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

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

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

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

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

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

Today, the Georgian Government approved this proposal.

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

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    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

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    The first European Games held in June in Baku is the reason for this increase, he believes.

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    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

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    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

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    "All the production they have has relatively modest volumes," the expert said. "Maybe, pistachios are the only exception. The only thing that Iran can export in large volumes at the moment is pistachios."

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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  • Italy intend to revive Iran ties
    05.08.2015 16:01
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    In line with improvement of Iranв's relations with the West after the Vienna deal, Iran signed the first economic document with the European country since the clinching the nuclear agreement with six world powers.

    Memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran between Iran Trade Promotion Organization and the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, Iranian media reported.

    The document was inked following the meeting between Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzade and Italyв's Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi.

    The memorandum envisages exchange of commercial and trade information, as well as mutual visits of trade and educational delegations between the two countries.

    Furthermore, a MoU was signed between Italyв's investment bank Mediobanca along with its development ministry and export credit agency SACE in Tehran with Iranв's economy ministry and central bank.

    Under the document Italy agreed to provide funding and insurance coverage for industrial, construction and infrastructure projects worth $2 billion in Iran.

    In a statement, Mediobanca said the aim of the agreement was "to facilitate future economic and commercial relations between the two countries".

    An Iranian official said the MoU will be executed upon the removal of the sanctions, with Mediobanca providing credit and SACE insurance for projects in Iran.

    The document was clinched at the meeting between Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyeb-Nia and Guidi.

    Iranian minister stressed the necessity for doubling the current $ 1.5 billion volume of trade exchange between the two countries in near future.

    Italy remains one of Iranв's main commercial partners despite a steep decline in trade because of the sanctions. According to SACE, oil and gas, automotive, defense, transport and real estate offer the best opportunities for cooperation.

    European countries have lined up to restore relations and trade with the Islamic Republic in expectation of soonest removal of international sanctions on Iran.

    High-ranking officials from Europe have begun to visit Iran to restore relations with Tehran previously halted as a result of its nuclear energy program.

    Following the Vienna nuclear deal, Rome voiced intention to revive relations with Tehran and interest in developing trade and economic relations with the Islamic Republic.

    Guidi headed delegation of Italian entrepreneurs, who arrived in Iran on August 4. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni led the Italian political and economic delegation on the visit to Tehran.

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the level of Iranв's trade with Italy is "above normal" and the two countries are planning balanced and long-term bilateral economic relations.

    Tayyebnia said annual trade stood at $7 billion before sanctions slashed it to $1.5 billion.

    According to SACE projections, removal of the sanctions against Iran could lift Italian exports to Iran by $3.3 billion in the next four years.

    The Italian representatives also said Italy will certainly invest in Iran's car industry in near future. IRNA news agency quoted Guidi as saying that the number of cars produced in Iran is high and this will not be limited to Iran's market.
  • Iran ups production from joint oil field with UAE
    05.08.2015 15:44
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Iran has increased the oil production from the joint oil field which it shares with the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf.

    Abbas Rajab-Khani, official in charge of the Iranian Offshore Oil Companyв's operations in Lavan region said the company has succeeded to increase crude oil production from Salman oil field, Iranian media reported.

    He added that the production hike came after the company took steps for the development of the field.

    Rajab-Khani said drilling new wells and repairing inactive wells for new production were among major steps taken by the company to develop the offshore field.

    Salman, located near the Iranian island of Lavan in the Persian Gulf, is an old field in service since 1968 with about 1.6 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. It is currently estimated to hold more than 500 million barrels of oil.

    About 70 percent of the field is owned by Iran and the remaining 30 percent is under ownership of the United Arab Emirates.

    Rajab-Khani said in line with the companyв's plan, three drilling rigs are currently operating in the field, drilling new wells or repairing wells that are not currently producing oil.

    He added that five new wells have been already drilled in the field, adding that after completion of the fifth well, production from the joint field has increased by 7,000 barrels per day.

    The platforms on the Salman oilfield are some of the biggest in the Persian Gulf with a capacity to produce 220,000 bpd of oil and associated products. They also include gas recovery facilities.

    Iranв's recovery of oil from Salman comes from 44 wells which have yielded 700 million barrels so far. A 22-inch pipe takes the offshore oil to the Lavan island 144 km away for processing or exports.

    During recent years, Iran has been taking steps to development hydrocarbon fields it shares with neighboring countries, especially those located in the Persian Gulf.

    The UAE, which calls it Abu al-Khosh on its side in Abu Dhabi has recovered 400 million barrels so far.
  • Turkey interested in Iranв's economic development, says minister
    05.08.2015 15:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Iran's development in the spheres of economy and energy is in Turkey 's favor, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said.

    The minister said the expected lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran will affect the world oil prices and this is first of all beneficial for Ankara, Hurriyet newspaper reported August 5.

    Iran is one of the most important countries for Turkey in the region, he added.

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

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

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Turkmenistan names heads of migration, customs services
    05.08.2015 15:38
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 5

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    Turkmenistan named the new heads of the country's migration and customs services August 5.

    Meylis Nobatov was appointed the chairman of the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan, said a decree of the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

    By another decree of the president, Dovrangeldi Bayramov, who was previously heading the State Migration Service, was appointed as the head of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan.

    Turkmenistan borders on land with Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and on the Caspian Sea with Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran.

    Regional transport projects have recently intensified in this country.

    Edited by CN

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  • Armenian citizens escaping, vanishing one by one
    05.08.2015 15:31
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Emigration remains one of the key problems in Armenia as statistics show a huge outflow of people from the country.

    Armenian citizens have preferred citizenship in other countries over the years rather than to live in their own country by force under harsh difficulties.

    The permanent population of Armenia, according to the official statistics, fell by 4,300 over the past year.

    Why are Armenian people leaving?

    Most Armenians, which are majority from younger generations, are leaving the country in hope of finding a better life abroad. Unemployment, poor social conditions, and a lack of hope for a better future are the major drivers for increasing the outflow of people from the Post Soviet country. As many as 103,994 Armenian citizens left the country only in the first half of this year.

    The tendency to leave is dangerous trend from the demographic point of view.

    Armenian news portal writes in its most recent World Population Prospect, the UN predicts that given its emigration trajectory the current Armenian 2015 population of 3 million 18 thousand will decrease to 2 million 933 thousand in 2030, and in 2050 to 2 million 729 thousand '" with a 9.6-percent loss '" and 1 million 739 thousand people in 2100.

    It turns out that that in 50 years the population of Armenia will reduce by almost one million.

    Experts place the problem of unemployment as the leading cause of emigration. Armenia saw a rise of 1.4 percent in the unemployment rate to 17.6 percent in 2914.

    Along with economic factors, Armenia also has some political factors pushing people to leave the country. The violation of human rights and the absence of a democratic atmosphere are also major factors.

    The Armenian authorities' reckless domestic policy and aggressive foreign policy have paralyzed the country's social system and forced it into a blockade by the rest of the countries in the region. Armenia caused out a lengthy war with neighboring Azerbaijan by laying groundless territorial claims on its territory and now keeps over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory under occupation.

    Such policy has irritated his southern neighbor Turkey, which has also decided to close its borders with the Post Soviet regime until it changes its aggressive stance.

    The violation of human rights, infringement of universal principles of democracy, military situation, and the deplorable conditions in the army are forcing people to desperately leave their motherland, while the current regime is unwilling to change or put an end to its lawlessness.
  • European Commission: Azerbaijan enjoys capacity to contribute to regional stability
    05.08.2015 15:19
    /By AzerNews/

    By Gulgiz Dadashova

    The European Union and the energy-rich South Caucasus nation Azerbaijan both stand to gain from closer cooperation in a number of areas besides energy cooperation, because Azerbaijan, as the European Commission assures, has the capacity to contribute to regional stability.

    ''Last but not least, Azerbaijan also has the capacity to contribute to regional stability, cooperating with the EU in the fight against extremism and organized crime and supporting the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and EU Special Representative to solve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh,'' a European Commission spokesperson told AzerNews.

    The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh was sparked after Armenian troops invaded large swathes of land in Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. Following bloody skirmishes, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized and historical territory, and established a puppet separatist regime on the occupied lands. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

    The spokesperson stressed the cooperation prospects between Azerbaijan and the EU, in particular noting that on trade and economic relations, including technology transfers, the EU can help Azerbaijan to diversify and improve competitiveness.

    ''These benefits can be further reaped by Azerbaijan's accession to the World Trade Organization, upgrading of the trade provisions of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, implementing the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements, concluding an aviation agreement and with Azerbaijan's participation in EU programmes and agencies and receiving assistance from the EU to modernize the education system.''

