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Bets on for who will be next pope
14.02.2013 09:55
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.

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  • Azerbaijani MP addresses letter to PACE President
    18.04.2015 12:43
    Member of the Azerbaijan Delegation to PACE, MP Elkhan Suleymanov has addressed a letter to President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mrs. Anne Brasseur, APA reports.In his letter, Elkhan Suleymanov said that he was perplexed by a press release entitled "PACE President welcom...
  • Armenians violate ceasefire
    18.04.2015 10:32
    Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions a total of 36 times at different sections of the front.Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions in Kemerli village of Gazakh from their posts in Doveh village of Noyemberyan re...
  • European Free Alliance must renounce ties with separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh - Azerbaijani foreign ministry
    18.04.2015 09:25
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18Trend:European Free Alliance, demonstrating commitment to its values, must first renounce any ties with the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Hikmet Hajiyev said Apr.17, the ministry reported.Follow us on...
  • Iran students, teachers protest Saudi aggression
    19.04.2015 04:31
    Iranians have held yet another rally in the country's capital in condemnation of Saudi Arabia's aggression against Yemen, Press TV reported.

    The protest saw students and teachers gathering in front of the United Nations headquarters in Tehran and urging international organizations to act in order to stop the killing of innocent civilians.

    "The killing of children in Yemen should be condemned," shouted protesters.

    "In the demonstration, we have tried to show our growing discontent to the world and to support the defenseless people in Islamic countries," said one female student.

    People in Iran have staged several protest rallies against the Saudi onslaught that has left nearly 2,700 people dead since March 26.

    On Saturday, students also rallied in front of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, calling for it to be shut down.

    Saudi Arabia started military aggression against Yemen, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.

    The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought clearances to dispatch medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea to civilians in need.

    Iran has offered a four-point peace initiative to resolve the country's crisis. The provisions stipulated in the plan comprise cessation of all foreign military attacks in Yemen, swift transference of humanitarian aides, resumption of national-Yemeni talks, and formation of comprehensive unity government.

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  • Russia to supply S-300s to Iran despite Israelв's objections - deputy defense minister
    19.04.2015 02:31
    Russia has no international restrictions on supplies to Iran of S-300 air defense missile systems, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Saturday on the Ekho Moskvy radio, pishet TASS.

    "S-300s are not offensive armaments. These are defensive air defense systems. The US admits that the S-300s do not fall under the UN ban," Antonov said.

    "Why can't we supply defensive weapons to someone?" he asked.

    At the same time, he said he talked to an Israeli representative and that the latter said Israel is against supplies to Iran of such systems for Iranian nuclear facilities to be open "to any actions" on the part of Israel.

    On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to lift the ban on S-300 deliveries to Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said April 13 that Russia's voluntary embargo on deliveries of S-300 missile systems to Iran is no longer needed due to progress in the resolution of the situation around Iran's nuclear program.

    US President Barack Obama admitted Friday that he was "surprised" that Russia had not resumed its supplies of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran earlier.

    "I'm frankly surprised that it [the ban on S-300 deliveries to Iran] held this long, given that they were not prohibited by [UN Security Council] sanctions from selling these defensive weapons," he said.

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  • 'Our door is still open to Armenia,' says Erdogan
    19.04.2015 01:51
    Turkey is ready to cooperate with Armenia should it take "positive" steps with regards to so-called "genocide" allegations as well as to a dispute with Azerbaijan over the region of Karabakh, Turkey's president has said Saturday, Anadolu reported.

    "Our door is still open to Armenia," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the inauguration ceremony of various facilities in the northwestern Turkish province of Kocaeli.

    "We are ready for any kind of cooperation with (Armenia) if they take positive steps on the so called 'genocide' allegations," said Erdogan.

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

    Erdogan said that nearly 80,000 Armenians lived in Turkey - most of them illegally, he underlined.

    "They receive free education, they are involved in trade, they work in the public sector (...), they benefit from all the rights other citizens have," he said

    "Politicizing this issue, while pulling off it from the historical basis, will damage mostly Armenians," he added.

    He also reiterated that historical documents about the events were open to all for analysis and called on Armenia and other countries to open their archives, if they had any.

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

    Erdogan also criticized Selahattin Demirtas, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party co-chair, who did not sign a joint statement condemning the European Parliament's resolution.

    The ruling AK Party and two main opposition parties, Republican People's Party and Nationalist Movement Party, issued a joint statement on Thursday to strongly condemn the European Parliament's recent resolution terming the 1915 events "genocide."

    The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted against the Empire. The relocation by the Ottoman Empire of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties.

    Erdogan also addressed the Karabakh region issue.

    "We are ready to meet and talk with Armenian politicians, who show courage and will, but first the Karabakh dispute has to be resolved," he added.

    Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet republics, fought a war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the 1990s.

    Turkey has supported Azerbaijan in its struggle against Armenia over the disputed region and aims to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

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  • Iraq: Blasts kill 13, injure 38
    19.04.2015 01:11
    Thirteen people, including five Iraqi police officers, were killed and 38 others injured in separate violent incidents in Iraq, security officials said Saturday, Anadolu agency reported.

    Blasts occurred in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and in the province of Diyala on Saturday.

    According to Baghdad security sources, one Iraqi police officer was killed and four others were injured when an improvised explosive device went off in the Arab Jabbar area in southern Baghdad.

    Another eight people were killed and 29 others injured in separate roadside bomb explosions in al-Kifah, al-Jadida and Zaferanieh districts of eastern Baghdad.

    A third blast killed four police officers and injured five people in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, regional security sources said.

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  • Italy looking forward to removal of Iran sanctions
    18.04.2015 23:49
    Italy said on Saturday it is waiting for the removal of sanctions that have been imposed on Iran so as to return to the country's lucrative market, Press TV reported.

    Paolo Pistelli, the Italian deputy foreign minister, told a conference in Rome that a final comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran will turn the country into "a market everyone is waiting for".

    "Italy will have numerous economic opportunities in Iran in all categories of products," Pistelli told the conference held at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). "This is because we have a creative and productive economy".

    The official further emphasized that there is already a huge consumer market in Iran, adding that Rome is "very interested" in realizing when and how the new opportunities for businesses are created in the country.

    On the same front, Licia Mattioli, the deputy director of the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confidustria), has emphasized that Italy can compensate a loss of as much as euro;8 billion in exports to Europe once the doors to the Iranian market open as the result of the final nuclear deal.

    "Undoubtedly, once the sanctions against Iran are removed, the Confidustria would immediately act [over investing in Iran]," Mattioli said.

    Over a week of talks between top diplomats of Iran and the P5 1 in the Swiss city of Lausanne culminated in a joint statement on April 2 in which the sides said they had reached understanding over solutions to move ahead toward drafting a comprehensive nuclear agreement before June 30. A key point of Lausanne statement was a promise to lift a series of economic sanctions on Iran once the sides reach the final nuclear deal.

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  • Yemen crisis: Saudi Arabia pledges $274m to meet UN call for aid
    18.04.2015 22:20
    Saudi Arabia, which is leading an air campaign against rebels in Yemen, has pledged to provide exactly the amount of emergency aid to the country as called for in a UN appeal on Friday, BBC reported.

    The official Saudi news agency said it has promised $274m (pound;183m; euro;255m) in humanitarian aid.

    Yemen has been wracked by fighting between Houthi rebels and government troops.

    The UN says 150,000 people have been displaced by fighting.

    It also says 12 million are short of food.

    Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced the aid late on Friday, saying his country would "stand fully by the brotherly people of Yemen".

    A Saudi-led coalition has been launching air strikes against the rebels in 18 of Yemen's 22 provinces, exacerbating an existing humanitarian crisis.

    The UN said 731 people had been killed and 2,754 injured - many of them civilians - in three weeks between March and April. The numbers were likely to be an underestimate, it warned.

    A land, sea and air blockade has made it hard not just to assess the damage but to get aid to where it is needed, the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher says.

    Even before the current conflict, 15.9 million people - 61% of the population - were estimated to require some kind of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

    Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is fighting both the rebels and government troops, has also exploited the chaos gripping the country.

    AQAP fighters took control of a massive weapons depot in the eastern Hadramawt province on Friday.

    Earlier this month, they seized an airport in southern Yemen, and overran the port city of Mukalla.

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  • Iraqi forces retake most of Iraq's largest refinery: officials
    18.04.2015 21:25
    Iraqi forces retook most of the country's largest refinery from Islamic State on Saturday, security officials said, reversing gains by the militants who seized parts of the sprawling complex this week, Reuters reported.

