top of page
Online Payment
Arshin mal alan by great Uzeyir Hajibeyli conquers Los Angeles
08.09.2013 22:09
Los Angeles has hosted the premiere of Arshin mal alan (The Cloth Peddler), a world-known operetta by great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

The operetta was performed by an all American team and produced by famous director Michael Schnack. Actors had diligent rehearsals for several months. They said the toughest thing to do was to learn to sing in Azerbaijani.

James Judd, who played the musical comedy`s main character, Asgar, said it took them a long time to learn the words of arias.

Asha Lindsey, who played Gulchohra, said she learned a lot about Azerbaijan`s history and culture, as well as Islam when she played in Arhshin mal alan for the first time seven years ago. "I have many Azerbaijani friends. I can tell much about this unique country. I know very well what my character wants. If Gulchohra lived now, she would have been very brave," Lindsey added.

Michael Schnack said the Americans have a different approach to tradition, especially in an artistic sense. "Younger generations in America are open to changes. One of the reasons why Azerbaijan is of such interest to Americans is that the West was once strongly influencing this country."

Hundred years ago helped by oil tycoon and philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, Uzeyir Hajibeyli presented his brainchild to the world. Symbolically, hundred years later this masterpiece of Hajibeyli is staged in the USA with the support from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCA), a major actor on the global energy market. The Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism greatly contributed to organizing the event.

It was Los Angeles where in 1937 Armenians attempted to plagiarize this masterpiece by great Hajibeyli.

Azerbaijan`s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev said California is home to 1.5 million Armenians, with most of them living in Los Angeles. "The Armenian lobby is carrying out active propaganda against us. In order to prevent this we must make the truths about Azerbaijan known to the American society, and we are doing this. And the best way to do this is to promote Azerbaijan`s reach cultural legacy," said the Consul General.

The musical comedy was played to a full house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, one of the premier opera houses of the world also famous for hosting Oscar Awards ceremonies in 1970-90s. An audience of 3,000 people enjoyed this comic and romantic story of love full of songs and humor for about two hours. The performance received a standing ovation.

Following the performance the guests who came to watch it were exchanging their impressions. Some said they enjoyed the music, while others were amazed by the setting and the national costumes.

Kalma Blumber, a Los Angeles resident, said: "It`s fantastic. Amazing music, unique costumes, a very impressive story. I`ve discovered much about Azerbaijan, its history. It`s a sensation."

Austrian Consul in Los Angeles Liliana Popova said: "Great, breathtaking music. My brother is a pianist. He worked with a symphonic orchestra in Baku, and I have many recollections of that time. And I`m very happy today. I`m really amazed by today`s performance."

Jim Kerkman, a Los Angeles resident, said: "It`s a remarkable event that opens the door for us to the beautiful East in a true sense of the word."

The Cloth Peddler conquered Los Angeles, which is considered the movie capital of the world and is home to Hollywood. But to amaze Hollywood is no easy task.
Dear User, please take into the consideration the fact that all news are posted to our portal automatically by the system and no human factor is used to estimate the content of information, therefore if you consider this article non-ethical, offensive, illegal or incorrect, we kindly ask you to inform us about this issue.
Important news
Popular news
  • Changes to law on currency transfer fees in Azerbaijan to be revised
    10.02.2016 12:13
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10Trend:Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hasn't signed the amendments to the law "On currency regulation" and sent them back to the Milli Majlis (Parliament of Azerbaijan), the office of the country's presidential aide on economic reforms said, AzerTac news agency re...
  • Azerbaijan Airlines and National Paralympic Committee signed cooperation agreement
    10.02.2016 10:41
    National air carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan (NPKA) signed a cooperation agreement.The cooperation provides tranfer of athletes to international sports championships and world cups where Azerbaijan Airlines fly, exemption of sports equipment tra...
  • One policeman martyred in SE Turkey
    10.02.2016 06:16
    A Turkish police officer was martyred and another wounded Tuesday during a counter-terror operation against the terrorist organization PKK in the southeastern Sirnak province, police sources said, Anadolu reported.The incident occurred when PKK terrorists attacked an armored police vehicle with rock...
  • Turkey, Israel set to hold another meeting for mending ties
    10.02.2016 03:42
    Turkish and Israeli diplomats are set to meet in Switzerland on Feb 10 as part of ongoing negotiations for the reconciliation, Hurriyet Daily News reported.Turkish diplomatic sources did neither confirm nor deny the reports but the Turkish private broadcaster NTV said Turkish Foreign Ministry Unders...
  • Armenian president can be interrogated over terror attack in parliament
    10.02.2016 00:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9Trend:The head of the Vanadzor office of Helsinki Civil Assembly Artur Sakunts appealed to the Chief Prosecutor's Office demanding to interrogate the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan over the terror attack on the Armenian parliament on Oct. 27, 1999, website repor...
  • Turkey summons US envoy over Washington's PYD remarks
    09.02.2016 23:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9Trend:US ambassador in Ankara John Bass has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry Tuesday midday over "support" remarks by a State Department spokesman concerning the terrorist organization PKK's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Anadolu reported...
  • US intelligence chief warns of 'homegrown' security threat
    09.02.2016 22:42
    Attacks by "homegrown" terrorists are among the most imminent security threats facing the United States in 2016, along with dangers posed overseas by Islamic State and cyber security concerns, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.In his annual assessment of threats to...
  • Kazakhstan to commission new ferry terminal until late 2016
    09.02.2016 16:42
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:A new ferry terminal will be commissioned in Kazakhstan in the port of Kuryk on the Caspian Sea until late 2016, the press office of the ministry of investments and development of the country reported Feb. 9.It is expected that construction of the ...
  • Turkmenistan to reinforce control over TAPI construction
    09.02.2016 16:42
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Feb. 9By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, addressing a Cabinet of Ministers meeting, urged to constantly control the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.During the meeting, he also demanded to use ...
  • IEA: global oil demand to ease back considerably
    09.02.2016 15:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9By Aygun Badalova - Trend:The global oil demand will ease back considerably in 2016 to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to a five-year high of 1.6 million bpd in 2015, according to the international Energy Agency's (IEA) Oil Market Report, published on Feb. 9.Th...
  • European Jewish Press highlights multicultural environment in Azerbaijan
    10.02.2016 12:17
    European Jewish Press agency has issued an article highlighting multicultural environment in Azerbaijan. Written by Yossi Lempkowicz, who visited Azerbaijan on January 28-31, the articles hail the development of Azerbaijan-Israel relations, and conditions created for the Jewish community in the country.

    The article says: "The Azerbaijani-Israeli strategic partnership relation encompasses many different areas, like energy, security, defense, agriculture, trade but it is also mostly characterized by the human factor, with a vibrant Jewish community in Azerbaijan, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan told EJP in Baku, the country's capital, located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, a city which mixes modernity and tradition. The Jewish community of Azerbaijan, with around 30,000 people, is viewed today as an example in the world how in a secular country with a majority Muslim Shia population, which borders Iran in its southern part, all faith communities, including Judaism, live in perfect harmony and mutual respect. 10,000 Jews live in the capital where there are 2 synagogues, 2 Jewish schools, one college and 3 kindergartens.''

    ''There are 7 synagogues in the country, including two in Baku and three in Quba, an old city in the north east of the country, also dubbed the ''Jerusalem of the Caucasus'', where an entire Jewish population, known as Mountains Jews, lives, the sole example in the world of a Jewish city outside Israel. Moreover, a new Jewish Museum is being built with government financial support in Quba.''

    ''With our friends in Israel we had a very open discussion. This is not an issue for us. Our view is not different from the mainstream view of Israel's society and Israel's government. We have no problem with importing such products in Azerbaijan, replies Hikmat Hajyev, when asked about his country's position on the labeling question, as he argues that people in the settlements are working to get salaries. If you stop importing their products, they will lose their jobs,' he says. According to him, the two-state solution ''is the only guarantee for sustainable peace in this part of the world and for the security and safety of the Israeli people.''

    "We are witnessing regular unfair criticism and attacks in the European Parliament against Azerbaijan, deplores Bahar Muradova, Vice President of the Milli Majlis, the country's 125-member parliament, and chairperson of the Human Rights committee. Herself a refugee from one of the 7 occupied districts, she deplores the difference of attitude of the EU. 'This is very disappointing because we attach a lot of importance to our relationship with the EU,' she said. As a result of an ''offensive'' resolution of the EU parliament last September on the so-called ''violation of human rights'' in Azerbaijan, Baku suspended its participation in the Euronest parliamentary assembly, a forum in the framework of EU's Eastern Partnership grouping members of national parliaments from Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.''

    The article says: ''In her conversation with EJP, Muradova was proud to say that "Azerbaijan is the only country where there is no anti-Semitism'', contrary to what is happening in several countries of Europe. Moreover, despite the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh, there are 30,000 Armenians living peacefully in Azerbaijan, she explained. "Isn't this tolerance and respect of human rights?,'' the MP asked. Turning to the successful integration of one million refugees from Nagorno Karabakh region, she believes the EU, which is increasingly coping with the migrant crisis, has to learn from Azerbaijan's experience.''

    ''Azay Guliev, a member of the Azerbaijani parliament who also chairs the Council of State Support to NGOs explained that his country has proposed and initiated a strategic partnership with the EU based on close cooperation.

    ''Our multiculturalism should be developed as an example for the rest of the world at a time when anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are the main threats to our common home, says Azay Guliyev. ''Wasn't Azerbaijan the first country to give voting rights to women in 1918, even before the US did so?'' he asks to counter his country's critics.''

    /By Azertac/
  • Changes to law on currency transfer fees in Azerbaijan to be revised
    10.02.2016 12:13
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10


    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hasn't signed the amendments to the law "On currency regulation" and sent them back to the Milli Majlis (Parliament of Azerbaijan), the office of the country's presidential aide on economic reforms said, AzerTac news agency reported.

    The message said that this was done taking into account numerous appeals of entrepreneurs and investors.

    In accordance with the proposed amendments to the law, it was planned to introduce 20-percent mandatory fees to the state budget from the foreign currency transfer transactions beyond Azerbaijan by individuals and legal entities, who are residents and non-residents of the country, excluding some categories.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • EIA increases Kazakhstanв's oil production forecast
    10.02.2016 12:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has increased the forecast of oil production in Kazakhstan for 2016, according to the short-term February forecast of the EIA.

    Oil production in Kazakhstan in 2016 is forecasted at 1.73 million barrels per day (bpd). Previously, the EIA predicted oil production in Kazakhstan at 1.72 million bpd in 2016.

