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Bets on for who will be next pope
14.02.2013 09:55
A A
As soon as Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning at the end of February, British bookmakers were giving betting odds on his possible successor.

There are 118 eligible members of the College of Cardinals who can attend the Papal Conclave in March to choose the next Bishop of Rome from among their numbers.

And while some predictions have been accurate вЂ" Joseph Ratzinger was widely tipped by bookmakers in 2005 вЂ" no-one anticipated his predecessor Karol Wojtyla’s surprise election in 1978.

/HurriyetDailynews/
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/17/Iran_Serbia_flag_171211.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/17/Iran_Serbia_flag_171211.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/09/trend_ahmet_davutoglu_170713_02.jpg
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    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/01/cars_import_010415.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
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    17
  • Four killed in north China flood
    02.08.2015 10:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/02/flood_020815.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/02/flood_020815.jpg
    Four people were killed and one is missing after a rainstorm-triggered flash flood in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

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    Two forest workers were also caught in the flood. One was killed, and rescuers are searching for the other.

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    8
  • Explosion in Turkey kills 2, injures 24
    02.08.2015 09:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/22/explosion_tanker_220513.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/22/explosion_tanker_220513.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, August 2

    Trend:

    Two people were killed, 24 injured as a result of an explosion near police station in Turkish province Agri, Anadolu reported.

    An explosion occured at 03:00 local time. According to the agency exploded tractor was filled with explosives weighing up to 2 tons.

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    20
  • Iran-Europe gas export in need of €10B
    02.08.2015 09:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/08/100_dollar_081013_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/08/100_dollar_081013_01.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    An Iranian official said the country can stretch a gas pipeline to Europe with euro;10 billion.

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    Iran is planning a number of gas export pipelines pending the removal of international sanctions. One example is IGAT- 9, a 35 bcm per year pipeline that Iran plans to use to send gas from South Pars to Europe via Turkey.

    There are currently no transit pipelines in Turkey to deliver gas to the European markets.

    Edited by CN

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    10
  • Explosion occurred in front of Turkey's ruling party office
    02.08.2015 04:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/10/27/police_turkey_271010.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/10/27/police_turkey_271010.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, August 2

    Trend:

    A stun grenade was blasted near to the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) office in eastern Turkish province Diyarbekir, Anadolu Agency reported August 2.

    The explosion did not hurt anyone.

    An investigation has already started at the scene.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    58
  • Biden may run for US presidency
    02.08.2015 02:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/joseph_baiden.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/joseph_baiden.jpg
    Vice-President Joe Biden organized meetings at his Washington home to decide on running for the US presidency, as that is what his late son encouraged him to do before dying in May, Sputnik reported.

    One of Joe Biden's sons, the former attorney general of Delaware Beau Biden, lost a battle to brain cancer at the age of 46. Before passing away he urged his father to give it another try and fight for the 2016 US presidency.

    "It's no secret that Beau wanted him to run," said former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party Dick Harpootlian. "If he does what Beau wanted him to do, he'll run."

    Following his late son's request and inspired by support from his youngest son Hunter, Biden has been recently holding meetings at his Washington residence to discuss whether he should stand against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

    "Biden is also talking to friends, family and donors about jumping in. The 72-year-old vice-president has been having meetings at his Washington residence to explore the idea of taking on Hillary in Iowa and New Hampshire," The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported.

    Joe Biden is known for his close ties with his family, which makes the public believe it is still possible that he will get into the race for the White House.

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    "Joe Biden is beloved in Iowa, but honestly, I just don't see it," said a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Sue Dvorsky.

    What would make the competition even more challenging is that Biden had previously shared his respect for the Party's wish to put a woman in the White House and that he is on good terms with Clinton.

    Biden, 72, had been a presidential hopeful twice, in 1988 and 2008. He publicly said he would make a decision at the end of the summer.

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    27
  • Turkey to investigate civilian casualties in north Iraq
    02.08.2015 01:27
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/30/mid_turkey_301014.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/30/mid_turkey_301014.jpg
    Turkey is to investigate reports of civilian casualties during recent airstrikes on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    The announcement came after Kurdish sources and local journalists reported that the raids in the Qandil mountains, where the PKK has numerous bases, had caused casualties among the civil population.

    "Real time intelligence was used in the air operations that bear the highest standards," the ministry said in a statement. "Operation areas were picked after a full verdict that the targeted region hosted no civilian population and the utmost effort is always spent to avoid civilian casualties."

    The statement added that a camp at Zergele was being used as a logistics and command base. "Zergele terrorist camp was not hosting any civilians but senior PKK figures, while the terrorist organization is known to use civilians as human shields."

    The investigation will be carried out jointly with officials from the Kurdish regional government in Iraq and the results made public, the ministry said.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    21
  • Turkish President meets Pakistani PM
    02.08.2015 00:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/erdogan.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/erdogan.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad.

    Erdogan was stopping in Pakistan on the last leg of a tour that saw him visit China and Indonesia.

    His plane landed at Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan in the evening and the leaders are expected to have dinner at the base before Erdogan departs for Turkey.

    It is Erdogan's first visit to Pakistan as president although he previously paid several visits as prime minister.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
  • Envoy: IAEA briefed by Iran not to disclose secrets
    01.08.2015 23:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/12/reza_najafi_120615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/12/reza_najafi_120615.jpg
    Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi objected to the US Senate's demand for being briefed about the contents of the recently signed roadmap of cooperation between Tehran and the IAEA.

    Najafi cautioned the UN nuclear watchdog to avoid disclosing its secret agreements with Tehran to the US.

    'The agreements signed between a member country and the IAEA are definitely secret and cannot be presented to any other country at all,' Najafi said.

    Referring to the discussions at the US Congress during which the US officials elaborated on the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5 1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), he said, 'The discussions revealed that the secret texts between Iran and the agency have not even been provided to the US administration.'

    'For the very same reason, they cannot be presented to the Senate members either,' Najafi added.

    The Iranian envoy also cautioned Amano that he is duty bound now to accept possible invitations of other countries' legislatures after he accepted last night to attend a US Senate meeting.

    Head of the IAEA Yukiya Amano and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi signed a roadmap of cooperation in Vienna on July 14.

    The roadmap contains secret arrangements stated in one or two documents entailing on the methods to be used by the two sides in their cooperation.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    15
  • Why Ankara froze ''Turkish Stream''?
    01.08.2015 23:17
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/17/pipeline_170315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/17/pipeline_170315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    After it became known that Ankara has frozen talks on the construction of the "Turkish Stream" due to the situation with gas prices, the Russian side has taken a defensive position in this matter.

    Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak denied the information on freezing of the "Turkish Stream" and said that there was no official statement on the suspension of the talks of the Russian Federation and Turkey in this regard.

    He also noted that "Gazprom" and the Turkish Botas have agreed to grant the Turkish side a discount on Russian gas at a rate of 10.25 percent, but the document has not yet been signed.

    In fact, there is nothing new in this statement by Novak, as the parties have agreed to a discount on gas in March 2015, but Botas refused to sign the document. The reason for refusal was the position of Russia on the construction of the "Turkish Stream."

    Thus, the reason for freezing the construction of the "Turkish Stream" is not that the parties have not reached an agreement over the price of gas, but the fact that Russia does not give Ankara the opportunity to create a joint gas distribution network.

    Russia wants to control the transport of its gas through Turkey on its own, which is not in the interests of Ankara.

    The energy and natural resources minister of Turkey, Taner Yildiz earlier said Moscow and Ankara discussed the creation of a joint gas distribution network.

    He said preliminary agreements were reached in this regard, but, unfortunately, Russia changed its stance.

    For Turkey, it is important to get a discount on Russian gas, but more important for Ankara today is to create a joint gas distribution network.

    The Turkish authorities are well aware that against the background of Ankara's refusal of the "take or pay" principle with Russia, one can resolve the issue of gas discount only through arbitration. Therefore, Ankara is not going to make concessions to Russia on the construction of the "Turkish Stream".