    The insurgents attacked Iraq's Baiji refinery a week ago by blasting through the security perimeter around it and taking over several installations, including storage tanks.

    A spokesman for Iraq's counterterrorism forces told Reuters troops protecting the refinery had now retaken most facilities, although there were still small pockets of insurgents left on the site.

    "We expect to regain full control within a couple of hours," Sabah al-Noamani said.

    Iraqi forces retook Baiji refinery from militants once before last November, but lost control of it again.

    Islamic State insurgents suffered a major defeat this month when Iraqi troops and Shi'ite paramilitaries routed them from the city of Tikrit, but struck back at Baiji and in the western province of Anbar.

    Thousands of families have fled Anbar in recent days as Islamic State militants gained on Ramadi and local officials warned the city was about to fall.

    Two members of the Anbar provincial council and police Major Khalid al-Fahdawi who is stationed inside Ramadi said reinforcements were on the way and the city was no longer in immediate peril.

    "The danger is still there, but the situation is better than yesterday," provincial council member Sabah Karhout told Reuters.

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  • Afghanistan suicide blast kills 33, targets government workers
    18.04.2015 20:37
    A suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad killed 33 people and injured more than 100 on Saturday outside a bank where government workers collect salaries, the city's police chief said, Reuters reported.

    Police were investigating whether there was a second explosion after people rushed to the scene to help, the police chief, Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, told a news conference.

    "It was a suicide attack," Sherzad said, adding police had yet to determine if the attacker had worn the explosives or had placed them in a car. "It is early to say what kind of suicide bomber."

    Taliban insurgents denied responsibility. The militants, who were ousted from power by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, rarely claim attacks that kill large groups of civilians, saying their activities are restricted to foreign or Afghan military and government targets.

    "It was an evil act. We strongly condemn it," the Islamist militants' spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Reuters.

    Police said another blast that shook Jalalabad was a controlled detonation after experts discovered a further bomb close to the scene of the first explosion.

    Local media reported a former spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for bombings in the eastern city on behalf of the Islamic State in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    The spokesman could not be reached and his connection to the group could not be verified by Reuters.

    Elsewhere in the east, the Taliban announced the execution of three men accused of murdering a couple during a robbery, saying they had been tried by an Islamic court.

    The killing was carried out in front of a crowd by Taliban fighters who fired at the men with AK-47s, according to a Reuters witness. Footage seen by Reuters show the men were made to sit on the ground with their eyes blindfolded and their hands tied at the time of their execution.

    "(They) killed a female doctor and her husband ... inside their house and then they took all their assets, jewelry and cash," the Taliban said in a statement.

    The executioners, one stood behind each man, also had their faces covered, and were dressed in white salwar kameez and turbans. After the initial shots were fired, one continued to shoot at the bodies while the crowd of villagers cheered.

    This is the first year Afghan forces are facing the Taliban with very limited international support on the ground, although help with intelligence and special operations will continue through 2016.

    On Saturday, parliament approved the nomination of 16 ministers, leaving only the position of defense minister vacant because the president and his coalition have been unable to agree on a candidate.

    The vacancy has frustrated military officials who say the army has been left rudderless in the face of escalating violence by the Taliban.

    NATO, which at its peak had 130,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, has only a small contingent of around 12,000 troops left and most are involved in training.

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  • Iran starts testing Iraq gas pipeline
    18.04.2015 19:52
    Iran has moved closer to starting crucial natural gas exports to Iraq, Press TV reported.

    The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said on Saturday that preliminary tests have been carried out over 50 kilometers of the final stretch of the pipeline which has been installed to take gas to Iran's western neighbor.

    The next test will be carried out over the remaining 47 kilometers of the pipeline - that runs from Charmaleh in Iran's Ilam province and ends in the border city of Naftshahr - in the near future, NIGC added.

    Exports will accordingly start once the final test over the remaining part of the pipeline is carried out, Shana news agency reported.

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  • Turkish consulate comes under Molotov attack in Greece
    18.04.2015 19:17
    The Turkish Consulate General building in the Greek city of Thessaloniki was struck by Molotov cocktails several times during a demonstration against high-security prisons Friday night, consulate sources told the Anadolu Agency.

    At least two people, including a woman passerby were injured in the attack.

    Greek police had not intervened when a group of protesters moved from the city center towards the street, where the consulate general was located.

    The protesters turned violent and hurled more than 10 Molotov cocktails at the Turkish Consulate General building and at policemen stationed there. The outer wall of the consulate building, a police booth and a bus near the consulate were damaged in the incident, consulate officials told AA.

    A police car also caught fire in the attack, they added.

    The protesters were demonstrating against high-security prisons and intended to show solidarity with hunger strikers at such institutions in the country.

    The police booth in front of the Turkish Consulate General has been attacked at least nine times before.

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  • Iran ready to work with Australia against terrorism: Rouhani
    18.04.2015 18:26
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to cooperate with Australia in the fight against terrorism, Press TV reported.

    "Iran is ready to cooperate with all countries, including Australia, in the fight against violence, extremism and terrorism," Rouhani said in a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Tehran on Saturday.

    Describing terrorism as a major threat, Rouhani urged all countries to adopt a unified and timely approach toward the scourge of terrorism and acts of oppression against defenseless people regardless of ethnic, religious or racial issues.

    Touching on the war in Yemen, Rouhani said the crisis in the Arab country could only be settled through a political solution not through the bombardment of civilians.

    Iran is ready to cooperate with other countries to help end the bloodshed in Yemen, the Iranian president added.

    Saudi Arabia's air campaign against Yemen started on March 26, without a United Nations mandate, in a bid to restore power to the country's fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

    According to reports, over 2,600 people, including women and children, have so far lost their lives in the attacks.

    Regarding negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, Rouhani said a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5 1 group would benefit the Islamic Republic, the six world powers as well as the region and the entire world.

    The Australian foreign minister, for her part, said Tehran and Canberra have a joint approach to helping the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIL terrorists, adding that the two countries believe the Iraqi government needs international support to defeat the terrorists.

    ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country's Sunni Arab heartland. Iraqi soldiers, backed by volunteer forces, have been engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of areas they have seized.

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  • Iranian president says more effort needed to deal with terrorism
    18.04.2015 16:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says more effort is needed to deal with terrorism in the region.

    In a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Tehran, Rouhani said that eliminating intellectual and economic roots of terrorism needs more effort, Iran's IRIB reported on April 18.

    To this end, Iran is ready to cooperate with all countries, including Australia, to combat violence, extremism, and terrorism, Rouhani said.

    "We should make all governments and nations to act against terrorism and aggression free from their race and religion," he added. To resolve different problems, political and logical approaches should be taken advantage of, he said, adding that the crisis in Yemen will be resolve through political negotiations, not through bombing defenseless people.

    Rouhani said Apr.9 that Yemeni people will not give up in the face of air strikes, calling for ceasefire and end of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition's military operation.

    He called the military operation a wrong option which has already failed in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, warning the countries involved in the coalition of the sequences of their approach towards Yemen.

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  • Iranian ambassador meets Russian communication minister
    18.04.2015 16:16
    Tehran, Iran, April 18

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei met Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov in Moscow.

    The two sides reviewed the current status of mutual cooperation and discussed further cooperation in space technology, Internet services, related projects and investments, Fars news agency reported April 18.

    During the meeting, the Russian official pointed to Iran's progress in developing its capabilities in communications and space technologies.

    He concluded that international sanctions imposed on Iran couldn't restrain the country from developing its capabilities.

    Iran is closing in on a deal with world powers to end crushing international sanctions on the country.

    Tehran and P 5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) reached a framework agreement on Apr.2 that envisions a comprehensive deal by July 1 which would lift the sanctions in return for limiting the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

    Nikiorov added that in his future visit to Iran, Tehran's cooperation with leading Russian companies will be discussed and formerly signed contracts will be pursued.

    Besides Russia, Iran has been working with Azerbaijan in ICT and space.

    During the meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Professor Ali Abbasov on Feb.24, Iran's ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi said that a preferential agreement, the draft of which was signed by President Hassan Rouhani in his previous visit to Azerbaijan, will pave the way for mutual trade and support Iranian and Azerbaijani tradesmen in terms of price.

    Azerbaijan and Iran are cooperating in the field of postal services as part of a memorandum between the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Iran signed on March 10, 2009.

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  • EU, UK should make statement on Azerbaijani refugees '" Foreign Ministry
    18.04.2015 15:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18


    EU and UK, which have made a statement on the court decision on Rasul Jafarov, should also make a statement on Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend Apr.18.

    Story still developing

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  • New telephone company created in Turkmenistan
    18.04.2015 15:06
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr.18

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    A closed joint-stock company "Ashgabat shaher telefon ulgamy" (Ashgabat urban telephone network) has been created in Turkmenistan.