    In accordance with the new forecast, in the first quarter of 2016 oil production in Kazakhstan will amount to 1.71 million bpd, in the second and the third quarter - 1.72 million bpd, in the fourth - 1.75 million bpd.

    In 2017, the EIA predicts oil production growth in Kazakhstan to 1.75 million bpd, as it predicted in the previous forecast. Quarterly production in 2017 is expected to be 1.76, 1.76, 1.75 and 1.74 million bpd, respectively.

    In 2015, oil production in Kazakhstan was 1.72 million bpd, according to the EIA.

    BP's statistical review indicates that Kazakhstan's proven oil reserves as of early 2015 stood at 30 billion barrels.

    Kazakhstan's largest oil fields are Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan.

    Tengiz is one of the largest fields in the world. The project's license area includes the Tengiz field and the Korolevskoye field, which is smaller, but has significant reserves. Recoverable reserves of the Tengiz and Korolevskoye fields are estimated between 750 million to 1.1 billion tons of oil. The total explored reserves in the drilled and non-drilled sites at the Tengiz field's reservoir stand at 3.1 billion tons, or 26 billion barrels.

    Karachaganak is also one of the world's largest fields. Its oil and condensate reserves stand at 1.2 billion tons, and gas reserves exceed 1.35 trillion cubic meters. Almost 45 percent of gas and 16 percent of oil produced in Kazakhstan are being extracted from this field.

    Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan, located in the north of the Caspian Sea. The geological reserves of Kashagan are estimated at 4.8 billion metric tons of oil. The total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels; some 10 billion out of them are recoverable reserves.

    There are large natural gas reserves at the Kashagan field - over one trillion cubic meters. The production at the Kashagan field started September 2013, but in October, it was ceased after a gas leak in one of the main pipelines. The production at the Kashagan is expected to resume in late 2016.

    Edited by SI

    Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • BP vice president makes presentation at BHOS
    10.02.2016 12:03
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10


    Robert Watt, BP safety and operational risk vice president made presentation on lsquo;Safety and Operational risks' for BHOS (Baku Higher Oil School) students.

    Prior to presentation BHOS rector Elmar Gasimov touched upon cooperation existing between BHOS and international petroleum companies and BP. He said that BHOS students systematically take internship at BP and they have opportunity to commence their future career at BP and other international companies. BHOS rector also emphasized the significance of such kind of presentations held at BHOS for students.

    Robert Watt, BP safety and operational risk vice president informed the attendees about accidents that ever occurred in the history of petroleum industry. BP vice president talked about security measures taken by BP to prevent this kind of accidents. He also stressed the importance of duties and functions of engineers in prevention of the accidents. Robert Watt answered students' questions. As many as 150 students of BHOS attended the above mentioned meeting.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Russia's S-300 missile system ready to be delivered to Iran
    10.02.2016 12:02
    Tehran, Iran, Feb.10

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Russian air defense missile system, S-300 is ready to be delivered to Iran, said the country's Defense Minister Hossein Dehgan.

    Dehgan said that a part of S-300 systems will be delivered to Iran in first quarter of 2016 and the remaining parts until the end of 2016.

    Dehgan also said Iran can purchase the S-400 defense system in the future, if necessary. He said that Iran itself is manufacturing a long-range defense missile system, Barvar 373, which would be tested by March 2017.

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

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Major foreign investors should participate in privatization, expert says
    10.02.2016 11:35
    /By Azernews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan, which has opted for taking anti-crisis measures, should involve major foreign investors in the privatization process, Ibrahim Mammadzade, the Managing Director of the ASPI Consulting Engineers Company, believes.

    He toldВ TrendВ that today, not every Azerbaijani company is able to provide the necessary capital for privatization.

    "The experience of previous stages of privatization in Azerbaijan has shown that improvement of the infrastructure requires not only foreign investors, but also foreign operators," he said.

    Recently, President Ilham Aliyev has noted the need to prepare a broad program of privatization, attracting both foreign and local investors, to improve the business environment and accelerate business revival in Azerbaijan.

    Azerbaijan has earned a huge amount of funds as a result of the oil boom, which was enough to start the privatization process in the municipal sector.

    Mammadzade believes that after the second devaluation of the manat the privatization of these facilities will be much more complex than a few years ago.

    "There is no private local operator, which would provide high-quality services for electricity, heating, water and gas supplies, utilization of household waste, as well as in the field of road maintenance," he noted. "I'm not talking about the investments in support of infrastructure, requiring huge expenditures. We do not have local private sector willing to invest $3-4 billion in providing infrastructure services. With regard to strengthening the economy, public-private financing and management of the infrastructure sector seems promising."

    It is also necessary to carry out reforms in the field of legislation and to create a regulatory framework in Azerbaijan, Mammadzade believes.

    He advised to revise the legislation and regulatory base to improve international trading and purchasing rules, control mechanisms, contract signing procedures, as well as monitoring and evaluating of investments. "Then there will be a chance to attract foreign investors in the privatization process in the country despite the commercial risks," he added.

    The government has passed two stages of privatization so far and it would be better to fix the drawbacks in these processes to avoid further mistakes.

    The first stage of privatization began in 1995, and mainly covered small enterprises. The second stage launched in the early 2000s and included medium-sized enterprises.

    "At this stage it is necessary to outline the most attractive enterprises and privatize them taking into account the amendments to the legislation and regulatory framework, stable oil prices and exchange rate stability and their actual market price. I should note that one of these enterprises is the Baku-Heydar Aliyev International Airport highway, the sea port in the Alat settlement, Shimal power plant and a waste recycling plant in Balakhani," Mammadzade concluded.

    The new privatization program is expected to be implemented transparently with participation of international experts. Moreover, favorable conditions will be created for local and foreign businessmen to support their interest in investing into Azerbaijanв's economy.

    The process of privatization is not the guarantee of the economic revival, but it strengthens the competitiveness of economy, well representing a combination of private and public ownership.

    Finance Minister Samir Sharifov recently said that Azerbaijan expects to receive some 100 million manats ($61.35 million) from the privatization of state property this year.

    Last year some 685 small state enterprises, unfinished buildings, vehicles, 456 plots of land, and 20 joint-stock companies were privatized in the country.

    Member of Parliament Rufat Guliyev believes that there are still a sufficient number of businesses that are entirely on the state balance sheet, as well as enterprises that have been partially privatized.

    ''There are more than 600 joint-stock companies, which have been partially privatized in Azerbaijan. The state share in these companies sometimes reach 30 percent. If these enterprises are privatized with direct international investment, it will bring a large inflow of foreign currency in Azerbaijan. In addition, this will entail the influx of foreign technologies, create new jobs and expand the tax base,'' he said earlier.
  • AYOR participated in ForeignersLife exhibition-forum in Moscow
    10.02.2016 11:34
    The Azerbaijani Youth Association of Russia (AYOR) has participated in the ForeignersLife Forum in Moscow.

    More than 130 companies providing a variety of goods and services participated at the event to talk about their capabilities and help foreigners to get all the answers on how to live and work in Russia comfortably. The aim was to acquaint the foreigners living in Russia with the way of life and business environment of this country, and the Russians - with opportunities of foreign countries in the sphere of tourism, education and business.

    At the stand of Azerbaijan, presented by AMOR, there were demonstrated booklets with information on the tourist capacity of Azerbaijan, the opportunities created in the republic for foreign investors, the cultural and literary environment, various issues of the magazines ''Baku'' and ''AYOR''. The great interest of foreigners was aroused by musical instruments, ancient household items, the handmade carpets presented at the exhibition stand by the Azerbaijani young men and girls in national clothes. Activists of AYOR informed visitors on great tourist opportunities in Azerbaijan, the first European Games "Baku-2015", and also competitions of the Grand Prix of Europe "Formula-1". Within the forum, master classes on the Azerbaijani dances were organized.

    The member of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE Thierry Mariani (France) who was taking part in the action got acquainted with the AYOR stand. He emphasized the high level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and France, noted the quick development of economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

    At the forum which took place on 5-7 February, also were held conferences on urgent topics, master classes and other actions.

    /By Azertac/
  • EIA keeps Azerbaijanв's oil production forecasts unchanged
    10.02.2016 11:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has kept Azerbaijan's oil production forecasts unchanged - at 0.87 million barrels per day in 2016 and 0.86 million barrels per day in 2017.

    In the first two quarters of 2016, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook, Azerbaijan's oil production will amount to 0.88 million barrels per day, while in the third and fourth quarters of the year the production will average 0.87 million barrels per day.

    In 2017, EIA forecasts the highest Azerbaijan's oil production to be observed in the first quarter - at 0.87 million barrels per day. In the second and third quarters of the next year the country's production will average 0.86 million barrels per day, in the fourth - 0.85 million barrels per day, according to the EIA's forecasts.

    The main oil output in Azerbaijan comes from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field. This offshore block produces Azeri Light oil with 0.15 percent sulfur and 35 degrees API.

    The contract for the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli development, with proven reserve of nearly 1 billion tons of oil, was signed in 1994.

    Azerbaijan produced 41.69 million tons of oil and gas condensate in 2015, or 0.8 percent less than in 2014, according to the State Statistics Committee.

    This is while 41.9 million tons of oil and gas condensate were produced in Azerbaijan in 2014, compared to 43.1 million tons in 2013.

    Azerbaijan's proved oil reserves amounted to 7 billion barrels at the end of 2014, according to BP's Statistical Review.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran making own Karrar tank, skips buying Russian T90
    10.02.2016 11:22
    Tehran, Iran, Feb.10

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran is manufacturing its own tank - Karrar, instead of purchasing Russian T90 tanks, said the country's Defense Minister Hossein Dehgan.

    Dehgan said that Karrar has all the capabilites of the T90, Defense Ministry's official website reported on Feb.10.

    "We are producing Karrar domestically," he said. "It is more advanced than T90."

    Iran previously held talks with Russia regarding the purchase of the T90 tanks, however later abandoned the idea. Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian army's ground forces has previously said that buying the T90 tanks is not on the country's agenda.

    "The Russian T-90 tank is one of our favorites," he said, adding however purchasing this tank was later abandoned considering Iran's domestic capacities for producing tanks.

    "Iran currently plans to use its domestic capacities to meet its demand for tanks," the commander said.

    Sputnik news agency earlier reported that the purchase of T-90 main battle tanks would considerably rehabilitate Iran's tank fleet.

    The T-90 is considered to be among the 10 best main battle tanks in the world. Currently it is the most commercially successful main battle tank on the global market, said the agency's report.

