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In Iceland, Court Says a Girl Can Finally Use Her Name
01.02.2013 09:29
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A 15-year-old girl has been granted the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother, despite the opposition of the authorities and Iceland's strict law on names. The Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the first name of the girl, Blaer Bjarkardottir, could be used as a girl's name, overturning a decision by officials who declared that Blaer, which means light breeze, was not a proper feminine name. Like a few other countries, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. Before the court's ruling, Blaer had been identified simply as "Girl" in communications with officials.
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  • 5 killed, 18 wounded in Baghdad attacks
    24.01.2015 19:24
    Five people have been killed and 18 others wounded on Jan.24 in four separate attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Anadolu Agency reported referring to police.One person was killed and five others wounded when an improvised explosive device exploded in the al-Amiriyah area in western Baghdad.Ano...
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  • Iranian parliament speaker warns Obama to control US political infighting
    24.01.2015 18:48
    Tehran, Iran, Jan. 24By Milad Fashtami - Trend:Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani said that if the Americans are not able to control their political infighting, then they would be responsible for any possible failure of the talks."[US President Barack] Obama should make sure that hi...
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  • 5 killed, 18 wounded in Baghdad attacks
    24.01.2015 19:24
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/04/09/gaza_airstrikes_090411.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/04/09/gaza_airstrikes_090411.jpg
    Five people have been killed and 18 others wounded on Jan.24 in four separate attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Anadolu Agency reported referring to police.

    One person was killed and five others wounded when an improvised explosive device exploded in the al-Amiriyah area in western Baghdad.

    Another went off in the al-Zafaraniyah area in southeastern Baghdad. Two people were killed and nine others wounded.

    In a minibus in al-Mahmoudiya area, four people were wounded when the improvised explosive device blew up, a police captain said.

    In addition, the bodies of two women were found behind a marketplace in the al-Doura area in southern Baghdad. The women were shot in the head and chest.

    Moreover, the Iraqi security forces found bodies of 25 Islamic State militants in a medical center in Nebai in northern Baghdad. The militants were killed in clashes with the Iraqi security forces, according to an Iraqi army source.

    The death toll could not be independently verified.

    Iraqi troops are fighting against IS, supported by a U.S.-led coalition that has been conducting air strikes against the extremist group for five months.

    Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June 2014 when IS stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared what it calls a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

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    167
  • 7 killed, 19 wounded in airstrikes in Syria
    24.01.2015 19:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/05/21/air_strike_210514.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/05/21/air_strike_210514.jpg
    Seven people were killed and 19 others were wounded in regime airstrikes east of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Jan.24, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Sources from field hospitals in the region of Eastern Ghouta confirmed the deaths of seven people following three Syrian regime air attacks on residential areas in the town of Arbin.

    The 19 injured, including children, were taken to field hospitals, according to Ammar al-Boushi a local activist in the area.

    Since 2011, the Syrian civil war has resulted in the deaths of 350,000 people and displaced almost half of the country's population.

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    17
  • Iranian parliament speaker warns Obama to control US political infighting
    24.01.2015 18:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, Jan. 24

    By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

    Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani said that if the Americans are not able to control their political infighting, then they would be responsible for any possible failure of the talks.

    "[US President Barack] Obama should make sure that his country's political infighting would never affect the nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5 1 group of countries," he said, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported on Jan. 24.

    "We are controlling the situation, so we expect the same from Americans," he noted.

    "Iran has so far been flexible in the negotiations on its nuclear energy program, he said.

    "Iran is capable of withstanding the West's excessive demands," the senior lawmaker added, noting that the Western countries decided to come back to the negotiating table after failing to achieve their goals through anti-Iran sanctions.

    A number of US senators are working on a bipartisan bill that would impose additional sanctions on Iran if negotiators between the Islamic Republic and the P5 1 fail to reach a deal.

    The White House, however, has reiterated its opposition to the efforts.

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned the Congress against imposing sanctions, saying, "Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iranhellip; Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement," Press TV reported.

    "New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails," he said. "That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress."

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    9
  • President Aliyev receives credentials of newly-appointed Qatari ambassador
    24.01.2015 15:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/09/Ilham_Aliyev_090712_albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/09/Ilham_Aliyev_090712_albom.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the credentials of the newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar Sayar bin Abdurrahman al Maawdah.

    The ambassador reviewed the guard of honor.

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    The diplomat conveyed greetings of the Emir of the State of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the head of state.

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    The head of state expressed his gratitude for the greetings of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and asked the diplomat to communicate his greetings to the emir of Qatar.

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    27
  • Samsung approaches BlackBerry about buyout
    24.01.2015 15:16
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456244.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456244.jpg
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  • Turkey has no interest in issue of accession to EU - Erdogan
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/14/Turkey_EU_flags_141212.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/14/Turkey_EU_flags_141212.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey has no interest in the issue of accession to the European Union, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

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    Earlier, the country's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said the negotiations between Turkey and EU can't continue in the format required by the organization. He said at the time that democracy in Turkey is at a higher level than in some European countries.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    9
  • President Aliyev visits Saudi Arabiaв's embassy to Azerbaijan
    24.01.2015 14:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/18/ilham_aliyev_main_181114_08.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/18/ilham_aliyev_main_181114_08.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Azerbaijan on Jan.24.

    President Ilham Aliyev offered his condolences over the death of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and signed a book of condolence.

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    9
  • Bid to raise AirAsia fuselage begins
    24.01.2015 14:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/17/airasia_oblomki.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/17/airasia_oblomki.jpg
    Salvage teams have begun an operation to raise the fuselage of AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea last month killing all 162 on board, BBC reported.

    However, the initial attempt was unsuccessful as ropes around the fuselage snapped.

    Another four bodies have been recovered, bringing the total to 69, with more thought to be inside.

    Indonesian officials believe the Airbus A320-200 may have climbed too fast to try to avoid a storm and stalled.

    The jet was flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

    The plane's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were found last week.

    A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be filed next week , although the full investigation will take months.

    'Tangled yarn'

    Divers entered the main section of the fuselage for the first time on Friday.

    Poor weather and difficult sea conditions have hampered the salvage operation since the main section of the aircraft was found.

    Indonesian rescue agency official SB Supriyadi told Agence France-Presse news agency: "We have begun the operation today (Saturday) to lift the main body and we hope we can float it today."

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    The head of Indonesia's transportation safety committee, Tatang Kurniadi, says a preliminary report on the crash is expected to be filed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation next week.

    This week Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told MPs that radar data had shown that the jet had climbed too fast - at a speed of 6,000ft (1,828m) a minute.

    He said: "It is not normal to climb like that. It's very rare for commercial planes, which normally climb just 1,000 to 2,000 feet per minute. It can only be done by a fighter jet."

    This caused he plane to stall, he said. When planes stall, their engines do not cut out but the wings no longer generate lift because there is not enough air passing over them, BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott says.

    The jet took off from Surabaya at 05:35 local time (22:35 GMT 27 December).

    Shortly before it vanished, nearly halfway into the two-hour flight, its pilot contacted air traffic control to request permission to climb to 38,000ft from 32,000ft to avoid big storm clouds - a common occurrence in the area.

    But heavy air traffic in the area meant he was not given permission to do so straight away.

    When air traffic control tried to contact the plane again, there was no answer. The plane disappeared from radar screens shortly afterwards. It did not issue a distress signal.

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    9
  • Azerbaijan Museum of Miniature Books entered Guinness Book of World Records
    24.01.2015 14:36
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456236.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456236.jpg
    The worldв's first private Museum of Miniature Books located in Icheri Sheher Historical and Architectural Reserve has been entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest collection of miniature books.

    Founder and creator of the museum, Honored Artist Zarifa Salahova said that the formation of the collection has been going on for over 30 years, which is still updated with new specimens. More than 5,600 miniature books published in 66 countries are placed on 38 glazed cases. The rarest in the exposure of micro-publishers are 4 "Toppan", Tokyo, Japan: 1 - format 0,75x0,75 mm and 3 - 2x2 mm format, as well as German micro-book: 1 - 2,0x2,9 mm format (Leipzig) and 3 - 3,5x3,5 mm format (Munich). In the museum you can find miniature books depicting activities of national leader Heydar Aliyev. Azerbaijani classics of literature, science and art are also represented here. Azerbaijani classics of literature, science and art are also represented here, religious books, Russian, Soviet and foreign classics are exhibited.