    The company has been created in accordance with the decree of the country's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov.

    The founders of the company are Turkmenistan's Ministry of Communications (30-percent share) and Turkmen Telecom state-owned telecommunications company under the Ministry of Communications (60-percent share).

    The joint-stock company has been created in order to implement the national program for socio-economic development of Turkmenistan for 2011-2030, increase the effectiveness of the enterprises in the national economy, to create favorable conditions for the market relations and further improve the communications sphere, said the document.

    Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said that as a result of the complex modernization and diversification of the industry infrastructure, using of the advanced equipment, ramified system of communication, television and radio communications, digital broadcasting operate in the country.

    "High-quality communication services, as well as high-speed channels to connect to broadband Internet and data transmission are ensured," said the newspaper. "Laying of transnational fiber-optic communication lines continues with the aim of expanding the interstate telephone traffic."

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  • $274 mln in aid for Yemen
    18.04.2015 14:50
    On Saturday, Saudi Arabia announced $274 million in humanitarian aid for the chaos-wracked country.

    King Salman ordered an issue, followed a UN appeal Friday for $274 million (253 million euros) to provide emergency assistance to the millions affected by the conflict.

    The kingdom "stands with its Yemeni brothers" and hopes for "the restoration of security and stability," it said, quoting an official statement.
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for Apr.13-17
    18.04.2015 14:21
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $61.99 per barrel on Apr.13-17, or $2.45 more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $64.61 per barrel and the minimum price was $60.08 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $58.07 per barrel or $2.41 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $61.24 per barrel and the minimum - $55.42 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 $58.78 per barrel or $2 per barrel more than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $61.78 per barrel and the minimum - $57.13 during the reporting period.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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  • Samsung removes logo
    18.04.2015 14:21
    Samsung removed its corporate logo from its new smartphones sold in Japan.

    The name Samsung is missing on both the Galaxy S6 and its curved-edge variant, the Galaxy S6 Edge.

    These models are presented as Docomo Galaxy and au Galaxy, carrying the names of its associated Japanese telecom service providers.
  • At least 30 people killed
    18.04.2015 14:06
    At least 30 people killed at suicide bomb attack on a bank branch in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

    Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar province, said on Saturday that more than 80 people were also wounded in the attack in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

    "There are reports of many wounded people in critical condition at the hospital," Abdulzai said.

    The attacker detonated an explosive-laden motorcycle, targeting a crowd of both military personnel and civilians who were gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. The bank branch is located in the heart of a crowded commercial district, Abdulzai said.
  • The Press and Journal: What happened in Aghdam is genocide against Azerbaijanis
    18.04.2015 14:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Anahanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    What happened in Aghdam is a genocide against Azerbaijanis, said an article published in Scotland's leading quality daily newspaper The Press and Journal.

    "Personally, I am in no doubt that what happened to the Azerbaijani people in Aghdam and other towns was genocide," said in his article the author, who visited the Azerbaijani town of Aghdam occupied by the Armenians. "Little wonder Aghdam has been dubbed the "Caucasian Hiroshima.""

    "I was headed to the infamous town of Aghdam which up until 1993 had been a thriving town in Azerbaijan, population 40, 000," said the author. "It's now a ghost town, devoid of all human life. My driver started to get nervous, even though he knew exactly where he was taking me. Total devastation is all around. As we ventured deeper into the town, my driver got more and more nervous, those 20 Euros he had been happy about getting now seemed to be not worth it."

    The article said that the only thing left standing is the central Mosque.

    "I asked him to make his way there," the author said. "He kept driving while repeating, "No good my friend, no good." A hundred meters from the Mosque, he killed the engine and I got out. Looking around I saw no one, there was an eerie calm. I walked up to the Mosque, bullet holes and pieces of it lying on the ground. I stepped inside where I encountered a distinct smell of animal manure. Totally derelict, its once stunning interior stripped of everything sacred. I cannot imagine the heartache this must cause for people who once lived and worshipped there. I climbed the inner stairs, my every step making a loud crunching sound. From up high, I looked out over the deftly quiet ruined town."

    The author thinks that the Armenian people themselves are very uncomfortable about what happened here. "Aghdam is not something they are proud of and don't talk about it," the author said.

    "I took photos, but didn't stay long as my increasingly nervous driver pointed to his watch, indicating that's enough, let's get out of here," the article said. "As I've already mentioned, going to Aghdam would soon turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life. I had been followed and photographed there. In fact, as I later found out, I had been followed all week. The very people I thought I had talked with and asked questions, had in fact been asking me questions and reporting back."

    Recently, the official newspaper of Bashkortostan (Russia) published an article by Elsa Baymuhametova "One homeland for two states" that encourages separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The author's report reflects only the point of view of Karabakh separatists regarding the history of the conflict, and today's Nagorno-Karabakh is described in very optimistic colors. The article of the Scottish newspaper completely contradicts the rainbow story of the Bashkir reporter, describing the real situation on the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

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

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


    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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  • Mubariz Ahmedoglu: Armenian army reminds of prison conditions
    18.04.2015 13:52
    ''Situation in the Armenian army reminds of prison conditions,'' the Director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told SIA commenting on mass violence against soldiers and dedovshchina in the Armenian Army.

    According to political analyst, Armenian Army is in disgrace. The army has been turned a training place of criminals.

    ''Armenia's aggressive policy and army comprehend that they do not have enough strength and capacity to struggle with Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan begins war, Armenia unconditionally to be defeated.'' added Mubariz Ahmedoglu.
  • West uses Armenians in its own interests '" Turkish parliament speaker
    18.04.2015 13:52
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18


    The West uses Armenians in its own interests, Turkish parliament speaker Cemil Cicek said.

    He said that despite all efforts of Ankara, the West doesn't want to know the truth about the 1915 events, TRT Haber TV channel reported Apr.18.

    Story still developing

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  • International conference on the science and practice kicks off
    18.04.2015 13:46
    A conference devoted to the Azerbaijani National Leader Heydar Aliyevв's 92th anniversary and ''The so called ''Armenian Genocide'': false and slanders ; Turkish-muslim genocide: facts and realities'' has today kicked off at Azerbaijan University.

    SIA informs that the official of the Department on Social Political Issues of Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Republic Vugar Salimov, Rector of Azerbaijan University Farid Ahmadov, Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences Yagub Mahmudov, Chairman of ''Support for the youthв's scientific researches'' Social Union Mammadali Babashli, Head of the ''Ses Media Group'' , doctor of philosophy Bahruz Guliyev attend the conference.

    The conference begins with playing of National Anthem of Azerbaijan.

    Then Rector of Azerbaijan University made an opening speech of the conference.

    Participiants of the conference spoke about a significance of discussion such actual issues and facts.

    Note that, the conference is being carried its work out in sectors. At the end of the conference it will be addressed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
  • No plan for docking Iranian warships in Yemen
    18.04.2015 13:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    The Islamic Republic's warships have no plan to dock in Yemen ports, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said.

    He further said that the Islamic Republic Navy has a "powerful" presence in the Gulf of Aden, expressing hope that the gulf's security will be safeguarded with help of entire countries in the region.

    Iran has dispatched its 34th fleet to the Gulf of Aden in line with international efforts to combat piracy, Sayyari said, Iran's Fars news agency reported April 18.

    He also rejected reports that the Saudi Arabia has warned Iran's fleet.

    No warning was made against Iranian navy, he said, adding the Islamic Republic navy does not enter any country's territorial waters without permission.

    "We do not tolerate any threat or warning while our ships have the right for presence in the high seas under the international laws," Sayyari underlined.

    Deploying Iran's warships to the Gulf of Aden came while Saudi Arabia-led coalition has started strikes over Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels' positions in Yemen.

    Earlier in March sources claimed that Egyptian warships had warned off Iran's 33th fleet out of the Gulf of Aden. That day Sayyari rejected the reports. The 33th fleet arrived home early in April after 77 days on the sea.

    The Gulf of Aden has been growing in sensitivity since Yemen engaged in domestic crisis. Western media and Arab states claim Iran has a hand in the developments, but Tehran denies that.

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  • Iran showcases domestically-developed defense systems
    18.04.2015 13:30
    Tehran, Iran, April 18

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    The Iranian Army has introduced several new, domestically-developed defense systems and weapons.

    The Army's Khatam ul-Anbiya Air Defense Base showcased its latest achievements during the Army Day parade in Tehran, Tasnim news agency reported April 18.

