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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/2012/05/16/persian_gulf_countries_160512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/16/persian_gulf_countries_160512.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/12/afghanistan_flag_120415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/12/afghanistan_flag_120415.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2007/12/07/Oil_Refinery_Plant_071207-2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2007/12/07/Oil_Refinery_Plant_071207-2.jpg
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    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/06/trend_mid_azerbaijan_main.jpg
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    ---

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/06/gas_pipeline_060612_3.jpg
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    20
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 25

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

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    Under the president's decree, the joint-stock companies, attracting foreign managers are offered a number of tax benefits.

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    14
  • Gas filling station explodes in Uzbek city
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/15/blast_azs_150914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/15/blast_azs_150914.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 25

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    Strong explosion occurred at one of the gas filling stations in Kokand city (Ferghana region, the eastern part of Uzbekistan) on April 24 evening.

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  • Iran rejects US, says 34th fleet still present in Gulf of Aden
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/15/Habibollah Sayyari.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/15/Habibollah Sayyari.jpg
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  • Iran, Russia share common enemy - commander
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/09/Iran_Russia_flags_090313.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/09/Iran_Russia_flags_090313.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 25

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran and Russia share common enemy as well as joint purposes, Brigadier General Ali Shadmani, deputy chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said.

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    He further touched upon the issue of buying S-300 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia, saying the decision was made at that time due to the Islamic Republic's serious need, admitting that there were some holes in Iran's air defense system.

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    Shadmani further said that Tehran itself is developing a similar system domestically but production is not fast enough to cover the Islamic Republic's needs.

    Earlier Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehgan said that the country's Barvar 373 long-range air defense system or the home-made version of S-300 would be tested by March 2016. According to Iranian security officials, Bavar 373 is better than the Russian S-300, as it is able to track over 100 targets, just like the Russian system but with a higher targeting capability.

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    10
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for Apr.20-24
    25.04.2015 14:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/02/oil_prices_020712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/02/oil_prices_020712.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    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 $64.27 per barrel on Apr.20-24, or $2.28 more than the previous week.

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    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $61.52 per barrel or $3.45 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $63.84 per barrel and the minimum - $60.33 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 $61.68 per barrel or $2.9 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $62.98 per barrel and the minimum - $60.64 during the reporting period.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    4
  • 7.9 magnitude earthquake rattles Nepal, more than 150 dead
    25.04.2015 14:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/09/Iran_earthquake_090413.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/09/Iran_earthquake_090413.jpg
    A massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake has hit Nepal with devastating force less than 50 miles from the capital, Kathmandu, the US Geological Survey said Saturday, CNN reported.

    Witnesses said people had been killed and injured, and historic buildings in Kathmandu had tumbled to the ground.

    The full extent of the deaths, injuries and damage has not yet begun to emerge.

    CNN's Manesh Shrestha, who was himself hurt, said he saw five bodies at a hospital to which he walked, seeking treatment. People with severe injuries were being treated outside, with doctors administering CPR on at least one person, Shrestha said.

    "It's quite chaotic," he said by phone. "People are wailing, crying."

    Shrestha, who felt he needed stitches, was turned away because other people were more seriously hurt. He saw people with broken bones and severe head injuries, he said.

    Avalanches were reported on Mount Everest, sending mountaineers running for cover.

    "Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche from pumori," Twitter user Alex Gavan said. "Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain."

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    7
  • 7.9 magnitude earthquake rattle Nepal
    25.04.2015 14:20
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473577.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473577.jpg
    A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, collapsing houses, centuries-old temples and cutting open roads in the worst tremor in the Himalayan nation in over 80 years.

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    Several buildings collapsed in the center of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, including centuries-old temples and towers, said resident Prachanda Sual.

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/24/iran_polis_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/24/iran_polis_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    By Fatih Karimov, Umid Niayesh - Trend:

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    "No police officer in Iran can say that he did some work because Allah told him so," Rouhani said, ILNA news agency reported. "Police has a single task, which is to enforce the law."

    Further speaking on security, Iran's president said that security is not related to just law enforcement issues, but also "covers economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues."

    Iran's police alongside with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is responsible for handling the country's internal security issues.

    Border security is also under the responsibility of the police. However the IRGC have been commissioned to ensure the security of 300 kilometers of the Iranian border in the region following the increased activities of the rebel groups along Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan shared borders with Pakistan in the course of the past few months.

    Iran's police also have a morality control department which implements enforcement against people who have been violating the Islamic rules including Islamic dress code in the country.

    "Sometimes the police or the administration get informed about certain threats, which are later revealed not to be threats at all," Rouhani said. "In some six cases, we saved the country from possible wars, based on information that certain countries may invade us."

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    15
  • OSCE monitoring expected on contact line of Azerbaijani, Armenian armies
    25.04.2015 13:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/23/osce-monitoring-3-620x300.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/23/osce-monitoring-3-620x300.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    Trend:

    OSCE is expected to monitor the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies Apr.27, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Apr.25.

    The monitoring will be held under the mandate of the OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative, on the contact line located near the village of Zeyve of Azerbaijan's Goranboy district, the ministry said.

    On the Azerbaijani side, the monitoring will be carried out by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk, his field assistants Yevgeny Sharov and Simon Tiller.

    On the opposite side, the monitoring will be conducted by the field assistants of OSCE chairperson-in-office personal representative, Jiri Aberle and Peter Svedberg.

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

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

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

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

    Edited by SI

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    8
  • "Some foreign non-governmental organizations trying to stain the Games"
    25.04.2015 13:17
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473493.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473493.jpg
    "Efforts of forces that want to damage Azerbaijanв's reputation have never paid off. For many times our country has overcome such trials. That is why there is not any reason to worry,'' said First Vice-Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafat Asgarov as he commented on anti-Azerbaijani campaign in some foreign media outlets ahead of the First European Games, SIA informs.

    ''Some foreign media outlets, non-governmental organizations and certain circles inside the country are trying to stain the Games and Azerbaijanв's image. However, these attempts have yielded no results so far. Now again they started to say same groundless words with no political, cultural and legal background. But Azerbaijanв's progress is obvious. We are preparing for the First European Games in an excellent manner. All of the sports venues are ready for the Games, and we believe that these games will be excellently staged.''

    ''Why haven`t those European non-governmental organizations that call themselves human rights defenders given a statement about the Khojaly genocide? The Armenians have committed more than 30 terror acts in Azerbaijanв's territories. Why they never talk about this? Why they turn a blind eye to the fact that Azerbaijan has more than one million refugees and IDPs?'' The First Parliament Vice-Speaker said that unfortunately ''we have many double standards''.

    Mr Asgarov added that every Azerbaijani citizen ''must be vigilant against such provocations and respond to forces that are against our country. The main burden of responsibility here falls on the media''.
    7
  • EOC reacts sharply to '˜smear campaignв' against Azerbaijan
    25.04.2015 13:11
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139297.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139297.jpg
    EOC has no authority to challenge or pass judgment on the legal or political processes of a sovereign nation

    The European Olympic Committees (EOC) has made a statement sharply denying the appeal of the structure called the Coalition of Human Rights to raise the issue of human rights before the Azerbaijani government, APA reports.

    According to the statement, the EOC has no information about the "deplorable human rights situation" in Azerbaijan and is not going to protest against official Baku.

    It is not the EOC's place to challenge or pass judgment on the legal or political processes of a sovereign nation and, like all sports organizations, we must operate within existing political contexts, the statement said.

    Of course, the EOC is committed to fulfilling our responsibility to uphold the Olympic charter. That responsibility includes guaranteeing that all accredited media in Baku to report on the European Games have the freedom to do so. We have sought assurances from the relevant authorities in Azerbaijan that the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter will be upheld throughout the European Games in June and we are satisfied with the assurances we have received. Any further discussions on the issue will continue to be conducted in private and not through the media, noted the statement.
    12
  • UK never supplied sniper rifles to Armenia - embassy
    25.04.2015 13:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/03/britain_flag_03042015.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/03/britain_flag_03042015.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 25

    By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    The United Kingdom operates a very strict export licensing policy and enforces OSCE sanctions on sales of military equipment to the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the embassy of Great Britain in Baku told Trend.

    The embassy was commenting on the video, spread by the Armenian media, which demonstrates British Accuracy International company's sniper rifles used by the Armenian special forces.

    "The UK has therefore never supplied sniper rifles to Armenia," the embassy said. "We are aware of two rifles being exported from the UK to France under an approved export license (in 2012) which were then exported from France to Armenia and displayed at an Arms Exhibition."

    Accuracy International is a British manufacturer of firearms. The company is widely known for producing a series of Accuracy International Arctic Warfare high-accuracy sniper rifles.

    "Whilst the rifle shown in the video is the same model there is no evidence it is one of the rifles from the exhibition," the embassy said.

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

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

    follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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    9
  • Poverty and unemployment - causes of insecurity, Rouhani says
    25.04.2015 12:37
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/08/iran_poor_080314.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/08/iran_poor_080314.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Poverty and unemployment are the causes of insecurity in the society, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said during the meeting with commanders of the Law Enforcement Force of Iran (NAJA) in Tehran.