    The EU and Azerbaijan initialed the readmission agreement in July 2013 and signed the visa facilitation agreement in November 2013. Both agreements entered into force in September 2014. The Mobility Partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan was signed in December 2013.

    Energy cooperation

    The spokesman emphasized successful energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and Europe, saying: ''Good progress on opening up the Southern Gas Corridor''.

    The Southern Gas Corridor '" a key project of Azerbaijanв's energy diversification policy is the only westward route for exporting the Caspian hydrocarbons with the prospect of covering other ''blue energy'' sources, such as Turkmenistan.

    The spokesperson said the Commission is glad to see that work is on track for a first trunk to deliver 10 bcm of gas from Azerbaijan to Europe in 2020 through the TANAP and TAP pipelines.

    Stressing the Commissionв's support to this route, the spokesperson reminded as an important step the fact that the Commission has recently prolonged its exemption decision for TAP from certain rules of Third Party Access to provide the investors with the needed certainty.

    The question of energy security of Europe and stability in the South Caucasus seems to remain a priority in the bilateral relations of the EU with Azerbaijan.

    A rising trend is seen in the EU's relations with Eastern partners, including Azerbaijan, after President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, paid a visit to the South Caucasus countries in late July.

    ''Azerbaijan is the EUв's reliable and strategic partner in the energy field, and we want to take this partnership further'' Tusk said in Baku.

    The spokesperson recalled that the European Commission remains committed to diversification of gas suppliers (countries), counterparties (companies) and routes.

    ''In this context, solid progress has been made on the Southern Gas Corridor, which will make a new supply of gas available to the EU by 2020. Although modest in comparison with the total EU gas demand, this Corridor ensures the physical gas security of South-East Europe, which is the area most vulnerable to supply disruption from Ukraine/Russia.''

    The security of energy supply and gas co-operation in Central East/South East Europe are of paramount priority for the European Commission. To ensure this, the Commission initiated a dialogue with the EU Member States from Central East and South East Europe.

    ''The Commission and respective Member States agreed that the objective for each member state should be to have access to at least three different sources,'' the spokesperson added.

    Asked about the possibility of Iranв's joining the Southern Gas Corridor, the spokesperson announced that the EU has not launched any talks on gas.

    ''The current focus is on preparing implementation of the nuclear agreement. We will explore possible areas of bilateral cooperation including on energy once agreement is in effect,'' the e-mail reads.

    The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, the Foreign Ministers of the E3 3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran agreed on the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on 14 July 2015.

    The agreement is a package combining nuclear restrictions, enhanced transparency and verification measures in return for a phased lifting of UN Security Council, multilateral and unilateral nuclear related sanctions. The IAEA will verify when Iran has completed the actions under the JCPOA and until then, sanctions, including EU restrictive measures, remain in place.
  • Baku metro shifts to new system
    05.08.2015 15:09
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Baku Metro moves to ''Baki Kart'' new card cashless fare, according to the company.

    The new payment system will replace the cards currently used at the Baku metro. The advantage of the new cards is that they can be used both in the metro and for travel by bus.

    The presentation of the cards and appropriate equipment is scheduled for August 6. The cards will go on sale on August 8.

    ''Baki Kart'' terminals have been installed at Baku metro stations. The cost of the new card is two manats ($1.91).

    The older cards can be returned and their value (two manats) will be credited to the balance of the new one.

    The Baku Metro, with a length of thirty-five kilometers, has 2 lines and 23 stations. It is planned to enlarge it to 119 km with 5 lines and up to 76 stations by 2030.

    Earlier, the company said that it is planning to establish its first two stations of the 'violetв' line '" 'Avtovokzal" and 'Memar Ajami-2в'.Baku Metro Chairman Zaur Huseynov said that Azerbaijan will put the B-3 and B-4 stations along the 'violet lineв' into operation in 2016 and 2017. The 'violet lineв' of Baku subway will consist of 12 stations.

    Baku Metro is also going to change its appearance in the coming years and will create new stations based on the most modern technologies.

    Metro services are also planned for the most populated and developed cities of the country, including Sumgayit, Nakhchivan, and Ganja.

    The Metro is one of the fastest ways to travel in Baku, and also the most inexpensive. The fare for a subway is 20 kopecks ($0.19).
  • Leyla Yunusova tries to mislead court, public
    05.08.2015 15:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5


    The trial on the criminal case initiated with regard to the director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, Leyla Yunusova and her husband Arif Yunusov continued on August 5 chaired by Afghan Hajiyev.

    At the hearing, the court examined the materials of the criminal case.

    At first, the lawyer of Leyla Yunusova Afghan Mammadov made a request on the need to change the composition of the court. But state prosecutor Farid Nagiyev said that the petition lacked a legal basis.

    The request was rejected.

    Then Leyla Yunusova raised the noise and said that Justice Major Mahir Yagubov exerted pressure on her.

    However, the public prosecutor considered Yunusova's claim groundless and said that by using such false information, the defendant attempts to mislead those in the courtroom, as well as the media and public.

    But Leyla Yunusova repeatedly made a fuss and attempted to disrupt the court session.

    Moreover, without permission, she started talking with the representatives of other countries' embassies in Azerbaijan present at the court.

    Meanwhile, Yunusova attempted to disrupt the public prosecutor's speech and even insulted him.

    The judge warned Yunusova of inadmissibility of insulting and attempting to disrupt the trial.

    Then Yunusova's other lawyer - Ramiz Mammadov urged the court not to recognize Rena Safaraliyeva, the head of the "Azerbaijani women for peace and democracy in the South Caucasus" public association as a victim.

    Mammadov also presented the books published by Arif Yunusov to the court with the financial support of the Marshall Fund, proposed to include them into the list of documents on the criminal case and urged to summon the representatives of the fund to give testimony in the court.

    The lawyer said that the grants received by Yunusov from the Marshall Fund, were spent on publishing these books. The fund has not expressed any claims in this regard.

    Story still developing

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  • Shooting on Tajik-Kyrgyz border leaves 6 people injured
    05.08.2015 14:52
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    A shooting occurred on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border that caused injury for six Tajik citizens, two of them in serious condition, Tajik media reports referencing the press service of the Main Directorate of Border Troops of the National Security Committee of Tajikistan.Chief Directorate of Border Troops in Tajikistan said that on August 4, villagers of Tajikistan's Somoniyon village were injured in a shooting from Kyrgyzstan's Kok-Tash village.

    The Tajik side also said that the residents of the Kyrgyz village used ''Molotov cocktails.''The State Border Service of Kyrgyzstan, in turn, officially announced that Kyrgyz border guards had not used weapons in the conflict between the citizens of the two countries.''Today, a single shot was made on the territory of Tajikistan during the conflict, and, according to preliminary information, it was made from a shotgun,'' the Kyrgyz border service said. ''There are no victims of the shot on the Kyrgyz side.''Kyrgyz officials said that currently, the situation in the Mayskaya area of the Batken region near the Kyrgyz-Tajik state border is controlled by the security and law enforcement agencies of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.''The border representatives of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are monitoring the situation in the border areas and carry out explanatory work with the population of these areas in cooperation with the law enforcement bodies of the two sides,'' said the message.

    The conflict between the residents of the border regions of the two countries originated from the fact that the citizens of Tajikistan blocked the road to a cemetery for the residents of Kyrgyzstan's Kok-Tash village.

    The road to the cemetery passed through the village of Mayskoye, where Tajik families live. In protest, Kyrgyz citizens cut the water supply from a canal that flows into the Tajik village of Chorku.

    As a result, about 120 Tajiks and 80 Kyrgyz citizens threw stones at each other.

    This is not the first incident on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. Clashes along the border occurred several times in 2014 as well.

    In January 2014, an armed clash occurred between the servicemen of the State Border Service of Kyrgyzstan and border troops of the Tajik State National Security Committee near the main water intake structure of Batken region in Kyrgyzstan's Batken province.

    In May, a clash occurred between the two countries' citizens on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border on a road running from the Isfara town to the municipality of Vorukh near the Kyrgyz village of Kuktosh.

    As a result of the clash, about 60 people from both sides were injured. It began after a group of drunken Kyrgyz men stoned the car of a Vorukh resident. Later, the Tajik and Kyrgyz sides attacked each other with stones.

    In August, a skirmish occurred between the border guards of Tajikistan and three unknown armed persons. The skirmish took place in the village of Tupakul, as a result of which one Kyrgyz citizen was killed.

    Most areas along borders in Central Asia are still tense after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • A man is suing his new wife for fraud after seeing her without make up for the first time
    05.08.2015 14:46
    Gentlemen, we hate the break it to you, but women

    occasionally look different when they are wearing make up.

    One groom was seemingly unaware of this well known secret,

    which is why he is suing his new wife after seeing her without make up on for

    the first time.

