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Kazakhstan can increase uranium production to 30,000 tons by 2015
23.06.2012 09:56
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Azerbaijan, Baku, June 20 / Trend E. Kosolapova/

Kazakhstan can increase uranium production to 30,000 tons in 2-3 years, Novosti-Kazakhstan quoted deputy head of the Kazakh National Atomic Company Kazatomprom Nurlan Ryspanov as saying.

"Our resources and existing capacities allow achieving production of 30,000 tons of uranium or more per year," Ryspanov said on Wednesday while speaking at the 5th annual Central Asia Mining and Metallurgical Congress in Almaty.

Kazakhstan produced 19,450 tons of uranium or 35 percent of world production in 2011. Kazatomprom is also the world''s leading uranium producer.

Ryspanov said that the increase in uranium production can be achieved by expanding the current capacity or intensifying the leaching process depending on the market conditions.

Kazatomprom has a stable demand for its production even after the accident at Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima.

"Nuclear power-engineering has no real alternatives, so there is no risk of significant reduction in the world demand for natural uranium," he said.

Ryspanov added that Kazakhstan''s uranium production will hit 20,000 tons in 2012.

Kazatomprom is Kazakh national operator for import and export of uranium, rare metals, nuclear fuel for power plants, special equipment and dual-purpose materials. A total of 100 percent of the company''s stock is held by Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.

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    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan's agriculture presented in Berlin
    30.01.2015 15:34
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138535.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138535.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

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    2
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    30.01.2015 15:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/10/yanukovich_101013.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/10/yanukovich_101013.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    Trend:

    The MPs of Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, presented a draft law, which proposes to deprive the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, of the honorary title of president, RIA Novosti agency reported Jan. 30.

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    After the coup the new authorities launched a number of criminal cases with regard to the former officials.

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
    1
  • Bulgariaв's ex-president passes away
    30.01.2015 15:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/jelyu_jelev.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/jelyu_jelev.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.30

    Trend:

    Bulgaria's first democratically elected President Zhelyu Zhelev has passed away, RIA Novosti reported citing Reuters.

    Zhelev became Bulgaria's president on Aug.1, 1990. He was re-elected the country's president in 1992.

    "Zhelev's contribution to the democratic progress and the European path of Bulgaria will always be remembered and honored by society," said the Bulgarian politician Tsetska Tsacheva.

    Zhelyu Zhelev was born in the Shumen province Bulgaria in 1935. He graduated from the Sofia University. Zhelev became a member of Bulgarian Communist Party in 1960.

    He is also famous as the author of the book entitled "Fascism" that was published in 1982.

    Translated by LZ

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
    4
  • New tax law fueling businessmen's uproar in Armenia
    30.01.2015 15:19
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138534.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138534.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    A group of small and medium business owners in Armenia, including market traders held a rally again in front of the government office in Yerevan calling for an immediate answer to their demands, on January 29.

    The businessmen threatened to go on further protest marches unless the planned controversial amendments to the sales tax law is withdrawn.

    The desperate traders said they wanted to continue their business activity based on the current rules, as the new law imposes an extra burden on them contrary to the government's claim that it is beneficial for small and medium businesses.

    Despite the fact that the new law provides a reduction of sales taxes for trader to 1 percent from 3.5 percent, its stricter rules for the submission of sales-related documentation to tax authorities inflict serious blows on small and medium businesses.

    The law should have came into force earlier on November 1, 2014, but, following a series of protest rallies by small and medium business owners along with hundreds of workers of Yerevan fairs, the government sat back and postponed the activation of law until February 1, 2015.

    The protesters also claimed that the new law may well serve the government's plan to use the small companies as a tool in fight against tax evasions by larger companies, which is an unprecedented violation of rights.

    Even the traders from the provinces, including Gyumri, flocked to the capital city to join the protests calling for Finance Minister Gagik Khachatryanв's resignation. They marched towards the presidential palace in central Yerevan and closed the Bagramyan avenue where the president's residence locates, according to News.am, a local media outlet.

    The demonstrators threatened a nationwide strike against the government, saying they will stop paying taxes from February.

    "If they do not listen to us with their ears, they will have to listen to us with their pockets," one of the protesters said.

    Vilen Khachatryan, an economist, said the small and medium businesses should not be pitted against the large companies in an effort to suppress tax evasion by the latter.

    "Here again the small companies will suffer the most, since the larger businesses in Armenia have more power to put pressure on them,'' he added.

    Back in January 26, some 500 market employees gathered in front of the government building in Yerevan to express their unanimous concern over the new law to the government. Even though they called on the prime minister to emerge before the crowd and lively respond to their complaints, no one from the ruling cabinet did walk up to the protesters.
    1
  • Erdogan: Turkey ready to take steps if 'found guilty' of Armenian killings
    30.01.2015 15:19
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136816.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136816.jpg
    ErdoДџan says Turkey is ready to take required steps if 'found guiltyв' of Armenian killing, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    Accusing Turkey of committing genocide is a form of execution without trial, President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan has indicated, while also stating that Ankara is "ready to pay for any misdeed" if an "impartial board of historians" concludes that it was at fault for the events of 1915.

    "We are not obliged to accept that the so-called Armenian genocide was lsquo;made-to-order,'" ErdoДџan said late on Jan. 29, speaking during a live interview on public broadcaster TRT Haber.

    He mentioned that during his period as prime minister, he had sent a letter in 2005 to former Armenian President Robert Kocharian, proposing that historians investigate the 1915 killings of Anatolian Armenians during the Ottoman era.

    "We are saying, lsquo;If you are sincere on this matter, then come, let's leave this to historians, let historians study the issue, let's open our archives,'" ErdoДџan said

    "We have opened our archive. We have revealed more than one million documents on this. If Armenia also has an archive, then they should open it too. If third countries have archives, they should do the same. Let them study and then let them present their reports to us. Then let's sit around the table as politicians," he added, referring to his proposal for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and experts from both Turkey and Armenia to study the events of 1915 together.

    "If the results reveal that we have committed a crime, if we have a price to pay, then as Turkey we would assess it and take the required steps," ErdoДџan said.

    "But let's be careful here. The 1915 events are out in the open as history. The State of the Republic of Turkey is out in the open. Our archives have been opened and are out in the open, but the archives on the opposite side are not open. They are just saying lsquo;Turkey is guilty,' but Turkey is not guilty just by saying so," he added.

    Armenia says up to 1.5 million people were killed by Ottoman forces during World War I, in what it calls an act of genocide. But modern Turkey has always rejected the term genocide, putting the toll at 500,000 and blaming the deaths on starvation and unrest in the broader context of the war.

    Earlier this month, ErdoДџan said he would "actively" challenge a campaign to pressure Turkey to recognize the massacres as genocide, though a year ago he offered an unprecedented expression of condolences for the 1915-1916 killings.
    1
  • Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to be constructed on time
    30.01.2015 15:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/10/railway_repair_100614_02.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/10/railway_repair_100614_02.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 30

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    There are no problems with the timely implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) construction project, Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told reporters Jan. 29.

    "The project will be implemented on time," he said.

    He assessed the work conducted in Georgia as part of the BTK project implementation as successful.

    Kvirikashvili said that the Georgian side has successfully coped with the task.

    Kvirikashvili and Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov have recently attended the presentation of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and observed the test run of a train.

    Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.

    The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007.

    A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A post is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.

    The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.

    The project is planned to be implemented in 2015.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    2
  • Temperature to rise up to 15 C in Azerbaijan
    30.01.2015 15:01
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136815.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136815.jpg
    On January 31, the weather will be rainy in Baku and Absheron Peninsula and partly cloudy and gloomy in the afternoon.

    The south-east wind will blow, the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources told APA.

    The temperature will be 2hellip;5 C at night and 7hellip;10 C in the daytime. The atmospheric pressure will be 764 mm Hg, relative humidity - 85-95% at night, 60-70% in the daytime.

    On January 31, the weather will be mainly dry in Azerbaijan's regions and rainy in Lankaran-Astara region. It will be foggy and drizzly in some areas at night and in the morning. East wind will blow.

    The temperature will be 0hellip;5 C at night, 10hellip;15 in the daytime and in mountains 0hellip;5 C and in high mountainous areas -5hellip;-10 at night and 4hellip;9 C in the daytime.
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  • 1st European Games, mirror showing effects of European Championship
    30.01.2015 15:00
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138532.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138532.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The 2015 will be a particular year in the world sport history. Surely Azerbaijan wonв't stay outside this history, Alexander Gusyatnikov, UEC Vice-President said in his interview with the AzVIF press office.

    He highlighted the importance of the first Baku European Games which will be a great step towards the brightest future.

    The UEC official visited the training camp in Calpe, Spain, where the worldв's most professional teams, such as Itera Katyusha (Russia), Astana (Kazakhstan), CCC (Poland) and Azerbaijanв's Synergy Baku have winter training.

    He also commented on the planned games-time road race competition.

    ''Since many years ago, there have not been any European Road Race championships in Elite category. This is because of the highest rank of the athletes coming from Europe which will affect the rankings of the World Championship. However, the UEC has planned to reinstate the Elite European Championship program as of 2016. Therefore we are sure that the first European Games will be a clear mirror showing the effects of European Championship,'' he said.

    According to the UEC vice-president, the Europeв's leading teams keep supporting the reinstatement of the European Championship, because of which the road cycling competition has been included in the European Games competition program.

    He was doubtless about successful organization of the games in this mid-year, and highlighted the expected visit of the strongest athletes to Azerbaijan.