    Rouhani said that to create security, poverty and unemployment should be eliminated first of all, and the administration has issues of security and social health as top priorities, Iran's Fars news agency reported on April 25.

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    14
  • Baku 2015 presented at Bundestag
    25.04.2015 12:30
    http://sia.az/images/fotoyoxdur.gif
    http://sia.az/images/fotoyoxdur.gif
    A ceremony has been held at the German Bundestag to present Baku 2015 European Games, SIA informs.

    Initiated by the Sports Committee of the Bundestag, the event brought together MPs, representatives of National Olympic Committee of Germany, employees of Bundestag Office and bureau of deputies and media representatives.

    Chairperson of the Sports Committee in the Bundestag Dagmar Freitag stressed the importance of Baku 2015 First European Games.

    Azerbaijani Ambassador to Germany Parviz Shahbazov highlighted the current state of relations as well as politic economic, social and cultural cooperation between Azerbaijan and Germany.

    The diplomat also highlighted the importance of reciprocal visits of the two countries` officials.

    The event featured a presentation on the European Games Executive Director of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation and Baku 2015 Organising Committee board member Farhad Hajiyev.

    Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
    11
  • Yemenв's former president calls for political dialogue to end war
    25.04.2015 12:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/09/27/ali_abdullah_saleh_270911.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/09/27/ali_abdullah_saleh_270911.jpg
    Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday urged his rebel allies to implement UN Security Council decisions in return for a halt in Saudi-led coalition air strikes, Al Arabia reported.

    "I call on Ansarullah (the Shiite Huthi rebels) to accept all UN Security Council decisions and to implement them in return for a halt in the coalition forces' aggression," Saleh said in a statement read out on his behalf on his private television channel Yemen Today.

    "I urge them and everyone -- militias and al-Qaeda as well as militias loyal to (President Abdrabbu Mansour) Hadi, to withdraw from all provinces, especially Aden," the main southern city where fighting has raged between rival forces.

    A UN Security Council resolution this month imposed an arms embargo on the militia leaders, including Saleh's own son Ahmed, and demanded that the Houthis withdraw from government institutions they had seized since they overran Sanaa in September.

    Saleh, who still holds sway over army units allied with the Houthis, had welcomed the resolution as a way to "stop bloodshed" in Yemen.

    Saudi Arabia has led an air war targeting the rebels and their allies since March 26.

    The former president, who still heads the influential General People's Congress party, called for UN-brokered Saudi-Yemeni talks to be held in Geneva.

    Saleh also called for a resumption of inter-Yemeni dialogue, urging "reconciliation" and the release of "all prisoners and those kidnapped".

    He proposed that all provinces to be handed over to "the army and security apparatus under the control of local authorities in each province".

    Saleh ruled Yemen for 33 years before being forced to stand down following a year-long Arab Spring-inspired uprising in 2011.

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    10
  • Azerbaijani, French presidents mull Karabakh conflictв's settlement
    25.04.2015 12:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/ilham_aliyev_hollande_meeting_250415_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/ilham_aliyev_hollande_meeting_250415_01.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and French President Francois Hollande met in Baku Apr.25.

    Hollande arrived in Azerbaijan for a working visit on Apr.24.

    During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the current status of bilateral relations and emphasized the dynamic development of relations between the two countries.

    They also emphasized the contribution of the reciprocal visits of the presidents over the recent years to the further development of the bilateral ties.

    Moreover, Azerbaijani and French presidents expressed interest of the sides in further expanding the relations and noted that the two countries have great opportunities for that.

    Ilham Aliyev and Francois Hollande also had a broad exchange of views on the latest situation in the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    President Aliyev expressed satisfaction with the active role of French President Hollande in the issue of settlement of the conflict.

    Moreover, during the meeting, the sides discussed regional and international issues, as well as the issues of mutual interest.

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    8
  • Andrzey Kasprzyk to visit front line
    25.04.2015 12:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139294.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139294.jpg
    The Defense Ministry has spread a statement.

    In line with the mandate of the personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office, on 27 April there is a plan to hold a monitoring on the contact line of troops near Zeyva village of Goranboy.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that Azerbaijan will be represented by personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office Andrzet Kasprzyk, field assistants Yevgeniy Sharov and Simon Tiller.

    On the opposite side of the contact line of troops the monitoring will be held by field assistants of the personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office Zhiri Aberle and Peter Svedberg.
    9
  • Azerbaijan reduces production of gasoline
    25.04.2015 11:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139293.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139293.jpg
    State Statistics Committee has disseminated an information.

    During the first quarter of 2015, Azerbaijan produced 796 400 tons of diesel fuel, which is 25.9% more than the same period in 2014.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the State Statistics Committee (SSC) that on April 1, the stocks of finished diesel fuel amounted to 85 300 tons.

    300 300 tons of gasoline, which is 2.1% less than the same period last year, were produced during first three months of the year. On April 1, the stocks of finished motor gasoline amounted to 64 700 tons.
    15
  • World Bank to allocate $150 million for Uzbekistanв's agriculture
    25.04.2015 11:17
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/world_bank_101113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/world_bank_101113.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Apr.25

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    The World Bank and the government of Uzbekistan have signed a $150 million worth loan agreement for development of fruit and vegetable growing in the country, said the message from the WB.

    The project worth $183.13 million was approved by the WB board of directors in June 2014 and was directed for assisting farmers in the sphere of fruit and vegetable growing, said the message.

    The project envisages improving the access to the technologies, knowledge and markets, strengthening the technical and management potential in the agro-industrial sector and others.

    It is expected that the implementation of the project will allow to create a large number of jobs in the processing, trade and export spheres of the agricultural industry and increase the added value in the sphere of agriculture.

    The project will be implemented in eight regions of Uzbekistan, namely, in Andijan, Jizzakh, Fergana, Kashkadarya, Namangan, Samarkand and Tashkent provinces, as well as in Karakalpakstan.

    This is the first project in the portfolio of transactions of the WB Group in Uzbekistan where the WB and the International Finance Corporation will unite efforts for its implementation.

    IFC will support the food producers and the processing agricultural enterprises of the republic in applying the internationally recognized solutions. This is necessary to ensure food safety, to help the companies in the production-supply chain of the agro-industrial complex to improve their competitiveness and long-term sustainability.

    Moreover, IFC's support will increase the potential of the commercial banks' staff, by encouraging all types of lending for agriculture. This will allow the farmers-producers of the production-supply chain reaching the markets.

    The project is a part of the partnership strategy of the WB group with Uzbekistan for 2012-2015. It is aimed at assisting the country in diversifying the agriculture through the high-value crops, intensifying the crop yields and agricultural productivity, as well as improving the efficiency of the infrastructure and competitiveness of the economy, the statement said.

    Uzbekistan joined the WB in 1992. The bank's activity in the country is aimed at improving people's livelihood through support for economic reforms, modernization of the infrastructure and the social sectors, providing the Uzbek government and people with knowledge and experience.

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    13
  • Araqchi: Iran, P5 1 start drafting on sanctions removal
    25.04.2015 11:16
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139291.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139291.jpg
    A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says Iran and the P5 1 group have started drafting the text of mechanisms related to the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its peaceful nuclear program.

    Speaking to Press TV following meetings with representatives of the P5 1 group in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on Friday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said that the US negotiating delegation gave the Iranian nuclear team "very useful" explanations regarding the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

    "This time we only worked on the question of sanctions but the fact is that we had worked on other issues some months ago; I think in July last year. We have already [drafted] some parts of our text. We had already done some drafting in the past, but then it was stopped because we had no solution on major issues. Now we have solutions in almost all issues. What we have to do is to write down these solutions in form of a draft of an agreement. We have also started now from the sanctions and we will go to other issues next time," he said.

    He added that the American and European negotiators resolved some ambiguities regarding the lifting of sanctions.

    Noting that drafting has begun on the issue of sanctions, Araqchi said the US team "gave us explanations [about removal of sanctions] which were very useful."

    He said there were also positive talks about a resolution passed by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will be discussed on the Senate floor next week and is intended to give US Congress a final say over a possible nuclear accord with Iran.

    "Some remarks by officials in the US created lots of question marks, and also the act by the Congress to introduce a new bill hellip; [which] actually added to this complicated situation. We had very good discussions specially with the US delegation asking them to clarify their position regarding sanctions, to clarify what is going on in the Congress and I think the explanations by the US delegation was very useful," he said.

    The Iranian deputy foreign minister further noted that the negotiating sides have made steady, but slow progress, adding, "We are working on a dispute settlement mechanism for possibility of violations."

    "We are working on a dispute settlement mechanism the details of which are still under consideration. We do attach great importance to the possibility of violation of commitments by either side, especially from the other side, who has unfortunately not a good record on implementing its commitments. We will certainly have a dispute settlement mechanism according to which if any violation would occur, if any misunderstanding emerges, we will go to that mechanism and try to resolve that before we come to a situation to terminate the agreement," the Iranian deputy foreign minister explained.

