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Rovnag Abdullayev: Caspianв's gas potential is great and there will occur need for additional gas corridors
28.06.2013 16:48
By selecting TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline), Azerbaijan has taken its important steps to become European energy supplier, said the President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Rovnag Abdullayev.

Abdullayev noted that the idea on delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe will not be limited only with Shahdeniz project: "Azerbaijan has gas reserves approved in the 2 trillion cm. TAP project will change European energy map."

He stressed that Azerbaijan will participate in other energy projects of Europe: "Caspianв's gas potential is great and there will occur need for additional gas corridors."

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    It was the first major avalanche on Mount Everest this climbing season, when hundreds of foreign and Nepali climbers flock to the mountain to attempt to climb its 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) peak.

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  • Looking forward to start of tournament in Shamkir '" Magnus Carlsen
    18.04.2014 13:03
    World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has shared his opinion on an upcoming tournament dedicated to Vugar Hashimovв's memory in Shamkir city of Azrebaijan.

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    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Eastern Partnership countries have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in case of compliance with the principles of democracy.

    "The European Parliament stresses that the association agreements with Ukraine and other countries of the Eastern Partnership are not the end point in relations with the EU," according to the European Parliament's resolution recently passed in Brussels. "The European Parliament also stressed that in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights."

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    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Nakhchivan Open-2014 chess tournament money prize amounts to $10,000
    18.04.2014 12:59
    The International Chess Festival Nakhchivan Open 2014 commemorating Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev will have a total money prize of $10,000.

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    18.04.2014 12:52
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Aygun Badalova -Trend:

    Tajikistan's minister of finance, Abdusalom Qurbonov met with the head of International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, Dimitar Radev, ASIA-Plus reported on April 18, referring to the ministry's statement.

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    Qurbonov expressed confidence that the cooperation with the fund will develop and expand in the future.

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  • Turkey strongly condemns Nigerian bombing
    18.04.2014 12:48
    Baku-APA. Turkey has strongly condemned a bombing attack in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Monday that killed more than 70 people, APA reports quoting Todays Zaman.

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    18.04.2014 12:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    It is important to diversify the ways of supplying energy resources and particularly natural gas from the Caspian Sea to ensure the energy security of the European allies of the U.S., U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said at the broad political forum "Changing landscape of natural gas" on April 18.

    He was discussing the strategic importance of the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan in ensuring energy security.

    "The U.S. government supports energy projects that serve this purpose," Moniz said.

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    Suleymanov spoke about the role of alternative sources and routes of energy supply in ensuring energy security.

    He stressed the Southern Gas Corridor project, which is characterized as a project changing the geopolitical situation of Europe.

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    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Montenegro interested in developing relations in field of investments with Azerbaijan
    18.04.2014 12:30
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    Montenegro is interested in development of relations with Azerbaijan in various spheres of the economy, in particular in the field of investment, chairman of the Montenegrin Parliament, OSCE PA president Ranko Krivokapic said at a meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev in Baku on April 17, the ministry reported.

    Krivokapic expressed satisfaction with developing relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro, stressing that his country focuses on the dynamic development of Azerbaijan.

    While speaking about the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Montenegro, Mustafayev stressed the importance of mutual visits to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

    An Azerbaijani delegation visited Montenegro in March 2014. The first meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, meetings and a business forum were held there.

    "The high level of bilateral political relations and the potential of the two countries create favorable conditions for the expansion of economic cooperation," the minister said.

    "The memorandum of understanding on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, signed last year is an excellent opportunity for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Montenegro in the energy sector," Mustafayev said. "At this stage, several investment projects are being considered. Their successful implementation will serve the development of relations between the two countries. There is great potential for expanding the cooperation in the fields of agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and investments."

    While discussing the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mustafayev stressed that as a result of Armenia's aggressive policy, some 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands were occupied.

    "Compatriots turned into refugees and IDPs," he said. "The minister regretted that double standards are still applied in connection with the conflict. The representatives of Armenia and the fictional regime get visas for trips to Europe. The opportunities are being created for their making statements from the international platforms."

    Mustafayev stressed that the international community must demonstrate a principled position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on international law.

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Saudi Arabia builds world's tallest tower
    18.04.2014 12:27
    Dubai -- long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive -- will soon have some competition from neighboring Saudi Arabia.

    Dubai's iconic Burj Khalifa -- the world's tallest building -- could be stripped of its Guinness title if Saudi Arabia succeeds in its plans to construct the even larger Kingdom Tower in Jeddah -- a prospect looking more likely as work begins next week, according to Construction Weekly.

    Consultants Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS) have recently announced testing materials to build the 3,280-feet (one kilometer) skyscraper (the Burj Khalifa, by comparison, stands at a meeker 2,716-feet, or 827 meters).

    The Kingdom Tower, estimated to cost $1.23 billion, would have 200 floors and overlook the Red Sea. Building it will require about 5.7 million square-feet of concrete, and 80,000 tons of steel, according to the Saudi Gazette.

    Building a structure that tall, particularly on the coast, where salt water could potentially damage it, is no easy feat. The foundations, which will be 200 feet (60 meters) deep, need to be able to withstand the saltwater of the nearby ocean. As a result, ACTS will test the strength of different concretes.

    Wind load is another issue for buildings of this magnitude. To counter this challenge, the tower will change shape regularly.

    "Because it changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won't be as extreme as on a really solid block," Gordon Gill explained to Construction Weekly. Gill is a partner at Adrian Smith Gordon Gill Architecture, the design architects for the project.

    Delivering the concrete to higher floors will also be a challenge. Possibly, engineers could use similar methods to those employed when building the Burj Khalifa; six million cubic feet of concrete were pushed through a single pump, usually at night to ensure the temperatures were low enough to ensure it would set.

    Though ambitious, building the Kingdom Tower should be feasible, according to Dr. Sang Dae Kim, the director of the Council on Tall Buildings.

    "At this point in time we can build a tower that is one kilometer, maybe two kilometers. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework," he told Construction Weekly.

  • Schneider Electric forwards automation products and solutions for better energy efficiency in Azerbaijan
    18.04.2014 12:07
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    On 16 April 2014 Park Inn Hotel looked like the busiest venue of the Azerbaijan's electric specialists as Schneider Electric had invited them for a one-day seminar in Baku. The event brought together over 60 electric specialists of private businesses and universities to learn more about SE automation products and solutions.

    Welcoming the event participants Schneider Electric Azerbaijan Country President Emrah Tekdemir underlined the constant development of Azerbaijan and importance of energy efficiency methods introduction to increase business profits and secure better living environment for the future generations.

    Punhan Seyidov SE automation business team leader broadly described Schneider Electric automation products and solutions available in the Azerbaijan market and shared SE working experience with local businesses and infrastructural projects. P.Seyidov pointed out Schneider Electric support to developing local electric engineers and noticed a good level of cooperation with the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy (ASOA), Azerbaijan State Technical University (ASTU), Azerbaijan State Marine Academy (ASMA).

    The ASOA deputy dean pf. Ramiz Hasanov expressed his gratitude to Schneider Electric for the support to the Azerbaijan's education and stressed a great value of the global energy company's knowledge and experience application in Azerbaijan. Docent Zakir Hasanov proudly presented electric training modules engineered by the ASOA students in the event exhibition area.

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  • 'Sanctions will force Armenia to respect international law'
    18.04.2014 12:07
    News.Az reprints from interview with Araz Alizade, chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (ASDP).

    President Ilham Aliyev in his recent speech urged the international community to impose sanctions against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh separatists? How would you comment on that?

    I am in agreement on this issue with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which have not yet been fulfilled by Armenia.

    If a state does not comply with UN Security Council resolutions, as a rule, sanctions are applied in relation to it.

    The fact is that at the time the "ball" was thrown from the UN Security Council to the OSCE, which solves nothing and therefore cannot do anything.

    The "ball" must be returned to the UN, and then economic, political and military sanctions should be consistently applied against Armenia.

    I would like to note that economic sanctions alone cannot give any serious results, because the economy of Armenia is at zero level and is completely subordinated to the third state.

    If sanctions are applied, how seriously can they affect Armenia?

    What a state Armenia is to resist the sanctions of the international community? In the case of such a scenario, it will be forced to comply with international law, which are ignored for decades, or will be destroyed as a state.

    Why double standards are still applied in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

    Because the world is unfair, and the talk about the democratic West is nonsense. Winston Churchill once clearly stated: "There is no permanent enemies and permanent allies, only permanent interests."

    U.S., Russia and the whole world live among their own interests and from time to time they are also guided by double standards for their support.

    The West didn't properly calculate the events in Ukraine and Crimea, and now it speaks of justice and democracy. Democracy is a stick in the hands of the strong, to strike in the event that someone does not like it.

    You often talk about military scenario in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict...

    Nobody forbids Azerbaijan to military action. But, in my opinion, we must first go to the formation of a professional army.

    Army must be professional, it must have 25-30-year-old men, and not 18- 19-year-old boys. Professional soldiers must be ready to kill for the sake of defending the Homeland.

    To return Nagorno-Karabakh, we only need 60,000th professional army, that is, four corps.

    The 51st article of the UN Charter states that a country that was attacked and the lands of which were seized has the right to liberate its territories up to the conduct of military action.

    Armenia's economy is in poor condition and with each year the situation worsens. Why doesn't the leadership of this country realize that the continuation of the occupation policy will not bring anything good for them?

    Look who leads Armenia, basically the Karabakh mafia, those people who have become politicians and came to power due to Karabakh.

    They will never be able to say: "Guys, we were wrong, if we want to live well, we must return the lands of Azerbaijan." In this case, they will generally be swept away.

    While the Karabakh mafia is in power in Armenia, they will return nothing peacefully.

    Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian realized that the road goes to nowhere and wanted to go to a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, but he was overthrown by the Karabakh Armenians.

    How do you think, how long will the Armenian diaspora influence key decisions in the life of the country?

    Armenian diaspora no longer allocates any cosmic money to Armenia. The diaspora is tired of feeding the Karabakh mafia clan.

