and export revenues (20 percent in 2014).

    It also noted that Armenia's external finances are weaker than the median of its 'B' range rating peers. Net external debt to GDP is high (42.6 percent vs. 'B' median of 14.4 percent in 2014) and the current account deficit plus net FDI is huge (-4.6 percent vs. 'B' median of -2.7 percent in 2014).

    The organization said one of the reasons for Armenia's miserable economic situation its geopolitical environment, claiming this factor to be a negative constraint on the rating.

    The latent conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region entails the tail risk of escalating into a full-scale conflict, though this scenario is unlikely to occur. No resolution is expected in the short term, the statement said.

    Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

    These factors represent urgent calls for the Armenian government to take decisive measures to pull the country from the economic crisis and further deterioration of the situation in the country. The corrupt regime in Yerevan, unfortunately, seeks to maintain its power rather than finding solutions to its problems.
    14
  • France agrees to have role in Iran's nuclear industry
    29.07.2015 12:35
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142478.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142478.jpg
    Iran's Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed a French FM's visit to Tehran after 17 years, Trend Agency's correspondent reported.During a joint press conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius on July 29 in Tehran, Zarif said that Paris and Tehran has talked bilateral relations, especially in energy and transport sectors today.Iran's FM further said that France has agreed to have a role in Iran's nuclear industry. He added that a French economic delegation is expected to arrive in Iran by the end of summer.Zarif also highlighted that Iran and France have agreed to continue political and nuclear negotiations.Laurent Fabius in turn said that he will meet with Iran's top officials in Tehran, including Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, energy minister Hamid Chitchian, Vice President of Iran and head of Environmental Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar and other high-ranking officials.Laurent Fabius's visit to Tehran came a day after the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini visited Iran."France is keen to resume relations with Iran, in auto, aviation, energy, health fields," he said. "There is a massive field of mutual cooperation in social, cultural, tourism and other spheres as well."He also said that resuming the relations between Iran and France also should include regional and global issues, as according to Fabius, France and Iran have common interests in fighting extremism and terrorism.He also called the nuclear agreement between Iran and P5 1 (achieved on July 14) an accord for "security and stability in the region and world".The French FM also mentioned his so called "tough position" in nuclear negotiations, saying that the reason was that Iran's nuclear is not a unimportant issue, as France supports peaceful nuclear developments, not the creation of a nuclear bomb.He also called France position in nuclear talks constructive, saying that Paris is strongly against proliferation of nuclear arms.

    /By
    6
  • Azerbaijan, France intend to expand military cooperation
    29.07.2015 12:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/28/hasanov_qebul_280715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/28/hasanov_qebul_280715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov met with French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the military-political situation in the region and the successfully developing relations in the military sphere. They stressed the importance of expanding activity in this direction.

    French military attache, Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Evrard accredited in Azerbaijan also attended the meeting.

    Evrard is completing his activity in Azerbaijan.

    Evrard is pleased with his work in Azerbaijan and stressed that he will remain a sincere friend of Azerbaijan in the future.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Turkish armed forces neutralize 130 PKK terrorists
    29.07.2015 12:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142241.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142241.jpg
    Turkish armed forces neutralized 130 PKK terrorists.

    APA reports quoting Milliyet newspaper that many arsenals of PKK terrorist organization were destroyed as a result of air operations. The headquarter of senior PKK leader Murat Karayilan was reportedly destroyed.

    PKK terrorist who uses the code name Gabar was also neutralized.

    According to some reports, more PKK terrorists were killed. According to unspecified information, 200 terrorists were killed.
    6
  • Defense Ministry comments on arrest of high-ranking officers
    29.07.2015 12:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142242.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142242.jpg
    "Everyone is responsible before the law".

    In connection with media reports about the officers of the Main military inspection of the Ministry of Defense, we state that the due investigation was carried at the instruction of the Defense Ministry in connection with serious law offenses by the officials of inspection as they were fulfilling their military duties. The materials were collected and submitted to Azerbaijan's General Prosecutor's office for adoption of due measures under the law.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the news service for the Defense Ministry that the Head department for combat against corruption instituted a criminal proceeding on the basis of these materials:

    "According to the President of Azerbaijan, supreme commander, everyone is responsible before the law for the law offenses in period of their service regardless of the position and past merits".
    9
  • Iranian, French FMs discuss political issues
    29.07.2015 11:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/18/iran_france_flags_180615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/18/iran_france_flags_180615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius held meeting with his Iranian counter part Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran to discuss the issues of mutual interests.