    There is no doubt that without the creation of a joint gas network with Russia on the territory of Turkey, the authorities of this country will not agree to any concessions to "Gazprom".

    Moscow can only hope for the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia.

    If Moscow doesn't give Turkey the possibility to create a joint gas distribution network, Ankara will not provide a corridor for Russian gas.

    ---

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
    14
  • Trump, Clinton lead among US presidential hopefuls '" poll
    01.08.2015 22:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/30/trump_300715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/30/trump_300715.jpg
    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton outrun their party fellows in the race for the US presidency in terms of popularity, a survey showed, Sputnik reported.

    US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the most popular among contenders for the office, Gravis Marketing National Poll revealed on Saturday.

    The survey of random 1,535 registered voters across the United States was conducted by the nonpartisan research firm regarding the upcoming presidential election.

    Thirty percent of voters would choose Trump over other 2016 Republican presidential candidates, while Clinton is a front-runner for the Democratic Party with some fifty-five percent of voters nationwide, according to the poll.

    The survey also showed that fifty-two percent of voters disapproved of the incumbent US President Barack Obama's performance.

    New Hampshire is the first state to hold primary elections for Republican and Democrat presidential candidates. Its outcome plays a major role in determining the selection of the candidates for the two major parties.

    The 2016 primary will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
  • Mine blast kills one sergeant in northeast Turkey
    01.08.2015 19:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/27/armed_attack_turkey_270715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/27/armed_attack_turkey_270715.jpg
    A Turkish sergeant killed in mine blast in northeast province of Kars, Turkey, security sources said Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    "A group of members of the terrorist organization" sat vehicles on fire at Kagizman-Igdir-Erzurum highway in Karakurt-Denizgolu district, security sources said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

    A mine went off as soldiers combed the area which resulted in the death of the sergeant.

    Turkey's military and police have been hit by a number of attacks over the past week, which resulted in the deaths of around 20 police officers and soldiers. The violence was touched off by a Daesh-linked suicide bombing in eastern Sanliurfa province that killed 32 people on July 20.

    Security forces have detained more than 1,300 suspected supporters of groups such as Daesh and PKK -- recognized as terrorist groups by Turkey, the EU and the U.S. -- as well as launching airstrikes in Daesh in Syria and the PKK in Turkey and northern Iraq in a recent wave of anti-terror operations.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    36
  • New interior minister appointed in Georgia
    01.08.2015 19:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/georgian_flag_101113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/10/georgian_flag_101113.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    Trend:

    Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili introduced Giorgi Mgebrishvili to the post of Interior Minister August 1. Until now Mgebrishvili has been Minister of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance, RIA Novosti reported.

    Mgebrishvili will replace Vakhtang Gomelauri who resigned earlier.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    14
  • Turkmenistan, Pakistan to hold talks on TAPI gas pipeline
    01.08.2015 17:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_130215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_130215.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 1

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Islamabad will host a meeting on cooperation issues within the framework of the project of construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline Aug.3, the implementation of which enters the practical stage, said the message of the government of Turkmenistan Aug.1.

    Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Baymyrat Hojamuhammedov and Director of the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources under the President of Turkmenistan Yagshygeldy Kakaev will arrive in the capital of Pakistan to hold the talks, the message said.

    The basic document for the promotion of TAPI is the Ashgabat interstate agreement signed between the participating states in 2010 on starting the practical implementation of this project.

    The gas pipeline's total length will be 1,735 kilometers; some 200 kilometers of this will run through Turkmenistan, 735 kilometers - through Afghanistan, 800 kilometers - through Pakistan to the Fazilka township on the border with India.

    The project cost of TAPI is $10 billion.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    61
  • Turkey not looking for alternative to EU - ex-minister (exclusive)
    01.08.2015 16:37
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/29/egemen_bakish_290615.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/06/29/egemen_bakish_290615.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ankara intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) does not mean that Turkey is looking for an alternative to the EU in this structure, ex-minister of Turkey for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis told Trend in an interview Aug.1.

    He said that this doesn't mean that Turkey is going to endure the whims of the EU either.

    Since the day of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, this country, on the basis of its geographical location and strategic importance, is a member of several international organizations, as well as the founder of some of them.

    "Turkey's membership in one international organization is not directed against another international organization," said Bagis.

    The ex-minister went on to add that as Turkey is the most Western country of Eastern ones and the easternmost country of West, it will continue to act as a cultural bridge between East and West.

    He said that the development of relations between Turkey and the SCO will also promote expansion of cooperation and solidarity in this organization.

    He also said that the development of relations with the SCO, which is among the priorities of the EU, is of an important character.

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

    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.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    17
  • Dull market stops textile units in Iran
    01.08.2015 16:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/textile_industry_280114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/textile_industry_280114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Some of textile units in Iran have stopped production due to recession and accumulation of products in the market, said Ahad Kermani, member of the Iranian textile association.

    "Each year, textile units used to stop production for a week or two, but this year some factories have been shutting down for over one months," Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Kermani as saying on August 1.

    Irregular imports of textile products from China, Turkey, and India, as well as low demands in the domestic market are the main reasons of the recession, he added.

    A thread production unit, for example, needs around 80 billion rials (about$2.5 million) in operating capital, he noted.

    Mehdi Yekta, the secretary of the Iranian textile producers and exporters union, said in Jan. that importing textile products from Turkey based on preferential rates will harm the domestic textile industry.

    Yekta went on to say that imports meet 80 percent of the Iranian market's textile needs. China and Turkey respectively account for about 60 percent and 40 percent of textiles exports to Iran, he added.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    15
  • Embassy investigates information about attack on Azerbaijani citizens in Turkey
    01.08.2015 15:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/17/trend_azerbaijan_flag_081114_03.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/17/trend_azerbaijan_flag_081114_03.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

    Azerbaijani Embassy in Turkey is investigating information about the detention of a passenger bus in this country by unidentified gunmen, the bus allegedly had Azerbaijani citizens, the embassy told Trend Aug.1.

    Embassy together with the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Kars is checking the information in law enforcement bodies of Turkey.

    Earlier it was reported that on July 31, unknown armed men detained a passenger bus with 70 passengers on Kars-Igdir-Erzurum main highway. Azerbaijanis allegedly were among the captured passengers. People were held for several hours before they were released, and their valuables and documents were taken away.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
  • A glance at Iran's power sector
    01.08.2015 15:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    The latest stats released by Iran's Energy Ministry indicate a huge change in power plants' fuel feeds, while the output level increased significantly during last four months.

    According to the ministry's weekly report, Iran's electricity output reached about 104 billion kWh in first four months and two days (126 days) of current fiscal year, while this figure was 101.5 billion kWh in the same period of last year (March 21 to July 24).

    On the other hand, during this period, the country's power production capacity increased by 373 MW (two 160-MW hydropower plants 53-MW gas power plant).

    Iran planned to increase the current 73,525 MW power production capacity to 75,284 MW by the end of fiscal year (March 20, 2016).

    Despite these figures, the country's actual power production capacity stands at 57,759 MW.

    Iran's electricity export fell by 17 percent to 3.336 billion kWh, while imports rose by 17 percent to 1.503 billion kWh in last four months.

    The country increased gas deliveries to power plants by 16 percent to 23.129 billion cubic meters in 126 days, while the gas-oil and fuel oil supplements decreased by 66.9 percent to 718 million liters and 36.6 percent to 1.777 billion liters respectively.

    Iran produced 276.178 billion kWh of electricity last fiscal year, while the export-import volumes reached 9.956 billion kWh (-14%) and 3.769 billion kWh ( 2%).

    Iran consumed 218.933 billion kWh during last year, and taking into account the produced and net export volumes, the country's electricity waste during the transit and distribution process was very high standing at above 50 billion kWh, or 18 percent.

    The country increased power production capacity by 2.871 GW last year, of which 2.242 GW was produced by thermal power plants. These power plants share 82 percent of Iran's total power generation capacity.

    The statistics indicate that the new installed thermal power plants accounted for about 80 percent of total power generation growth last year. Therefore, it seems the country would boost this kind of power plants in future and needs more gas delivery to this sector.