    Guinness World Records has previously recognized the world record for the largest collection of miniature books, set by Nikunj R. Vagadia. He managed to collect 258 miniature books.
    10
  • Panamaв's president invited to visit Georgia
    24.01.2015 14:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/22/handshake.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/22/handshake.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan.24

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    The sides discussed the issues of cooperation and the prospects for intensifying the relations between the two countries, press service of Georgian government head said on Jan.24.

    Garibashvili invited Panama's president to visit Georgia.

    The meeting was attended by Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili, Panama's vice president and foreign minister.

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    10
  • Georgian president concerned about national currencyв's depreciation
    24.01.2015 14:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan.24

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili is concerned about the depreciation of the national currency (GEL) and economic slowdown.

    The president made the remarks during a meeting with Giorgi Kadagidze, head of Georgian National Bank.

    Giorgi Kadagidze briefed Margvelashvili about the current processes in the region and their possible impact on Georgia's economy, Georgian presidency said on Jan.24.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the difficulties in the country's economy and the necessary measures for eliminating them.

    They talked about the decrease in the volume of export and money transfers and the negative impact of this process on the exchange rate of GEL.

    The exchange rate of Georgian national currency to dollar started dropping again in the first decade of January.

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    11
  • Hong Kong police hunt young girl over diamond heist
    24.01.2015 14:02
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456233.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456233.jpg
    Hong Kong police say they are hunting a girl aged between 12 and 14 years old over the theft of a diamond necklace worth more than HK$36 million (US$4.6 million) from a luxury jewellery store.

    Police say she helped carry out the audacious theft with two women and a man, all aged between 30 and 40.

    The adults "pretended to be customers choosing items from the shop" police said, while the girl stole the necklace.

    The gang of four then left the store before a staff member realised it was missing.

    The necklace was 100-carat gold embedded with more than 30 diamonds, the South China Morning Post said, and police confirmed it was worth HK$36 million.

    The young girl managed to steal a key from a drawer to open a cabinet while staff were distracted, the SCMP said, citing an unnamed police source.

    "The three adults posed as big spenders and demanded employees show them jewellery in an apparent move to divert staff attention," the source said.

    Local media reported that the theft was from the Emperor Jewellery store in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, but the store would not confirm it had been targeted when contacted by AFP.

    The girl was caught on CCTV as she left the mall, the SCMP said, showing a picture of a girl dressed in black trousers, a blue shirt and a grey hooded top.

    Police described her as "slimly built".

    The gang spent around half an hour in the shop and staff did not notice the necklace was missing until later in the day, the SCMP added.
    15
  • Oil should not be detached from Iranв's economy
    24.01.2015 13:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Iranian vice president for planning and strategic supervision, says oil should not be detached from Iran's economy.

    The share of oil revenues of the national budget should be reduced, Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Nobakht as saying on Jan. 24.

    "If the economy of resistance is implemented properly, we will be able to run the country even with less than $40 billion oil income," he said.

    "Some believe that reliance on oil has caused a retreat in the Iranian economy. But, I should say that over the current century, oil has played a key role in the economic development of Iran. So, oil should not be detached from the national economy."

    The term "resistance economy" was originally announced by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the summer of 2010. It is designed to make Iran less vulnerable to international sanctions by relying less on crude-oil exports by increasing domestic production and knowledge-based exports.

    In October, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran's dependence on oil revenue is putting the Islamic Republic's economy at the mercy of major powers.

    "It is all but obvious what future lies in store for such a country ...Instead of relying on its mineral resources, Iran should rely on the talent and potential of its youth."

    "Only then would Iran's economy become immune to the influence of powers," he said.

    Iranian lawmakers have initiated a move to wean the national budget off oil earnings.

    The parliament has already allowed the government to increase its revenues from income tax in the next Iranian calendar year (starting on March 21) by 22 percent, and up its earnings from miscellaneous income tax by almost 40 percent.

    Iran's Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari announced in early January that oil dependency in the new draft budget proposed for the next Iranian calendar year would be around 30 percent, the lowest ever in Iran's budget history.

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    11
  • Ukrainian ambassador: Itв's very hard for Azerbaijan to agree with invader under current circumstances
    24.01.2015 13:41
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''Azerbaijan and Ukraine are bound to friendship and cooperation''

    Baku. Rufat Ahmadzada - APA. Despite Azerbaijan's lands are under occupation, international organizations call this country to come to an agreement and a common understanding with the occupying side, Ukrainian ambassador to Azerbaijan Alexander Mishchenko said at a round table dedicated to 22 January -Reunion Day of Ukraine, APA reports.

    "It's very hard for Azerbaijan to agree with the invader under the current circumstances. In this regard, Ukraine and Azerbaijan face a similar situation. Azerbaijan is told to find a way into an agreement with the aggressor. Is it possible to come to some sort of agreement with an aggressor? The aggressor is happy, and it doesn't want to return the lands it has invaded," said the ambassador.

    Mishchenko added that both countries should be closer and joint their efforts: "We are bound to friendship and cooperation. This is our destiny."

    Touching upon the Treaty of Unity signed between Ukraine's People Republic and West Ukrainian People Republic on January 22, 1919, the ambassador said that this holds a special place in the history of Ukrainian statehood. "I have watched the video depicting the history of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. I should mention that the page of the ADR in the history of Azerbaijan was very familiar to me, and I saw some striking points common to the fates of our peoples and their struggle for national liberation", he said.
    19
  • Prince Charles flys to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to friend King Abdullah
    24.01.2015 13:35
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456217.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456217.jpg
    Prince Charles will fly to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah, Clarence House has confirmed. The Prince of Wales counted the late royal as a personal friend, and is travelling to pay his final respects to the 90-year-old, who passed away on Friday.

    Charles is expected to fly to Riyadh to join other dignitaries honouring King Abdullah. As a non-Muslim, he will be unable to attend the funeral service itself, but is understood to be going to a reception instead.

    In a statement, Clarence House said, "The Prince of Wales, representing Her Majesty The Queen, will travel to Saudi Arabia to pay his condolences following the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, HM King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud."

    King Abdullah died at the age of 90 in the capital of Riyadh after battling pneumonia. He has been succeeded by his half-brother, Prince Salman, 79.

    His death brought to an end the rule of one of world's oldest monarchs; the Queen, 88, now holds that title.
    7
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for Jan.19-23
    24.01.2015 13:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $49.69 per barrel on Jan.19-23 or by $0.48 more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $49.95 per barrel and the minimum price was $49.36 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price on Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $44.37 per barrel or by $1.08 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $44.61 per barrel and the minimum - $44.19 per barrel on Jan.19-23.

    Urals' density is 32 degrees API with a sulfur content up to 1.3 percent. The oil grade's specifications vary when sold depending on its high/low-quality content.

    The average price for Brent Dated was $46.87 per barrel on Jan.19-23, or by $0.34 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price on Brent was $47.01 per barrel and the minimum - $46.6 during the reporting period.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail

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    13
  • German MPs supported Azerbaijanв's demand for sanctions against Armenia
    24.01.2015 12:58
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136657.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136657.jpg
    Interview with Richard Kiessler, publicist and senior expert in foreign politics, Chairman of the curatorship of the German Azerbaijan Forum.

    How would you estimate results of the President Aliyev's visit to Germany in sense of future development of relations between our two countries?

    Azerbaijan is a partner of growing importance for Germany because of the dynamic economy - especially in the oil and gas business. German and European companies can also offer partnership and assistance in the diversification of the Azerbaijan economy. The German government has strongly supported the southern gas corridor during the visit of President Aliyev in Berlin. Another subject were the discussions on the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan. President Aliyev stated in his meeting with Chancellor Merkel and in the public the importance of extending the democracy in Azerbaijan. He mentioned the freedom of speech in his country, the free internet access without any censorship, the freedom of assembly and the freedom of the press.

    What can you say about importance of Azerbaijan for Germany and Europe at the moment, when there are many challenges (in terms of economy, energy and security) for our countries and Europe itself?

    Chancellor Merkel welcomed the readiness of Azerbaijan for a fruitful cooperation with the European Union without becoming a member. There was an exchange of views between the Chancellor and the President on current conflicts like the Ukraine crisis and other security measures. All these conflicts should be solved in a peaceful way. Both statements supported the territorial integrity of all states. I think this is very important with view on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

    During the final press-conference Mrs. Merkel said that Germany want to be a mediator in the Karabakh settlement. Is it real? And what kind of role can Germany play in this process?

