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Georgian government to change law on occupied territories
07.02.2013 17:06
Georgia, Tbilisi, Feb. 7 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia/

The Georgian government is going to change its law on occupied territories, State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili told journalists after a governmental meeting on Thursday.

He said according to the current law, foreign nationals who enter Georgia through Abkhazia and South Ossetia are immediately detained.

"Criminal cases are initiated against them and they serve sentences in Georgian prisons. We consider this is unfair, as many citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia returning home through Georgia were imprisoned," Zakareishvili said.

He stressed that the new law requires punishment for the first time violators of the law, which does not allow visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in a manner not agreed upon with the government.

"If the violation is repeated, criminal case will be initiated," he said.

Today, the Georgian Government approved this proposal.

Large scale military actions were launched in South Ossetia in Georgia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia late in August. Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow in response and has declared the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

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    By Aynur Jafarova

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    She said there is a tripartite format of the meeting on the Trans-Caspian project between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

    However, Mard noted she can't tell the exact date of the meeting yet.

    Earlier Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev informed about EU's plan to hold another round of trilateral talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the establishment of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

    "EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has proposed to hold another round of negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in Brussels," he told journalists. "But, unfortunately, the Turkmen side has not yet responded for some reasons but Oettinger assured me that the meeting will take place."

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    By Aynur Jafarova

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    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

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    Government Crisis

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    "About 213, 000 people have emigrated from Armenia during the last four years. This trend has damaged Armenia's international reputation," Manukyan noted.

    The government fails to meet the society's needs in terms of implementing economic, political, social, financial and other projects to ease public life in the country. Constant failure of taking the right measures deteriorated the situation in the South Caucasus state and all in Armenia started to describe it as a governing crisis. Neither the Constitution's, nor the National Assembly's Rules of Procedure's demands are correctly observed to get rid of the multi-sided crisis.

    Now, about 30 percent poor, 20 percent unemployed and 7 percent beggar Armenians are going to demand their rights at the upcoming rally in October 24. Disagreement between the regime and residents is reaching to its cutting edge in Armenia. The people will either make or break the justice in the country as the ongoing events promise nothing but a dark future.
  • Azerbaijan establishes Joint Group on Human Rights
    22.10.2014 17:44
    The Working Group on Human Rights has today held a meeting, human rights activist Saida Gojamanli told APA.

    According to her, organizational issues were mainly discussed at the meeting.

    "At the meeting, it was decided to rename the Working Group as the Joint Group on Human Rights. Head of the Department on Work with Law Enforcement of the Azerbaijan President Administration Fuad Alasgarov and Head of the Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE Samad Seyidov was elected as co-chairs of the group and human rights activists Saadat Bananyarli and Sahib Mammadov as secretariat members. We will prepare proposals for the secretariat at the next meeting," she said.

    Gojamanli praised the outcomes of the meeting.

    "All problems can be solved through negotiations. Today, representatives of civil societies and state authorities can jointly discuss problems. I hope our activities will continue further," she said.

    Recall that the Working Group on Human Rights functioned in 2005-2008. The group included representatives of the government and parliament, as well as human rights defenders.
  • President Ilham Aliyev received the Ambassador of Qatar to Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 17:41
    Baku, October 22, AzerTAc

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar Mubarak bin Fahad Al-Thani as he ends his diplomatic mission in the country.

    During the meeting, the sides noted with pleasure that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the State of Qatar have been successfully developing. The parties said that there were good prospects for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries, and expressed confidence that the bilateral ties would continue to deepen.
  • Azerbaijan to shift to winter time
    22.10.2014 17:29
    The control over the implementation of this decision shall be made by the State Committee.

    According to the relevant decision of the Cabinet of Ministers on 26 October at 05:00 in the territory of Azerbaijan clocks will be set one hour back.

    Oxu.Az reports that according to the Cabinet of Ministers "On the introduction of summer time in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic" dated 17 March 1997, every year on the last Sunday of March, the clocks are set an hour forward, thus the shift to daylight takes place.

    Every year on the last Sunday of October the clocks are set an hour back, which means the shift to winter time.

    The control over the implementation of this decision shall be made by the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patents.
  • Iran, P5 1 start expert-level nuclear talks in Vienna
    22.10.2014 16:53
    Iran and P5 1 have started the expert-level nuclear talks in Vienna.

    Representatives from Iran and the P5 1 have kicked off expert-level talks in the Austrian city of Vienna to discuss differences over a number of issues in the way of reaching a final deal over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy activities, Press TV reports.

    The two-day talks started at the United Nations' office in Vienna on Wednesday.

    The Iranian delegation is headed by Director General for Political and International Affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry Hamid Ba'eedinejad while the six countries' technical delegation is led by Stephen Clement, an aide to European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

    Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western disputes over Iran's nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the sanctions imposed on Iran and not the number of centrifuges or the level of enrichment.

    Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while the US, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions against Iran should remain in place.

    Iran and the P5 1 group - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - are in talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program as a November 24 deadline approaches.

    Meanwhile, a senior Iranian negotiator said on October 19 that the extension of Iran's nuclear talks with six world powers beyond the November deadline is not on the agenda of either of the negotiating sides.

    Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said, "Neither of the negotiating parties is interested in the extension of the talks. All sides are determined to achieve an agreement prior to the deadline. Therefore, extension is not on the agenda of any of the parties."
  • Chairman of Nakhchivan Supreme Majlis meets Turkish Armed Forces delegation
    22.10.2014 16:50
    Baku, October 22, AzerTAc

    Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov has met a delegation of the Turkish Armed Forces.

    Mr. Talibov stressed the importance of the Turkish delegation`s visit to Nakhchivan, hailing it as a "sign of friendly and fraternal relations".

    He pointed out that the visit would contribute to the development of the military ties.

    Chairman of the Supreme Majlis lauded the role of the Turkish Armed Forces in build-up of the military in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

    Mr. Talibov said Azerbaijan and Turkey maintained successful relations in a variety of fields, including the military one.

    Head of the Turkish delegation, commander of the 9th Corps based in Erzurum Seref Ongay praised army build-up measures carried out in Nakhchivan.

    Turkey`s Consul General in Nakhchivan Ali Rza Akinci was present at the meeting.
  • 1,380 boxes of unusable drugs seized in Azerbaijan
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    903 boxes of drug lack state registration and have been brought to the country without the Health Ministryв's permission.

    1,380 boxes of unusable drug without an analysis protocol were seized during the inspections carried out by the Ministry of Health this year.

    Chief of the Health Ministry's Center for Analytic Examination of Medicines Parviz Azizbayov told APA that 903 boxes of drug of those confiscated lack state registration and medication guide sheet in Azerbaijani. These drugs even lack state registration and have been brought to the country without the Health Ministry's permission: "Perhaps their composition is quality. But according to the legislation, imported drugs must undergo state registration".