    On the other hand, according to official stats, some 222 million metric tons of pollutants were emitted as a result of using fossil fuel in power generation in 2013. This means that about 37 percent of CO2 emission in Iran was caused by power plants in the mentioned year.

    Air pollution costs $16 billion for Iranians annually, according to the World Health Organization.

    Iran should optimize the efficiency of thermal power plants, which stands at 37 percent on average. The country needs about $700 million to $850 million to increase power plants' efficiency by one percent, according to Iranian officials.

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service. Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
  • Amanoв's visit to US not confirmed, Iranian source says
    01.08.2015 14:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/09/yukiya_amano_090913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/09/yukiya_amano_090913.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    An Iranian source has not confirmed a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency's director general, Yukiya Amano, to the US.

    The source told IRNA news agency that the IAEA's director general should not be held accountable for political groups in different countries.

    Such rumors have corroborated the probability of leakage of confidential data in a situation that hardliner congressmen and senators are seeking to attain details on agreement between Iran and the IAEA.

    The IAEA is an independent entity, so its director should not be held accountable for political groups in different countries, the source said.

    It seems that such visits contradict with the principle of independency an impartiality of the organization. Frequent travels of the IAEA's director general to countries and briefing groups and parliaments are actually impossible, the source said.

    Some western media have reported that Amano will meet members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a bid to blunt growing criticism of the agency's inspections regime for Iran's nuclear sites.

    Amano will discuss with senators "the IAEA's role in verifying and monitoring nuclear-related measures," the IAEA said July 31.

    The US Congress has voiced particular concern that the agency won't go far enough in addressing evidence Iran pursued a covert nuclear-weapons program in past decades. Tehran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    9
  • Worldв's biggest gas field to experience low pressure in early 2020s
    01.08.2015 14:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/06/oil_rig_060515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/06/oil_rig_060515.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, August 1

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    If the extraction of gas from the South Pars field continues as it is, the gas will experience decline in pressure by 2023, IRNA news agency reported August 1.

    From that time on, the extraction of gas from South Pars will be possible only by using compressors, the report said.

    However, using compressors can be effective for only 10 years, and therefore it is expected that by 2033, Iran will completely discard the field, unless technological advancements bring new extraction methods.

    The South Pars is the world's biggest gas reservoir. It holds 50 percent of Iran's and eight percent of the world's gas reserves.

    The field is shared by Iran and Qatar. Iran's part of the field holds 13.3 trillion cubic meters of gas in place and 19 billion barrels of oil condensates, of which 9 billion barrels is extractable.

    After the new findings about the life of South Pars, Iran said it has cancelled the plan to install a fourth platform at Phase 12 of the field.

    Phase 12 has been dubbed Iran's biggest development phase of the South Pars.

    Hadi Mir-Bagheri, an official with the Iranian Petropars oil and gas company, said the fourth platform has been put off agenda since the field cannot produce gas for long.

    He added that the maximum output of the phase is estimated to stand at 2.5 billion cubic feet a day.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Iran studies possible ways to export gas to Europe
    01.08.2015 14:51
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/06/gas_pipeline_060612_3.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/06/gas_pipeline_060612_3.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Iran is studying possible ways to export gas to Europe, including Nabucco (Nabucco west) and Trans-Anatolian pipeline projects (TANAP), a senior Iranian oil official said.

    The director of international affairs at National Iranian Gas Company Azizollah Ramezani told Mehr News Agency on August 1 that Iran is studying economical and operational conditions for choosing the most economic and the most secure way to export gas to Europe.

    "Based on results of the studies, the best choice will be selected", he said, adding that gas exports to Europe is one of the long-term policies of the Iranian gas industry.

    However, the first priority is to export gas to the neighboring countries, especially to the Persian Gulf nations, he noted.

    Nabucco West project was the rival of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP) project in competing for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, but failed.

    Azerbaijani gas (as well as the potential other gas from Iran, Turkmenistan, etc) would be delivered to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor by 2020.

    The Southern Gas Corridor consists of South Caucasus Pipeline (Azerbaijan, Georgia), Trans Anatolian Pipeline or TANAP (Turkey) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline or TAP (Greece, Albania, Italy).

    The concept of the Nabucco West project envisaged the construction of 1,300-kilometer pipeline (412 kilometers running through Bulgaria, 469 kilometers - Romania, 384 kilometers - Hungary, 47 kilometers - Austria) from Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria's Baumgarten.

    Earlier, Ramazani said on July 30 that stretching a gas pipeline from Iran to Europe needs 10 billion euro worth investment.

    He said that so far nothing new has happened regarding gas export to Europe and stressed that as the situation seems ripe, strong will is needed and the sides should pursue talks seriously.

    He pointed out that according to studies conducted by the European Parliament, Iran could export 25 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually.

    Iran has the long-term potential to become one of the world's top gas producers, thanks to its 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, or around 18 percent of the world's total, Fitch Ratings said in a report on July 10.

    Iran's current raw gas output stands at 660 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d), but it is planned to increase the figure to 1,100 mcm/d by 2019.

    11
  • ''Gabala'' makes a statement on the scandal in the match against "Apollo"in Cyprus
    01.08.2015 14:47
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku-APA. The football club ''Gabala'' made a statement in connection with the scandal that occurred in the match against "Apollo", Cyprus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

    The statement reads, APA reports quoting the official website of the club: "The events in the match of the third qualifying round of the Europa League, "Apollo" - "Gabala" are a matter of deep regret. We bring to the attention of the football community that before the match, we informed the management of "Apollo" and UEFA representatives about the importance of taking measures to prevent undesirable incidents. We also informed both parties about the scandals that took place in Cyprus in the matches of the club level and the level of national teams. The captain of our team Javid Huseynov, playing for the national team of Azerbaijan U19, underwent physical pressure from the Cypriot fans during a match against Armenia in Cyprus in 2006. Alas, in this game similar events have occurred. Fans of "Apollo" tried to burn the flag of Azerbaijan, we have immediately protested to Cypriot leadership of the club, as well as to the UEFA representative, demanding to intervene. Only after that they prevented burning the flag. But despite all our warnings, adverse events continued. Fans of "Apollo" insulted the attributes of our country. Always guiding the principles of respect to the opponent, referees, fans, "Gabala" strongly opposes such incidents in sports arenas. In this regard, we urge fans not to give in to provocations and only support our team during the return match on 6 August, 2015."
    7
  • EBRD arranges $300M syndicated loan for Kazakh Railways
    01.08.2015 14:27
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/17/EBRD_logo_Album_170512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/17/EBRD_logo_Album_170512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Joint Stock Company National Company "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" (KTZ) has signed a loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on providing a syndicated financing package of $300 million in support of a comprehensive modernization and restructuring program of the Kazakh railway operator, the message of the company said July 31.

    KTZ is a national railway company which manages railway infrastructure and operates freight and a large share of passenger train services.

    The EBRD will extend $150 million of this amount for its own account and syndicate the remaining $150 million to commercial banks. The syndicate comprises the following banks: Citibank, NA, London branch; Mizuho Bank, Ltd; Socieacute;teacute; Geacute;neacute;rale; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

    The signing ceremony took place in the EBRD headquarters in London, in the presence of representatives of the EBRD, KTZ and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK.

    The proceeds of the loan will be used to refinance KTZ's eurobonds.

    The total amount of funding proposed by these banks was significantly higher than the required amount for the transaction, which shows high confidence of creditors in the company.

    To date, the EBRD has invested over $7 billion in various sectors of the country's economy. The Bank is the largest investor in the non-oil and gas sectors of the Kazakhstani economy.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
  • Turkmenistan completing '˜East-Westв' pipelineв's construction
    01.08.2015 14:11
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_130215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_130215.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 1

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    The lsquo;East-West' gas pipeline, under construction in Turkmenistan, will link major gas reserves, creating conditions for Turkmen fuel exports to world markets, said the lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper Aug. 1.

