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Georgian government to change law on occupied territories
07.02.2013 17:06
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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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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_3.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/24/prezident_240515_01.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/03/gholam_reza_jalali.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/16/ahmadreza_pourdastan_yeni.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/16/ahmadreza_pourdastan_yeni.jpg
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    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/trend_lahic_230515_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/trend_lahic_230515_01.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/04/greece_flag_040215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/04/greece_flag_040215.jpg
    Greece will not make a debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund due next month as it does not have the money, the country's interior minister said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

    "The four installments for the IMF in June are 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), this money will not be given and is not there to be given," Nikos Voutsis told Greek Mega TV's weekend show.

    Shut out of bond markets and with bailout aid locked, Athens has been scraping state coffers to meet debt obligations and to pay wages and pensions.

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    9
  • Kazakhstan intends to connect Europe and Asia
    24.05.2015 14:06
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/kazakhstan_flag.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/kazakhstan_flag.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    A number of important and interesting proposals and initiatives were made at the eighth Astana Economic Forum. One of such initiatives was President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev's proposal to create a high-speed multi-modal transport route linking Asian and European countries.

    In fact, this idea is not new for Kazakhstan. At the highest level the country's officials have repeatedly stressed their intention to develop the transit potential. This issue is one of the most important for the development of Kazakhstan's economy. Kazakhstan has no sea route.

    Without developing the transport routes, the country will be blocked in the center of the Eurasian continent in the future. At the same time, given its position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the necessary infrastructure, Kazakhstan can attract huge flows of goods transported from China to Europe, and open the opportunities for expanding the trade between North and South.

    Today, the goods from China are transported to Europe through Russia by air, which is an expensive way, or by sea, which is a long way, bypassing the entire Eurasian continent. If a new transit route appears - the route from China to Europe via Central Asia and the Caucasus, it will be much more profitable for producers. This route will be almost three times shorter than the sea route. Consequently, goods can be delivered much faster and cheaper.

    At the same time, cargo transportation will bring enormous benefits to the economy of the transit countries. At present, the trade volumes between China and the EU account for nearly $ 600 billion. By 2020, according to the forecasts, this figure will rise to $800 billion. If the Central Asian countries and the Caucasus are able to attract even a small percentage of these goods, they can eventually get significant and stable income.

    Only infrastructure is required to implement these plans. And it is partially ready. Thus, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is almost ready in the area stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. It is planned to be commissioned until the end of 2015.

    A new large international Alat port is being constructed in the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan. The port of Aktau is being expanded. A new ferry complex Kuryk is being constructed in Kazakhstan.

    The large rail networks are being actively built in the territory of the Central Asian countries. So, the Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Iran railway was put into operation in 2014.

    Several railway lines linking China and Kazakhstan have been recently built. This makes the transportation of goods between the two countries faster and more comfortable.

    Moreover, it was repeatedly stressed about intentions to implement new railway projects in Kazakhstan. So, President Nazarbayev said in early May that the negotiations are underway with China to build a railway from the Kazakh-Chinese border to the sea port of Aktau.

    Thus, in the next few years, the entire infrastructure, necessary for the transportation of large cargo flows via the shortest way, will be ready. This will revive the Silk Road via the same route through which it passed hundreds years ago.

    The transit countries will have to closely cooperate and pass to freer trade. This will really make this route convenient for consumers. Otherwise, importers and exporters will wallow in red tape by obtaining permits in each country. And this will negate the attractiveness of this way.

    Trend commentator Elena Kosolapova

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    12
  • Iran unveils US new demands beyond Lausanne nuclear deal
    24.05.2015 14:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran's Vice Speaker of the parliament, Mohammad Reza Bahonar has unveiled some details on the Islamic Republic officials' call for the US backing away from the commitments of the Lausanne nuclear deal.

    The P5 1, in particular US, backed away regarding some 4-5 certain issues that Iran and the world powers had agreed on, Bahonar said.

    They requested to interview with 29 Iranian nuclear experts, the MP said, adding Islamic Republic will not agree with that.

    Bahonar further said that actually it means interrogation of Iranian experts.

    "The Islamic Republic will not permit international bodies to interview with its nuclear experts," the MP said, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported May 24.

    The counter side has also backed away from the agreed number of centrifuges in Fordo nuclear facility, Bahonar said, adding it was already agreed that some 1000 centrifuges to remain in Fordo site with 350 of them operational, however now the P5 1 seeks to decrease the number below 300-400 centrifuges.

    The official also underlined that Iran does not intend to leave the negotiation table for the time being.

    He added that Iranian negotiators should be prepared for all cases.

    "We should have other options on the table, if the P5 1 withdraw all agreements," he added.

    Bahonar emphasized that the country's all political parties and factions have a consensus over the nuclear talks among Iran and the P5 1.

    "We have no political differences regarding the nuclear issues in the country and the issue of negotiations is not a political one to be divided among the country's political factions," he added.

    Iran and the P5 1 group of countries reached a mutual understanding on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2. The parties have agreed to finalize a comprehensive deal on Tehran's nuclear program by the end of June.

    A new round of meetings for drafting a nuclear deal will begin in Vienna on May 26.

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    6
  • Iran determined to free '˜economyв'
    24.05.2015 12:46
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/hassan_rouhani_main_250215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/25/hassan_rouhani_main_250215.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 24

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran wants to free its economy by using diplomacy as a tool, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a meeting dedicated to the war veterans in Tehran.

    "We should free from enemies as the new Khorramshahr, the entire economy and science around the world have been occupied unjustly," he said at the ceremony of Iran's marking the liberation of the city from Iraqi forces which took place in 1982.

    Today, your beautiful economic activity has been occupied by the group P5 1 and the United Nations, he asserted, IRNA reported May 24.

    "They are not letting us sell the oil that belongs to people so that people may live. Our land of oil has been occupied by superpowers, we must liberate our oil Khorramshahr," the president said.

    Rouhani was apparently referring to diplomatic moves in his administration to bring a long-lasting dispute over its nuclear program to an end.

    While coming to power, the Rouhani administration started a fresh round of talks with the group P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) on its nuclear program which has become an alibi for the powers to impose sanctions on the Iranian economy.

    The Rouhani administration says it seeks a win-win situation from the talks where sanctions would be lifted and Iran would limit and clarify its nuclear activities. The sides are to reach a final deal by the end of June.