    The following is the list of the items on show:

    middot; S200 missile, for targeting flying objects and guided missiles

    middot; Talash missile system with long range and the ability to be synchronized with existing ground-to-air systems

    middot; Jooya radar system, introduced within Mersad missile system, capable of fighting flying objects at low and mid altitude as well as ballistic missiles

    middot; Kavosh radar, another part of Mersad missile system

    middot; Hadi radar, another part of Mersad missile system

    middot; Hog TLV missile, for targeting low and mid-altitude objects

    middot; Rapier missile system, providing low-altitude defense, suitable for securing refineries and nuclear facilities, upgraded with Iranian expertise

    middot; Ya Zahra missile system, for destroying flying objects with different velocities

    middot; Shoulder-launched missile Misaq, infrared homing, suitable for targeting low-altitude blind spots

    middot; DZ intelligence system for collecting Alient system's signal data

    middot; Baser-2 eavesdropping headquarters vehicle

    middot; Toposcatter telecommunication system capable of communicating up to the tropospheric layer

    middot; Rasul communication system for communicating missile sensor and radar data with commanding headquarters

    middot; Fakoor updated communication system, capable of receiving, processing, and transferring data according to up-to-date methods

    middot; Shahab communication system for secure, long-distance communication

    middot; Central communication system for communicating with military and civil aircraft

    middot; Fath-2 radar system

    middot; 10-Shahrivar passive radar system

    middot; Kheibar reconnaissance system

    Over the past decades, the Islamic Republic has domestically increased its military capabilities under international pressure.

    Despite international concerns, Tehran has frequently asserted that its military power serves defense exclusively and would be at the service of regional stability.

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  • Turkey not in hurry to join EEU
    18.04.2015 13:30
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Anahanum Khidayatova - Trend:

    The expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Turkey contributes to economic development and increase of competitiveness of member countries of this alliance on the world market, the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) told Trend Apr.18, commenting on Turkey's possible joining the EEU.

    The press service said that Turkey is an important trade partner of the member countries of the EEU.

    "However, to date, the Eurasian Economic Commission has not officially received any documents from Turkey regarding the creation of a free trade zone," said the press service. "The trade turnover of the EEU with Turkey exceeded $35 billion. Turkey ranks sixth among the largest trade partner countries of the EEU."

    On Apr.17, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that the EEU will create opportunities for the Turkish business to enter the new markets.

    Commenting on the readiness of the EEU to accept new countries into the alliance, the press service said that the Eurasian Economic Union is an open integration association, which is ready for economic cooperation with all interested countries that share its aims and principles, on the terms agreed by the member states.

    "The process of integration rapprochement between the EEU and the countries concerned can have different formats, namely the signing of the memoranda of cooperation in various spheres of economy, creation of a trade dialogue between the EEU and the third countries, free trade zone, joining the EEU," the Eurasian Economic Commission said. "The Article 108 of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union clearly regulates the sequence of steps for accession to this union. In order to get the status of the candidate state for accession to the union, the interested country sends a relevant appeal to the chairman of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council."

    Currently, the number of the countries which have officially expressed desire to develop the trade and economic relations with the Eurasian Economic Union in the format of the free trade zone agreement, exceeds 30.

    "It doesn't mean that such agreement will be automatically signed with all of these countries," said the Eurasian Economic Commission. "Based on the official application of a country, a joint research group is created to examine the expediency of signing a free trade agreement between the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and the applicant country."

    Based on the results of the analysis, the sides jointly make a decision on the expediency of starting the official negotiations on creating a free trade zone, said the Commission. "To date, official decisions have been made to create such research groups with Vietnam, Israel and India."

    Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed a Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union in May 2014 in Astana. The treaty entered into force on Jan.1, 2015. The creation of the Eurasian Economic Union allows to bring the member states of the former Customs Union, the total GDP of which accounted for 85 percent of CIS GDP, to a higher level of integration. Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union on Jan.2.

    The Eurasian Economic Union covers one-seventh of the land area in the world and currently, produces 4 percent of the world GDP.


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  • Time ripe for Iran and Australia to boost relations-Zarif
    18.04.2015 12:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that time is ripe for Iran and Australia to boost bilateral relations.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Zarif said that the two countries have always had economic and political relations. "The relations have seen ups and downs, but, now it is time to raise bilateral relations to a higher level," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Zarif as saying on April 18.

    One of our most important concerns is the illegal migration of Iranian nationals to Australia through contraband networks, Zarif said, emphasizing the need to deal with the issue.

    Bishop, for her part, said she discussed the IS(Islamic State) conflict and asylum seeker issues, as well as human rights with her Iranian counterpart.

    Iran and Australia have a significant trading history and the lifting of sanctions on Iran could create new opportunities for Australian business.

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  • How much a country costs in Europe?
    18.04.2015 12:43
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:

    Today, under the conditions of the global economic crisis, one very often expects to stumble upon such an announcement: "There is a country for sale in Europe. Not expensive!" Of course, it's a joke, however, there is less and less logic in the activities of the European Union in general and of some EU member states.

    While Europe's energy security depends on such countries as Azerbaijan and Turkey, EU makes thoughtless decisions, for instance, as the latest document of the European Parliament on the "Armenian genocide".

    However, the latest remarks by one of the key transit countries of Azerbaijani gas to Europe - Greece - suggest that there is no unity in EU. As Spiegel wrote, Russia and Greece plan to sign an agreement, under which Moscow will allocate up to 5 billion euros as prepayment for gas transit to Athens for construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Moscow to get this money. Apparently, this is how much Athens' consent costs to cooperate with Moscow and to reject all-European interests. It is obvious that Greek government, which has made a lot of promises, tries to resolve its financial problems. But will these 5 billion euros help Greece which has hundreds of billions of debt? It's not even a question.

    Naturally, it is time for Brussels to think over the integrity of the union, called the European Union. At the same time, it should take a number of important steps. First of all, it is related to approval of the deal on acquisition of Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by SOCAR.

    In the current circumstances the European Commission's doubts regarding compliance of the transaction with the regulations of the EU on competition look at least funny. The question is: will there be competition if Russian Gazprom gets DESFA? The current development of events points namely at this fact.

    What will Azerbaijani company get from the transfer of DESFA? The first and foremost, it will allow competitors of Gazprom to control the transport infrastructure in Europe. Russia may build the Turkish Stream gas pipeline till the border with Europe (between Turkey and Greece), however further it will have to use either the TAP gas pipeline (operated by a consortium of European companies) or internal gas transport infrastructure of Greece - DESFA (SOCAR expects approval of the deal with it).

    Today, the countries of Eastern and Southern Europe in the first place expect alternative (to the Russian) gas. Namely these countries are the most vulnerable ones during the current crisis, and the Russian pressure is exerted namely on them. Along with the traditional set of commonalities in history, religion and other things, and Moscow is now using the most effective tool - money. Countries having really huge debts need them currently because they have to pay in time of crisis and low income. Of course, the success of this process for Russia has decreased significantly due to the crisis in Ukraine and has very alarmed Eastern Europe. However, that doesn't concern Greece, apparently.

    Currently, the government of this country chooses with whom to be - with Europe or Russia. One can recall that Ukraine also had a similar issue before the conflict.

    Seymur Aliyev is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service

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  • Azerbaijani MP addresses letter to PACE President
    18.04.2015 12:43
    Member of the Azerbaijan Delegation to PACE, MP Elkhan Suleymanov has addressed a letter to President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mrs. Anne Brasseur, APA reports.

    In his letter, Elkhan Suleymanov said that he was perplexed by a press release entitled "PACE President welcomes Armenia's steady advancement on path of reform", as published on behalf of Anne Brasseur on the official PACE-website on April 15.

    The letter says: "In this press text you mention twice so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", in these wordings, whereas the PACE - organisation which you officially represent - repeatedly confirmed in its leading bodies to officially mention this so-called conflict as "the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other territories of Azerbaijan".

    We do realize that your Secretary-General Mr Sawicki, as head of the PACE-administration being editor-in-chief of all PACE press texts, keeps denying clear decisions by PACE-bodies in this regard. Until today, indeed all PACE press releases on this issue mention the Armenian formulation, not the PACE formulation (which is also complying with formulations by other international organizations!).

    As you will for sure remember, the precise wordings of the title of a report on this issue were the object of a very intense and long-lasting debate within the PACE's Bureau, as every single word has indeed its political importance for all parties concerned in this delicate issue. Eventually the following formulation was adopted with large majority in the Bureau: "(Escalation of violence in)hellip; Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan".