    Look how much singer Charles Aznavour did for Armenia and the Armenian elite now hates him. However, their feelings are mutual.

    These marathons held in different countries of the world give less and less effect both to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh separatists. Armenians all over the world are tired of feeding the parasites and criminals from Karabakh.

    Among Armenians there are people who realize that such Armenia has no future and that the Karabakh adventure must be stopped , but nobody listens to them and call them enemies.

  • Oil price changes in world markets
    18.04.2014 12:05
    The price of oil has changed in the world markets.

    On the New York Stock Exchange NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) cost of the US Light crude oil increased $0.54 to stand at $104.03.

    Price of British Brent crude oil at the London ICE (InterContinental Exchange Futures) has decreased $0.07 to trade at $109.53.

    A barrel of Azeri Light crude oil decreased $0.64 to stand at $112.17 the Department of Marketing and Economic Operations of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) said.
  • Defense expenditures of Azerbaijanв's budget increase by almost 40%
    18.04.2014 11:51
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    Defense expenditures of the Azerbaijan`s state budget amounted to 11.5 million manat in January-March 2014, which is 38.8 percent more than the same period last year.

    The report noted that in general, the expenditure fulfillment of the state budget exceeded forecast by 3.33 percent and made up 4.37 billion manat in January-March, the report of the Azerbaijani Finance Ministry said.

    During the reported period the health expenditure amounted to 17.4 million manat (annual growth of 18.6 percent), transport and communications - 1.9 million manat (annual growth of 16 percent) , industry, construction and mining - 233 6 million manat (annual growth of 12.2 percent), housing and utilities - 22.6 million manat (annual growth of 56.4 percent), the activities of the courts, police and prosecutors - 20.7 million manat (annual growth of 11.1 per cent), education - 21.4 million (annual growth of 8.5 percent), social protection and welfare - 7.4 million manat (annual growth of 1.4 percent).

    The social budget expenditures amounted to 1.27 billion manat, or 29.1 percent of all costs. This exceeds the same period last year by 9.3 percent, or 108.1 million manat.

    Investment expenditures of the state budget increased by 14.4 percent in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year by amounting to 2188.4 million manat.

    Some 731.3 million manat allocated to the construction and reconstruction of education, health, social, sporting and other socio-cultural and domestic facilities in Azerbaijan in the first quarter of 2014. And some 1457.1 million manat allocated for the construction, reconstruction of infrastructure in the fields of energy, water gas supply, roads, water, air and underground transport, melioration.

    Fulfilled revenues of the consolidated budget of the country amounted to 5.43 billion manat, and expenses - 4.97 billion manat, which is 1.2 percent more compared to January-March, 2013.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • President congratulates country's Orthodox Christian community
    18.04.2014 11:46
    President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the Orthodox Christian community of the country with a sacred Easter holiday. reports citing the president's official website that the message reads:

    "Dear compatriots!

    I heartily congratulate you and the entire Christian community of Azerbaijan on the sacred holiday of Passover and wish you health, happiness and tranquillity.

    Historically entrenched in Azerbaijan, the heavenly religions coexisting peacefully for centuries in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust have played a crucial role in the establishment of such universal values '‹'‹as humanism, solidarity and tolerance in our society, in the formation of a perfect environment of religious and ethnic tolerance and the rich traditions of multiculturalism.

    It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is recognized and accepted throughout the world as a space of dialogue among civilizations and cultures.

    In Azerbaijan, the state-religious relations settled in accordance with democratic principles and norms of international law, providing freedom of religion and conscience of everyone, regardless of their language, religion and ethnicity. Religious population in our country, including our citizens of the Christian faith openly and freely exercise their religious beliefs and rituals, perform national holidays and ceremonies and exhibit high activity in all spheres of socio-political, cultural and spiritual life and in building civil society.

    Dear friends!

    Easter holiday, solemnly celebrated annually in Azerbaijan, is a symbol of peace, solidarity and feelings of benevolence and charity. On this auspicious day Д° once again wish you a wonderful festive mood, and joy and prosperity to your families.

    Happy Holiday!"

  • Azerbaijan takes in int'l rowing regatta
    18.04.2014 11:36
    By AzerNews

    The traditional and international regatta in rowing and canoeing will start in Azerbaijan on April 18.

    The three-day "President's Cup 2014" will be held in the Olympic sports training center "Kur" in Mingachevir.

    Aiming to develop these sports in Azerbaijan, the event will host more than 150 athletes from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

    Azerbaijan and Georgia will take part in both sports, while Turkey will participate only in canoeing.

    The Cup will be overwatched by the members of the Organizing Committee of the "Baku-2015" European Games, so that they get familiar with the current situation at the center, where rowing and canoeing events will be held during the Baku Games.

    Organized jointly by Azerbaijan's National Rowing Federation and the Youth and Sports Ministry, the "President's Cup" has been held annually since March 2008.

    However, the sport event was re-scheduled for mid-April this year to keep Azerbaijani athletes in shape for abroad trainings and competitions in early May.

    Based on the result of the regatta, the list of the national teams in all three sports will be determined.

    Rowing developed quickly in Azerbaijan with the establishment of the National Rowing Federation (AMAF) in December 2006.

    Being a member of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF), the AMAF participates in various international competitions and European and world championships at present.
  • Iranian nuclear negotiators strong because of National Army's support
    18.04.2014 11:21
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.18

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says the country's powerful national army backs nuclear negotiators.

    Addressing a ceremony which was held on the occasion of Iran's national army day in Tehran on April 18, Rouhani said one of the reasons for the strength of the nuclear negotiating team is the support of the army, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

    Rouhani however noted, that the army will never get involved in politics.

    "It has been always defending the country. We will never attack a country, but will stand strong against any attack," Rouhani added.

    Iran and the P5 1 reached a nuclear agreement on Nov. 24. Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities for six months in return for sanctions relief. Both Iran and the P5 1 group have agreed to implement the agreement starting from Jan. 20.

    Under the agreement, six major powers agreed to give Iran access to $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if it carries out the deal, which offers sanctions relief in exchange for steps to curb the Iranian nuclear program.

    The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.

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  • West pursues double standard policy towards Azerbaijan
    18.04.2014 11:18
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17

    By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:

    Time has come now for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the international law and the return of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis, who became IDPs, to their homes, Conservative Member of UK Parliament, David Davis said.

    Davis has sent a statement to the European Azerbaijan Society, supporting Azerbaijan's position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    The statement condemns the policy of double standards, consisting of the fact that the Western states, while supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, do not contribute such support to Azerbaijan.

    The statement noted that the events in Ukraine showed the importance of stability for Europe. The leaders of Western countries, supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, unanimously demonstrated a fair position.

    Azerbaijan however, doesn't get the same support, despite that everyone recognize Nagorno Karabakh being a part of Azerbaijan.

    The statement also indicates that the British BP company is the largest investor in Azerbaijan and can lose a lot, if the conflict resumes.

    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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

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

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Azerbaijani cooks participate in Kitchen Asiada-2017
    18.04.2014 11:16
    By AzerNews

    Azerbaijan was represented at the "Asiada Kitchen 2017" workshop held in Turkmenistan's Ashgabat on April 8-10.

    The news was announced by Azerbaijan's National Cooking Association.

    The event, which turned out to be not only interesting and informative, but also very "tasty", has become a kind of international celebration of national cuisines.

    Master chefs demonstrated proficiency in their technical skills, and came of with good ideas in the preparation of various kinds of meat and fish with vegetables and fruits, unusual sauces, salads, and confectionery.

    To participate in the event, experienced chefs from more than 20 countries, including UK, Germany, China, Korea, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Japan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan Tajikistan, and Ukraine came to Turkmenistan.

    The Azerbaijani delegation at the event was led by Head of the National Cuisine Center and President of Azerbaijan's National Culinary Association Tahir Amiraslanov.

    During the workshop, the participants listened to the presentations of various countries that acquainted the participants with the features of their national cuisines.

    Speaking at the event, Amiraslanov noted that Azerbaijan pays special attention to other countries' national culinary heritage.

    Azerbaijan also presented a short movie "National Cuisine" (Milli m?tb?x), made with the support of the country's Culture and Tourism Ministry.

    Amiraslanov then distributed among the participants books titled "Azerbaijan's Cookery and Azerbaijan's Cuisine", "Cookery kleptomania", and "Karabakh's Cuisine" in English.

    Following the event, all the participants were awarded certificates and souvenirs.

    "Kitchen Asiada 2017" aims to improve the skills of Turkmen chefs who will serve the participants and guests of the 5th Asian Indoor Games, held in Ashgabat in 2017.

    Out of 11 climatic zones known in the world, Azerbaijan's climate has nine. This contributes to the fertility of the land, which in turn results in the richness of the country's cuisine.

    Azerbaijan is famous for the abundance of its vegetables and greens used seasonally in all the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leek, chive, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress are very popular and often accompany main dishes.

    The Caspian Sea is home to many edible species of fish, including the sturgeon, Caspian salmon, sardines, grey mullet, and others. Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is one of Azerbaijan's best-known delicacies well sought after in other parts of the world, including former Soviet countries.
  • Cooperation issues discussed with Belgian business-companies in Georgia
    18.04.2014 11:05
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with a delegation of representatives of the largest Belgian business companies in Tbilisi, Prime Minister's office told Trend on April 18.

    The issues concerning the investment sphere were discussed during the meeting. It was stressed that the Georgian leadership is focused on protection of property rights.

    The delegation headed by Prince Juan Bagrationi and Benjamin Van Oudenhove included senior officials of 15 leading Belgian business companies.

    "We are satisfied, as we see that the new Georgian authorities are actually doing much to improve the investment sphere," Benjamin Van Oudenhove said. "It is very important when businessmen and potential investors get information directly from the senior officials."

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan to identify genetic factors in oncology
    18.04.2014 11:00
    By AzerNews

    People who are afraid of oncological diseases due to genetic factors will be able to learn about the probability of the disease in advance in Azerbaijan.