    Azizbayov said the Ministry of National Security and the Health Ministry are working together to combat counterfeit medicines, adding that a number of counterfeit drugs were seized as a result of the raids carried out on this issue earlier this year: "Society was thoroughly informed about it. Measures are underway to determine other persons suspected of preparing counterfeit drugs and their sale. No counterfeit drugs have been found out to date".

    The ministry official said the number of registered drugs in Azerbaijan is currently 4,534. Azizbayov noted that about 1% of them is domestic production, saying the country is dependent on import in medicine.

    "Only 1% drugs are local production. The rest are those exported from abroad. 55% of imported drugs come from European countries," he added.
  • Iran, P5 1 pass over 90% of nuclear talks, difficult steps ahead
    22.10.2014 16:39
    Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that Iran and the P5 1 have passed over 90 percent of nuclear negotiations and final ''sensitive, difficult and important'' steps lie ahead, Iranв's State IRINN TV reported Oct. 22.She made the remarks while commenting about the chief Russian negotiator Sergei Ryabkov's statements who said 98 percent of a final deal has been agreed upon, following the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna in mid-October.Iranian Spokeswoman underlined that all parties try to take advantage of next 40 days to achieve a final deal before 24 Nov. deadline.She noted that extending the deadline is not in the sidesв' agenda yet.Afkham suggested to the parts to avoid exposing to media the topics which are under discussion by nuclear negotiating teams and not finalized during the remaining sensitive period(till Nov. 24).Her remarks came after the report was made by Reuters about the Iranian officials demand for partial removal of sanctions only in specific areas.In the negotiations with six major powers, the Iranians has said they are no longer demanding a total end to economic sanctions in return for curbing their nuclear program and would accept initially lifting just the latest, most damaging, sanctions, Reuters said Oct. 21.The Islamic Republicв's foreign ministry officials have rejected the report.Iran and the P5 1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) held their latest round of talks in Vienna in mid-October to work out a final agreement aimed at ending the long-standing dispute over Tehranв's nuclear program.Last November, the two sides clinched an interim nuclear accord, which took effect on Jan. 20 and expired six months later. However, the parties agreed to extend their talks until Nov. 24 as they remained divided on a number of key issues.

  • NATO commander visits Georgia
    22.10.2014 16:39

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command, General Philip Breedlove paid a visit to Georgia on October 21.

    Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania met NATO's high-ranking official on October 22 to discuss NATO-Georgia partnership, implemented defense reforms, participation of Georgia in international missions and the future plans of cooperation between two sides.

    They also focused on the fulfillment of the Substantial Package granted to Georgia at the NATO's Wales Summit. Discussions also covered the regional security environment. The two sides discussed the threats posed to Georgia given Russia`s aggressive policy. They called for taking steps by the international community to ensure stability in the region.

    Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia William Lahue and NATO Military Liaison Officer Colonel Maximilian Eder also attended the meeting. The Chief of the Georgian Armed Forces' General Staff, Mayor-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and other officials represented Georgia at the talks.

    General Philip Breedlove will meet with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. He will also visit Ivane Javakhishvili State University in Tbilisi during his two-day visit to the South Cucasus country. NATO General will deliver a lecture for students from different higher institutions and will answer their questions.

    NATO has earlier approved the NATO-Georgia package during the meeting held in 28 1 format in Brussels. The military alliance expressed its full readiness to timely and effectively fulfill the package.

    Georgia has become one of the five countries to achieve the new elevated status among the NATO partners.
  • CMB issues another statement on luxurious wedding and funeral ceremonies
    22.10.2014 16:34
    ''Extreme luxury in sepulchral monuments and the demonstration of arrogance do not fall behind wedding and funeral ceremonies.''

    The Caucasus Muslims Board (CMB) has issued another statement on luxurious wedding and funeral ceremonies in Azerbaijan.

    The CMB's press service told APA the message mentioned a statement adopted by the Gazi Council and the Scientific and Religious Council on 13 July 2011 on luxurious wedding and funeral ceremonies, warning society once again.

    "The revival of national and religious values nowadays in society makes this message necessary for the Azerbaijani people's historically developed life philosophy, public opinion and customs. That's quite natural. Because the interest in our historical roots, Islam, spiritual values, and moral norms has increased over the period of independence. Favorable conditions have emerged for the development of national customs in line with modern standards. So along with the appearance of some positive qualities while revitalizing national and religious traditions, it stands to reason that society is bothered by some extreme or innovated deeds that are not part of the religion. I'm talking about the rules for the arrangement of wedding and funeral ceremonies, sale of burial places in cemeteries, building luxurious sepulchral monuments and a number of other contemporary problems that are receiving wide media coverage these days. Although the Gazi Council and the Scientific and Religious Council of the CMB alongside public figures stated their position in this regard several times in previous years, our proposal and recommendations often remained unfulfilled in society. In many cases, those who claim these ceremonies belong to our national customs and religious traditions are actually distorting the rules and laws of our religion for their interests. Everyone who refers to the fundamental principles of Islam, the personality of Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, which is an example to mankind, and His hadiths (sayings) sees the contrast between this issue and Islamic rules. First of all, I should be mentioned that Muslims making their children's wedding or giving funeral repast for the dead is a praiseworthy and commendable deed from religious point of view".

    The CMB Gazi Council thinks extreme luxury in sepulchral monuments and the demonstration of arrogance do not fall behind wedding and funeral ceremonies.

    "Islam is the religion of thrift, simplicity and moderateness, and it does not welcome showy magnificence. So making costly gravestones and sepulchral monuments is against Islamic norms. The Gazi Council and the Scientific and Religious Council of the Caucasus Muslims Board call all strata of society to protect Islamic rules and national customs which have developed over years and mass media outlets to actively assist us in this respect," the statement says.
  • Liverpool, Chelsea and the teams Ronaldo has struggled to score against
    22.10.2014 16:23
    Cristiano RonaldoВ is in the form of his life forВ Real Madrid.В With 19 goals in 12 games in all competitions this season, the 29-year-old is virtually unstoppable right now.And, having hit an incredible 271 goals in 258 appearances since signing for Madrid from Manchester United in 2009, and a total of 394 club goals in 581 career games, it is fair to say that Ronaldo is not scared of any opponent.However, there are some teams who have fared well against the current Ballon d'Or holder - and one of those is Wednesday's Champions League opponents, Liverpool.In nine games against the Reds - all of which came during his six seasons at Manchester United - Ronaldo scored just two goals. He has never registered at Anfield, the venue of this midweek's game.Ronaldo's most difficult opponents have been Chelsea. He has scored just once in 15 games against the Blues, although that solitary strike arrived in United's 2008 Champions League final triumph in Moscow.Other English clubs that can be proud of their record against the Portuguese include Blackburn (three in 12), Sunderland (one in five), Charlton (one in five) and Birmingham City (two in eight).