    The article's author recalling that the lsquo;East-West' is over 800 kilometers long and has a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters a year, said the pipeline is being built by the divisions of the Turkmen state concerns, Turkmengaz and Turkmennebitgazgurlushyk.

    The pipeline starts at the lsquo;Shatlyk' gas compressor station in the Mary province, and then, running westerly through the Mary and Ahal provinces, it will be connected to the lsquo;Belek' gas compressor station in the Balkan province, said the article.

    "A few months are left for the completion of the construction of the gas pipeline's linear part," said the lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan'.

    Turkmengaz's Oil and Gas Institute has developed a feasibility study of the construction, and has held engineering, exploration and design works.

    The compressor stations lsquo;Shatlyk' and lsquo;Yzgant', the first two of six other compressor stations, are being designed by the local institute's specialists and developers from Ukraine's VNIPITRANSGAZ.

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    10
  • Australia trying to enter into Iranв's meat market
    01.08.2015 14:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Meat_061107.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Meat_061107.jpg
    Australian Food and Agriculture Minister Ken Baston and Iran's Ambassador to Canberra Abdolhossein Vahaji called for strengthening of bilateral cooperation in trade of meat and Australia's sheep export to Iran.

    Statistics of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry shows that last year Iran's dependence on importation of red meat was 10% which has dropped to about 6% with the improvement of the situation of domestic production, Irna reported August 1.

    The Australian website lsquo;Farm Weekly' in a report Saturday referred to the visit of the two officials and noted that trade between Iran and Australia in the export of sheep will strengthen.

    Previously, Iran was one of the major importers of sheep from Australia and imported about three million sheep from that country per year but the trade stopped about four decades ago.

    Referring to Iran's population of 80 million, the report said there is the annual capacity of exporting one million sheep to Iran at present.

    The Australian minister said if the lost market of Iran can be revived it can be considered as an important market for Australia.

    He announced his willingness to visit Iran.

    Currently, Australia is breeding about 14 million sheep and the country is trying to increase the number on the basis of demands it receives.

    In 1992, Australia possessed about 32 million sheep and breeding poultry and sheep is considered as one of the greatest industries of the country.

    According to statistics of Iran's Customs Administration in the past eight months a total of 60 thousand tons of red meat was imported into the country with a worth of $308 million.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    10
  • Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Democracy, human rights and tolerance are last issues Armenia could talk about
    01.08.2015 14:00
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''In the wake of an unsuccessful domestic and foreign policy pursued by Armeniaв's junta regime as well as the aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia is now on the verge of a total bankruptcy''

    Baku - APA. "Although the statements Shavarsh Kocharyan do not deserve a special commentary, we would recommend this person, who is suffering from institutional weakness of memory, goes out and witness the protests raging throughout the country, including capital Yerevan," said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev in response to Armenia's Deputy FM Shavarsh Kocharyan's statements regarding Azerbaijan, APA reported.

    Hikmet Hajiyev said democracy, human rights, and tolerance are the last issues Armenia could talk about, let alone making statements about other countries.

    "In the wake of an unsuccessful domestic and foreign policy pursued by Armenia's junta regime as well as the aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia is now on the verge of a total bankruptcy. Armenia, a country whose 50 percent population lives in extreme poverty, foreign debt is several times bigger than its gross domestic product and which is undergoing a demographic crisis, had better look for a real tragedy in the actions of its military dictatorship regime that serves the Armenian fascist ideology "Nzhdekheism" rather than searching for the "mythic genocide", which is so far from historical reality, in other countries' parliaments," said Hikmet Hajiyev.
    10
  • India pushes for OVL access to Farzad-B field to expedite Iran crude payments
    01.08.2015 13:57
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    An Indian delegation that visited Tehran last week, following the latter's landmark nuclear deal with six other global players, has discussed ways to expedite crude oil payments of $6.5 billion to the Islamic nation, The Financial Express reports.

    The delegation also held talks with the Iranian authorities on the issue of ONGC Videsh (OVL) getting access to develop the prolific Farzad-B field. The delegation comprised Rajiv Mehrishi, secretary in the department of economic affairs, and Ashutosh Jindal, joint-secretary in the petroleum ministry, and officials from ONGC Videsh.

    Getting access to the Farzad-B assets is vital for OVL to achieve the milestone of producing 20 million tonnes of oil and equivalent (mtoe) by 2018. The Farzad-B field, estimated to have 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas reserves, was discovered by OVL in 2012, but no formal contract to exploit the resources has been signed till date. The US sanctions on Iran prevented both sides from making any headway in commercial exploitation of the reserves, with each blaming the other for the delay.

    Sources said the talks with Iran were "amicable". They added that after the talks with the Hassan Rouhani-led government, Mehrishi is understood discussed with the Reserve Bank of India a feasible route for crude oil payments to Iran. The pending payments for crude oil could happen in tranches. Earlier, state-owned UCO Bank had tied up with Iranian lenders mdash; Parsian, Pasargad, Saman and EN Banks mdash; for the settlements of dues.

    "Nothing concrete has happened as of now. We should be able to come up with some clarity in the next 10 days," an official who visited Iran told FE.

    Indian refiners MRPL, Essar Oil and IOC have been buying crude oil from the Islamic nation. However, the payments could not be routed due to sanctions levied by the US and other Western powers. India, the world's fourth largest oil consumer and also the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, stood with the Islamic nation while it was hit by sanctions.

    Though India drastically cut down its imports from Tehran, in 2014-15, India bought nearly 10-11 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran. In 2009-10, crude oil imports from Iran were to the tune of 21.20 MT, which declined to 18.50 MT in 2010-11; 18.11 MT in 2011-12 and further to 13.14 MT in 2012-13.

    New Delhi settled some bills for crude oil purchases with Tehran in lieu of other exports from India such as Basmati rice. India's Basmati rice exports to Iran constitute around 25% of the total value as well as volume of annual aromatic rice shipment.

    Meanwhile, making strong efforts to secure contracts to monetise the prolific Farzad-B gas field, ONGC Videsh managing director N K Verma is understood to have held dialogues with the National Iranian Oil Company.

    "The first round of talks are positive. It will take some time to make any formal announcements, as issues are under progress," another official privy to the developments told FE.

    India is also willing to offer Iran an integrated package for developing the Farzad-B field, which includes swapping gas from the field with other Iranian gas at Chabahar port and also laying a pipeline for the transportation of the surplus gas to India.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • SP not expecting devaluation in Azerbaijan until 2019
    01.08.2015 13:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/18/infliation.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/18/infliation.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Ilaha Mammadli - Trend:

    No further devaluation is projected in Azerbaijan during the 2015-2018 forecast horizon, said the international ratings agency, Standard amp; Poor's.

    "After several years of the exchange rate remaining stable, the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CBA) devalued the Azerbaijani manat (AZN) against the US dollar by 33 percent (manat per dollar rate) in February 2015," said the Samp;P. "The decision followed a sustained decline in CBA's foreign-exchange reserves in the preceding months to about $15 billion at the start of February 2015 from $17 billion in November 2014."

    Samp;P also said it expects CBA's foreign-exchange reserves to remain stable through the rest of the year.

    "They continued to decline during February to April but stabilized in

    May," said the ratings agency.

    Samp;P believes that the Azerbaijani manat remains largely pegged to the US dollar, even though CBA announced a move to a regime targeting a euro-dollar currency basket.

    The ratings agency's analysts said the rapid dollarization after the February devaluation will further weaken the already-weak monetary flexibility.

    "As of end-May foreign currency deposits exceeded 70 percent of total

    deposits, a significant increase from 50 percent in January," said the Samp;P.

    The agency also said the CBA's recent lowering the refinancing rate to 3.0 percent from 3.5 percent will not have a significant effect on stimulation of the non-oil growth, support for small and medium size enterprises and

    mortgage lending.

    "At the same time, we also project imports to contract following the devaluation and expect net exports to contribute positively to GDP growth,

    forecast at 2.2 percent in 2015, down from 2.8 percent in 2014," said Samp;P.

