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
  • Open Gymnastics Championship starts in Baku
    04.03.2015 12:19
    /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku will host the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics on March 4-6.Some 133 gymnasts from 22 countries will compete for medals both in the all-around and individual events. The championship is a test event before the historic Baku 2015 European Games which ...
  • Baku 2015 marks 100 Days To Go by unveiling first European Games medal design
    04.03.2015 16:17
    Baku 2015 European Games today marked the start of the 100 Days To Go countdown by revealing the design of medals for the inaugural event, to be held on 12-28 June this year.Baku 2015 also announced that tickets for children and teenagers under 16 will be free of charge at most competition events, w...
  • Iran, three European dy foreign ministers hold talks
    05.03.2015 00:38
    Deputies foreign ministers of Iran and three European countries started negotiations in Montreux, Switzerland, IRNA reported.Deputy foreign ministers of Germany, the UK and France engaged in talks with their Iranian talks on the remaining issues of difference.Iran's Majid Takht Ravanchi and Abba...
  • President Ilham Aliyev visited the Saint Sofia Church
    04.03.2015 23:29
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4Trend:President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has visited The Saint Sofia Church as part of his official trip to the Republic of Bulgaria.Located in the center of Sofia, the cathedral is the oldest church in Bulgaria.The first church was built here in 311-313 ye...
  • Azerbaijan, Turkey preparing European gas breakthrough
    04.03.2015 22:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:In recent days, there have been two events that are seemingly unrelated to each other - the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Bulgaria, and the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's visit to Turkey.However, both of these v...
  • Some try to use Baku 2015 as main topic of ''smear campaign'' against Azerbaijan - top official
    04.03.2015 21:18
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:The Organizing Committee of the First European Games has carried out considerable work to ensure excellent organization of this important international sports event after the European Olympic Committees announced its decision, head of the Public an...
  • Gymnastics in Azerbaijan became a leading type of sport
    04.03.2015 18:25
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:Azerbaijan has become a venue for prestigious international competitions, and the revival of Azerbaijani sport is in the focus of world attention, the deputy youth and sports minister of Azerbaijan, Ismayil Ismayilov said.He made the remarks on Mar...
  • Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipelineв's renewal
    04.03.2015 17:53
    Details added. First version posted at 17:28Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4By Aygun Badalova - Trend:Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipeline project to be unfrozen, Bulgarian FOCUS News Agency reported citing the country's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov."We want Nabucco pipeline project to be unfrozen and m...
  • Turkish Standards Institute to check quality of pipes for TANAP
    04.03.2015 17:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:The companies, which will supply pipes for the construction project of Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), will be required to obtain a certificate from the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE), a message of the TSE posted on its website March 4 said....
  • Azerbaijan-Czech business relations to develop
    04.03.2015 17:22
    /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan and the Czech Republic are interested in developing mutual relations in agriculture, industry, oil and gas sectors. The ample opportunities for both countries were discussed at the Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku on March 3.Some 32 Czech companies and...
  • Russian budget to be adjusted based on oil price of $50
    05.03.2015 11:55
    Russiaв's federal budget it to be adjusted in terms of the 2015 projections and for the subsequent two-year planning period.

    This issue, in particular, is put on the agenda of Thursday's government meeting.

    On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said that a new version of the federal budget was drafted based on the oil price of $50 a barrel and the dollar exchange rate at the level of 61 rubles. He also said that the amendments to the budget law should envisage the possible unavailability of funds borrowed from abroad.

    According to the amendments, the budget revenues are cut by 2.6 trillion rubles ($42 billion) and expenditures mdash; by 300 billion rubles ($4.85 billion). The budget deficit is planned at 2.8 trillion rubles. "In terms of GDP, it increases from 0.6% to 3.8% of GDP," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

    The amendments to the federal budget will be ready for submission to the State Duma lower house of parliament during the week.
  • DiCaprio to make documentaries
    05.03.2015 11:45
    Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio is working with Netflix to produce a series of documentaries with an environmental and conservation focus, the online streaming giant said Wednesday.

    The 40-year-old will serve as producer or executive producer on fact-based programs under the partnership deal between Netflix and his production company Appian Way.

    DiCaprio and the pioneering streaming service first worked together on "Virunga," a documentary set in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which was nominated for an Oscar this year.