    Away from England, Espanyol are the standout bogey side in Spain, with four goals in 10 games. The 29-year-old actually prefers playing a more illustrious Catalan opponent in Barcelona - against whom he has struck 13 times in 24 outings.The only English team that he's faced more than once where he has a ratio of 1:1 or better is actually Manchester United, having scored twice against them in the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2012-13.Ronaldo did not score more than 11 goals per season in his first three years at Old Trafford and 'only' scored 117 times in 290 competitive matches under Sir Alex Ferguson, compared to his aforementioned 271 strikes in 258 games at Madrid.It is worth remembering, too, that once upon a time Ronaldo was taunted by some for not performing in big games. Liverpool were United's fiercest rivals throughout his time in England and his small tally helps to explain how this reputation was forged.The former Sporting player also failed to net in his first 26 Champions League games (excluding qualifiers) for United, whereas he is now on the verge of becoming the competition's all-time top goalscorer.Clearly, a lot has changed since Ronaldo last played at Anfield in 2007, although Liverpool will be hoping that his hoodoo against them continues on Wednesday evening.

  • Russia Not Eager to Substitute Exports to Europe With Asia-Pacific: Minister
    22.10.2014 15:59
    Russia does not want to increase exports to the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of trade with Europe, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Wednesday.

    "We are looking for a new balance. We do not want the exports to the Asia-Pacific region to increase due to the decline in exports to the European countries," the minister said at an Export Insurance Agency of Russia conference, according to RIA Novosti.

    Ulyukayev called Japan, China, South Korea and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states potentially important markets for the Russian exports.

    "Working with these countries, we will form various mechanisms, including the creation of free trade zones and an increase in investment cooperation," the minister added.

    Russia will also continue cooperating with its BRICS partners. "These are our most important trading partners, their share in our trade will increase," Ulyukayev said.

    Moreover, according to the minister, Russia will continue its cooperation with longstanding European partners like the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, if the geopolitical situation allows it.

    Speaking about the volume of Russian exports, Ulyukayev acknowledged that Russia's share in global non-raw materials exports is only 1.6 percent. However, the country intends to increase its exports by 6 percent annually.

    Relations between Russia and Europe have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. Following Crimea's reunification with Russia, the European Union introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs mdash; claims that Russia has repeatedly denied. In response, Russia implemented a one-year ban in August on certain food imports from European Union member states and several other countries.
  • Terms of Armenia's joining to Baku-Tbilisi-Kars declared
    22.10.2014 15:58
    Arif Askerov made '‹'‹a statement.

    The matter of connecting Armenia to the railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars can be considered only after the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    According to Oxu.Az the statement came from the head of "Azerbaijan Railways" JSC Arif Askerov speaking to reporters.

    According to A.Askerov, now all interested countries can join the project except Armenia.

    Some time ago Kazakhstan and Afghanistan expressed their desire to join the BTK project.

    An intergovernmental agreement on the establishment of the railway corridor Baku-Tbilisi-Kars was signed on February 7, 2007 between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

    The project envisages the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway extending to 98 km, 68 km of which will be on the territory of Turkey, 30 km on Georgia, as well as the reconstruction of Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi section extending to 183 km in Georgia. Construction of the Georgian part funded by Azerbaijan, who allocated two concessional loans to Georgia totaling AZN 775 m.

    Until the end of this year it is planned to launch the first working train on the BTK railroad to the border with Turkey. The project is planned to be completed in the first half of 2015.
  • Armenian MP's mike deliberately turned off
    22.10.2014 15:24

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Dissatisfaction with Armenian president's domestic and foreign policies is on the rise in the country. The recent call "Sargsyan, go out!" reveals the public opinion about the president of the ex-Soviet country.

    Massive disillusion with President Serzh Sargsyan gained a new momentum at a parliamentary session on October 20 when an opposition MP was giving a speech.

    But the microphone of the Member of Parliament from the Heritage party, Zaruhi Postanjyan was suddenly and deliberately turned off while she was addressing the meeting.

    The 4-day session of the Armenian parliament started on October 20. During her speech, Postanjyan claimed that Serzh Sargsyan is not the president of Armenia. "First of all, I would like to say that Sargsyan is not Armenia's president, but the head of a certain group," the parliamentarian said. The MPs from the ruling Republican Party started to interrupt Postanjyan's speech.

    Postanjyan added: "If Sargsyan is not a president, then he has no right to order the parliament." Her microphone was suddenly turned off by the parliament's vice-speaker Edward Sharmazanov at that moment. "I'm not sleeping here. I know how to switch off your mike. You have to follow the ethics and civility like we all do," he told Postanjyan.

    The MP's outrageous words directed at President Sargsyan are the fruits of Sargsyan's policies since his first election as president in 2008. Economic experts accuse Sargsyan of feeding a stranglehold on the country's economy to push it into a big slump. Weak competitiveness in economy has propelled the former Soviet country to drop to 85th place among 144 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014.

    At the same time, the political analysts claim that lack of Sargsyan's political skills and will has tarnished Armenia's image in international arena. The government's U-turn to change plans from integration into EU to getting closer to Russia has also sparked public dissatisfaction.

    Sargsyan has been named as a violator of the civil rights in Armenia. About 1.3 percent of the articles published in the local media this year blamed the country's head for breaching human rights.

    Martin Luther King's famous saying "I have a dream" has now turned into a reality in Armenia as the residents are dreaming about a country without Sargsyan. Very recent protest rally on October 10 and plans to continue it on October 24 hint to desire of Armenia's 3 million populations to breathe new life into the country.
  • European Parliament reestablishes friendship group with Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 14:53
    Notis Marias: The main purpose of our group is to contribute to the strengthening of EP-Azerbaijan relations.

    On October 21, Brussels-based Office of Communication of Azerbaijan (OCAZ) organized a constitutive meeting of a newly-established friendship group with Azerbaijan as part of the plenary session of the European Parliament, APA's Europe bureau reports.

    Following the meeting, a reception was hosted for group members and other guests on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the independence of Azerbaijan Republic.

    Along with former members, some newly-elected MEPs also joined the friendship group after the recent elections in the European Parliament. The constitutive meeting was attended by Azerbaijani Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, Head of the Permanent Representation of Azerbaijan to the European Union Fuad Isgandarov, as well as 30 MEPs from Romania, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, including Vice-Chair of European Conservatives and Reformists Group Notis Marias and Deputy President of the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly Richard Charnetsky.

    Notis Marias told APA that he welcome the newly-established friendship group with Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan is a very beautiful and developing country. Today, MEPs from eight countries have joined this group at my request. Other MEPs also expressed their intentions to join the group. The main purpose of our group is to contribute to the strengthening of EP-Azerbaijan relations and accelerate Azerbaijan's integration into European institutions. We believe that Azerbaijan plays an important role in Europe's energy security. Moreover, we want the relations of the countries and people we represent here to be developed with the Azerbaijan and its people," he said.