    Under international restrictions, Iran has turned to domestic talents to improve its military power, frequently unveiling new products. Since 1992, Iran has been manufacturing its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radar, boats, submarines and fighter aircraft.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Russaian Uralvagonzavod company Alexey Zharich said on Feb. 4 that his company proposed to license production of T90 in Iran if the UN sanctions on the country are lifted.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • EBRD workshop supports Azerbaijani women entrepreneurs
    10.02.2016 11:21
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10


    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has started the second session of a four-day workshop for women entrepreneurs who want to develop their entrepreneurial skills and understand key financial concepts to help their businesses grow, according to the EBRD press release Feb. 10.

    On February 10, 2016 seventeen women entrepreneurs representing various sectors of the economy attended the workshop.

    The workshop is a part of the EBRD's Women in Business program funded by EU, Sweden and the Early Transition Countries Fund. Over 50 million euros will be made available from the EBRD for credit lines channelled through partner financial institutions for on-lending to women-led SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

    This is combined with nine million euros in donor funding, enabling risk mitigation funds and technical assistance to partner banks, as well as business advice, training and mentoring for women entrepreneurs.

    "We firmly believe that women's entrepreneurship plays an important role in creating jobs and driving economic growth," Jeff Ferry, associate director of the EBRD Advice for Small Businesses within the Small Business Initiative for South Caucasus and Russian Federation said.

    "That's why, in our countries of operation, we help women entrepreneurs succeed and be more engaged in business."

    "Our workshop series is based on international best practices and the curriculum is adapted and delivered in accordance with the local needs," he said. "It promotes and support women's entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan and more broadly women's participation in business."

    Since starting work in Azerbaijan in 1993, the EBRD has helped over 700 enterprises access consulting know-how to help them develop and grow. The EU has provided 3.7 million euros to support this work in Azerbaijan since 2003 and Swedish International Development Agency contributed 47 million Swedish Kronor to the development of women entrepreneurship in Eastern Partnership countries.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan Airlines and National Paralympic Committee signed cooperation agreement
    10.02.2016 10:41
    National air carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan (NPKA) signed a cooperation agreement.

    The cooperation provides tranfer of athletes to international sports championships and world cups where Azerbaijan Airlines fly, exemption of sports equipment transportation from additional dues, as well as holding joint activities for promotion of Paralympic sports among population.

    In particular, within cooperation AZAL will organize athletes' flights to the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to 18.

    Prize-winners of the 2016 Paralympic Games will be awarded free tickets valid for a year to any destination of AZAL.

    "The Paralympic Games are an important and socially significant event in the development of sports in our country. It is a great honor for us to support our athletes," CJSC "AZAL" vice-president Eldar Hajiyev said.

    Shaig Hamidov, vice-president of the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan said: "The Paralympic Games are one of the most prestigious competitions for athletes with disabilities. Selections for these competitions are held not only within national, but also global competitions. The support of the Azerbaijan Airlines will make a great contribution to the development of Paralympic sports in our country."

    The Paralympic Games is international sports competition for people with disabilities. Traditionally, it takes place after the Olympic Games. Summer paralympic games are held since 1960, while winter paralympic games - since 1976.

    The National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan was established on February 9, 1996. The Committee is developing 12 of the 19 Paralympic sports. By the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, 2 sports will also be added to them.

    Press-service of CJSC Azerbaijan Airlines and the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Jordan's House of Representatives to pass resolution on Khojaly Genocide
    10.02.2016 10:18
    Jordan's House of Representatives will adopt a resolution on the Khojaly Genocide, Speaker Atef Tarawneh has told Azerbaijani Ambassador Sabir Aghabayov.

    He said the Jordanian parliament has always backed justice, adding it will voice its position on the Khojaly Genocide in a resolution.

    Ambassador Aghabayov highlighted the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He hailed the Jordanian Senate`s resolution condemning the Khojaly Genocide. The Ambassador expressed confidence that Jordan`s House of Representatives will also express its stance on the issue through passing a resolution.

    They discussed cooperation between the two countries, and also praised the role of the Azerbaijani President and the King of Jordan in developing the bilateral ties.

    /By Azertac/
  • Azerbaijani rector receives honorary doctorate from Tbilisi Open University
    10.02.2016 10:18
    Rector of Azerbaijan University of Technology Akif Suleymanov has received honorary doctorate from Tbilisi Open University (TOU).

    Prior to the award ceremony, a meeting with Suleymanov was held at TOU.

    Highlighting the cooperation between the two universities, rector of TOU Nodar Papukashvili said that joint seminars and international conferences, student exchange would contribute to the development of the cooperation between the two universities.

    Papukashvili then read out the decision of the Academic Council of the University on granting a diploma of Honorary Doctor of Tbilisi Open University to Akif Suleymanov for his role in enhancing cooperation between the two universities, and his contribution to the development of science.

    Suleymanov expressed his gratitude for honorary doctorate. He gave information about Azerbaijan University of Technology.

    Suleymanov also met with students of TOU.

    /By Azertac/
  • A glance at Iran's industrial indexes
    10.02.2016 10:17
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    Iran's industrial GDP growth experienced a 11.94 percent contraction during 9 months of the current fiscal year (started on March 21, 2015), said the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Masoud Khansari.

    Khansari noted that the index of Industrial production has shown negative figures in all spheres, except for pharmaceutical and food industries.

    The growth of industrial production index during the fall was 24.8 percent, compared to last year, he said.

    The share of industry in Iran's overall GDP was 11.83 percent during last year, the Statistical Center of Iran reported. The center put Iran's GDP growth at 1 percent in the first half of the fiscal year.

    However, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the figure would stand between -0.5 percent and 0.5 percent in the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the World Bank seems to be more optimistic, putting the figure at 1.9 percent during a period from March 2015-March 2016.

    On the other hand, the Central Bank of Iran put the industrial GDP growth at 5 percent for last year and -2.9 percent in the preceding year.

    After the West imposed tighter sanctions on Iran in 2012, the Islamic Republic's GDP fell from above $590 billion in 2011 to about $425 billion in 2014, according to the World Bank.

    The real GDP growth is projected to reach 4-5.5 percent in 2016-17 and to average 4 percent throughout the medium term, International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated.


    Exports ($, M)

    Change Y/Y

    Gas condensate



    Industry (including petrochemicals)



    Carpets and handicrafts









    Coming to industrial exports, according to the latest statistics, released by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, the country's total industrial exports (includes petrochemicals inside the industrial export group) at $25.118 billion, remained unchanged in volume, but increased by 3.4 percent in value during 10 months of the current fiscal year.

    However, the weight of petrochemicals in Iran's total industrial exports are very high. For instance, the share of gas condensate and petrochemicals in Iran's total non-oil export is always around 46-49 percent.

    Shana reported on Jan.17 that some 48 percent of total export revenues among top 500 Iranian companies in the past fiscal year (March 2014-March 2015) accounted for petrochemical companies, followed by oil product exporters and industrial exporters, with 12 percent and 10 percent shares respectively.

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector and head of Trend Agency'sIran news service

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • EIA loweres oil price forecasts for 2016
    10.02.2016 10:14
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) forecasts North Sea Brent crude oil price to average $38 a barrel in 2016 compared to a previously forecasted $40. In 2017, EIA forecasts Brent price to average $50, unchanged from the EIA's last month's forecasts.

    Forecast West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are expected to average the same as Brent in both years, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

    Brent prices averaged $31 a barrel in January, a $7 a barrel decrease from December and the lowest monthly average price since December 2003, according to the EIA's estimates.

    EIA's estimates show that Brent prices averaged $52 a barrel in 2015, down $47 a barrel from the average in 2014.

    Growth in global liquids inventories, which averaged 1.8 million barrels per day in 2015, continues to put downward pressure on Brent prices, the EIA said.

    EIA estimates that the U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.4 million barrels per day in 2015 and it is forecast to average 8.7 million barrels per day in 2016 and 8.5 million barrels per day in 2017.

    EIA estimates that crude oil production in January was 70,000 barrels per day below the December level, which was 9.2 million barrels per day.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Uzbekistan commissions NPK fertilizers plant
    10.02.2016 10:14
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Feb .10

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Samarkand NPK Uzbek-Chinese joint venture has commissioned a plant for the production of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) fertilizers on the basis of Samarkandkimyo JSC (Samarkand Chemical Plant) worth $20 million in Uzbekistan, Uzhimprom JSC, which unites the chemical industry enterprises of the country, told Trend.

    The design capacity of the enterprise is 240,000 tons of NPK fertilizers per year. Samarkand-NPK joint venture was established in mid-2015 by Samarkandkimyo JSC and the Chinese Jiangsu Right Machinery Group Co., Ltd with the parity equity participation.

    The project was financed through a loan of Uzpromstroybank in the amount of $15 million and equity of the co-founders of the joint venture. This is the first enterprise in Uzbekistan for the production of ternary compound fertilizers.

    Earlier it was planned to implement the project with the Chinese Citic Construction Co. Ltd. (CITIC), but the companies failed to reach an agreement. Samarkand Chemical Plant was commissioned in 1954 and was specialized in the processing of phosphate ore of the Karatau deposit (Kazakhstan).

    Currently, delivery of phosphate concentrate is carried out from the Kyzylkum phosphorite complex - a structural unit of the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine, which operates on the basis of Jeroy Sardar phosphate deposit in Central Kyzylkum.

    Samarkand Chemical Plant produces nearly 25,000 tons of ammophos and nearly 100,000 tons of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers annually.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey speeding up third airport construction in Istanbul
    10.02.2016 08:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey is accelerating construction of the third airport in Istanbul, said Binali Yildirim, minister of transport, maritime affairs and communications, the TRT Haber news channel reported Feb. 9.

    The minister said the construction of the third airport is necessary, because the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, despite of its capabilities, doesn't have enough time to receive all the flights.

    He also said that new runways will be built at the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

    The third airport of Istanbul will be commissioned in early 2018. It is being built near the Lake Terkos in the north of Istanbul.

    The airport is expected to be one of the largest in the world and will be named after the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran ready to discuss oil with Saudis
    10.02.2016 08:17
    Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday that Iran is ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the current conditions in international oil markets, Press TV reported.

    "We support any form of dialogue and cooperation with OPEC member states including Saudi Arabia," Zangeneh told reporters.

    He said some Persian Gulf countries have announced that they are looking for trying to make economic benefits for themselves by helping to push down oil prices. "But what they want to achieve is not at all for economic gains," said Zangeneh.

    "If there were a strong political will, the price of oil would have been balanced within one single week," IRNA quoted him as saying.

    The Iranian oil minister had in early January emphasized that the current oil prices harm all producers and certain countries' insistence on overproduction is politically motivated.