    Araqchi continued by saying, "Now we have started to work on the draft of the JCPOA. Obviously at the beginning we need to talk about the frameworks and format of such a draft. We have made some progress but very slowly.hellip; The focus of our discussions this time was on the question of sanctions and we tried to start drafting by in fact the question of sanctions and the related issues."

    "It is a very difficult job to reach a realistic agreement by June but we are hopeful. We think if all parties are serious which they are we can conclude these discussions and talks before the end of June. This is quite possible and we think the agreement is at reach, but of course at any time hellip; unpredictable events may cause problems in the way, but if we go in a normal pace we can finish the job," he concluded.

    Representatives of Iran and the P5 1 group held intense talks in the Austrian capital in the third day of their latest round of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

    The talks in Vienna are aimed at drafting the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) according to the parameters set through a mutual understanding reached in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    In the morning, Iran's deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi met with their Russian and Chinese counterparts.

    At the same time, experts from negotiating parties held a concurrent meeting. The expert meeting was focused on the mechanism for removal of anti-Iran sanction.

    Later in the afternoon, Iranian deputy foreign ministers sat for negotiations with representatives of three European countries, France, Germany and the UK followed by another meeting with the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and EU political director, Helga Schmid.

    The new round of the talks between representatives of Iran and the P5 1 - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany - lasted three days with the aim of drafting a nuclear accord.

    The talks are scheduled to resume on the sidelines of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York on April 27.
    9
  • Iran, US foreign ministers to meet in NY next week
    25.04.2015 10:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/trend_new_york_020811_6.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/trend_new_york_020811_6.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with his American counterpart John Kerry on the sidelines of the five-year review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York next week.

    The conference on non-proliferation will start on Apr.27 in New York.

    "Mohammad Javad Zarif, John Kerry and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini who leads the P5 1 group will meet in New York," Iran's top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told IRNA on April 25.

    According to Araqchi, scheduling bilateral meeting with other foreign ministers of P5 1 Group members is possible.

    The first round of nuclear talks, after reaching a political agreement on April 2 had been held between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and Deputy EU Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmidt in Vienna.

    The meetings are aimed at drafting an agreement to be signed by June 30.

    Iran and the P5 1 Group (UK, France, Germany, the United States, Russia and China) reached a framework agreement on April 2, which envisions a final deal by June 30.

    Araqchi said that the later round of negotiations was aimed to bring clarification on the method of lifting sanctions against Iran.

    He said the US and EU have made "good clarification" on the framework of eliminations of sanctions. The drafting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) started April 22.

    Araqchi said that drafting JCPA has been carried out slowly, but progressive.

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    14
  • Uzbek GDP grows 7.5%
    25.04.2015 10:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/26/index_260714.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/26/index_260714.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Apr. 24

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Gross domestic product (GDP) of Uzbekistan in January - March 2015 rose by 7.5 percent compared with the same period of 2014, industrial production increased by 7.9 percent, agriculture saw a 6, 3 percent growth, and the service sector grew by 13.1 percent.

    These data were presented at a government meeting, held Apr.24 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev, who discussed the results of socio-economic development of the country in the first quarter of 2015, the press service of the government told Trend.

    The share of services in gross domestic product rose to 53.2 percent compared to 52.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

    Production of consumer goods increased by 11.2 percent, retail trade - by 15.2 percent.

    The volume of spent investments, aimed at implementation of programs and investment projects on modernization and diversification of industrial production, deepening localization of finished products, components and materials, increased by 8.7 percent, including a 10 percent growth in foreign direct investment.

    State budget was executed with a surplus of 0.1 percent of GDP. Inflation did not exceed the forecast parameters.

    Implementation of 53 new investment projects has started as part of the investment program for 2015. The total cost of these projects exceeds $4.8 billion.

    The growth of the investment activity has allowed to increase the volume of contractual construction work by 18.9 percent.

    As part of the implementation of territorial programs of socio-economic development of regions, 434 new production facilities were commissioned, 169 kilometers of water supply networks, 54 kilometers of gas supply networks, 1.3 million square meters of housing were put into operation in the rural areas.

    The implementation of measures on stimulating the exporting enterprises and rendering comprehensive assistance to them in promoting the products to foreign markets allowed to ensure 13.9 percent growth of the export volume and positive trade balance. Moreover, 146 new enterprises were involved in the export activities.

    Uzbekistan's GDP grew by 8.1 percent in 2014, compared to 2013, the industrial production - 8.3 percent, agricultural production - 6.9 percent.

    Uzbekistan's government plans to ensure 8-percent growth of GDP, 8.3 percent - industrial production, 6 percent - agricultural production and increase the volume of capital investments by 9.6 percent in 2015. It is planned to keep the inflation level at 5.5-6.5 percent.

    The official exchange rate on Apr.24 is 2507.40 soums/$1.

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    7
  • Some foreign media outlets, non-governmental organizations trying to stain the Games
    25.04.2015 10:43
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473493.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473493.jpg
    "Efforts of forces that want to damage Azerbaijanв's reputation have never paid off. For many times our country has overcome such trials. That is why there is not any reason to worry,'' said First Vice-Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafat Asgarov as he commented on anti-Azerbaijani campaign in some foreign media outlets ahead of the First European Games, SIA informs.

    ''Some foreign media outlets, non-governmental organizations and certain circles inside the country are trying to stain the Games and Azerbaijanв's image. However, these attempts have yielded no results so far. Now again they started to say same groundless words with no political, cultural and legal background. But Azerbaijanв's progress is obvious. We are preparing for the First European Games in an excellent manner. All of the sports venues are ready for the Games, and we believe that these games will be excellently staged.''

    ''Why haven`t those European non-governmental organizations that call themselves human rights defenders given a statement about the Khojaly genocide? The Armenians have committed more than 30 terror acts in Azerbaijanв's territories. Why they never talk about this? Why they turn a blind eye to the fact that Azerbaijan has more than one million refugees and IDPs?'' The First Parliament Vice-Speaker said that unfortunately ''we have many double standards''.

    Mr Asgarov added that every Azerbaijani citizen ''must be vigilant against such provocations and respond to forces that are against our country. The main burden of responsibility here falls on the media''.
    12
  • Netherlands'"Azerbaijan Business Forum held in Maastricht
    25.04.2015 10:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139287.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139287.jpg
    Mutually beneficial alliances were created during the event, APA reports.

    The strength of Dutch-Azerbaijani relations was acknowledged during the inaugural Netherlands-Azerbaijan Business Forum on 23 April at the renowned Maastricht School of Management (MSM), organised by MSM, The Province of Limburg, the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion (NCH) and the Belgian office of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS). Around 250 delegates attended the event, including more than 50 Azerbaijani business leaders drawn from all sectors of the country's economy.

    In his keynote speech, Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry, commented: "Azerbaijan is working to diversify its economy and the non-oil sector now accounts for 32 per cent of GDP. Royal Dutch Shell is currently involved in the Southern Energy Corridor, which is the largest pipeline project under construction anywhere in the world and is worth $45bn. Altogether, 125 Dutch companies are active in Azerbaijan, and the Netherlands has proven to be a reliable partner to my country. There is plenty of scope for future collaboration."

    Shahmar Movsumov, CEO, State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOFAZ), explained: "Natural resources can be both a blessing and curse. Azerbaijan is currently passing through its second oil boom. SOFAZ has created around $40bn of revenues, and is a global investor in all asset classes."

    Reneacute; van der Linden, Dutch Senator; Chairman, MSM; and former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from 2005-08, continued: "This forum follows a successful trade mission to Baku in April last year. Since regaining its independence almost 25 years ago, Azerbaijan has been transformed into a stable and fast-growing country at the bridging point between Europe and Asia. It offers tremendous opportunities."

    H.E. Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs reflected: "Whilst geographically distant, our countries have much in common. We both have a strong agricultural industry, and the energy industry has had a major impact on both our economies. Azerbaijan is trying to diversify its economy and stimulate rural development. The Netherlands is trying to recover from the financial crisis by investing in industries with great growth potential. These mutual interests are the basis of our ties."

    Twan Beurskens, Vice-Governor of the Province of Limburg in charge of Economic Affairs outlined: "Energy and energy policies were important in Limburg in the past - and this is one aspect we share with Azerbaijan. When I participated in the Netherlands' Trade Mission to Baku, I was very impressed by the economic progress achieved in Baku, to date. We have discussed the possibility of setting up an Azerbaijan Business Hub in Verloer."

    Rufat Mammadov, Head, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) outlined the opportunities for Dutch investment in the non-oil sector: "There is great mutual interest on developing trade and economic relations. The economy has gown by almost five per cent this year, and was placed in 38th position in the World Bank's Doing Business report last year. This is partly due to the attempts to diversify the economy over the past decade."

    During a networking lunch, delegates had opportunity to view the Azerbaijan - Sport in Focus exhibition, comprising 65 images submitted by photographers based in 10 countries for a TEAS competition of the same name. This reflects Azerbaijan's forthcoming hosting of the inaugural Baku2015 European Games from 12-28 June.