    The new group members were presented at the meeting. They also made speeches, expressing their interests in Azerbaijan.
  • Hungary marks Independence Day in Baku
    22.10.2014 14:43

    By Amina Nazarli

    Baku marked Hungarians' national holiday - Independence Day on October 20.

    The Hungarian embassy hosted an event on this occasion, where Hungarian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zsolt Chutora, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev and many other officials took part.

    Addressing the event, Chutora spoke about the history of Hungary's Independence Day, which is very important day for Hungary people.

    "We have brought together all our close friends on this significant day for us," he said.

    The diplomat also touched upon relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary, noting that the two countries have strong partnership and expressed confidence that this partnership would continue to strengthen.

    Stressing that the mutual visits contribute to developing ties between the two countries, Chutora praised the countries' bilateral relations in the political, economic and humanitarian fields.

    Mammadguliyev, in his turn, congratulated the Hungarian government and people on the Independence Day.

    Highlighting the diplomatic relations between the two countries, he lauded the two countries` cooperation within international organizations.

    Mammadguliyev also noted the importance of Hungarian composers` works, featured in Azerbaijan's stages.

    Later, Foreign Ministry's official Parvin Mirzazade and CEO of "HUNAZ" Organization Nazim Aghamaliyev were awarded with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary for their contributions to developing Hungary-Azerbaijan relations.

    Hungary recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in April 1992.

    Azerbaijani-Hungarian high-level relations pave the way for the development of cooperation in economics and other fields. The two countries enjoy great opportunities for the expansion of economic cooperation, establishment of relations between the players of the securities market, and exchange of experience and knowledge in this sector.

    The cooperation in industry, energy, transportation, agriculture, communications and information technology, pharmaceuticals, environment, culture, tourism and other areas are carried out successfully, and trade relations boost between Azerbaijan and Hungary. In 2013, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by nearly 40 percent up to 3.3 million.
  • Serbian Ambassador: Azerbaijan is one of the world`s five emerging energy markets
    22.10.2014 14:40
    Belgrade, October 22, AzerTAc

    Incoming Serbian Ambassador in Baku Nebojsa Rodic has hailed Azerbaijan`s importance as an important energy supplier of Europe as he made remarks in an interview with Serbian "b92" news portal.

    The Ambassador said Azerbaijan enjoys growing strategic importance for Europe. "The issue became topical in light of Europe`s needing alternative gas sources."

    "Azerbaijan is one of the world`s five emerging energy markets," said Mr. Rodic.

    He praised Serbian-Azerbaijani economic relations, saying: "We have signed a total of 24 bilateral agreements so far." Our countries enjoy growing trade."

    "The joint business forum that will be held in Baku next year will focus on the expansion of trade and economic cooperation."

    The Ambassador also hailed military and defence industry cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan.

    Mr. Rodic said the Serbian government has always attached particular attention to building close relations with Azerbaijan.

    Magsud Dadashov

    Special Correspondent
  • SOCAR to launch new car service centers in Switzerland
    22.10.2014 14:38

    By Aynur Jafarova

    Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR plans to commission three car service centers under its own brand in Switzerland by late 2014,В TrendВ agency reported with reference to SOCAR Energy Switzerland.

    Two service centers will be opened in Valbella and Lommise on October 22 and 24 and in Vaduz on November 5, as well as other centers will be inaugurated in Walenstadt and Grono on January 7, 2015.SOCAR, which is keen on expanding operations in the retail oil products market abroad, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industrial and public sectors in Azerbaijan.

    It has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany and Ukraine, and trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries.

    SOCAR started its operation in Switzerland in September 2012 with commissioning its first petrol station in Zurich. In December, the first gas station under the SOCAR brand was opened in western Switzerland.

    SOCAR is now selling classic fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel in Switzerland. However, they are enriched with special additives that ensure optimal level of combustion which is important from an environmental point of view and in terms of the cost and performance of the internal combustion engine of the car.

    SOCAR acquired all shares in Esso Schweiz GmbH and thus took over Esso's network of petrol stations in Switzerland in July 2012. The total cost of the assets acquired by SOCAR in Switzerland is $330 million.With the acquisition of Esso Schweiz, SOCAR received the retail network, the company's division for marketing of fuel for industrial and wholesale customers (the division sells household fuel and bottled gas to independent distributors throughout Switzerland).SOCAR has also taken over the Wangen-Olten gas station group and a number of others as well as joint ventures specializing in aircraft refueling at Geneva and Zurich airports and the Swiss Provision and Supply Company that controls joint ventures managing terminals and pipelines.

    SOCAR's revenues obtained in 2013 as a result of the activity in Switzerland amounted to 30.69 billion manats compared to 3.33 billion manats in 2012.
  • Turkey in intense talks with Qatar over regional turmoil
    22.10.2014 14:24
    Qatar and Turkey are engaging in intense talks amid critical developments in the region regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with both countries part of the U.S.-led coalition against the group.

    Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani in Doha OCt. 22, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "Issues of security cooperation between the two countries and enhancing coordination between ministries" were discussed at the meeting, Anadolu Agency quoted diplomatic sources as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The visit comes after President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan met Qatari Defense Minister Hamad Bin Ali al-Attiyah in Turkey on Oct. 20. Al-Attiyah also met with Gen. Necdet Özel, the head of Turkey's armed forces.

    As al-Attiyah was having talks in Ankara, Turkish Gendarmerie Forces Commander Gen. Abdullah Atay met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha on Oct. 20.

    The two countries are on the same page on a number of international issues, such as the Syrian crises and recent political developments in Egypt, Libya and Jordan

    Turkey and Qatar have been vocal supporters of the Syrian opposition and have been heavily engaged in efforts to coordinate the fragmented Sunni-majority Syrian rebels. The two states contributed jointly to the formation of the Syrian opposition's civilian wing, the Syrian National Council, and its military wing, the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

    Both countries have also been criticized for supporting the al-Nusra Front, the majority of whose militants later joined the ranks of ISIL.

    The Qatar-Turkey line has occasionally deviated from the U.S.-Saudi approach in restructuring the opposition like the Syrian National Coalition and FSA into the Higher Military Council.

    Meanwhile, Turkey has been reluctant to take a decisive military role in the anti-ISIL collation led by the U.S., while Qatar is similarly hesitant to conduct airstrikes against ISIL militants, merely providing air surveillance. As part of the coalition's efforts, Turkey has agreed to train Syrian rebels within its territory.

    Known as strong supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in the region, Qatar and Turkey have each given sanctuary to Egyptian members of the Brotherhood after they were ousted from power in 2013.

    The two countries' support for the Muslim Brotherhood has strained their ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the Governor of Astrakhan Region of Russia
    22.10.2014 14:15
    Baku, October 22, AzerTAc

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Governor of Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Zhilkin.