    "From 2016, a gradual recovery in consumption and stronger investments will support stronger economic performance, which nevertheless will remain much weaker than during the pre-2008 boom years when it consistently exceeded 20 percent annually," the agency said further.

    Samp;P also added that it forecasts credit growth to reduce to 12 percent this year from 24 percent in 2014.

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    14
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for July 27-31
    01.08.2015 13:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.1

    By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $55.08 per barrel on July 27-31, or $2.86 less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $55.52 per barrel and the minimum price was $54.02 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $50.73 per barrel or $2.79 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $51.25 per barrel and the minimum - $49.72 per barrel.

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

    The average price for Brent Dated was $53.84 per barrel or $2.07 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $54.43 per barrel and the minimum - $52.53 during the reporting period.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

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    13
  • SP keeps investment rating of Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 13:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/31/standart_poors_310715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/31/standart_poors_310715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    On July 31, 2015, Standard amp; Poor's Ratings Services has kept its lsquo;BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Azerbaijan, said the message of the agency published on its website.

    The outlook remains negative, the message said.

    "We could revise the outlook to stable if pressures on Azerbaijan's fiscal accounts abate, for instance as a result of a timely and credible response from the government, while Azerbaijan's external position remains strong," said the agency.

    Samp;P expects Azerbaijan's current account surpluses to persist over the next four years. That said, the surplus will moderate to 2.2 percent of GDP in 2015 from over 13 percent of GDP last year reflecting the oil price decline.

    In the next few years, the analytics of the agency expect current account surpluses to grow again but to remain below pre-2015 levels. This is largely explained by the agency's oil price forecasts (which are projected to be at $55/bbl in 2015, $65/bbl in 2016, and $75/bbl thereafter).

    "The current account should be supported from 2019, when Azerbaijan starts exporting higher volumes of natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II gas field," the agency said.

    "Our ratings on Azerbaijan remain supported by the sovereign's strong external and fiscal positions, primarily reflecting the sizable foreign-invested sovereign oil fund SOFAZ, which has assets in excess of $35 billion (about 60 percent of estimated 2015 GDP)," said the message.

    The agency expects SOFAZ assets to decline to $33 billion in 2015 from $37 billion in 2014. This partly reflects the pronounced depreciation of the euro against the dollar (SOFAZ's assets are primarily invested in foreign fixed-income securities with about 30 percent of total denominated in euro) and a roughly $2 billion allocation for the financing of the aforementioned consolidated deficit, according to the agency.

    SOFAZ's assets will gradually return to growth from 2016 onward as oil prices start to recover.

    Azerbaijan's GDP is expected to reach $53 billion till the end of 2015 with an increase of 2.2 percent, $65 billion in 2016 (an increase of 2.5 percent), $73 billion in 2017 (an increase of 2.7 percent), $80 billion in 2018 (3.2 percent increase), according to the report of Samp;P.

    8
  • Hot weather to continue in Azerbaijan till August 5
    01.08.2015 12:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142342.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142342.jpg
    Hot weather will continue in Azerbaijan till August 5, temperature will reach 43 C in some places.

    "Water level is expected to reduce in Kura, Araz and Ganikh rivers, as well as in some mountain rivers due to dry, hot weather in Azerbaijan," Senior hydrologist of the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Asif Verdiyev told APA.

    He said that water level sharply reduced in mountain rivers: "The process of drying up is not recorded in the rivers that are under observation. The process of drying up is mostly observed in large river-beds."

    The senior hydrologist said that hot weather will continue in Azerbaijan till August 5.

    Verdiyev noted that temperature in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and some lowland regions will be 35hellip;40 C in the daytime, 43 C in some places.

    The temperature in Baku and Absheron peninsula will be 35hellip;39 C in the daytime, 40 C in some places.
    12
  • 3 Azerbaijani resorts may add to European Association of Historic Thermal Spas
    01.08.2015 12:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142341.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142341.jpg
    European Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) sent its experts to Azerbaijan to assess the countryв's potential.

    The Ministry of Culture amp; Tourism of Azerbaijan informs that on July 22-29 Michel Thomas Pinet and Ahmet Hikmet Shakhin studied the possibility of country's participation in EHTTA's project "Thermal Routes".

    "We estimated thermal sanatoriums Istisu in Masalli, YengicЙ™ in Gabala and QalaaltД± in Shabran, which generally conform to the European standards, although they have their own specifics. The Culture amp; Tourism Ministry wants to expand sanatoriums' capabilities due to their joining the Association, and for that purpose we'll prepare and present a certificate and submit it to the EHTTA Technical Committee. Only after that the registration of membership will begin," Pinet said following the visit.

    In turn, Shakhin underlined the great potential of thermal tourism in Azerbaijan.

    "The only challenge today is to attract qualified doctors to Azerbaijani sanatoriums," Shakhin said.
    24
  • SOCAR-Georgia denies robbery news
    01.08.2015 12:04
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142340.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142340.jpg
    The shop of the SOCAR gas filling station at Moscow Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia has not been robbed.

    The press service of SOCAR-Georgia states that the robbed object was a small shop near the petrol station and it does not belongs to the company, according to Report.

    Some Georgian media disseminated reports that an unknown person entered a SOCAR filling station shop with cold arms and stole GEL 800-900 (USD 350-400) in cash.
    17
  • Russian airborne troops to build up combat potential to counter new threats
    01.08.2015 11:36
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142339.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142339.jpg
    New threats and challenges of Russiaв's security require a buildup of combat potential of the countryв's airborne troops, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu said on Friday.

    "The country's leaders and the defense ministry are sparing no effort to further build up combat potential of the airborne troops. It is a necessary measure stemming from the international military and political situation, new threats and challenges to our state," Shoigu said at a gala party on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of Russia's airborne troops, ITAR TASS reports.

    The minister thanked Russia's paratroopers for their courage and heroism. Their merits to the fatherlands will never be forgotten, he stressed.

    "It is a great honor for us to have such attention from the country's leadership and the army command we have always enjoyed," Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of Russia's airborne troops, said. "Over a short span of time, the airborne troops have made a real spurt to take a worthy place in our armed forces."

    The Airborne Troops Day is traditionally marked in Russia on August 2. On that day in 1930, a team of 12 paratroopers were for the first time parachuted during military exercises near the city of Voronezh in southern Russia. Now, the strength of Russia's airborne troops stands at about 45,000 men.
    12
  • Iran, Armenia prioritizing documented evidence in treating Araz River
    01.08.2015 11:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/20/Araz_river_201112_11.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/20/Araz_river_201112_11.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    An official with the Iranian Environment Department has said the country is taking measures to rely evermore on documented evidence in approaching river treatment and protection, especially in the case of the Araz River.

    Araz is a river in and along the countries of Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. It drains to the south side of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and then joins the Kura River, which drains to the north side of those mountains.

    Recently there were worrying reports that the river's pollution has caused health issues in nearby areas and that Iran has started a special monitoring operation of the river.

    Iranian MP Kamaladdin Pirmoazen said in early July that waste material from Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant and aluminum plant pollutes the river and pose threats to the wildlife and people living in the surrounding areas.

    Iran and Armenia have boosted mutual cooperation on monitoring the river, witnessed by the launch of a joint committee for decision-making regarding the river, Shina Ansari, director of Pervasive Monitoring at Iran's Department of Environment told Trend July 29.

    She added the joint committee has prioritized gathering documented evidence on the sources of pollution affecting the river.

    Last year Iran bought three highly advanced and very expensive devices for testing the heavy metal and pesticide content of the river's water in three provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil which are situated along the river, Ansari stated.

    However, she reminded, the Department of Environment monitors the river in terms of more traditional pollutions, and issues like radioactive pollution are defined by the law as the task of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

    Ansari made these remarks in reaction to reports that nuclear waste from Armenia dumped into Araz River has caused serious health problems for people living in lands along the river.

    Mohammad Javad Soroush, director of the Iranian Environment Department's Water and Soil Office said early July that there have been reports claiming nuclear and aluminum waste from the neighboring country Armenia is spilled into the river and has caused a hike in cancer rates in people living around the river.