    "None of the oil producers is happy with the existing prices which will harm suppliers in the long term," he has emphasized.

    According to the Iranian minister, "there is a political will behind OPEC indecision over production ceiling in the organization."

    OPEC has been producing nearly a million more barrels of oil each day than its 30 million bpd ceiling for the past 16 months.

    The organization approved a Saudi plan to scrap allocating fixed production quotas to member countries in its December 2011 meeting and introduced output ceiling of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) which does not specify quotas.

    Zangeneh has described the decision a "historic mistake", saying "making up for this big mistake and reviving the quota system in OPEC is a very hard task."

    Because of overproduction chiefly by Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC producers, there is currently up to 2.5 million bpd of excess oil in the market which has caused crude prices to lose around 60% of their value since mid-2014.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • One policeman martyred in SE Turkey
    10.02.2016 06:16
    A Turkish police officer was martyred and another wounded Tuesday during a counter-terror operation against the terrorist organization PKK in the southeastern Sirnak province, police sources said, Anadolu reported.

    The incident occurred when PKK terrorists attacked an armored police vehicle with rocket launchers, leaving two officers wounded, police said.

    One of the policemen transferred to Sirnak State Hospital succumbed to his wounds.

    Meanwhile, a Koycegiz gendarmerie border post in Sirnak's Idil district was attacked by a group of PKK terrorists who fired with rocket launchers and long-barreled weapons late Tuesday evening, according to the Turkish armed forces.

    Another soldier was wounded and rushed to Sirnak State Hospital by helicopter.

    Earlier in the day, a police officer and a soldier were martyred in southeastern Sirnak's Cizre district, which has been the focus of counter-terror operations and military curfews since December 2015.

    According to latest figures released by Turkish Armed Forces, the total number of PKK terrorists killed during anti-terror operations is 575 in Cizre as of Monday.

    The PKK - also considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU - resumed its 30-year armed attack against the Turkish security forces in late July 2015.

    Since then, more than 260 members of the security forces have been martyred and thousands of PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Italian company to help Iran develop railway network
    10.02.2016 04:22
    Italy's state-run company known as Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) in a statement announced that it has signed an agreement with its Iranian counterpart to develop Iran's railway system, IRNA reported.

    The agreement was signed by Abbas Akhoundi, Iran's minister of transport, and Graziano Delrio, Italy's minister of infrastructure, during a four-day visit to Rome and Paris by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

    'We have held talks with China and some European countries for launching high-speed rail on affordable budget; I hope the talks will yield positive results,' Akhoundi said.

    The deal will mark the resumption of commercial relations between Iran's railway and FS, which were broken off after the imposition of UN Security Council sanctions in 2006.

    President Rouhani's visit is being reciprocated this week by an Italian trade mission. Speaking to Italian news agency AGI before his departure yesterday, Mr. Delrio said Iran was "a very important gateway to the whole of the East".

    "The Iranian Republic intends to strengthen the country's infrastructure, and is considering 10,000km of railways, thousands of kilometers of motorways, as well as ports and airports, and is in favor of partnerships between the public and private sectors, so the market is opening."

    FS is likely to work on the line between Tehran, Qom and Isfahan, which is the high-speed showpiece of the Iran's ambitious new rail network.

    Italcertifer, FS's certification arm, is working on the design of an infrastructure and rolling stock test centre, while Italferr, FS's engineering arm, will work on the construction of a metro in Mashhad, Iran's principal city in the north-east of the country, for which it has already been named preferred bidder.

    Iran has also been holding talks with Italy and France on the general renovation of Iran's existing rail system.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a rail conference on Sunday, 31 January, Mr. Akhoundi said he had been consulting with French and Italian companies on a "hire purchase" basis.

    He added: "We have held talks with China and some European countries for launching high-speed rail on affordable budget; I hope the talks will yield positive results."

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey, Israel set to hold another meeting for mending ties
    10.02.2016 03:42
    Turkish and Israeli diplomats are set to meet in Switzerland on Feb 10 as part of ongoing negotiations for the reconciliation, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    Turkish diplomatic sources did neither confirm nor deny the reports but the Turkish private broadcaster NTV said Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu was on his way to Geneva to attend the meeting.

    Diplomats of two countries have long been negotiating over a plan to normalize ruined relationship because of Israeli commandos' raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara flotilla. Israel officialy apologized to Turkey in 2013 over the killings of 10 Turkish citizens but discussions on how much compensation will be paid to the families of the victims and how Turkish access to Gaza will be provided in an unrestricted way have still been not clear.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • North Korea may get plutonium from restarted reactor in weeks: US
    10.02.2016 02:22
    North Korea, which conducted its fourth nuclear test last month and launched a long-range rocket on Saturday, could begin to recover plutonium from a restarted nuclear reactor within weeks, the director of U.S. National Intelligence said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

    James Clapper said that in 2013, following its third nuclear test, North Korea announced its intention to "refurbish and restart" facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, to include the uranium enrichment facility and its graphite-moderated plutonium production reactor shut down in 2007.

    "We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor," Clapper said in prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    "We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months," he said in his annual Worldwide Threat Assessment.

    North Korea has used its graphite-moderated reactor at Yongbyon as a source of plutonium for its atomic bombs. It tested a fourth nuclear device on Jan. 6.

    North Korea said in September that Yongbyon was operating and that it was working to improve the "quality and quantity" of weapons which it could use against the United States at "any time."

    Clapper said North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs would "continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. interests and to the security environment in East Asia in 2016."

    He said North Korea had expanded the size and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces and was also "committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States."

    Clapper said Pyongyang had publicly displayed a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, on multiple occasions, and the U.S. assessment was that it had taken initial steps toward fielding the system, although it had not been flight-tested.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • China confirms first imported Zika case
    10.02.2016 01:03
    China has confirmed its first case of imported Zika virus, the country's state news agency Xinhua reported.

    The Zika virus was detected in a 34-year-old man from Ganxian county of Jiangxi province, Xinhua said, citing China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.

    The man was recovering with normal body temperature and fading rash, Xinhua said.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Armenian president can be interrogated over terror attack in parliament
    10.02.2016 00:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    The head of the Vanadzor office of Helsinki Civil Assembly Artur Sakunts appealed to the Chief Prosecutor's Office demanding to interrogate the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan over the terror attack on the Armenian parliament on Oct. 27, 1999, website reported.

    The head of "Republic" party Aram Z. Sargsyan said that Serzh Sargsyan confessed that one day he will tell who organized attack.

    "According to the statement, the President has hidden information about a crime, which is a criminal offense", - he added.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey summons US envoy over Washington's PYD remarks
    09.02.2016 23:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    US ambassador in Ankara John Bass has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry Tuesday midday over "support" remarks by a State Department spokesman concerning the terrorist organization PKK's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Anadolu reported.

    According to Turkish diplomatic sources, Foreign Ministry deputy undersecretary Umit Yalcin expressed Ankara's uneasiness regarding Monday's press briefing in which spokesman John Kirby said: "We don't, as you know, recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization."

    Turkey, a NATO ally of the U.S., designates the group a terrorist entity as it does the PKK. The Turkish government had also recently announced its opposition to see the PYD participate in the Geneva peace talks.

    Kirby's comments follow remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who voiced concerns about U.S. support for the People's Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the PYD.

    "Kurdish fighters have been some of the most successful in going after Daesh inside Syria. We have provided a measure of support, mostly through the air and that support will continue," added Kirby.

    "The PYD, controlled by the Qandil Mountain [where the PKK has established its headquarters since it retreated from Turkey] is supported and defended [by western powers that] ignore the YPG's ethnic cleansing activities in the region, terrorist actions, [and] cooperation with the current [Bashar al Assad's] regime," Erdogan said Saturday at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul.

    Blasting Washington's characterization of the PYD as a "reliable partner" in the fight against Daesh, Erdogan urged the U.S. to show preference to its NATO ally Turkey rather than the PYD.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said allied and friendly nations should distinguish terrorist organizations from states in their fight against Daesh in Syria.

    "The U.S. needs to make a decision: Does it choose us as a partner or terrorist organizations?" he said in a joint news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Budapest.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • US intelligence chief warns of 'homegrown' security threat
    09.02.2016 22:42
    Attacks by "homegrown" terrorists are among the most imminent security threats facing the United States in 2016, along with dangers posed overseas by Islamic State and cyber security concerns, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

    In his annual assessment of threats to the United States, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that fast-moving cyber and technological advances "could lead to widespread vulnerabilities in civilian infrastructures and U.S. government systems."

    Terrorism remains a top concern in President Barack Obama's last year in office, Clapper said in prepared testimony before the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees.

    Clapper outlined an array of other threats from Russia and North Korean nuclear ambitions to instability caused by the Syrian migrant crisis.

    "In my 50 plus years in the intelligence business I cannot recall a more diverse array of crises and challenges than we face today," Clapper said during the hearing.

    Islamic State poses the most danger among militant groups because of the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, Clapper said. It also has demonstrated "unprecedented online proficiencies," he said.

    While the United States "will almost certainly remain at least a rhetorically important enemy" for many foreign militant groups, "homegrown violent extremists ... will probably continue to pose the most significant Sunni terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland in 2016," he said, referring to Sunni Muslim jihadists.

    "The perceived success" of attacks by such extremists in Europe and San Bernardino, California, "might motivate others to replicate opportunistic attacks with little or no warning, diminishing our ability to detect terrorist operational planning and readiness," Clapper said.

    A married couple inspired by Islamist militants shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino in December.

    General Vincent Stewart, director of Defense Intelligence Agency, told Senate Armed Services Committee that Islamic State aims to conduct more attacks in Europe during 2016 and has ambitions to attack inside the United States.

    The group is taking advantage of the refugee flow from Syria's civil war to hide militants among them and is adept at obtaining false documentation, Clapper said.

    Al Qaeda affiliates, most notably the one in Yemen known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have proven resilient and are positioned to make gains this year despite pressure from Western counterterrorism operations, Clapper said.

    He cited threats from Russia's increasingly assertive international policies, saying "We could be into another Cold War-like spiral."

    U.S. intelligence assesses that North Korea is committed to developing a long-range nuclear armed missile that can reach the United States and has carried out some steps toward fielding a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system, Clapper said.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iranв's crude oil price increases by 10%
    09.02.2016 22:03
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Fatih Karimov- Trend:

    Iran's crude oil price has been recovered by about 10 percent, as the downward trend of global oil prices stopped last week.

    Each barrel of Iran's Light oil was sold for $25.92 in the week to Jan. 29, $2.7 more compared to the preceding week, the official IRNA news agency reported Feb. 7.