    Well, Germany cannot be a mediator, I think. But as a member of the OSZE Minsk Group Germany can be - in Mrs. Merkel's words - "helpful" in a peaceful solution of the conflict with Armenia. There was a discussion between the Chancellor Merkel und her host from Azerbaijan of a possible new political initiative from EU. Azerbaijan will discuss this matter with the European Commission in Brussels. Additionally Mrs. Merkel has praised the readiness of President Aliyev for further negotiations with Armenia. She also is deeply concerned on the current violations of the ceasefire at the conflict line.

    Couldn't you clarify the statement of Mrs. Merkel at the press-conference about link between Russia and Armenia in the Karabakh settlement? I mean her comments to the first question on Western double standards in Karabakh. Do Mrs. Merkel's words mean recognition that Russia is behind Armenia in Karabakh conflict?

    The German Chancellor has made very clear that Russia is playing a decisive role in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. Russia and Armenia, she argued, "perhaps are doing some things in common in this context." Therefore, I think, there are no different or double standards for Germany. Mrs. Merkel knows exactly who is unwilling for peace in Nagorny Karabakh.

    If I'm not wrong you met with the President Aliyev during his visit to Berlin. What issues have you discussed?

    A few members of the German Parliament and the board of the German-Azerbaijan Forum (DAF) had a long discussion with President Aliyev on current security and economic issues as well on the internal stability of Azerbaijan. The President said the internal situation is stable, but there are threats from outside affecting Azerbaijan's security. He also underlined the importance of the TANAP and TAP pipelines for Azerbaijan and the European countries in these times.

    I am very glad that the President was very open-minded even on critical questions. But nearly all of us know the President from former meeting. Insofar the atmosphere during almost two hours was very friendly. The MPs supported Azerbaijan's demand for sanctions against Armenia. And I was told by German government circles that Mrs. Merkel is convinced that the sanctions of different western states against Russia are even affecting Armenia as a strong partner of Vladimir Putin. But I remain skeptical: It will more difficult in frozen times to find solutions for frozen conflicts in the Southern Caucasus or elsewhere on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
    15
  • The Queen is the now the world's oldest monarch
    24.01.2015 12:55
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456192.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456192.jpg
    The Queen is now the world's oldest monarch following the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who passed away aged 90. Her Majesty is one of eight octogenarian monarchs in the world alongside the King of Thailand and the Emperor of Japan.

    King Abdullah passed away after a short illness on Thursday. A statement released by the Royal Court early on Friday confirmed that his 79-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, had now become king.

    The late monarch was buried in a ceremony at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday afternoon. Prince Charles is travelling to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects, Clarence House has confirmed.

    The Prince of Wales counted the late royal as a personal friend, and will join other dignitaries honouring King Abdullah. As a non-Muslim, he was unable to attend the funeral service itself, but is understood to be going to a reception instead.

    In a statement, Clarence House said, "The Prince of Wales, representing Her Majesty The Queen, will travel to Saudi Arabia to pay his condolences following the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, HM King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud."

    The Queen is also set to become the longest reigning monarch in British history this year. The 88-year-old will exceed her great-grandmother Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and 216 days in September.

    The world's longest-reigning current monarch is Thailand's king Bhumibol Adulyadej, who will celebrate 69 years on the throne in June. The 86-year-old was just 18 when he became king.
    16
  • Turkey to become EU member sooner or later '" PM
    24.01.2015 12:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey will become a member of the European Union (EU) sooner or later, the country's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

    The prime minister added that Ankara will not beg EU for its accession, Anadolu agency reported on Jan.24.

    The official negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU were resumed in 2005.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that if previously 75 percent of Turkey's population supported the country's accession to the EU, currently, this figure has dropped to 20 percent.

    Turkey has fulfilled 65 percent of its commitments to the EU for accession to this organization.

    Earlier, the country's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said the negotiations between Turkey and EU can't continue in the format required by the organization. He said at the time that democracy in Turkey is at a higher level than in some European countries.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    8
  • Georgia concerned over ratification of ''treaty'' with Abkhazia by Russian parliament
    24.01.2015 12:42
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/georgian_flag_101113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/georgian_flag_101113.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan.24

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Foreign Ministry made a statement on the ratification of the so-called alliance treaty with the occupation regime of Abkhazia by Russian State Duma.

    "Georgian Foreign Ministry expresses extreme concern over the ratification of the so-called agreement on alliance and strategic partnership and states that these actions of Kremlin are the step towards annexation of Georgia's integral part," said the statement.

    Georgian Foreign Ministry said that by taking such steps, Russia violates its international obligations, including the ceasefire agreement of Aug.12, 2008.

    "Abkhazia is the integral part of Georgia and can't be an independent entity of the international law and accordingly, any attempts to execute the so-called agreement with the so-called Republic of Abkhazia is the flagrant violation of the international law, can't produce any legal results and contradicts with the international law and fundamental principles such as sovereignty, inviolability of borders, territorial integrity and conscientious fulfillment of international obligations," said the statement.

    Georgian Foreign Ministry urges the international community to assess these activities of Russia from the legal and political point of view and put pressure on it.

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    8
  • Euro plunges to 11-year low
    24.01.2015 12:31
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456232.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456232.jpg
    The euro plunged to an 11-year low as Mario Draghi rocked the market with a sovereign-bond buying program that exceeded forecasts.

    The 19-nation currency fell versus 27 of its 31 major peers posted its biggest weekly drop in three years after the European Central Bank president outlined details of a $1.1 trillion euro ($1.23 trillion) stimulus plan. Denmarkв's krone slid as that nation cut interest rates twice, while Canadaв's dollar plunged on the first decrease in borrowing costs since 2009. A gauge of the greenback closed at the highest on record before the Federal Reserve is forecast to hold rates unchanged next week.

    ''The downside for the euro is substantial,'' Jurgen Odenius, chief economist at Prudential Financial Inc.в's fixed-income division, said by phone from Newark, New Jersey, on Friday. ''The channel through which Draghiв's hoping to achieve an increase in inflation is through a weaker euro.''

    The euro dropped 3.1 percent to $1.1204 on Friday in New York, the biggest weekly loss since September 2011, and touched $1.1115, the least since September 2003. The currency was headed for a seventh monthly decline against the dollar.

    The shared currency tumbled 2.9 percent to 131.95 yen, while Japanв's legal tender slid 0.2 percent to 117.77 per dollar.

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 10 major peers, rose 1.9 percent to 1,161.31, the highest close in data going back to 2004.
    11
  • Armenia turned terrorism, separatism into basis of state policy
    24.01.2015 12:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/10/28/Eldar_Mahmudov_281009_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/10/28/Eldar_Mahmudov_281009_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.24

    Trend:

    Armenia has turned terrorism and separatism into the basis of the government policy, Chairman of State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Citizens, Minister of National Security of Azerbaijan, Eldar Mahmudov said.

    He made the remarks during the commission's meeting on Jan.24.

    He said it is still much to be done in order to resolve the humanitarian problems that arose as a result of Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan and to clarify the fate of the missing people.

    Story still developing

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    14
  • Baku to host Azerbaijan Investment Forum
    24.01.2015 12:18
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136655.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136655.jpg
    The event was launched by the Executive Director of the EuroGames 2015.

    An Azerbaijan Investment Forum, organized by "Economist Events" will be held in Baku on March 17.

    According to Oxu.Az, the forum will be attended by leading representatives of the banking, technology, investment and industrial sectors, as well as educational.

    The forum will discuss topics such as increasing the share of energy and non-oil sectors, innovation, entrepreneurship and the role of technology and telecommunications in the new economic environment, and questions about the sport and training activities.

    The Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Shahmar Movsumov, Chairman of Pasha Bank Farid Akhundov, Regional Manager of "Holcim" Horia Adrian, CEO of Hi-Tech Park of Azerbaijan Seymour Agayev, chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Dmitry Gvindadze, and rector of the University of ADA Hafiz Pashayev will speak during the forum.

    The Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov will make a report on the holding of the European Games "Baku-2015".

    In addition, the executive director of the EuroGames 2015 Simon Clegg, as well as vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan Chingiz Huseynzade will speak at the forum.

    The Economist Events is a leading organizer of international events.
    42
  • Potential 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates gather in Iowa
    24.01.2015 12:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    For Republicans, the long road to the 2016 presidential election begins in earnest on Saturday in Iowa when a group of potential candidates compete for support among conservatives in the state that will hold the country's first nominating contest, Reuters reported.