    ''The last stage of the Tour of Azerbaijan 2014 was held in Baku and this plan worked very well indeed. This also grabbed the attention of the UEC officials in terms of approving this route for the games-time road race event. The UEC is working on a plan to confirm it as a 100% safe route to operate the road race competition. Who would refuse to hold this event in the heart of such a beautiful city?" he said.

    "Regarding the BMX venue, it is almost finished according to the UCI requirements. In general, I will admit that there are superb works are being done in Baku. Throughout these works we see how President Ilham Aliyev supports the sports in the newly flourishing Azerbaijan,'' said Gusyatnikov.

    As the biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan's history, Baku 2015 European Games will attract more than 6,000 athletes to represent 49 countries in 20 sports on June 12-28.

    The Baku 2015 Games will take place in 21 stadia and facilities. The official opening ceremony of the Games will take place in the 68,000-seat Baku Olympic Stadium. The Athletes Village will accommodate up to 7,300 people.
    1
  • Saudi king reshuffles cabinet
    30.01.2015 15:00
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457494.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457494.jpg
    King Salman of Saudi Arabia has announced a major cabinet reshuffle, a week after he acceded to the throne.

    The chief of intelligence and the head of the national security council have both been replaced.

    Other top officials, including the ministers of defence, oil, and foreign affairs, have kept their jobs.

    The governor of Mecca and the governor of the capital Riyadh were replaced as were several senior religious officials.

    King Salman - who was a half-brother of the late King Abdullah - also gave a bonus of two months' salary to all Saudi state employees and military personnel. Pensioners and students received similar bonuses.

    The changes were announced in 30 royal decrees.

    "Dear people: You deserve more and whatever I do will not be able to give you what you deserve," the king said later on his Twitter account.

    He asked citizens to "not forget me in your prayers".

    The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman had relieved intelligence chief Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of his post.
    3
  • The world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon
    30.01.2015 14:53
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457492.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457492.jpg
    Two pilots have surpassed the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon after crossing the Pacific Ocean. American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev also hope to set a new duration record.

    They left Japan in their "Two Eagles" balloon on Sunday and had aimed to land in Canada or the US.

    However, weather has forced them to change course towards Mexico where they are due to land sometime on Saturday.

    Their hi-tech balloon is made of a strong Kevlar and carbon-fibre composite, but weighs only 220 pounds (100kg). It is fitted with monitors and other instruments that track their course and compile data to be submitted to record-keepers.

    The specially-designed capsule sits beneath a huge helium-filled envelope and is designed to stay aloft for up to 10 days. The pilots live in a closet-like space with a very low ceiling.

    To set new distance and durations records the team needed to beat the existing records by 1%.

    For distance that meant a journey of about 5,260 miles (8,465km) to beat the existing record of 5,209 miles set in 1981.

    On Thursday, the Two Eagles team tweeted: "The pilots have just surpassed the distance needed to set a new record. 5,261 miles or 8,467km."

    "We're not taking any time to celebrate,'' said head of mission control Steve Shope.

    "We have a lot of work we have to do, and we're just taking this flight one hour at a time."

    On its website, the team says Two Eagles will not have "broken the record" until documentation is approved by the US National Aeronautic Association followed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale - a process that could take several weeks or months.

    The existing duration record they hope to beat was set in 1978 when three pilots made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight, spending 137 hours, 5 minutes and 50 seconds in a gas balloon.

    Americans Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman travelled on the Double Eagle II balloon from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France, about 60 miles northwest of Paris.

    The Double Eagle II gondola is displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex at Washington Dulles International Airport.

    Two Eagles should pass the existing record about 15:50 GMT. To set a new record, the team must stay aloft for about 138 hours and 45 minutes.

    In 1981, the Double Eagle V was the first gas balloon to successfully cross the Pacific Ocean and set the existing distance record.

    Crew members Mr Abruzzo, Mr Newman, Ron Clark and Rocky Aoki made it from Nagashima, Japan, to Mendocino National Forest in California in 84 hours and 31 minutes.

    The current team named its craft in honour of the existing record holders
    3
  • Turkish presidentв's advisor submits resignation letter
    30.01.2015 14:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/aydun_unal_300115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/aydun_unal_300115.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkish president's advisor Aydin Unal has submitted a resignation letter, as he will participate in the parliamentary election to be held in the country in June 2015, Milliyet newspaper reported on Jan.30.

    It was earlier reported that chief of Turkish intelligence Hakan Fidan is also expected to resign in connection with the participation in the upcoming parliamentary election.

    Fidan is expected to submit the resignation letter by Feb.10, 2015.

    However, there are different views on the expected resignation of the intelligence chief, since in this case he will lose the mandate intact.

    The chief of Turkish intelligence Hakan Fidan is one of the key figures in the country in fighting the movement of Fethullah Gulen [Islamic public figure currently residing in the US].

    ---

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    1
  • "The Picasso of pastries'' launches beautiful boutique in Baku
    30.01.2015 14:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/pierre_herme_300115_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/pierre_herme_300115_01.jpg
    Pierre Hermeacute; Paris is proud to announce the launch of a new location in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. Offering a true Parisian experience, the collections of Macarons amp; Chocolats now is available in The Port Baku Mall.

    Chef Pacirc;tissier Pierre Hermeacute; comes from a long heritage of pastry professionals and began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice to Gaston Lenocirc;tre. The influence of this legendary Master Pacirc;tissier was the beginning of a journey for Pierre Hermeacute; who went on in his early 20's to become Head Chef Pacirc;tissier of the exclusive Parisian Food Hall, Fauchon, where he remained for 11 years until 1996 when the Pierre Hermeacute; Paris story began.

    Pierre Hermeacute;'s macarons have evolved over the course of his career. His initial foray into his lifelong relationship with the macaron started in the mid 1970's when he questioned the traditional approach to this French delicacy. In 1986, he introduced new, bold flavours for that time like Rose and Pistachio which have now become classics. His passion continued to grow and he began to develop textures and flavour combinations like Lime amp; Basil, he created seasonal macarons such as White Truffle amp; Hazelnut and played with texture and flavour release with Olive Oil amp; Vanilla containing small pieces of olive.

    Like a perfumer, Pierre Hermeacute; has created his own blend of flavours such as the house vanilla selection, which combines 3 different types of vanilla - from Tahiti, Madagascar and Mexico, or his exclusive chocolate used to create Mogador - a signature milk chocolate and passion fruit flavour. The respect given to the raw ingredients allows an intensity of flavour where, in the opinion of Pierre Hermeacute;, sugar is added only as a condiment and where salt gives balance.

    The boutique in Baku will offer Pierre Hermeacute; Paris Macarons such as Infiniment Chocolat Paiuml;neras (Pure Origin Brazilian Dark Chocolate), Infiniment Rose (Rose amp; Rose Petal), Cregrave;me Brucirc;leacute;e (Vanillas amp; Caramel Bits), Infiniment Pistache (pure Sicilian Pistachios), and Mogador (Milk Chocolate amp; Passion Fruit), to name just a few.

    Also available in Baku, the Pierre Hermeacute; Paris chocolate collection. With a selection of house flavours and exclusive chocolate blends, this collection echoes the macarons with ganaches and pralines housed in a shell of exclusively blended chocolate.

    The Pierre Hermeacute; Paris Bonbons de Chocolat selection includes Makassar (Salted-butter Caramel Mousse Ganache, enrobed in Dark Chocolate) and Ouvre-toi (Sesame Praline amp; Sesame Nougat, enrobed in Milk Chocolate). But also, among others, Lou (Ginger and Milk Chocolate Ganache, Candied Ginger, enrobed in Dark Chocolate) or unique Choc Chocolat (Bitter Chocolate Ganache, Nougatine with Cacao Nibs, enrobed in Dark Chocolate).

    "Pierre Hermeacute; Paris" opens at January 2015 in the Port Baku Mall.

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    2
  • Turkey, Azerbaijan urge Turkmenistan to join TANAP
    30.01.2015 14:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey and Azerbaijan urge Turkmenistan to take part in the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) project implementation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Ashgabat Jan. 29, Turkish news portal Haber 46 reported citing the sources at the country's foreign ministry.

    Cavusoglu made this statement during a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan, held in Ashgabat Jan. 29.

    The TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Turkey will obtain gas in 2018. The gas will be supplied to Europe in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed. The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.

    Contracts for the supply of pipes for the construction of TANAP were signed in Turkey's Ankara on Oct.14 with six Turkish and one Chinese company.

    Turkey's Mannesmann-Noksel-Erciyas and Umran-Emek consortiums, and the company Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi, as well as the Chinese contractor Baosteel Europe won the tender for the supply of pipes for the TANAP project.

    All the companies that will participate in the construction and supply of the TANAP project in Turkey are exempt from the VAT.

    Edited by CN

    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    2
  • The Washington Times: Tovuz, the land of antiquity and natural beauty
    30.01.2015 14:32
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136814.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136814.jpg
    The Washington Times has published an article headlined 'Tovuz, the land of antiquity and natural beauty'.

    The article reads:

    "The region draws its name from two of the ancient Turkish tribes that settled there: the Tovuz and the Ovuz. Its buildings and monuments preserve some of the region's rich culture and history, dating to medieval times.

    For history buffs, there are 64 official historical sites and monuments sanctioned by the Culture of Ministry, including the 13th-century Haji Bagir mosque in Duzgirigli village and the Kirzan temple dating to the 12th century. Other architectural attractions worth exploring include eight-corner sepulchers in Gazgulu village, a railway bridge built in 1880, and 19th-century tombs in Yukhari.