    The price of Iranian Heavy oil also increased by $2.64 per barrel and stood at $22.83 in the same period.

    Iran last saw record low prices in 1998 when its oil was traded in markets at below $10 per barrel.

    The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $26.9 during the week to Jan. 29, $3.24 more compared to the preceding week.

    The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

    The basket price stood at $29.9 a barrel on Feb. 4, compared with $28.63 the previous day, according to the OPEC Secretariat calculations.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Georgia restoring visa-free travel with Iran
    09.02.2016 20:52
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    Georgia's visa-free travel regime with Iran, suspended by the Georgian side on July 1, 2013, will be fully restored on Feb. 15.

    Resumption of the visa-free travel was announced during a meeting of the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania with Iran's Ambassador in Tbilisi Abbas Talebifar, the Sputnik Georgia news agency reported Feb. 9.

    With the visa-free regime in effect, Iranian citizens will be able to stay in Georgia without applying for a visa for 45 days from the date of their arrival in the country.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • London to host Azerbaijan-UK commissionв's first meeting
    09.02.2016 20:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

    The first meeting of the Azerbaijan-UK Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation will kick off in London Feb. 10.

    Economic ties between the UK and Azerbaijan and prospects for their expansion will be discussed during the meeting, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy said in a message Feb. 9.

    Azerbaijan's delegation for the meeting will be comprised of officials and businessmen. It will be headed by Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani economy minister, who co-chairs the intergovernmental commission.

    Francis Maude, minister of state for trade and investment, is the co-chair of the commission from the UK's side.

    The commission will continue its work until Feb. 11.

    Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the UK stood at $563.99 million in 2015, according to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee.

    Some $553.33 million of this figure accounted for import of UK products.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijanв's Pasha Bank significantly increases its Turkish subsidiaryв's capital
    09.02.2016 20:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Azerbaijan's Pasha Bank increased the capital of its subsidiary in Turkey - the Pasha Bank Turkey - from 255 million to 373 million Turkish liras, the Turkish economy and finance news website Finans Gundem reported Feb. 9.

    Cenk Eynehan, the Pasha Bank Turkey's general manager and member of its management board, told Finans Gundem that the bank intends to help increase the trade turnover among Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia.

    He said the bank wants to ensure a sustainable long-term cooperation with entrepreneurs and help its customers engaged in export to increase sales.

    Eynehan also said Pasha Bank Turkey's priorities include consultations on mergers and investments, and financing foreign trade operations in areas which have growth potential.

    Pasha Bank, founded in 2007, is a leading corporate bank in Azerbaijan. The bank is a part of Pasha Group - a major investment holding group in Azerbaijan, which also includes significant assets in insurance, property development, production of construction materials, tourism and other businesses.

    The official exchange rate as of Feb. 9 is 2.9295 liras/$1.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • ADIF pays nearly 75% of compensations to Bank of Azerbaijan depositors
    09.02.2016 20:12
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    The Azerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund has paid the compensations worth over 18.1 million manats to clients of the failed Bank of Azerbaijan, the fund said Feb. 9.

    As of Feb. 9, the official exchange rate is 1.5787 AZN/USD.

    The process of receiving applications from Bank of Azerbaijan's insured depositors started since January 29, 2016.

    The amount of the insured deposits in Bank of Azerbaijan is 24.2 million manats. The payments are made in the branches of Muganbank and Rabitabank, assigned as agent banks.

    At the same time, more than 317,000 manats have been paid to Ganja Bank's clients since Feb. 4. In general, the amount of insured deposits in Ganjja Bank is 1.5 million manats.

    The payments to Ganja Bank's depositors are made in the branches of Rabita Bank, Unibank and Kapital Bank.

    The fund returns up to 30,000 manats for each insured deposit.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkmenistan, US aim to diversify co-op
    09.02.2016 20:03
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Feb. 9

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Negotiations with the US delegation led by the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs William Todd were held at the Turkmen Foreign Ministry, said the ministry.

    During the meeting the sides noted the fruitful results of cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations between Turkmenistan and the US and expressed interest in their further diversification.

    A joint action plan on development of cooperation between the two states in 2016 was also discussed.

    In recent years, the US president's administration took a policy of rapprochement with Turkmenistan. Exhibitions of US companies, which are accompanied by high level business forums and business negotiations, are regularly held in Ashgabat.

    Political consultations gained regular basis. The two countries continue cooperation in such spheres as supply of agricultural equipment, upgrading Turkmenistan's technical civil aviation fleet, power equipment import.

    The US support regional gas projects from Turkmenistan, as TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) and Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (through Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe).

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan ensures state support to non-Islamic religious communities
    09.02.2016 19:34
    /By Azernews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan allocates $0.5 million to support non-Islamic religious communities in the country every year, Chairman of the State Committee Mubariz Gurbanli said at the meeting with participants in the International Winter School of multiculturalism on February 9.

    He emphasized that the government provides mosques, synagogues and churches with benefits to ensure electricity.

    Touching upon the tension developed between Sunnis and Shia in some Muslim countries, the chairman stressed that Azerbaijan does not experience such situations, thanks to upbringing and mentality of the people.

    ''Recently, Sunnis and Shia made a joint prayer in the Heydar mosque in Baku. Azerbaijani families do not inculcate hatred in children towards anyone,'' he said, voicing tolerance in Azerbaijan is supported at the state level.

    Today many people die in clashes on national, ethnic, religious grounds in some 30 countries, said Gurbanli.

    ''National, ethnic and religious conflicts led to the death of 2.5 million people during past 15 years. Some 50 million people have been expelled from their native lands,'' the chairman said.

    He added Azerbaijan hosts about one million refugees and IDPs.

    ''The UN has identified 10 major global problems, which urges the humanity to unite to solve them. Even the richest countries in the world are not able to tackle many of these problems. They can be solved by inter-religious dialogue and multiculturalism,'' Gurbanli noted.

    The International Winter School of multiculturalism "Multiculturalism as a way of life in Azerbaijan: teach, explore, share" was launched in Baku on February 8.

    Organized jointly by the Baku International Center of Multiculturalism, Knowledge Foundation under the Azerbaijani President and the Baku Slavic University, the event will last until February 15 and will be held in Guba, Khachmaz and Gusar regions.

    The winter school is attended by students from Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Germany.

    Azerbaijan, a country at crossroads of numerous cultures, religions and civilizations, was known as a bridge between Europe and Asia since antiquity.

    The country always was a land, where different nations, languages and cultural traditions met and interacted.

    Azerbaijan played an important role in the interaction of different religious groups of the region, although the secular state Azerbaijan has an overwhelming majority of Muslim population (96 percent).Worshipers of other religions enjoy freedom here, and one can often witness Jewish synagogues and Orthodox and Christian churches and other religious centers functioning freely here.

    As a country with polyethnic composition, Azerbaijan has declared 2016 the Year of Multiculturalism.

    Today, when the world is struggling with different religious and ethnic dissension, Azerbaijani multiculturalism plays the role of a ''catalyst'', proving that people of different nationalities and religions can live in peace side by side.

    Taking intercultural dialogue as one of the most pressing challenges of the contemporary world, Azerbaijan has been sponsoring World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku once every two years since 2011.
  • Kazakhstanв's gold and currency reserves continue to decrease
    09.02.2016 19:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kazakhstan's gold and currency reserves including gross reserves of the National Bank and the National Fund's assets slightly decreased to $90.64 billion in January 2016, said the statement of the Kazakh National Bank Feb. 9.

    National Fund's assets increased by 0.22 percent - up to $63.65 billion since the beginning of the year.

    Gross international reserves of the National Bank decreased by 3.15 percent - up to $26.99 billion in the reporting period.

    Net international reserves decreased by 3.54 percent - up to $26.98 billion in January.

    Assets in currency decreased by 6.32 percent - up to $19.02 billion.

    Assets in gold increased by 5.32 percent - up to $7.98 billion.

    As previously reported, over 2015, Kazakhstan's gold and currency reserves, including gross reserves of the National Bank and the National Fund's assets decreased up to $91.38 billion in January compared to $102.45 billion in the beginning of the year.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkcell ready to increase activity in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova
    09.02.2016 19:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Turkey's biggest mobile operator Turkcell is planning to proceed with its effort to buy the stake owned by TeliaSonera AB in Fintur Holdings, Bloomberg reported Feb. 9.

    Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS has made a non-binding bid for the 58.55 percent stake in Fintur Holdings that it doesn't own and will follow with another offer after completing due diligence, Chief Executive Officer Kaan Terzioglu said Feb. 9.

    Turkcell now owns 41.45 percent of Fintur, which operates in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova. Terzioglu didn't give further details.

    "We are constantly reviewing our asset portfolio," Terzioglu said after he signed a license agreement with Turkey's telecommunications regulator for 4.5G high-speed mobile Internet services.

    Turkcell hired Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc to advise on the Fintur stake, two people with knowledge of the matter said in November 2015. At the time, Pareto Securities valued TeliaSonera's Fintur stake at about $430 million.

    TeliaSonera, the largest Swedish phone carrier, is Turkcell's biggest shareholder with a 38 percent stake. Other Turkcell investors include Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's investment company and Cukurova Holding AS.

    TeliaSonera announced the reduction of its presence in the Eurasia region (Azerbaijan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan) in September 2015.

    It intends to fully leave the Eurasian region. As part of its new strategy, TeliaSonera will concentrate on the activity in Europe, particularly in Sweden.

    Fintur Holdings BV, in which TeliaSonera owns 58.55 percent, has a share in Azerbaijan's Azercell Telecom.

    Azercell Telecom LLC was founded in 1996 and since the first years sustains a leading position on the market. Azercell introduced number of technological innovations in Azerbaijan: GSM technology, advance payment mobile services, GPRS/EDGE, 24/7 Customer Care, M2M, MobilBank, full-time operating Azercell Express offices, mobile e-service "ASAN imza" (ASAN signature) and others. With 48.12 percent share of Azerbaijan's mobile market Azercell's network covers 99.8 percent of the country's population.

    Currently, the number of Azercell's subscribers reached 4.5 million people. In 2011 Azercell deployed 3G and in 2012 the fourth generation network - LTE in Azerbaijan. The Company is the leader of Azerbaijan's mobile communication industry and the biggest investor in the non-oil sector.

  • American Islamic leader to address Iranians on revolution anniversary
    09.02.2016 18:42
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    Louis Farrakhan, leader of the US-based Islamic religious movement Nation of Islam, is expected to address Iranians during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran on Feb. 11.