    The morning after their recent wedding in Algeria the man

    reportedly awoke and was shocked to see his wifeв's natural face.

    At first he didnв't even think the woman lying next to him

    was his wife, accusing her of being a thief, before finallyВ admitting

    sheВ was in fact the same woman he had married the day before.

    However he is now reportedly suing her for fraud and

    'psychological sufferingв'.

    Emirates 247В reported that the man is looking for

    $20,000 (ВЈ13,000) in damages.

    'He said she looked very beautiful and attractive before

    marriage, but when he woke up in the morning and found that she had washed the

    make-up off her face, he was frightened as he thought she was a thief,в' a

    source told local media.

    And people wonder why womenВ say men are pigs?

    /By Metro/
  • Scotlandв's Celtic FC meets Azerbaijani IDPs
    05.08.2015 14:34
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    Members of the Scottish football club Celtic and UK's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq visited a new residential complex built for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baku's Binagadi district, said the Azerbaijani State Committee on Refugees and IDPs Issues August 5.

    Celtic FC arrived in Baku for the second leg match with Azerbaijani squad Qarabag (Agdam) in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

    The deputy chairman of the state committee, Fuad Huseynov informed the Celtic FC members and the accompanying media representatives about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    He said that 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory was occupied and over one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs as a result of Armenia's military aggression.

    Afterwards, the Celtic FC members viewed the conditions at a school for the Azerbaijani Zangilan district's IDPs, and also played football with students there and took photos with them.

    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.

    Edited by CN

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  • Iran studies plan to fund for plane purchase
    05.08.2015 14:28
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    With an aim to renovate its ageing aviation fleet, the Iranian government is taking various measures to store new planes.

    An Iranian official has said the country is studying a plan to create a fund to provide loans to enable domestic businesses to purchase the planes.

    Maqsood Asв'adi-Samani, the secretary of the Iranian Aviation and Space Industries Association said on August 4 that a plan to the same effect has been presented to the relevant authorities, Fars news agency reported.

    Iranв's need for passenger planes has increased as the country expects to see an improvement in its transactions with foreign countries following the nuclear deal between Tehran and six the world powers.

    Asв'adi-Samani said the plan envisages the creation of a bank by the IASIA, stressing that the bank will answer the existing shortfalls in the budgets of domestic companies for purchasing planes.

    He emphasized that this is a shortcoming that needs to be addressed by the banks and financial institutions ''as is customary in other countries''.

    The official went on to say that Iranв's aviation companies are unable to provide all the required funds to buy planes by relying on their current revenues.

    He further said the establishment of IASIAв's own bank '" which he said could be named the Air Transport Development Bank of Iran '" can eventually help with the renovation of Iranв's aviation fleet.

    Asв'adi-Samani noted that the required funds for the proposed bank will be provided from the National Development Fund as well as certain related financial facilities.

    The Islamic republic also plans to buy as many as 90 planes per year from Boeing and Airbus to revamp its antiquated fleet once Western sanctions are lifted.

    Iranian officials earlier said the county will need 400-500 civilian aircraft worth at least $20 billion in the next decade to renovate its aging fleet which has suffered under years of U.S. and European sanctions.

    Earlier this year, Iran added 9 new planes less than 10 years old to its air fleet.

    The U.S.-led sanctions on aircraft and spare parts exports to Iran have left Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleets in the Middle East, but also in the world.

    Iran's four largest carriers '" Iran Air, Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and Iran Air Tours '" all have average fleet ages above 22 years, according to Iranian media outlets.
  • Uzbekistan can start exporting grain to Azerbaijan
    05.08.2015 14:19
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Uzbekistan can start exporting grain to Azerbaijan already this year, Zhahongir Aminov, the counselor of Uzbekistanв's Embassy in Baku on economy and politics said at a round table dedicated to the Independence Day of Uzbekistan in Baku on August 4.

    Commenting on the questions of journalists, the counselor said that a list of nearly 200 types of products has been submitted to the consideration of the governments of the two countries.

    "Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan enjoy great prospects for expansion of mutually beneficial ties. In particular, a strong demand in the Uzbek carpets and textiles would be in Azerbaijan," he noted.

    The diplomatic relations between two countries were established in October 1995. The two countries have signed over 100 bilateral documents.

    The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan stood at $61.512 million ($23.612 million '" import, $37.9 million '" export) in 2014, according to Azerbaijanв's State Customs Committee.Uzbekistan mainly exports cars, buses, spare parts, equipment and agricultural products to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, for its part, exports chemical and oil industry products and equipment to Uzbekistan.
  • Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan mull prospects for constructing pipelines to China
    05.08.2015 14:11
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 5

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The prospects for energy cooperation between Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan were discussed Aug. 5 during the official visit of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov to this country, said the message from the Turkmen government.

    During the expanded meeting, it was noted that Turkmenistan regards Kyrgyzstan as a strategic partner in constructing pipelines towards the east, according to the message.

    "In this regard, great importance is attached to the implementation of the project for constructing new Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline," said the government message.

    The two countries are involved in a large project for delivering gas to China from Central Asia, first of all from Turkmenistan. Beijing has a long-term agreement with Ashgabat on increasing the gas supply to 65 billion cubic meters by 2020.

    China National Petroleum Corporation has started purchasing gas from this region since 2009 after the commissioning of first two branches (A and B) from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The third branch (C) running on this route has been commissioned recently.

    Currently, work is underway to construct the additional fourth branch (D) on the new route through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

    Edited by CN

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  • Neighboring countries continue to pollute Kura River
    05.08.2015 14:05
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The largest river in Transcaucasia '" the Kura '" is of great importance for the economy of Azerbaijan. The river originates in Turkey to go through Georgia and Azerbaijan into the Caspian Sea.

    Called ''Mother Kura'' in Azerbaijan, the river, replenished by groundwater, snow, and rain, is used for irrigation purposes. The Kura River also gives the means of producing energy to the Mingachevir, Varvara, Shamkir and Yenikend hydro power stations. Moreover, it is the only river in the country suitable for shipping.

    The Kura River is significant for the country, which suffers water shortages throughout the year, when compared with the two another Southern Caucasus countries. The pollution of its waters is a disaster for Azerbaijan.

    Today, the amount of biogenic substances in the river and its tributaries exceeds the established norm by several times, as a result of the discharge of untreated water and industrial waste into the river from the territory of Georgia and Armenia.

    Monitoring conducted by the Azerbaijan Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry studied the pollution of the Kura and Araz trans-boundary river, which pass throughВ Armenia,В and their tributaries, the ministry reported on August 4.

    The report shows that waters of the Kura River are contaminated with phenol. In the Shikhli 2 area, the content of phenol exceeded permissible levels by 4.9 times, in Agstafachay by 4.4 times, and in the Agstafachay reservoir by 3 times.

    The phenol content in the waters of the Araz River in Horadiz exceeds the permitted limit by 2.9 times, in Shahsevene-1 by 2.2 times and in Bahramtepe by 2.5 times.

    The content of cooper and oxygen is within the normal limits for these rivers.

    Earlier, the ministry also reported on the water levels of the rivers of the country.

    A drop in water levels has been observed in the downstream of Kura River. Currently, the water level stands at 342cm in Surra settlement, 185cm in Shirvan, 117cm in Salyan, 171cm in Banka, while it is 57cm in Novruzlu settlement.

    The river content fluctuates between 40-100 percent of decade norm in Quba-Khachmaz region of the Major Caucasus rivers, 30-80 percent in Minor Caucasus rivers, 65-95 percent in Lankaran-Astara region rivers.
  • "SOCAR Turkey" launches construction of seaport for Star Oil Refinery
    05.08.2015 14:05
    Construction of the sea port for Star Oil Refinery launched in Turkey, AzerTag reports.

    Under the project, construction of offshore trestles of refinery will be completed in May 2017.

    This was posted by the President of "SOCAR Turkey" Kenan Yavuz on social media.

    According to Kenan Yavuz, construction of oil refinery continues apace: We spent 2 bln dollars from the day we started our project. 30 months left to start production. We are proud that the processing plant is built by a large number of Turkish companies and local workforce."

    The company director said that the number of people involved in the construction of the processing plant increased: "The number of people employed in construction of the plant will increase to 10 thousand in the near future. We have created the most professional team in Turkey."
  • Fire hits Istanbulв's leather factory
    05.08.2015 13:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Fire has occurred in one of the leather factories in Turkey's Istanbul city and this can lead to the leakage of chemicals, Sabah newspaper reported Aug.5.

    All the workers of the factory have been evacuated. The groups of Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency have arrived at the scene.

    Work is underway to extinguish the fire. No information has been provided about the causes of the fire.