    Tovuz also is home to one of the main and ancient Alban settlements. The Alban temple, dating to the fifth century, and several other preserved structures once served as shelters for dervishes who led ascetic lifestyles.

    The region is also one of the Caspian's richest agrarian centers, perfect for nature lovers who want to explore rugged mountain lands or Alpine forests teeming with oak, beech, walnut, hornbeam and iron trees as well as wild fruit shrubs. A rare Eldar Shami pine is protected in the Garayazi State Reserve in Jeyranchol. Animals also abound, and it is easy to spot gazelles, roe deers, wolves, foxes, hares, francolins and partridges along the fields and forests of Tovuz.

    Keeping the tradition of its Turkish settlers, Tovuz also offers numerous hunting opportunities. With government permits, visitors can hunt hares and various swimming birds skipping across the Kura, Akhindja, Tovuz and Zayam rivers.

    For the curious, there is a sour water spring in Catakh village. Because of its sour taste, the water is known by the locals as Turshsu. It contains various chemical minerals that are used for medicinal treatments. In Asrik, there are 36 water springs. Among the most famous are the Findigli, Maral and Shalala. Most of the spring-fed water bodies boast nearby restaurants.

    The vast sub-Alpine meadows are the center of Tovuz's agriculture industry, providing winter and summer pastures for livestock farmers as well as vineyards that gave rise to the region's booming wine industry. Archaeological finds, including ancient vessels for wine storage, pinpoint the industry's origins to the seventh century. The industry flourished as German settlers brought new skills and recipes. The area also became famous for producing cognac, which supplied the entire Russian market. Tovuz Baltiya Ltd. is the main producer and exporter of wine products.

    The Tovuz region also affords a variety of cuisines, rich in dough meals as well as dishes made with abundant greens and potatoes. Other delicacies include pilaf, barbecue, fried vegetables and the hometown favorite dish known as khingal. Drinks such as buttermilk, dovga, atlama and fresh fruit juices complement the area's wide selection of wines and cognac.

    It is impossible to imagine Tovuz without saz music. Saz is the national musical instrument of Azerbaijan. It is popular in Tovuz. Weddings, parties, local or state-level ceremonies as well as many restaurants are enriched by the musical talents of ashigs, the performers of saz music".
    1
  • Bordyuzha: CSTO will not fight with Azerbaijan over Karabakh
    30.01.2015 14:25
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136813.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136813.jpg
    ''This is contrary to the Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization''

    The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved only by peaceful means. In connection with the escalation of tension in the conflict zone, in 2014 and before, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) repeatedly issued statements calling the parties for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

    CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha made remarks on Friday at a briefing in Rossiya Segodnya information agency, APA's Moscow correspondent reports.

    Answering Armenian journalist's question on why the CSTO did not given any response to what happened on the contact line of Azerbaijani-Armenian troops in January 2014, Nikolay Bordyuzha said in 2014 and before, the CSTO and Russia's Foreign Ministry made numerous statements regarding the escalation of tension in the conflict zone.

    "The CSTO has clearly expressed its position through these statements. Do you want us to give a military response? No, it is impossible and contrary to the Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The OSCE Minsk Group deals with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The co-chair countries are making efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As for the CSTO, it was chaired by Russia last year. In August 2014, the Russian president met with presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Sochi where the sides underlined the importance of resolving the conflict only by peaceful way. This is the position of the CSTO member states as well," he noted.
    2
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan
    30.01.2015 14:20
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138530.jpg
    Over the past 24 hours, Armenian military 79 times violated ceasefire on various parts of the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Jan. 30.

    Armenian armed forces stationed in Parakavar and Berkaber villages of Ijevan district of Armenia fired at the Azerbaijani armed forcesв' positions in Kohnegishlag village of Agstafa district, Qizilhajili village of Gazakh district.

    Armenian armed forces stationed in Mosesqekh and Chinari villages of Berd district of Armenia fired at the Azerbaijani armed forcesв' positions in Aghdam and Kohanebi villages of Tovuz district.

    Azerbaijani armed forces located in the nameless heights of Gedabey district also took fire from the nameless heights in Krasnoselsk district of Armenia.

    The Azerbaijani military also came under fire from positions near Goyarkh, Chileburd villages of Terter district, Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy district, Yusifjanli, Bash Gervend, Shikhlar, Javahirli, Shuraabad, Novruzlu villages of Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand district, Qarakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Ashagi Abdurrakhmanli villages of Fizuli district and Mehdili village of Jabrayil district.

    Meanwhile, Azerbaijani positions took fire from the positions located at the nameless heights of Jabrayil, Goranboy, Khojavend and Fizuli districts.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

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

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

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

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

    /By
    4
  • Turkish police intensively work at airports
    30.01.2015 14:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/13/polis-turk.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/13/polis-turk.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The Turkish police began working intensively at the country's airports, Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported Jan. 30.

    The reason is the information about more than two hundred militants from different countries willing to arrive in Turkey to leave for Syria to join the militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization.

    It also reported that ten people, whose nationality was not disclosed, were deported from the country as part of the measures against "Islamic state" organization.

    Earlier, the Turkish authorities said that the intelligence services of the European countries do not share the data about the individuals suspected of terrorist activity. As a result, these individuals arrive in Turkey and then leave for Syria.

    The Turkish side explained that a number of countries are trying to get rid of radicals within the country.

    Following the start of military confrontation in Syria between the armed opposition and the government forces, the IS penetrated the country in 2013. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared lsquo;a holy war' against all groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Syrian government forces.

    Strengthening of the IS in Syria allowed it to return to Iraq, deploying military actions against government forces there.

    In late June of 2014, the IS announced about the creation of the lsquo;Islamic Caliphate' on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. In turn, Iraqi authorities asked the international community for help in fighting the IS.

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    7
  • Tehran offers Baku using national currencies in trade
    30.01.2015 14:09
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138528.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138528.jpg
    /By AzerNews//

    By Sara Rajabova

    Iran offered Azerbaijan using national currencies in the calculations in mutual trade of the two countries.

    Ali Tayyebnia, Iranian Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs made the remarks at a press conference on January 29, local media reported.

    He noted that currently Iran is already carrying out foreign trade settlements in national currencies with a number of countries and is interested in expanding this tendency with others with which it is cooperating in different fields.

    ''We have not yet discussed this issue with the Azerbaijani government, but the negotiations in this area should be carried out by the central banks of the two countries,'' Tayyebnia said.

    He went on to say that the economic opportunities and the potential of the two countries contribute to the further development of ties and increasing their trade significantly.

    Tayebnia said the Iranian companies have extensive experience in engineering and technology, noting that they can take part in major projects and construction works implemented in Azerbaijan.

    He also stressed that Iran can play a role in supplying Azerbaijani goods via the railways to the Gulf countries, adding that Iran is a proper route for transit of goods from Azerbaijan to the Gulf states.

    Speaking about the Azerbaijani investments in Iran, Tayyebnia said in recent years, the Azerbaijani investors in the Islamic country have been investing mainly in the oil and petrochemical branches of industry, in housing construction and production of building materials.

    Noting that there are no obstacles in the way of development of relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, he said Azerbaijani investors in Iran can take advantage of the significant potential existing in the industry, mines and other areas.

    He said there is no accurate data on the capital of Azerbaijani investors in Iran, however, added that Azerbaijani investors have recently interested in investing in Iran, in particular, in the "Aras" free economic zone, located on the border with Azerbaijan and "Maku" free trade zone.

    Iranв's top official has also voiced his countryв's readiness to help better fulfillment of development projects in Azerbaijan by sharing Tehranв's significant technical experiences with Baku.

    Outlining outcomes of his two-day visit to Azerbaijan Tayyebnia noted that he had fruitful and constructive talks with senior officials of Azerbaijan, IRNA reported.

    He said implementation of agreements made during the visit of presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan was one of major goals of his visit to the neighboring country.

    Tayyebnia added that promotion of Tehran-Baku relations and cooperation would benefit both capitals as well as all regional states.

    Noting that economic ties between Iran and Azerbaijan are not as good as their political relations, he said the volume of bilateral economic exchange stood at $500 million which can be multiplied to suit the political relations of the two neighboring countries.

    Tayyebnia went on to say that Tehran and Baku can have useful cooperation in the field of health tourism and banking activities.

    Referring to Iranв's successful economic policies, Tayyebnia said Tehran has succeeded to reduce its over 40-percent inflation to lower than 16 percent through proper monetary and financial policies.

    He added, after eight seasons of consequent recession, the rate of Iranв's economic growth mounted to four percent in the first half of the current Iranian year (from March 21-Septemeber 22, 2014).

    Tayyebnia noted that according to domestic and international forecasts, this growing trend will continue in the future and reach its highest level in the entire Middle East and North African regions.

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

    Tehran has in recent years focused seriously on development of ties with neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan which enjoys various commonalties with Iran in religious, historical and cultural fields.
    2
  • Baku to host 3D Print Conference
    30.01.2015 14:09
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136812.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136812.jpg
    The 3D Print Conference will be held in Baku on February 12.

    It is the first of four shows, which will also reach Kiev, Ukraine, and Almaty, Kazakhstan, to end in Moscow's Sokoliniki next October, AzerTag reports.