    Fabius arrived in Tehran on July 29, and is scheduled to hold talks with the Islamic Republic's high-ranking officials including President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Minister of Industry, Trade and Mines Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh as well as the head of Iran's Environment Protection organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar during the day-long visit.

    Upon his arrival to Tehran the French FM said that his visit is a new beginning and both Tehran and Paris have responsibility to establish peace and stability in the region, Iran's IRIB news agency reported.

    Fabius' visit to Iran is the first by a French foreign minister to the Islamic Republic in 12 years.

    He underlined that his visit will cover political issues.

    "However we will also discuss the future of the economic cooperation," he said.

    Meanwhile, some hardliner Iranians held meeting in Tehran's international Mehrabad airport to protest Fabius's visit, the country's semi official Fars news agency reported.

    They chanted slogans against the French minister, accusing him of being "Israel spy" and the "US handyman". The protesters also accused Fabius of selling HIV infected blood to Iran.

    In 1991, doctor and journalist Anne-Marie Casteret revealed that France knowingly distributed blood contaminated with HIV to haemophiliacs, including those in Iran.

    In 1999, then-French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius, then-Social Affairs Minister Georgina Dufoix and then-Health Minister Edmond Herve were charged with manslaughter following an investigation into the scandal of tainted blood sales. Later, the French Court of Cassation acquitted Fabius and Dufoix. Herve was found guilty, but was never sentenced.

    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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    19
  • Customs duties on some goods cancelled in Azerbaijan
    29.07.2015 11:54
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142238.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142238.jpg
    The Cabinet of Ministers has introduced changes into the decision 'On customs duties on export and import operations in Azerbaijan Republic".

    According to Oxu.Az, the decision was signed by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.

    On Group 84 the list included memory devices (on hard disks), other readout equipment, spare parts and essentials for equipment indicated in commodity item 8471 (electronic modules), spare parts and essentials of devices indicated in commodity item 8471 (others).

    Group 85 included monitors (used only or mainly on readout systems indicated in commodity item 8471, electronic integral schemes (processors and controllers, either connected or not connected with the memory devices, substitutes, logical schemes, boosters, synchronizers or other schemes).

    The decision will be enacted on 29 August and remain valid for 7 years.
    9
  • Gevorgyans family under trial in Armenia
    29.07.2015 11:53
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142239.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142239.jpg
    Yeghishe, his wife Ruzanna and three children fled to Azerbaijan.

    The investigation of the criminal case against Yeghishe Gevorgyan completed, the case have been sent to court.

    According to Oxu.Az citing news.am, it is reported by the press service of Armenia's Judicial Department.

    Recall that a criminal case was launched on the fact of illegal crossing of the state border of Armenia by Gevorgyans family.

    After Gevorgyan's returning to his homeland a preventive measure in the form of arrest was changed to the recognizance not to leave.

    52-year-old Yeghishe, his wife Ruzanna and three children crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on the territory of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic on January 10, 2010.

    Yeghishe Gevorgyan and Ruzanna were charged under Part 2 of Article 329 of the Armenian Criminal Code.
    8
  • One more Armenian drone knocked down on front
    29.07.2015 11:52
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142240.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142240.jpg
    Azerbaijani units terminated one more unmanned jet of Armenian occupants on the front.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the Defense Ministry of the country that DJI Inspire1 (Quadcopter) was knocked down in the Agdam direction of the front as it attempted to carry out a reconnaisance flight over the positions of our soldiers.
    9
  • NATO voices strong support Turkey in war on terror
    29.07.2015 11:18
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142469.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142469.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The situation in Turkey has become the top agenda for the international community after the country was subjected to numerous terroristic attacks.

    The chain of terrorist attacks in the country, which has been struggling with the Kurdistan Workers Party terrorist group over many years and is neighbor to war-torn Syria, has alarmed and necessitated the support of the international community.

    Following Turkeyв's request for urgent consultations with its 27 NATO allies, the organization offered political support for Turkey's campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting in Brussels on July 28.

    It is only the fifth time in NATO history that members met under Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty, which allows countries to ask for consultations when they believe their territorial integrity, political independence, or security is threatened.

    This came as Ankara has increased its participation in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes on IS-held territory as well as PKK camps in Iraq from last week after the country was hit by a series of terrorist acts.

    The situation in Turkey has deteriorated in the last week after an organized Islamic State terrorist attack in Suruc on the border with Syria and the killings of policemen in the south-eastern provinces by the PKK.

    Although there has no decision yet on rendering military support to Turkey to combat terrorists, its NATO allies are closely watching the situation and have shown strong solidarity with the country.