    These analyses will be carried out in a newly created laboratory of molecular oncology under the National Oncology Center of the Health Ministry, laboratory head Leyla Melikova said.

    The laboratory will conduct analyses on any genetic diseases. Along with other researches, diagnostics is currently conducted for identifying hereditary gene mutations of breast cancer, she said.

    "If grandmother, mother, aunts and sisters of a woman have breast cancer, there is a genetic predisposition and this woman is in the risk group," Melikova noted.

    Mutations contributing to the disease are of two kinds, she said; heritable mutations are passed from parents to children, while somatic mutations are acquired.

    Although oncological mutations are considered somatic in 20-40 percent of the cases, genetic mutations can become a cause of cancer, she added.

    "As a result of mutations of oncogenes, the cell loses its normal functions and becomes an oncocell," Melikova said.

    She noted that if the genes were passed from parents to children, their child enters the high-risk group. In this case, there is a need for molecular analysis.

    Breast cancer threats younger women

    Unfortunately, breast cancer is growing young in Azerbaijan. Head of the General Oncology Department of the National Oncology Center Samir Gurbanov said if the disease used to happen among women aged 55-65 before, it is most common among 45-50 years old women now.

    "Breast cancer did not appear among 25-28 years old women, while now it occurs at the 22-28 age group in 10-12 cases," Gurbanov said.

    He said age is of a great importance in this disease. The sooner the tumor appears, the more aggressive the disease will be, and the sooner it reveals itself, the faster it will incapacitate other organs and become less treatable. Therefore, breast cancer shortens the life expectancy of young women more than older ones.

    Cancer control is currently carried out in several directions, he added. The first direction is conducting screenings of healthy population.

    Women above 35 years of age should go through a mammography or ultrasound every three-six months, he said.

    Gurbanov noted that cancer ranks first among diseases with the highest mortality rate even in the developed countries of the world. At present, it is impossible to reduce the number of cases despite the fact that medicine prolongs the life of patients for a while.

    "Therefore, the disease was studied at the genetic level, and some results were obtained," he said.

    In Azerbaijan, people who are afraid of disease hereditary may already learn about their predisposition, something that can affect the number of cancer patients significantly, he said.

    Azerbaijan's chief oncologist Azad Kerimli said 1,519 women were diagnosed with cancer last year. Overall, the number of breast cancer patients reached 9,043 in 2013. 4,221 of these women struggle with the disease for five years or more.

    Frightening tendency

    The most widespread types of cancer encountered in Azerbaijan are breast cancer in women and lung, trachea, and bronchi cancer in men.

    Kerimli believes the total number of cancer patients in Azerbaijan is 34,681.

    The rise of oncological diseases is connected to the increase in the country's population, which recently reached 9.4 million people. The number of oncological patients is high in Baku and the south of the country.

    However, despite the growth of such patients in the country, their number is quite low compared to other countries, Kerimli said.

    "Environmental, nutritional, and reproductive factors play a major role here," he said.

    Oncological diseases are not the end of life and there are three ways of fighting cancer - surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. After these treatments and under therapeutic guidance, oncological patients may live for up to 15-20 years afterwards.

    Providing cancer patients with medications has recently improved in the country. Fourteen items of chemotherapy drugs for cancer patients were purchased in 2006. The figure rose to 45 in 2012, and 58 in 2013.

    The National Oncology Center, established in Azerbaijan in 2009, has given an impetus to the fight against cancer in the country. The center has had an oncological center for children since 2011.

    Currently, there are seven cancer clinics in the Azerbaijani regions and the state is providing patients with free medicine for chemotherapy.
  • Situation on contact line of Azerbaijani-Armenian troops remains tense
    18.04.2014 10:59
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces located in the village of Aqbulaq of the Tovuz region from the positions located in the village of Chinari of Armenia's Berd region last night, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on April 17.

    The Azerbaijani Armed Forces' positions located on the nameless heights of the Gadabay region underwent fire from the positions on the nameless heights of Armenia's Krasnoselsk region.

    At the same time, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces' positions underwent fire near the villages of Goradiz of the Fizuli region, Chilyaburt of the Terter region, Tapqaraqoyunlu of the Goranboy region and the nameless heights in the Jabrail and Goygol regions.

    The shooting was countered by 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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

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

    Translated by NH

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Coca-Cola and NBA superstar LeBron James create new Sprite
    18.04.2014 10:57
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    NBA superstar and cultural icon LeBron James has made thousands of spectacular plays during his basketball career. But this spring, he's changing the game and taking his creative expression off the court to collaborate with Sprite on a unique, new flavor, the company said on April 18.

    Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James is the first limited-edition Sprite flavor formulated in partnership with the NBA champion and cultural icon. The game-changing beverage combines the refreshing taste of traditional Sprite with a splash of cherry and orange flavor. The flavor formulation, packaging graphics and product name of Sprite 6 Mix were co-developed with James to truly reflect his style and taste preferences.

    "LeBron James is the perfect partner to bring our fans new product innovation," said Kimberly Paige, Associate Vice President, Sprite Brands, Coca-Cola North America. "We've enjoyed an amazing relationship with LeBron since he entered the NBA in 2003, and we're proud to have him contribute to Sprite in a meaningful way that we know will excite Sprite lovers and his fans."

    Beginning in mid-March, Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James will appear on store shelves in the USA for a limited time. It will be sold in convenience retail and value stores. Special packaging for the new flavor features a custom logo sporting James' name and jersey number, and his initials appear on the background of the label. The packaging also features a custom "6" with a crown integrated to represent James' most popular nickname - "King James."

    "Growing up drinking Sprite, I never imagined I would have my own flavor someday," James said. "I had a great time working with the Sprite team to turn my favorite flavors into a pretty cool variation of one of my favorite brands. I'm proud of what we created and I'm excited for my fans to try it."

    Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James will be supported by a multichannel advertising campaign. The effort will include a 15-second commercial and digital videos featuring James and his marketing team during a real working session at LRMR offices in Akron, Ohio. Out-of-home on digital billboards and digital banner ads will feature the product and campaign tagline: LeBron Has Changed The Game. Again.

    Fans of Sprite can enter cap codes from each bottle of Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James online at or via text to redeem instant rewards, including LeBron street art wallpapers and music download codes. Plus, enter codes to win prizes including a signed LeBron James jersey, autographed cans, UNKNWN apparel, gift cards and more.

    About The Coca-Cola Company

    The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day.

    With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.

    Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at, follow us on Twitter at, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at or find us on LinkedIn at

  • AZERNEWS releases another print issue
    18.04.2014 10:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    A new print edition of the AZERNEWS online newspaper was released on April 18.

    The new edition includes articles about Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev's comments over the latest developments in Azerbaijan's energy sector, the expert comments on the possibility of Russia-Iran oil-for-goods deal, Fitch's affirming SOCAR's rating as stable, Azerbaijanis who fear cancer due to genetic factors, will be able to learn about the probability of the disease in advance, about the mysteries of the life of Shirvanshakhs, as well as unusual souvenirs can be bought in Azerbaijan and etc.

    AZERNEWS is an associate member of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

    The online newspaper is available at www.azer
  • Fitch places Kazakhstan's KazAgroFinance on Rating Watch Negative
    18.04.2014 10:50
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    International Rating Agency Fitch Ratings has placed Kazakh KazAgroFinance's Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of 'BBB-' on Rating Watch Negative (RWN), the agency reported on April 18.

    Short-term foreign currency IDR: 'F3', placed on RWN

    National Long-term rating: 'AA (kaz)', placed on RWN

    Support Rating: '2', placed on RWN

    Support Rating Floor: 'BBB-', placed on RWN

    "The RWN on KazAgroFinance mirrors that on its parent KazAgro National Managing Holding JSC (BBB/RWN), which in turn reflects Fitch's concerns about KazAgro's intention to significantly increase wholesale borrowings, as this may reduce the government's support propensity for KazAgro and consequently KazAgroFinance," the agency said.

    KazAgroFinance's IDRs, National Long-term and Support Ratings factor in the likelihood of support the bank may receive, if needed, from Kazakh authorities (through KazAgro), given the track record of capital injections, the low cost of potential support, KazAgroFinance's status as a material subsidiary of KazAgro and the significant risks of reputational and market access damage in case of KazAgroFinance's default.

    At the same time, the current two-notch differential between KazAgroFinance 's foreign currency IDR and that of the Kazakh sovereign reflects KazAgroFinance 's less prominent policy role as a development institution and lesser importance for the country's economy and financial system relative to other government-owned institutions in Kazakhstan; and the company's indirect government ownership, which may in some scenarios impact the timeliness of support. KazAgroFinance's vulnerable asset quality and growth plans also mean that its leverage may over time increase significantly from the current low level.

    Fitch expects to resolve the RWN on KazAgroFinance within six months once the parent's RWN is resolved. In resolving the RWN on KazAgroFinance, Fitch will consider the rating action on the parent, as well as the role of KazAgroFinance in the group and the implications of the increased market borrowings of KazAgro for the government's support propensity towards KazAgroFinance.

    Fitch may downgrade KazAgroFinance's ratings if the parent's ratings are downgraded and the agency believes that support propensity in respect to KazAgroFinance has weakened.

    The affirmation of KazAgro's ratings and/or evidence that support for KazAgroFinance has not materially deteriorated could result in affirmation of KazAgroFinance's ratings.

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  • Fragile sunshine, blossoming trees, novel breath in Baku
    18.04.2014 10:46
    Baku began to feel the warmth of spring. Fragile sunshine, blossoming trees, pure raindrops, fresh air, novel breath of life make it unique feeling to be in Baku.

    There is a bouyant flow of life in spring in the golden city of the Land of Fire. Sunny Baku attracts love of all who has footprint on the streets of the city. Baku deserves love and care in return of warm embrace it opens to all.
  • Iran oil exports fall for first time in five months
    18.04.2014 10:45
    Iran's crude oil exports fell for the first time in five months in March, and are slated to drop further in April, moving closer to the levels stipulated by November's temporary nuclear deal that eased some sanctions on Tehran, Reuters reported on April 17

    Under the agreement reached in Geneva, Iran's oil exports were to remain at an average 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the six months to July 20, but since the signing last year, shipments to Asia alone had topped that mark until this month.