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    15
  • Iran grants '˜managedв' access to military sites
    24.05.2015 12:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/abbas_araqchi_060613_4.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/abbas_araqchi_060613_4.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 24

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that the country has agreed to grant the International Atomic Energy Agency a "managed" access to its military sites.

    However, no response has yet been given on granting the IAEA access to Iranian nuclear scientists, MP Javad Karimi Qodusi quoted Araqchi during a closed parliament session, Fars news agency reported May 24.

    Araqchi said during the session that the group P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) has given Iran a list of Iranian nuclear scientists which they demanded to have interviews with.

    An access to military sites and nuclear scientists are within the PMD (possible military dimensions) framework, which the Western powers claim Iran must have had in its nuclear program, thus demanding Iran to grant access to its military sites as a trust-building move.

    The MP further said that during the Lausanne talks which ended April 2, the Iranian nuclear negotiators accepted nuclear inspections beyond the Additional Protocol to the NPT, something that the US keeps stressing.

    Commenting on how economic sanctions will be removed through a nuclear deal, Araqchi had said that the case is being discussed whereby the 5 1 will "remove the sanction foundation" with a document and announce that if Iran keeps its obligations, the sanctions will be removed.

    Iran and the powers are in talks to reach a final deal by the end of June.

    Iranian leaders had previously said they would not accept anything but nuclear issues during the nuclear talks, stressing that the military sites were Iran's red lines.

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    5
  • P5 1 obligated to recognize Iranв's uranium enrichment right
    24.05.2015 12:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/17/p5 1_171013.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/17/p5 1_171013.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Recognizing of Iran's uranium enrichment right and lifting of sanctions are among the obligations of the P5 1 towards the Islamic Republic, Kamaladdin Pirmoazen, Iranian MP, quoted the Islamic Republic's top nuclear negotiators as saying.

    Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi made the remarks during a closed-door session of the parliament on May 24, Pirmoazen said.

    Accepting of Iran's right for maintaining the Arak heavy water reactor, as well as Fordow nuclear site with 1,444 centrifuges, which has a strategic value are also among the counter side's commitments, the top diplomats said, according to Pirmoazen.

    The P5 1 have also accepted the simultaneous removal of all sanctions against Iran, the MP said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

    On the other hand, Iran has undertaken not to seek manufacturing a nuclear bomb, Pirmoazen quoted the foreign ministry's senior officials as saying.

    The Iranian parliament held a closed-door session May 24 morning to hear Zarif-Araqchi talk about Iran's nuclear negotiations with the P5 1 (the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany).

    The two foreign ministry officials outlined the latest developments regarding nuclear negotiations in the session.

    Iran and the P5 1 group of countries reached a mutual understanding on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2. The parties have agreed to finalize a comprehensive deal on Tehran's nuclear program by the end of June.

    A new round of meetings for drafting a nuclear deal will begin in Vienna on May 26.

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    10
  • Iran may hold oil talks with Saudi Arabia
    24.05.2015 12:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/13/Iran_Saudi_Arabia.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/13/Iran_Saudi_Arabia.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 24

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said he may hold talks with his Saudi counterpart Ali Al-Naimi during the upcoming Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting.

    Iran does not hold a grudge against any country, Zanganeh said, Mehr news agency reported May 24.

    The Iranian oil minister's remarks come while political situations are tough between the two Middle East powers following the recent changes in Yemen.

    Saudi Arabia accuses Tehran of having helped the Yemeni Houthi group topple the country's former government and taking control over the country. Iran denies the involvement.

    Zanganeh further said that both Iran and Saudi Arabia would like the OPEC oil production to rise, seeing it as a common ground between the two countries.

    OPEC oil basket price was about $108/barrel in the first half of 2014, but currently the figure is a little more than $62.

    Iran's oil export during the pre-sanctions time was about 2.5 million barrels per day (mb/a), but the figure currently stands at around 1.1 mb/d. The country seeks to boost production once sanctions on its economy are removed, something expected to come true through an end-June political deal with the group 5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany).

    OPEC increased a production level for the second consecutive month in April to above 31 mb/d.

    Zanganeh refrained from commenting whether OPEC may reduce its oil production following a session to be held in a couple of weeks, stating that doing so would require a general consent by member-states.

    Currently, OPEC has 12 member countries: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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    7
  • Iran's supreme leader pardons 102 military prisoners
    24.05.2015 12:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/01/Ali_Khamenei_010912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/01/Ali_Khamenei_010912.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran's Supreme Leader has declared an amnesty in connection with the anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr city during the Iran-Iraq war.

    The head of Iran's judiciary Sadiq Amoli Larijani on the occasion of the liberation of Khorramshahr appealed to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with a letter.

    In this letter, he asked for pardon and reducing the term of sentences of 102 military convicts, the supreme leader's official website reported May 24.

    The supreme leader in turn, signed a relevant decree. Iran's Constitution grants him the right to pardon or reduce the term of sentences of convicts upon the recommendation of the judiciary chief.

    Amnesties and reduced prison terms are granted mainly on occasions marking religious and national festivals in Iran.

    Iran annually celebrates May 24 as the anniversary of the recapture of the Khorramshahr port city from the Iraqis in 1982 during the Iran-Iraq War. The Iraqis had captured the city early in the war on October 26, 1980.

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    6
  • UN foresees Iran inflation rate to hit 14%
    24.05.2015 10:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/26/index_260714.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/26/index_260714.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 22

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: The United Nations has predicted that Iran's inflation rate will hit 14 percent in the current year.

    In its latest report, the UN also predicted that the inflation rate would reduce to 12 percent next year. It has also predicted a GDP growth rate of 2.5 percent for the current year and 2.8 percent for the next year, Iran's Fars news agency reported May 22.

    Iran's situation is just better than Venezuela among developing nations.

    The report predicts a positive prospect for OPEC member states to reach stability in the supply of crude oil. Based on the report, Iran's oil export will be more than one million barrels per day in 2015, if the country reaches an agreement with the UN Security Council in the nuclear talks.

    The inflation rate in Iran hit 15.5 percent in the first fiscal month of Farvardin (ended on April 20), according to the Central Bank of Iran.

    Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said March 20 that President Hassan Rouhani's administration managed to lower Iran's economic inflation from 40 percent when it came to office to 16 percent at the end of the previous Iranian fiscal year (March 20).