    The conference will introduce participants to the technology that has already used in various industries, and that is becoming more common and affordable throughout the world. The innovative market shows interest in 3D printing technology, in this regard the conference organizers, Smile-Expo, has decided to show what opportunities are available for business due to three-dimensional printing and the prospects of its use.

    The conference will discuss "3D printing. New business opportunities: how, where and on what can you earn?", "3D printers in different spheres: medicine, education, science", "3D printing. Advanced spheres of application: gold, fashion, food and architecture", and "the future of 3D printing. Whether to be afraid of technology?".

    Workshops will demonstrate the perspective of usage of 3D technology in every home. Experts will give interactive sessions not only for adults but also for children! Each participant of the master class will arm himself with practical knowledge and applying this knowledge it will be possible to save time and money creating unique custom-made things made in accordance with individually created models and sketches.
    3
  • Islamic Financing, alternative investment source to Azerbaijani economy
    30.01.2015 13:46
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138527.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138527.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Gulgiz Dadashova

    The International Bank of Azerbaijan, the largest lender and the only state-owned bank in the country remains confident to promote Azerbaijan as an Islamic Banking hub in the region.

    Behnam Gurbanzade, Director of the Islamic Banking Department of the IBA, spoke quite positive about the prospects of Azerbaijanв's eventful role in the Islamic finance markets.

    ''Developing Islamic Financing in Azerbaijan gives us an advantage to set up a center for the development of Islamic Financing in the CIS based in Baku,'' Gurbanzade wrote in an e-mail to AzerNews.

    ''Thus, in 2015 we are planning to increase the amount of Islamic financing in Azerbaijan. To this end, an alternative banking division was set up within Bank IBA-Moscow where the Islamic Banking is also part of new duties,'' he said.

    The IBA concluded last year with $526 million sharia compliant assets compared to the Islamic Banking assets at the level of $220 million at the beginning of 2014.

    Islamic finance has not developed well in Azerbaijan, which has a predominantly Muslim population. The IBA assists the government to draft the relevant regulation. It also plans to convert its Islamic unit into major Shariah-compliant lender after the country OKs the Islamic legislation licenses.

    The Baku-based bank actively works in this direction, which is encouraging the development of Islamic Finance here. The bank currently offers Shariah-compliant products through an Islamic window introduced in September 2012, a practice which allows conventional lenders to provide Islamic financial services as long as client money is segregated from the rest of the bank.

    Gurbanzada said the IBA Islamic Banking department is working on draft legislation together with consultants. ''The initial documents including Islamic Financial Policies and Procedures, Operational procedures and Products and Services are under consideration,'' he said.

    Laws allowing Azerbaijan to OK Islamic bond offerings is expected to be passed in 2015, and the government may issue securities that adhere to Islamв's ban on interest the next year.

    Speaking about the role that the Islamic bank could play in driving the banking sector of the country, Gurbanzada said Islamic Financing is considered as alternative investment sources to the economy of Azerbaijan.

    ''Azerbaijan and CIS markets are growing and there is a huge demand for direct investments. The IBA realizes that sources of funding should be diversified in order to secure economic safety. All this comes against the backdrop of the world financial crisis in which the liquid capital stands as the primary issue,'' he noted.

    Gurbanzada said the current Islamic Banking portfolio of the IBA is 386 million manats ($493 million) which is approximately 6.2 percent of the total credit portfolio.

    The loan portfolio of the Bank hit 5.868 billion manats as of early January with an increase of 16.6 percent since early 2014.

    IBA Islamic presented a new Murabaha card which was set up on MasterCard Gold basis. The card is for retail financing in Azerbaijan and outside of the country. ''Furthermore we are also strutting Musharakah refinancing products and unrestricted and restricted Mudarabah financing. Most of products and services will be implemented after legislation development,'' he concluded.

    The bank, 50.2-percent owned by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance, holds over 40 percent of banking assets in the country and enjoys huge importance for Azerbaijan's economy. The IBA's reported consolidated total assets of 8.8 billion manats, aggregate capital of 1.008 billion manats and net profit of 64.5 million under audited IFRS as at year-end 2014.
    8
  • Uzbekistan draws Japanese investments and loans worth $3.8B
    30.01.2015 13:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/27/uzbekistan_japan_flags_270913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/27/uzbekistan_japan_flags_270913.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Jan. 30

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    A package of investment, loan agreements and technical assistance projects worth $3.8 billion was signed in Tokyo following the 12th meeting of the Uzbek-Japanese Committee on Economic Cooperation on January 26-28, the Uzbek foreign ministry said.

    The Japanese investments and loans are drawn in the projects of such areas as electric power, oil and gas, chemical, textile, electro-technical, telecommunications, tourism, transport infrastructure, the statement says.

    The leading areas of Uzbekistan's economy were presented during the committee meeting. Over 200 representatives of Japanese companies, banks and governmental agencies attended the meeting.

    In their speeches, Japanese finance minister, foreign minister, economy minister, minister of trade and industry stressed that the Japanese government will actively and consistently support the efforts of Japanese companies and financial institutions to expand and to develop the trade-economic, investment and financial cooperation with Uzbekistan.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received an Uzbek delegation headed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Rustam Azimov. A personal message from Uzbek President Islam Karimov was delivered to Abe.

    As part of the visit to Japan, the Uzbek delegation also held the talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa, chairman of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda, management of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), state agencies, leading Japanese companies and banks.

    At present, the amount of Japanese investments in Uzbekistan's economy exceeds $ 2.3 billion. Japan is investing in the projects in such areas as railway transport, oil and gas, power engineering, mining, motor-car construction, telecommunications, electronics, textile.

    The representative offices of such big Japanese corporations as "Mitsui", "Mitsubishi", "Itochu", "Marubeni" are open in Uzbekistan.

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    2
  • Picasso of Pastries launches beautiful boutique in Baku
    30.01.2015 13:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/pierre_herme_300115_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/pierre_herme_300115_01.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    Trend:

    Pierre Hermeacute; Paris is proud to announce the launch of a new location in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. Offering a true Parisian experience, the collections of Macarons amp; Chocolats now is available in The Port Baku Mall.

    Chef Pacirc;tissier Pierre Hermeacute; comes from a long heritage of pastry professionals and began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice to Gaston Lenocirc;tre. The influence of this legendary Master Pacirc;tissier was the beginning of a journey for Pierre Hermeacute; who went on in his early 20's to become Head Chef Pacirc;tissier of the exclusive Parisian Food Hall, Fauchon, where he remained for 11 years until 1996 when the Pierre Hermeacute; Paris story began.

    Pierre Hermeacute;'s macarons have evolved over the course of his career. His initial foray into his lifelong relationship with the macaron started in the mid 1970's when he questioned the traditional approach to this French delicacy. In 1986, he introduced new, bold flavours for that time like Rose and Pistachio which have now become classics. His passion continued to grow and he began to develop textures and flavour combinations like Lime amp; Basil, he created seasonal macarons such as White Truffle amp; Hazelnut and played with texture and flavour release with Olive Oil amp; Vanilla containing small pieces of olive.

    Like a perfumer, Pierre Hermeacute; has created his own blend of flavours such as the house vanilla selection, which combines 3 different types of vanilla - from Tahiti, Madagascar and Mexico, or his exclusive chocolate used to create Mogador - a signature milk chocolate and passion fruit flavour. The respect given to the raw ingredients allows an intensity of flavour where, in the opinion of Pierre Hermeacute;, sugar is added only as a condiment and where salt gives balance.

    The boutique in Baku will offer Pierre Hermeacute; Paris Macarons such as Infiniment Chocolat Paiuml;neras (Pure Origin Brazilian Dark Chocolate), Infiniment Rose (Rose amp; Rose Petal), Cregrave;me Brucirc;leacute;e (Vanillas amp; Caramel Bits), Infiniment Pistache (pure Sicilian Pistachios), and Mogador (Milk Chocolate amp; Passion Fruit), to name just a few.

    Also available in Baku, the Pierre Hermeacute; Paris chocolate collection. With a selection of house flavours and exclusive chocolate blends, this collection echoes the macarons with ganaches and pralines housed in a shell of exclusively blended chocolate.

    The Pierre Hermeacute; Paris Bonbons de Chocolat selection includes Makassar (Salted-butter Caramel Mousse Ganache, enrobed in Dark Chocolate) and Ouvre-toi (Sesame Praline amp; Sesame Nougat, enrobed in Milk Chocolate). But also, among others, Lou (Ginger and Milk Chocolate Ganache, Candied Ginger, enrobed in Dark Chocolate) or unique Choc Chocolat (Bitter Chocolate Ganache, Nougatine with Cacao Nibs, enrobed in Dark Chocolate).

    "Pierre Hermeacute; Paris" opens at January 2015 in the Port Baku Mall.

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    3
  • Georgia suspends trade talks with Russia
    30.01.2015 13:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/08/03/russia_georgia_flag.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/08/03/russia_georgia_flag.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 30

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia is suspending trade talks with Russia as they do not make any sense, Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili told reporters Jan. 30.

    Beruchashvili is on an official visit to the US.

    She said that the Russian market is unpredictable.

    "At present, we suspend a trade dialogue with Russia as it does not make any sense," she said. "Russia at any moment may impose an embargo."

    Beruchashvili said that Russia continues taking destructive actions, including in the political sphere. A good example is the signing of the so-called "agreement on strategic partnership and integration" with separatist Abkhazia.