    On 17 March in Paris an Armenian representative in the Monitoring Committee, as well as according to the information obtained from media, Armenian President, Speaker of the Parliament, and other officials during your official visit to Armenia between 13-15th April tried to reopen the debate, by attacking you and to change this formulation again, so-called lsquo;simplifying' it into "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", precisely as you formulate in your press release! A similar Armenian attempt few weeks before in Strasbourg, within the Political Affairs Committee, was also turned down with an overwhelming majority.

    All these Armenian attempts in Bureau, Political Affairs Committee and Monitoring Committee to deny reality of armed occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijani territories eventually only resulted in a waste of precious time and energy within these PACE bodies. But apparently you, as President of PACE, only you keep advocating publicly the Armenian thesis, going straight against clear decisions by all these leading PACE bodies.

    In the same yesterday's press release however, you emphasized, and I quote: "As President, it is my duty to guarantee the implementation of decisions taken by Assembly bodies". You do understand how perplexed I am by your openly contradictory attitude.

    Therefore, allow me to strongly call on you and on your authority as President, to correct the above-mentioned press release and to have all future PACE press texts on this issue complying with the PACE Bureau's formulation.

    Allow me to remind you that you have the power to overrule your Secretary-General as editor-in-chief of PACE press releases, who's aim is clearly to implement his private Armenian-inspired political agenda through these one-sided and incorrect press texts, thus affecting your good name as President and the good reputation of PACE.

    All of us know that PACE home page press releases - not being officially approved PACE documents, but written under the absolute control of just one single man! - have often more impact on public opinion than huge reports and tough resolutions, so let's be very serious about this!

    In general, as President you are for sure aware that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should not undermine its credibility by using contradictory political terminologies on any delicate topic. You will for sure agree that uniformity in PACE's political terminology, complying with official PACE decisions, is essential in this respect.

    Finally, I thank you in advance both for your answer, which will be clarifying for sure, as for truly ensuring very precise implementation of decisions taken by Assembly bodies on this issue in the future".

    Copies of the letter were also sent to all PACE Bureau members, PACE Secretary General Mr. Wojciech Sawicki and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr. Thorbjoslash;rn Jagland.
  • Four British sailors charged
    18.04.2015 12:32
    Four members of the British navy have been charged by Canada over sexual assault causing bodily harm.

    The men were charged Thursday for their role in a ''group sexual assault'' in barracks in Shearwater, Nova Scotia last week, according to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

    Prosecutor Scott Morrison said the British sailors were in Nova Scotia playing in a hockey tournament with Canadian armed forces. They were identified as Craig Stoner, 24; Darren Smalley, 35; Joshua Finbow, 23; and Simon Radford, 31.

    Morrison said the victim was 21 years old but could not provide any further details.
  • Luxembourg to host meeting of EU and Eastern Partnership foreign ministers
    18.04.2015 12:26
    The meeting will be held on April 20.

    On April 20, Luxembourg will host the meeting of foreign minister of the EU and Eastern Partnership countries as part of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to be chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, APA reports.

    The Council will begin with a strategic and comprehensive debate on EU relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, the situation in Libya and Yemen, including the Iranian nuclear programme negotiations.

    Later on, EU foreign ministers will meet their counterparts from Eastern Partnership countries and discuss preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit which will take place on 21-22 May in Riga.

    The Azerbaijani side will also join the event.
  • Supplying S-300 system to Iran would restore Russiaв's ''reliable ally'' image
    18.04.2015 12:16
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    After long-run disputes over delivering S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran finally Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on April 13 to lift the ban over delivering the system.

    The decree issued short time after Iran and the P5 1 (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) reached a framework agreement on Tehran's nuclear program on April 2.

    In the middle of all this, the borders between the two opposing blocs-headed by Tehran and Riyadh- in the Middle East are much clearer now and the Islamic Republic expects more significant supportive steps from its traditional ally-Russia.

    Russia signed the contract in 2007 to sell Iran five S-300 ground-to-air missile systems. The $800-million contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran was cancelled in 2010 by then Russian then President Dmitry Medvedev, falling in line with the UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program.

    Lifting the ban over delivering the S-300 system to Iran has a clear message from Moscow to its allies that Russia is a stable partner for its friends, Claude Moniquet, CEO of the ESISC (European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) believes.

    Russia made clear that it was in favor of a nuclear agreement. But it made clear also that this agreement (with an inspection process, etc.) would be the only thing it will agree with and that it will never accept any other limitation of power for Tehran, Moniquet told Trend April 18.

    In the other way Russia sent the message that will continue to support and defend Tehran-its long time partner- now that the country has accepted the nuclear agreement, the expert added.

    While responding a question about the effect of receiving the system in power balance in the region, Moniquet said that it will considerably increase the military power of Tehran, as the S- 300 system is an extremely good one.

    It could offer Iran a clear capacity to protect its infrastructures, including the nuclear ones, he underlined.

    The expert further said that receiving the missiles will help Iran to show itself as a regional power.

    "Iranians are today involved in several proxy confrontations with the Sunni powers of the area, and especially Saudi Arabia. The Nuclear agreement signed on April 2, if it is really installed, could be seen as a weakness signal. So I think that Tehran had the "necessity" to show that it is still a regional power and even that it wants increase its strength," he explained.

    Moniquet also believes that the Tehran-Moscow military deal can not be considered as a new militarization approach in the region.

    "The situation in the whole region (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, etc.) is already very tense and military forces took the advantage on politic forces a long time ago. This decision, in my view, will not really change this situation," he explained.

    He also stressed that the deal would not affect ongoing Iran-P5 1 nuclear talks.

    "The nuclear agreement is very fragile and is not perfect, but we need it," Moniquet said, adding "It is important to lower the tensions, I think and I hope that Tehran has not the idea to use this new step to protect its nuclear program and that the P5 1 will agree that, in a very tense and volatile environment, Tehran has the right to protect itself."

    It should be noted that Iran and the P5 1 have decided to strike a comprehensive deal by July 1. The deal provisions the removal of all international sanctions on Iran and in return narrowing the range of the country's nuclear activities.

    The US and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon, something that Iran denies.

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  • Azerbaijan and France may start cheese production
    18.04.2015 12:10
    The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a statement.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture Seyfeddin Talibov has met with the responsible Regional Adviser on Agriculture of Azerbaijan Embassy of France in Ukraine Nicolas Perrani, Oxu.Az reports referring to the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Seyfeddin Talibov gave detailed information about the fundamental changes that have occurred in the agricultural sector, particularly on the construction of e-agriculture, creating a seed fund, the identification and registration of animals, and added that cooperation in the production of cheese and butter, as well as in vitro fertilization is a priority.

    Guest said that during his stay in Azerbaijan he witnessed that the state pays special attention to the agrarian sector, noted that he is interested in cooperation in the field of manufacture of wine, meat and dairy products, phytosanitary, veterinary and stressed that he would make every effort to expansion of ties between the two countries.
  • Mubariz Ahmedoglu: Armenian army remind of prison conditions
    18.04.2015 12:05
    ''Situation in the Armenian army remind of prison conditions,'' the Director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told SIA commenting on mass violence against soldiers and dedovshchina in the Armenian Army.

    According to political analyst, Armenian Army is in disgrace. The army has been turned a training place of criminals.

    ''Armenia's aggressive policy and army comprehend that they do not have enough strength and capacity to struggle with Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan begins war, Armenia unconditionally to be defeated.'' added Mubariz Ahmedoglu.
  • Rouhani: Iranian army is a guarantor of peace in the region
    18.04.2015 11:59
    The Iranian president has spoken before the start of the military parade.

    Iran will fulfill its international obligations in the issues of developing nuclear energy and will continue talks on nuclear program for achieving a final agreement.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to TASS that the statement came from Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in his speech before the start of the military parade on the National Day of Army in Tehran.

    "Our armed forces are the guarantors of preservation and strengthening of peace in the region", the Iranian president said welcoming the servicemen before the start of the parade

    "The armed forces of the country are the biggest in the region, nonetheless, their goal is to maintain security rather than aggression against unarmed population. In this sense, Iran serves as an example to other countries".
  • Mubariz Ahmedoglu: Armenian army remind prison conditions
    18.04.2015 11:54
    ''Situation in the Armenian army remind prison conditions,'' the Director of the Center of Political Innovations and Technologies, political analyst Mubariz Ahmedoglu told SIA commenting on mass violence against soldiers and dedovshchina in the Armenian Army.

    According to political analyst, Armenian Army is in disgrace. The army has been turned a training place of criminals.

    ''Armenia's aggressive policy and army comprehend that it does not have enough strength and capacity to struggle with Azerbaijan. If Azerbaijan begins, Armenia unconditionally to be defeated.'' added Mubariz Ahmedoglu.
  • Erdogan to mobilize historians
    18.04.2015 11:46
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to discuss the 1915 events with historians and public figures of the country, the Turkish TV channel Haber7 reported Apr.18.