    According to an early April report by the IMF, Iran's economy contracted by 6.6 and 1.9 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Last year it hit 3 percent and for the current year it is expected to reach 0.6 percent. For the next year, Iran's economic growth is expected to reach 1.3 percent.

    Rouhani has promised to decrease the inflation rate to 5 percent in the Iranian fiscal year of 1395 (to end on March 20, 2017).

    Edited by CN

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    20
  • Iranian administration recommends businessmen to start trade with US
    24.05.2015 10:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: The Iranian administration has recommended the country's businessmen to start trade with the U.S., said Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture Chairman Gholamhossein Shafei.

    Unofficial links will pave the way for launching the Iran-U.S. joint chamber of commerce, Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Shafei as saying on May 23.

    The establishment of the Iran-U.S. joint chamber of commerce was proposed ten months ago, he said, adding that the administration suggested that private sectors of the two sides should boost bilateral relations as the first step.

    The U.S. private sector is eager to do business with Iran, as European countries have been negotiating to re-enter the Iranian market, he said.

    Meanwhile, Iran sees the U.S. as an important market, because Iranian traditional products are welcomed in the U.S., he noted.

    Iran and the P5 1 group of countries are working on a final agreement over the Iranian nuclear program that has a deadline of June 30. A key point of the agreement will be the removal of a series of economic sanctions on Iran.

    Several delegations from Europe and Asia have so far visited the country to study the potentials for investing in the country's market and more are expected in capital Tehran in the near future.

    In April, a delegation of U.S. entrepreneurs, investors and consultants traveled to Iran to explore the post-sanctions Iran business potentials.

    The Iran-U.S. trade totaled $154.312 million in the past Iranian fiscal year, which ended on March 20, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

    Iran imported $154.117 million worth of products from the U.S. and exported $195,616 worth of goods to the U.S. in the past fiscal year

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    12
  • Burundi's opposition leader shot dead
    24.05.2015 05:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/22/burundi_police_protest_220515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/22/burundi_police_protest_220515.jpg
    The leader of a Burundi opposition party was killed Saturday night as he was heading home in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura, Xinhua reported.

    The witnesses said Zedi Feruzi, chairman of the Burundian Union for Peace and Development (UPD-Zigamibanga), was shot by unidentified people when he was walking home in Bujumbura's Ngagara district, adding that one of his guards was also shot dead and another seriously injured.

    The killers ran away after the shooting, the witnesses said.

    The crime came days after opposition protests against the third term bid of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in the June 26 presidential election.

    UPD-Zigamibanga chairman Zedi Feruzi was among the organizers of protests against Nkurunziza's third term bid that staged protests since April 26.

    The UPD is a member of the Democrats' Alliance for Change (ADC- Ikibiri) opposition coalition. Organizers of protests include the opposition and the civil society.

    Burundi is to hold elections this year. Main polls including legislative and local government elections are due on June 5 while the presidential election is due on June 26.

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    44
  • Commander of ''Ghost'' brigade (LPR Army) Aleksey Mozgovoy was assassinated
    24.05.2015 04:27
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku-APA. According to reports from different sources commander of ''Ghost'' brigade (LPR Army) Aleksey Mozgovoy was assassinated an hour ago, APA reports quoting NOVOROSSIA TODAY.

    He was murdered on the same spot, where the earlier attempt at his life took place: in between locality Mikhailovka and Alchevsk, on the highway Lugansk-Alchevsk.

    According to preliminary reports the jeep, in which Mozgovoy rode, was fired at from firearms, including a machine-gun. The head and the body of the commander were severely injured. Also three civilians died in the accident. An unknown covert group is responsible for this assassination. Unfortunately, the assaulters managed to escape.

    The details are being specified. The information was confirmed by several troopers of "Ghost" brigade.

    As a source in the General Staff of the LPR told our agency, "This was cynical murder. I have nothing to add right now".
    17
  • Egypt Brotherhood figure highlights 'nonviolent nature'
    24.05.2015 04:19
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/16/egypt_flag_160813.jpg
    A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman on Saturday highlighted what he called the "peaceful" and "nonviolent" nature of his movement, noting that the Brotherhood would not change this course in the future, Anadolu reported.

    "Peacefulness and non-violence are part of our principles, things that we will never deviate from or abandon," Mahmoud Ghozlan said.

    This is the first time for Ghozlan to speak in 22 months. He disappeared soon after the ouster by the Egyptian army of elected President Mohamed Morsi in July of 2013 following mass protests against him.

    "Non-violence is the more difficult choice, but it is the right one, and it is one reason why my group lived for nearly 90 years," Ghozlan said, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928.

    Two days ago, Abdel-Rahman al-Bar - known as the mufti or top religious authority of the Muslim Brotherhood - said nonviolence was a principle deeply-rooted in the thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic religion in general.

    Egyptian authorities have launched a massive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood - the movement from which Morsi hails - and its supporters since Morsi's ouster.

    The group was designated as a "terrorist organization" by Egyptian authorities in late 2013.

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    9
  • Iran, Bashkortostan Republic keen to broaden all-out ties
    24.05.2015 02:46
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/03/iran-_flag_tehran_030415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/03/iran-_flag_tehran_030415.jpg
    Sanayee and Hamidov explored the avenues for for bolstering of mutual cooperation in economic, trade, scientific and industrial areas between the two countries, Irna reported.

    The Bashkortostan president reiterated that the two countries have bright perspective of bilateral ties.

    Hamidov called for the broadening of economic cooperation between Bashkortostan and Iran.

    'The value of trade transactions between Bashkortostan and the Islamic Republic of Iran exceeded $100 billion until few years ago, but this figure has considerably declined at the present and it hits about $300 million; hence this situation should be improve, because we believe that the tow countries have sufficient capacities for it,' he added.

    Sanayee, for his part, referred to powsitive trend of Iran-Russia cooperation, including the cooperation between the regions of the twol countries, and propose devising a comprehensive plan for expansion of Iran-Bshkortosrtan relations.

    Bashkortostan is a Muslim-populated republic with 4.1 million population and located in an area of 143,600 square kilometers in Russia's Volga region.

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    18
  • Boko Haram militants killed, hostages rescued in Nigeria
    24.05.2015 02:10
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku-APA. The Nigerian military says it has managed to kill an unidentified number of Boko Haram militants, rescuing people taken hostage by the Takfiri terrorist group, APA reports quoting Press TV.