    As many as eight possible candidates are to take part in the Iowa Freedom Summit, a marathon day of back-to-back speeches organized by Iowa's conservative Republican Steve King, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    "There are a half a dozen candidates, plus or minus a little bit, that I would put their names in a hat and draw one out and be really happy as a replacement to the president we have today," King told ABC News.

    The key names to watch are a pair of governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

    Christie is viewed skeptically by many conservatives, and how he crafts his message here could be critical. Many Republicans see Walker as a person to watch in spite of the early attention on the potential candidacies of Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

    There are a variety of other people who will be at the event and who could emerge as major 2016 players, such as former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who ran for the nomination and lost in 2012, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa in 2008 but lost the nomination.

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz will also speak along with former Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina, physician Ben Carson and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

    Steering clear of this event are Bush, Romney, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

    Iowa holds the first nominating contest of 2016 when Republicans and Democrats gather early next year for caucuses. Republicans here have not picked the eventual nominee since they went for George W. Bush in 2004. But the caucuses do serve a valuable role in winnowing the field.

    "This will serve as sort of the unofficial kickoff to the Iowa caucus season for 2016," said Tim Albrecht, an Iowa Republican strategist. "It's a great first look at how potential candidates stack up against each other."

    The event, he added, will help Iowa Republicans get a feel for who has "a vision for America's role in the world, versus those who followed the TV cameras here."

    On Sunday, Cruz will join Rubio and Paul in Palm Springs, California, where about 450 individuals are attending a winter "seminar" organized by a network of groups founded by brothers Charles and David Koch.

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    17
  • Georgia protests over Abkhaziaв's participation in Turkeyв's tourism exhibition
    24.01.2015 12:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 24

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia has protested over Abkhazia's participation in Turkey's tourism exhibition.

    As soon as it became known that Abkhazia was taking part in the international exhibition, Georgia's Consulate General immediately protested, the Georgian foreign ministry said Jan. 23.

    The Georgian delegation, which participated in the exhibition, held the meetings with the organizers and officials of Turkey to appropriately respond to this fact.

    "The private companies were represented in some halls of this exhibition," the ministry said. "One of these halls was rented by one of the Turkish companies. Abkhazia's tourist booth was also there."

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

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

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

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

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    9
  • OIC Parliamentary Union supports Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity
    24.01.2015 11:51
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456212.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456212.jpg
    Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity has been supported by the declaration adopted at the 10th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation`s (OIC) Parliamentary Union.

    The 10th session of the OIC Parliamentary Union was held in Istanbul on January 22.

    The declaration envisages struggle against international terrorism, to achieve peace in conflict zones, to prevent propaganda campaigns against Islam and other issues.

    Azerbaijani MP, head of Azerbaijani delegation at the OIC Parliamentary Union Govhar Hasanzade said that the declaration also includes an article regarding with withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the occupied territories, restoration of the Azerbaijani territories, non cooperation of OCI countries with Armenia, supporting Azerbaijan`s right position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict etc.
    16
  • Georgian Prime Minister about the importance of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars
    24.01.2015 11:38
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136653.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136653.jpg
    "The region needs reliable channels for transportation."

    On Friday, January 23, the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili participated in the discussion within the World Economic Summit in Davos, during which he noted the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Georgian media that Garibashvili informed the participants of the discussion on the topic of "cross-border economic regions of Europe" with the vision of the Georgian authorities of new economic and trade routes.

    "The economic, political and cultural interdependence of cross-border economic regions in Europe is growing by the day. The strengthening of communication routes over large areas is crucial to the sustainable development of the region of Eurasia. Region needs fast, cheap and reliable channels for the transport of goods from China to Europe", Garibashvili said at the meeting.

    According to him, from this point of view the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is highly important, as it is aimed at ensuring the direct route between Turkey and Georgia to connect Europe and Asia. After the launch of the project, the transportation of goods from China to the European market will be reduced by half, the path distance decreased by almost 7500 km.
    13
  • Centers of Azerbaijani culture to open in France
    24.01.2015 11:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136654.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136654.jpg
    France has ratified an intergovernmental agreement with Azerbaijan about creation and conditions of activity of the cultural centers of the two countries.

    1news.az reports with reference to the Azerbaijani embassy to France that in line with this document the cultural centers of both countries will be subordinate to the diplomatic missions and have a legal status.

    During the discussions, the French parliamentarians provided information about the culture and history of Azerbaijan, the course pursued by official Baku, aimed at preserving and strengthening the independence of the country, traditions of tolerance, secularity and multiculturalism dominating in Azerbaijani society, mediation of France in the process of the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh.

    The parliamentarians stressed the importance of this agreement in expansion of bilateral cultural ties.

    The sides decided to sign this agreement during the official visit of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to France in 2009.
    13
  • Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
    24.01.2015 11:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Manat.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Manat.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    The official rate of AZN to the U.S. dollar set by the Azerbaijani Central Bank (CBA) remained unchanged. The average rate was established at 0.7844 AZN to 1 U.S. dollar.




    Official rate of AZN to 1 U.S. dollar:



    Jan. 12



    0,7844



    Jan.19



    0,7844



    Jan.13



    0,7844



    Jan.20



    0,7844



    Jan.14



    0,7844



    Jan.21



    0,7844



    Jan.15



    0,7844



    Jan.22



    0,7844



    Jan.16



    0,7844



    Jan.23



    0,7844



    Average weekly



    0,7844



    Average weekly



    0,7844



    As a result of last week's exchange, the stock exchange price of the Azerbaijani AZN to the U.S. dollar, established based on results from the Baku Inter-bank Currency Exchange (BICEX), remained unchanged. The average rate was set at 0.7829 AZN to 1 U.S. dollar.

    No deals were concluded at BEST.




    Exchange rate of AZN to 1 U.S. dollar:



    Jan.12



    0,7829



    Jan.19



    0,7829



    Jan.13



    0,7829



    Jan.20



    0,7829



    Jan.14



    0,7829



    Jan.21



    0,7829



    Jan.15



    0,7829



    Jan.22



    0,7829



    Jan.16



    0,7829



    Jan.23



    0,7829



    Average weekly



    0,7829



    Average weekly



    0,7829



    No deal was concluded with USD/AZN T 1 and T 2 due to lack of appeals made by dealers. Appeals on EUR/AZN and RUB/AZN were not made by banks in BEST.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli

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    12
  • Bill Gates talks immigration, Microsoft
    24.01.2015 11:22
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456210.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456210.jpg
    Bill Gates, the Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder and philanthropist, discussed the software giantв's future and U.S. immigration policies in an exclusive interview with the FOX Business Network, SIA reports citing the Fox News.

    Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, Gates told FBNв's Maria Bartiromo that the U.S. still holds a ''phenomenal'' amount of the worldв's innovation despite questions over immigration laws.

    But lawmakers need to fix the nationв's immigration system in order to keep talent in America and create jobs around those individuals, he added.

    ''It is kind of perverse to provide the education and then, even somebody whoв's being offered a very high-paying job, theyв've got to go to Canada or back to India,'' Gates said Friday on ''Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo.''

    As for education, Gates argued that Common Core, a national set of standards for kindergarten through high school, isnв't a curriculum and ''doesnв't constrain how teachers do things.'' He likened Common Core to an electrical plug, saying it creates uniformity for how much students need to know.

    Gates also said the U.S. needs to have education standards ''that are high enough that we are competitive with other countries.''

    With tax reform also waiting in the wings on Capitol Hill, Gates believes medical costs present the biggest challenge for the U.S. budget.

    ''Iв'm afraid that weв've been distracted from the issue of why we spend so much more than others,'' he explained. ''This should be a technocratic thing, not a partisan thing, why this system is not working as efficiently as it could.''

    Gates and his wife, Melinda, released their annual letter this week. In it, they project the mortality rate of children worldwide will be cut in half by 2030, and mobile banking will help 2.5 billion people who currently donв't have access to inexpensive financial services.

    The Bill amp; Melinda Gates Foundation remains focused on fighting polio as well. Gates predicated that in a couple years, polio will become the second disease to be eradicated.

    Gates also remarked on the future of Microsoft (MSFT), where he now serves as a technology advisor. Earlier this week, the software giant unveiled its next operating system, Windows 10, along with new innovations in virtual reality.

    According to Gates, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella is driving the company to lead in areas ''where we hadnв't been the leader before,'' such as mobile and cloud computing.