    Edited by CN

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    9
  • 5 die as "Opel" hit truck in Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 11:03
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142338.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142338.jpg
    5 died as a result of the traffic accident on Baku-Guba highway.

    The Ministry of Emergency Situations stated that 112 hotline received information that "Opel" hit "Mercedes" truck parked on the side of the road on the 45th km of Baku-Guba highway.

    As a result of the crash, 5 passengers of "Opel" died of various injures on the spot.

    Rescuers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations arrived at the scene, removed 5 bodies from the car and handed over appropriately.
    15
  • Armenia violates ceasefire using mortars and large-caliber machine guns
    01.08.2015 10:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142337.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142337.jpg
    Armenian armed forces violated ceasefire with Azerbaijan 120 times in various directions along the frontline from 60mm- and 82mm-caliber mortars and machine guns within a day, said Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, APA reports.

    Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Gizilhajili and Ferehli villages of Gazakh district from the positions in Berkaber village of Armenia's Ijevan district, Shavarshavan village of Noyemberyan district, positions in Kokhanebi village of Tovuz district from the positions in Chinari village of Berd district, positions in nameless uplands of Gedebey district from the positions in nameless uplands of Krasnoselsk district.

    The Azerbaijani positions were also fired from the positions near Talish, Tapgaragoyunlu, Gulustan villages of Goranboy, Goyarkh and Chayli villages of Terter, Yusifjanli, Shikhlar, Shuraabad, Javahirli, Sarijali, Novruzlu, Garagashli and Bash Gervend villages of Aghdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Ashagi Seyidahmedli and Ashagi Abdulrahmanli villages of Fuzuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil district and nameless uplands of Goygol, Goranboy, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
    21
  • Threefold drop in medicine prices expected in Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 10:26
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142581.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142581.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The Azerbaijani government has decided to strengthen state control over the pharmaceutical market in the country in an effort to regulate this important social segment of economy.

    The Tariff Council has reduced prices for over 250 names of medicines on July 30, which will ultimately cut overall prices in the market.

    During the first phase, prices were confirmed on more than 250 of the most popular and essential brands for 25 medicines. The new prices for these medicines will come into force from September 15. A list of these medicines is available on theВ Councilв's website.

    State regulation will reduce the price of medicines more than two or three times, Shahin Mustafayev, Economy and Industry Minister and Chairman of the Tariff Council, said in an interview in the official press.

    "First and foremost, in accordance with the instructions of President Ilham Aliyev, the Tariff Council considerably reduced the cost of medicines. Thus, the costs of 20 percent of medicines has fallen by more than three times, more than 40 percent of medicines are now cheaper by more than twice,'' he noted.

    The prices of 90 percent of medicines so far have lowered, while the rest remain unchanged, the Minister said.

    Mustafayev noted that price controls will ensure transparency and every citizen will then know the exact price of medicines.

    ''In general, the regulation of prices for the bulk of medicines will be completed by the end of this year,'' said Mustafayev.

    "Regulation of prices for medicine will allow citizens to purchase it in all pharmacies and at the same and optimized prices. Thus, the issue of artificial price increases are removed. In addition, the cost of medicines would be also available not only on packaging, but also at the relevant websites and in the media, which will allow increasing public control over prices,'' the minister explained.

    ''At the same time, these reforms would reduce costs for citizens who need medications, strengthen state regulation of the medical products market, and create additional opportunities to address tax evasion.''

    ''On the other hand, it will reduce expenditures of the state budget, and will contribute to the insurance system by reducing the cost of insurance companies. Finally, importers will be forced to import medicines at more affordable prices, and competition among pharmacies will proceed from price into quality, which ultimately lead to improved quality of services,'' Mustafayev stressed.

    He also noted that the control of medicine prices would be provided by the relevant government agencies for monitoring and inspections.

    Legal measures will be taken against companies that do not indicate prices on the medicines or if the drugs are sold at higher prices than was approved.

    In addition, the Minister said the controls would extend not only for prices but also for quality.

    He noted that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Tariff Council does not limit the import of medicines into the country.

    ''Under existing law, any drug, regardless of the country of manufacture, after registration by the Health Ministry can be imported into the country. The new solutions, in turn, regulate the selling prices of medicines,'' he said.

    He added that currently the country has registered more than 4,500 brands of more than 20,000 types of medicine. The number of medicines with regulated prices will increase in the future.

    Medicines prices are compared with their minimum prices in at least 10 countries, which means that the process of regulating costs takes time. For this reason, the government has chosen to start with regulating essential pharmaceuticals first.

    At the same time, the Minister noted that after each drug is approved, the information will be posted in the media, on the website of the Economy and Industry Ministry (www.economy.gov.az), the Tariff Council (www.tariff.gov.az) as well as on a special website of the Health Ministry (www.pharma.az).
    11
  • Erdogan: Daesh actions bear no relation to Turkey
    01.08.2015 10:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/erdogan_240415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/erdogan_240415.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Daesh's actions bear no relation to Turkey's "religion, morality, conscience or culture" Anadolu Agency reported

    Erdogan, addressing Indonesian students at a Jakarta conference on Turkish foreign policy, said that both Turkey's and the international community's security is under threat today due to the situation in Syria.

    He added that the regime of Bashar al-Assad had tried "dirty methods" - including chemical weapons, ballistic missiles and terrorist organizations - in a struggle against its own people.

    "The terrorist organization Daesh is a product of such a perception, such a project. This organization's actions bear no relation to our religion, morality, conscience or culture," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan added that accusations that Turkey was a "transitional" country for foreign fighters to join Daesh in Syria were "disturbing" and "baseless claims".

    "We, from the beginning, want nothing but peace, prosperity and tranquility for the whole Middle East," he said, adding: "The allegations against Turkey about foreign fighters acting in Syria are totally baseless."

    Turkey shares an 900 kilometer (560 mile) border with Syria. Turkish officials have repeatedly said Turkey is cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters into volatile neighboring states.

    Erdogan called for closer cooperation against xenophobia, discrimination and Islamophobia.

    "Recently, discriminatory actions in Europe against Muslims make us sad," he said. "Turkey, which has five million citizens living in Europe, is the country most affected by such negativity."

    With the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, the Mediterranean Sea had become "the most problematic area in the world, instead of being a sea of peace," Erdogan told the students.

    Turning to Turkey's bid to join the EU, Erdogan said Turkey had reached the democratic standards of the union. "That is why we can stand strong against all the threatening and chaotic environments that are circling our country," he said.

    He ended by vowing to fight terrorism "even if Turkey stands alone battling it".

    Follow us on Twitter @
    11
  • Reconstruction at Kazakhstanв's intв'l airport
    01.08.2015 10:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Construction started at the airport of Kazakhstan's Petropavlovsk as part of a reconstruction project, said the Civil Aviation Committee of the Kazakh Investment and Development Ministry.

    In this regard, at present all the flights to and from this airport are suspended until the end of the construction season.

    The full reconstruction of the airport is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

    After the reconstruction, the airport's runway will be capable of receiving the A-320-200, A-310-300, Boeing 767-200/300, Boeing 757-200/300 aircraft without any restrictions.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    9
  • Iranian delegations to visit Indonesia
    01.08.2015 09:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 21

    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    Three Iranian delegations in progressive science and technology, banking, and oil will visit Indonesia to boost bilateral cooperation in the post sanctions era.

    Expectations are for the sanctions imposed on Iran to be lifted by the end of current year, and European delegations, headed by top officials, have been visiting Iran intensively.

    A German delegation visited Iran last week, while delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties in coming weeks.

    IRNA quoted Fortuna Anwar, the senior adviser to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla Dewi on July 31, saying that the first Iranian delegation will visit this country to negotiate in the oil sector. The agency also quoted Iran's ambassador to Jakarta Valiollah Mohammadi as saying that a delegation from the Central Bank of Iran also will visit Indonesia soon.

    Iran's president kicked off his trip to Indonesia on April 21 to attend a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Asia Africa Conference. Just a year ago, Iran announced that it was preparing to build five refineries in Indonesia, aimed to diversify Iran's oil export.