    Asghar Abkhezr, an official in charge of organizing the ceremony, said Farrakhan is expected to deliver his speech as a special guest before President Hassan Rouhani's scheduled address, Mehr news agency reported Feb. 9.

    On Feb. 11, the Islamic Republic celebrates the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 when the revolution leader Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after almost 15 years of exile and took the control of the country after toppling Pahlavi monarchy.

    Each year on Feb. 11, a large number of Iranians take to streets carrying banners and images of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as well as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, to re-affirm their allegiance to the Islamic Revolution.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • US must choose between Turkey and terrorist organizations, Turkish Foreign Ministry
    09.02.2016 18:42
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The US must make a choice between Turkey and terrorist organizations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, Turkish TRT Haber TV channel reported Feb. 9.

    He thinks that the US's statement that the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria is not a terrorist organization is contrary to common sense.

    "Turkey has repeatedly reported about the facts of the PYD's close cooperation with the PKK terrorists," said Cavusoglu.

    Earlier, US officials said that the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria is not a terrorist organization.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey strengthening positions on Turkmen market
    09.02.2016 18:41
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Feb. 9

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Turkish companies and businessmen increasingly strengthen their positions on the promising Turkmen market, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said in his addressing speech to participants of a joint Turkmen-Turkish business forum and exhibition opened in Ashgabat Feb. 9.

    A delegation of representatives of more than Turkish 100 companies specializing in mechanical engineering, chemical industry, production of industrial, agricultural and water-economic equipment, trade, education, construction and other fields has arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the forum and exhibition.

    The forum and exhibition will last until February 11.

    "I am confident that this exhibition and the Turkmen-Turkish business forum held within its framework will be of great importance for the expansion of bilateral trade and economic partnership, increase in export of goods, development of business relations with Turkish companies and investors, wide attraction of foreign capital into the national economy," the president of Turkmenistan said.

    The intergovernmental Turkmen-Turkish commission for economic cooperation and Turkmen-Turkish business council play an important role in activation of the partnership, Berdimuhamedov said in his addressing speech.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • British Airways launches new On Business loyalty programme in Azerbaijan
    09.02.2016 18:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    British Airways has launched its revitalised On Business loyalty scheme, which will help Azerbaijan's small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make even more of their travel budgets.

    The new offering brings together the business loyalty programmes of British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines, allowing customers to collect and spend on all three under one scheme.

    The improved On Business programme, which already saves customers GBP 30 million a year on flights, now rewards points based on spend rather than distance travelled or number of flights.

    Other new benefits to the popular platform include:

    bull; Cash discounts on selected flights;

    bull; Three Tier ranking system to boost earning power;

    bull; Handpicked offers and bonuses for members;

    bull; A new, easy to use online account management tool.

    The new On Business has also been made more flexible so members who want immediate savings can even choose an upfront discount on flights if that works better for their company than collecting points.

    A three Tier system is being introduced, which relates to the amount customers spend on travel each year. As users progress through the Tiers, they save more to spend on reward flights and upgrades.

    Entry tier members need to spend as little as GBP 2,200 to earn enough points to redeem a reward flight on UK domestic routes and flights in Europe. In addition, members of BA Executive Club or Iberia Plus are rewarded in both schemes.

    As part of the changes, On Business has launched a brand new website, which will make it even easier for members to maximise their earning potential and spend their points effectively. It will also give access to custom reporting, as well as a clear view of who is earning where and when to help make further savings.

    Paolo De Renzis, Head of Sales for British Airways across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, said: "Our research told us members wanted a programme that was simple to understand, helped them manage their travel costs and recognised them for all of their spend with us. The changes we've made do exactly this. A simple way of earning points based on spend, a simple way of delivering immediate savings through discounts and tiers to reward loyalty. Therefore, it will better meet the flying needs of this dynamic and growing sector in Azerbaijan."

    About British Airways:

    bull; British Airways flies to 199 destinations, 10 destinations in the UK, 106 in Europe and 83 in the rest of the world.

    bull; British Airways offers an extensive range of carefully selected hotels, car hire and experiences in a wide range of worldwide destinations available to book with flights from

    bull; The airline is one of the world's largest international airlines carrying approximately 40 million passengers around the world every year.

    bull; The airline offers a choice of four cabins on the majority of its long-haul services.

    bull; The airline is investing in new aircraft, new cabins, new technology and new routes.

    bull; British Airways operates the majority of flights from Terminal 5, its home at London Heathrow. This terminal is capable of handling 30 million customers a year and is the size of 50 football pitches.

    bull; British Airways' home Terminal 5 has been recognised as the world's best terminal for the fourth consecutive year in the Skytrax awards.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan sanctions TB, diabetes program
    09.02.2016 18:14
    /By Azernews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan has approved the third State Program on Diabetes for 2016-2020 to enable more than 210,000 people suffering from this disease to get necessary assistance.

    The program targets to improve the quality of medical service, ensure full supply of the patients with medications, self-control devices and other gadgets, strengthen the potential of personnel involved in providing endocrinology services, and increase public awareness with the aim of preventing diabetes.

    The program envisages organizing summer camps for children with diabetes, where medical workers will monitor the state of their health.

    The first program was designed for 2005-2009 and the second for 2011-2015.

    Due to the measures identifying patients with diabetes, the mortality rate plunged by more than half over the past 10 years in Azerbaijan.

    Specialist of the Republican Endocrinology Center Narmin Ismayilova told Azernews thanks to the program some 90 children suffering with type 1 diabetes got the chance to use insulin pumps for the treatment last year and that will be continued under the new program as well.

    Insulin pumps, which helps to manage diabetes, is a special catheter placed under the skin, which deliver rapid or short acting insulin 24 hours a day to the patients with type 1 diabetes, who need to take insulin on a daily basis.

    Pumps, which make diabetics life easier, can be programmed to release sufficient amount of insulin to create the desired basal level of insulin in the body and maintain normal blood sugar levels daily.The number of children registered with diabetes under 18 years old reaches 1,500 in Azerbaijan, and most of them are teenagers aged 14 and over.

    Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has also approved a plan of action on anti-tuberculosis measures for 2016-2020.

    The program aims to prevent the spread of the disease and to reduce the number of tuberculosis-related deaths, as well as to strengthen logistics of tuberculosis treatment centers, to improve the supply of patients with medications, and to raise public awareness of the disease.

    Head of Statistics Department of the National ?nstitute for Lung Disease Research Sevinj Tagizade noted that the program will provide the patients with necessary medication and treatment.

    ''Over the subsequent five years it is planned to restore hospitals and clinics operating in the countryв's regions and to provide them modern equipment,'' she said.

    Tagizade stressed that the number of TB cases in the country has declined as compared to previous years, while fatal infections situation have also stabilized.Last year, some 9,757 went registration at medical institutions of TB. The number of registered first-time TB patients made up 4,384 people in 2014, while the number was 4,528 people in 2013.

    The government has committed itself to ensure patients with tuberculosis drugs since 2010, and the state program ensures patients with the necessary medicines to patients with drug-resistant forms of TB since 2013.

    As a result of measures held by the Azerbaijani National Program on Struggle against Tuberculosis, the country has had progress in the fight against disease.

    Azerbaijan, with more than 9.6 million population, has more than 136 medical agencies engaging in treatment of the infectious disease.
  • Heavy diagnosis for Armenian corrupted government
    09.02.2016 18:14
    /By Azernews/

    By Nazrin Gadimova

    Political corruption remains Armeniaв's widespread and growing problem, ranking the country 95 among 168 countries in a list of Transparency Internationalв's Corruption Perceptions Index 2014, with a score of 35 on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

    Particular feature of corruption in Armenia is the presence of so-called ''oligarchs'' who enjoy the fruits of a shadow economy estimated to account for around 35 percent of Armeniaв's GDP.

    Not so long ago U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills worked as an "engine" in a fight against corruption in Armenia. He even threatened Armenian officials with imposition of sanctions and declared that at least, he will not invite them to the events held in the Embassy.

    Corruption is a real challenge for economically weak Armenia to tackle with. Unfortunately, no way out is seen until the country's current government is in power.

    Recently, EU Representative to Armenia Peter Svitalsky has organized event named "National and International Efforts in the field of Applied Ethics" to shed a light to very harsh barriers for the development of the post-Soviet nation. The event concluded a very heavy diagnosis for Armenia: it is impossible to eradicate corruption until the high-ranking officials and parliamentarians are engaged in business.

    Corruption is the the major reason for deterioration of once warm relations between the government and the Diaspora.

    The corrupted Armenian government cannot boast wonderful ties with the large Diaspora, that numbers over eight million people while the population of Armenia is only of 2.4 million people (it is worth noting that it is an official data; actually, this figure is twice less).

    It is generally known that for some countries, Diaspora plays a particularly important role as it provides political and economic support to their historical homeland. The Armenian Diaspora does the best for its people, but, apparently, the funds raised and allocated to assist their fellow citizens, remain in the pockets of the corrupt Armenian officials.

    Thus, relations between Armenia and Diaspora have lost its force a long time ago '" the authorities of Armenia created such a situation by playing with patriotic feelings and wasting funds of Diaspora.

    Although 25 years pass since Armenia gained independence, the countryв's authorities are still unable to solve this problem pursuing personal and group interests.

    Years by years interpretations of corruption have changed, while its mechanisms got improved, but the government could not or did not want to get rid of this social evil.
  • Azerbaijanв's Central Bank sets manat rate for Feb. 10
    09.02.2016 18:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    Official exchange rate of manat, Azerbaijani national currency, against the US dollar was set at 1.5702 manats/$1 for Feb. 10, said the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Feb. 9.

    The average rate of manat was set following the interbank transactions on the Azerbaijani currency market, said the CBA.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan offers to increase customs duty on dumped goods
    09.02.2016 18:01
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Azerbaijan's draft law on "Anti-Dumping, Compensation and Protective Actions" will help protect local producers from dumping of goods (their import at a price less than their value) and subsidized imports, said Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijani deputy minister of economy.

    Babayev made the remarks at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on economic policy, enterprise and industry Feb. 9.

    He said the draft law envisages the measures that will help reveal the dumping cases.

    "In particular, it is offered to increase the customs duty on import of such goods to the country by the amount of the dumping margin, if such cases are revealed," he said.

    Babayev added that four directives of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been used while working out the draft law.

    The draft law was recommended for consideration at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey accelerates BTK railway construction
    09.02.2016 17:30
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The work is being rapidly conducted to complete the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway in the Turkish province of Kars, the municipality of the Kars province told Trend Feb. 9.

    The BTK construction work will be conducted more rapidly after weather conditions improve, the municipality said.