    The drop in crude exports to just over 1 million bpd in March and to 953,000 bpd for April, according to ship loading data seen by Reuters, reduces pressure on Tehran ahead of talks next month to finalise an end to the decade-old nuclear dispute.

    The drops have come mainly because Japan did not take any cargoes in March and South Korea is not scheduled to take any shipments in April, according to the tanker data.

    "When the Iranian exports increased, the market noticed so I'm not surprised that they might try to cut back some in the upcoming period," IHS oil consultant Victor Shum said.

    "As far as China is concerned, the offtake is a bit higher, but it goes up and down, so on average, for the year, China will keep it under the target," he said.

    Iran's biggest customer China will increase loadings this month to 552,000 bpd, about a third higher than a year ago, after a decline in March to 458,000 bpd.

    Chinese buyers will account for almost 60 percent of oil shipped by tanker from Iran in April.

    Crude going to India, Tehran's No.2 customer, surged nearly 43 percent in the first quarter of 2014, bringing a warning from the United States that it needed to hold the shipments closer to end-2013 levels of 195,000 bpd.

    India is scheduled to load in April about 145,000 bpd of Iranian crude, down from imports of 412,000 bpd in January.

    It's not immediately clear if the reductions in Japan, India and South Korea are a response to pressure to hold to the terms of the temporary nuclear agreement, or if they are related to a seasonal drop in imports because of refinery maintenance.

    Tehran denies that its atomic energy programme is a front for developing nuclear weapons, and says it seeks only electricity from its enrichment of uranium.

    In the second half of the last decade Iran was pumping around 4 million bpd, but tough international sanctions the past two years have slashed the country's oil production and exports.

    The temporary deal between Iran and world powers, struck in November and implemented on Jan. 20, also freed up $4.2 billion in back oil payments to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

    Negotiators from Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, known as P5 1, will begin their next round of talks in the Austrian capital on May 13.


    Seasonal maintenance plans may explain why Japan and South Korea area are loading less oil from Iran, Shum said.

    "Q1 may be still part of the winter season and there is a bit of a peak in demand, but in Q2 typically the crude demand starts to come down with the spring maintenance," he said.

    Buyers from Japan may also have held off from loadings amid uncertainty over whether Tokyo would roll over a sovereign insurance scheme to cover oil shipments after commercial insurers complied with an EU ban on coverage for Iranian oil.

    Iran's oil exports, including condensate, totalled 1.25 million bpd in March, down 19 percent from 1.55 million bpd in February. They are set to fall almost 5 percent further in April to 1.19 million bpd, according to the loading data.

    Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency had pegged Iran's crude shipments in February at 1.65 million bpd - including condensate - the highest since June 2012.

    Iran's deputy oil minister for international trade said on Monday that the Islamic republic's oil exports had held at around 1 million bpd for the last six months.

    South Korea loaded 129,000 bpd last month compared with 217,000 bpd in February and will load no crude during April, according to the tanker data obtained by Reuters.

    Japan, the other of Iran's four biggest buyers, didn't load crude in March, but Japanese tankers are scheduled to pick up 146,000 bpd this month, compared with 119,000 bpd in February.

    Turkey is the other main destination for loadings in March and April. Since sanctions were imposed in 2012, more than halving Iran's oil sales, China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey have bought nearly all of Tehran's crude exports.

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  • Kyrgyzgas sale: way out or trap?
    18.04.2014 10:28
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 16

    By Aygun Badalova -Trend:

    Russia has recently taken one more step towards increasing its influence in Kyrgyzstan. Last week Russia's Gazprom, which holds the monopoly in the oil and gas field, proceeded with the purchase of KyrgyzGas.

    An agreement to buy 100 percent of KyrgyzGaz's shares which was called "historic," was signed in Bishkek by Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and the Kyrgyzgaz Director General Turgunbek Kulmurzaev in the presence of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev.

    The consequences of this purchase for the country may be considered from several aspects. On the one hand, this deal will help Kyrgyzstan to solve one of the country's main problems - ensuring energy security for the population and for the country as a whole.

    Gazprom's purchase of KyrgyzGaz should have a positive effect for the population in the country, at least those hooked into the gas pipeline network, U.S. expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier believes.

    "Gas supplies have always been uncertain in Kyrgyzstan since independence, there are unexpected cut-offs and severe reductions that sometimes last for days or weeks. The south is the region worst hit since it is almost totally dependent on gas supplies from neighboring Uzbekistan, and relations between Tashkent and Bishkek have seldom been good," Pannier told Trend.

    Uzbekistan usually cuts off gas to Kyrgyzstan because Kyrgyzstan has rarely been able to pay off its gas bills on time, expert mentioned.

    On April 14, Uzbekistan cut off the gas supply to the south of Kyrgyzstan because of termination of the contract between Uztransgaz and KyrgyzGas.

    KyrgyzGas has already begun negotiations with Uztransgaz on renewal of gas supply to the south of the republic.

    Pannier believes, that now that Gazprom owns KyrgyzGaz the bills to Uzbekistan are sure to be paid, because Gazprom will be buying its own gas, produced in Uzbekistan, to fill the pipelines in Kyrgyzstan.

    On the other hand, according to Pannier, Uzbekneftegaz or its subsidiary in charge of gas transportation, Uztransgaz, will find it much more difficult to deal with Gazprom than with Kyrgyz officials.

    "Difficult mostly because Gazprom is developing gas fields in Uzbekistan and also because more than half of Uzbekistan's gas exports go to Russia," Pannier said.

    When Russia's State Duma ratified the deal for Gazprom to take over Kyrgyzgaz on January 17, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said, "It's planned that gas will come from the territory of Uzbekistan (to Kyrgyzstan), but from those areas, which are currently being developed on the territory of this country (Uzbekistan) by Gazprom."

    At the same time, Pannier believes that Gazprom's purchase of Kyrgyzgaz is more a foreign policy move than a business move.

    "Gazprom is never going to increase its company profits by running the gas network in Kyrgyzstan. Gazprom ownership of KyrgyzGaz already gives the Russian government more leverage over Kyrgyzstan, remembering the Russian government owns 50.01 percent of Gazprom," he said.

    Russia is also planning to build the Naryn Cascade and Kambar-Ata hydropower projects. And this is again, according to Pannier, a political move as Russia's Inter RAO UES will have difficulties getting back all the two billion dollars it must invest in the project

    "Of course, Russia is currently rearming Kyrgyzstan's military. Russia is expected to hand over some one billion dollars in military equipment to Kyrgyzstan," Pannier added. "And there is also the Kant air base the Russian military has been using in Kyrgyzstan for more than a decade. It is a key link in the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization's security chain in Central Asia."

    Regarding the possibility of the deal between Gazprom and KyrgyzGas to affect the relations between Kyrgyzstan and the U.S., Pannier stressed the U.S. will have a diminished presence in Kyrgyzstan anyway after the last American troops leave the Manas transit center this July.

    "The U.S. will continue to have good relations with Kyrgyzstan but as America's interests in Afghanistan decline so too will U.S. interests in Central Asia, for the next few years at least," he said.

    In terms of proximity and history, Pannier believes Russia is better positioned to exert influence in Kyrgyzstan. "I think the U.S. and the West in general will be glad to allow Russia to watch over security in Central Asia after more than 12 years of fighting in Afghanistan," he said.

    At the same time, Pannier believes, the sanctions that Western nations are imposing on Russia could also play a role in the US-Kyrgyzstan relations.

    "If Russia is forced to speed up plans to switch its gas and oil export market from Europe to Asia there could be a gap of a few years when the Russian government will be financially limited and that will affect Russia's foreign policy also, even within the CIS," Pannier said.

    "And Kyrgyzstan might yet find a need for some U.S. support."

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  • Turkey, Malaysia sign free trade deal
    18.04.2014 10:23
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak that a free trade agreement with Malaysia had been signed.

    Erdogan said that the two leaders had reached the idea of a "Strategic Partnership" between the two states on his visit to Malaysia in January. This partnership aims to generate trade volume between the two countries worth around $5 billion over the next five years and the free trade agreement will help them meet this target.

    "We will put all our efforts to pass the free trade agreement between Turkey and Malaysia at the parliament before it recesses," Erdogan continued while Najib said, "this is a high and challenging target and both countries need to work hard to achieve this goal and this goal will usher in a new age."

    Najib added that joint economic commission meetings following the signing of a free trade agreement would be held within the shortest possible time.

    Noting that the two countries would deepen their academic, economic and commercial cooperation, Erdogan said that Turkey is ready for admission of more Malaysian students to Turkish universities.

    Also discussed in the meeting were international and regional issues as well as cooperation between the two states in international organizations such as the U.N., Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the D-8. Najib vowed that Malaysia would support Turkey's bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2015 and 2016.

    Erdogan had earlier welcomed Najib in a military welcoming ceremony held at the Prime Ministry in Turkey's capital, Ankara.

    Najib was also received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and attended a conference at the Ankara-based think-tank SETA Foundation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

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  • Several servicemen injured in military unit in north-west of Turkey
    18.04.2014 10:07
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The explosion occurred in one of the military units in the Turkish province of Canakkale, Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported on April 18.

    It was reported about some 18 injured servicemen who were placed in a hospital.

    The cause of the explosion was careless handling of anti-tank shell.

    translated by NH

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  • Brazilian Globo TV channel airs reportage on Azerbaijan
    18.04.2014 09:58
    Brazilian Globo TV channel has broadcasted reportage on Azerbaijan.

    The Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry informs that the reportage describes Azerbaijan as a cradle of oil and gas industry and covers the history of this field.

    The reportage also informs about Azerbaijan`s balanced foreign policy and its role in ensuring European energy security, Baku`s modern development and architecture.

  • Turkey's parliament approves wider MIT powers
    18.04.2014 09:50
    Turkey's parliament passed Thursday a draft law designed to give the country's spy agency, MIT, broader powers, including the right to maintain contact with any domestic and foreign institution and an extended scope for eavesdropping Anadolu Agency reported.