    The event continued with business-to-business meetings between Azerbaijani and Dutch companies, during which experience was pooled and new, mutually beneficial alliances were created. The forum concluded with dinner at the Province House of the Province of Limburg.
    11
  • Armenian armed units violate ceasefire 56 times
    25.04.2015 10:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139288.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139288.jpg
    The Ministry has disseminated an information.

    Armenian Armed units violated ceasefire with Azerbaijan 56 times in various directions along the frontline throughout the day, said Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, Oxu.az reports.

    Armenian armed units fired on positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Kohnegishlag village of Aghstafa region from the positions located in Paravakar village of Ijevan region, and on the positions located in Alibeyli village of Tovuz district from the positions located in Aygepar village of Berd region.

    Azerbaijani positions also came under fire from positions in the Geyarh, Chilyabyurt, Chayli of Tartar region, Yusifjanly, Shikhlar, Javahirli, Shuraabad, Sarijali, Kengerli of Agdam region, Kuropatkino of Khojavand region, Goradiz, Gorgan, Garakhanbeyli, Ahsagi Veyselli of Fizuli region, as well as from positions in the nameless heights in Goranboy, Khojavend and Fizuli region.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
    8
  • Azerbaijani President attends a ceremony
    25.04.2015 10:10
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473489.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473489.jpg
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended a solemn ceremony of the 100th anniversary of Canakkale Victory.

    Wreathes were laid at the memorial. A moment of silence was observed for the Canakkale martyrs and founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    The national anthem of Turkey was performed.

    Verses from the Quran were recited and prayers were said for the martyrs.

    Then, Prince of Wales Charles and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the ceremony.

    The event is attended by presidents of 21 countries, as well as high-ranking officials from more than 70 countries.

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    $('.fancybox').fancybox();

    });
    11
  • Countries protest against Armenian "genocide" claims
    25.04.2015 10:09
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473490.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473490.jpg
    Rallies have been staged in several countries to protest against claims an Armenian "genocide" was carried out in 1915 under the Ottoman Empire, SIA informs citing the Anadolu Agency.

    Protests were held across nations including Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Australia as well as Palestine on Friday, April 24, the day on which the Armenian city of Yerevan commemorates those killed in the 1915 events.

    In Kyrgyzstan, more than 100 Kyrgyz youths staged a silent walk to condemn the Armenian claims relating to the events.

    Gathered at the foot of the Tian Shan mountain, they held banners with slogans including: ''We condemn the Armenian genocide lie'' and ''O world, do not believe the Armenian genocide lie''.

    Ahiska Turks and Azeri Associations in Kyrgyzstan also condemned the claims at several events held around the country.
    11
  • Leyla Aliyeva attends presentation ceremony of "Bird Paradise" film
    25.04.2015 10:02
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139280.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139280.jpg
    The event took place in the Nizami Cinema Centre.

    "Bird Paradise - Aggol National Park" film produced as part of the "9 mysteries of Azerbaijan" project of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) was launched at the Nizami Cinema Center on April 24.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Trend that a presentation ceremony was attended by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Leyla Aliyeva.

    Prior to the demonstration of the film, Leyla Aliyeva visited the exhibition of photographs taken by film director Igor Bishnyov during shooting.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Igor Bishnyov said that "Bird Paradise - Aggol National Park" is the second in a row film created under the "9 Wonders of Azerbaijan" project. Expressing gratitude to the project proponent Leyla Aliyeva, the director informed the guests about the shooting process of the film, shared his impressions.

    "With an increasing number of national parks in the world, the chance for a better future for our children increases. From this point of view, the project "9 Wonders of Azerbaijan" is very important. Azerbaijan has the best conservation system on the post-soviet area. The government of your country plays a special role in this field. The personal involvement of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the opening of national parks once again confirms this," the director said.

    IDEA's project "9 Wonders of Azerbaijan" provides for the preparation of detailed documentaries on 9 national parks of Azerbaijan. Last year, as part of this project the documentary "Shirvan National Park" was publicly presented and was met with great interest. The film was shown on local television channels, as well as international film festivals and TV channel "Russia-Culture".

    In subsequent years, it is planned to create films about planned to produce films about Goygol, Zangazur, Altiagaj, Hirkan, Absheron, Shahdag and Samur-Yalama national parks.

    IDEA plans to exhibit the film "Bird Paradise - Aggol National Park" in high education institutes and resource centers of IDEA.

    The aim of the project is to promote the beauty of Azerbaijan and drawing attention to the importance of its protection.

    A footage from the film "Goygol National Park", the shooting of which are currently under way, was also demonstrated at the presentation ceremony. According to Igor Bishnyov, a film about the first reserves of Azerbaijan will contribute to the activities carried out in Azerbaijan in this sphere, the 90th anniversary of which is celebrated this year. Then the documentary "Bird Paradise - Aggol National Park" was demonstrated. An hour's length film fully reflects the stories about birds and other species of fauna living in Aggol National Park, the natural conditions of these places. The film also shows the shots of the project "Restoration of protection, reintroduction and historical habitat of gazelles in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan", implemented by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, with the support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, IDEA and the World Wildlife Fund.

    The film was met with great interest.
    9
  • Belarus embassy to open in Tbilisi
    25.04.2015 09:56
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139279.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139279.jpg
    The Georgian embassy in Minsk has been working since 2007.

    The Belarus embassy in Tbilisi will open within a year.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to BBC that the statement came from Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko visiting Batumi.

    "Belarus has a special approach to opening of a diplomatic office in any country", he said, "When we are shifting to quite a high level of the trade and economic relations with the state, them we are solving the issue of opening our embassy there".

    According to Lukashenko, the trade between Belarus and Georgia will be raised to $200m in the future.

    The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in January 1994. The Georgian embassy in Minsk has been functioning since 2007.
    10
  • Electricity exports from Iran not economically justified, experts say
    25.04.2015 09:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Energy_020407-big.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Energy_020407-big.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.24

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Exporting electricity from Iran is not economically justified, said the experts at the research center of the Iranian parliament.

    According to the experts, the average efficiency of thermal power plants in Iran is 37 percent. Taking this into consideration, exporting electricity from is not economically justified, Iran's Tabnak website reported on April 24.

    Thermal power plants play a key role in meeting Iran's electricity need. These plants use natural gas and liquid fuel as feedstock.

    The efficiency of thermal power plants should be increased to 55 percent to make exports of electricity economically justified, said the experts.

    Considering the average price of exporting electricity at 10 cents and the average price of exporting natural gas at 30 cents, the efficiency of power plants should be increased in order to raise the price of natural gas input to power plants to 28 cents.

    Iran saved $6 billion by supplying gas to power plants instead of liquid fuel in the past Iranian fiscal year, which ended on March 20.

    Hamid Reza Araqi, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company, said that 50 billion cubic meters of gas were supplied to the country's power plants last year.

    The volume of gas which was supplied to the power plants increased by 15 billion cubic meters compared to its preceding year, he noted.

    Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian has said that Iran will boost its electricity generation capacity to 100,000 megawatts by the next five years.

    Some of the old and worn-out power plants will be scrapped and the efficiency of other power plants will be improved, he added.

    Iran's total electricity generation currently stands at 70,000 megawatts.

    Power generation capacity in Iran has grown by seven percent annually during the past 10 years. Iran is currently the biggest electricity producer in the Middle East.

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    10
  • Erdogan: Turkey committed to ensuring peace throughout the world
    25.04.2015 09:43
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139278.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139278.jpg
    President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken at the official ceremony in Canakkale.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Anadolu that speaking at the official ceremony on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Canakkale battle, the Turkish president said:

    "Before the spirit of hundreds of thousands of young people who are resting on this small peninsula, on behalf of all of us, I reaffirm that I will work on ensuring peace throughout the world, tranquility and prosperity. Each young man who is resting in this land is our son. Today we are commemorating not any nation, but all the servicemen who sacrificed their lives for these lands. Our monuments are the symbols of all who died on this land, and there are nearly half a million of people here".

    Erdogan said:

    "I express hope that Canakkale will become an example for the whole world and communities that the common pain must be used not for creation of new enmity but for its transformation into a tool of friendship, love and peace.

    For the prosperity of global stability all countries, international organizations and communities must support the climate of tolerance and friendliness. This is the basis for solution of such problems as terrorism, racism, Islamophobia and manifestation of all kinds of hatred.
    8
  • Meeting of Azerbaijan and French presidents starts in Baku
    25.04.2015 08:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/02/Azerbaijan_France_flags_Album_010512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/02/Azerbaijan_France_flags_Album_010512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 25

    Trend:

    A meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and French President Francois Hollande, who arrived in the country April 25, has started in Baku.

    The French president is on a working visit.

    Story still developing

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    40
  • Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
    25.04.2015 08:28
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/06/john_kerry_061114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/06/john_kerry_061114.jpg
    US Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday on Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen and those who have "influence over them" to come to the negotiating table and end the unrest in the Gulf nation, AFP reported.

    "This has to be a two-way street," Kerry told reporters, saying Saudi Arabia was moving to a humanitarian phase of its Yemen campaign and "we need the Huthi and we need those that can influence them to make sure that they are prepared to try to move... to the negotiating table."

    The United Nations had already appointed a facilitator and both sides appeared ready to discuss a location for peace talks, Kerry said.