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  • Azerbaijanв's cable network operators renew packages
    05.08.2015 13:58
    National Television and Radio Council has commented on renewal of packages

    Aile TV channels package will be renewed. Press service of "Caspian Telecom" told APA that after the changes some TV channels in the basic package will be broadcasted in several languages.

    Tariff changes will come into force from September 1.

    KATV1 cable television will make some changes in the formation of the packages. According to the changes, subscribers will be able to choose channels and language of the channels.

    "HD" package will be also enriched. The main package will mostly include "amusing", "movie" and "sport" channels. Renewal will allow subscribers to watch new channels in Russian, Turkish and English languages. "KATV1 cable television is realizing transition to HD receivers and new generation Smart Boxes in order to provide high-quality broadcasting. KATV 1 internet service users can watch channels with 10-day archive via Smart Boxes."

    Head of the Administration of National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) Toghrul Mammadov said in a statement to APA he has had a discussion about the updating of channels package during a meeting with the heads of cable network providers operating Azerbaijan.

    "In compliance with the terms of the special permit given to cable network providers by the National Television and Radio Council, cable network operators must coordinate foreign channels that they air with the Council," he said.

    According to Toghrul Mammadov, the issue of the copyright of foreign channel is also on the agenda.

    Note that, On July 23 a meeting took place at the NTRC with the heads of cable network providers operating Azerbaijan. The meeting focused on the discussion of the current situation in the area of cable network broadcasting and necessity of taking actions to effectively counter illegal cable network provision to new buildings and hotels.

    At the meeting, attendees put special emphasis on facts of non-compliance with the rules and terms of the special permit by cable network providers and illegal retranslation of tele radio broadcasters, without a legal basis.
  • Turkey, Iran to discuss methods of combating Islamic State
    05.08.2015 13:54
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Turkey August 7, TRT Haber TV channel reported with reference to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    "During the visit the sides will discuss several regional issues, as well as the methods of combating the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization," he said.

    Cavusoglu said that Iran and Turkey have the same views regarding the fight against IS terrorists, who pose a threat to the Islamic world.

    The Turkish Air Force launched a major military air operation in northern Syria against IS militants on July 25.

    Edited by CN

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  • Mass poisoning of prisoners being investigated in Turkey
    05.08.2015 13:26
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A mass poisoning of prisoners occurred in one of the prisons in the Turkish province of Eskisehir, the Turkish TV channel Kanal7 said August 5.

    More than 100 injured people have been taken to the hospital.

    A criminal case was initiated, investigation is underway.

    -edited by CN


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  • Drop in forex not to impact Azerbaijanв's economy
    05.08.2015 13:25
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    The decrease in foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan will not have a negative impact on the countryв's economy, Vugar Bayramov believes.

    "The decrease of the foreign exchange reserves of the CBA is shown in a small figure. It is about a 0.2-percent decrease. The small level of decrease means that in the last three months, the central bank has been seeking to keep the level of the state's exchange reserves in a certain interval," the Chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development told AzerNews.

    Commenting on the CBA's recent statistical data, the expert also said that a decline in CBA exchange reserves will not increase pressure over the exchange rate of Azerbaijan's national currency, the manat.

    "Thanks to the amendments made to the law 'On the Central Bank of Azerbaijan,в' the CBA enjoys an opportunity to increase its reserves through domestic and external borrowings, as well as the issuance of bonds into circulation. Thus, despite the relative decrease in foreign exchange reserves, the CBA will try to compensate its intervention spending through issuance of bonds into circulation," he noted.

    The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan decreased by $18.7 million (0.2 percent) in July 2015 compared to June and amounted to $8.5 billion.

    The decline in the foreign exchange reserves of the central bank has been steadily observed since July of last year. In May-June 2015, the growth of foreign exchange reserves resumed. In May, the CBAв's reserves increased by $42.9 million (0.51 percent) compared to April and in June by $89.4 million (1.06 percent).

    Bayramov went on to add that a decrease is observed in intervention spending by the central bank as well.

    "This is particularly related with the increase in demand of the dollar. Azerbaijan observed the dollarization process from December 2014 to May 2015. Since May 2015, the country noticed the weakening of the dollarization process and exchange of dollars to manat by the citizens for current expenditures. This process affected the intervention spending of the CBA and lead to the decrease of such spending," he said.

    Bayramov believes that the decrease of the exchange reserves of the CBA will not lead to a sharp decline in the exchange rate of manat or inflation.

    "In current circumstances, there are no serious risks for the exchange rate of manat. Also, it will not cause inflation in the country. Due to the fact that the CBA will continue to fulfill its existing monetary policy and intervention spending, inflation or a decrease in the exchange rate of manat will not occur," the expert concluded.

    CBA board chairman Elman Rustamov said earlier that the CBA continues to participate in the foreign exchange market of the country after the manat rate adjustment.

    Rustamov explained this by the still ongoing process of dollarization.

    ''Many bank customers keep their funds in dollars, and we believe that this trend will continue towards increasing the dollar savings,'' said Rustamov.

    ''We canв't restrain the population from keeping their funds in dollars. But we have a sufficient amount of currency reserve to allow the population to convert their funds into dollars without any problem,'' he added.

    The exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat was reduced to 1.05 manat to the U.S. dollar from February 21 (compared to 0.7844 manats earlier), which corresponds to a decline of about 33.9 percent.
  • Baku, Tehran mulling cooperation in energy
    05.08.2015 13:16
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Iran and Azerbaijan has viewed prospects of the cooperation in energy field during Azerbaijani delegationв's visit to the Islamic Republic.

    Mohammad Said Ansari, the first deputy chairman of the Iranian Parliamentв's Energy Commission a senior Iranian lawmaker has said the two neighbors Iran and Azerbaijan have the chance to cooperate in a lot of energy projects.

    The remarks came while Azerbaijanв's Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev is in Tehran discussing trade ties with Iranian officials.

    ''After UN resolution which lifted sanctions on Iran, all oil countries and others on this path have started to try oil relations with Iran,'' Ansari toldВ TrendВ on August 4.

    He added that Iran is open to all honest countries for cooperation.

    ''Azerbaijan is neighbor and can help some oil, gas, and energy, and I hope the Islamic Republic can establish cooperation with the neighbor country,'' Ansari said.

    Ansari further said the two counties can cooperate in drilling, exploration, extraction, refineries, even in electricity production and transfer.

    Azerbaijan and Iran are also creating a working group to analyze the current situation and coordination of positions on North-South railway project.

    This decision was made following the meeting between Mustafayev and Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi Iranв's Minister of Roads and Urban Development in Tehran, Trend reported.

    During the meeting, the sides emphasized the great significance of this project for both countries.

    North-South railway will connect Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will serve as a bridge to connect the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.

    This project envisages creating a border railway bridge between Iranian and Azerbaijani Astara, as well as laying 8-kilometer-long branch on Azerbaijanв's territory.

    The railwayв's capacity will stand at 1.4 million passengers and 5-7 million metric tons of cargo per year, according to the preliminary estimations. As many as 22 tunnels and 15 bridges will be built throughout the railway. The volume of cargo transportation through the corridor will amount to 6 million metric tons at the initial stage and will reach 15-20 million metric tons in the future.

    During the Tehran visit, Mustafayev is accompanied by the officials of various state agencies of Azerbaijan and 30 representatives of the private sector.

    Iranian officials have repeatedly called on Azerbaijani businessmen to make investments in various sectors of economy in the Islamic Republic.

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

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

    Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992.

    Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding their economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation.
  • KOICA, Uzbekistan to build terminal at Tashkentв's airport
    05.08.2015 13:15
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Aug. 4

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Governments of South Korea and Uzbekistan in September are going to sign an agreement to develop a feasibility study of construction of a new "Tashkent-4" passenger terminal in the capital's airport, according to the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

    The team of KOICA last week conducted preliminary studies for the feasibility study of the project, according to the agency.

    In order to clarify all the details of the project, KOICA representatives held meetings with the leaders of several ministries, as well as First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov.

    "At the request of the Uzbek government, for the speedy implementation of the project, the Korean side will comprehensively prepare for its implementation, develop a feasibility study, which differs from the earlier developed ones, approve the necessary funding for the project and develop a master plan," said the representative office of KOICA.

    After an intergovernmental agreement is signed, the project executors will be chosen for working out the feasibility study. It is planned to start working out the feasibility study from early 2016. According to the Korean side, the cost of the feasibility study will be approximately $4 million.

    The memorandum of understanding, envisaging the implementation of the feasibility study project on the construction of a new passenger terminal, was signed between KOICA and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan during President Karimov's official visit to Korea in May 2015.

    Earlier it was reported that Uzbekistan Airways plans to build the fourth terminal at the Tashkent airport between 2015 and 2019.