    Erdogan's meeting with historians and public figures will take place on April 21.

    At the beginning of the Mass, dedicated to the centennial of the so-called Armenian genocide, Pope Francis said on April 12 that in the XX century, mankind experienced three "big unprecedented tragedies" - the so-called Armenian genocide, Nazism and Stalinism. The Pontiff described the tortures endured at the beginning of the last century by Armenians, Syrian Catholics and Orthodox, Assyrians and Greeks, as "the first genocide of the twentieth century."

    Turkey later said that the statement doesn't mean anything for the country, and that Vatican unilaterally evaluates the events of 1915, turning a blind eye to the fact that these events led to death of both a part of the Muslim population of Turkey and representatives of other religious minorities.

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


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  • SOCAR gas filling stations increase in Georgia
    18.04.2015 11:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The company SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) has opened a new gas filling station in Georgia, said the message of SOCAR, posted on the company's website.

    The opening of the gas filling station in Tbilisi was attended by President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev.

    The message said that the new gas filling station has two gas compressor plants with a capacity of 250 kilowatts, connected to the central main gas line, which provides a continuous supply of gas.

    Thus, the number of gas filling stations under the SOCAR brand in Georgia has reached 26.

    SOCAR, the only producer of petroleum products in Azerbaijan, has two oil refineries, as well as gas filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

    SOCAR exported 1.2 million metric tons of petroleum products from Azerbaijan in 2014, compared to nearly 1.05 million metric tons in 2013.


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  • Iran unveils domestic-made defense missile system for first time
    18.04.2015 11:29
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran unveiled the long-range Bavar 373 air defense complex during a military parade.

    Bavar 373 air defense system is stronger than Russian S-300 missile defense system, IRNA reported Apr.18.

    Russia signed the contract in 2007 to sell Iran five S-300 ground-to-air missile systems. The $800-million contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran was cancelled in 2010 by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, falling in line with the UN sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program. In turn, Tehran filed a currently pending $4-billion lawsuit against Russia in Geneva's arbitration court.

    Then Iran announced that it is preparing to build its own defense missile complex domestically with name Barvar 373.

    Russia President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to lift the ban over delivering a long-overdue missile system S-300 to Iran on April 13.

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  • Iran holds parade on Army Day
    18.04.2015 11:29
    Tehran, Iran, April 18

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    The Iranian Army held parade on the occasion of the Army Day in capital Tehran.

    The parade was held on the premises of late leader Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini's mausoleum and was attended by President Hassan Rouhani.

    The ceremony included aerial showoff by the Air Force fighters which exercised aerial refueling, Fars news agency reported April 18.

    Also, a number of new product were unveiled during the ceremony.

    The products included Baher 23mm sniper rifle, Shaher 14.4mm sniper rifle, a superlight, tactical, rough-terrain vehicle, an armed robot, and a wheeled tank named Aqareb, IRNA news agency reported April 15.

    The rough-terrain vehicle is able to travel at 100 kmph on rough surfaces and at 130 kmph on gravel roads. It can also be equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun.

    The armed robot can be remotely guided and is able to carry out reconnaissance and battle operations, carry a load of 600 kilograms, and be equipped with a machine gun or defense missile.

    The wheeled tank comes with a 90 mm cannon and is equipped with state-of-the-art fire control systems.

    Amid growing regional tension, Iran claims its military power to have created an oasis of peace.

    The Islamic Republic has frequently asserted that its military achievements serve securing the region, despite concerns by neighbor countries.

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  • Azerbaijan increases import of fruit and vegetables
    18.04.2015 11:29
    Committee has disseminated an information.

    Azerbaijan has increased import of fruit, vegetables and butter, Oxu.Az reports with reference to the State Customs Committee.

    Thus, according to the Committee, in the first quarter of 2015 Azerbaijan imported fruits and vegetables in the amount of $ 21 513 420, which is $ 14 197 720 more than in the same period last year.

    Also in the first quarter of 2015 Azerbaijan saw an increase in imports of butter.

    According to the Committee, in January-March 2015, Azerbaijan imported butter in the amount of $ 7 662 010, and in the first quarter of 2014, the figure was $ 5 162 070.
  • Australian FM in Tehran to discuss ties, anti-ISIL campaign
    18.04.2015 11:18
    The Australian FM is in Tehran to discuss the ties and anti-ISIL campaign.

    Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop is in Tehran to discuss promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the fight against ISIL Takfiri militants, who are wreaking havoc in Iraq and neighboring Syria, Press TV reports.

    Bishop arrived in Tehran early on Saturday morning and was greeted by high-ranking Iranian officials upon arrival. She told media in the Iranian capital that it was "time for Australia and Iran to have this meeting."

    "Clearly Iran, through Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, agreed that it was time for an Australian foreign minister to visit this country. It's been some 12 years since an Australian minister was here," Bishop said.

    The top Australian diplomat is also expected to raise the repatriation of failed Iranian asylum seekers.

    "This is a good opportunity for both sides, which could usher in a new chapter in the relations between the two countries. The most important issue is to enhance bilateral ties," Iranian Ambassador to Australia Abdolhossein Vahaji said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Thursday.

    He added, "The issue of forced return of asylum seekers to Iran has not been portrayed correctly and it has only served domestic purposes," adding that the issue will not be high on the agenda of discussions over the expansion of relations in various areas such as economy, politics or culture.

    "Australia is a vast country and has a lot of potentials. On the other hand, Iran is ranked top 7 in the world in nano-technology, and we can cooperate with Australia in this field. Also in nuclear technology, Iran is very advanced and we can transfer our knowledge to Australia." He said.

    "Moreover, Australia has great uranium mines, which could help us in our peaceful energy program. Also in agriculture and combating drought, Australia is very advanced and we could use their expertise." Vahaji pointed out.
  • Iranв's army seeks to establish peace in region
    18.04.2015 11:12
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the country's army seeks to establish peace in the region.

    Addressing a ceremony to mark the National Army Day, Rouhani said that Iran's Army is a role model for mighty and peace-seeking armies in the region, Iran's state IRINN TV reported live on April 18.

    "But, this mighty army seeks to establish peace and security, not to attack on the oppressed and children," Rouhani added.

    Others should learn from the Iranian Army and do not seek to fuel discord in the region and do not attack on defenseless children and old people in Yemen, he added.

    "Attacking the oppressed will not bring honor for anyone," he said. "Why don't you extend the hand of friendship, brotherhood, and peace to other nations? What does the financial support of terrorists in Syria and Iraq mean?"

    On April 15, Rouhani said that the Islamic Republic is not trying to dominate the Middle East region.

    "Neither dominating the region, nor the Shiites' hegemony over the Sunnis are among Iran's purposes," Rouhani said.

    He further said that the Islamic Republic will continue to support oppressed people anywhere in the world.

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  • Uzbekenergo to build transmission lines for Lukoilв's largest oil refinery in Uzbekistan
    18.04.2015 11:12
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Apr. 17

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Uzbekenergo State Joint Stock Company will construct the external power supply facilities for the Kandym gas processing plant in 2015-2017, the Uzbek energy company's management told Trend.

    The Kandym gas processing plant is the largest investment project of Russia's Lukoil national company in Uzbekistan.

    "Two 220 kilowatt-high-voltage lines with a total length of 90 kilometers are the largest ones in the external power supply in this project," an Uzbekenergo representative said.

    The representative said that the construction will cost $58.8 million and will be financed through Uzbekenergo's own funds and loans from international financial institutions.

    It was reported that LUKOIL has been implementing the Kandym project since 2004 together with the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company as part of the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungrad PSA.

    Kandym group includes six gas condensate fields - Kandym, Kuvachi-Alat, Akkum, Parsankul, Khoji and Western Khoji. The production at Khauzak site started in autumn 2007.

    The project envisages the development of these fields and the construction of a gas processing plant. The gas processing plant with capacity of 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas a year will allow to process natural gas containing hydrogen sulfide from Kandym group of fields located in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan in order to obtain purified natural gas, stable gas condensate, as well as ball sulfur and granulated sulfur. The commissioning of the first phase of the gas processing plant is scheduled for July 2018.

    Lukoil has started the active phase of implementation of Kandym project in Uzbekistan. The first phase of the project is designed for production of 2.1 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Kuvachi-Alat field and the North Shady section of the Khauzak-Shady field and delivering gas to the Mubarek gas processing plant.

    Taking into account the development of the gas and condensate fields, the investments in the project are estimated at over $3 billion.