    "Now the key is to get that up and running and get to the talks as fast as possible because a political solution is absolutely essential," the top US diplomat said.

    Innocent civilians were being caught up in the violence in Yemen and it was "a top priority to try to minimize it," he added.

    "Hopefully in the next days this will de-escalate even more and we can get to a place where negotiations take hold."

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    12
  • South Korean consortium to upgrade refinery in Turkmenistan
    25.04.2015 07:38
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2007/12/07/Oil_Refinery_Plant_071207-2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2007/12/07/Oil_Refinery_Plant_071207-2.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, April 25

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    A refinery in the city of Turkmenbashi has been allowed to sign a contract with the South Korean consortium consisting of LG and Hyundai, the presidential decree said.

    The matter rests in the design and construction of the diesel fuel purification facilities by using hydrogen and sulfur releasing from gasoline of the delayed coking and catalytic cracking facilities, producing hydrogen. The project is expected to be implemented within 3.5 years.

    The document was adopted to enhance the competitiveness of gasoline and diesel fuel on the world market. Hundai previously reported that the value of this contract is estimated at $ 940 million.

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    30
  • UN to cooperate with Iran in water resources management
    25.04.2015 07:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/12/21/united_nations_211210.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/12/21/united_nations_211210.jpg
    United Nations representative in Iran said on Wednesday that the United Nations would cooperate with Iran on management of water resources and protection of wetlands, IRNA reported.

    The UN resident coordinator Gary Lewis during visit of historical sites of Shush city told IRNA that the most important challenges of the world is water resources management, including surface and underground waters as well as protection of wetlands.

    He said that considering the global climate change, protection of environment and protection of water resources have become priority.

    He added that climate situations are a serious challenge to environment, so to decrease affects of the phenomenon, the UN is determined to cooperate with Iran.

    Lewis said that Iran and the UN have reached an agreement on six priority issues to cooperate with each other and one of the six priorities is environment.

    He said that the aim of his visit to Khuzestan province is to study the environmental situation and wetlands of the province as well as meeting with governor general to find a proper tactics for cooperation with Iran.

    Concerning his visit to historical sites of Shush, Lewis said that it was an important experience for me.

    'I was impressed because issues which I read about ancient Iran civilization, now I am visiting closely.'

    Shush or Susa is one of the most known cities of the ancient world, which was capital of different dynasties.

    Shush is located 100 kilometers north of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province.

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    16
  • Israeli forces shoot and kill Palestinian armed with knives
    25.04.2015 05:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/03/israel_palestine_030813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/03/israel_palestine_030813.jpg
    Israeli troops shot and killed a young Palestinian man wielding two knives on Saturday as they gave chase after he tried to attack the troops near a checkpoint in the Jerusalem area, police said, Reuters reported.

    The incident occurred at around midnight near the A-Zayyim checkpoint at the outskirts of East Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, land Israel captured in a 1967 war that Palestinians seek for a state.

    Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that paramilitary border police fired warning shots into the air at the man. Samri said the troops "fired precise shots neutralizing him (the suspect)" when he failed to heed their warnings, and that medics confirmed the suspect had died of his injuries.

    Violence in the Jerusalem area has flared on and off since just before a 50-day July-August Gaza war when Israelis killed a Palestinian youth in revenge for the slayings of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers.

    Israeli tanks fired at Gaza on Friday after Israel said a rocket was fired from the Hamas Islamist dominated territory during Independence Day celebrations a day earlier. There were no casualties in those incidents.

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    26
  • Turkey calls Obama statement on 1915 'unilateral'
    25.04.2015 04:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    A statement made by U.S. President Barack Obama on the 1915 events, in which he refrained from using the word "genocide", was "problematic", the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said, Anadolu agency reported.

    The comments came on Friday a day after Obama said in an annual commemoration statement the incidents were the first "atrocity" of the last century.

    The ministry said Obama's statement was "unilateral" and "disconnected from the facts that carry sensitivity for Turkish population as it was from Armenian perspective."

    Obama's remarks were far away "from evaluating on the basis of fair memory" the painful parts of Turkish and Armenian history, it said.

    The statement added that a message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2014, and one from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in 2015 for Armenians were texts "that reflect carefully the terms of Turkey's point of view" regarding the events.

    It went on: "These, without denying the painful events of the past, share the correct definitions and attitudes (of the events)."

    "Furthermore, these (messages) offer a sincere call to rebuild our common future."

    Obama had said in his speech: "This year we mark the centennial of the Meds Yeghern, the first mass atrocity of the 20th century."

    "Beginning in 1915, the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths."

    "Their culture and heritage in their ancient homeland were erased. Amid horrific violence that saw suffering on all sides, one-and-a-half million Armenians perished," he added.

    Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman empire and its Armenian citizens.

    The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.

    The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties.

    Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of "genocide."

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    22
  • US warplane makes emergency landing in Iraq
    25.04.2015 03:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/us_warplane_250415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/25/us_warplane_250415.jpg
    US Central Command has announced that an American warplane made an emergency landing at an air base in Iraq due to a "catastrophic" engine failure, Press TV reported.

    The incident happened at the al-Asad airbase in Anbar province and the warplane was A-10 Thunderbolt, miitary.com reported on Friday.

    US Air Force said in a release that the number one engine on the warplane "suffered catastrophic damage during a routine refueling mission and the pilot was able to safely land the aircraft at the air base."

    CentCom spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder also confirmed the incident and said the engine failure was "not uncommon" for the aircraft.

    "It was just one of those things that happen when you're operating high-performance aircraft," he said.

    Ryder added that the pilot was not injured and the aircraft was repaired and returned to duty.

    Col. Michael Stohler, the 332nd Maintenancer said a nine-member team was sent to conduct the repairs.

    He said the aircraft safely landed "in a location that was not fully secure and we needed it repaired and flown out of there as quickly as possible."

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    25
  • Turkish Deputy PM blasts Putin's remark over 1915 events
    25.04.2015 02:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/18/vladimir_putin_181214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/18/vladimir_putin_181214.jpg
    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan Friday has called on VladimirPutin to condemn killings in Syria after Vladimir Putin described the 1915 events as "genocide", Anadolu agency reported.

    Putin used the word "genocide" to qualify what happened to Armenians during the First World War in a statement released on the Kremlin's website Thursday.

    "April 24, 1915, is a mournful date, related to one of the most horrendous and dramatic events in human history, the genocide of the Armenian people," Putin said in a letter called "World Without Genocide."

    "Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in Syria. I wish Putin could have made a statement about it and condemned (Bashar Al-) Assad and shared these pains," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said Friday in response to Putin's statement.

    "Armenians were a really honorable part (...) of the Ottoman (Empire). And today, the Republic of Turkey has very honorable Armenian citizens," he said. "This kind of statement (...) neither contributes to Armenian-Turkish relations nor benefits the future of Armenians living (here)."

    Davutoglu also reacted to Putin's statement. "Any position that disturbs and insults our history, abuses our trust," he said on Friday.

    Putin was among the leaders, along with French President Francois Hollande, who were in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, to participate in the events marking the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events.

    Regarding the German parliament's controversial motion concerning the 1915 events, Davutoglu said it was "unacceptable."

    German lawmakers from governing parties and the opposition submitted Friday draft parliamentary motions to parliament which labeled the incidents in 1915 as "genocide."

    On Thursday, German President Joachim Gauck referred to the 1915 tragedy as "genocide" at a memorial service at the historical Berlin Cathedral.

    On Wednesday, Turkey summoned its ambassador in Vienna hours after the Austrian Parliament described the 1915 events as "genocide."

    Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide." It came three days after Pope Francis also called the 1915 incidents a "genocide," drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish government.

    The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.

    Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.

    The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of "genocide."

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    20
  • Day of silence announced in Kazakhstan before presidential election
    25.04.2015 00:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/kazaxsatan_elections_160215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/16/kazaxsatan_elections_160215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.25

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    A day of silence has been announced in Kazakhstan before the presidential election to be held Apr.26.

    Under the electoral law, it is banned to hold any form of pre-election campaign from 00:00 (UTC/GMT 6 hours) Apr.25.

    The voting will be held from 07:00 to 20:00.

    Kazakhstan's incumbent president, Nursultan Nazarbayev nominated by the ruling Nur Otan Party, the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist People's Party, Turgun Syzdykov nominated from this party and self-nominated candidate - the chairman of the Trade Unions Federation, Abelgazi Kusainov - are running for the president's position.

    Over a half of more than 17.4 million people living in Kazakhstan has the right to vote. The number of the ballots prepared for the early presidential election in Kazakhstan exceeds 9.6 million. Moreover, the number of ballots includes the reserve of one percent of the total number of those included in the list of voters.

    Each voter personally votes in the presidential election. The voting right transfer and voting instead of other voters in the election are not allowed.

    If a voter can not come to the constituency for health reasons or because of looking after a sick family member, the Precinct Election Commission will organize voting in the place of this voter's stay upon the voter's written request. The appeal may be filed not later than 12.00 Astana time (UTC/GMT 6 hours) on April 26, 2015.