    "Around 11,500 Russian servicemen are stationed in Georgia's separatist regions," Beruchashvili said.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Turkish Airlines cancels over 100 flights due to bad weather
    30.01.2015 13:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/turkish_airlines_plane_snow_300115_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/turkish_airlines_plane_snow_300115_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Bad weather caused the cancellation of 103 Turkish Airline flights, Haber7 news channel reported Jan. 30.

    The flights were cancelled due to an upcoming snowstorm in Istanbul.

    The airline cancelled domestic and international flights scheduled after 17:00 (UTC/GMT 2 hours) on Jan. 30.

    There has been no information regarding the scheduling the flights to another date.

    In mid-January, Turkish Airlines cancelled over 80 flights because of bad weather.

    Edited by CN

    ---

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    2
  • Fighting with Gulen movement is Turkish national policy - President
    30.01.2015 13:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/17/Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan_150412_albom_5.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/04/17/Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan_150412_albom_5.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey is interested in Fethullah Gulen's arrest and his extradition to the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with TRT Haber TV channel.

    Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic public figure currently residing in the US.

    President Erdogan said that the fight with the Gulen movement is a national policy of Turkey.

    "Gulen's arrest and extradition are extremely important for bilateral relations between Turkey and the US," he said.

    Fethullah Gulen's movement planned an Islamic revolution in Turkey, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier.

    The minister said that despite this, the Turkish government was able to prevent all the coup attempts in the country.

    Earlier it was reported that a large-scale staff reshuffle is expected to take place in the government bodies of Turkey as part of fight against the Gulen movement.

    It is expected that almost all the heads of Turkey's state agencies will be replaced.

    On Jan. 28, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Lutfi Elvan said all the applicants for employment in government agencies would be thoroughly checked to prevent a possible infiltration of Gulen's supporters to Turkey's state bodies.

    In February 2014, the Turkish media reported that in 2011, the telephone conversations of about 7,000 people associated with the representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties, including family members of the prime minister, were wiretapped as part of an anti-terrorist operation carried out by Istanbul prosecutor's office against "Salam" terrorist organization.

    During the anti-terrorist operations, telephone conversations of the head of the Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan were wiretapped as well.

    At that time, the then prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.

    Erdogan stressed that the Gulen movement with its anti-state activities proved that it is not a religious movement, but a politicized and illegal structure.

    He also called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the US of supporting him.

    Erdogan also previously said that Gulen would be extradited from the US. However, the US authorities said that an extradition is inadmissible.

    Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would make every effort to achieve Gulen's extradition.

    ---

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    9
  • European Court receives appeal on Azerbaijani hostages
    30.01.2015 12:55
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136811.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136811.jpg
    An appeal has been filed to European Court in connection with Azerbaijanis Shahbaz Guliyev, Dilgam Asgarov, who were taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, and killed Hasan Hasanov, said Anar Baghirov, Cahirman of the Azerbaijan Law Reform Centre, APA reports.

    A. Baghirov said some photographs and other evidences indicating violation of their rights, torture and inhumane treatment toward them were also attached to the document.

    According to A. Baghirov, in accordance with the rules of appealing to the European Court, the appeal stresses the necessity of an urgent review on the case

    He said the appeal was received by the court on January 13.
    5
  • Oil price on world markets
    30.01.2015 12:52
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457449.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457449.jpg
    The price of oil has increased in the world markets.

    On the New York Stock Exchange NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) cost of the WTI crude oil raised $0.08 to trade at $44.53, as well price of British Brent crude oil at the London ICE (InterContinental Exchange Futures) increased $0.66 to stand at $49.13.

    The Department of Marketing and Economic Operations of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) informed that, the price of a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil decreased $0.57 to stand at $50.14 in the world markets.
    6
  • Head of Azerbaijani delegation to PACE meets with US Vice President
    30.01.2015 12:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/meeting_vp_samad_seyidov_300115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/meeting_vp_samad_seyidov_300115.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    Trend:

    The head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Samad Seyidov left for the US and took part in the Atlantic Council's conference on January 29. It is one of the most influential analytical centers entitled "Transatlantic Strategy for Eastern Europe", the Azerbaijani embassy in the US told Trend.

    Along with Latvia, chairing in the EU Council, Azerbaijan was represented by the chairman of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Samad Seyidov at a conference in Washington. A meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden was held as part of the conference.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the cooperation prospects with Azerbaijan. The bilateral relations between the US and Azerbaijan were discussed. The country's contribution to the energy security of Europe was stressed.

    Edited by CN

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    4
  • Time for consistent U.S. policy toward Azerbaijan in a post-Soviet world
    30.01.2015 12:42
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136809.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136809.jpg
    The Washington Times has issued an article headlined ''Time for consistent U.S. policy toward Azerbaijan in a post-Soviet world''.

    Written by Alex Vatanka, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and at the Jamestown Foundation, the article says: "At a time when the direction of America's foreign policy is generating abundant global bewilderment, policymakers in Congress and the administration must be mindful not to alienate more allies and increase doubt and distrust of America's promises, AzerTag reports.

    Azerbaijan is one of those countries. Authorities in Baku are increasingly speculating about Washington's commitment to its strategic allies and its own stated values.

    Since its independence upon the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan has considered the United States as one of its principal strategic partners. This conscious, but at times hazardous, choice to turn to Washington was, from the outset, rooted in a belief in American strength and a hope in Washington's fairness in mediating among disputing nations. It was a conviction that drove successive Azerbaijani governments to accept American arbitration in Baku's conflict with neighboring Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region occupied by Armenian forces since the end of a war in 1994.

    For 20 years Azerbaijan has patiently stuck to this belief in America as the foolproof arbiter that will somehow and someday help engineer a peaceful resolution to this frozen conflict in the South Caucasus. Increasingly, however, the Azerbaijanis question whether the United States prioritizes short-term goals over long-term objectives of peacemaking and the upholding of key American values, including respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations."
    9
  • Meeting of African Leaders to be held
    30.01.2015 12:42
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457443.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457443.jpg
    Over 35 African leaders are set to meet Friday in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Unionв's Heads of State and Government Summit, SIA reports citing the AA.

    The two-day summit's theme is: "Year of Womenв's Empowerment and Development towards Africaв's Agenda 2063."

    But like past summits, security issues are expected to take the center stage against the background of concerns over the rise of Boko Haram militant group in West African and the conflict in South Sudan.

    The African Union Commission also expects the African leaders to endorse Agenda 2063 '" a 50-year political, social and economic development roadmap for the African continent.

    On the occasion, the African Union's main hall named after late South African leader Nelson Mandela will be officially inaugurated.

    Other dignitaries to attend the summit include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Spanish King Felipe VI.

    Ethiopian Government Communication Affairs Office noted that more than 480 journalists representing a range of international media have been accredited to cover the summit.
    4
  • Azerbaijan starts to apply e-mortgage portal
    30.01.2015 12:40
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136808.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136808.jpg
    The portal will be avaliable for population since February.

    Azerbaijan Mortgage Fund has successfully completed application of E-mortgage portal and the system has been put into use of market participants.

    AMD told APA-Economics that the system allows market participants - authorized credit institutions, insurance and appraiser companies to implement all technical procedures online.

    Along with this, the e-mortgage portal (www.e-ipoteka.azwil) will be launched since 2 February.
    6
  • Israel to build 430 new West Bank settler homes
    30.01.2015 12:34
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/10/settlement_israel_100114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/10/settlement_israel_100114.jpg
    The Israeli government on Friday published tenders to build 430 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the head of an NGO that monitors settlement activity told AFP.

    "It's the opening of the settlement floodgates," said Daniel Seidemann, head of the Terrestrial Jerusalem group, adding that the announcements were the first since October 2014 and unlikely to be the last before the March 17 general election, Al Arabiya reported.

    He said that the new homes were to be built in four existing settlements across the West Bank -- 112 in Adam, 156 in Elkana, 78 in Alfei Menashe and 84 in Kiryat Arba.

    Seidemann, whose group particularly monitors settlement in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, predicted that building plans there were likely to be announced soon.

    "I don't think it's over," he said. "I would be very concerned."

    He linked the new tenders to the election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud is competing with other rightwing parties for the settler vote.

    "This could hardly be an accident," he said. "It could not have taken place without Netanyahu's knowledge and consent."

    Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day war. Building settlements there is illegal under international law and opposed by the United States and the international community as an obstacle to an eventual peace deal with the Palestinians.

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    5
  • Georgian PM accuses oil companies of violating competition law
    30.01.2015 12:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/24/irakli_garibashvili_240114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/24/irakli_garibashvili_240114.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 30

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili accused the oil companies operating in the country of violating the competition law.

    PM Garibashvili was addressing a government meeting on Jan. 29.

    "Everyone knows that in recent times the prices of oil fell sharply in the world," the PM said, adding that judging from the current tendency, the oil prices will continue to fall.

    "On this basis, everyone in our country is interested in to what extent the decrease in the prices of oil products in Georgia corresponds to this," he said.

    The prime minister said the competition agency of Georgia is examining the market of oil products.

    "About a month ago, I made a statement on the matter and instructed the agency to study in details this issue. At the moment it works in this direction," said Garibashvili.

    He noted that there are already the first results of this work.

    "In the second half of 2014, the world oil prices fell by almost 60 percent," he said. "This should, of course, accordingly impact the Georgian market in one or two months."

    "Unfortunately, this didn't happen, and our public has every reason to be dissatisfied. Apparently, the operating expenses of oil companies haven't grown, while the world oil prices fell down," the PM said, adding, "Accordingly, it is not clear why this is not enough reflected on the Georgian market."