    "Scores of the terrorists died in the assault on their bases on Friday," a Nigerian Defense Ministry statement said Saturday of the operation in the Sambisa Forest, a major stronghold of the militants in northeast Nigeria.

    The statement claimed that a total of 20 women and children were rescued in the operation, which it said was carried out "despite continuous encounter with [a] large number of land mines which still litter" the area.

    At least one soldier was killed and 10 others were wounded in the operation, the latest in a string of offensives Nigerian military says it has launched in the forest.

    News agencies and activists on the ground suspect the validity of the accounts provided by the Nigerian Defense Ministry, as they seem to be inconsistent with eye witness accounts.

    According to similar reports over the past few weeks, Nigerian armed forces have managed to free more than 700 hostages from Boko Haram captivity in their offensives into Sambisa, from where it has planned and executed many of its terrorists operations over the years.

    Amnesty International says more than 2,000 women and children have been kidnapped by the Takfiri terrorist group since January 2014, with many of them becoming victims of sexual violence.

    The offensive against the forest, which is being assisted by troops from neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, has reportedly failed to stop attacks by Boko Haram in other areas in north Nigeria.

    Violence has flared up in the northeastern Adamawa State, with concerns that Boko Haram may gradually take control of towns and villages in the relatively calm region and establish new bases there.

    Since 2009, the violence fueled by Boko Haram Takfiris has killed more than 15,000 and uprooted some 1.5 million others from their homes.
    10
  • Turks hold protest in Belgium
    24.05.2015 00:53
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/protest_belgium_230515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/protest_belgium_230515.jpg
    Turks living in Belgium hold protest on the events of 1915, entitled "Listen to me", Anadolu reported on Saturday.

    The action involved more than 3,000 people, who are calling on Armenia to open archives to investigate the events.

    Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor, the Ottoman Empire allegedly carried out "genocide" against the Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Turkey in turn has always denied "the genocide" took place. While strengthening the efforts to promote the "genocide" in the world, Armenians have achieved its recognition by the parliaments of some countries.

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    17
  • Turkish President to take part in naval exercises
    24.05.2015 00:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/04/04/recep_tayyip_erdogan_040414.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/04/04/recep_tayyip_erdogan_040414.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24

    Trend:

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan participated in naval exercises, which took place on the Turkish coast of Aegean sea, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Along with the president on the teachings was the Minister of National Defense of Turkey Ismet Yilmaz.

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    8
  • Major rise seen in Iranв's exports to EU
    24.05.2015 00:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/Iran_Eu_020513.JPG
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/Iran_Eu_020513.JPG
    Figures released by Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union - show the increase of Iran's exports to Europe were more than five times higher than the increase in its imports from the country during the same period, Irna reported.

    Eurostat says the value of the bloc's imports from Iran over the period stood at euro;349 million.

    The figure shows an increase of 34 percent compared to the same period last year.

    The value of EU's exports to Iran, on the other hand, stood at euro;1.46 billion, about 6 percent higher than the same period last year.

    The total value of Iran-EU trade in the first quarter stood at euro;1.809 billion showing an increase of 11 percent compared to the same period last year, Press TV reported.

    Figures show an increase of 20 percent in overall trade between Iran and the EU in 2014. This is while Iran-EU trade saw a dramatic decline of 47 percent in 2013.

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    10
  • Leader warns of plots to sow discord among Muslims
    23.05.2015 22:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/ayatollah_ali_khameneie_060613.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/ayatollah_ali_khameneie_060613.jpg
    Some heads of Muslim states mistake enemies for friends, Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with participants at the 32nd International Holy Quran Competitions in Tehran on Saturday, Press TV reported.

    "Officials of certain Muslim countries have an optical illusion and can't tell friend and foe apart. These countries will suffer a blow," Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

    Obedience to the Holy Quran teachings, refusal to succumb to whatever "modern ignorance" wants to impose and resistance against such impositions are the solution to the current problems facing the Muslim world, the Leader said.

    "Regretfully, the Muslim world is presently suffering severely from weakness, poverty, discord and civil wars triggered as a result of pressure by ignorant systems," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

    He added that the Iranian nation has managed to raise its capabilities and hope by standing up to bullying.

    One of the key schemes of the enemies is to provoke divisions and rifts among Muslim nations, the Leader said, stressing the importance of remaining vigilant to the enemies' divisive plots.

    Ayatollah Khamenei said that ill-wishers of Muslim nations seek to sow sectarian, religious and ethnic divisions, urging "wisdom" and "determination" to counter such .

    The Leader further said Muslim states have started to take steps in the path of Islam and the Holy Quran, adding, "Islamic Awakening is a fact that cannot be destroyed and its outcomes will spread day by day."

    Ayatollah Khamenei expressed hope that Muslim countries would further practice the teachings of the Holy Quran.

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    21
  • Over 150 die in heat wave in southern India
    23.05.2015 22:24
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/heat_wave_230515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/heat_wave_230515.jpg
    More than 150 people have died due to intense heat wave in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana in the last three days, Xinhua reported.

    "While 80 people have died due to heat stroke in Andhra Pradesh, 70 others have died in the neighboring state of Telengana since Thursday," the official said, on condition of anonymity.

    Most of those who succumbed to heat wave were homeless people, the official said.

    Meanwhile, the governments of both the states have advised people not to venture out during peak summer hours.

    Weather department has predicted that the heat wave will continue for a couple of days more.

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    10
  • Cypriot leaders tour divided city after talks
    23.05.2015 22:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/cypriot_leaders_230515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/23/cypriot_leaders_230515.jpg
    Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades toured Lefkosa together on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    In a break from peace negotiations, Akinci and Anastasiades were accompanied by the mayors of both sides of the divided city and attracted intense public attention.

    "We will work to find the earliest solution," Anastasiades said during his first visit to the northern part of the island since his 2013 election. "There should be a solution for the future of two societies."

    Akinci added: "I would like to give a message of hope in Cyprus because all we need is hope after all disappointments in the past."

    The two leaders will meet again on May 28.

    Talks were suspended by the Greek Cypriot administration last October but hopes for a breakthrough were raised when Akinci replaced Dervis Eroglu last month.

    The island was divided after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by Turkey's peace operation.