    During the meeting, the sides noted that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation have been developing successfully on all fronts, and expressed their satisfaction with the expansion of Azerbaijan`s cooperation with the federal subjects of Russia, including Astrakhan Region. It was noted that the 4th summit of the heads of state of Caspian littoral states recently held in Astrakhan contributed to the development of ties among these countries.

    Governor Aleksandr Zhilkin hailed projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Astrakhan, saying these projects were welcomed by people of the region with great sympathy.

    The parties also exchanged views on prospects for cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation.
  • Taner Yildiz: ''Turkey will abandon ''take or pay'' principle in gas supply from Azerbaijan from next year
    22.10.2014 13:51
    Baku. Agshin RafiqoДџlu - APA-Economics. Turkey will abandon "take or pay" principle in gas supply from Azerbaijan from next year, said the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz in his interview to NTV channel.

    According to him, Turkey put an end to "take or pay" principle from Russia last year: "Turkey will abandon this principle with Iran at the end of this year, with Azerbaijan from next year. We pay for gas that we don't buy. Advances of these payments are our citizens' money. I think we will solve this".

    Turkey buys gas from Iran for $490 per 1,000 cubic meters, from Azerbaijan for $335 per 1,000 cubic meters.

    Russia sells gas to Turkey for $425 per 1,000 cm.
  • President Ilham Aliyev received the President and the Secretary General of the General Confederation of Trade Unions
    22.10.2014 13:18
    Baku, October 22, AzerTAc

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received President of the General Confederation of Trade Unions and vice-president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Mikhail Shmakov and Secretary General of the General Confederation of Trade Unions Vladimir Shcherbakov.

    During the meeting, the sides stressed the importance of the Baku meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Trade Unions in terms of international cooperation. It was noted that Azerbaijan maintained successful cooperation with the General Confederation of Trade Unions and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

    The parties discussed cooperation prospects.
  • German FM to visit Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 13:03
    will visit Azerbaijan on October 23, APA reports quoting Agence France-Press.

    As part of the visit, Steinmeier is expected to meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

    The German FM will then pay a visit to Yerevan to meet Armenian officials.

    It is reported that Steinmeier plans to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its possible solutions with Azerbaijani and Armenian officials.

    Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry told APA that German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be on an official visit to Azerbaijan on October 22-23. He is scheduled to meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.

    Following the meeting, the FMs will hold a joint press conference.
  • Azerbaijanв's Shamkir, Lithuaniaв's Siauliai become sister cities
    22.10.2014 12:54
    Azerbaijanв's Shamkir, Lithuaniaв's Siauliai have become sister cities.

    On October 22, a protocol of intention on sister partnership was signed by Head of the Shamkir District Executive Authority Alimpasha Mammadov and Justinas Sartauskas, Mayor of Siauliai, APA's western bureau reports.

    It was noted during the signing ceremony that the establishment and development of bilateral economic and cultural relations between the regions will also expand relations between the two countries. The protocol signed between Shamkir and Siauliai will contribute to this process.

    The protocol of intention envisages the establishment of mutual relations between Shamkir and Siauliai and the implementation of a number of projects in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
  • Ebola not threatening Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 12:44

    By Amina Nazarli

    The Ebola scare is still threatening the world. The world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has killed over 4,500 people so far with more than 9,000 people infected.

    To cope with the virus, Azerbaijan has strengthened quarantine controls on border crossing points (BCP), the State Customs Committee said.

    The State Committee noted that preventive measures have already been taken on the national border checkpoints.

    To this end, some special seminars have already been held for staff of the border checkpoints. Moreover, the borders' staff use special device - thermovisor- to determine the temperature of the human body.

    The centers have adopted special medical examinations for persons passing through the borders. Special brochures about Ebola virus compiled by sanitary quarantine inspection of the Azerbaijan's Health Ministry are distributed among people passing through borders.

    Also, the fact that such products as banana and coffee are imported from African countries creates deep doubt among Azerbaijani population.

    However, officials assure that penetration of this dangerous disease into the country via imported goods is impossible.

    The Head of the Toxicology Control Laboratory of the State Phytosanitary Supervision Service under the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry, Yagub Ibrahimov, stressed that Ebola virus could not penetrate into Azerbaijan via imported bananas or coffee.

    He said that the laboratory of poisoning control carefully checks imported bananas. If the bananas do not meet certain standards, they won't be allowed to enter the country.

    The dangerous disease spreads only via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people.

    The incubation period of Ebola is maximum 21 days. People are infectious until their blood and secretions contain viruses, which lasts up to 60 days.

    To protect yourself against the disease, it is necessary to observe personal hygiene.

    Recently, WHO established the list of countries, which urgently should approve the national response plan in case of Ebola's penetration into their territory.

    Some 14 countries have been included in the list, which have a common state border with the countries that are experiencing an epidemic and a high level of migration flows.
  • ICRC comments on Armeniaв's intention to hold trial of Azerbaijani hostages
    22.10.2014 12:43
    The International Committee of the Red Cross responded to the question on the Azerbaijanis, taken hostages by the Armenians in Kalbajar.

    The ICRC is aware of the upcoming trial of the Azerbaijanis, who are being kept in Nagorno Karabakh, spokesperson for the ICRC Baku Office Ilaha Huseynova told APA.

    "The International Committee of the Red Cross regularly visits these people and help them communicating with their families. According to the Geneva Convention, a part of international humanitarian law, the detainees should be treated humanely. International humanitarian law doesn't prevent defendants from standing trial. International humanitarian law always requires the observance of legal safeguards regarding the trial," she said.

    Huseynova also said the ICRC isn't a source of information about judicial proceedings.

    Note that, in July of this year, Russian citizen Dilgam Asgarov and Azerbaijani citizen Shahbaz Guliyev were taken hostage and another Azerbaijani citizen Hasan Hasanov was shot to death by the Armenian servicemen while trying to visit their homeland in Kalbajar.

    Hasan Hasanov's body was taken from the enemy and buried in Baku.

    According to Armenian media reports, Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev will appear before the court in Khankendi on October 27.
  • Date and agenda of Azerbaijani Parliamentв's next meeting made public
    22.10.2014 12:29
    On October 28, the Azerbaijani Parliament will hold its next meeting to discuss 21 issues, parliamentary spokesman Akif Tavakkuloghlu told APA.

    The agenda of the meeting includes draft amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, the Code of Administrative Offences, the Customs Code, including the laws "On police", "On food products", "On grant", "On state duty", "On banks", "On drug treatment service and control" and others.
  • Baku State University, Polytechnic University of Tirana sign memorandum of cooperation
    22.10.2014 12:25
    Baku, October 22, AzerTAc

    The Baku State University (BSU) and the Polytechnic University of Tirana have signed a memorandum of cooperation as an Albanian delegation led by Speaker of the Parliament Ilir Meta visited BSU.