    The project envisages construction of a new passenger terminal with the capacity of 1,500 passengers per hour. The project will be financed with the own funds of air carriers, as well as loans from local and foreign financial institutions. The project's cost nears $300 million, according to the preliminary estimations.

    Currently, Tashkent airport has two main passenger terminals. Tashkent-2 terminal with the capacity of 1,300 passengers per hour serves the passengers of international airlines.

    Tashkent-3 terminal with the capacity of 400 passengers per hour, designed for the flights of local airlines was commissioned in 2011. The project's cost stood at $52 million.

    Tashkent-1 terminal is for state visits and VIP services.

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan near to commission data center
    05.08.2015 12:59
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The largest regional DATA-center in Azerbaijan will start operation by the end of September, AzInTelecom reported.

    AzInTelecom, the former Center for International Relations and Calculations of the Communications and High Technologies Ministry, is an operator of the data center.

    At present, the DATA-center is tested for resilience to obtain a certificate of Tier3 level. The certificate will be the official confirmation that it is designed based on the best international standards on the criteria of reliability and safety.

    The American company Uptime Institute is carrying out the certification process. A certificate of conformity for the DATA-center at the Tier3 level will be granted to the center upon achieving successful test results.

    This certificate would be an official confirmation that the DATA-center is designed based on the best international practices in the criteria of reliability and security.

    The disaster-proof DATA-center has been created to protect the data of its clients. The center will ensure stable operation in case of failure of any node of the system, as it will have a record of 99.985 percent availability.

    The need to create the DATA Center is obvious in the face of the dynamic growth in the number of Internet users and Internet content. The commissioning of the DATA-center will promote the popularization of cloud services and accelerate the transition to cloud computing. The project is implemented with the support of UNDP.

    ''Commissioning of the DATA-center in Azerbaijan contributes to the creation of numerous information resources and services, and enhances the possibility of their use and integration into the global information environment,'' the ministry said.

    The data center is under construction on an area stretching over 1,000 square meters. At the initial stage, the number of servers at the center will reach 200, with the volume of the array at 30 petabytes, and data transfer rate at 10-100 gigabits per second. As needs will grow, the power of the center will be increased.

    The Data center will be the first data center of its kind in the region.

    Currently, a number of major world companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Yahoo and others, have expressed an interest in placing their IT-infrastructure in Azerbaijanв's DATA-center.

    Earlier, the Ministry reported, that Hungary intends to contribute in the construction of the Tier 3 regional DATA-center in Azerbaijan.
  • Turkey to continue fight against ISIS '" foreign ministry
    05.08.2015 12:51
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey is determined to continue the fight against the terrorist organization "Islamic State", the Turkish TV channel TRT Haber said Aug. 5 with reference to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    Cavusoglu said that moderate opposition forces can be deployed on the Syrian territories liberated from ISIS insurgents. In addition, the Syrian refugees can return to these areas.

    At the end of July, a powerful explosion occurred in the Turkish city of Suruc on the border with Syria. Some 32 people became victims of the attack, about 100 people were injured.

    On July 25, the Turkish Air Force embarked on a major military air operation in northern Syria against the militants of the "Islamic state."

    Edited by CN


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  • Iran's Rouhani invited to Rome
    05.08.2015 12:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Italy aims to expand ties with Iran more and sooner, said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

    Italy is currently negotiating with Iranian economic enterprises and industries, which will lead to the transfer of technology and capital to Iran and the expansion of its communication and road networks, as well as its oil and gas industries, Iran's Shana news agency quoted Gentiloni as saying August 5.

    Gentiloni made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Wednesday.

    Gentiloni has invited Rouhani to visit Rome as well.

    Italian Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi was also present in the meeting.

    Rouhani said for his part that there is no barrier for Iran and Italy to enhance bilateral ties. The two countries can boost cooperation in political, economic, cultural, scientific, and tourism sectors, he noted.

    There are lots of areas for attracting foreign investment in Iran, especially in energy, banking, industry, transportation, and health sectors, Rouhani said.

    He also emphasized the need for collaboration to establish security and fight against terrorism in the region, adding that the threat of terrorism is not belonged to a certain region.

    In the wake of the nuclear deal, Iran wants to use all its capacities to promote peace and stability in the region, Rouhani added.

    Iran-Italy's trade turnover is about $1.5 billion, but Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia said during a meeting with Gentiloni that Iran is keen that the volume doubles.

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan may join international GMO analysis networking
    05.08.2015 12:35
    Azerbaijan may join the international GMO-analysis networking.

    The Genetic Resources Institute (GEI) of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan informs that GEI senior researcher and member of the Expert Council on GMOs Ayaz Mammadov participated in the 2nd international seminar of the network, held in the Italian town of Varese.

    "Mammadov voiced a hope for Azerbaijan's accession to the network and European Commission's courses and seminars in the country for research on GMOs," the Institute said in a statement.

    The second seminar of the network created in 2013 brought together representatives of 20 countries, who covered the scientific and technical aspects of GMO analysis, their modeling and harmonization of approaches to this field.
  • Over 200 fields to be developed in Turkmenistan
    05.08.2015 12:21
    Besides the hydrocarbon resources of global importance, Turkmenistan has rich and diverse solid minerals and hydro-mineral reserves of commercial scale, the government of Turkmenistan said.

    There are more than 200 deposits of various solid minerals and hydro-mineral raw materials prepared for industrial development at the state balance of Turkmenistan.

    Among them are a variety of mineral salts, iodine-bromine industrial waters, celestine, sulfur, bentonite and kaolin clays, ozocerite, barite, gypsum, ornamental and facing stones, carbonate raw materials for the chemical industry, a variety of mineral raw materials for the production of building materials.

    Their certain kinds are comparable with the best world analogues on the quality and quantity of reserves. Only the explored reserves of strontium contained in celestine ores account for over 85 percent of balance reserves of the CIS countries, the statement says.

    The prospects for manganese, copper, iron, lead, zinc, gold and platinoid revealed during the recent geological exploration allow optimism about the possibility of discovering industrial reserves of these metals in the depths of Turkmenistan.

    Turkmenistanв's subsoil is especially rich with fields of various mineral salts such as sodium, potassium, sulfate and magnesium salts, said the message.

    Two of the seven potash deposits of CIS countries are in Turkmenistan.

    Garabogazkol is one of the four sodium sulfate fields known in the world. There are also large bishofite and epsomite deposits here.

    Turkmenistan has a leading position in Central Asia for the iodine-bromine industrial water reserve, according to the message.

    Moreover, the country holds one of the leading positions in the world for the volume of mineral raw materials for the chemical industry.

    In this regard, Koytendag district of Lebap province has great potential. It has tens of various types of mineral resources.

    Geologists have discovered a number of sulfur, phosphates, rock salt, gypsum and other fields here, which will develop not only the chemical industry, but also production of construction materials.

  • Unusual phenomenon to take place after 272 years
    05.08.2015 12:13
    Mars will make its closest approach to Earth on August 27

    Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August, APA reports quoting

    The encounter will culminate on August 27th at 00:30 when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. It will look like The Earth has 2 Moons.
  • Eurasian University Union president visits Baku Higher Oil School
    05.08.2015 11:57
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5


    A delegation headed by Eurasian University Union (EURAS) President, founder of Istanbul Aydin University, Professor Mustafa Aydin visited Baku Higher Oil School (BHOS) and met with BHOS rector Elmar Gasimov.

    Gasimov heartily welcomed guests saying he was pleased to see EURAS delegation at BHOS. Gasimov informed guests of organization of education program, international relations of BHOS and achievements gained by higher school within three years. BHOS rector emphasized that BHOS is educating highly qualified English speaking specialists according to international standards.

    Gasimov also touched upon significance of applying international standards within education and internship process and stressed the role of BHOS students' internship experience being gained at various international companies. BHOS rector underlined that it would be interesting to cooperate with universities, EURAS members, in frames of the said Union, joining projects with diverse directions.

    In his turn, Aydin thanked Gasimov for invitation to visit BHOS. EURAS president informed in details of the organization he heads. He said that EURAS was founded in 2008 in Istanbul and united more than 80 universities from Europe, Asia and Middle East. Professor also informed of projects realized by EURAS, exchange programs between member universities, joint scientific researches, publications, teachers' exchange and students' exchange, scholarship programs, summer internship and schools offered by EURAS.

    Moreover, while taking into consideration enhancement of joint work of EURAS universities and realization of new projects, Aydin particularly stressed how interesting future cooperation with BHOS in these directions would be.

    The view exchange on future cooperation opportunities and perspectives between parties followed the meeting. Both parties expressed their contentment by the meeting they held.