    NATOв's Press Officer Matthias Eichenlaub toldВ TrendВ on July 28 that the organization is augmenting Turkish air defenses to help defend Turkey against ballistic missiles from Syria.

    ''This is a concrete sign of NATO solidarity with Turkey,'' Eichenlaub added.

    NATO rules provide for mutual support if an ally comes under attack. However, Turkey has not invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty which requires allied nations to consider military action.

    Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey didnв't appeal to NATO for military support to combat the IS and PKK terrorists.

    However, Turkey's president on Tuesday called on NATO to ''do its part'' in helping address the countryв's concerns over security on its borders.

    ''We are using our rights under international law and will continue to use them. It is NATO's duty, which is why we demand NATO to be prepared in this regard,'' Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists before a flight to China.

    Beginning on July 25, the Turkish Air Force launched a bombing campaign of IS positions in northern Syria, as well as on PKK positions in northern Iraq.

    Turkish Air Force destroyed a PKK military camp in Hakurk in Iraqв's north on July 27.

    Despite the U.S.-led campaign to fight IS terrorists, the international community wasnв't successful in reaching this purpose.

    Turkeyв's active involvement in the operations has raised expectations for eliminating the IS threat in near future.

    However, until the recent developments, Turkey didnв't seem eager to take part in military operations against this terrorist group, despite repeated calls by Washington and the European countries to act.
    20
  • Armenia not ready for peace
    29.07.2015 11:18
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142468.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142468.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    While negotiations are underway to settle the long-standing Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Armenian side continues provocations on the contact line, ignoring all calls to solve the problem peacefully.

    Just days after the departure of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, whose aim is to mediate to settle the conflict peacefully, the Armenian military attempted sabotage on the frontline.

    This comes after the co-chairs voiced concerns about the recent rise in tensions and called on all sides to avoid a deadly escalation of violence and take all measures to adhere strictly to the ceasefire.

    However as always, Armenia in defiance of the calls to refrain from aggravating the situation on the contact line, broke all hopes for a peaceful resolution of the lingering conflict, which still continues to claim the lives of people on both sides.

    The Azerbaijani Armed Forces prevented an attempted Armenian incursion along the line of contact and border areas, the Azerbaijani defense ministry reported.

    The Armenian armed forces attempted the incursion during the day and into the night on July 24 by firing shells at Azerbaijani positions in the direction of the Goranboy, Aghdam, Terter, and Fuzuli regions, as well as across the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border into the Gadabay region, the statement said.

    The opposing side was silenced by return fire. At least five Armenian servicemen were killed.

    While preventing the enemy's attempted sabotage, Azerbaijani soldier Eldar Fataliyev was killed.

    The ministry also said the situation on the frontline is in full control by the Azerbaijani armed forces.

    The Armenian armed forces have increased tensions along the contact line of troops, firing frequently at Azerbaijani positions and settlements. During the last months, Armenian troops broke the ceasefire an average of 80 times a day using large-caliber machine guns and mortars.

    Such aggressive actions by Armenia are not new as the country has kept 20 percent of Azerbaijanв's internationally recognized territory under occupation over the past two decades, creating a base for a new bloody war in the South Caucasus region.

    Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian, and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

    As a result of Armenia going unpunished for its crimes, it still continues the occupation in defiance of U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories.

    There are various reasons for Armeniaв's recent aggression. One is that the country is satisfied with the status quo and therefore, does its best to prevent any change in the negotiations.

    Every time, when favorable conditions and hopes emerge for progress in the peace talks, the Armenian side resorts to provocations on the contact line, endangering the peace process on the resolution of the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

    Another reason for Armeniaв's aggressive policy is related to the internal problems of this impoverished country. Unable to solve its domestic social and economical issues, the Armenian leadership attempts to divert the attention of people, which are dissatisfied with the incompetent government and fed up with its 'pretty liesв', from developments taking place inside the country.

    The difficult economic and political situation in Armenia is the result of a complete failure of the leadership of this country.

    The military dictatorship of Serzh Sargsyan's regime attempts to calm the discontent population by keeping them under the fear of war.

    Azerbaijani MP Musa Gasimli said provocation and violation of the ceasefire regime by Armenia can be explained by the fact that the government wants to divert attention from the internal crisis, as well as to frighten the population with an "external enemy."

    He toldВ TrendВ that the Armenian government, failing to create normal conditions for the population, frightens people by starting new military operations.

    However, Armeniaв's aggressive policy mainly hurts itself, as Yerevan has been sidelined from big projects with regional countries. This has exacerbated the current situation of the country and led to an economic crisis that the government is unable to tackle.