    Garibashvili said, in this situation, the oil companies reduce fuel prices slightly, and in any case, clearly not adequately to the global tendency.

    In mid-December 2014, the prime minister pointed out the need to study the situation in the fuel market of the country.

    The reason for this was the public indignation over the fact that world oil prices declined on average by 60 percent while fuel in Georgia fell in price by no more than 25-30 percent.

    Edited by SI

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    11
  • Azerbaijani Minister meets UN High Representative for Alliance of Civilizations
    30.01.2015 12:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136807.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136807.jpg
    Azerbaijani Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev, who is on a visit to the United States, has met with Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, the ministry told APA.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UN Alliance of Civilizations, especially the forthcoming 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue as well as preparations for the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations to be held in Baku in 2016.

    The UN representative expressed his great love for Azerbaijan and his deep impression of the importance and support given by head of state Ilham Aliyev to the intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. He also expressed his will to attend the 3rd World Forum and meet with the country's leadership. The minister thanked him for the reception, and ultimately presented Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser a carpet as a pattern of the Azerbaijani culture.
    9
  • Marathon nuclear talks with P5 1 not easy: Iran deputy FM
    30.01.2015 12:00
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136806.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136806.jpg
    Iranв's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi says the ''marathon'' of nuclear negotiations with the P5 1 group is not easy due to the divisions among the six powers involved in the talks with Iran, Press TV reports.

    A high-level Iranian delegation, headed by Araqchi, is in the Turkish city of Istanbul for nuclear negotiations with representatives from France, Britain and Germany.

    Iran and the European members of the P5 1 group concluded their first day of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program on Thursday.

    "Well, we had something about eight hours of tense discussions between the two sides, very tense and intensive. At both levels of deputy ministers and experts, we reviewed the key questions in our negotiations," Ararqchi told Press TV.

    He also described the talks as "very useful," saying that the atmosphere of the negotiations was "good".

    "We are also optimistic that these negotiations can lead us to an acceptable, balanced comprehensive deal between the two sides on the peaceful nuclear program of Iran. We are trying our best," Araqchi said.

    Need for strong political will

    The Iranian diplomat also said that efforts are underway so that an interim political agreement could be sealed by March, stressing the need for "seriousness," "good will" and "strong political will" for a breakthrough in the talks.

    Hans-Dieter Lucas, Simon Lawrance Gass and Nicolas de Riviere, respectively represent Germany, the UK and France in the Istanbul talks with Iran.

    Helga Schmid, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini's deputy, is also attending the negotiations.

    Before the beginning of the talks on Thursday, Araqchi said Iran seeks to expedite the nuclear talks to find a solution to the differences with the P5 1 countries.

    The talks are aimed at working out the details of a final agreement between Iran and the P5 1 group.

    On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran and the P5 1 group are close to reaching a final deal over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, adding that details are now being worked out in the talks.

    "We are done with the generalities and have begun [discussing] details. Iran's [uranium] enrichment program and the continuation of the nuclear program have been approved," Zarif said on Tuesday.

    Since an interim deal was agreed in Geneva in November 2013, the negotiating sides have missed two self-imposed deadlines to ink a final agreement.
    9
  • Asian imports of Iran crude rise 20 pct, hit 3-yr high in 2014
    30.01.2015 11:53
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/13/index_131112.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/13/index_131112.jpg
    Asian imports of Iranian crude rose by 19.8 percent last year to hit a three-year high, although further increases by the OPEC nation's biggest buyers will depend on whether Tehran and world powers can settle the dispute over its nuclear programme, Reuters reported.

    Imports by Iran's four biggest buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - averaged 1.12 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2014, government and tanker-tracking data showed, the highest since the region took more than 1.5 million bpd in 2011.

    Soaring imports last year by China and India after the partial easing of economic sanctions at the end of 2013 more than offset declining shipments into Japan and South Korea.

    December imports into Asia rose 22.1 pct from a year ago to 1.21 million bpd - the highest since May - due to a huge jump in India's imports for the month and higher seasonal winter demand.

    Iran agreed with the United States and five other world powers in 2013 to work towards a permanent agreement on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of some sanctions.

    Two deadlines for a final deal have slipped since then, and now the goal is to reach a political understanding by the end of March, with a view to a lasting agreement by a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

    Iran called talks with France, Germany and Britain on Thursday "promising" but some analysts have cast doubts on any agreement by the new target dates.

    And until a final agreement is reached, most of the Middle Eastern nation's Asian buyers are unlikely to increase their imports except China, sources said.

    India has asked its refiners to slash oil buys from Iran in the next two months to keep its imports in line with the previous fiscal year's levels, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last week.

    The U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would toughen sanctions on Iran, but a full vote on the bill is not expected until at least March 24 in the face of veto threats by President Barack Obama.

    "It looks as though the West's stance is inconsistent and the talks are unlikely to be finalised," said an oil industry analyst who declined to be identified.

    The United States named nine new sanctions targets in Iran at the end of December, a move that Iran's foreign ministry said "raises doubts about America's intentions and violates the good will principles" of the nuclear negotiations.

    The West say Iran's nuclear activities are aimed at making a weapon. Tehran says it is making fuel only for power generation.

    Under the interim agreement of November 2013, Iran is allowed to keep exports at about 1 million bpd versus a total of 2.2 million bpd before toughened sanctions were put in place in early 2012.

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    10
  • Bankruptcy threatening banks in Armenia
    30.01.2015 11:42
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138523.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138523.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    There are only two options left for banks in Armenia amid the financial crisis: either merge or turn into a credit organization.

    The central bank adopted an unparalleled decision last year to urge the banks to increase their overall capital from $10 million to $60 million. The new decision is expected to come into force in 2017.

    Now, several commercial banks are in trouble given lack of enough capital to increase their capital to the mandatory amount. The specialists even forecast that as a result of the central bank's decision, the number of banks declaring their bankruptcy after 2017 will increase.

    There are 21 commercial banks functioning in Armenia today and only 5 of them have the charter capital of $60 million. Ameriabank, VTB-Armenia, Akba-Credit-Agrikol bank, Ardshininvestbank and HSBC bank are the banks in Armenia, which have the required amount in the cash boxes, according to the central bank's data for September, 2014. In other words, these five banks will not face any problem in regard to the CB's surprise decision.

    The total capitals of the two commercial banks - Armbusinessbank and Inecobank - are slightly below the considered $60 million average norm. They are among the banks which are expected to have no problem to meet the central bank's demand in 2017.

    But the new decision will inflict a heavy blow on eight commercial banks in the post-Soviet country, since their overall money reserve is even under the current $10 million threshold.

    The experts believe that these banks will either merge to achieve the obligatory capital together or will just turn into credit organizations to remain in Armenia's financial market. The new decision could finally bring some of them to closure, claim the specialists.

    The central bank justifies its unexpected decision with a move to ensure the credibility and protection of the commercial banks.

    Smbat Nasibyan, Co-Founder of the Converse Bank, believes there is already a financial crisis in Armenia and the banks donв't have enough accumulated reserves to welcome the new decision.

    In Azerbaijan and Georgia, Armenia's regional neighbors, the upper limit for the bank capital is around $5-6 million. This threshold paves the way to expand competitiveness in the banking sector, which is among the key determinants of financial progress.

    Some in Armenia claim that the central bank's mentioned move serves to the monopolistic interests of oligarchs in the state power, who are the most influential bankers in the country.

    Zoghovurd, a local newspaper in Yerevan, said the year of 2014 was unlucky for the banks in Armenia, as they finished the year with considerable financial losses.

    Areximbank, Akba-Credit-Agrikol Bank, Biblos Bank and Bank BTA wrapped up the year with pure financial loses amounting to $25 million altogether.
    8
  • Armenia tries to turn propaganda of 1915 events as "genocide" into source of income
    30.01.2015 11:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/03/cemil_cicek_031114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/03/cemil_cicek_031114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Armenia is trying to turn the propaganda of the 1915 events as "genocide of Armenians" into the source of income, Turkish parliament speaker Cemil Cicek was quoted Jan. 30 by the Turkish news agency Anadolu as saying.

    "Turkey has nothing against the Armenian people," he said. "But this does not mean that the country will remain silent and inactive against anti-Turkish campaign of Armenia."

    Turkey does not recognize the 1915 events as "genocide" of Armenians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier.

    "If Armenia has such archives, let it also look through them to reveal the truth of the 1915 events," Erdogan said.

    Previously, Turkish authorities have repeatedly made gestures to Armenia. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's message to the Armenian people on April 24, 2014 is one of such recent gestures.

    Erdogan said in that message that the events of 1915 were a difficult time not only for Armenians, but also for Arabs, Kurds and representatives of other nations living in the country.

    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.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier that the emphasis on the 1915 events hinders the normalization of relations between Ankara and Yerevan.

    He said that Ankara hopes for the normalization of relations with Yerevan, however, Armenia should break down its stereotypes associated with the mentioned events.

    ---

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    8
  • Colorado State Senate adopts statement expressing support for Azerbaijan
    30.01.2015 11:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136805.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136805.jpg
    On January 29, 2015, Colorado State Senate presented a statement expressing strong support for Azerbaijan and U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, Azerbaijanв's Consulate General in Los Angeles told APA.

    Signed by Senate President Bill Cadman, the statement was solemnly presented on the Senate Floor to Nasimi Aghayev, Azerbaijan's Consul General in Los Angeles.