    The new bill augments the existing duties of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization with a number of new services including the responsibility to carry out duties determined by the Cabinet.

    The following are some of the regulations introduced with the new legislation:

    - It stipulates that all public institutions, professional organizations with public institution status, banks, and all incorporated and unincorporated associations will be required to open their data, records and equipment's to the use of MIT when demanded.

    - The bill allows the agency to collect any data processed through the country's telecommunications channels regarding foreign intelligence, national security, terror and international crimes.

    - If necessary during operations, the agency will have the right to change its personnel's identity and to take any kind of measure to protect the secrecy of the real identities.

    - The agency will have the capacity to maintain contact with any group that poses a threat to Turkey's national security, including terrorist organizations. Intelligence officials will also be able to contact with prisoners and convicts serving jail terms.

    - The bill introduces prisons terms of up to 10 years for the stealing and up to 9 years for the leaking of MIT's classified documents to the media.

    - It also stipulates that the agency's permission will be necessary for prosecutors to launch an investigation into MIT's activities of personnel.

    Earlier on Thursday, the country's parliament approved a motion by Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay to add an article to the bill that enables the parliament to audit MIT.

    The motion says that, in addition to MIT, a 17-member committee on "Security and Intelligence" will also audit the police intelligence bureau, gendarmerie intelligence unit, and financial crime investigation board.

    Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party has said it will appeal to the Constitutional Court for the repeal of the legislation.

    The new law needs to be ratified by the Turkish president and published in the Official Gazette -- a daily printed record of legislative acts and notices -- before it enters into force.

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  • Forbest names the richest of Russia
    18.04.2014 09:49
    Alisher Usmanov is Russia's richest tycoon for the third year in a row, with wealth of $18.6 billion, after selling his stake in the social media website Facebook, according to the latest report by the U.S. magazine Forbes.

    Usmanov is a co-owner of Russia's largest iron ore miner, Metalloinvest, and the country's number-two mobile operator, MegaFon. He also owns stakes in the Russian internet group Mail.Ru and the British Premier League football club Arsenal.

    His worth rose $1 billion from his previous rating after the sale of his and his partners' stake in Facebook for $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. here

    Mikhail Fridman, the co-owner of Alfa Bank and telecoms operator Vimpelcom, is still Russia's second-richest tycoon, worth $17.6 billion, up $1.1 billion. The third richest, Viktor Vekselberg, who made his money in metals and energy, rose from fourth place with a worth of $17.2 billion, up $2.1 billion year-on-year.

    For the first time in the rating's history, tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and a stake in the world's largest potash producer, Uralkali, was not included into the top 10. His wealth fell $2.1 billion to $10.9 billion.

    Consumer-oriented businessmen rose on the list, in step with the growth of Russia's middle class. Entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov, who founded and owns a majority stake in the consumer-credit firm TCS, climbed 76 places to 75th place after taking his company public in October 2013. His wealth was listed as $1.4 billion.

    Arkady Volozh, founder and chief executive of Russia's largest search engine, Yandex, rose 34 spots to 60th place after the company's share price doubled. Yandex raised $1.4 billion in an initial public offering in New York in 2011.

  • Georgian parliament passes anti-discrimination law in first reading
    18.04.2014 09:49
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The Georgian parliament passed an anti-discrimination law in the first reading. Some 110 deputies voted for the bill on "Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination" on April 17 evening.

    No one voted against. Minority members also voted for the bill.

    The bill envisages making changes to several existing laws.

    Passing such a law is one of the requirements. Georgia promised to fulfill them as part of the action plan on visa liberalization with the EU to obtain a short-term visa-free regime.

    The bill on the elimination of all forms of discrimination envisages the protection against discrimination on race, language, gender, age, nationality, place of residence, religion or belief, national, ethnic or social origin, profession, marital status, health, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression of political, other opinions or other features.

    The requirements of this bill apply to the actions of public organizations, legal and physical entities in a number of areas.

    Georgia's Public Defender will oversee the implementation of equality, according to the bill.

    translated by NH

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  • Iranв's oil exports doubled since Rouhani took office
    18.04.2014 09:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran's oil and condensate exports have been doubled since president Hassan Rouhani took office in last August.

    Iranian deputy minister of oil for planning and supervision on hydrocarbon reserves, Mansour Moazzami said that the administration's income from exports of oil and condensates was some $10 billion more than the budget's forecasted figure in last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20).

    He went on to say that the country was forecasted to export one million barrels of oil and 200,000 barrels of condensates per day in last year, while the real exports indicate an increase by 20 percent compared to the budget's figures.

    Moazzami also said that the oil export volume during the current Iranian calendar year is also expected to surpass the budget figure.

    The country should export 1.3 million barrels per day of oil and condensates according to the current year's budget. Condensate is a type of light crude oil, which is extracted mostly from gas fields.

    Iran's crude oil exports stood less than one million barrels per day during the first half of 2013, however the figure started to rise after the Geneva nuclear agreement struck between Iran and six world powers in November, according to the statistics of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    Iran averagely exported 1.07 million barrels of oil and condensate per day in 2013, IEA says.

    The figure has significantly increased during the first quarter of the current year and surpassed 1.6 million barrels per day in February.

    Iran's oil export is also expected to stand at same level during March, the IEA's latest monthly report said on Apr 9.

    Iran has exported averagely 504,000 barrels of condensate per day, since achieving the nuclear accord in November 2013, according to the statistics of the country's Customs Administration.

    The country has increased condensate export volume by 258 percent from 195,000 barrels per day during first eight months (March 20, 2013 to November 20, 2013) to 504,000 barrels per day during the last four months of Iran's calendar year, which covers November 21, 2013 to March 19, 2014.

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  • Ashgabat, Dushanbe promote railway project through Afghanistan
    18.04.2014 09:38
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, April 17

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    Turkmenistan and Tajikistan considered the aspects of cooperation in the transport sector in the context of implementing the memorandum of understanding on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) railway construction at the intergovernmental level, the Turkmen government said on April 16.

    Tajik Foreign Minister Sirodzhiddin Aslov was in Ashgabat and held talks at the Turkmen foreign ministry.

    "The delegations of the two countries discussed the issues of expanding cooperation in the trade and economic sphere. Particularly promising are areas of bilateral cooperation in the transport sector in the context of implementing the memorandum of understanding on the TAT railway construction project," the report says.

    Political consultations were held.

    The TAT project, implemented since early June 2013, is important for strategic, political and economic interests of all project participants. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan are expected to join it in the future.

    Previously, the Turkmen side reported that a 400 kilometer TAT will be commissioned in 2015. Moreover, Turkmen railway men will lay the Afghan section of the railway.

    This route will open a new corridor between Central Asia and the world markets through the sea ports near the Indian Ocean.

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Pep ready for Bayern exit
    18.04.2014 09:31
    Bayern Munich's recent results have led to some of the German media expressing doubts about Pep Guardiola, a circumstance on which the coach has commented, "I have to accept the criticism".

    After two defeats and a draw in the Bundesliga, the Catalan revealed, "I tell myself 'Pep, calm down'. You're here to do your job as best you can and my greatest talent is to work, work, work". The coach was emphatic, matter-of-factly saying, "I am here to help and if the club don't want that, we'll shake hands, no problem for me".

  • Date of iPhone 6 coming is...
    18.04.2014 09:24
    Last Friday, Samsung released the Galaxy S5, its latest competitor to Appleв's iPhone. Itв's a tempting phone, as our reviewer David Pogue concluded, one that merits your serious consideration if youв're shopping around for a new device.

    But before you buy a Galaxy S5 '" or, letв's be honest, if youв're an Apple devotee whose iPhone 4s is limping along '" you might be wondering: Just when is the next iPhone coming out?

    Now, before I tell you why, letв's note that predicting a release date for an Apple product is an inexact science. Saying when the next iPhone will be released is much more complicated than, say, looking up when the Yankees next play the Red Sox. Like every other major tech company, Apple keeps its plans secret, so that its big reveal is surprising and creates some excitement.

    (Also, more cynically, if everyone knew that the next iPhone was coming out in September, then no one would buy any iPhones in July or August. Thatв's bad for business!)

    Anyway, even though you canв't just ask Siri when the next iPhone will be available, there are certain signposts you can turn to, to get a sense of timing. The first, and most obvious, is history: Apple historically releases its iPhones about one year apart. In 2013, it released the iPhone 5s on Sept. 20. In 2012, it released the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21. In 2011, it released the iPhone 4s on Oct. 14.

    Looking at that trend, you might conclude that you should expect the iPhone 6 (or whatever it is called) in September or October of 2014. In the seven years of the iPhoneв's existence, Apple has switched up the timing only once, in 2010, when it waited an excruciating 16 months between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4s.

    Most Apple watchers think those days are over, however: Apple, the common wisdom goes, canв't wait 16 months between iPhones anymore. The competition has gotten too fierce. Shoppers would just buy a Galaxy or an HTC One rather than wait.

    And while historical trends can provide some perspective, some inside information never hurts, either. Ming Chi-Kuo is an investment analyst for KGI Securities who follows Apple closely. In the past few years, he has proved that he has great sources at Apple: He is considered the most accurate predictor of Appleв's release schedule and future plans.

    And wouldnв't you know it? In a recent note to clients, Kuo predicted that the next iPhone would be out early in the third quarter '" September or early October.

  • OSCE ready to assist Ukraine in implementing de-escalation measures
    18.04.2014 08:05
    Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter welcomed the outcome of the discussions between the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, the United States and the Russian Federation as well as the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who met on April 17 in Geneva, according to OSCE press release.

    Burkhalter underlined that the OSCE was ready to take up the key role given to the Special Monitoring Mission in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of the various measures agreed in the Geneva Statement. He praised the Geneva Statement as an expression of confidence towards the OSCE as an inclusive platform for supporting de-escalation in Ukraine.

    "As new tasks and responsibilities have been assigned to the OSCE, I count on the continuous international support in funding and seconding of staff to the Special Monitoring Mission," he added.