    ''Itв's a very competitive business,'' Gates said. ''Thereв's a certain energy about the company. [Nadella] gets advice from me on some particular areas. Iв'm glad to help''.
    10
  • No progress in Karabakh conflict expected in 2015 - expert
    24.01.2015 10:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/09/usa_flag_090115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/09/usa_flag_090115.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    By Anakhanum Hidayatova - Trend:

    No progress towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is expected in 2015, US analyst Paul Goble told Trend, commenting on the perspectives of the conflict's settlement this year.

    Goble believes Armenia doesn't want any progress in the settlement.

    "I am not optimistic there will be progress toward a settlement in 2015. I don't think Armenia wants any, and I don't see Moscow pushing Yerevan unless the Kremlin thinks it can get something it wants more from Azerbaijan," he said.

    Goble said he doesn't believe Russia will get something from Azerbaijan, despite the recent rise in tensions between Baku and the West.

    "For Baku to become Russia's satellite would undermine everything it has worked for two decades," he said.

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

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

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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    14
  • January 20 tragedy commemorated in Los Angeles
    24.01.2015 10:49
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136650.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136650.jpg
    Azerbaijan`s Consulate General in Los Angeles has hosted a commemorative event on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the January 20 tragedy.

    Attendees of the event, including consul generals of foreign countries, scientific and cultural figures, Hollywood producers, professors of local universities and member of the community, observed a minute of silence in memory of shahids, AzerTag reports.

    Azerbaijan`s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev highlighted the history of the January 20 events, saying innocent civilians were mercilessly killed by the Soviet troops. He noted that the next day of the tragedy national leader Heydar Aliyev came to the permanent representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow and overtly condemned the genocide and gave a push to people`s struggle for freedom.

    He stressed following the restoration of its independence Azerbaijan was rapidly developing and its political and economic positions are being strengthened in the regional and global scale.

    Addressing the event, former U.S. diplomat, professor of the University of San Diego James Coyle highlighted the history of the tragedy, and stressed the Black January tragedy was a starting point in the collapse of the USSR.

    Journalist of Los Angeles Nancy Pearlman said few months ago of those bloody events she was in Baku. She said that time there was an intensive situation in Baku, and underlined she felt that USSR leadership was going to broke Azerbaijani people`s will for freedom. She also spoke of her last trip to Azerbaijan, and underlined Azerbaijan has been incredibly changed in past 25 years and became modern and developed country.

    The attendees then heard music of classic composers performed with violin and violoncello, and viewed a photo-exhibition depicting the Black January tragedy.
    12
  • Azerbaijani soldier dies
    24.01.2015 10:48
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136651.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136651.jpg
    The Defense Ministry issued a statement.

    A serviceman of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan died in non-combat conditions.

    As stated in the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan in response to the request of Oxu.Az, re-enlistee Babashov Nizami Shamil oglu died as a result of careless handling of a gun in the "N" military unit of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.

    A criminal case was launched in connection with the incident that occurred in non-combat conditions.

    Military Prosecutor's Office is investigating the case.

    The initial information about the incident was published on the site of Qafqazinfo.
    16
  • New UN program sends 54 convoys to Syria
    24.01.2015 10:42
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456187.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456187.jpg
    The United Nations says it has carried out 54 aid deliveries to Syrians through newly-authorized convoys from neighboring countries since July, helping around 600,000 people in rebel-held territory.

    The latest monthly report on the humanitarian situation in Syria will be discussed Wednesday at a UN Security Council meeting.

    "Access to medical supplies and equipment continued to be restricted by insecurity and constraints imposed on humanitarian operations by parties to the conflict," the report said.

    The aid convoy program was authorized in July without approval from Damascus. After initial successes, the program had its mandate extended in December until the beginning of 2016.

    The Security Council had designated crossing points in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey through which an estimated two million people could be reached with aid.

    The rest of the aid travels from inside Syria, under the control of Damascus, which the UN says places bureaucratic barriers on deliveries.

    The Syrian conflict has raged for nearly four years, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing about half of the country's 23 million people from their homes.

    As of January 13, the aid convoy program has run 40 deliveries through Turkey and 14 through Jordan carrying food for 596,000 people, water and sanitary products for 280,000 people and medication for 262,000 people.

    The designated crossing point through Iraq could not be used due to safety concerns, the report said.

    Ongoing fighting, shifting rebel alliances and bureaucratic delays from Damascus have hampered aid deliveries.

    "As Syrians, nearly half of them displaced, suffer through another bitter winter, I remind the Security Council that funding for UN agencies and their partners has not kept pace with the needs," the report said.

    "The humanitarian situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate."

    Of the total 12.2 million Syrians the UN estimates are in need, 3.8 million are said to be in Jordan and Iraq, while 7.6 million -- about half the population -- are internally displaced.

    About 200,000 Syrian civilians are in areas besieged by government forces or opposition groups.
    13
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 80 times in a day
    24.01.2015 10:42
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/07/Karabax_01_albom_070612.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/07/Karabax_01_albom_070612.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Over the past 24 hours, Armenian military 81 times violated the ceasefire on various parts of the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Jan. 24.

    Armenians stationed in the villages of Berkaber, Vazashen, Paravakar and the nameless heights of the Ijevan district of Armenia opened fire on the Azerbaijani armed forces' positions located in the villages of Qizilhajili of the Qazakh district and Kohneqishlaq of the Agstafa district.

    Armenians stationed in the villages of Chinari, Aygepar, Mosesqekh and the nameless heights of Armenia's Berd district opened fire on the Azerbaijani armed forces' positions located in the villages of Hajialili, Alibayli, Kohanebi, Aghdam and the nameless heights of the Tovuz district.

    Azerbaijani armed forces were also fired at from the positions near the villages of Goyarkh, Chilyaburt, Chayli of the Terter district, Shikhlar, Yusifjanli, Qaraqashli, Shuraabad, Marzili, Kengerli of the Aghdam district, Horadiz, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Qarakhanbayli, Qorgan of the Fizuli district, Kuropatkino of the Khojavand district, Mehdili of the Jabrayil district.

    Moreover, the Azerbaijani soldiers came under the Armenians' fire from the positions on the nameless heights in the Goranboy, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

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

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

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

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

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    9
  • Merkel: We regret for frequent ceasefire violations on contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops
    24.01.2015 10:39
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Berlin. Fuad Gulubeyli - APA. ''We are closely following the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and supporting the negotiations in this context,'' German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint briefing following the meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, APAв's special correspondent reports from Germany.

    In response to the questions about unfulfilled resolutions of the UN Security Council regarding the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories and European countries' not putting pressure on Armenia in this regard, Merkel said that all the conflicts, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved by peaceful means.

    Merkel expressed her regret for frequent ceasefire violations on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, adding that Russia and Armenia are implementing some issues together.
    10
  • Twelve state companies privatized in Kazakhstan in 2014
    24.01.2015 10:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund of Kazakhstan sold 12 assets in 2014 within the privatization program, Nurlan Rakhmetov, the chief financial officer and board member of Samruk-Kazyna told Trend.

    Within the plan, Samruk-Kazyna was to put out 64 of its non-core assets for sale in 2014, according to Rakhmetov. He said this was a quite difficult task, since the program itself was adopted in May and it was necessary to carry out all intra-corporate procedures, value appraisal and etc. for the companies within a six-month period.

    "But we believe that we have implemented the plan and coped with the work," Rakhmetov said. "The planned number of companies was put out for sale, except 2-3 companies which were not put out for sale for the objective reasons."

    Some 12 of the companies put out for sale, were sold by late 2014. The proceeds from their sale stood at 4.120 billion KZT, while the appraised value was 2.5 billion KZT.

    "That's around 65 percent more than the assessed value was obtained," he said. "This is just the effect of trading. If the companies were sold to anyone directly on the assessed value, the amount would be less."

    The bidding was not announced on a number of companies because other shareholders of these companies have the right of preemption. The sales terms on the other 12 companies are still agreed in accordance with the right of preemption. According to the law in Kazakhstan, in case of selling the shares by one shareholder in a private limited company, this shareholder must first offer it to other shareholders.

    The bidding on the rest of the companies was also announced, but either no buyers were found or the bidding has not been completed yet.

    He said that the companies rendering the services to the railroad are in great demand as part of the privatization program.

    "The reason is that the railway is quite a regular customer," he said. "These companies are stable. The bidding on these companies was conducted very well."