    Moreover, if a voter is in other city on an election day, the voter can get an absentee ballot for the voting right.

    The Council of Kazakhstan's Assembly of People voiced an initiative of holding early presidential election in February 2015.

    The Council said that the nation-wide initiative of holding the election is a requirement of time in terms of intensifying the global economic crisis and the complex international agenda.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    34
  • Bahrainis rally against Saudi airstrikes on Yemen
    24.04.2015 23:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/18/bahrain_police_180813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/18/bahrain_police_180813.jpg
    Dozens of protesters have staged separate demonstrations across Bahrain to express their resentment over the ongoing Saudi military campaign against Yemen, which has killed nearly a thousand people and wounded many more, Press TV reported.

    On Friday, demonstrators took to the streets in the villages of al-Daih, located six kilometers (3.7 miles) west of the capital, Manama, as well as Karzakan, Sanad, Barbar, Muqaba and Karrana, to voice solidarity with Yemeni people, and condemn the Saudi onslaught against them.

    The protesters chanted "Saudis, get out of Yemen!" and stressed that they will continue their support for the people of Yemen. The demonstrators also shouted slogans against Bahrain's ruling Al Khalifa family.

    The development comes on the same day that Saudi warplanes carried out fresh aerial assaults on Yemen, bombarding several places across the crisis-stricken Arab country.

    Saudi fighter jets pounded two districts in Yemen's southern port city of Aden. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attacks.

    Dozens of people were killed after a Saudi air raid targeted a wedding ceremony in Yemen's southwestern province of Ad Dali'.

    Two Saudi airstrikes also hit al-Houta district in the southern Yemeni province of Lahij.

    Meanwhile, Riyadh's forces shelled the Razih district in the northwestern province of Sa'ada on Friday.

    Saudi Arabia launched its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 - without a United Nations mandate - in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country's fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

    On April 21, Riyadh announced the end of the first phase of its unlawful military operation, but sporadic airstrikes have continued with Saudi bombers targeting different areas across the country.

    The Saudi aggression against Yemen has claimed the lives of more than 100 children over the past month, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

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    25
  • French president arrives in Baku
    24.04.2015 22:53
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/hollande_240415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/hollande_240415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

    Trend:

    French president Francois Hollande, who arrived on a working visit to Azerbaijan, was officially welcomed in the country on April 24.

    A guard of honor was lined up for the distinguished guest on the square, decorated with the national flags of Azerbaijan and France.

    French President was met at the airport by the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Elchin Efendiyev and other officials.

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    32
  • Why does US need Trans-Caspian pipeline?
    24.04.2015 22:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/08/oil_rig_080914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/08/oil_rig_080914.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr 24

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The US expresses full support for the EU in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline construction project, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told reporters. The matter rests in laying a 300-kilometer pipeline through the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. In this case, Baku could serve as one of the key re-exporters of the Caspian gas while Turkmenistan could receive the reliable and solvent European market.

    As it is known, in case of this project implementation, Europe's dependence on Russian supplies could be reduced, while the monopoly of Gazprom OJSC on the energy market of the Old World and the problems with the Ukrainian transit, occurring especially in winter, would be in the background.

    The European Commission, as reported by news agencies, filed a formal accusation against Gazprom on April 22 for violation of the EU's competition rules.

    According to RIA Novosti, since early September 2012, the European Commission has been investigating Gazprom in three possible cases of violation of the EU rules.

    The EU has suspected the Russian holding of limiting free supplies to the union countries by means of dividing the gas markets, preventing supply diversification and setting unfair prices.

    Obviously, the realization of the projects for diversifying the energy flows from the Caspian region corresponds to the strategic interests of the West.

    Earlier in an attempt to prevent the advancement of a similar project for building a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Iran - the West was very wary of Tehran's nuclear program, Washington also voiced this position.

    The US showed interest in the Trans-Caspian project in the 1990s. The US Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and others were ready to finance the Trans-Caspian project and provide its political risk insurance.

    The PSG Corporation, which included such US companies as the General Electric Capital Structure Finance Group and Bechtel Enterprises, took the lead in the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project that time.

    In accordance with the worked out feasibility study of the project, it was planned to construct 715 kilometers of the pipeline from Turkmenistan's Shatlyk field (in the country's east), 300 kilometers - through the Caspian Sea, 408 kilometers - through Azerbaijan's territory, 200 kilometers - through Georgia and 320 kilometers through Turkey to the city of Erzurum.

    Edited by CN

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    27
  • Iran, P5 1 start drafting on sanctions removal: Araqchi
    24.04.2015 21:57
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/09/Abbas_Arakchi_090213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/09/Abbas_Arakchi_090213.jpg
    Representatives of Iran and the P5 1 group have held intense talks in the Austrian capital in the third day of their latest round of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, Press TV reported.

    The talks in Vienna are aimed at drafting the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) according to the parameters set through a mutual understanding reached in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    In the morning, Iran's deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi met with their Russian and Chinese counterparts.

    At the same time, experts from negotiating parties held a concurrent meeting. The expert meeting was focused on the mechanism for removal of anti-Iran sanction.

    Later in the afternoon, Iranian deputy foreign ministers sat for negotiations with representatives of three European countries, followed by another meeting with the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and EU political director, Helga Schmid.

    Following afternoon meeting, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for legal and international affairs, Abbas Araqchi, told Press TV in Vienna that the US negotiating delegation gave the Iranian nuclear team "very useful" explanations.

    Noting that drafting has begun on the issue of sanctions, Araqchi added that the US team "gave us explanations [about removal of sanctions] which were very useful."

    The Iranian deputy foreign minister said the negotiating sides have made steady, but slow progress, adding, "We are working on a dispute settlement mechanism for possibility of violations."

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    17
  • Pentagon cannot account for $1.3 billion of Afghan aid: Probe
    24.04.2015 21:21
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/23/pentagon_230713.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/23/pentagon_230713.jpg
    The Pentagon cannot account for $1.3 billion of an emergency funding which was directly routed to US military officers in Afghanistan for critical reconstruction projects, an internal report reveals, Press TV reported.

    The missing money amounts to 60 percent of all such spending under the Commander's Emergency Response Program which meant to bypass bureaucracy and speed up the reconstruction of urgently-needed infrastructure damaged in more than 13 years of US war in Afghanistan, The McClatchy reports.

    A yearlong investigation by John F. Sopko, the US special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, has found that the Pentagon could not provide financial information about 6 in 10 dollars of $2.26 billion it has spent as part of the program between 2004 to 2014.

    The inspector general divided the Pentagon spending in Afghanistan into 20 categories covering areas such as transportation, education, agriculture, water and sanitation and health care.

    But the largest category with 5,163 projects came under a 21st category which Sopko termed "unknown." By contrast, all other 20 categories covered a total of 4,494 projects.

    About 70 percent of the $100 billion the United States has spent on Afghan projects so far has gone through the Defense Department, with the rest distributed by the US Agency for International Development and other departments.

    The Pentagon has refused to comment on the findings of the inspector general's probe. However, US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in Afghanistan and 19 other countries, suggested that some of the money was redirected from reconstruction to other more urgent war requirements, including counterinsurgency.

    The command did not explain why the funding earmarked for Afghan reconstruction would go to counterinsurgency which does belong to any of the categories defined by the Pentagon under the emergency program.

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    30
  • Kyrgyzstan looks for solution to economic problems in Eurasian Union
    24.04.2015 20:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/19/Bishkek_190912.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/19/Bishkek_190912.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kyrgyzstan wants to solve its economic problems through joining the Eurasian Union, Russian expert, Editor-in-Chief of National Strategy Issues magazine of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Ajdar Kurtov told Trend by phone April 24.

    Kurtov pointed out that Kyrgyzstan is quite a poor country and is not very rich in natural resources. What natural resources it has are not enough for the national economy to properly function and the budget of the country to grow, he said.

    Kyrgyzstan has for a long time lived at the expense of re-export of Chinese goods to neighboring countries, according to the expert. But recently, after the formation of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, this re-export started to decline.

    "Due to the fact that Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have formed a customs union and began to impose order on its borders together, the possibility of re-export through Kazakhstan to Russia began to shrink dramatically," the expert said.

    The remaining markets for re-export of Chinese goods are limited, Kurtov said. Uzbekistan keeps its border closed to Kyrgyzstan, he said. And Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries in the CIS, the purchasing power of the population is at a low level, which means that it cannot absorb the large flow of Chinese goods.

    As a result, Kyrgyzstan has to refocus its previous approaches to the economy and agree to negotiate about joining the Customs Union, Kurtov said.

    "Although it was hard, because a significant social stratum of the population, dealing with re-export of Chinese goods has formed for more than 20 years of independence, the largest markets in Central Asia, engaged in trade have formed, and this business involved hundreds of thousands of people," he said. "It is very difficult to change their affection to the case overnight. But the Kyrgyz authorities did it, because otherwise they would have to prepare for the loss of revenue."

    Joining the Eurasian Union for Kyrgyzstan is, in the first place, important to reduce the outflow of the population, which today is very high, according to Kurtov.