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  • Oil and gas production decreases in Kazakhstan in first quarter
    18.04.2014 07:07
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Oil, gas condensate and gas production decreased in Kazakhstan in the first quarter of 2014, the Kazakh Statistics Agency said .

    Kazakhstan extracted 20.188 million tons of oil, including gas condensate in the first quarter of 2014, which is two percent less than in the same period of 2013, according to the report.

    Crude oil production amounted to 17.003 million tons (a 1.9 percent decrease), condensate - 3.185 million tons (a 2.6 percent decrease) in Kazakhstan in January - March 2014.

    Gas production amounted to 10.790 billion cubic meters in the country in the first quarter of this year, which is 0.7 percent less than in the same period of last year, the report said.

    The production of natural gas (gasiform) amounted to 5.411 billion cubic meters (a 0.3 percent increase), associated petroleum gas - 5.380 billion cubic meters (a 1.6 percent decrease) during this period, according to the report.

    Translated by NH

    Edited by CN

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  • US releases $450 million of frozen Iranian funds
    18.04.2014 06:37
    The United States has authorized the release of a $450 million installment of frozen Iranian funds, indicating that Washington is willing to make good on its commitments made last year under an interim nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers, Press TV reported.

    Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States - plus Germany signed the short-term pact in the Swiss city of Geneva last November to pave the way for the full resolution of the West's decade-old dispute with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program. The deal came into force on January 20.

    Under the Geneva agreement, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, the Sextet agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.

    The US State Department made the announcement of releasing the Iranian funds on Thursday, following a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifying that Iran was complying with the terms of the pact.

    State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said that "all sides have kept the commitments made" under the agreement. She said that "as Iran remains in line with its commitments," the US, France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and the European Union "will continue to uphold our commitments as well."

    "Based on this confirmation and consistent with commitments that the United States made under the Joint Plan of Action (November 24 pact), the Department of Treasury took the necessary steps pursuant to the JPOA to facilitate the release of a $450 million installment of Iran's frozen funds," Harf stated.

    In its monthly report released on Thursday, the IAEA said Tehran has diluted half of its uranium earlier enriched to the 20-percent purity to a lower grade to power reactors.

    The other half of the stockpile is to be converted into a form that would be relatively difficult to be reconverted to the 20 percent level.

    On Wednesday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said, "I can tell you, these measures [by Iran] are being implemented as planned."

    Iran and the six powers are scheduled to resume expert-level talks on Tehran's nuclear energy program in New York on May 5.

    The negotiations will be held ahead of a fresh round of high-level nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 1 group, scheduled to begin in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on May 13.

    Tehran and the six countries wrapped up their latest round of high-level nuclear talks in Vienna on April 9.

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  • Turkish Cypriot FM calls for continued negotiation
    18.04.2014 05:29
    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami said Greek Cypriot leaders have rejected Turkish Cypriot demands for more frequent talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the reunification of Cyprus, Anadolu agency reported.

    "We are concerned over the lack of progress due to some issues," said Naim on Thursday, adding that both sides should strive for the success of the process.

    Noting that the Turkish side has contributed to the success of the talk, Naim urged their Greek partners to accelerate negotiations to reach a solution for reunification.

    In February, Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders announced a joint declaration which outlined the contours of a federal state, reuniting the island.

    On Wednesday, Nami said the Turkish Cypriot government wants to reach a new and comprehensive solution, saying the joint declaration as "a comprehensive solution will integrate the Turkish Cypriot people with the European Union."

    The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a coup by a military junta in Greece in 1974 led to Greek Cypriots claiming the island, which was followed by a Turkish mission to protect the Turkish Cypriots.

    The Greek Cypriot administration is EU members, and the TRNC is internationally recognized except by Turkey, which is the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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  • IranЛ€s nuclear program totally transparent: Najafi
    18.04.2014 05:27
    IranЛ€s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi on Thursday reiterated his countryЛ€s nuclear program was completely peaceful, IRNA reported.

    Reacting to comments by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog Yukiya Amano who had urged Iran to show greater transparency of its nuclear program, Najafi expressed surprise over AmanoЛ€s remarks, pointing to the current good cooperation between the IAEA and Tehran.

    Iran has fulfilled its obligations assumed as part of the Joint Plan of Action, which was adopted by the E3 plus 3 and Tehran in Geneva on November 24. Iran has also undertaken voluntary measures which indicate all aspects of its nuclear program are completely transparent, Najai said.

    He added the IAEA had certified its in latest reports that IranЛ€s nuclear program was peaceful and was not diverted for other purposes.

    Najafi was referring to AmanoЛ€s interview with ChinaЛ€s Xinhua News Agency in which he said the IAEA could not conclude all the nuclear material and facilities in Iran are for a peaceful purpose because Tehran had not implemented the modified code 3.1, which required member states to provide the IAEA with early notification of planned construction of nuclear facilities.

    Furthermore, Iran had not complied with its additional protocol, which commands greater transparency of its nuclear program, Amano was quoted saying.

    Najafi emphasized IranЛ€s stance on the modified code 3.1 and the additional protocol were also clear, as Tehran had signed both of them and implemented them but halted its implementation after IranЛ€s nuclear file was referred to the UN Security Council and unjust sanctions were imposed on Tehran.

    He made clear that as long as the anti-Iran sanctions are in place and talks on a final nuclear agreement are ongoing, the IAEA could not expect Iran to implement the additional protocol.

    Najafi said based on the latest IAEA report, Iran was complying with all its obligations as laid out in the Geneva interim accord which is to expire on July 20.

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  • Israeli, Palestinian negotiators seek to rescue troubled talks
    18.04.2014 05:15
    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on Thursday in Jerusalem to seek a way to prevent troubled peace talks from collapsing ahead of an April 29 deadline, Reuters reported.

    Two Israeli sources speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that officials from both sides were meeting in Jerusalem, declining to provide further detail.

    The talks had been postponed from Wednesday when emotions ran high in Israel as a funeral was held for an off-duty police officer gunned down while driving his family to a settlement in the West Bank for a Passover holiday meal.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Authority of engaging in anti-Israeli incitement which led to the attack, for which no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement on Wednesday saying he "condemned violence and the killing of Palestinians and Israelis," after Netanyahu charged that he had not condemned Monday's attack.

    Peace negotiations for an envisaged two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hit a crisis this month when Abbas signed a package of international conventions. Israel saw that as violating a pledge not to do so that the Palestinians made last July when the talks resumed after a three-year break.

    The Palestinians accused Israel of bringing about the crisis by failing to free some two dozen prisoners Israel had pledged to release under a deal struck by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who has brokered the negotiations.

    Israel has said it would free the inmates, including convicted killers of Israelis, only if the Palestinians promise to pursue the talks, which have yielded little visible progress, beyond an April 29 deadline set by Kerry last year.

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  • Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies
    18.04.2014 05:07
    Nobel prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died in Mexico aged 87, a source close to the family has said, BBC reported.

    Garcia Marquez was considered one of the greatest Spanish-language authors, best known for his masterpiece of magic realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

    The 1967 novel sold more than 30m copies and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

    Garcia Marquez had been ill and had made few public appearances recently.

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  • Erdogan urges Putin to protect safety of Crimean Tatars
    18.04.2014 04:35
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to exercise caution so that Crimean Tatars are not hurt from the crisis in Ukraine, Today's Zaman reported.

    Erdogan reportedly told Putin that Turkey attaches much importance to Crimean Tatars' security as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds.

    Erdogan and Putin discussed bilateral cooperation on trade and energy in a 25-minute phone conversation and exchanged views about the latest developments in Ukraine.

    Erdogan recalled that he hosted leader of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Jamil in Ankara on Wednesday and highlighted the importance of dialogue between the parties.

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  • Azerbaijan's Defense Minister meets with Chief of Iranian Armed Forces Staff - ESSION
    18.04.2014 04:03
    Baku. Real Jafarli '" APA. Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov met with Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Major General Sayyid Hassan Firouzabadi.

    APA reports quoting Fars news agency that bilateral military cooperation, as well as regional security and stability issues were discussed at the meeting.

    Firouzabadi said that Iran prefers establishing comprehensive and friendly relations with Muslim and neighboring countries in its foreign policy: "At a conference held abroad, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was invited to visit Iran and he invited Hassan Rouhani to visit his country. Azerbaijani President's visit to Iran created an opportunity for rapid development of relations between the two countries in various fields. We have had deep and friendly relations since the leadership of the late President Heydar Aliyev."

    He said that the defense ministers of the two countries held several meetings over the last decade, cooperation programs were implemented: "A part of Azerbaijan's military needs is provided with Iranian defence products. We have today discussed the issues on organization of military trainings, friendly meetings, provision of techniques and weapons for the Azerbaijani Army."

    Firouzabadi noted that the delegation led by Azerbaijan's Defense Minister was familiarized with Iranian-made ammunitions and other techniques, some agreements were reached: "We are ready to cooperate with neighboring, Muslim Azerbaijan. Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran serves prosperity and stability of the two countries."

    Zakir Hasanov arrived in Iran for an official visit on April 14. The visit takes place at the invitation of the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan. An official welcome ceremony was held for the Azerbaijani Defense Minister yesterday. Afterwards, Hasanov visited the grave of those killed in Iran-Iraq war. Following this, the Azerbaijani and Iranian defense ministers met at Iran's Defense Ministry. At the same time, the Azerbaijani minister plans to meet with Iranian officials.
  • Four-party meeting approves document on deescalation of tensions in Ukraine
    18.04.2014 03:22
    The Geneva statement adopted at a four-party meeting on Ukraine on Thursday, April 17, calls for a national dialogue in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the talks. "It calls for an immediate commencement of a broad national dialogue which must be inclusive, transparent and accountable," he said, ITAR-TASS reported.

    Lavrov stressed that measures to disarm illegal armed groups and free seized buildings would apply to all regions of Ukraine without exception.

    "The measures we have stated concern all regions of Ukraine without exception and all problematic questions without exception," he said.