    Lukoil and the consortium of contractors led by Hyundai Engineering (South Korea) signed a contract worth $2.662 billion for equipment supply and construction of Kandym gas processing plant in February 2015.

    Currently, Lukoil works on the implementation of three projects in Uzbekistan - Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungrad, development of Southwest Hissar fields, as well as the geological exploration of the Uzbek section of Aral Sea as part of an international consortium.

    The company implements the mentioned projects under the terms of the production sharing agreement.

    Lukoil plans to produce at least 18 billion cubic meters of gas in Uzbekistan per year by 2016.

    The production at the fields in Uzbekistan totaled 4 billion cubic meters of gas and over 100,000 metric tons of liquid hydrocarbons in 2014, according to the company.

    Edited by CN

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  • Meeting with Turkish delegation held at Transport Ministry
    18.04.2015 11:06
    The Transport Ministry hosted the meeting with the Turkish delegation led by chief of department of the Turkish Ministry of Economy Ugur Ozturk.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to sources in the Transport Ministry that during the meeting Deputy Transport Minister Arif Asgarov informed about the work carried in road and transport complex as well as possibilies of cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the sphere of transport and perspective projects for development of transport links in the region.

    "During the meeting the sides discussed the issues of expanding the volume of cargo transportations from Azerbaijan to Central Asia via Georgia and Turkey. They also discussed the customs and border procedures, port services and offshore transportations and exchanged views around the use of the New Baku international trade sea port, possibilities of transportation of cargo cars of Turkey on ferry boats in a bigger volume, duties and tariffs and other issues related to facilitation of these transportation", the ministry reports.

    During the visit the guests familiarized with the respective infrastructural objects in the sphere of port and marine transportations, as well as the Baku international trade port and new Baku International Trade Sea port in Alyat.

    The meeting was also attended by representatives of the respective state structures.
  • Samedov beats Steve McKinnon in Dubai
    18.04.2015 10:50
    He won AED 1 mln.

    Azerbaijan K-1 fighter Zabit Samedov had his next fight.

    According to Oxu.Az, he took part in the semi-final Global Fighting Championship 4 Man Heavyweight Tournament, held in Dubai.

    The rival of Zabit was 38-year-old Australian Steve McKinnon.

    Having 52 battle on his account McKinnon scored 45 wins (40 by KO) and suffered seven defeats.

    Now McKinnon has 8 losses, as Samedov won a victory by decision of judges (see below video).

    A 30-year-old Azerbaijani fighter has 83 match in which he scored 73 wins (35 by knockout).

    Zabit Samadov received a cash prize of AED 1 mln (about $ 272,000).

    Finals will be held in December. The winner will receive $ 1 mln.
  • Conference on Armenians` genocide acts against Azerbaijanis
    18.04.2015 10:39
    A conference highlighting genocide acts perpetrated by Armenians against Azerbaijanis in the 20th century has been held at the Swedish Parliament, SIA informs with reference to AzerTac.

    Co-organized by Stockholm-based Azerbaijani Culture Centre, Azerbaijani-Turkish Association in Goteborg and the European Azerbaijan Society, the conference was addressed by chairman of Azerbaijani Cultural Society Samad Fartash who highlighted the importance and aims of the event.

    Rector of Turkish Giresun University Aygun Attar spoke about ''the horrible genocide acts'' perpetrated by Armenians against Azerbaijanis.

    Jewish Expert on International Relations Arye Gut provided an insight into the history of the Khojaly genocide, which he called ''a crime against humanity''. The expert said ''the government of Azerbaijan is making vital efforts towards promoting the world community`s awareness of the Khojaly genocide'', adding ''this has yielded results''. He applauded ''Justice for Khojaly'' campaign initiated by vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva. Mr Gut also cited the Israeli President who described what had happened in Khojaly as ''an act of genocide''.

    Other speakers included head of Working Group of the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons Firudin Sadigov, president of National NGO Forum Rauf Zeyni, and professor Karim Shukurov.

    The conference culminated with the adoption of an appeal to Swedish political parties, in which the undersigned protest ''indifferent attitude towards the violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the aggressive policy carried out by Armenia in the region''.
  • Turkmenistan ready for harvesting wheat
    18.04.2015 10:39
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr. 18

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov has instructed to duly prepare for the harvesting of wheat upcoming in the near future at a special meeting, the TV channel "Turkmenistan" said.

    He also demanded "to ensure full readiness of combine harvesters, vehicles, elevators and barns" in this regard.

    Turkmenistan plans to collect 1.6 million metric tons of grain in 2015.

    Turkmenistan began exporting surplus food grain abroad in 2011.

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  • Armenians violate ceasefire
    18.04.2015 10:32
    Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions a total of 36 times at different sections of the front.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions in Kemerli village of Gazakh from their posts in Doveh village of Noyemberyan region of Armenia, Azerbaijani positions in Agbulag village of Tovuz from their posts in Chinari village of Berd.

    In addition, Azerbaijani positions were fired from positions near Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy, Chileburt, Goyarkh, Chayli villages of Terter, Shuraabad, Javakhirli, Sarijaly, Shikhlar, Yusifjanly, Merzili villages of Agdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Ashaghy Seyidahmadli, Ashaghy Abdurrahmanli villages of Fizuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil, as well as the nameless heights of Goranboy, Khojavand, Fizuli and Jabrayil regions.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
  • Baku concerned about activities of Iranian companies on occupied territories
    18.04.2015 10:26
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov expressed concern about the activities of Iranian companies on the occupied territories of the country.

    Ali Hasanov made the remarks at the meeting with Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei, who is on a visit in the country, answering the question about the activities of Iranian businessmen on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

    He said that the Azerbaijani and Iranian sides try to eliminate these facts.

    The Iranian minister, in turn, said that Iranian state companies do not operate on the occupied Azerbaijani territories. It is possible that private companies are operating there, but the state does not make any investment there, said Rabiei.

    The bilateral agreement between the countries prohibits Iranian companies to operate on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, according to the Ambassador of Iran to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen. If such a case is detected, Iran will take the necessary measures, he said.

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

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

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  • Peopleв's artist Ramiz Mirishli dies
    18.04.2015 10:26
    The day before yesterday's was his 81 birthday.

    Popular Azerbaijani composer, people's artist Ramiz Mirishli died. reports with reference to APA that he died yesterday after 10 days spent in the hospital.

    A Farewell ceremony for the late composer will be held today, at 14:00 in Baku Music Academy.
  • MEPs call resolution on 1915 events 'unbalanced'
    18.04.2015 10:21
    As the European Parliament adopted a resolution Wednesday to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide," some MEPs have called the act "unbalanced." Anadolu Agency reported

    "I cannot say it (the resolution) was balanced," Greens lawmaker Ernest Maragall told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday. "Europe has to help to create the common table (and) the common scenarios where the Turkish people (and) the Armenian people could frankly explain themselves to each other and look for and understand reconciliation."

    Maragall added that one must distinguish between the Ottoman Empire and the current Turkish state, which has accepted more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

    "We should take into account that Turkey deserves respect and deserves recognition from European countries," Maragall said regarding the Syrian refugees in Turkey.

    The European Parliament first recognized the 1915 events as "genocide" in a 1987 resolution, which the parliament reiterated in a vote Wednesday -- the centenary of the 1915 events.

    Ismail Ertug, a member of the European Parliament for the Socialists and Democrats, told AA on Thursday that pressure for the "recognition of the Armenian genocide" in Turkey has not helped so far in bringing reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

    "There needs to be a common agreement in order for Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations," Ertug said. "Negotiations will not start and problems will not be solved unless there is confidence."

    Turkey has repeatedly rejected the EU's definition of the events and has said that Armenians died during a relocation process in 1915 during World War I, when a portion of the Armenian population, living in the Ottoman Empire, sided with the invading Russians and revolted against the empire.

    Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey has officially refuted Armenian allegations over the incidents saying that, although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.

    Opening archives

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

    Ertug said calls for establishing a joint historians' commission is a good idea, but that it is frozen if the calls are unanswered.

    "I think Turkey should not stop there," he said. "Turkey should go on with this process in a fair and impartial manner."

    'A tragedy'

    The European Commission has refused to call the 1915 events a "genocide" following the European Parliament's resolution.

    The European Commission, the 28-nation-bloc's executive body, referred to the 1915 events as a "tragedy."

    European Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva told the European Parliament on Wednesday that the EU "fully acknowledges the significance of the upcoming commemoration as well as the divergence of views over this tragedy."