    The memorandum was inked by BSU Rector Abel Maharramov and rector of the Polytechnic University of Tirana Jorgaq Kacani.

    Speaking prior to the signing of the document, Mr. Maharramov said the government of Azerbaijan attached particular importance to developing education and science. "A large number of Azerbaijanis have been sent to leading foreign universities under the 2007-2015 state program for the education of Azerbaijani youth abroad."

    The rector highlighted the activities and foreign relations of the Baku State University.

    Albanian Speaker Meta stressed the importance of his meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. He said Albania was interested in expanding its relationship with Azerbaijan. Mr. Meta praised TAP project, saying it was of great importance to Albania. He hailed the signing of the memorandum between BSU and the Polytechnic University of Tirana, expressing hope it will be beneficial for both sides.

    Rector of the Polytechnic University of Tirana Kacani highlighted the activities of the higher educational institution.

    The ceremony also saw Mr. Metan presented with a diploma of the Honorary Doctor of the Baku State University.
  • Malena Mard: We expect that steps taken will contribute to change in status quo
    22.10.2014 11:54
    ''The upcoming meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Paris is a positive step''.

    "I consider that the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents that will take place in Paris this month is a positive step," said Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Ambassador Malena Mard, APA reports.

    She said that holding such high-level meetings is very important: "We expect that the steps taken will contribute to a change in the status quo."
  • Russian Express-AM6 Telecoms Satellite put into calculated orbit: Space Agency
    22.10.2014 11:33
    Russian Express-AM6 telecommunication satellite was put into calculated orbit after its launch on board the Proton-M carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a representative of Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

    "The satellite detached from the Briz-M booster," the agency representative said, specifying that the satellite is now put into calculated orbit, RIA Novosti reports.

    Based on the heavy-class Express-2000 platform, the spacecraft will have an active lifespan of 15 years and carry 11 antennas as well as 72 C-, Ku-, Ka- Рё L-band transponders, according to Russia's Reshetnev Company, which designs and builds Express-series satellites.

    The Express-AM6 telecommunications satellite will be operated by the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) to provide a comprehensive range of communications and broadcasting services in the Russian territory.

    This is the second launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket since the major accident that took place in May 2014. Launched from Baikonur, the Proton-M rocket burned up in the atmosphere above China, leaving Russia without its most powerful telecommunications satellite. The investigation has concluded that the crash was caused by a failure of a turbo-pump bearing in the control engine of the rocket's third stage.

    The Proton-M is the largest carrier rocket in Russia's fleet of space launch vehicles. Since its first launch in 2001, Proton has put dozens of Russian and foreign satellites into orbit.
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 13 times within 24 hours
    22.10.2014 11:29
    Armenian armed forces have broken ceasefire with Azerbaijan 13 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijanв's Defense Ministry said on Oct.22.

    Azerbaijani positions took fire from the positions located near the villages of Kuropatkino of the Khojavend district, Tapqaraqoyunlu of the Goranboy district, Qekarkh of the Terter district, as well as the nameless heights of the Fizuli, Goranboy and Khojavend 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

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

  • California Governor thanks Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 11:25
    Washington, October 22, AzerTAc.

    The Governor of California Edmund "Jerry" Brown has issued a congratulatory message as the famous Azerbaijani ballet "Seven Beauties" was performed on October 11, 2014 in San Diego, California. Sponsored by Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture and Tourism and presented by Azerbaijan's Consulate General in Los Angeles, the performance was the premiere of the ballet in the United States.

    In his message, the Governor congratulates Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as the country's Consulate General in Los Angeles on the successful performance of the ballet.

    The Governor writes: "Composed in 1952 by famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev, the ballet is based on motifs of the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi's Seven Beauties poem, written in 1197. Seven Beauties celebrates ethnic diversity, extols the beauty of other cultures, and praises the wisdom of women."

    Governor Brown concludes his message by thanking the organizers "for bringing the Seven Beauties ballet to the people of California in San Diego."

    Yusif Babanli

    Special Correspondent
  • Ebola in America
    22.10.2014 11:03

    By Abdul El-SayedProfessor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.Until Thomas Eric Duncan brought Ebola into the United States, the disease was largely dismissed as an exotic pestilence of concern mainly to impoverished West Africa, and those who dared to volunteer there. And its transmission to two nurses responsible for Duncan's care - likely resulting from several breaches of medical protocol - has focused intense scrutiny on US preparedness for a possible outbreak. President Barack Obama even announced last week the appointment of an "Ebola Czar" to manage the detection, isolation, and control of the virus in the US.Medical and public health experts had been assuring the public that there was little cause for fear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies were working behind the scenes, painstakingly tracing anyone who may have come into contact with Duncan and quarantining those who might transmit the disease. Transmission in the US was nearly impossible, owing to the strength of the US health system, it was thought.But, as recent events have illustrated, robust health agencies should not be taken for granted. In fact, over the past decade, the government has slashed budgets at several top health agencies, including the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and state and local health departments. Between 2005 and 2012, for example, the CDC lost 17% of its funding, and officials recently reported that funding allocated for Ebola-type health emergencies is $1 billion less than it was in 2003.The challenges faced at the state and local levels may be even greater. Some 23% of local health departments reported that public health preparedness programs were reduced or even eliminated in 2011, while a further 15% reported similar cuts in 2012. In 2014 alone, the Hospital Preparedness Program, which links regional hospitals with local health departments to prepare for potential public health emergencies, suffered $100 million in budget cuts.These reductions have already left their mark. The Hospital Preparedness Program was designed specifically to train health personnel on disease containment in the setting of unforeseen epidemics, such as Ebola. Had it been adequately funded, perhaps the two nurses now infected would still be healthy.The NIH, which funds important advances in our understanding and treatment of diseases like Ebola, has also suffered cutbacks. Its budget has stagnated for most of the past decade, except for years when it was dramatically reduced, such as in 2013. This has forced productive research laboratories to close, putting potentially life-saving research - like that on an Ebola vaccine - on the back burner.One explanation for the drastic budget cuts of recent years is that public health institutions usually operate with little fanfare and out of the public eye. At their best, they prevent disease without a trace, leaving little visible evidence of their crucial function. Hence, funding for public health has been a tough sell in good economic times, and is one of the first targets for retrenchment.But global health emergencies like the current Ebola epidemic highlight the folly of these fiscal priorities. Though we may not lean too heavily on our health infrastructure typically, its importance becomes all too apparent when disease and death come knocking at our door.Indeed, though the threat of a serious Ebola outbreak in the US remains minimal, that is no reason for complacency. As the number of cases in West Africa rises, so does the potential for outbreaks outside of that context. And when members of the international community cannot contain the epidemic, the richest and most powerful actor, namely the US, has an obligation to step in and try to do so.But budget cuts have damaged America's ability to fulfill this obligation, and thus may cost more than policymakers bargained for. In late September, Obama committed $88 million and 3,000 troops to support the fight against Ebola in Liberia. But his decision came only after the epidemic had been smoldering for many months, with 6,000 Ebola cases confirmed and many more believed to be undetected. Had CDC funding been at an appropriate level, US support - in the form of highly trained public health professionals, rather than ground troops - might have been deployed much earlier and been more effective.Ironically, the CDC and its leadership have come under intense scrutiny over the mishandling of Duncan's care and the Ebola transmissions that resulted from it. However, had the same lawmakers who are now deriding the CDC listened to pleas for more support and warnings of the consequences of poor funding over the past several years, perhaps the US would not be in the situation in which it finds itself today.The guiding principle of public health is to prevent disease before it strikes, and this requires long-term investment in institutions that can protect us. Our collective health and wellbeing are evidence of such institutions' effectiveness.Fortunately, the Ebola outbreak is unlikely to expose Americans fully to the poor fiscal choices of the past decade. But the disease's sudden appearance on the global scene serves as a stark reminder of what can happen if we do not remain vigilant. The next epidemic could be just around the corner. We must ensure that we are fully prepared.Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2014.
  • Cut financial aid to terrorists, Iran president tells West
    22.10.2014 10:53
    Iranв's President Hassan Rouhani says those governments that have formed a coalition to fight terrorism should first cut off the financial lifeline of terrorist groups.