    The head of Iran's Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters Union said last April that Iran would build a heavy oil refinery with a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of crude oil in addition to five smaller refineries with daily production capacities of 30,000 to 50,000 barrels of gas condensates in Indonesia. The total refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day would be fed by Iranian crude oil and gas condensate.

    Almost all of Iran's crude oil export goes to Asian markets: including China, India, Japan and South Korea.

    Iran's oil export has decreased from 2.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2011 to about 1.1 mb/d currently due to western sanctions. However, in the light of rising hopes of resolving Iran's nuclear dispute through negotiations, Iran is preparing to boost its oil production and export.

    Iranian oil firm Nakhle Barani Pardis and Indonesia's PT Kreasindo signed a $3 billion agreement last February for the construction of six refineries. Nakhle Barani Pardis has reportedly accepted to finance 30 percent of the refinery to be built at Banten or another location in West Java. Iran's Press TV reported then that the projects were set to start in 2015 and would take an estimated three years to complete.

    However, during Rouhani's visit to Indonesia to take part in the 5-day conference, the country's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh didn't accompany him. Despite this huge project, which creates opportunity for Iran to increase its oil export as well as benefits from a country that relies on one third of its needed liquid fuels from imports.

    A strong economy, population growth, and continued state subsidy for fuels have worked together to push domestic oil demand beyond supply in Indonesia.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
    16
  • President congratulates Swiss counterpart
    01.08.2015 09:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142330.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142330.jpg
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the president of Switzerland Simonetta Sommaruga on the national holiday of her country.

    According to Oxu.Az, the letter reads:

    "Dear Mrs.President, Azerbaijani people join me as I extend our sincerest congratulations to you and, in your face, your people on the national holiday-the Day of Confederation. I am confident that we will further spare no effort for development of the Azerbaijani-Swiss relations, strengthening of friendly ties, expanding cooperation in all spheres. On this remarkable day I wish you a sound health and happiness and lasting prosperity and welfare to the friendly people of Switzerland".
    8
  • Russian Foreign Ministry calls US sanctions 'a provocation'
    01.08.2015 09:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142331.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142331.jpg
    The US authorities have chosen confrontation.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on new sanctions imposed on Russian by the United States.

    Oxu.Az reports citing Gazeta.ru that, according to the Ministry, Washington's actions prove that the US authorities have chosen confrontation.

    "By imposing new sanctions against Russian citizens and companies, the United States demonstrated that they had chosen confrontation", the message states.

    The Foreign Ministry recommended to 'think over such provocative actions which do not only undermine the Russian-American relations but also hinder interaction and resolution of other global problems". It is noted that Russian will not keep such actions unanswered.
    7
  • Three militants killed in eastern Turkey
    01.08.2015 09:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142328.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142328.jpg
    Three militants were killed Friday in clashes with security forces in Agri province, eastern Turkey, sources said.

    Security sources told Anadolu Agency that members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist group and affiliated Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) were killed in clashes with Turkish security forces, after Agri police staged an anti-terror operation in Fevzi Cakmak neighborhood, sources said.

    Turkey has launched its anti-terror crackdown following the July 20 Suruc bombing that killed 32 activists and the attacks on security forces in the following days.

    Ankara has detained more than 1,300 suspected supporters of groups such as Daesh and PKK -- recognized as terrorist groups by Turkey, the EU and the U.S. -- as well as launching airstrikes in Daesh in Syria and the PKK in Turkey and northern Iraq.
    12
  • Prime Minister alters rules of considering cases on anti-monopoly law offenses
    01.08.2015 09:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142329.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142329.jpg
    Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade has introduced alterations to the Rules of considering cases on violation of anti-monopoly law.

    According to Oxu.Az, the information was provided by sources in the Cabinet of Ministers.

    In line with the alterations, from now on in case of failure of the people who violated the anti-monopoly law to pay a fine or financial sanction either fully or partially, the anti-monopoly structure shall pass a decision on submission for the execution of the demand about mandatory payment of the fine or financial sanction or their unpaid part and send it to the executive officials for implementation of the decision in a mandatory way.

    The anti-monopoly structures earlier could file a claim to the court against these persons in case of their failure to pay or partial payment of the fine.
    9
  • Death toll reaches 3 in New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak
    01.08.2015 08:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/07/USA_America_Ambulance_080712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/07/USA_America_Ambulance_080712.jpg
    Another person has died from Legionnaires' disease in New York City as the death toll from the outbreak has reached three, the York City Department of Health told Sputnik.

    The total amount of infected people has reached 57, the Department of Health confirmed.

    On July 10, 2015, the first cases of people that have contracted the Legionnaires' disease were reported. The disease is transmitted through fine mist.

    The outbreak is localized in the South Bronx area of the city, where officials are flushing water towers with fresh water in order to reduce potential exposure.

    On Thursday, the New York City Health Department announced it is interviewing patients and reviewing records to determine whether cases share a common exposure.

    The city officials underscored that New York's water supply remains intact and most residents are not at risk of contracting the disease.

    New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said on Thursday that the disease is very treatable with common antibiotics.

    The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends New Yorkers who experience symptoms as such as fever, cough, chills and muscle aches should to seek medical help immediately.

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    22
  • Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: U.S. pretending to be "global custodian" of human rights evokes irony
    01.08.2015 06:56
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''''Deep concern'' of the U.S. Department of State, aimed at interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan is another vivid example of double standards''

    Baku - APA. Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hikmet Hajiyev has commented on the statement of the U.S. Department of State regarding Azerbaijan, APA reports.

    Hajiyev said that the "deep concern" of the U.S. Department of State, that is turning a blind eye to a number of cases causing concern in the region, as well as flagrant violations of human rights like brutal beating and arrest of peaceful protesters, politicizing any particular criminal case, is another vivid example of double standards and aimed at interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan.

    "The rule of law has been fully provided in democratic Azerbaijan and no one is persecuted for his political activities and opinions. Such biased statements on any criminal case without the judgment of the court are nothing more than unwarranted interference in its course.

    Ironically, the "deep concern" of the U.S. State Department has never covered the mass violation of rights of more than one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons deprived of fundamental rights as a result of the Armenian aggression.

    The U.S. pretending to be a "global custodian" of human rights in the background of the police brutality and systematic racial discrimination that engulfed the whole country, long-term extrajudicial detention and tortures in Guantanamo prison, eavesdropping operations carried out across the country and even against its close allies at the global level by ignoring its obligations arising from the universal declaration on human rights, as well as its commitments undertaken within the framework of international organizations, including OSCE, and in violation of other countries' sovereignty, the extrajudicial killings through drones and such a number of other problems only evokes irony", said Hikmet Hajiyev.

    Bureau of Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of State expressed its deep concern over restrictions on the activities of civil societies in Azerbaijan, arrests of journalists and activists and urged the Azerbaijani authorities to respect the universal rights of citizens.
    19
  • SBS comments on reports of Russian border guardsв' illegal crossing into Azerbaijani territory
    01.08.2015 06:56
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku. Agha Jafarli '" APA. Azerbaijanв's State Border Service (SBS) has commented on reports of some Russian border guardsв' illegal crossing into Azerbaijani territory and opening fire.

    Reports of Russian border guards' crossing into Azerbaijani territory and opening fire at Caucasian mountain goats are untrue, the SBS press service denied in a statement to APA, adding that no incident at all has taken place at the Azerbaijan-Russia border.
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  • State Dept. approves $5B military sale to Saudi Arabia
    01.08.2015 04:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/10/trend_gosdep_usa_.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/10/trend_gosdep_usa_.jpg
    The U.S. State Department. has approved a $5.4 billion sale of military equipment and related items to Saudi Arabia, according to the Pentagon, Anadolu reported.

    The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a written statement that Congress has been notified of the possible sale of Patriot missiles, associated equipment and logistical support, that awaits approval.

    "The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," the statement said.

    It added that the sale would "modernize and replenish" the kingdom's current Patriot missile stockpile and "support current and future defense missions and promote stability within the region".