    After Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian and Kazakh investments can be made in this country, since the conditions for doing business can be beneficial there. There is a very liberal attitude to business and minimal taxes in Kyrgyzstan.

    Moreover, the labor force in Kyrgyzstan is much cheaper than in Russia and Kazakhstan and even in Belarus.

    Kurtov said that the market of the Eurasian Economic Union is very large, therefore, placing enterprises, especially, those related to the local raw materials in Kyrgyzstan, can allow to successfully export these goods to the Eurasian Union markets and get considerable amount of profit.

    "If the customs barriers for the Kyrgyz goods are lifted, Kyrgyzstan can get benefits in the agricultural sector, clothing industry and in many other spheres as well and this will give impetus to its economic development," he said.

    Kyrgyz people will get an opportunity to work in their homeland rather than going abroad for work.

    "I believe that if there is an alternative - to earn less but stay in the homeland, with family or live in a foreign country and be subject to administrative troubles by the law enforcement agencies - many will choose the first option," the expert said.

    Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Union will expand the union's market, which will have a positive impact on its activity.

    "Regional associations related to economic integration become successful, when a certain market capacity is achieved," he said. "It is believed that this association will be more successful if the market capacity reaches about 200 million people."

    The Eurasian Union does not have such a capacity for the present, he added. "There will be progress in this issue with Kyrgyzstan's accession to the union."

    Kurtov said that this is only a theoretical model and currently, it is difficult to predict how it will be put into practice.

    He added that Kyrgyzstan could go through quite a long period during which its citizens will have to adapt to the new rules, conditions for working and doing business.

    Kyrgyzstan plans to join the Eurasian Economic Union in May.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
    25
  • KazTransGas investment to increase its financial risks - SP
    24.04.2015 19:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/23/Standard_Poor_231211.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/23/Standard_Poor_231211.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Standard amp; Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its 'BB ' long-term corporate credit ratings on Kazakh gas utility company KazTransGas (KTG) and its 100 percent owned gas pipeline operator Intergas Central Asia JSC (ICA), said the message of the rating agency Apr.24.

    The outlook is negative.

    The agency has also affirmed the 'BB ' rating on the senior unsecured debt of ICA.

    "The rating action reflects our view that KTG has a stand-alone credit profile (SACP) of 'bb', has a moderately strategic status in the KazMunayGas (KMG) group, and enjoys a "moderately high" likelihood of timely and sufficient extraordinary government support from the government of Kazakhstan," said the message.

    Samp;P assumes, however, that in case of financial stress, any extraordinary support to KTG would likely come directly from the government. Therefore, the company's corporate credit rating on KTG on its SACP plus uplift for potential government support, capped at the rating level of the parent company.

    Samp;P equalizes the ratings on ICA with those on KTG, reflecting the overall creditworthiness of the KTG group. The consolidated approach reflects the companies' close integration, KTG's 100 percent ownership of ICA and other major subsidiaries, financial guarantees on much of the group's debt issued by ICA and KTG, large intragroup cash flows, and an absence of effective subsidiary ring fencing.

    The agency's view of KTG's SACP as 'bb' on its "fair" business risk profile, "intermediate" financial risk profile, and "negative" financial policy.

    KTG's "fair" business risk profile is supported by the stable and regulated nature of the gas transportation business and ship-or-pay terms until the end of 2015 in the gas transportation contract with Russian energy major Gazprom.

    It is constrained by the company's exposure to high country risk, heavy dependence on Gazprom in its gas transportation and sales activities, an aged asset base, potential competition from alternative gas export pipelines transporting Central Asian gas, and untransparent retail gas tariff regulation in Kazakhstan.

    KTG's financial risk profile is "intermediate," in the company's view, supported by moderate debt levels and resulting in the ratio of debt to EBITDA not higher than 3x and funds from operations (FFO) to debt of at least 30 percent in our base-case projections for 2015-2016. It is constrained by continued ambitious planned investments in gas transmission and distribution, rising cash flow volatility, and exposure to foreign currency risk.

    However, the foreign currency risk is mitigated to some extent because much of KTG's revenues are US dollar denominated. The agency assigns a "negative" financial policy modifier because it thinks the financial policy framework allows KTG to take a more leveraged position than it currently expects, primarily on the back of higher investment needs.

    The negative outlook mirrors that on KTG's immediate parent, KMG. In accordance with the company's group rating methodology, Samp;P currently caps the rating on KTG by the rating on KMG, so a negative rating action on the parent would lead to a similar rating action on KTG, all else being equal.

    Samp;P thinks pressure on KTG's credit profile also could result from a more aggressive financial profile than it currently anticipates. That would include weakened credit ratios (notably debt to EBITDA rising above 3x) due to any unexpected financial underperformance, extensive reliance on short-term funding, or KTG's increased capital expenditures requiring significant external borrowing and leading to leverage above the agency's expectations. For instance, this might occur if KTG increased capital expenditures because of a greater need to invest in gas distribution assets or start new large investment projects. The ratings could also come under pressure as a result of any indications of negative interference from KMG, including, but not limited to, inducement to pay excessive dividends.

    "If we revised down our assessment of KTG's SACP by one notch, it would lead us to lower the long-term rating to 'BB', provided that the sovereign long-term local currency rating and the likelihood of extraordinary financial government support remained the same," said the agency.

    "If we saw signs of weakening state support, we might consider revising down the likelihood of extraordinary government support for KTG," according to the Samp;P. "Under our criteria for GREs, we would have to revise the likelihood of extraordinary government support down to "moderate" from the current "moderately high" to result in a downgrade of KTG. This might be a result of increased substantial privatization risk, negative interference track record, or reshuffling of government priorities in its support initiatives."

    Ratings upside is currently limited by the ratings on the parent. The agency could revise the outlook to stable only if it revises the outlook on KMG to stable.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    25
  • US supports Trans-Caspian gas pipeline
    24.04.2015 19:05
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473427.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473427.jpg
    The United States expressed support for the European Union in the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.

    US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Washington fully backs the plans for Caspian gas as an alternative fuel source in Europe.

    The European Commission has put forward very sensitive objections in the field of energy security, which relate to market regulation and the diversification of fuel supplies to Europe, he added.
    16
  • Fitch affirms AccessBankв's credit rating at investment grade level
    24.04.2015 19:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/logo_access_bank_fitsh_ratings_240415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/logo_access_bank_fitsh_ratings_240415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

    Trend:

    Fitch Ratings has affirmed AccessBank's Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) with lsquo;BBB-' - "outlook stable" at "Investment Grade" level.

    The Bank's international credit rating was upgraded by Fitch at the end of 2014 from lsquo;BB ' to lsquo;BBB-'. AccessBank remains the local bank with the highest credit rating and the only bank rated investment grade in Azerbaijan.

    "The affirmation of the Bank's investment grade rating lsquo;BBР'-' confirms the high stability and the sound business model of AccessBank which is of particular importance in today's environment where most economies in the former CIS region are experiencing challenging situations," said Michael Hoffman, CEO of AccessBank, on the rating affirmation.

    Below is the full rating list:

    Long term IDR: affirmed at lsquo;BBB-'; outlook "Stable"

    Short term IDR: affirmed at lsquo;F3'

    Viability rating: affirmed at lsquo;bb-'

    Support rating: affirmed at lsquo;2'

    AccessBank was established in 2002 by Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, EBRD, IFC, KfW, a German consulting company LFS Financial Systems GmbH and AccessHolding. AccessBank provides loans to micro and small businesses and has a wide network of over 40 branches in Azerbaijan employing more than 2,000 people.

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    25
  • Former Polish president issues statement on regional conflicts
    24.04.2015 18:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139273.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139273.jpg
    Former President of Poland Aleksander KwaЕ›niewski, who will visit Azerbaijan to attend the third Global Open Society Forum, has issued a statement on the conflicts going on in the region, APA reports.

    The statement says: "Today is very anxious period for Europe and Asia. The economic crisis in the European Union is slowly coming to an end, but the Eurozone is still facing internal problems. Europe needs reforms to restore the stability and tries to achieve further development of the economic co-ordination. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has turned into a more complicated problem than the fall of the Berlin Wall. Moreover, military even political conflicts, which are not seen in Middle East for decades, flare up in recent times as well. Therefore, I am looking forward to the third Global Forum.

    Baku is an ethnic and ancient city inhabited by the sovereign people of different nationalities. This is the best place to discuss a number of problems. I hope that remaining true to the traditions, positive inspiring ideas will be expressed and accepted at the forum".
    26
  • Azerbaijani Emergency Situations Minister visits NATO Headquarters
    24.04.2015 18:54
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139272.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139272.jpg
    On April 22-23, a delegation led by Azerbaijani Minister of Emergency Situations, Colonel General Kemaleddin Heydarov visited the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom Belgium.

    On the first day of the visit the delegation met with Ms. Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Emergency Situations told APA.

    The parties expressed their satisfaction with the growing relations between the two ministries on a variety of areas, and discussed issues of the implementation of the provisions in "The Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of management of water resources between the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands", which was signed in Gabala on 6 November 2014.

    Later, the delegation, led by K. Heydarov, paid a visit to a lock and dam complex on the outskirts of Hagestein city and then visited the Centre For Water Management (RWS), which is an information center for the water system of the Netherlands, in Lelystad city.