    A 79 kilometer-BTK railway section stretches through Turkey, 58 kilometers of them account for the province of Kars.

    "The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be constructed in 2016," the municipality said.

    Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway's Georgian section.

    A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the project.

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

    The annual transit of goods from Iran to Russia via Azerbaijan will reach about ten million tons. The North-South railway will connect Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will serve as a link to connect the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.


    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkish Foreign Ministry calls Russia to stop military actions in Syria
    09.02.2016 17:30
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Russia must stop military actions in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, Turkish TRT Haber TV channel reported Feb. 9.

    Russia's military actions in Syria led to a new wave of refugees to Turkey, he said. He also noted that Russia mainly bombs positions of the moderate Syrian opposition.

    Today Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has compared Russia's actions in Syria with the military operations in Afghanistan.

    Eventually, forces that carry out military operations in Syria will leave the country in the same manner as previously left Afghanistan, according to him.

    Davutoglu noted that, Turkey has evidences about Russia's bombing of the moderate opposition's positions.

    "Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah are responsible for the death of civilian population in Syria," said Davutoglu.

    He also noted that Turkey expects a new wave of refugees as a result of Russia's military operations in Syria.

    Currently, Turkey is hosting more than two million Syrian refugees on its territory. The Syrian refugee camps in the country accommodate about 300,000 people. The rest of them are spread across the provinces and cities of Turkey.

    In Istanbul alone, there are currently 40,000 refugees from Syria.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Only Russia, Iran act legitimately in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry says
    09.02.2016 17:21
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9


    Only Russia and Iran act legitimately in Syria, and others, including the coalition led by the US, do not have legitimate reasons, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said, RIA Novosti reported.

    "It is impossible to talk about the legitimacy of anti-terrorist efforts in Syria of any other foreign country except for Russia and Iran," he said.

    "The formed US-led "anti-IS coalition" doesn't have this legitimacy because there's no UN Security Council sanction for this or an invitation from the legitimate Syrian government," said Syromolotov.

    He said that earlier the Russian side took the initiative to create a single, legitimate and broad international front against terrorism, a new coalition such as the anti-Hitler coalition.

    "Something is carried out in this regard; new, high-quality resolutions of the UN Security Council were adopted, work through the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) is continued, political talks over Syria are open, giving - despite all the problems and vicissitudes - some hope for a settlement," he noted.

    "But it is the beginning of the road, and the success is only possible with the availability of states' political will of the partnership and effective collaboration. The deficiency of this will still remains," added Syromolotov.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Rouhani says privatization of priority for Iran in post-JCPOA era
    09.02.2016 16:50
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    The government of Iran will prioritize privatization and support for the private sector with the aim of improving social welfare and economic growth, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

    He said the attraction of investment and technology are of highest importance for Iran, IRIB news agency reported February 9.

    He also said corruption and monopoly are among the diseases of Iran's economy, underlining that real progress is impossible as long as they exist.

    To tackle the problems, Rouhani said, that a single customs service should be created, banks should handle their direct duties and the currency rates should be fixed.

    The Iranian president further said that the nuclear deal was a win-win game at the interest of all sides.

    Iran would continue its win-win policy to enhance relations with the world and the neighbors, he added.

    Rouhani further called removal of Iran's sanctions as a big achievement which resulted from Iranian nation's resistance.

    Iran and the P5 1 group (the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) implemented the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, aka nuclear deal),on Jan. 16, which eliminated sanctions on the country, including the restrictions over banking sector, releasing blocked assets abroad, etc.Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Kazakhstan to commission new ferry terminal until late 2016
    09.02.2016 16:42
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    A new ferry terminal will be commissioned in Kazakhstan in the port of Kuryk on the Caspian Sea until late 2016, the press office of the ministry of investments and development of the country reported Feb. 9.

    It is expected that construction of the ferry complex will make it possible to triple the existing capacities of Kazakhstan on the transshipment of ferry cargo and strengthen the Kazakh section of the international transport corridor in China-Europe direction.

    "The volume of cargo transportation through the ferry complex will exceed four million tons per year," the ministry said.

    The Borzhakty-Ersai railway line will connect ferry complex, which is under construction in the port of Kuryk, with railway network, the message said.

    As of today, cargo transportation by ferries from Kazakhstan to the ports of the Caspian littoral states is possible only through the port of Aktau. At the same time, the ferry terminal at this port has been working at the limit of its capacity for the recent years.

    Kazakhstan plans to increase transit transportation from the current 18 million tons of cargo to 33 million tons in 2020 and to 50 million tons in 2030.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkmenistan to reinforce control over TAPI construction
    09.02.2016 16:42
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Feb. 9

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, addressing a Cabinet of Ministers meeting, urged to constantly control the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

    During the meeting, he also demanded to use reserves to increase natural gas production and processing, said the country's government in a message Feb. 9.

    In a report today, the "Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper said topographic, engineering and survey works have been completed for the construction of TAPI.

    This will allow choosing an optimal route for TAPI and defining the properties of the pipes to be used to transport the natural gas.

    The TAPI project's implementation began in December 2015. The pipeline is planned to have a total length of 1,735 kilometers.

    The main document for the TAPI, called the Ashgabat Interstate Agreement, was signed in 2010.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Kazakh company produces record oil volume in 2015
    09.02.2016 16:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kazakh Tengizchevroil (TCO) company produced a record volume of oil - 27.16 million tons in 2015, the company said.

    The company produced 26.7 million tons of oil in 2014.

    Last year, the company sold 1.27 million tons of liquefied gas and 6.85 billion cubic meters of dry gas. TCO sold 2.7 million tons of sulphur, which is 13 percent more than in 2014 (2.4 million tons).

    Tengizchevroil LLP was founded in 1993, on the basis of the agreement signed between the government of Kazakhstan and Chevron Corporation to develop Tengiz field.

    TCO operates on the license area in Kazakhstan which covers the super-giant Tengiz field and a smaller Korolev field, as well as several promising areas for exploration.

    The shareholders of TCO are KazMunaiGas national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan (20 percent), Chevron Overseas (50 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent) and LukArco (five percent).


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Kazakhstan finds way to compensate for oil production decline
    09.02.2016 16:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Kazakhstan plans to compensate the expected reduction of oil production in 2016 by commissioning the Kashagan field in the future, said the country's Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik.

    He made remarks about it at a meeting with the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said the press office of the president.

    Kazakhstan produced 79.5 million tons of oil in 2015, including gas condensate, which is 1.7 percent less than in 2014.

    It was reported earlier that the reduction of up to 77 million tons due to the depletion of deposits is expected in Kazakhstan in 2016.

    The minister noted that low oil prices forced all Kazakh companies to review their budgets towards reducing and be seriously engaged in the reduction of production prices.

    The measures taken by the ministry and the government to overcome the crisis due to the low hydrocarbon prices also were also reviewed during the meeting.

    The president drew attention to the need for implementation of all perspective projects in the energy sector, including the commissioning of Kashagan field, the project for expanding the Tengiz field, and the second phase of expanding the Karachaganak project.

    Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan, located in the north of the Caspian Sea. The geological reserves of Kashagan are estimated at 4.8 billion tons of oil. The total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels; some 10 billion out of them are recoverable reserves.

    There are large natural gas reserves at the Kashagan field - over one trillion cubic meters.

    The production at the Kashagan field started September 2013, but in October, it was ceased after a gas leak in one of the main pipelines. The analysis revealed numerous cracks in the pipeline, which needed to be completely replaced.

    The project's operator, the North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) confirmed the need for a complete replacement of the gas and oil pipelines, which have a total length of about 200 kilometers.

    The production at the Kashagan is expected to resume in late 2016.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Israeli company unveils robot warship
    09.02.2016 16:29
    Elbit, an Israel-based defense company, today unveiled a new unmanned surface vessel dubbed the "Seagull," designed to face danger in the ocean without any humans on board. The system provides unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation taking the man out of the mine field.

    It provides mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralize mines.

    Or, in other words, the commander of another ship can send out a Seagull roboat or two to scan an area for danger and then clear it. Up to two Seagulls can be controlled at a time, which is useful but hardly the most impressive feat of aquatic remote-control.

    While Elbit's announcement didn't mention how it works or name any customers, plenty of maritime forces across the world are looking for small, seaworthy robots that can do the dirty work of finding and defusing mines.
  • Alim Gasimov to perform in London
    09.02.2016 16:24
    /By Azernews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    People's artist of Azerbaijan Alim Gasimov, who introduced the national mugam art worldwide, will soon perform in London.

    The concert scheduled for July 14, will feature the renowned mugham singer and his daughter, gifted musician Fargana Gasimova.

    The exciting and diverse programme includes Azerbaijani mugham, tesnifs and folk songs.

    The concert will also feature performance of Rafael Asgarov, Rauf Islamov, Zeki Veliyev and Javidan Nabiyev, who will play Azerbaijani national musical instruments '" balaban, kamancha, tar and nagara. Tajik musician Sirodzhaddin Zhuraev will perform with the ensemble, Azertac reports.

    Mugham features poems - mostly love songs - set to improvised music. The lyrics are written down, but not the music. Varieties of compositions are performed by a group of musicians, consisting of a singer, or ''khanende,'' a gaval (percussion instrument) player, and a musician on either the stringed musical instruments ''tar'' or ''kemancha.''

    Depending on the specific mode of mugham being played, the improvisation traverses a designated number of tetrachord sequences, for example, three tetrachords consisting of 2 half-steps and one full-step, or vice versa. The improvisation for one mugham may continue for 30 minutes to a few hours.

    In 2003, UNESCO recognized the Azerbaijani Mugham as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

    Alim discovered the world of mugham as a child, when he began singing for his own enjoyment. He grew up in the town of Shamakhi, 100 km northwest of Baku. "I had no idea that I would become a singer," he remembers.

    Alim studied at Baku's Asaf Zeynalli Music College from 1978 to 1982. His teachers included Seyid and Khan Shushinski, Zulfu Adigozalov, Hajibaba Huseynov and Agha Khan Abdullayev. In 1999, Alim won the prestigious UNESCO Music Prize, one of the highest international accolades that a musician can hope for.
  • ''The Hotel Manager of the Year'' award was presented to Turhan Poyraz general manager of ''Excelsior Hotel Spa Baku''
    09.02.2016 16:21
    The general manager of "Excelsior Hotel amp; Spa Baku" Turhan Poyraz was awarded with nomination of "Hotel Manager of the Year" of "Azeri Business Award" National Award for his contribution to the development of tourism in Azerbaijan by "Business Time" magazine.