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  • Iraq: Suicide attack kills 3 near US consulate in Erbil
    18.04.2015 10:20
    Two Turkish citizens were killed in a suicide bomb attack near the U.S. consulate in Erbil in the northern Iraqi Kurdish region, according to Turkey's Foreign Ministry in a statement early Saturday Anadolu Agency reported

    "Five people among the 10 injured are Turkish citizens and receiving treatment in hospital," the statement said, adding that DNA test are being conducted to provide positive identification.

    "Turkish citizens are receiving treatment in hospital and they were visited by our Erbil head consulate staff," the statement added.

    Friday's attack took place in front of a cafeteria frequently mainly visited by foreigners, said Ankawa Police Chief Jalal Habib.

    U.S. officials refused to confirm who might have carried out the bombing, but State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the attack was caused by a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device," and that no American embassy diplomats or personnel were injured.

    "We appreciate the rapid response of the Kurdistan Regional Government authorities to this matter and we will work with them to investigate the incident to determine the facts behind the explosion," the State Department said in statement.

    The Nili cafeteria, operated by Turkish citizens, was severely damaged.

    Twelve automobiles and 30 shops were damaged in the attack.

    Ahmet Husra, one of the cafe's workers, said one of the victims was Turkish.

    One U.S. citizen was also wounded in the blast, Erbil hospital officials confirmed.

    The victims could not be identified because of severe burns, officials said.

    According to the reports, Daesh claimed responsibility for the car bomb.

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  • Spiegel: Greece to sign EUR 5bn deal with Russia
    18.04.2015 10:16
    Greece is planning to sign an energy agreement with Russia early next week.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Spiegel-Online that the agreement can bring from EUR 3 to 5 to the bankruptcy threatened country.

    The funds will be received in a form of advance payment for the construction of the Turkish stream gas pipeline via Greece.

    The agreement may be signed on Tuesday.

    The contract details have been discussed during the recent meeting of Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras with President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

    The pipeline can be completed by 2019.
  • Council of Europe appoints new special representative for Central Asia
    18.04.2015 10:10
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Apr. 18

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    The Council of Europe has appointed Slovak diplomat Peter Burian as the EU special representative for Central Asia, the message of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) said Apr.17.

    The EU special representative for Central Asia focuses on political coordination of the EU in the region, monitoring the EU strategy and supporting regional security.

    Peter Burian, who got tenure on April 15, replaced Janos Herman, who had been in office since April 2014.

    Peter Burian has been the state secretary of the Slovak Foreign Ministry since April 2012, he had been the ambassador to the US and the representative of Slovakia to the UN Security Council, the EEAS said. His mandate will not expire until April 30, 2016.

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  • 3 dead after car slams into light pole in Baku
    18.04.2015 10:10
    The incident took place on Ziya Bunyadov Avenue, APA reports.

    "Lifan" car on Ziya Bunyadov Avenue moving in the direction of Gara Garayev Avenue with high speed collided with a light pole. The impact of the crash was so powerful that the vehicle shattered into 2 parts. 3 people in the car died on the spot, one person has injured seriously. The injured has been taken to the hospital by an ambulance.

    Police launched an investigation on the fact.
  • ''Active Family, Healthy Community''
    18.04.2015 10:04
    The Baku 2015 European Games has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote active and healthy living as a legacy of the Baku 2015 European Games between official partner Coca-Cola and the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education.

    The ''Active Family, Healthy Community'' (FASA in Azerbaijani) program is aimed at ensuring involvement of Azerbaijani people in regular physical activities.

    Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Azad Rahimov emphasized the importance of the social legacy that the European Games will leave: ''While the European Games is an indicator of the development of our country, it is important to note the strong inspirational power of the Games in encouraging our people, especially families, to do sports and lead active lifestyles.

    ''I believe that as a social legacy of the European Games, more and more people will be involved in active lifestyles and I would like to thank Coca-Cola and the partners for their support of the FASA Programme.''

    Baku 2015 European Games Chief Operating Officer Mr Simon Clegg said: ''The inaugural edition of the European Games was always designed to provide a lasting legacy for the people of Azerbaijan and the vision was to promote healthy living. We are delighted that Coca-Cola, one of our valued official partners, has joined FASA to support that legacy by inspiring local families to lead active lifestyles.''

    Mr. Cem Becel, the General Manager of Azerbaijan Coca-Cola stressed the importance of active living for the well-being of societies: ''We at Coca-Cola believe that active and healthy living lead to happier and healthier lives, which benefit the overall well-being of communities.''

    Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 '" 28 June 2015.

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than

    6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Twelve of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling.

    Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.
  • Turkish PM: Three-term rule for MPs 'disputable'
    18.04.2015 10:03
    Turkish Prime Minister says 'experience-sharing unit' could be set up within AK Party for MPs who cannot run for fourth consecutive term

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the AK Party's "three-term rule", under which MPs can only spend three consecutive terms in office, is disputable, Anadolu Agency reports.

    Davutoglu made the statement during a dinner with AK Party's parliamentary members in Ankara on Friday, but added he supported parliament members who finished their third term in parliament for their loyalty.

    Davutoglu said: "I know that when this rule was being set up, there were many disputes."

    "The three-term-rule is disputable, but we cannot dispute one thing; our friends' loyalty to the party, who are finishing their third term as a parliament member."

    "I have mentioned it several times. We all see our friends as democracy heroes," Davutoglu added.

    The Prime Minister also said the party will invite those who finished their third term to play a mentoring role.

    "We are thinking of establishing an experience-sharing unit inside the party," he said.

    AK Party cannot make 73 of the parliament members eligible for the June 7 parliamentary elections because of the three-term rule.

    Parliament speaker Cemil Cicek, Deputy Prime Ministers Ali Babacan and Bulent Arinc, Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and Besir Atalay are among those who come under the restriction.
  • Truck with Armenian soldiers roll into ravine: 1 dead and 7 wounded
    18.04.2015 09:58
    "The state of the three wounded is heavy."

    "Ural" truck of the Armenian Defense Ministry crushed in Lori district of Armenia, Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Armenian media.

    According to the spokesman of the Armenian Defense Minister Artsrun Hovhannisyan, as a result of the accident one soldier is killed. Another seven were injured.

    "The state of the three wounded is heavy," Artsrun Hovhannisyan said.

    He also said that according to preliminary data, the truck rolled into a ravine. Circumstances of the incident are being investigated.
  • Russia sees development of Islamic banking through Azerbaijan
    18.04.2015 09:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 18

    By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

    Russia hopes to learn from the experience of Azerbaijan in the field of Islamic banking, scientific director of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy Sergey Drobyshevsky told Trend Apr.17 within the framework of the conference "Prospects of the Development of Islamic banking on the post-Soviet space" held in Baku in the Khazar University.

    Drobyshevsky said that the presence of a subsidiary of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) in Russia must contribute to this. In addition, it will be easier to work in Russia for the Azerbaijani banks and businessmen than the Malaysian specialists of that sphere, where Islamic banking is also developed, according to him. "There is no language barrier between Azerbaijan and Russia, they have similar culture and a lot in common," said Drobyshevsky.

    He also touched upon the prospects for the development of Islamic banking in Russia. "The more financial instruments the market has, the more differentiated they are, the more effectively it helps investors to diversify their risks, according to the theory of finance," he said. "These are new possibilities and their implementation does not depend on the state - it depends on the participants of the market themselves and potential customers of Islamic banking."

    Islamic banking can claim only 5 percent of the Russian financial market during 5-10 years, but "I think that the main thing is to start the process," said Drobyshevsky.

    Trend earlier reported that IBA Board decided to open an alternative banking department in the subsidiary bank in Moscow. This department will work within the framework of the IBA-Moscow Bank and develop Islamic financing.

    IBA is ready to take responsibility for the promotion of Islamic banking in the CIS countries in accordance with the initiative of the CIS Financial amp; Banking Council, consisting in IBA`s determining as a common development bank of Islamic finance in the region.

    The bank has all the prerequisites to build a bridge between Asia and the Middle East, as well as between the CIS and the Gulf countries, Director of the Islamic Banking Department of IBA Behnam Gurbanzade told Trend earlier.

    IBA started rendering Islamic banking services in 2003, becoming the first in the country's banking market. The bank has been providing services in this sphere with the resources attracted from the Islamic Development Bank group.

    In 2013, a consortium of Salans, KPMG, Pinsent Masons and Dar al Shariah companies was assisting IBA in the creation of a specialized structure for rendering products and services of Islamic banking.

    The IBA was founded in 1992 as the successor of the Vnesheconombank's Azerbaijani branch. The IBA holds the dominating position in the country's banking sector. The bank's main shareholder is the Azerbaijani government which owns a 50.2 percent share. The remaining shares of the bank are owned by private individuals and legal entities.


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