    Speaking before the presentation, Senator Larry Crowder noted that today the United States cannot fight alone effectively against global problems such as international terrorism. He stressed in this regard the importance of staunchly supporting America's allies in the world.

    In this vein, Senator Crowder presented the said statement expressing support for Azerbaijan.

    According to the statement, the Senate affirms "the expanding relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan over the past two decades, cooperating on matters of energy security, the fight against international terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." The statement mentions that "Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to render unconditional assistance to the United States after the terror attacks of 9/11, opening its airspace and airports for the use by coalition troops in Afghanistan and sending its soldiers to serve there shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. troops." The statement concludes by extending "warmest welcome to Azerbaijan's Consul General" and expressing the great importance of "expanding relations in all spheres, including trade, cultural, and educational exchange" between Azerbaijan and the State of Colorado.

    It should be mentioned that before the presentation, the Armenian lobby in the U.S. launched a nation-wide campaign to derail the recognition of Azerbaijan on the Senate Floor and the expression of support by Colorado for U.S.-Azerbaijan friendship and cooperation. However this special interest group, which advocates for Armenia's corrupt and abusive government, and supports the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan's lands by Armenia, utterly failed. By not succumbing to the pressure from a noxious special interest group, the Colorado Senators demonstrated visionary statesmanship and principled stance on America's values and national interests.
    8
  • Armenia decisions heavily depending on Russiaв's approval
    30.01.2015 11:23
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138522.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138522.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Armenian leadership's foreign policy does not satisfy all Armenians in and out of the country. The country's integration into the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as its continuing aspirations towards the European Union have cast a shadow on a well-determined foreign policy course in the post-Soviet country.

    Only 20 days after the start of its membership at the EEU, a Russia-led trade bloc, Armenia recalled the good old days with the EU to bring back the signing of Association Agreement on agenda. Even Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner, hoped for signing the deal with Yerevan in near future.

    But the experts called on Yerevan not to pin a hope to a quick rapprochement with Europe.

    Boris Navasardyan, Armenian Coordinator at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Platform, believes that Armenia cannot put a pent to any document without Russiaв's approval.

    "Until September 3, 2013, we thought that Armenia will sign a versatile Association Agreement with the EU, similar to the deals inked with Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. But it didnв't happen. So, the agreement planned to be signed today is different from the one in 2013," he said, adding that the novel agreement will bear a distinctive quality.

    Navasardyan expressed serious doubts over Armenian authorities' independence to take a step towards the EU.

    "When Armenia announced it was ready to sign the AA deal, particularly its political chapter, our officials had already been aware of its impossibility," he added.

    Today, the situation is not the same as it was in 2013 given Armenia's obligations under the EEU membership, said Navasardyan.

    "Given that Armenia considers Russiaв's possible position on the signing of any document of the same kind, signing a deal with the EU depends on Russia, but not on our authorities," he noted.

    Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, Founder of the Turkey-based Center for the International Strategy and Security Studies, told AzerNews that Armenia seriously depends on Russia and doesnв't like to be the next Ukraine.

    "The main concern of Armenia is based on the fear of being the next Ukraine, so it has no choice but to follow Russia. But, at the same time, it needs Europe. European help is vital for Armenia amid the so-called "Armenian genocide" centennial in 2015, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Russia will not be able to meet Armenia's needs in near future given its current economic situation. That's why Yerevan is now going through a very hard period," he said.

    Kayts Minasyan, an expert at the French Center for Strategic Survey, said sovereignty of Armenia is of a contradictory nature.

    "Armenian authorities emerged to be weak and inferior to the Russian side following the incident in Gyumri. Particularly, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan is the weakest. It would be better to ask him, whether he is Armenia's foreign minister or head of a Russian foreign ministry's branch," he said.

    Russia's every step inflicts a direct negative impact on Armenia, said Gagik Makaryan, Head of the Association of Employers of Armenia.

    Makaryan believes that Russia's war with Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions are seriously deteriorating the political and economic atmosphere in Armenia

    "Accession to the EEU does not mean that Armenia will have favorable conditions for cooperation with the union's members, including Belarus and Kazakhstan," he said.

    As a way of escape from the catastrophe, Makaryan called on Armenian authorities to pay more attention to the developing Arab countries and boost cooperation with them to settle the current economic problems in the country.
    9
  • Turkey will never abandon TANAP - FM
    30.01.2015 11:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/07/tanap_tubes_070313.JPG
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/07/tanap_tubes_070313.JPG
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) construction project has special importance for Turkey, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with Anadolu agency.

    "Ankara will never abandon the implementation of such an important project," he said. "Ankara and Baku exerted much effort for this project implementation," he said.

    Cavusoglu added that there are no obstacles for TANAP's implementation.

    Cavusoglu has recently said in Ashgabat that Turkey and Azerbaijan urge Turkmenistan to take part in the implementation of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline construction project.

    The TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Turkey will obtain gas in 2018. The gas will be supplied to Europe in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed. The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.

    Contracts for the supply of pipes for the construction of TANAP were signed in Turkey's Ankara on Oct.14 with six Turkish and one Chinese company.

    Turkey's Mannesmann-Noksel-Erciyas and Umran-Emek consortiums, and the company Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi, as well as the Chinese contractor Baosteel Europe won the tender for the supply of pipes for the TANAP project.

    All the companies that will participate in the construction and supply of the TANAP project in Turkey are exempt from the VAT.

    ---

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    9
  • Georgia to launch e-visa service soon
    30.01.2015 11:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138521.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138521.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    In an effort to give an impetus to the tourism sector of its economy, Georgia is planning to launch the electronic visa issuance service in February, 2015.

    The initiative is part of the government's strategy to maintain the long-term stability of the national currency, lari. The measure also aims to encourage export, tourism and direct foreign investment inflow in Georgia.

    "We want to increase the number of tourists. Launch of e-visa service will simplify the procedures of visiting Georgia,'' said Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, the government is working on the drafts of investment projects to be realized in different regions of Georgia.

    "We have already created a very attractive ground for the investors, including establishment of favorable business conditions in Georgia's regions. The projects to be implemented in the regions are building hydro power stations and developing and promoting the local production and etc. Now we are trying to establish communication with the businessmen who are interested in investing in the regions. We will also do our best to encourage the private business,'' Garibashvili said.

    As a result of these activities, Garibashvili believes that Georgia will maintain the financial stability against the ongoing depreciation of the national currency.

    Garibashvili added that an increase in the prices of products will not be observed, especially amid the fall in prices of oil.

    "Lari's devaluation is part of the global process. Almost every national currency is depreciated worldwide and lari is affected by this general tendency. Floating exchange rate is now functioning in Georgia and it is the most suitable option for our economy,'' Garibashvili said.

    Lari is maintaining its stable position despite devaluation of some currencies, including the Ukrainian Hryvnia, the Russian Ruble, the Moldovan Leu, the Swedish Krona, the Polish Zloty, the Hungarian Forint, Garibashvili said

    "These indicators show that there is no need to be worried, as the whole world faces the same problem. The government is working very hard to maintain the financial stability in Georgia,'' he said.
    11
  • Shakira gives birth to second baby
    30.01.2015 11:20
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457403.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457403.jpg
    Shakira gives birth to second baby, SIA informs.

    The 37-year-old Colombian super star reportedly gavebirth to her second babyin Barcelona, Spain at 7 p.m. on January 29

    This is Shakira's second son withpartnerGerard Pique. In fact, their eldest,Milan PiquГ© Mebarak, was born almost exactly two years ago in the same medical center,Clinica Teknon de Barcelona.
    11
  • Most popular money transfer systems announced in Kazakhstan
    30.01.2015 11:20
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/12/Money_transfers_120313.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/12/Money_transfers_120313.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 28

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Around 53 percent of the country's all remittances account for Golden Crown and Western Union money transfer systems in Kazakhstan, Ranking.kz. analytical service said.

    Around 89 percent of money transfers account for TOP 5 systems.

    There are 14 money transfer systems on the market. Around 276 billion tenge were transferred abroad via money transfer systems during a year.

    As of 2014, Kazakhstan's Faster money transfer system was among the five largest money transfer systems - 28 billion (10 percent of the market).

    Faster system showed the maximum share increase on the market - from 4 to 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. Golden Crown is a leader on the market. It reduced the share from 32 to 28 percent during this period. Around 1.8 million remittances were conducted abroad during the year. The average money transfer check on the market is 150,400 tenge, Golden Crown - 129,300, Western Union - 201,600, Faster - 131,000 tenge.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Azerbaijani MP elected deputy chairman of PACE committee
    30.01.2015 11:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136804.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136804.jpg
    Sevinj Fataliyeva has been elected a deputy chairman of the PACE committee, AzerTag reports.

    Deputy Chairman of the committee for international relations and interparliamentary ties of the Azerbaijani Parliament, member of Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Sevinj Fataliyeva has been elected a deputy chairman of the PACE committee.

    The decision was adopted at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.
    10
  • Investing in European real estate market profitable
    30.01.2015 11:06
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138520.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138520.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    ''The best investment on earth is earth.'' Louis Glickman.

    Real estate is the safest kind of investment in the world. It cannot be lost or stolen, but, if needed, one can sell his / her real estate for good money.

    In recent years, with the development of Azerbaijanв's economy, the countryв's citizens have started investing in real estate markets of various foreign countries. They usually purchase real estate for business and living purpose.

    Recently, a favorable prospect has appeared for Azerbaijani citizens who wish to invest in the European real estate market. Head of the consulting company 'Value and Sourcesв' Rashad Aliyev believes this is mainly due to the stability of Azerbaijanв's national currency manat.