    He said that decisions on Ukraine must be acceptable for all Ukrainians. "Decisions must be mutually acceptable for all Ukrainians as this is a guarantee of stability of the Ukrainian state with due regard for the linguistic peculiarities of different regions of the country," he said.

    The minister said Russia would support the work of the OSCE Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in order to foster dialogue between all sides involved in the conflict.

    "We urge the special monitoring mission of the OSCE to play a leading role, in accordance with its mandate, in assisting Ukrainians and the Kiev authorities in carrying out measures to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. We will support the work of this mission to foster dialogue between the sides in order to unblock the situation step by step," Lavrov said.

    "We have agreed to meet in different formats," he added.

    A four-party meeting on Ukraine with Russia, the United States and the European Union was held in Geneva on April 17.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the parliament-appointed Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia took part in the meeting.

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  • President Ilham Aliyev: Machinery available to the Azerbaijani army today is not far behind the machinery of the most powerful armies
    18.04.2014 02:51
    "The machinery available to the Azerbaijani army today is not far behind the machinery of the most powerful armies," said President Ilham Aliyev in a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and objectives for the future.

    The Head of State noted: "At the same time, I recently visited Nakhchivan, and the demonstration of new machinery there suggests that the army in Nakhchivan also possesses the most sophisticated machinery available to the armies of the world today. There already are modern artillery units, combat and transport helicopters, anti-tank and antiaircraft installations, the most modern tanks T-72 and T-90, other weaponry and ammunition, and their number will grow. We must and we will be even stronger."
  • Azerbaijani President: As part of campaign of planting trees, more than 10 million trees were planted, and this process continues
    18.04.2014 02:32
    "As part of the campaign of planting trees, more than 10 million trees were planted, and this process continues," said President Ilham Aliyev in a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and objectives for the future.

    The Head of State noted: "Issues related to the environmental situation are always the focus of our attention. But the public, including myself, is concerned about the felling of trees. This cannot be allowed to happen. I think that we must apply greater liability in this issue. The felling of trees must be completely stopped."

    "Relevant agencies should make proposals, so that we could take more serious action against those who cut down trees. They must be brought to justice. I want to reiterate that not a single tree can be cut down in the city without the permission and conclusion of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. This is my last warning."
  • Kazakhstan and French Total intend to cooperate in solar energy area
    18.04.2014 02:27
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 17

    By Daniar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Kazakh Oil and Gas Ministry and French company Total signed a memorandum of understanding to develop cooperation in solar energy area, the ministry's press service said on April 17.

    The memorandum was signed by the representatives of the Oil and Gas Ministry, Total and SunPower (a company engaged in solar energy industry).

    "The document launches the implementation of the unique C7 project in Astana on the basis of the latest solar energy technologies," the ministry said.

    The project based on C7, the latest product of SunPower, will be implemented in 2014-2016 in the Nazarbayev University's territory with direct participation of experts.

    The project's successful realization can create opportunities for implementing larger projects for construction of industrial-scale solar power plants and opening joint ventures.

    Total is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, carrying out extensive research and developing alternative energy sources.

    Translated by E.A.

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  • Synergy Baku continues with French races
    18.04.2014 02:15
    The Synergy Baku Cycling Project will next tackle the Tour de Loir et Cher E Provost (UCI 2.2) in north central France with a team full of sprinters. After coming finishing on the podium of the final stage of the recent Circuit des Ardennes, the team will look to improve in this race.

    Jan Sokol, Christoph Schweizer and Connor McConvey arrive in France from the Mzansi Tour in South Africa, where the team placed third in the opening team time trial and Sokol placed second in the bunch sprint of the third stage. They will join Michael Schweizer, Alex Surutkovych and Pat Lane, who last week rode the Ardennes race.

    "This race will be decided in crosswinds," said Sport Director Arvis Piziks, noting that "today we arrived in Blois and it is windy."

    "The team's main goal will be to work together as a team in the first stages with crosswind, when the GC will be decided and after that we will protect our highest-ranked GC rider. We have fast guys like Jan, Michael and Chris who will be contenders in sprints for stage wins, too."

    The race covers 852 kilometers over five stages. Stage one runs 183.5 kilometers from Blois to Nouan-le-Fuzelier, with one climb along the way. The second stage is 198 kilometers between Montoire and Villebarou, with three climbs.

    There are also three climbs in the race's longest stage, stage three, which covers 208 kilometers from Savigny to Braye - Vendome. The fourth stage starts and ends in Ange and includes four climbs on its 165 kilometers. The race ends with a 97.5 circuit stage in Blois.
  • Georgian, French defence ministries sign cooperation plan
    18.04.2014 01:53
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 17

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian and French defence ministries have signed a cooperation plan for 2014.

    A delegation of French armed forces visited Georgia to review the military cooperation between the two countries, Georgia's Defense Ministry told Trend on April 17.

    Today the representatives of French Armed Forces Joint Staff visited Georgian Defence Ministry.

    They met with the Deputy Defence Minister Mikhail Darchiashvili, Georgian General Staff's Deputy Head Colonel Vladimir Chachibaya and senior officials of the International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration Department.

    The parties discussed bilateral military cooperation and the prospects for its deepening.

    The talks also touched upon regional security challenges facing Georgia, relations with the EU and NATO, the current reforms and participation in international operations.

    Translated by E.A.

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  • President Ilham Aliyev inspected progress of construction of Water Sports Palace in Baku
    18.04.2014 01:37
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva and family members have today familiarized themselves with the progress of construction of Water Sports Palace in Baku.

    President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on 30 August 2012 on the construction of the state-of-the-art Water Sports Palace in Baku. The design of the palace was worked out by the South Korean company Securo Co. Ltd.

    Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov informed the Head of State of the work carried out at the Palace. The Palace occupies a total area of six hectares. The facility will fully meet the requirements of the International Swimming Federation.

    The Palace will have three swimming pools. The pool 50 meters in length, and 25 meters wide is designed for competitions. The second pool will be used for training. The length of the pool for diving will be 25 meters, and the width 20 meters. In addition, the palace will have fitness rooms, a restaurant, a conference hall, offices, locker rooms, ancillary and utility rooms. Ancillary buildings and installations and a parking lot for 500 cars will be built on the premises as well. The Palace will seat 6,000 spectators. It will have all the conditions for the training of athletes and organization of national and international competitions.
  • Earthquake hits Azerbaijanв's Goranboy city
    18.04.2014 01:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17


    An earthquake jolted Azerbaijan's Goranboy city on Thursday, April 17.

    The earthquake was registered at 19:25 local time, 32 kilometres south-west of Mingachevir city, at a depth of 12 kilometres, Republican Seismology Center of Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) told Trend.

    Its magnitude was 3.4, and no tremors were felt.

    Goranboy city is located in the north-west of Azerbaijan, 327 kilometres away from the capital Baku.

    Translated by E.A.

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  • Ambassador: Italy is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in ICT sector
    18.04.2014 00:57
    "Italy is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of information and communication technologies," said Italian Ambassador Giampaolo Cutillo at a meeting in Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies.

    Ambassador Cutillo accompanied an Italian delegation, which included executives of companies Exprivia S.a.P and Apulian Aerospace (Distretto Aerospaziale Pugliese).

    Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies Iltimas Mammadov spoke about the opportunities for cooperation, and highlighted potential ICT projects.

    Ambassador Cutillo hailed opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in a variety of fields, in particular alternative energy, and high technologies.

    He emphasized that Italy placed particular emphasis on development of the ICT sector, adding it was key economic priorities for the country along with food, fashion and design industries.

    The event featured presentation of the Italian companies.
  • FILA website issues article about Azerbaijan`s Olympic champion Sharif Sharifov
    18.04.2014 00:55
    The website of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) has published an article headlined "FILA Champion, Sharif Sharifov: The Perfection of Simplicity".

    Written by Mike Riordan, the article reads: "Antoine de Saint-Exubery famously said, "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." The French poet and writer certainly did not know it, but he could not more perfectly describe the wrestling style of Sharif Sharifov.

    Azerbaijan's Sharifov understands freestyle wrestling at its most elegant. Where most see wrestling as a series of unrelated moves or maneuvers, Sharifov understands that at its essence wrestling consists of nothing more than a series of positions shared between his opponent and him. In each subsequent position, the wrestler who usually comes out ahead possesses the greater comfort, knowledge and experience in that situation.

    When Sharifov wins a wrestling match, he wins by dominating one position at a time. Jake Herbert, the United States' 84 kg entry in freestyle wrestling at the London Games, and Sharifov's adversary in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinal, explains the Azerbaijani's beautifully simplistic approach to wrestling.

    "Some people look at wrestling as a series of moves," said Herbert. "This is the incorrect way of looking at it. For example, a single leg isn't really a move, it's a position. Sharifov knows what to do in all the positions to put himself at an advantage so he can score points, and not his opponent"

    Sharifov originally hails from the Russian republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus. This region spans from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and produces most of the world's elite wrestling talent. The wrestling success of the people from this corner of the world grows out of a commitment to simplicity. North Caucasus wrestlers comprehend the fundmental wrestling principles which remain constant through seemingly unrelated techniques.

    Sharifov is no exception. When he takes the mat, he lacks the chiseled and imposing physique possessed by many of his competitors, and he doesn't boast particularly quick feet or execute ornate maneuvers. Sharifov succeeds not through physical gifts, but by his incredible grasp of his sport's unifying concepts. This conceptual understanding of wrestling led Sharifov to wrestle a style that limited his mistakes while capitalizing on the tiniest misstep of his opponent. During a magical run from 2009-2012, Sharifov employed a rudimentary and conservative style with no adornment or ostentation, using only the most basic, and effective of techniques. In the process, he ascended to the status as one of the greatest pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world.