    The privatization program is implemented upon the president's instructions in Kazakhstan. It is scheduled for 2014- 2016.

    Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund was created in accordance with the decree of the President of Kazakhstan in 2008 to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the national economy.

    It brings together almost all state-owned assets of Kazakhstan and manages these assets on behalf of the government. KazMunaiGas NC JSC, the railway operator - Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC, Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company JSC (KEGOC), communication operator Kazakhtelecom JSC, Kazatomprom JSC National Atomic Company are among these assets.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    10
  • Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker attends funeral ceremony of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
    24.01.2015 10:31
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456183.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456183.jpg
    Speaker of Azerbaijan`s Parliament Ogtay Asadov has today left for Riyadh attended a funeral ceremony of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

    Mr. Asadov`s delegation includes head of the working group for interparliamentary relations with Arabia, MP Fattah Heydarov, chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade and deputy minister of foreign affairs Khalaf Khalafov.

    As part of the 2-day visit, the Speaker is expected will meet with heads of delegations of other countries.
    7
  • Elements of new missile defense system tested in Russia
    24.01.2015 10:18
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136649.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136649.jpg
    Russian analogues of USв's THAAD and GMD missile defense systems are expected to be developed in the next few years, TASS reports.

    Russia is testing elements of a new missile defense system, Yan Novikov, CEO of Almaz-Antei Concern, said on Friday.

    "Currently, we are carrying out field tests of elements of a new missile defense system," he said.

    Meanwhile, he noted that the missile defense system that was developed in the 1990s is still being used as having no analogues in the world by a number of parameters.

    In December 2014, Almaz-Antei's designer general Pavel Sozinov said that Russian analogues of US's THAAD and GMD missile defense systems would be developed in the next few years.

    Russia's new military doctrine does not rule out creation of joint missile defense systems together with other countries on condition of Russia's equal participation. The doctrine's 2010 edition did not mention that possibility.

    The document published in late December sets forth Russia's main tasks in deterring and preventing military conflicts. They include creation of mechanisms of mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral cooperation in counteracting possible missile threats, including, if necessary, creation of joint missile defense systems if Russia has equal participation in these projects.

    In addition to that, the document goes on to say, the Military doctrine provides for preventing attempts by separate countries (or a group of countries) to gain military superiority by stationing strategic anti-missile defense systems and strategic non-nuclear systems of precision weapons as well as deploying weapons in outer space.
    14
  • Over 700 websites declared illegal in Kazakhstan
    24.01.2015 10:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 24

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Around 703 websites were declared illegal in Kazakhstan, Kazakh Attorney General Askhat Daulbayev said Jan. 23.

    "The operations were actively conducted to combat religious extremism and terrorism in 2014," he said at a board meeting. "More than 100,000 websites were monitored. As a result, around 703 websites were declared illegal by the courts on the basis of appeals of prosecutors and the competent bodies."

    He said that the courts have also granted the prosecutors' appeals to declare 198 informational materials as extremist.

    "The proliferation of these materials on the territory of Kazakhstan is forbidden," he said.

    President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a law on amendments and additions to the legislation aimed at improving the efficiency of combating religious extremism and terrorism on November 3, 2014.

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    12
  • 50 pro-Russian separatists killed in Ukraine clashes
    24.01.2015 09:57
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456170.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_456170.jpg
    At least 50 pro-Russian separatists were killed duringclashes with army forcesin the towns of Vodyanoe andOpitnoe in eastern Ukraine,the Ukrainian defense ministry saidin a statement Friday.

    The statementalso said the army detainedfive peopleand destroyed fourpro-Russian separatist vehicles.

    Tensions increased whenUkraine's military confirmed it had abandoned Donetsk Airport toseparatist militias onWednesday.

    OnThursday,at least eight people were killed and 13 others were woundedafter two mortar rounds landed near a crowded bus station in Donetsk, according to the Organization ofSecurity andCooperation in Europe.

    More than5,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict which began inApril 2014,according to the UN.
    13
  • Finland FMA: Elements for solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict already exist
    24.01.2015 09:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136647.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136647.jpg
    ''Both sides should respect the ceasefire, exercise restraint and intensify efforts towards peace''

    Finland, as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the three co-chairs as well as Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, roving Ambassador for the South Caucasus, Mr Christer Michelsson told APA.

    Commenting on the escalation of the tension on the Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line and the failure of the OSCE MG co-chairs to resolve the conflict, the diplomat said Finland is continuously following the process.

    "Finland was co-chair of the Minsk process in 1995-96 and has since then continued as a member of the Minsk group. Finland was Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2008 and was active also then. Therefore it can be stated that Finland has taken and takes an active interest in the solving of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict," he stressed.

    The desk officer said as the EU stated just a few days ago, both sides should respect the ceasefire, exercise restraint and intensify efforts towards peace.

    "In a situation like this all confidence-building measures are important. Monitoring is a good tool and the work of the Special Representative of the Chairman-in-office is very valuable. It is of great importance that he has the possibility to fully act out his mandate and that he is not hindered in this respect. The recent incidents and security situation at the Line of Contact are of serious concern," he added.

    With regard to the negotiations took more than 20 years and the possibility of changing the OSCE MG format, the Finnish official said in our view it is more important to continue to work towards finding a lasting solution, instead of thinking of changes in mandate, format etc.

    "It is very good that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met three times last year. The elements for a solution already exist. As the EU stated recently, the basis for a comprehensive settlement are the elements and principles outlined in the joint statements by the Presidents of Russia, the United States, and France, especially those that were discussed during the last summit in Paris. It is still up to the parties to find the political will to strike a deal. As an EU member country it is pertinent to note that the European Union has stated that is ready to support peacebuilding activities and provide assistance, when a. Also people-to-people contacts and the work of NGOs in this regard are important. One example of this is the work of the NGO "Crisis Management Initiative", founded by President Martti Ahtisaari, in Nagorno Karabakh," the diplomat added.
    8
  • Georgian parliament speaker to visit Iran
    24.01.2015 09:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/07/david_usupashvili_081013_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/07/david_usupashvili_081013_1.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 24

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    A Georgian parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker David Usupashvili will pay an official visit to Iran on January 24-27.

    The meetings are planned to be held with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani, the Georgian parliament told Trend.

    The joint press conference will be held following the meeting of the chairmen of the parliaments of the two countries. The sides will discuss political, economic, trade and cultural relations between the two countries.

    The meetings will be also held with other representatives of the executive and legislative branches of Iran.

    Usupashvili will deliver a lecture to the students of the University of Tehran.

    The Georgian delegation includes Tedo Japaridze, Gubaz Sanikidze, David Bakradze and Shalva Kiknavelidze.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Turkey declares day of mourning for Saudi king
    24.01.2015 09:18
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136646.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136646.jpg
    Turkey has declared Jan. 24 a day of national mourning for Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away early on Friday at the age of about 90.

    "We declare Saturday, Jan. 24 a day of national mourning for Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz," the Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement issued Jan. 23, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to the people of Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim world. May God's mercy be upon him," it said.

    The national flag will be flown at half-mast across Turkey and at foreign delegations on Jan. 24, it added.

    Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz has been declared as the new king of the oil-rich Gulf monarchy and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as the new Crown Prince.

    Abdullah was recently admitted to hospital after he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

    He had undergone back surgery in November 2012. Since then, he refrained from attending events outside the kingdom, including a recent high-profile Gulf summit held in the Qatari capital, Doha.

    Salman, 79, is a half-brother of the deceased king. He was appointed crown prince in June 2012 after the death of the late crown prince, Naif.

    Muqrin is also a half-brother of Abdullah and the youngest son of the founder of Saudi Arabia. He was serving as second deputy prime minister and the king's special envoy.
    13
  • Iranian-made helicopter to undergo flight tests next month
    24.01.2015 08:24
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/30/iran_helicopter_301214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/30/iran_helicopter_301214.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 20

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Flight tests will be carried out on the Iranian-made eight-seat helicopter, named Saba 248, in February.

    Manouchehr Manteghi, secretary of the Iranian headquarters for developing high-tech aviation technologies, said the helicopter would conduct trial flights in the next Iranian calendar year, starting on March 21, Iran 's ISNA news agency reported on Jan. 20.

    A homemade 14-seat helicopter is also conducting preliminary tests, he said, adding that three two-seat helicopters have also been manufactured.

    Three universities of Isfahan, Khajenasir, and Sharif, as well as 20 high-tech companies have collaborated in designing and manufacturing the helicopters, he noted.