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  • No foreign investment in Iran's oil sector expected until late 2017 - Wood Mackenzie
    05.08.2015 11:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, August 4

    By Dalga Khatinoglu -- Trend:

    Experts of an international energy company estimate the international companies are still waiting for removal sanctions on Iran, despite the intensive visits of EU delegations to Iran.

    While European delegations from Germany visited Iran and delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties, Iran hopes to attract tens of billion dollars in its oil and gas sector.

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that the EU's outflow direct investments in 2014 were $250 billion.

    "Although some international oil companies eyeing to revive business with Tehran have already held talks with Iranian officials, they will be waiting for the complete removal of sanctions before daring to dip their toes in the water," Tom Ellacott, Head of Corporate Analysis at Wood Mackenzie told Trend August 4.

    "Whilst the nuclear deal represents the first step for foreign companies to head back into Iran, the full process will take longer as further hurdles will need to be overcome before new European investment into the oil and gas sector becomes reality," he added.

    Ellacott added, "this is why we do not expect new foreign investment before late 2017 or early 2018. This also slots in nicely with what we expect to be a period of rising cash flow from the main IOCs that are likely to invest as oil prices start to recover and major new developments are brought online."

    According to OPEC's estimation, OPEC would need to invest an average of close to $40 billion annually in the remaining years of this decade. This figure was $120 billion in 2014 or three times more than the annual investment amount.

    However, according to Wood Mackenzie's estimations, the plunge in oil price since last summer caused the suspension of 46 big oil and gas projects. The worth of suspended projects in 2015 is estimated to reach about $200 billion.

    The cost of oil production in Iran's onshore sector, which shares 70 percent of total reserves is about $7 per barrel, according to Iranian official statements, but regarding the fact that more than 80 percent of Iran's operative fields are in their second half-life, this figure will increase in coming years.

    Currently, the cost of producing 3 to 3.5 million barrels of oil in Iran's active fields is $10 billion annually, mostly due to re-injection of 93 million cubic meters per day of gas to old oilfields, while this figure would reach $50 billion in the next 10 years.

    However, Iran has tens of undeveloped oil and gas projects, which need about $185 billion investment by 2020, according to Iran's Oil Ministry.

    "Iran's oil and gas industry is thirsty for investment. Years of underinvestment have prevented the country from fulfilling its hydrocarbon potential," Homayoun Falakshahi, Middle East Upstream Analyst for Wood Mackenzie also told Trend.

    "Following sanctions removal, the next crucial step will be the unveiling of new upstream fiscal terms. The recent disappointing Mexican bid round showed that IOCs will need terms that hit their hurdle rates, especially given the risks involved and the fact that capital discipline has been tightened up in response to low oil prices. But if Iran releases top quality assets, with scale and reasonable fiscal terms, the industry may well rush to get their hands on them, especially given the scale of the future opportunities that might be made available for those that establish first mover advantage," he said.

    Edited by CN

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  • Celtic members visit newly built residential complex for IDPs and refugees in Baku
    05.08.2015 11:39
    Members of Celtic, accompanied British ambassador to Azerbaijan have visited the newly built residential complex for IDPs and refugees in Binagadi district of Baku where the Scottish club will clash with Azerbaijani FC Qarabag in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round on Wednesday.

    Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan's State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Fuad Huseynov gave detailed information about history of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    He said 20 per cent of Azerbaijan's territories were occupied as a result of the aggression of the Armenian armed forces.

    /By AzerTac/
  • Five people taken hostage in south-western Turkey
    05.08.2015 11:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    An unknown person took hostage five people in one of the institutions of the Bodrum district of Mugla province in southwestern Turkey, the Turkish news agency Anadolu said Aug. 5.

    Police managed to neutralize the criminal and free the hostages, there were three children among them.

    Other details of the incident are not reported.


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  • Ancient mounds discovered in Ordubad
    05.08.2015 11:25
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The Kharaba-Gilan archeological expedition of the Archeology and Ethnography Institute under the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences operating in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is currently conducting excavations at the Plovdag monuments complex, Dalma castle, and ruins of Kharaba-Gilan city.

    According to expedition head Behlul Ibrahimli, who is also the senior researcher at the Institute, the archeologists discovered seven mounds in the Plovdagв's second necropolis.

    During the excavations in the mounds, which date back to the second and millennia BC, the archeologists found pottery dating to the ancient Goktepe settlement near Urmiya.

    The ceramics found mostly in Nakhchivan and Urmiya give grounds to say that the history of Ordubad goes back to the Middle Bronze Age.

    According to the previous archaeological researches the Kharaba-Gilan settlement arose in the middle of first millennium BC, and the city experienced boom and bust cycles in subsequent centuries. The ancient buildings in the city feature rich architectural decorations.

    Ordubad is famous for its mausoleums. The octagonal mausoleum, partly preserved within the Kharaba Gilan is the most interesting one. Research shows that the mausoleum was established in XII century by outstanding Azerbaijani architect Adjemi.

    The first archaeological dig on modern Azerbaijani territory was conducted in the 19th-20th centuries.

    During the construction of a copper smelting plant by German company "Brothers Siemens" in Azerbaijanв's Gadabay region, workers found an ancient Late Bronze Age burial site. Dozens of graves were excavated, studied, and then taken to Germany for further research.
  • Turkey starts to build flyovers for Star refinery
    05.08.2015 11:25
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey has begun construction of flyovers for the Star oil refinery, head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji, a board member of the petrochemical holding Petkim Kenan Yavuz tweeted Aug.5.

    Construction of the quay will be completed in May 2017, according to Yavuz.

    He also notes the importance of participation of Turkish companies in the construction of the Star refinery.

    "The number of participants in the construction of the Star refinery will soon reach 10,000 people," the head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji said.

    Commissioning of Star refinery in Turkey is expected in the first quarter of 2018. The annual naphtha production volume, used by Petkim as the main raw material, will hit 1.66 million metric tons at the STAR refinery.

    Along with naphtha, the new oil refinery will produce diesel fuel with ultra-low sulfur to the amount of 5.95 million metric tons, aviation kerosene - 500,000 metric tons, reformate - 500,000 metric tons, petroleum coke - 630,000 metric tons, liquefied gas - 240,000 metric tons, mixed xylene - 415,000 metric tons, olefin LPG - 75,000 metric tons and 145,000 metric tons of sulfur. The refinery will not produce petrol and fuel oil.

    It is planned to refine Azeri Light, Kerkuk and URALS oil at the plant.


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  • Heydar Aliyev Foundation to present new projects in Astrakhan
    05.08.2015 11:15
    The presentation will be held in October.

    In October, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will present its new projects in Astrakhan. The presentation will be held at the Days of Economy and Culture of Azerbaijan in Astrakhan from 26 to 29 October, Oxu.Az reports with reference to the portal

    The "Friendship" kindergarten, the "Friendship of Peoples" bridge on the embankment of the Privoljsky backwater and a children's park "Dream" were built in Astrakhan with support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation. With the participation of the Fund the repair of school в„-11 was held and a monument to Prince Vladimir the Baptist of Russia was erected.

    Heydar Aliyev Foundation today continues to support the school and kindergarten "Friendship" в„-11. Excellent students during the summer holidays awarded with a trip to Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijan still needs foreign specialists
    05.08.2015 11:09
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    With a strict focus on the non-oil sector, oil-producing Azerbaijan has expanded its hunt for professionals in various fields of economy.

    Many unsteady global economies have turned human capital into one of the main drivers of growth. Now both developing and developed countries are keen on optimizing their labor markets by creating favorable conditions for high-class professionals in an effort to reduce the number of unskilled workers.

    Developing an innovative economy and education system indeed puts Azerbaijan close to this trend of the times.

    ''Azerbaijan has a total of 23,000 registered expats,'' Azer Allakhveranov, a migration expert, told local media. ''The country does not have a huge number of migrants like other countries, including Russia. Migrants here are mainly involved in the oil and gas industry, services and tourism.''

    The expert said that a high number of foreign migrants are observed in more or less stable sectors. ''Therefore, there is no tendency on reduction of the number of working foreign staff in Azerbaijan,'' he added.

    Allakhveranov noted that the number of foreign workers tends to decline in countries with deteriorating economic conditions.

    "We are observing a little stagnation in the construction field, but the country will be involved in new major economic projects in the near future, that is sure to stimulate even greater flow of foreign forces,'' he believes.

    To attract highly-skilled professionals, Azerbaijan has minimized its bureaucracy, simplifying the registration procedures and improving its migration and labor legislations, as well as extending work permits that are now valid for one year.

    Foreigners desiring to work in Azerbaijan should get familiar with the respective procedures before applying for a job in the country. To obtain a work permit in the country, a foreigner must have at least five years experience in the field. This blocks the flow of unskilled workers from abroad and boosts a more effective use of local labor.