    In his first World Championships appearance in 2009, Sharifov lost only to America's Herbert and defeated Russian Junior World Champion Abdusalam Gadisov for the Bronze medal. This first world medal proved to be only a stepping stone to even greater success. In the 2011 World Championships, Sharifov staked his claim as the best 84 kg wrestler on the globe, winning a World gold medal while beating a retinue of elite competitors. In the 2011 World semifinals, amongst some controversy, he downed Russian World bronze medalist Albert Sharifov, and in the finals he upended Uzbeki two-time World Champion Ibragim Aldatov. Sharifov's most high-profile win may have come in the second round where he defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson of the United States. Fellow Team USA wrestler Herbert found himself impressed by Sharifov's win over the Olympic champ.

    "I really did not see that coming" Herbert said. "I had beaten Sharifov twice, and Sanderson beat me, I figured (Sanderson) would have an easy time with him."

    Sharifov's amazing performance in the 2011 World Championships may have come unexpectedly, but his momentous achievement in 2012 proved it was no fluke. The momentum from 2011 world gold stayed with Sharifov as he took the mat for the London Olympics. There, on wrestling's greatest stage, Sharifov once again reigned supreme. In the second round of the tournament, in a wild match, he avenged multiple losses to World silver medalist Jake Herbert of the USA. Herbert remembers the experience of wrestling Sharifov.

    "He's just a solid wrestler," Herbert recalls. "He's not too fast, he's not strong. He just knows the sport real well from wrestling and training so long, he knows the sport and knows the positions.

    In the Olympic semifinals, after the defeat of Herbert, Sharifov bested multiple time world medalist Ehsan Lashgari of Iran. Finally, Sharifov won his Olympic gold medal with a dominant performance against over Jaime Espinal. The young Puerto Rican simply had no answer for the Azerbaijani's superior fundamentals. Sharifov won the biggest match of his career the way he won every other: taking the bout one position at a time, and winning in each one.

    Sharifov now continues his wrestling career in search of a second Olympic berth. Whether or not he medal or even competes in the Rio de Janeiro games, he remains a living testament to the most beautiful part of the sport of wrestling. Wrestling gives hope to aspiring champion athletes who may not run so fast or jump so high, stand so tall or move so gracefully. Sharif Sharifov shows that anyone who strives to understand the sport's most basic elements can triumph, for in wrestling, the greater the simplicity, the greater the success."
  • Top Presidential Administration official: No religious belief, no religious worship, no activity should take the form of intervention in the secular norms of the Azerbaijani state
    18.04.2014 00:39
    "No religious belief, no religious worship, no activity should take the form of intervention in the secular norms of the Azerbaijani state. Anyway, interference in secular norms creates legal liability, and, of course, appropriate measures are taken to prevent such phenomena," head of the Socio-Political Affairs Department at Azerbaijan`s Presidential Administration, chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party`s interparliamentary ties and dialogue commission Ali Hasanov told journalists.

    Speaking about the activities of religious sects in the country, Hasanov said apart from "Nurculuk" and "Wahhabism" there were also other trends, and they're trying to step up their activities.

    "Such phenomena exist not only in Azerbaijan, but in the whole South Caucasus region, the former Soviet Union and in the world as a whole. Today in the world there are those who try to influence the thinking and activities of people in non-traditional ways, outside the laws adopted by states. There are forces that are trying to sow discord by religious intervention, missionary, to divide people into sects. They exist in Azerbaijan too. Relevant state agencies of our countries carry out necessary work to tackle such cases."

    Noting that today these forces do not pose a serious threat to the state of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov said "if they were a serious threat, they would have stood face to face with the laws of the state and the guardians of the law, but in general, the Azerbaijani society should know that such attempts and such phenomena will be prevented by the state".
  • Portugalв's new ambassador to Uzbekistan hands over credentials at Foreign Ministry
    18.04.2014 00:33
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 17 April

    By Demir Azizov - Trend:

    Portugal's newly appointed Ambassador to Uzbekistan with residence in Moscow, Mario Godinho de Matos handed over his credentials addressed to Uzbek President Islam Karimov, to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry's leadership.

    During the talks held at Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the parties exchanged views on the current state of Uzbek-Portuguese relations, as well as some international issues.

    The parties positively assessed relations between Uzbekistan and Portugal, pointing out mutual interest in further expanding and deepening ties in trade, economic and investment fields, including through the implementation of joint high-tech projects in various industrial sectors.

    Particular attention was also paid to practical cooperation of the two countries within the UN and other major international institutions.

    The meeting also reviewed the proposals on intensifying contacts in the cultural and tourism areas.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Fitch Upgrades KazTransGas and subsidiaries to investment upgrade
    18.04.2014 00:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17


    Fitch Ratings has upgraded KazTransGas JSC's (KTG) and its fully-owned subsidiaries, Intergas Central Asia JSC's (ICA) and KazTransGas Aimak JSC's (KTGA), Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'BBB-' from 'BB '. The Outlook is Stable.

    Short-Term IDR of KazTransGas JSC: upgraded to 'F3' from 'B';National Long-Term rating: upgraded to 'AA(kaz)' from 'AA-(kaz)', Outlook Stable; Senior unsecured long-term rating: upgraded to 'BBB-' from 'BB '; Senior unsecured National long-term rating: upgraded to 'AA(kaz)' from 'AA-(kaz)'.

    The upgrade of KTG and its subsidiaries (KTG or the group) reflects Fitch's reassessment of the group's linkage with its state-owned parent JSC National Company KazMunayGas (NC KMG, BBB/Stable), according to the Fitch report.

    "We believe that the 'national operator' status granted to KTG in 2012, the ongoing transfer of trunk gas pipelines from the state to ICA, as well as NC KMG's flexible approach to KTG's dividend payouts underline stronger parent-subsidiary links between KTG and NC KMG than what was reflected in the previous ratings, " the report said.

    The group's ratings are now notched down by one level from that of its parent, reflecting their close linkage, but also limited legal ties between the two. KTG qualifies as a material subsidiary in NC KMG's eurobond documentation and is subject to cross-default provisions, but NC KMG does not guarantee KTG's debt.

    KTG is the state-owned monopoly engaged in natural gas transit, transportation and distribution in Kazakhstan (BBB /Stable). It continues to derive most profits from the transit of central Asian gas to Russia.

    KTG's ratings reflect its position as the operator of the Kazakh gas pipeline network, the only transit route for central Asian gas to Russia and Europe, according to the Fitch analysts. As the national gas company, it has a pre-emptive right to purchase natural gas from local oil amp; gas companies and resell it domestically and for export. ICA, the operator of trunk gas pipelines, generated 60% of the group's consolidated EBITDA in 2013.

    OAO Gazprom (BBB/Negative) remains the group's principal customer, accounting for 71% of ICA's 2013 revenues, down from 76% in 2012. In January 2011, Gazprom and ICA signed a five-year contract for transit of 28 billion cubic meters (bcm) of central Asian gas, of which 80% are covered by 'ship-or-pay' clauses. In 2012 and 2013 despite significantly lower transportation volumes ICA's profits did not suffer, due to Gazprom honouring its 'ship-or-pay' obligation, the Fitch`s report said.

    In Fitch rating case, it is forecasted stable gas revenues until January 2016 when the contract with Gazprom expires, as we believe that Gazprom's purchases of central Asian gas and hence ICA's transit revenues may decline to reflect current purchase volumes.

    "The group's profitability is driven by cost-plus domestic tariffs and regulated gas prices set by Kazakhstan's Agency for Regulation of Natural Monopolies (AREM). We view Kazakhstan's tariff environment as developing. Historically, gas prices and transit tariffs have been sufficient for KTG to maintain adequate profits and finance its capex, which we expect to continue under our rating case. However, in an event of a prolonged economic recession AREM may face pressure to limit further tariff increases, which could force KTG to raise its leverage beyond our expectations," the report said.

    The agency considers as manageable the group's KZT140bn investment programme in 2014-2016, which will be partially debt-funded, and expect its credit metrics to remain commensurate with the current ratings. After KTG completes most of its development projects in 2014, annual capex should fall to under KZT40bn per year in 2015 and 2016, from about KZT70bn per year in 2013 and 2014.

    The agency does not foresee any significant impact on KTG's creditworthiness from the construction of the Beineu-Bozoy-Shymkent pipeline and Line C of the Asian Gas Pipeline from Central Asia to China, which are financed by KTG's JVs with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC, A /Stable) and are guaranteed by CNPC and NC KMG with no recourse to KTG.

    At end-2013, KTG's funds from operations (FFO) adjusted gross leverage was 1.8x, and we expect it to reach 2.3x in 2016. Fitch forecasts that the group's FFO interest coverage will deteriorate to 7.7x in 2017, from 10.5x at end-2013, which remains adequate for the current ratings.

    At end-2013, KTG's short-term debt of KZT33.7bn was fully covered by cash and short-term bank deposits of KZT22bn and undrawn credit lines of KZT38.3bn. There are no major debt repayments in 2014-2016, and nearly 90% of KTG's maturities fall on 2017 when ICA's USD540m eurobond is due. KTG intends to borrow up to KZT50bn in 2014 to finance capex.

    In February 2014, Kazakhstan devalued the tenge to USD/KZT185 or by 17% from the end-2013 level, which followed the depreciation of the Russian rouble by 13%.

    "We expect this to have no material impact on the group's leverage, as losses on its USD-denominated debt will largely be offset by gains from ICA's USD-denominated revenues," the agency's analysts said.

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  • Azerbaijani bank prepares for placement of bonds with 15% annual rate
    18.04.2014 00:19
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17


    Azerbaijani State Committee for Securities (SCS) registered the issue prospectus of interest-bearing book-entry registered unsecured bonds of Parabank OJSC.

    The issue volume is 13,000,000 Azerbaijani manats, according to a message from Baku Stock Exchange (BSE).

    Some 13,000 bonds at par value of 1,000 manats were issued as part of the emission.

    Annual rate of bonds is 15 percent with a turnover period of seven years.

    Coupon payment will be made '‹'‹quarterly. The issue underwriter is the Unicapital OJSC.

    Parabank was established on December 3, 1991. Slightly over 80 percent of the bank's shares are owned by five individuals and the rest by 14 minority shareholders.

    The official exchange rate on April 17 is 0.7843 AZN/USD.

    Translated by E.A.

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Exchange Rates of Central Bank