    In 2012 Iran presented two domestically made helicopters dubbed "Panha 1" and "Panha 2."

    Panha 1 is a medium-class helicopter model, capable of carrying 14 people, and is suitable for both military and non-military use. Panha 2 model is smaller, a light-weight class model, capable of carrying eight passengers.

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    17
  • US-Saudi close cooperation unchanged after King's death
    24.01.2015 07:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/01/Gosdep_USA_010612_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/01/Gosdep_USA_010612_2.jpg
    Collaboration between the United States and Saudi Arabia will be unaffected by Saudi Kind Abdullah passing away and Crown Prince Salman being declared the new king of Saudi Arabia, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Friday.

    "We look forward to continuing the close partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman. We have a long history of cooperation, we have no indication that this cooperation will change," Psaki told journalists during a press briefing.

    Psaki specified that the United States and Saudi Arabia closely cooperate on a range of issues including common efforts to degrade and defeat the Islamic State, the Arab Peace Initiative, and "on a range of conflicts around the world."

    "There are still issues where we have disagreements on, on issues like humane rights, freedom of speech, equal rights for women," Psaki said. However, the United States is going to give them "certainly a period of time before we engage in diplomatic discussions with them," Psaki added.

    The sixth Saudi king, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, died aged 90 early on Friday after spending several weeks in hospital with a lung infection. Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Saud was named the new Saudi king following his half-brother King Abdullah's death.

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    14
  • US approach to military contacts with Russia remains unchanged - Pentagon
    24.01.2015 05:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/12/18/Flags_USA_Russia_181209.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/12/18/Flags_USA_Russia_181209.jpg
    US Department of Defence policies regarding contacts with military in Russia remains unchanged, the Pentagon's press-service said Friday in reply to a query from TASS on last Thursday's statements by the commander of US and NATO forces in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, who told the media he was going to resume working contacts with the chief of Russia's General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov.

    "Our (Department of Defence's) policy remains the same. In April, in light of events in Ukraine, the Department of Defence put on hold military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia (exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences). Senior-level lines of communication have remained open," the Pentagon's press office said.

    General Breedlove's spokesman, Colonel Martin Downie, explained that the meaning of the supreme allied commander's remarks was basically the same.

    "Although General Breedlove expressed an intent to resume contact, no time line has been set for this communication to move forward," Downie said. There are bilateral contacts between many Allies and Russia at the military level, but there is currently no routine contact between NATO and Russia exclusively aimed at avoiding misunderstandings during military activities."

    "NATO Headquarters does maintain a regularly checked line with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian embassy in Brussels," Downie added.

    He recalled that "NATO Foreign Ministers agreed in December last year that at this time of tension there is a need for regular communications among NATO and Russian military to avoid any incidents, and that NATO military authorities should keep channels of military communications open and use them when necessary to avoid any possible misunderstandings related to military activities."

    No new decisions on this have been taken by the chiefs of defence and General Breedlove was expressing "the position agreed by the foreign ministers," Downie said.

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    23
  • Int'l community should invest more into fight against terrorism, Kerry says
    24.01.2015 02:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/05/jhon_kerry_050914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/05/jhon_kerry_050914.jpg
    The international community has to team up for funnelling more investment into global war against terror, US State Secretary John Kerry said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.

    "Leader after leader in country after country has said that fighting the scourge of violent extremism is a global priority, let us prove it. We have to get serious about investing into things that really make a difference," Kerry said.

    Kerry stressed that everyone, including governments, foundations, NGOs, corporations, faith leaders and private sector have to be involved in investing more into fight with terrorism. This will be the priority of Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the White House on February 18, the secretary added.

    "Historically, this is important, when we have believed we need to do something, we found the money, we did it, we found the resolve, we made things happen," Kerry said.

    The State Secretary reminded that when the United States and its allies decided that fighting fascism is a priority, they found 3.6 trillion dollars for that, as well as they managed to find several trillion dollars for the war in Iraq.

    "Make no mistake, if we do not make those investments today, we will pay far more for it down the road," Kerry underscored.

    Today terrorist organizations are competing each other for recruits and are governing lands, which is unprecedented, Kerry said.

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    25
  • Zarif, Kerry hold talks in Davos, Switzerland
    23.01.2015 23:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/16/zarif_kerry_160115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/16/zarif_kerry_160115.jpg
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the US Secretary of State John Kerry met and conferred in Davous, Switzerland on Friday night, IRNA reported.

    The meeting took place at the sideline of the World Economic Forum.

    The meeting is the fifth between the two foreign ministers during the past few days.

    The two ended their latest round of talks in Paris Jan 16 after they held three rounds of talks in Geneva on Wednesday.

    Zarif met on Friday with his Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter.

    In the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and regional developments, including Syria and exchanged views on nuclear talks.

    Zarif is to depart Switzerland for Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning to attend funeral ceremony for the late Saudi King Abdullah.

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    34
  • Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan has always actively participated in international fight against terrorism
    23.01.2015 23:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/09/Ilham_Aliyev_090712_albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/09/Ilham_Aliyev_090712_albom.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    Trend:

    Informal gathering of the world economic leaders has been held in Davos.

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended "Tackling Violent Extremism" session.

    In his speech the Head of State touched upon the terror incidents in international arena, and spoke about problems that Azerbaijan faced in fight against different manifestations of terrorism.

    President Ilham Aliyev said Armenian side perpetrated more than 30 terror acts against Azerbaijan in various periods, as a result of it more than 2000 Azerbaijanis were killed.

    The Head of State said when Azerbaijan chaired the UN Security Council one of two issues put on discussions by the country was dedicated to terrorism.

    The Head of State said Azerbaijan has always actively participated in international fight against terrorism and was one of the active members of anti-terrorism coalition.

    On January 23, President Ilham Aliyev`s working visit to Switzerland ended.

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    12
  • President Ilham Aliyev met the CEO of Gaz de France Suez
    23.01.2015 23:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/23/prezident_230115_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/23/prezident_230115_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met Chief Executive Officer of Gaz de France Suez Jean-Louis Chaussade.

    The issues related to the future cooperation between Gaz de France Suez and relevant authorities of Azerbaijan were discussed at the meeting.

    During the conversation, the parties also exchanged views over cooperation in the fields of providing people of Baku and other regions of the country with drinking pure water meeting standards of the World Health Organization, cleaning oil polluted territories in Absheron peninsula, extraction of gas from Shah Deniz field and other areas.

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    10
  • Prezident Д°lham ЖЏliyev DГјnya Д°qtisadi Forumunun sЙ™dri Klaus Ећvab ilЙ™ gГ¶rГјЕџГјb
    23.01.2015 23:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/23/prezident_230115_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/23/prezident_230115_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    Trend:

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab in Davos.

    Klaus Schwab praised cooperation between the World Economic Forum and Azerbaijan, and stressed the importance of participation of President Ilham Aliyev in the Forum.

    The Head of State hailed cooperation between the World Economic Forum and Azerbaijan, and noted that he was interested in expanding ties even further. The Azerbaijani President said this Forum created conditions for all participating sides to boost the cooperation.

    The parties exchanged views on Azerbaijan`s successes gained in the field of international cooperation and its prospects, development of the non-oil sector in the country, global crisis and processes in this regard.

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    10
  • Egypt eyes free trade zone with Eurasian Economic Union - official
    23.01.2015 22:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/16/egypt_flag_160813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/16/egypt_flag_160813.jpg
    Egypt may soon conclude an agreement to establish a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia, said Georgy Petrov, vice president of Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, TASS reported.

    "Egypt is one of Russia's leading trade partners in the Arab world," Petrov told a news conference on Friday. "Our relations are actively developing at the moment. We note with satisfaction that the time has come for domestic political consolidation in Egypt."

    "In 2014, we reached record highs in trade mdash; more than $4.3 billion. We have never had such figures before," he said, adding that Egypt was the largest buyer of Russian wheat.

    "Now we should think what our cooperation will look like in the long term," Petrov said. "We can rely on big investment projects. Many Russian enterprises are interested in the Egyptian market," he said, noting projects in machine manufacturing, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and GLONASS satellite navigation technologies.

    "We also import oranges, potatoes and onion from Egypt," he said. "These are sanctioned goods and they are of very high quality."

    Petrov expressed hope that a planned visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Egypt would help strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries.