    Engaging foreign workers does not limit employment opportunities for local job hunters, but on the contrary encourages the development of the education system and the training of highly qualified specialists in the country. They are intended to ultimately replace foreigner labor.

    The current pace of technological development sometimes surpasses the speed of training of highly qualified personnel. That makes for a more acute problem of attracting foreign specialists in these new fields.

    Today, the unemployment rate in Azerbaijan is one of the lowest in the region and stands at five percent.

    At the same time, the quota for foreigners who wish to work in Azerbaijan is declining annually, which prevents the growth of unemployment in the country.

    Chairman of the League for Protection of Workers Rights, Sahib Mammadov believes that there are four categories of foreign experts working in Azerbaijan.

    While the first category includes specialists who have come to Azerbaijan via transnational corporations mainly from Western Europe, the second category consists of the staff of transnational corporations generally from South-East Asia, he thinks.

    The third category consists of people who found jobs in Azerbaijan by themselves and come mostly from Asia and Africa.

    The fourth category includes the unregulated participants of the labor market from around the world. Only one out of seven members of this category has a valid work permit. These working migrants are mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis from Georgia, as well as many citizens from Pakistan and Philippines.

    Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is open for foreign professionals, the country now seeks to nationalize its labor market, including those working in the international companies in the oil and gas industry.

    For instance, the British giant BP, an operator of large-scale energy projects in the country, plans to increase the number of local staff to 90 percent by 2018.

    Moreover, to prepare highly-trained personnel in innovative spheres, the state provides Azerbaijani students with the possibility of studying abroad.

    Thus, as soon as local labor market participants gain technical skills in essential areas, the demand for foreign specialists will decrease in Azerbaijan.
  • Economist: Armenian exporters to have problems in Russia due to exchange rate
    05.08.2015 11:08
    Armenian exporters will continue to have problems in Russia because of the exchange rate, said economist Vilen Khachatryan, at a press conference on Tuesday.

    He said amid the falling ruble, the Central Bank of Russia is attempting to run a countercyclical policy to neutralize the speculative trends.

    "Nonetheless, the coming weeks will be the most active period in Russia for the payment of the state debt," noted Khachatryan.

    And an increased demand for the dollar means a decline in the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, the economist believes.

    "For Armenia, this means export problems toward Russia," stressed Vilen Khachatryan. "The lower the exchange rate of the Russian currency is, the Armenian goods calculated with it become that much more expensive."
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 100 times within 24 hours
    05.08.2015 10:28
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5


    Armenian armed forces have broken the ceasefire with Azerbaijan 101 times in numerous positions by using heavy machine guns and mortars in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said Aug. 5.

    Armenian armed forces located in the nameless heights and the villages of Berkaber of Armenia's Ijevan district, Shavarshavan, Barekamavan of Noyemberyan district opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces located in the nameless heights and the villages of Qizilhajili, Farakhli, Qaymaqli of the Gazakh district.

    Armenian armed forces located in the village of Chinari of Armenia's Berd district opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces located in the village of Kohanebi of the Tovuz district.

    Another ceasefire violation came from the positions located near the villages of Tapqaraqoyunlu of the Goranboy district, Chileburt, Chayli, Qizil Oba, Goyarkh of the Terter district, Novruzlu, Shuraabad, Sarijali, Javahirli, Yusifjanli, Kengerli, Shikhlar, Qaraqashli of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino of the Khojavend district, Garakhanbeyli, Horadiz, Ashagi Seyidahmadli of the Fizuli district and Mehdili of the Jabrayil district.

    Moreover, Azerbaijani positions took fire from the positions located on the nameless heights of the Goranboy, Khojavend, Fizuli and Goygol districts.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

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

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

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  • Iranian Interior Ministry: Iran-Turkey border not closed
    05.08.2015 10:18
    Turkish media outlets reported that Iran's police chief General Hossein Ashtari announced that the country's northwestern border with Turkey is temporarily sealed off through a decision of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) due to terror attacks in the past two weeks, speaking to Daily Sabah a source from Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the reports and said that the border with Iran is open.

    Iran's Foreign Ministry has only issued a warning to its citizens traveling to Turkey's southeastern provinces to be careful, the source said, APa reports.

    "There is no problem in land borders. However, a section of rail borders has been temporarily closed at the request of the Turkish government due to technical problems. But, it will be reopened soon", said Majid Aqababaee, an official with the Iranian Interior Ministry.
  • Putin inspects project of Azeri pavillion at Exhibition of Economic Achievement
    05.08.2015 09:58
    "Very beautiful".

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the Exhibition of Economic Achievements.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Russian media that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has informed the President about the work on the development and reconstruction of the exhibition.

    "Everything will be restored here, we will fill it with the museums, exhibitions, - said Moscow mayor. - It is necessary to return to the ideology that it is the main exhibition space."

    Special attention was paid to the national pavilions. Since August 2014, the Moscow government stands as an authorized body for the implementation of intergovernmental agreements with the CIS countries on the establishment of fairgrounds on the territory of the Exhibition Center, which will present the main achievements and national traditions of each country. Currently there are pavilions of Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan. The organization of pavilions of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Moldova is udnerway.

    Representatives of the embassies of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus presented their projects to the President Putin. Pavilion of Azerbaijan was represented by the country's ambassador Polad Bulbul oglu.

    By 2018 - 2019 it is planned to open a modern museum and exposition of cultural and historical heritage of Azerbaijan in the pavilion number 14, the "Azerbaijan" (former "Computer Science") in cooperation with Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The pavilion is an object of cultural heritage of federal importance.

    Putin was greatly interested in the details and was quite satisfied with the project.

    "Very beautiful," he concluded.
  • Russia to expand list of sanctions against western countries
    05.08.2015 09:48
    Russian Cabinet of Ministers is preparing an appeal to the Russian president regarding including several European countries in the list of anti-sanctions.

    APA reports quoting BBC that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said full list of the countries supporting the decision on sanctions against the Russian Federation should be submitted to the president.

    Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway joined the EU sanctions on Russia in May. Montenegro and Iceland are candidates for EU membership. Norway and Liechtenstein are members of the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association.
  • Prices on agricultural production drop in July
    05.08.2015 09:43
    Consumer prices on agricultural production in July dropped 5.9% compared to the previous month.

    According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from sources in the State Statistics Committee.

    According to the committee, prices on beans, cabbage, onion, potato, eggplants, pepper and other production have risen.

    All the same, prices on fruits and nuts have dropped.

    According to the committee, prices on live animals, as well as animal products, such as milk and wool have dropped, while prices on poultry, eggs and honey have risen.
  • Turkey shouldnв't miss chance to become SCO member
    05.08.2015 09:37
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey should not miss the chance to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), researcher of the Turkish Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research assitant SETA Salihe Kaya told Trend July 31.

    She said that taking into account the geographical location of Turkey, one can say that it has become an energy hub between the countries supplying energy resources and the West.

    "Turkey has serious potential to become a trading hub in the region, Ankara should take advantage of it, and the SCO provides country the perfect opportunities," said Kaya.

    The expert believes that Turkey's full membership in the SCO can lead to very serious increase in the country's economy, since China is the second country after Russia among exporters to Turkey.

    On the results of 2014, China exported to Turkey goods worth $24.9 billion, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUД°K).

    Kaya also believes that Turkey's aspiration for full membership in the SCO does not mean that Turkey should give up negotiations on EU membership.

    "Economic problems in several European countries, particularly in Greece, should not frighten Turkey having become a barrier to join the EU," she said. "Turkey, along with negotiations for the full membership in the SCO should conduct parallel negotiations with the EU."

    Ankara's negotiations on the accession to the EU were resumed in 2005.

    Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to China July 30.

    He said that after India and Pakistan decided to join the SCO, this structure has got a special importance for Turkey.

    The heads of the SCO member states, during a meeting July 9-10 in Ufa, Russia, signed documents providing Azerbaijan with the status of the SCO dialogue partner.

    For the first time in the SCO's 15-year history, during the summit of the heads of state in Russia's Ufa, it was decided to increase the number of its participants. Documents were signed to start a procedure for accession of India and Pakistan, and Belarus got its status upgraded to that of the observer.

    The SCO includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are the SCO observer states.

    Sri Lanka and Turkey also have the dialogue partner status.

    Edited by CN


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  • Turkish minister blames Russia over Turkish Stream delay
    05.08.2015 09:31
    Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday that the delay in the Turkish Stream project is due to factors from Russia.

    The pipeline project to carry Russian gas to Europe, with Turkey as a transportation hub, was caused because the Russian side was late in delivering the coordinates for the construction route, Yildiz said, Anadolu agency reports.