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    11
  • Azerbaijani President: ''Azerbaijan is becoming a factor to be reckoned with on a global scale''
    23.05.2015 21:57
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''Azerbaijanв's foreign policy is conducted on the basis of a clear-cut strategy''

    Baku-APA. The Azerbaijani state conducts a diverse and balanced foreign policy. We are successfully integrating into the international world. We have built bilateral and multilateral relations with countries of the world on the basis of mutual respect and cooperation. Our strong potential enables us to conduct a fully independent foreign policy based on our national interests. In addition to being the leading state of the region, Azerbaijan is becoming a factor to be reckoned with on a global scale. We have a say in the solution of a number of international issues.

    Azerbaijan's foreign policy is conducted on the basis of a clear-cut strategy. In the years ahead, we are determined to continue pursuing our foreign political course, secure the sovereign rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan, protect our national interests, facilitate the development of bilateral and multilateral relations with other countries, resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in accordance with international law and on the basis of the country's territorial integrity, continue the implementation of gigantic transnational energy projects that represent tremendous importance for the region and Europe, and pay attention to other significant issues.
    25
  • Bomb attack kills 3 Pakistani soldiers
    23.05.2015 21:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/12/27/Pakistan_soldier_271208.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/12/27/Pakistan_soldier_271208.jpg
    Three Pakistani soldiers were killed and three injured in a roadside bomb attack in North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

    The remote control bomb targeted a vehicle of the security forces at remote Datta Khel area near the Afghan border.

    The injured were taken to a military hospital in Bannu, a main city near North Waziristan.

    No group has claimed responsibility. The authorities blamed Taliban for such attacks.

    Security officials said the security forces were on routine patrolling when their vehicle came under attack.

    It is the second attack on security forces in the area in two days.

    One security man was killed and another was injured in an attack on the forces on Friday.

    The security forces, backed by fighter jets, are battling the Taliban and other militant groups in North Waziristan. The operation was launched in June last year after the rare peace talks with the Taliban collapsed.

    The army has cleared over 90 percent areas and the military spokesman said over 2000 militants have also been killed during the offensive. Some militants have fled to other areas and crossed the Afghan side of the border, according to security officials.

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    16
  • 8 killed, over 40 injured in C China bus accident
    23.05.2015 20:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/13/china_flag_130613.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/13/china_flag_130613.jpg
    Eight people have been confirmed dead as of 10:30 p.m. and more than 40 others injured after a bus overturned in central China's Hunan Province, Xunhua reported.

    The accident happened at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday in Xinning County when the bus, carrying 52 passengers, all employees of a company from the capital city Changsha, ran into a road barrier on the expressway from Changsha to the county.

    The passengers were on their way to Langshan Mountain for a trip.

    Rain had made driving conditions unsafe and the bus crashed into the guardrail after the driver hit the brakes, according to an initial investigation. The driver has been detained.

    All the injured have been hospitalized. Five were in critical condition.

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    18
  • Turkey thwarts Russiaв's gas plans
    23.05.2015 20:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/08/gas_line_081212.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/08/gas_line_081212.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Turkey, which is preparing to become a large energy hub and play an important role in ensuring Europe's energy security, once again made clear its priorities on this issue.

    Turkish ambassador to Russia Umit Yardim said that the launch of the Turkish Stream announced by Russia as a new gas supply route to Europe, can't be implemented earlier than 2017. Moreover, the sides even haven't reached the initial stage of the project's implementation.

    It is interesting that earlier, head of Gazprom Alexey Miller was talking about the launch of the Turkish Stream in December 2016. It remains a mystery how Russia is going to launch its project so early without official agreements with Ankara.

    In fact, Gazprom is simply bluffing to somehow affect the process of implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project. However, frankly speaking, these attempts are a priori doomed to failure for numerous objective reasons.

    The construction of TANAP is ahead of schedule. Italy has made a final decision on TAP pipeline, the work on the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline is also underway at full speed - all these factors play against the Turkish Stream.

    Under these conditions, the Russian monopolist should be more realistic.

    The implementation of the project will be considerably delayed without the official agreements, contracts approved by the sides of the route, environmental assessment of the project and other important documentation. All the mentioned stages require time and one can't gain much with verbal agreements.

    In order to save time, Moscow announced the start of laying the pipeline in the first decade of June, 2015. However, without an official consent of the Turkish side, this step looks unjustified for the present.

    Ankara, which soberly assesses the situation and is committed to its obligations, also well understands all this.

    In accordance with the plans for the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and thus, the remarks by the Turkish ambassador suggest that Russian gas will be delivered to Turkey only after the Azerbaijani gas.

    ---

    Maksim Tsurkov is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    9
  • Iranian plane carrying IRCS aid not allowed to land in Djibouti
    23.05.2015 19:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/antonov_an_74t_iran_plane_160814.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/antonov_an_74t_iran_plane_160814.jpg
    Araqi said the plane had flown to Djibouti last week and despite coordination made with the UN and the World Food Program, it was not allowed again to land in Djibouti, Irna reported.

    He said the plane has now landed in Chabahar Port to have consultations on behalf of the Foreign Ministry to get permission for landing in Djibouti.

    Riyadh has launched its military aggression against Yemen since March 26 - without a UN mandate - in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which currently controls the capital, Sana'a, and other major provinces, and also to restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

    Since March 19, the United Nations says, over 1,800 people have been killed and 7,330 others injured due to the conflict in Yemen.

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    10
  • Iran studies deportation of its aid plane for Yemen from Djibouti
    23.05.2015 18:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/21/Plane_Embraer_190 .jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/21/Plane_Embraer_190 .jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran is studying the issue of returning its cargo plane carrying humanitarian aids to Yemen from Djibouti, Amir Mohsen Ziyaee, Managing Director of Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said.

    It seems that the plane was not permitted to land in Djibouti due to lack of capacity for accepting the aids, Ziyaee said, Iran's Fars news agency reported May 23.

    However the main reason is under study and will be made public soon, Ziyaee said.

    The official also touched upon the issue of Iran's cargo ship which is berthed in Yemen, saying the local officials has announced that the process of unloading the humanitarian aids from the ship needs at least two days, while the country does not have the capacity to accept the quantity of the goods.

    The Iranian aid ship docked in Djibouti on May 22, where its cargo will be inspected by the United Nations before being moved to Yemen.

    Tehran agreed this week to allow an international inspection of the vessel, the Iran Shahed, averting a potential showdown with Saudi-led forces who are enforcing searches of ships entering Yemeni ports to stop arms reaching Houthi rebels.

    The Islamic Republic was earlier opposing inspections, saying Tehran would not permit the countries involved in the Yemen civil war to inspect its cargo ship.