    "Those who claim to be fighting terrorism and those who have formed a coalition [against terrorism] should in the first step make efforts to have financial aid to terrorist groups cut," President Rouhani said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on Tuesday, Press TV reports.

    Noting that terrorism has grown into a major problem for all countries in the Middle East, the president warned that the US-led anti-ISIL coalition's airstrikes against the terrorists' positions will only benefit the Takfiri group in the long run.

    The US-led coalition has conducted several airstrikes on ISIL positions across Iraq, but the air raids have so far failed to dislodge the terrorists.

    The Iraqi army, backed by volunteer forces, has been fighting the terrorist group for nearly six months now.

    "Iran believes that the main responsibility in the fight against terrorist groups should be shouldered by Iraqi government and popular forces. The more united the Iraqi nationhellip;the more successful they will be," the Iranian president pointed out.

    He emphasized that Iran has been supporting the Iraqi nation and army in their fight against terrorist groups from the very first day and would proceed with this policy until the end.

    Rouhani vowed that Iran would spare no effort in helping the Iraqi government and called on regional governments to counter terrorism in a "coordinated and integrated" way to uproot this phenomenon.

    The Iraqi premier, for his part, said terrorism poses a threat to all regional countries, adding that Iraq is assured of Iran's assistance for the Arab country until the eradication of terrorism.
  • Azerbaijani Mugham conquers Czechsв' hearts
    22.10.2014 10:49

    By Amina Nazarli

    A solo concert of Azerbaijani performer on Tar (a national instrument) Mahbub Shukuroglu was held in Olomouc, the Czech Republic on October 15.The concert called "Mugham, Azerbaijani National Music" was jointly organized by Palacky University's cinema club "Pastiche Filmz" and Azerbaijani Diaspora in Czech.

    In 2012, an agreement on twinning was signed between Olomouc and Azerbaijani city Ganja. The concert was a great event which promoted Azerbaijani culture in Olomouc as part of the agreement.

    Performing Rast Mugham and other compositions in Catholic Chapel of the Baroque, Shukuroglu made an unforgettable evening for the guests.

    An art music clip about Bayati Shiraz Mugham, which closely acquainted Czech people with Azerbaijani culture, was screened after the concert.

    The guests also enjoyed tasting Azerbaijani sweets and tea.

    Associate Professor of Palacky University Vladimir Suchanek expressed his impressions about the concert, saying "Despite the fact that I'm a real rational European, your music impressed me a lot. I felt like I was floating in the sky."

    Azerbaijani Mugham, a unique musical and poetic phenomenon, was created on the basis of historical and cultural traditions that have existed for centuries. It is one of the most valuable monuments of the material and spiritual culture of Azerbaijan and the greatest achievement of the musical and poetic art of the Azerbaijani people.

    The artistic value of Azerbaijani Mugham and its high importance both for the national culture and to the world community have been universally recognized at the international level: in 2003 UNESCO recognized the Azerbaijani Mugham as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
  • President allocates AZN 10m to Ganja
    22.10.2014 10:28
    The relevant decree is signed.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on additional measures to accelerate socio-economic development of the city of Ganja, reports.

    In accordance with an order to accelerate the socio-economic development of Ganja AZN 5 m will be allocated from the Presidential Reserve Fund City Executive Power provided by state budget for 2014.

    According to another decree, for the construction of roads with a total length of 21 km to connect Mehseti, Sadylly, Natavan Shyhzamanly, Jawad Khan villages with population of 31,000 people, to Ganja, AZN 5 m will be allocated to Ganja City Executive Power from the funds provided in the state budget for 2014 for the construction and reconstruction of inter-village roads.

    The Ministry of Finance will undertake in the established order the funding provided by the decree.
  • Should women in South Caucasus have more social freedom?
    22.10.2014 10:28
    Are you a South Caucasusian woman who finds it hard to go on a night out?

    We would like to find out more about the social lives of women in the region.

    Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were once part of the Soviet Union but after its break up, these areas gained independence. They are now geographically the closest countries to Europe from the former Union.

    These countries also enjoy greater social freedom with a vibrant night-life including music venues, bars and nightclubs. But not all women enjoy these freedoms. Locals report that not many women go out after 2100.

    We would like to hear from you about your own story.

    Do you live in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia? What are your views on women going out to parties? Are you a woman who goes on a lot of nights out? What do you do on a night out? Or do you think it is a bad idea for women to go out a lot?

    Whatever your view we would like to hear from you. We would also like to see pictures and videos of your night out.

    Please send us your material before 4 November. The article will be published on the BBC News website.
  • Armenians violate ceasefire
    22.10.2014 10:13
    Armenian armed forces have violated ceasefire again.

    In general, they fired at our positions 13 times within a day.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the news service for the Defense Ministry that yesterday and last night Armenian armed forces fired at the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan from their posts near Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy, Goyarkh village of Terter and from positions on nameless heights of Fizuli, Goranboy and Khojavand.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
  • Azerbaijan, Qatar sign cooperation agreement
    22.10.2014 09:53
    Azerbaijan's ministers of emergency situations and interior affairs are on a visit to Qatar.

    An Azerbaijani delegation led by Minister of Emergency Situations Kemaleddin Heydarov and Interior Minister Ramil Usubov is on a visit to Qatar to attend the Qatari Interior Ministry's 10th International Exhibition of Internal State Security "Milipol Qatar 2014" in Doha under the auspices of Emir of Qatar, His Majesty Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations told APA.