    "The delivery date for the route coordinates has been extended until June 10, or to a later date. Turkey could not begin any construction without these coordinates," said Yildiz, speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin scrapped the South Stream project last December and announced Turkish Stream, planned to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey by four pipelines with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters.

    Turkey has also agreed to a 10.25 percent discount on Russian gas purchases, and a $1 billion retroactive payment is due on this agreement which was dated Jan.1. Yildiz said. Turkey is the second-largest consumer of Russian gas, Yildiz pointed out. Yildiz added that Turkey demands that Russian gas prices should not be higher than what EU countries pay, and the price difference is closing up.

    The minister explained that the discount and the construction of the pipeline are separate issues, but being handled simultaneously at Russia's demand. Both agreements are yet to be signed.

    Turkey will build the 265-km part of the pipeline going through in its borders, while the part beneath the Black Sea will be constructed by Russia, Yildiz said.

    "The inter-governmental agreement for the project should be ratified in parliament, and Turkey must first form a new government with either a coalition or a snap election," Yildiz added, since talks for a coalition government are ongoing among Turkish political parties.

    Russia and Turkey have been engaged in disputes on several political issues, including the "1915 events" regarding Armenian citizens in the Ottoman empire, and the crisis in Syria, but Yildiz says "joint projects are isolated from politics" between the two countries.

    Mentioning his talk with Maros Sefkovic, Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union, Yildiz said: "As an EU member, if you demand natural gas on the one hand and refuse the project on the other, it would create a contradiction, which Europe needs to overcome," Yildiz said. Yildiz pointed out that demand for natural gas continues to grow in Europe.

    Turkey hopeful to win Iran arbitration case

    Yildiz said Turkey was hopeful of winning the dispute on gas prices with Iran at the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), as litigation has ended, and a decision is expected to come out soon.

    Turkey has repeatedly objected to the high cost of Iranian gas and has demanded a discount by taking the case to the ICA, as the country purchases 10 billion cubic meters, and pays $487 per 1,000 cubic meters.

    "I think the court has made its decision. We opened the case expecting to win it and we keep to the same belief now," Yildiz said.

    Asked about relations with Iran after the agreement on nuclear energy between Iran and world powers, Yildiz said Turkey has always maintained good relations with Iran and will continue to do so.

    On a pipeline between Europe and Iran that is planned to carry 35 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas, Yildiz said Turkey would help for the construction process through Turkey.

    Yildiz said he recommends that Turkish investors place funds in Iran's economy, while warning that Iran's constitution should be changed to create an easier business environment after sanctions are removed.

    Advanced technology to protect pipelines

    Pipelines in Iraq and Iran came under attack by the PKK, which has been declared a terrorist organisation by U.S., EU and Turkey, in the southeastern region of the country. Yildiz said extra measures would be taken for better protection as the area is protected by Turkish military forces.

    "We are working on the protection of pipelines by using advanced technology. There is a road map as we are working on jointly with the general staff. The pipelines will be safer," Yildiz said.

    The attack on pipelines also cuts oil revenues for the Kurdish regional government and the Iraqi government, Yildiz noted. He said that oil deliveries through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline have yet to be launched.
  • Celtic meet displaced persons in Baku
    05.08.2015 09:18
    The footballers of FC Celtic have visited the school for displaced persons from occupied Zangalan region.

    Oxu.Az reports citing that the meeting at school No 4 of the Zangalan region was held with support of the British embassy to Baku. The delegation of Celtic handed souvenirs to the children and the footballers even played mini football with them.

    Karabakh and Celtic will have a second-leg match in Baku within the third round of Champions League qualifier. FC Karabakh represents Agdam which has been held under occupation for already 23 years. For this reason the team holds host matches in Baku.
  • Russian investigators question detained suspect in '˜6- children filicideв' case
    05.08.2015 09:14
    Suspected "child-slaughterer" Belov, 51, was detained in the city of Kovrov of the Vladimir Region late on Tuesday night as a result of special police operation.

    Suspected "child-slaughterer" Belov, 51, was detained in the city of Kovrov of the Vladimir Region late on Tuesday night as a result of special police operation, and was reported to offer resistance upon apprehension. No police officers were reported to be hurt, ITAR TASS reports.

    "Oleg Belov, suspected of murdering six children, was detained as a result of joint efforts implied by officers from the Investigation's Committee, the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB)," Vladimir Markin said. "He is currently subjected to investigative measures."

    Investigators began searching for the suspect early on Tuesday, when they found the remains of the slaughtered children among with their stabbed mother in an ordinary apartment building in Nizhny Novgorod on Tuesday. The woman was reported to be pregnant at the time of her murder.

    Later in the day, police discovered a body of a woman in a nearby Vladimir Region and she was later identified as the mother of the suspected serial children killer. The woman, bearing stab wounds, was discovered killed in the regional town of Gorokhovets.

    According to earlier police reports, in 2007 Oleg Belov founded a religious community, "The Church of Seventh-Day Adventists", in Gorokhovets, where he was born.
  • Death toll in India twin train derailments rises to 12
    05.08.2015 07:13
    At least six Kamayani Express coaches and four Janata Express coaches plunged into the river near the town of Harda in the state of Madhya Pradesh late on Tuesday, Sputnik reported.

    The CNN-IBN broadcaster cited authorities as saying 12 bodies have been recovered so far. At least two of the dead were electrocuted during rescue efforts.

    Among the dead were six men, four women and two children, according to the broadcaster.

    Flooding on the train tracks due to heavy rains was blamed for the twin derailments.

    The outlet cited a railway spokesman as saying the Machak River bridge that the trains were crossing was submerged under water.

    The death toll is expected to rise as rescue operations are underway.

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  • Explosion occurs on Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline
    05.08.2015 05:37
    The sound of the explosion was heard at a distance of 20 km

    Baku - APA. An explosion occurred on Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline's section in the Sarikamis region ofTurkey's north-eastern province of Kars.

    APA reports that the cause of the explosion is still unknown. Kars Governor Gunay Ozdemir said that investigation is underway on the incident and the gas supply through the pipeline has been suspended. The cause of the explosion is being investigating.

    The fire was prevented from passing through the forest. According to eyewitnesses, the sound of the explosion was heard at a distance of 20 km.
  • Georgia paint warehouse fire kills 2, injures 5
    05.08.2015 05:14
    Up to 15 fire brigades and helicopters were deployed at the warehouse in Tbilisi on Tuesday, according to the Rustavi 2 broadcaster, Sputnik reported.

    The identities of the discovered victims, who had been declared missing earlier in the day, have not yet been established due to severe burns.

    The fire injured an additional four people and a firefighter, three of whom remain in critical condition.

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  • Turkish soldier killed in rocket attack in southeast
    05.08.2015 04:08
    A soldier was killed in a rocket attack on a base in Silopi, a town close to both the Syrian and Iraqi border on southeast Turkey, on Tuesday, the Turkish military said, Anadolu Agency reported.

    The attack on the headquarters of the 172nd Armored Brigade saw another soldier injured when suspected Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants attacked at around 3 p.m. (1200GMT), the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

    Both were taken to Sirnak Military Hospital by helicopter and one later died from his wounds.

    In a separate incident on Tuesday, eight members of the PKK and Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) surrendered to security forces in Sirnak province, the provincial governor's office said in a statement.

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  • Iran, Italy plan long-term trade ties - Zarif
    05.08.2015 03:28
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said trade relations with Italy is more than normal level and both countries are planning balanced and long-term trade and economic relations, Irna reported.

    He made the remarks in a meeting on Tuesday with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni who arrived here with Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi heading a team of senior directors of the industries sector and state-run and private economic enterprises.

    The two ministers discussed bilateral relations and consulted on regional crises and international issues.

    Zarif told his Italian counterpart the Iranian nation is very vigilant and sensitive about complete execution of the nulcear deal by the negotiations parties.

    He elaborated Iran's policy on strengthening of ties with neighboring and regional countries and on joint action for settlement of crises and establishment of stability and security.

    'Instability, insecurity, terrorism and extremism are contrary to the interests of all regional countries,' he added.

    Gentiloni expressed his country's determination for raising the level of contacts between Iran and Italy based on the new round of cooperation and said he was helpful that the nuclear deal will prove to be a successful case in the settlement of disputed issues.

    He also expressed the hope that continued bilateral cooperation, contacts, and consultation on various issues can be effective on bolstering regional and international stability.

    Also building on the proper traditional ties between Iran and Italy, both sides agreed on the necessity of adopting long-term relations and diversifying the areas of cooperation.

    Exchange of parliamentary and judiciary delegations, and negotiations on narcotics, human rights, organized crime as well as cultural and eductionatl issues, were discussed by the two ministers.

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