    The timing of the sale was "notable", according to some media reports, due to Defense Secretary Ash Carter's visit to Saudi Arabia last week.

    Carter's Mideast trip was considered as a way to try to sell the recently signed Iran nuclear agreement and calm concerns of the region's states, including Saudi Arabia.

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    49
  • Small plane crash in south England kills 4 on board: media
    01.08.2015 00:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/small_plane_30032015.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/small_plane_30032015.jpg
    A small plane Friday crashed into a car auction site in Blackbushe Airport in south England's Hampshire, killing all the four people on board, Xinhua reported.

    A pilot and three passengers died after the crash, Britain's Sky News reported quoting anonymous source.

    "Blackbushe Airport confirms that a Phenom 300 Jet with four persons on board crashed near the end of the runway around 3:09 p.m. while attempting to make a landing," a spokesman for Blackbushe Airport said in a statement.

    "The scene was attended by Blackbushe Fire and Rescue within minutes, followed by Hampshire fire, police and ambulance units. Emergency services are currently controlling the scene," the statement added.

    Hampshire Police said road closures were in place and ambulance and fire crews were also in attendance.

    "We're dealing with an air emergency incident at Blackbushe Airport. Please avoid the area if you can," Hampshire Police tweeted.

    The Hazardous Area Response Team of South East Coast Ambulance Service tweeted earlier that initial reports suggested there might be four casualties, but the number has not been officially confirmed by British authorities.

    Aerial footage and photos posted on social media show that the plane crashed into and damaged multiple cars on the ground before bursting into flames.

    The Farnborough-based Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed it has sent a team to investigate the aircraft accident.

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    49
  • Turkey shifts from Europe to Asia
    31.07.2015 23:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey no longer dreams today of joining the European Union, a dream that they cherished for many years.

    The Turkish government in recent years has repeatedly stated that the EU carries out the policy of double standards against Ankara. These statements are becoming justified.

    This attitude has led to the fact that Ankara had to reconsider its priorities with respect to the EU. The fact that along with the continuation of negotiations on EU accession, Turkey has not stopped the search for alternative structures is a good example of that.

    Against the background of negotiations on accession to the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to China that Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    This statement indicates that Turkey is no longer interested in the EU as before. Earlier, one of the most powerful figures of Turkey's political elite, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that Turkey's accession to EU has lost its attractiveness for the country's citizens.

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

    What does EU lose by refusing to accept Turkey's membership?

    First, Turkey is one of the most powerful militaries in the region. Moreover, this country has a rapidly growing economy. That's to say, as distinct from several EU members, Turkey is not a country with poor economic conditions.

    Moreover, Turkey aims to become the region's energy hub and we can say that it has partially achieved this goal over the past 13 years.

    Moreover, Turkey is a secular Muslim country which allows it to play an important role in the interfaith dialogue.

    Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir previously urged EU to start a new phase of talks that began in May 2015.

    Earlier, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy amp; Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that the European Commission is considering the issue of modernization of EU-Turkey Customs Union.

    Indeed, the modernization of this union is more important than starting the economic dialogue between the two sides.

    Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and therefore, it is obliged to reduce customs duties for EU countries. In addition, the EU and the US intend to sign Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement which will first of all damage Turkey's interests.

    Once this agreement signed, the US products will be delivered to Turkish markets free of duty which means billions of dollars of loss for Ankara.

    The negotiations on TTIP started in July 2013 and nine rounds have been held to date. It is expected that the US and EU will resolve the issue of signing the TTIP agreement.

    That's to say, Ankara well understands that alongside with benefits, the accession to EU is also fraught with serious risks for its economy.

    ---

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

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    32
  • Post sanctions Iran must redefine its economy
    31.07.2015 21:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    An Iranian former top oil official believes that Iran should redefine its economy in the post sanctions era.

    Expectations are that sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted by the end of the year, and European delegations, headed by top officials, have been visiting Iran intensively. A German delegation visited Iran last week, while delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties in coming weeks.

    Iran hopes to attract about $600 billion in investment for its energy-related projects mid-term.

    This is while, 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 cost of suspended projects in 2015 is estimated to reach about $200 billion.

    "In fact most OECD members are now contemplating their relationship with post sanction Iran. To the best of my knowledge the EU is already more creative and is trying to redesign its economic relationship with a post sanction Iran,' Fereydoun Barkeshli, the former general manager of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in OPEC and International Affairs told Trend July 31.

    "I believe that the West is doing its job with re-engaging in Iran well but my worry is that on the domestic side in Iran we are not preparing ourselves for a post sanction relationship with the world. The way I see it now a pond is going to connect with an ocean. This is not easy. The world does not restart where we left it. We have to redefine our economy too. As for oil and gas, we created a review committee and a group of experts are taking time to redraft the contracts and a kind of strategic approach has been adopted. This needs to be done for the entire economy".

    Iran had also defined a long-term (20-25 years) new model contract that it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) to replace the old, less popular buyback agreements to attract foreign companies. However, it's not clear whether IPC could compete with production sharing agreements (PSA) that is popular with companies, but is banned in Iran.

    Barkeshli who is a member of Iranian team in drafting the IPC, believes that "In 2012 Iran stood at 137 among 183 countries that were evaluated for investment risk by the International Bank for Resettlement. In 2013 the same ranking was maintained because of UN sanction that did not allow any inflow of capital into Iran. However in 2014 the bank decided to do a ranking despite continuous sanction where Iran's standing was raised to 121, a 16 point improvement from two years before. We have not seen any new rankings from international banks or institutions for 2015 yet. However most observers expect a positive jump".

    Barkeshli says, "I do not personally see a very big jump though, because Iran's economy needs to be rewardingly accessible. Iran is now already a big producer of many industrial products. Iran is the fifth largest automobile producer in the world. As such Iran does not want to import finished goods that are already produced but technology, know-how, management and capital plus access to world markets to export with the help of western companies. This is something that will not come in easily and can not get a big share of EU's $250 Billion foreign investment".

    The European Union has put about $250 billion direct investment abroad in 2014, while the total amount of global foreign direct investment was about $1,600 billion.

    On the other hand, Iran has tens of billion dollars of blocked assets abroad.

    Barkeshli, who is currently a private energy consultant and president of the Vienna Energy Research Group says, "I am afraid Iran will have a good chance of converting her assets abroad into capital goods. Most host countries prefer to barter the money with consumer goods".

    "Iran's total GDP stands at around $400 Billions. This puts Iran at 31st largest economy in the world. Iran has to urgently enter $1000 Billions nations club in order to be among the top twentieth. If this objective materializes, Iran can expect to attract some 20-25 percent of the EU's foreign investments on a regular basis. However, we have to note that Iran is now the last remaining greatly populated country with a large and diversified economy".

    The former top oil official added that Iran has easy access to several neighboring countries to export goods and services and integrate into a large economic block. "For this Iran will need some 6-7 percent of continuous GDP growth rate. then Iran could join as the seventh member of the BRICS, perhaps: IBRCS", he said.

    Edited by CN

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    61
  • US resumes duty-free import of Azerbaijani goods
    31.07.2015 20:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/cargo_airport_260713.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/cargo_airport_260713.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani exporters will be able to import goods in the territory of the United States on preferential terms or without paying customs duty until 2018, said the message of Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), published July 31 on its website.

    The changes are provided in the act adopted by the US Congress to extend the program "Generalized System of Preferences" (GSP).

    This act extends the right to use the GSP program until December 31, 2017, said the message. The act came into force on July 29, 2015 and these benefits will be also applied to goods imported into the United States since the period of the loss of power of the previous act [July 31, 2013]. Accordingly, the exporters will be able to get back the customs duties paid for goods delivered to the US in the period from July 31, 2013 to July 29, 2015, said the message.

    GSP program promotes economic development by eliminating duties on up to 5,000 types of products when imported from developing countries. Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include most manufactured items, many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone, jewelry, many types of carpets and certain agricultural and fishery products.

    Edited by CN

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    22
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