    The visit took place at the invitation of Qatari Prime Minister, Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

    The main purpose of the visit is to review new machinery and equipment made by a variety of companies in order to provide the ministries' material and technical base with up-to-date equipment, hold meetings aimed at building and strengthening relations with relevant authorities of the states attending the exhibition and discuss issues of mutual interest.

    During the visit, Emir of Qatar, His Majesty Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received Kemaleddin Heydarov and Ramil Usubov at Al Bahr Palace. At the reception, the sides noted the importance of the "Milipol Qatar 2014" exhibition, providing extensive information on the work of the relevant ministries.

    Moreover, K. Heydarov met with Qatari Prime Minister, Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, discussing the prospects of cooperation between the two countries' ministries in the prevention of emergency situations and elimination of their consequences. As part of the visit, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of Qatar on Cooperation in Management of Emergency Situations was signed by Minister of Emergency Situations Kemaleddin Heydarov and Head of the Office of the Internal Security Forces of Qatar, Brigadier Fahd Rashid al-Ali.
  • Stricter police measures donв't contradict EU: Turkish PM
    22.10.2014 09:53
    Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoДџlu has outlined 11 pillars of a bill for ''domestic security package'' that the government will submit to Parliament in the coming days.

    "We are making a revolutionary reform," DavutoДџlu said, addressing his parliamentary group on Oct. 21, adding that the reforms - criticized by many as draconian - aim to protect private life, individual rights and freedoms, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The prime minister dismissed criticisms that the draft bill would give too much power to the police and said the legislation aimed at ending the ambiguity over the use in demonstrations of "weapons of violence."

    All measures will be "in line with EU standards and based on universal standards," he said.

    However, all of the proposed reforms, Davutoglu said, must first be approved by the European Union Harmonization Committee in the Turkish Parliament.

    The bill would pave the way for harsher penalties for those who resort to violence during demonstrations.

    "Every act that turns to violence will be considered a crime," he said, adding that police would henceforth "treat as potential criminals" all those who cover their face with the intent to commit violence.

    "The penalty for possession of weapons, which now ranges from six months to three years, will be increased to 2.5 to four years," he said.

    Police will be authorized to hold violators in custody for up to 24 hours, which prosecutors will be able to extend to 48 hours, according to the package, while suspects will appear in court within four days.

    Nobody will be searched "arbitrarily" with the law, but police will use their authorities if there is "strong evidence and intelligence," he said.

    As a measure against any abuse of power by law enforcement forces, the 17-member committee, whose members will be taken from all parties represented in Parliament, will review and evaluate police surveillance actions intended to prevent crime.

    In addition, "necessary measures" will be taken individually in the event of a call for violence through social media, the prime minister said.

    However, the government will be able to take further measures in social media if the "act of violence becomes widespread," DavutoДџlu said.

    Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry will take over the personnel assignment responsibility for the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard forces.

    The Interior Ministry will be authorized for all issues other than military means, he said, adding that gendarmerie forces would wear a special uniform designated by the Interior Ministry that is more like civilian clothing.

    "The Interior Ministry needs to be restructured," DavutoДџlu said.

    In line with the reshaping of the government's self-styled "new Turkey," there is a need to restructure ministries as well, DavutoДџlu stressed in his speech, adding that he had been briefed by all ministries to determine the necessary reforms.

    "Those dealing drugs, including bonzai, will be treated like terrorists, and the penalties will double if the crime is committed near schools," he also vowed.
  • Azerbaijani President offers condolences over death of Total CEO
    22.10.2014 09:28
    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev offered his condolences to his French counterpart Francois Hollande over the death of Christophe de Margerie, the head of energy giant Total, who died in a plane crash, APA reports.

    The letter of condolences says:

    "Dear Mr. President, I am deeply saddened upon hearing the news about the air crash which claimed the life of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie. I express deep condolences to You, families and relatives of the deceased."

    Azerbaijani President also sent a letter of condolences to the family of Christophe de Margerie: "I am deeply saddened upon hearing the news on the death of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie in a plane crash. I express deep condolences to You and wish you patience."
  • Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Azerbaijan
    22.10.2014 09:23
    Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils MuiЕѕnieks will be on a visit to Azerbaijan on October 22-24, APA reports quoting the CoE press service.

    Mr. MuiЕѕnieks will attend the international conference on the application of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Baku.

    Vice-President of the Venice Commission Herdis Thorgeirsdottir will also attend the conference.
  • Azerbaijan declares British businessman internationally wanted
    22.10.2014 04:07
    Baku. Hafiz Heydarov '" APA. Azerbaijan law-enforcement bodies have declared a British businessman internationally wanted, says a notice posted on Interpolв's website, APA reports.

    The notice says that British citizen James Alexander Ferguson, 50, is charged with tax evasion and was declared internationally wanted, because he fled the country.

    According to information obtained by APA, James Alexander Ferguson had business in Azerbaijan.
  • Sergei Lavrov: ''Caspian countries face interventions while constructing pipelines''
    22.10.2014 04:01
    Baku. Aynur Aliyeva - APA-Economics. Caspian countries face interventions while constructing pipelines, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, APA reports quoting Interfax.

    "Main supporting forces in this issue are the European officials. Caspian countries should pass decision themselves in which conditions they construct the trans-Caspian pipelines through providing ecological security. They also should do that jointly", te minister said.
  • Azerbaijan, Albania discuss cooperation prospects
    21.10.2014 22:00
    Baku, October 21, AzerTAc

    Azerbaijan and Albania have explored ways of developing the bilateral cooperation in a variety of fields as Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met Speaker of the Parliament of Albania Ilir Meta.

    They noted the role of the interparliamentary cooperation in overall development of the bilateral ties.

    Mr. Meta hailed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, saying it was of great importance to Albania and the region in general.

    The Albanian Speaker said the projects opened ample opportunities for developing the cooperation.

    He said the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Baku State University and the University of Tirana was "a significant step towards strengthening the cooperation in educational and humanitarian areas".

    They also discussed opportunities for expanding Azerbaijani-Albanian relations in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, and investment making.
  • Baku hosts conference on green economy, energy efficiency and environment kicks off in Baku
    21.10.2014 21:50
    Baku, October 21, AzerTAc

    A conference on green economy, energy efficiency and environment has been held in Baku.

    In her opening remarks, rector of Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction Gulchohra Mammadova said the conference aimed to promote the use of traditional and non-traditional energy sources by applying the latest achievements in high energy savings, and learn the ways of elimination of negative environmental impact of fuel and energy sources.
  • Azerbaijani FM meets EU Special Representative for South Caucasus
    21.10.2014 21:44
    Baku, October 21, AzerTAc

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has met EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Herbert Salber.

    They discussed Azerbaijan-EU relations, cooperation under Eastern Partnership initiative, and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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