    Following the visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the delegation led by Heydarov paid an official visit to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

    K. Heydarov met with NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations Stephen Evans and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.

    The NATO officials said Azerbaijan is a strong and reliable partner for NATO, expressing their satisfaction with the current level of the relations between Azerbaijan's Ministry of Emergency Situations and the relevant structures of the organization and praising the ministry's regularly sending its employees to the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).

    Noting the importance of cooperation with NATO within the Civil Emergency Planning structures, K. Heydarov underlined that this cooperation is of importance to Azerbaijan.

    Moreover, the parties exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.
    27
  • Azercellв's representative stressed womenв's role in ICT during her speech at the international conference
    24.04.2015 18:50
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473435.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473435.jpg
    International Girls in ICT Day conference was held in Azerbaijan on April 23 in the framework of global events dedicated to the 150th anniversary of International Telecommunications Union. The conference took place at ADA University. The event, attended also by the deputy-minister of the Ministry of Communication and High Technologies Iltimas Mammadov, was organized by Femmes Digitales '" Azerbaijani ICT womenв's club. The club established during Bakutel-2014 conference is primarily aimed at supporting the realization of the goal of encouraging more females get involved in ICT sector in Azerbaijan. Focused on improving womenв's involvement in ICT, the conferene was aimed at increasing the awareness on long-term career opportunities in ICT for women, supporting effective cooperation between public and private sectors with the objective of creating digital jobs nationally and exchanging experience among participants. The conference brought together the representatives of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, EU representative office in Azerbaijan, OSCE, ADA University, AMCHAM and Azerbaijan ICT womenв's club. Azercell Telecom LLC was represented at the event by Khavar Babazade, honored engineer, head of Transmission network section under Technologies Department and Process development consultant, who also acted as the director of Technologies Department at the company. Khavar Babazade gave a speech on ''Womenв's role in ICT'' at the conference. It should be noted that Azercell realized a number of projects under her supervision, including the installation of 3G and 4G networks, network delivery in metro stations, maintenance of uninterrupted network during Eurovision-2012 held in Baku. Khavar Babazade stressed the importance of bringing more female specialists to ICT sector.

    Azercell Telecom has always supported the development of professional personnel in ICT field. Career path of Khavar Babazade, honored engineer, known for her achievements in ICT in our country continues to be the best example of womenв's success in this sphere.

    For more information please apply to

    Azercell Telecom LLC was founded in 1996 and since the first years sustains a leading position on the market. Azercell introduced number of technological innovations in Azerbaijan: GSM technology, advance payment mobile services, GPRS/EDGE, 24/7 Customer Care, full-time operating Azercell Express offices, mobile e-service ''ASAN imza'' (ASAN signature) and others. With 51% share of Azerbaijanв's mobile market Azercellв's network covers 99,8% of the countryв's population. Currently, the number of Azercellв's subscribers reached 4,6 million people. In 2011 Azercell deployed 3G and in 2012 the fourth generation network '" LTE in Azerbaijan. The Company is the leader of Azerbaijanв's mobile communication industry and the biggest investor in the non-oil sector. Azercell is a part of TeliaSonera Group of Companies serving 186 million subscribers in 17 countries worldwide with 27,000 employees.
    32
  • Olympic champions lead Team GB at Baku 2015
    24.04.2015 18:49
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473425.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_473425.jpg
    Great Britain published a list of 153 athletes who will compete at the Baku 2015 European Games. They will compete in 13 different sports from 12-28 June.

    "It's fantastic to be able to announce the athletes who will be competing for Team GB at Baku 2015," Britain's Chef de Mission, Mr. Mark England, said. "It's a great opportunity for many of them to test themselves against Europe's best, gain crucial multi-sport Games experience or build on their road to Rio 2016."

    "I'm also delighted to see such a large team from Great Britain heading out to Baku - our largest travelling delegation since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games '" and I'm sure it'll be a hugely proud moment for each of them."

    Boxer Nicola Adams won the London 2012 gold medal at 51kg and also has three World Championship silver medals.

    Jade Jones is the first Briton to ever win a Taekwondo gold medal, topping the57kg weight class at London 2012.

    Another successful London Olympian to secure a spot at Baku 2015 is Ed McKeever, who won the K1 200m Canoe Sprint gold medal in 2012. The 31-year-old also captured K1 200m gold at the 2010 World and 2010 and the European Championships.

    "I am proud to have been selected as part of Team GB again, this time at the European Games," McKeever said.

    "This is a key competition for us just eight weeks out from the World Championships, which is a qualification event for Rio. Most of the world's top canoe sprint athletes come from Europe, so I am really looking forward to some fast racing and a chance to see how preparations are going."

    Other British athletes of note are silver medal-winning judoka Gemma Gibbons and Alice Schlesinger, three-time world triathlon champion Helen Jenkins and taekwondo Olympic bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad.

    Here is the British team:

    Archery: Naomi Folkard, Nicky Hunt, Amy Oliver, Kieran Slater

    Beach Volleyball: Chris Gregory, Jake Sheaf

    Boxing: Nicola Adams, Savannah Marshall, Sandy Ryan, Lisa Whiteside

    Canoe Sprint: Lani Belcher, Rachel Cawthorn, Hayleigh Mason, Angela Hannah, Emily Lewis, Louisa Sawers, Jonathan Boyton, Christopher Calvert, Andrew Daniels, Liam Heath, Ed McKeever, Timothy Pendle, Jon Schofield, James Sytan

    Diving: Matthew Dixon, Millie Fowler, Millie Hafferty, Ross Haslam, James Heatly, Jordan Houlden, Matty Lee, Shanice Lobb, Lydia Rosenthall, Katherine Torrance, Lois Toulson

    Fencing: James Honeybone, Richard Kruse, Marcus Mepstead, Benjamin Peggs, Alexander Tofalides, Aliya Itzkowitz, Corinna Lawrence, Natalia Sheppard

    Acrobatic Gymnastics: Jennifer Bailey, Ryan Bartlett, Hannah Baughn, Cicely Irwin, Josie Russell

    Aerobic Gymnastics: Ella Augier, Sophie Goves, Chloe Farrance, Olivia Farrance, Kayleigh Silva

    Artistic Gymnastics: Brinn Bevan, Frank Baines, Tyesha Mattis, Kelly Simm, Rebecca Tunney, Nile Wilson

    Judo: Sarah Adlington, Frazer Chamberlain, Sally Conway, Kelly Edwards, Benjamin Fletcher, Megan Fletcher, Gemma Gibbons, Gemma Howell, Owen Livesey, Ashley McKenzie, Colin Oates, Natalie Powell, Alice Schlesinger, Nekoda Smythe-Davis

    Shooting: Elena Allen, Jeremy Bird, Brad Davis, Mike Gilligan, John Hammond, Amber Hill, Charlotte Kerwood, Tim Kneale, Abbey Ling, Ed Ling, Jen McIntosh, Steve Scott

    Synchronised Swimming: Phoebe Bradley-Smith, Jorja Brown, Danielle Cooper, Jodie Cowie, Emma Critchley, Lara Hockin, Esme Lower, Genevieve Randall, Hannah Randall, Rebecca Richardson

    Swimming: Charlie Attwood, Layla Black, Emma Cain, Kyle Chisholm, Amelia Clynes, Georgia Coates, Madeleine Crompton, Luke Davies, Darcy Deakin, Tom Derbyshire, Tom Fannon, Hannah Featherstone, Luke Greenbank, Holly Hibbott, Joe Hulme, Cameron Kurle, Joe Litchfield, Jarvis Parkinson, Duncan Scott, Rebecca Sherwin, Daniel Speers, Laura Stephens, Abbie Wood, Martyn Walton

    Table Tennis: Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford, Kelly Sibley

    Taekwondo: Max Cater, Mahama Cho, Jade Jones, Charlie Maddock, Lutalo Muhammad, Ruebyn Richards, Bianca Walkden

    Trampoline: Katherine Driscoll, Laura Gallagher, Luke Strong

    Triathlon: Gordon Benson, Thomas Bishop, Philip Graves, Helen Jenkins, Jess Learmonth, Heather Sellers

    Water Polo: Dani Brazier, Isabelle Dean, Hannah Edwards, Sophie Jackson, Fleur Kennedy, Verity McCoy, Mhairi Nurthen, Lara Partridge, Hayley Price, Kathy Rogers, Grace Rowland, Lucy Shaw, Beth Ward
    27
  • Prime Minister adopts new decision regarding drivers
    24.04.2015 18:45
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139271.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/139271.jpg
    The Cabinet of Ministers has disseminated an information.

    Changes in the "Exemplary position of the rule in the public inspection of vehicles and their trailers" were made.

    According to Oxu.Az, a decision in this regard was adopted by Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.

    Thus, according to the changes while passing technical inspection a certificate attesting the insurance of passengers of vehicles engaged in passenger traffic in accordance with the law "On compulsory insurance" will be required along with the certificate on compulsory insurance of civil liability of owners of vehicles.
    30
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