    The Saudi Arabia-led coalition has imposed an air and naval blockade on Yemen as part of its campaign to oust the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, who have taken most of the country and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh.

    Saudi fighter jets have prevented Iranian planes from entering Yemeni airspace in recent weeks.

    Iran says that the planes were carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen. Saudi Arabia accuses the country of providing military support to the Yemeni Shiite rebels.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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    22
  • Iran organizing reception of health tourists
    23.05.2015 18:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/18/doctor_181113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/18/doctor_181113.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 23

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran's Ministry of Health has made plans to organize the reception of health tourists, Iran's Health Tourism Strategic Council Secretary Mohammad Panahi said.

    Health tourism centers are going to be given identification information whereby the entrance of foreign patients will be organized by the Health Ministry, Panahi said.

    He further said that through the health tourism centers, the Iranian Health Ministry will assign a doctor to each visiting patient.

    The centers will receive patients arriving via land, sea, or air.

    Iran's income from medical tourism is about $350,000 annually, Gholamhossein Shafei, the chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Mines said last October.

    Medical tourism revenues in the world amounted to $100 billion in 2012, he added.

    ---

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    11
  • Tehran says US has dreams about Iran's national security
    23.05.2015 18:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 23

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaee said the US and Israel have dreams about Iran's national security.

    "The US intends to drag the ongoing regional insecurities to our borders," he said, Mehr news agency reported May 23.

    Some movements and threats from the US and Israel, allied by some regional states, have started the examples of which we see in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, he said.

    But it seems that they have more plans whereby they seek to bring the insecurity to our borders, Rezaee stated.

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni said May 20 that the Islamic Republic enemies are trying to bring the proxy war to Iranian borders.

    "We have received some information that our enemies are working with some Persian Gulf governments to bring the proxy war to Iranian borders," Ayatollah Khameni said.

    The Islamic Republic will respond decisively to any "mischief," he added.

    ---

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    10
  • Central Bank of Uzbekistan dismisses info about suspending currency exchange
    23.05.2015 17:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/01/23/Central_Bank_Uzbekistan.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/01/23/Central_Bank_Uzbekistan.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, May 23

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    The Central Bank of Uzbekistan has dismissed the information spread by some foreign media outlets about suspending the conversion of the national currency in commercial banks of the country.

    "Press service of Uzbekistan's Central Bank said that the procedure of conversion of the national currency into the foreign currency is carried out by the commercial banks in accordance with the Article VIII of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund," said the message.

    Uzbekistan joined the IMF in 1992. The organization's representative office has been operating in the country since 1993. Uzbekistan undertook obligations under Article IV of the IMF charter and introduced the conversion of the national currency - the soum - in autumn of 2003. In the same year, Uzbekistan undertook all obligations under Article VIII of the IMF charter which envisages conversion on the current accounts.

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    12
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for May 18-22
    23.05.2015 17:34
    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, May 23

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $66.21 per barrel on May 18-22, or $1 less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $67.36 per barrel and the minimum price was $65.23 per barrel during the reporting period

    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $62.63 per barrel or $1.4 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $63.78 per barrel and the minimum - $61.44 per barrel.

    Urals' density is 32 degrees API with 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 $64.46 per barrel or $0.7 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $65.65 per barrel and the minimum - $63.53 during the reporting period.

    ---

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    11
  • Georgia in NATO - infinite aspirations
    23.05.2015 15:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

    The story of Georgia's NATO aspirations is not a new trend. This is evidenced by both the past and the present government while the West continues giving promises to encourage and help. However, it is namely Georgia's NATO aspirations that may indirectly affect the issue of territorial integrity of the country. The regular statements of the West that it is ready to see Georgia as a member of the alliance, postpone the return of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    US will help Georgia move towards membership in NATO, US Secretary of State John Kerry said May 22, adding that the United States intends to assist Georgia to implement the Association Agreement with the European Union and move towards the path to NATO membership.

    Tbilisi has repeatedly made it clear that the country wants to get from NATO more than a repetition of the Bucharest summit's decision in 2008 that Georgia would sometime become a member of the alliance.

    However, despite assurances from the West, the dramatic changes in the relationship between Georgia and the Alliance in the short term are unlikely. Georgia, of course, will continue to seek the necessary preferences in the issues of integration into the Alliance, but the West will not turn a blind eye to the real problems of the country.

    There are insurmountable obstacles on the way of Georgia to NATO, about which officials of the Alliance remember, though they don't talk about it.

    The issue is that the Alliance won't adopt the country which has territorial problems. This has a logical explanation. If Georgia is adopted without Abkhazia and Ossetia, it will be an indirect confirmation of the independence of the breakaway republics. If these two parts of Georgia are also adopted, the Alliance will have to grant membership to the territories on which Russian military bases are located.

    NATO will beware of adopting a small country with big territorial problems just not to get involved in a possible conflict situation with Russia.

    This means that if Moscow doesn't want to have a member of the western military alliance in the South Caucasus underbelly (it doesn't want), it would be right to leave Georgia's territorial conflict in its current state and by all means try to maintain the status quo.

    The military technical aspect also plays an important role. The gradual standardization of the armed forces in accordance with the parameters set in NATO, can't be completed by Georgia in coming years. However, in the long term, Tbilisi has all chances to get closer to the Alliance's requirements with the lapse of time in this regard.

    ---

    Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver

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    38
  • Quarter of French Africans feel discrimination
    23.05.2015 14:27
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479180.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479180.jpg
    According to a study published, more than a quarter of young people of sub-Saharan origin in France feel discriminated against at work, SIA informs.

    The Center for Employment Studies found 27 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds from this group felt they were treated unjustly at work. The figure was 18 percent for those of North African descent and 12 percent for those with a Turkish family background.

    Among women, the 'nativeв' French population, namely those with no discernable migrant background,felt most discriminated against with 19 percent reporting unfair treatment.

    According to the study, women feel discriminated against on the basis of age or gender while men felt it was their ethnicity that resulted in discrimination.
    19
  • Mammadyarov: Reports on my leaving the summit is Armenian sideв's fiction
    23.05.2015 13:53
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479192.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479192.jpg
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov spoke of Riga summit of the EU Eastern Partnership, SIA informs.