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    7
  • Bulgarian requiem for South Stream
    23.01.2015 22:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/02/south_stream_021214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/02/south_stream_021214.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    After the Russian rejection of the South Stream project we became witnesses to interesting events that unfolded around the issue of gas supplies to the European market.

    Among these events, one can list the start of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the subject of the implementation of the so-called Turkish Stream, discontent among the participants of European camp themselves, and now we have the statement of Bulgaria about its intention to continue work on the South Stream project, which they justify by the absence of a formal notice about the termination of pipeline construction.

    From the outside it may seem absurd that the European Commission insists on compliance with the requirements of the third energy package. Russia refuses to implement the project and is in talks with Turkey, and Bulgaria continues to build the South Stream as if nothing has happened.

    Such a statement by the Bulgarian side can be perceived as reluctance to accept the fact that the country will not be able to play the role of a transit country for Russian gas that would have promised it great benefits.

    On the one hand, Europe needs Russian gas, as there is no alternative to such large volumes yet.

    On the other hand, does the EU want to receive gas directly from Russia, or will it be content with the mediation scheme? In general, nothing will change other than the fact that the gas will go through Turkey, and not through Bulgaria.

    Assuming that Turkey will buy gas from Russia and re-export it to Europe, in fact it will remain Russian gas.

    The expression: "The more things change, the more they remain the same" applies in this situation. You can change the way it is delivered but it is still Russian gas and the sides can continue to avoid direct contact and confrontation however, Europe's dependence on Russian gas, albeit indirect, will remain. In this case, the choice is up to the European buyers. Things are changing however, and real choice will be available in the near future.

    In the mean time, Russia is actively pursuing the Turkish direction. Russian Sberbank expressed readiness to finance the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which is currently at the stage of development.

    Now while the Turkish Steam is just an idea for the present, the Southern Gas Corridor is a reality, thanks to namely Azerbaijan that will open a window for the lsquo;blue fuel' of the Caspian Sea to Europe. Although, currently, there are no talks about the huge volumes of gas, this corridor has great opportunities and prospects for attracting additional volumes.

    Bulgarian "Bulgar gas" is one of the buyers of Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz field, which will enter the European market in early 2020 by way of the Southern Gas Corridor. So, it would be advisable for Bulgaria not to expend energy on reviving a lsquo;dead' project, but to focus on the real gas supply route - Azerbaijan-Europe.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Emil Ismayilov is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Emilsmail

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    19
  • Saudi Arabia '" new king, new policy?
    23.01.2015 21:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/09/23/Saudi_arabia_230910.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/09/23/Saudi_arabia_230910.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's coming to power in Saudi Arabia after his brother's death raises many questions about the new policy of the monarchy during the new king's reign.

    One of the main issues is the expected policy in relation to other Arab countries, including Iraq and Syria, as well as relations with Iran.

    There is another question whether Saudi Arabia's position concerning the Syrian opposition will change.

    Despite Saudi Arabia being one of the key players almost in all regional events during the late king's reign, few people talked about this.

    Will Saudi Arabia's policy change during the reign of the new king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud? Analyzing the reign of the former king, we see Saudi Arabia's policy partially changed with regard to a number of Arab countries.

    After the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, Saudi Arabia rendered financial aid to this country but over time the monarchy became the main sponsor of the military coup in Egypt.

    What deprived the Muslim Brotherhood from Saudi Arabia's continuous support?

    Strange as it may sound, the concept of political Islam is a serious threat to the monarchy, as well as for a number of Arab states which previously financially supported the Egyptian lsquo;Brothers'.

    No changes are expected in Saudi Arabia's attitude to Egypt. The country will continue fighting political Islam in the region in its own way.

    Indeed, political Islam is not the only serious threat to the region's countries, including the throne of Saudi Arabia.

    The presence of the lsquo;Islamic State' will be one of the main issues which Saudi Arabia will have to think over, at least because the lsquo;Saudi wall' is not a barrier for the lsquo;warriors of the Caliphate'.

    When the former king was receiving medical treatment, lsquo;the army of the lsquo;Caliphate' tested the strength of the monarchy's army on the border with Iraq, as a result of which three Saudi border guards were killed.

    Given that today the lsquo;Caliphate' steps over the line, Saudi Arabia will have to clandestinely support the Free Syrian Army and Erbil against it.

    It is not ruled out that Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq will be mediators in this issue, since Iraqi authorities are still not the active players in fighting the lsquo;Caliphate'.

    In addition, Saudi Arabia will have to ponder over the influence of Iran, an ideological enemy of Saudi Arabia in the region.

    Given the recent events in Yemen - the coup with the support of Iran and the events in Bahrain in early times of "Arab spring", the gap between Riyadh and Tehran will deepen.

    Also, no change is expected in the policy of Saudi Arabia towards the US.

    Are domestic reforms in Saudi Arabia expected?

    Another important question is if there will be any reforms in the country.

    The coming of Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to power in Saudi Arabia was assessed by some Western media outlets as the beginning of the new reforms in the monarchy.

    But if one carefully examines the 50-year experience of reign of Riyadh by the present king, one can see quite different things.

    Under the 50-year ruling of Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Riyadh has become one of the most conservative cities in the monarchy. Morality police in this city has a special status.

    In short, with the exception of staff reshuffle, Saudi Arabia will not see any reforms.

    Edited by SI

    ---

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

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    14
  • Turkey announces one-day mourning for Saudi Arabiaв's King
    23.01.2015 21:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    Trend:

    Turkey announced Jan. 24 a one-day of mourning for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Anadolu Agency reported Jan. 23.

    In this regard, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the funeral for Saudi Arabia's King.

    The doctors revealed pneumonia while examining the King of Saudi Arabia in December 2014. The monarch was taken to a hospital in Riyadh. The medical examination revealed pneumonia that required immediate treatment. Moreover, the King of Saudi Arabia had several spine surgeries for the past four years.

    Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has become the seventh King of Saudi Arabia.

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    11
  • Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denies info about killing of Azerbaijani sniper
    23.01.2015 20:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/16/Defense_Ministry_Mudafie_Nazirliyi_161012.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/16/Defense_Ministry_Mudafie_Nazirliyi_161012.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denied the information according to which a sniper of Azerbaijani armed forces was killed by the Armenian side.

    Armenia's Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and other representatives of the ministry try to outdo each other in telling a lie, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend on Jan.23.

    Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that by spreading groundless information, the Armenian side tries to divert the attention of the Armenian people from the numerous losses in the country's army.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

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

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

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    12
  • Azerbaijani FM to meet with OSCE MG co-chairs in Krakow
    23.01.2015 20:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/09/elmar_mammadyarov_090914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/09/elmar_mammadyarov_090914.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has met with French co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group Pierre Andrieu, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said Jan.23.

    The sides exchanged views on the process of settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the action plan of OSCE Minsk Group and regional security issues.

    They agreed to hold a meeting between Azerbaijani foreign minister and OSCE MG co-chairs in Krakow, Poland on Jan.27.

    Edited by CN

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    10
  • Azerbaijani AXA MBASK starts placement of shares
    23.01.2015 20:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    On January 23, the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) starts offering prospectus of shares emission of the insurance company AXA MBASK totaling 2.5 million AZN, said the message of the BSE, posted on its website.

    The official exchange rate for January 23 is 0.7844 AZN / USD.

    The issue prospectus includes 6,545 shares at par value of 382 AZN.

    The placement underwriter is the Unicapital Ltd.

    As a result of the placement, the company's authorized capital will reach 14.23 million AZN.

    MBASK Insurance Company operates since 1992 and is one of the first private insurance companies in Azerbaijan. In 2010, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, AXA Group, through its subsidiary company AXA Seguros Generales, SA, De Seguros Y Reaseguros (Spain) acquired a control stake (51 percent) of MBASK insurance company.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli

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    8
  • Official representative of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responds to US co-chair of OSCE MG
    23.01.2015 20:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/24/hikmet_hajiyev_240914_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/24/hikmet_hajiyev_240914_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.23

    Trend:

    The acting spokesperson of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev has responded to the US co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick.

    "We also appeal to the co-chairing countries of OSCE Minsk Group urging to force Armenian leadership to stop the sabotage actions and withdraw this country's troops from Azerbaijan's occupied territories," Hajiyev tweeted on Jan.23.

    The US co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick earlier urged the sides to stop the violence along the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian armies.

    "My appeal to the presidents: stop the violence along the line of contact and commit to negotiations," Warlick tweeted on Jan.23.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

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

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
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