    In the meantime, this occupant country blames Azerbaijan for the delay in the settlement of the conflict. Putting its own guilt on Azerbaijan, the countryв's military dictatorship attempts to discredit Azerbaijan and presents itself as a victim of the conflict, while being the side that started the conflict.

    Despite Armeniaв's provocations, Azerbaijan has always demonstrated its position and readiness for the peaceful resolution of the problem. Unfortunately, resolution efforts havenв't yielded results yet.
    16
  • Turkish Ziraat Bankв's subsidiary officially starts working in Azerbaijan
    29.07.2015 11:12
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/06/ziraat_bankas_logo_060415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/06/ziraat_bankas_logo_060415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 29

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Turkish Ziraat Bank's branch has officially begun its activity in Azerbaijan, the bank told Trend.

    "The bank was not officially opened," the bank said. "But we have started serving customers since the middle of this month."

    T.C. Ziraat Bankasi received in late 2014 a license from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan to conduct banking activities in Azerbaijan through its subsidiary, the Ziraat Bank Azerbaijan.

    Ziraat Bank Azerbaijan's authorized capital is 50 million manat.

    T.C. Ziraat Bankasi has been operating since 1863, and is the largest bank in Turkey.

    Outside of Turkey the T.C. Ziraat Bankasi is currently present in Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

    The bank also has offices in the UK, the US, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iraq, North Cyprus, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    TCZiraat BankasД± has been operating on the banking market of Azerbaijan since 1995 as one of the founders of Azer-Turk Bank. Currently, the Turkish bank owns 12.37 percent. Its subsidiary Ziraat Bank International AG owns 1.08 percent in this joint bank.

    The official exchange rate is 1.0488 AZN/USD July 29.

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    12
  • Russia removes ban on poultry imports from Hungary
    29.07.2015 11:12
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142236.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142236.jpg
    Russia removed ban on poultry imports and all related products which were not subject to thermal conditioning from Hungary on July 24. That is according to the documents of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), TASS reports.

    "Taking into account improvement of epizootic situation with bird flu in Hungary and the measures that were taken by the national veterinary service to prevent the spread of the disease, temporary restrictions on supplies of all types of poultry products from Hungary to Russia are removed from July 24, 2015,"- the regulator said.

    Rosselkhoznadzor banned poultry imports from Hungary on March 4, 2015, after an outbreak of high-pathogen bird flu was registered on poultry farms in Bekes county.

    The restriction was not related to the embargo on food imports from the EU Russia imposed earlier and its removal does not lift the ban on imports of all types of meat from the EU that was imposed until August 7, 2016.

    On July 24, the regulator also lifted the ban on supplies of fodder, feed supplements for poultry and second hand equipment from Hungary.
    21
  • Georgia's Central Bank Chief slams bill on banking supervision
    29.07.2015 11:11
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142237.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142237.jpg
    Central bank chief, Giorgi Kadagidze, criticized the bill, which would removes banking supervisory functions from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).

    He welcomed President Giorgi Margvelashvili's intention to veto it, Civil.ge reports.

    "It will damage the [banking] sector and it is already damaging investors' attitudes," Kadagidze told journalists on July 28.

    "This bill is fraught with a serious threat. It does not even hold water from the technical, legal point of view as there are numerous provisions open to interpretation, which will create serious problems. I think it is not in line with the constitution and not in line with Georgia's Association Agenda with the EU. It has been fiercely criticized by the international organizations. It is obvious that the only goal of this billhellip; is to weaken the National Bank, as well as to downgrade the role of the President," he said; according to the bill the President will have no say in the process of nomination and appointment of board members of the banking supervisory agency, which will be removed from NBG.

    "Our position is that this bill should not go into force. Not a single self-respected economist can assess it positively," Kadagidze said.

    The bill has not yet been formally vetoed. But president's administration has announced about working on objections, that involves drafting of an alternative bill. It means that vetoing of the bill, adopted by the Parliament, is imminent. The Georgian Dream ruling coalition has enough seats in the Parliament to override the presidential veto.

    "We welcome presidential veto, which is expected. We think that the veto will be an opportunity for parliament members to revise their decision," Kadagidze said, adding that the central bank had consultation with the president's office in drafting of objections.

    Economy Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, told journalists on July 28 that the adopted bill "is really in line with the international standards"; he rejected criticism of the bill as a "speculation, which aims at halting the process" of removing banking supervisory functions from the NBG.

    Although the bill has been amended, as Parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili said on July 16, to put it in line with international financial institutions' recommendations, the key principle of removing banking supervision from the NBG remained unchanged.

    IMF, EBRD, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank said in "Georgia's case, moving banking supervision out of the NBG does not seem prudent."
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