    According to Mammadyarov, Armenia continues to ignore the relevant four UN SC Resolutions through attempts to ignore them: ''We said the conflict is to be settled on the basis of resolutions of the UN Security Council. But they did not want to include it into the declaration of the Summit. And we protested against it. Because, the US SC resolutions are very important legal documents and the conflict should be settled within these documents''

    Azerbaijanв's Minister added that on May 25 Azerbaijan will send a special statement on how Azerbaijan sees the settlement of this conflict. This declaration will be included in the final document of the summit and the issue will be finished

    Elmar Mammadyarov also clarified the reports on his leaving the summit: ''It is Armenian sideв's fiction. Because, there was not reason to leave the meeting''.
    19
  • Karabakh conflict to be settled sooner or later '" Azerbaijani FM
    23.05.2015 13:52
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/trend_elmar_mammadyarov_160215_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/trend_elmar_mammadyarov_160215_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

    Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be settled sooner or later, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said May 23.

    He made the remarks during the meeting of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

    "There are no non-solvable conflicts," said Mammadyarov. "As a person directly involved in the negotiations, I would say that there are reasons for being optimistic."

    "Anyway, we will solve it sooner or later, because it can't remain in such a frozen state as it is now," he added.

    Mammadyarov said that there is a clear international legal framework for this, including four resolutions of the UN Security Council.

    "When joining the UN, all countries undertake to abide by the resolutions of the organization," said the minister. "In the case of Armenia, it is quite difficult."

    However, there will be tough-minded people in Armenian leadership who will start realizing that good relations with neighbors are a keystone to a country's success, Mammadyarov added.

    He said that due to the short-sighted policy of Armenia's current leadership, the country has been isolated from all the serious projects that are being implemented in the South Caucasus.

    Azerbaijani foreign minister expressed hope that the conflict will be resolved in the foreseeable future.

    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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    8
  • Some 5 million Iranians use Telegram mobile app
    23.05.2015 13:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/06/smartphones_06.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/06/smartphones_06.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Number of Iranians who have migrated to Telegram, a mobile social networks application has witnessed a huge boom in recent weeks.

    Currently some five million Iranians use Telegram, Iran's ISNA news agency reported May 23.

    The huge migration wave came after Iranian users experienced various problems in access to other popular social networks applications, in particular Viber in recent month.

    Iranian officials have rejected so far having a hand in the problem. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Islamic Republic's communications and information technology dismissed reports that the ministry has implemented restriction on access to Viber mobile application.

    The minister said on May 4 that the recent problems with Viber and Instagram networks are not related to Iran's Internet without unveiling further details.

    However Iran's communications and information technology ministry says blocking mobile social networks applications is not on the agenda, it encourages domestic developers to develop such domestic applications to replace with foreign ones.

    Meanwhile five million Iranians use Telegram, the most popular domestic communication application, BisPhone has almost 800,000 users.

    Unofficial statistics suggest that at least 4.5 to five million of Iranian citizens also use WhatsApp mobile social networks application.

    Iran's Culture Minister Ali Jannati earlier said that 9.5 million Iranians use the social app Viber and 4 to 4.5 million use Facebook.

    It should be noted that several of world's most popular networks, such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in Iran, while users are still able to access them via proxies. A proxy allows bypassing 'gates' meant to block certain sites.

    A survey by Iranian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports indicates that 69.3 percent of the country's young generation use proxy servers to by-pass the filters and access banned Internet websites.

    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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    10
  • Tehran hopeful about Iran-Russia visa waiver
    23.05.2015 13:46
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/26/visa_260912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/26/visa_260912.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, May 23

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    After agreements were made between Iran and Moscow to facilitate visa issue as a giant step forward, Iran is hopeful about wavering visa requirement between the two countries, Ali Chegeni, consular affairs director of Iran's Foreign Ministry said.

    The statements came after the two countries signed agreements to facilitate visa issue for tradesmen, students, tourists, and transnational drivers, Fars news agency reported May 23.

    The cooperation pact was signed between Iranian and Russia consular director generals Ali Chegani and Yevgeni Ivanov during a ceremony in the Russian capital May 22.

    Chegeni hoped that the developments boost mutual trade.

    Russia was the 18th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

    Iran exported $296.5 million of non-oil goods to Russia and imported $667.18 million of non-oil goods from the country.

    Commenting on talks between his Russian counterpart and the Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei, Chegeni expressed happiness over the positive trend of growing consular relations between the two countries.

    Earlier, Chegeni had led a diplomatic delegation from Iran to Moscow to finalize the agreements.

    It is noteworthy that as soon as the cooperation takes effect, the negotiations, the volume of trade exchanges in economic, trade and tourism sectors as well as joint ventures will considerably increase.

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    11
  • Date of Azerbaijani FMв's visit to Moscow defined
    23.05.2015 13:06
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/trend_elmar_mammadyarov_160215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/trend_elmar_mammadyarov_160215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov May 25, Mammadyarov told reporters May 23.

    Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the visit of Azerbaijani foreign minister to Moscow and said that a wide range of issues on cooperation, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement will be discussed during the visit.

    Story still developing

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    19
  • OSCE monitoring ends without incidents
    23.05.2015 12:33
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140182.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140182.jpg
    OSCE has held a monitoring on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.

    In accordance with the mandate of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the OSCE mission has conducted a monitoring on the troops` line of contact near Horadiz village, Fuzuli region, Azerbaijan. The monitoring ended without an incident.

    According to Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry, the monitoring was held on the Azerbaijani side, by field assistants of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Simon Tiller and Peter Svedberg.

    On the opposite side, the monitoring was conducted by field assistants of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Hristo Hristov and Evgeny Sharov.
    23
  • Repair of building burnt in Baku to be completed in five months - deputy PM
    23.05.2015 12:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/22/trend_abid_sharifov_050712_albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/22/trend_abid_sharifov_050712_albom.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Repair and renewal operations held in the burnt burning in Binagadi district of Baku will be completed in five months, deputy prime minister, chairman of the State Commission established in connection with the fire outbreak Abid Sharifov told reporters May 23.

    Repair and renewal operations in the building have already begun.

    On May 19, a strong fire took place in a high-rise building in Binagadi district of Baku, which killed 15 people.

    The cause of the fire was cladding of the building using low quality and combustible materials, according to preliminary version.

    Six people were arrested within the framework of the criminal case in connection with the fire outbreak.

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    14
  • Ilham Aliyev approves Letter of Intent on Azerbaijani-French University
    23.05.2015 12:22
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140184.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140184.jpg
    APA reports that the Letter of Intent was signed on April 25, 2015.