    ''The exchange rate of manat to the U.S. dollar is stable. This, in turn, means that the depreciation of euro against dollar occurs in parallel with its depreciation against manat,'' he told local media.

    He noted at the end of June last year, the exchange rate of euro against the U.S. dollar was around 1.37.

    ''After the decision of the European Central Bank on the launch of quantitative stimulation program, EUR / USD reached 1.11. Compared to June last year, the exchange rate of euro has fallen by about 17 percent. In February-April, the exchange rate of euro to dollar reached around 1.4,'' Aliyev added.

    The expert went on adding that depreciation of the exchange rate of euro will stimulate not only the export of the Eurozone, but will also improve the indicator of tourist flow to Europe.

    ''The level of investment in the real estate market will be in focus as well. However, unlike Azerbaijan, the unfavorable situation of the national currencies in other CIS countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, are unlikely to fully stimulate their citizens to seize the opportunity. Currencies of some of these countries have generally outperformed the euro in depreciation. Therefore, no increase is expected in tourist flow and the level of investment in real estate in these countries,'' he said.

    Aliyev also recommended the Azerbaijani citizens, who wish to purchase a real estate in Europe, to hurry up.

    ''It is expected that pumping of money by the ECB into the economy could give an impetus to the growth in property prices. Therefore, the further effect of depreciation of the exchange rate may be offset by the likely increase in property prices,'' the expert concluded.

    Meanwhile, the recent events in Ukraine have led to an increase of cash flow into the real estate market in Azerbaijan, particularly in Baku.

    Azerbaijani citizens, who have invested in the Russian real estate market, tend to invest in their homeland. Therefore, the recent developments in Russia have forced them shift their funds to Baku.

    The investors and businessmen, who work in the Russian market, prefer to invest part of their funds in the real estate market of Baku because of Russia's market instability.

    Thus, after the events in Russia and Ukraine, the volume of cash flows to Azerbaijan's housing market has been on the rise.
    6
  • AtaBank OJSC enforces implementation of ''MasterCard Contactless'' functionality
    30.01.2015 11:06
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457397.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457397.jpg
    AtaBank OJSC implemented the ''MasterCard Contactless'' functionality on its new ''MasterCard'' plastic cards. POS-terminals that belong to AtaBank and installed in partner network are programmed and ready to accept contactless cards. It was reported by Mr. Elnur Osmanov, Member of the Board '" Executive Director of the AtaBank OJSC. As he said, POS-terminals of AtaBank will be able to accept ''MasterCard Contactless'' cards. AtaBank OJSC is the Principal Member of ''MasterCard Europe SPRL'' since 2013. Being the biggest bank-acquirer in Azerbaijan AtaBank will gradually activate contactless payments throughout the POS-terminals network. MasterCard Country Manager HakanAcar stated: ''Consumers around the world are embracing contactless payment experience more and more each day. We are very proud to partner with AtaBank, as it is one of the largest acquirers in Azerbaijan, to expand the use of MasterCard contactless payment service to consumers across the country. We look forward to providing more contactless payments opportunities for cardholders, through a wider range of MasterCard-enabled cards and devices.'' Number of cards issued by AtaBank is almost 26 000. Bank has 78 ATMs and 18 567 POS-terminals.

    For detailed information about MasterCard products of AtaBank OJSC visit the official website www.atabank.com or the bankв's official facebook page www.facebook.com/AtaBank.
    8
  • OSCE MG: Use of drones on Azerbaijani-Armenian troops contact line - provocation
    30.01.2015 11:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/05/james_warlick_051113_02.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/05/james_warlick_051113_02.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:

    The reported use of drones above or across the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh is a provocation, the OSCE Minks Group's US Co-chair James Warlick tweeted Jan. 29.

    "The sides need to reduce tensions," Warlick noted.

    On Jan. 29, the Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed an Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

    Azerbaijan's air force destroyed the UAV belonging to the Armenian armed forces above the Azerbaijani army positions in the Aghdam part of the frontline at around 14:00 (UTC/GMT 4 hours).

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

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

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

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

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    8
  • Rouhani says Iran should progress in space technology
    30.01.2015 10:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/06/hassan_rouhani_060813_11.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/06/hassan_rouhani_060813_11.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Priority to restructure Iranian Space Agency is in line with the government's policy to promote knowledge-based economy, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said, IRNA reported.

    Rouhani's statement came out amid Iran's preparation to launch the "Sharif" satellite into space by February 11, 2015.

    Meanwhile, Iran's vice president for executive affairs Mohammad Shariatmadari told Fars News Agency on Nov. 14 that Iran's Defense Ministry has announced readiness for launching the satellite.

    Back in 2012 it was reported that more than 100 Iranian students, scholars and academics have been involved in designing and constructing the indigenous satellite, which weighs less than 50 kilograms.

    Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into the space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.

    In June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad's mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.

    Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), another indigenous satellite, into the orbit on February 3, 2012.

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    9
  • Nature needs not plastic bags
    30.01.2015 10:41
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138519.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138519.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Have you ever thought how much garbage you create every week, over an entire year or throughout your life? We all come to this world with nothing but our body. However we start to leave behind our first trash with the first diaper.

    Piles of garbage raise the ecological warnings. One of the most widespread dangerous trashes is plastic in general and plastic bags, a sign of the consumption era, in particular.

    Twenty years ago, plastic bag was in a deficit in our region and people used string and paper bags instead. Today, the situation has changed dramatically.

    More than 1,000 plastic bags are used by average Azerbaijani citizen every year. Meanwhile, the number of plastic bags used worldwide is estimated at 1 trillion annually.

    Non-compostable plastic bags take 500-1,000 years to degrade. They hurt our children, our animals and damage our nature. Despite this, we use plastic bags in tones, collecting them in our house.

    Azerbaijanв's capital Baku has been famous for centuries as the city of wind. Nowadays, it is famous for its wind and plastic bags that fly over the city.

    Ecologists have called for banning production and usage of the plastic bags in Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan needs to stop production the plastic bags! We must not learn from the European experience in this area by reducing the annual usage of the plastic bags. We just have to ban its production immediately,'' Telman Zeynalov, ecologist, Chairman of the Environmental Council of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, said to the local press.

    Plastic bags are made from oil, and the cessation of their production will lead to savings of oil resources, he believes. ''We should not forget that the process of decomposition of these packages takes a century. In the process of decomposition, the soil becomes polluted thereby infecting the crops.''

    Plastic bags production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption. Just imagine that the amount of petroleum used to make 1 plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters. Meanwhile, trillions of these bags are produced annually around the world.

    Europe, for its turn has come to the decision to decrease the usage of plastic bags in the European Union, in order to reduce the production of waste and to reduce the potential impact on the environment.

    Today, each European, according to the European Commission, annually uses 198 plastic packages including thin bags and durable package.

    It is expected that by 2025, EU citizens will use no more than 45 such packages per year. Today, fewer plastic bags in the EU are used per year by averaged residents of Luxembourg (20), Ireland (20) and Austria (51). Meanwhile, citizens of Bulgaria (421), Czech Republic (330) and Romania (280) use many of these bags.

    Europe is now imposing taxes on the plastic bags. In Ireland, usage of plastic bags has decreased by almost 90 percent a few months after the introduction of the tax in 2013.

    Azerbaijan can also use this system.

    There are also other ways to find a way out '" production of bio-plastic bags that are made of plastic that decomposes in natural conditions. But the most effective way is to switch to reusable bags.

    People, who are worried about the situation are creating different trends around the world. Some choose to live without plastic, while others try to live with no garbage at all, calling their lifestyle as ''zero plastic'' and ''zero waste.'' They do not use the traditional packing, and avoid food products garbage.

    There are green stores in different parts of the world that offer shopping by weight without any package. People come here with their own bags. This idea is not a new one for our region, as our grandparents used to buy food and other products at bazaars where no package was used.

    Maybe it is the high time to recall this tradition as long as the nature has still some chances for survival.
    8
  • OSCE chairman hopes for peace settlement
    30.01.2015 10:40
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457388.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457388.jpg
    The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbiaв's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, said Thursday he hopes the Minsk meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine will pave the way toward peace settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.

    Dacic held a telephone conversation with his Special Representative to the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, who briefed him on the latest developments in the implementation of the peace plan in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE reported Thursday.

    "Dacic extended his full support for the work of Tagliavini and the Trilateral Contact Group. He expressed his hope that the Contact Group members and all the signatories of the Minsk documents would gather for a new round of peace consultations in Minsk as soon as possible," the statement said.

    "I urge all sides involved in the conflict to stop the hostilities and return to the negotiating table. The international community expects the signatories of the Minsk documents to honour their commitments and pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict," Dacic said.

    A regular meeting of the Contact Group with participation of representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Peopleв's republics (DPR and LPR) will be held in Minsk on Friday, January 30.

    The decision to make Minsk a permanent negotiating site for the Contact Group on Ukraine was made August 26, 2014 in the Belarusian capital after a Customs Union summit.

    Over 4,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraineв's southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kievв's military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk Peopleв's republics, according to UN data.

    A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

    Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

    A memorandum was adopted on September 19, 2014 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.

    The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

    A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9. It was seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities. Both Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics voiced the necessity to start withdrawal of heavy armaments, swap prisoners and demilitarize the region.

    The situation in the region deteriorated when a passenger bus bound from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka was shelled on January 13. Twelve civilians were killed and 16 wounded.
    10
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