    Accepting the "Azeri Business Award" National Award Turhan Poyraz expressed his gratitude to founders of the magazine for their confidence: "I am grateful to "Business Time" magazine for choosing me to the first place and express my gratitude to editorial staff of the magazine. It is very valuable assessment in a such country Azerbaijan developed in the shere of tourism and hotel system. Choosing me the best hotel manager of the year comes from the confidence to my activity.

    "Azeri Business Award" National Award is presented to the most dinamic and bright representatives who formed a new image of the national business and the business growth of candidates is taken in choosing them. The award presentation ceremony was held on February 5, 2016.

    "Excelsior Hotel Baku" has been operating since August 2005. The hotel has 1 "Imperial Lux", "Royal Lux", 4 "Crown Lux", 45 "Heritage", 9 small "Duke" standard rooms, meeting and conference rooms, business center, restaurants and "Aura" wellness center.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • New NASA spacecraft runs on light
    09.02.2016 15:47
    In 2018, a small space probe will unfurl a sail and begin a journey to a distant asteroid. It's the first NASA spacecraft that will venture beyond Earth's orbit propelled entirely by sunlight. This technology could enable inexpensive exploration of the solar system and, eventually, interstellar space.

    The $16 million probe, called the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, is one of the 13 science payloads that NASA announced Tuesday. They will hitch a ride on the inaugural flight of the Space Launch Systemmdash;the megarocket designed to replace the space shuttle and, one day, send the Orion spacecraft to Mars.

    It will take 2.5 years for the NEA Scout to reach its destination, a smallish asteroid named 1991 VG. But it won't be a leisurely cruise. The continuous thrust provided by sunlight hitting the solar sail will accelerate the probe to an impressive 63,975 mph (28.6 km/s) relative to the sun.

    Given enough time, a spacecraft equipped with a solar sail can eventually accelerate to higher speeds than a similarly sized spacecraft propelled by a conventional chemical rocket.

    Solar sails are made of ultrathin, highly reflective material. When a photon from the sun hits the mirror-like surface, it bounces off the sail and transfers its momentum to the spacecraftmdash;the same way that a cue ball transfers its momentum when it smacks into another ball in a game of pool.

    The solar sail concept has been around since 1924, when Soviet rocket pioneers Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Friedrick Tsander speculated about spacecraft "using tremendous mirrors of very thin sheets" and harnessing "the pressure of sunlight to attain cosmic velocities."

    NASA began investing in solar sail technology in the late 1990s. In 2010, it successfully launched a small, sail-propelled satellite into Earth's orbit, where it remained for 240 days before reentering the atmosphere.

    That same year, the Japanese space agency demonstrated the feasibility of solar sails for interplanetary travel. A test craft hitched a ride aboard the Venus probe Akatsuki. The solar sail, dubbed the Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun (IKAROS), was released into space by the probe when it was 4.3 million miles away from Earth. Six months later, IKAROS made history when it successfully flew by Venus.

    Solar sails have become feasible thanks to the revolution in electronics. NASA sees such reconnaissance as an essential first step for future crewed missions to asteroids.
  • 'Wrong type of trees' in Europe increased global warming
    09.02.2016 15:36
    The assumption that planting new forests helps limit climate change has been challenged by a new study.

    Researchers found that in Europe, trees grown since 1750 have actually increased global warming, according to the BBC News.

    The scientists believe that replacing broadleaved species with conifers is a key reason for the negative climate impact.

    Conifers like pines and spruce are generally darker and absorb more heat than species such as oak and birch.

    The authors believe the work has implications for current efforts to limit rising temperatures through mass tree planting.

    Management issues

    Europe's green canopy was dramatically thinned between 1750 and 1850, when the forested area diminished by 190,000 sq km.

    Ironically the greater use of fossil fuels, particularly coal, slowed the timber rush, and from 1850 to the present day, Europe's forests grew by some 386,000 sq km and now cover 10% more land than before the industrial revolution.

    However, the form and content of these new woods differed considerably from what went before.

    In the distant past, these forests ran wild - but in the modern world, some 85% of Europe's trees are managed by humans. And over the past 150 years, foresters have adopted a scientific approach to woodlands - planting faster growing, more commercially valuable trees such as a Scots pine and Norway spruce.

    Removing trees in an organized fashion tends to release carbon that would otherwise remain stored in forest litter, dead wood and soil.

    The authors suggest the world should look carefully at both the types trees that we are planting and the ways in which they are managed.

    The study has been published in the journal Science.

    /By Azertac/
  • 2 killed, 8 injured in fire on Mexico offshore oil platform
    09.02.2016 15:36
    Mexico's state oil company says a fire that erupted on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed two workers and injured eight, according to CNBC.

    Petroleos Mexico says via Twitter that the fire on the Abkatun A platform off the coast of the southern state of Campeche was brought under control Sunday morning and the installation was never abandoned.

    It says one Pemex employee and a worker for a contractor died in the blaze. Six of the injured were hospitalized and two were treated and released.

    Pemex says the fire began in an area of compression equipment but has not given any information on the cause.

    /By Azertac/
  • IEA: global oil demand to ease back considerably
    09.02.2016 15:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 9

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    The global oil demand will ease back considerably in 2016 to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to a five-year high of 1.6 million bpd in 2015, according to the international Energy Agency's (IEA) Oil Market Report, published on Feb. 9.

    The global oil demand will be pulled down by notable slowdowns in Europe, China and the US, according to the report.

    IEA'e estimates show that the global oil supply dropped 0.2 million bpd to 96.5 million bpd in January, as higher OPEC output only partly offset lower non-OPEC production.

    Non-OPEC supplies slipped 0.5 million bpd from a month earlier to stand close to levels of a year ago, according to the report.

    For 2016 as a whole, IEA forecasts non-OPEC output to decline by 0.6 million bpd to 57.1 million bpd.

    IEA estimates that OPEC crude oil output rose by 280,000 bpd in January to 32.63 million bpd as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and a sanctions-free Iran all turned up the taps. Supplies from the group during January stood nearly 1.7 million bpd higher year-on-year.

    Total OPEC production in 2015 amounted to 31.846 million barrels per day compared to 30.771 million barrels per day in 2014, according to OPEC latest report.

    The official production quota for OPEC production is set at 30 million barrels per day.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran soon to showcase controversial missile
    09.02.2016 14:50
    Tehran, Iran, Feb. 9

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran will showcase its Emad ballistic missile during the Iranian revolution anniversary demonstrations on Feb. 11, said the Propagation Office of Iranian Defense Ministry Feb. 9.

    The Emad is the latest generation of Iran's long-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles, which can be guided to assure that intended targets are hit, according to the Iranian officials.

    In October 2015, Iran test fired the Emad missile triggering controversies.

    In particular, several Western sources claimed that Tehran violated the UN Security Council's resolution 2231 by test-firing the Emad, suggesting it is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

    The UNSC resolution 2231, adopted July 20, 2015, endorses the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers and calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons, as well as launching ballistic missiles, such as Emad.

    The Defense Ministry's Propagation Office today also said that during the revolution anniversary demonstrations, Iran will demonstrate its Simorgh satellite carrier as well.

    Simorgh is a two-phase satellite carrier, built by Iran's defense industry sector as part of the country's aerospace program. It can deliver the satellites up to 100 kilogram of weight to the 500-kilometer orbit.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku City Circuit announces Formula 1 Grand Prix Ambassadors
    09.02.2016 14:44
    /By Azernews/

    By Nazrin Gadimova

    Baku City Circuit (BCC) has announced three of the most recognizable figures in Azerbaijan as Official Ambassadors for the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe.

    With 129 days left until Azerbaijanв's inaugural Formula 1 race, Tunzala Aghayeva, the famous composer, singer and Ambassador for the Baku 2015 European Games; Rahim Aliyev, well known as the ''F1 voice'' in Azerbaijan, and Gulhuseyn Abdullayev, Azerbaijanв's promising young Formula 3 driver, are lending their support to the biggest motorsport event to be held in Azerbaijan this summer.

    The goal of the Ambassadorsв' Programme is to reach a broader audience in Azerbaijan through their popularity and recognition. The role of each ambassador will include involvement in special BCC events, supporting various promotional campaigns related to the F1 race weekend and reaching out to their millions of social media followers to help enhance general awareness of and support for the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe.

    BCCв's Head of Marketing and Communications Nigar Arpadarai said that the announcement of the Ambassadors Programme is the next step in delivering a spectacular sporting event.

    ''I am sure that our Ambassadors will help to generate great excitement amongst the people of Azerbaijan and encourage more people to get involved with the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe,'' she stressed.

    Arpadarai also added that BCC intends to expand the Ambassadorsв' Programme in the coming months by presenting new names who will contribute to the promotion of the inaugural race in both Azerbaijan and across Europe.

    Speaking about her new nomination as an ambassador for the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, Tunzala Aghayeva said she is delighted to act as an Ambassador for such a major sporting event.

    ''It is an honor for me to help create history for our country,'' she said. ''I am excited to start encouraging young people to engage with the biggest global motorsport event ever held in Azerbaijan.''

    Tunzala Aghayeva displayed incredible dedication while she was a celebrity ambassador of the inaugural Baku 2015 European Games, where she was tasked with a special mission to support and promote its Volunteer Programme.

    Rahim Aliyev, in turn, has been commented Idman-Azerbaijanв's F1 programming since 2010. He is also the founder of popular F1 news portal - - which has been educating Azerbaijanв's public on all things Formula 1 since 2005.

    The youngest Ambassador, Gulhuseyn Abdullayev, has represented Azerbaijan in numerous international motorsport competitions and is now a Formula 3 driver. He recently won the ''Formula Gulf 1000'' race held in Dubai.

    Ambassadors will participate in race awareness and marketing campaigns around the country and on social media to promote the inaugural 2016 Formula 1 race, which Baku will host on June 17-19. The specially constructed Baku City Circuit will see Formula 1 cars race around the picturesque streets of downtown Baku, incorporating the cityв's UNESCO-protected old town '" Icheri Sheher - as well as its modern skyline and beautiful Caspian Sea vista in front of a global audience of millions.

    With a length measuring at slightly over six kilometres, the 20-corner track will be lapped 51 times, with cars reaching potential speeds of up to 340km per hour, marking the circuit out as the fastest street circuit on the existing F1 calendar.

    The circuit offers a number of challenges for drivers, including an extremely narrow uphill section along the old town walls that will require pinpoint accuracy, and it has an acceleration section of almost 2.2 kilometres along the seaside promenade, which will see the cars running flat out at very high speed - something that will create an incredible show for race fans.
Exchange Rates of Central Bank