    President Ilham Aliyev has issued an order on approving the Letter of Intent on Azerbaijani-French University between the Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Minister of Higher Education and Research of the French Republic.

    According to the order, the Ministry of Education is to provide fulfilment of provisions of the Letter of Intent, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to send notifications to the French Government on fulfilment of intra-state procedures that are important for the Letter to come into force.
    10
  • Abid Sharifov: Fire-affected building to be reconstructed in five months
    23.05.2015 12:21
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140183.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140183.jpg
    The reconstruction work in the fire-affected building in Baku will be completed within 5 months.

    The statement came from Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the state commission created to investigate the causes of the fire accident Abid Sharifov, APA reports.

    Sharifov said that the reconstruction work in the building has already been started.

    15 people were killed in the fire accident occurred in the multi-storey building in Azadlig Avenue 200/36, Baku's Binagadi district on May 19.

    AZN 3 mln was allocated for reconstruction of the building.
    11
  • Iran holds missile drill
    23.05.2015 11:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/14/iran_anti_ship_cruise_missile_140315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/14/iran_anti_ship_cruise_missile_140315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iranian army's ground force held a military drill to test a series of its home-made missiles.

    The missile drill took place near Kashan city in Iran's central province of Isfahan.

    The drill comes alongside with a massive military exercise dubbed "Beit ol-Moqaddas 27" which will continue till May 27.

    The Iranian Army ground force has launched the first leg of the major drill in the western province of Kermanshah on May 21 and will continue in two other regions across the country as well.

    The army has test-fired a number of its home-made rockets in the missile drill including two N10 and N6 Nazeat missiles as well as Fajr missile, the commander of the Army's Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported May 23.

    It is not the first time that army tests the mentioned rockets. In a similar drill last year, the Islamic Republic's ground force tested the three missiles reportedly successfully.

    Pourdastan said that the capabilities of the army's ground force missiles are improved and the missiles will be tested in other stages of Beit ol-Moqaddas 27 exercise as well.

    He further noted that drone units of the army's ground force also participated in the missile drill.

    Iranian media outlets report that Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems in recent years.

    Tehran established an arms development program during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s to counter the weapons embargo imposed on it by the U.S. and its Western allies.

    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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    12
  • Formula 1 - Baku close to finalising track layout
    23.05.2015 11:37
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/17/trend_formula1_231113_09.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/17/trend_formula1_231113_09.jpg
    The race in capital city Baku, which will run under the European Grand Prix banner, looks likely to get a July date on next year's calendar.

    A 6.05-kilometre street circuit, designed by Hermann Tilke, will weave through parts of the old city, including its iconic Azadliq Square, and run along the seafront.

    Baku Grand Prix CEO Arif Rahimov told AUTOSPORT: "All the buildings, grandstands and everything that will make the track will be temporary.

    "We're sure we can make it. We have a plan and with construction we're sure this can be done in time.

    "One part of the track has beautiful views, running in front of the government house.

    "Then there is the other part going around the old city, with beautiful old city walls and historic buildings.

    "Then we came up with a track and we are now changing some corners to comply with the FIA requirement of a grade one circuit.

    "We now have a full pack that will be sent for homologation. We're just reviewing it now and it will be soon sent to FIA."

    Rahimov said the track, with an average speed of around 208kph, will feature a long uphill climb of approximately 1.5km in the old city followed by a sharp drop downhill.

    The race is expected to have a grandstand capacity of 19,500 with general admission tickets set to be available for viewing along the promenade.

    "It's going to be quite a small track in terms of seating places, we will only have 19,500 grandstand seats," he added.

    "We will have a general admission area. That's 2km along the promenade and we will try and squeeze as many people as possible in that area."

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    14
  • Party organizations and citizens apathetic during election campaign: ErdoДџan
    23.05.2015 11:36
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140180.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140180.jpg
    Political party organizations and citizens in Anatolia are apathetic towards pre-election campaigns, President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan has said.

    "Both party organizations and citizens in Anatolia are apathetic, in silence. We don't know what will be result of this apathy," ErdoДџan said late May 21 speaking in a televised interview, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The president also said he follows election surveys, adding, "It will be an election with full of surprises until the last minute."

    Elaborating on criticisms made by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) regarding their denied requests to visit Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), ErdoДџan said only the state could decide on those meetings.

    "It's not [Kandil] Mountain that will decide on the traffic of meetings," he said.

    The president said his opening ceremonies in six provinces of southeastern Turkey had been "timid," except AdД±yaman.

    "There is timidity in Batman, the same for Siirt," he said.

    People of those provinces told him they were under threat.

    He accused the HDP of using the word "peace" all the time. "What peace? Is it possible to have this kind of peace?" ErdoДџan asked.

    ErdoДџan also commented on the possibility of armed attacks emerging again if the HDP did not pass the 10 percent threshold, saying the government would do whatever was necessary to maintain the country's security. The army and police, as well as the "nation," will not give credence to such a threat, he said, adding that "if they intend to take such a step, they will pay heavily for it."
    11
  • Azerbaijan endorses construction demolition rules
    23.05.2015 11:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140181.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/140181.jpg
    The next presidential order has approved the Construction Project Demolition Rules.

    In this regard, President Ilham Aliyev has given 3 months to the government for putting the rules into effect.

    The Rules say of a mechanism of full or partial demolition of building objects, defining the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) an authorized organ in this sphere.

    Under the Rules, building projects not having a construction permit and projects whose construction has been stopped and such situation lasts at least for one year are subject to demolition. The objects jeopardizing to surrounding buildings and facilities and the ones constructed with violation of design, architectural and construction standards, if such a situation keeps at least 2 years are also subject to housebreaking. The object can also be demolished at the request of the owner. A decision to demolish the object is submitted to its customer (owner) within 3 days after the adoption. The customer (owner) may appeal the decision in court.
    11
  • Polad Bulbuloglu awarded Russia`s Order of Honor
    23.05.2015 10:51
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479132.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_479132.jpg
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Azerbaijani Ambassador to the country Polad Bulbuloglu with the Order of Honor, SIA informs with reference to AzerTac.

    The Ambassador thanked Vladimir Putin as he received the award from the Russian leader in a special ceremony at the Kremlin. ''I `m greatly proud to receive the Order of Honor from you, a person who we cherish deep respect for. I wish you good health and successes in honor of great Russia''.
    23
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