    "Working with Netflix on 'Virunga' has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers," said DiCaprio, in a statement announcing the plans for programs to premiere exclusively on Netflix.

    "There's never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face.
  • ''Endless Corridor'' on CNN-Turk TV
    05.03.2015 11:43
    Documentary titled Endless Corridor translated into Turkish as part of the Justice for Khojaly campaign initiated by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva was showcased by CNN Turkey, the European Azerbaijani Society (TEAS) said. The documentary will also be displayed on other TV channels in the coming months.As part of the Justice for Khojaly campaign, the presentation of the film Endless Corridor was held in cities Istanbul, Ankara, Rome, Vilnius, London, Paris, Dublin, Berlin, Bern and Luxembourg. Originally in English, the documentary was translated into the Azerbaijani, Turkish, French, Italian, and German languages in subtitles, and dubbed in Russian as part of TEASв's Justice for Khojaly campaign.Note that, the premiere of the documentary was held on July 1 last year at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Gerald Rafshoon (US), a Grammy Award winner, and Aleksandras A. Brokas (Lithuania) are the documentary's producers.Narrated by renowned British actor Jeremy Irons, the documentary includes memorable video materials from the meetings of Lithuanian journalist Richard Lapaitis, an eyewitness of the Khojaly tragedy, with the survived Khojaly witnesses after he came to Azerbaijan 20 years later, stories based on his interviews with persons directly involved in the arrangement of the tragedy and those on the historical and cultural importance of Nagorno-Karabakh for Azerbaijan. The film refers to some new facts, documents and footages and photos about the Khojaly genocide, and the realities of the massacre are conveyed to the viewers in an impressive way.

    /By AzerTac/
  • Ankara interested in Turkmen energy supply to world markets
    05.03.2015 11:43
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, March 5

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Turkish partners show great interest in joint supply of the Turkmen energy resources to the world markets, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said March 4, Turkmen Altyn Asyr TV channel reported.

    President Berdimuhamedov paid an official visit to Turkey on March 3-4.

    President Berdimuhamedov confirmed the huge prospects available for the cooperation between the two countries in the above-mentioned area, which are of strategic importance.

    He said that at present, the international legal framework is being formed to implement these projects.

    It was reported in November 2014 that during the official visit to Ashgabat, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) project could count on Turkmen gas supplies to Europe.

    Then, following the high-level talks, Turkmengas state concern and Turkish Atagas company signed a framework agreement on cooperation in natural gas purchase and sale.

    Turkmenistan is one of the key players on the gas market in the Caspian region and Central Asia.

    Turkmenistan's international investment forum opened in Istanbul March 4, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported.

    Dozens of companies from Turkey, the US, as well as Europe and Asia attended this forum.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku Passenger Station under reconstruction
    05.03.2015 11:43
    There is a need to conduct reconstruction to ensure compliance of the Baku passenger railway station with all modern requirements.

    According to Oxu.Az, the spokesman of "Azerbaijan Railways" JSC Nadir Azmammadov told APA that the reconstruction of the Baku railway station has already begun.

    The facade of the main building of the station will be upgraded while maintaining the architectural style, the building will be completely renovated inside. Ticket offices, luggage, passenger platforms will be repaired in a modern style, escalators will be replaced with new ones.

    The Baku Passenger Station is an architectural monument, which was commissioned in 1884. The author of the first project of the station building, represented in the Moorish style, was Bruni, Drittenpreys was an artist, architect -N.L.Glebov, architect for construction work - L.Z.Rossi.

    Baku railway station is an original architectural complex, reflecting the era and combining the elements of European and Oriental architecture.

    The detailed information will be provided after the completion of major repairs and reconstruction.
  • Iranian parliament gives final say on next yearв's budget
    05.03.2015 11:31
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Iranian lawmakers have given their final approval to the budget bill proposed by the government for the next Iranian calendar year, starting from March 21.

    The MPs approved on March 3, the IRR 8,440 trillion (nearly $300 billion) budget bill with 144 votes in favor, 33 against and 6 abstentions, Press TV reported.

    The overall budget for next year shows a 4 percent growth compared with the current year.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented the administration's draft of the national budget bill to the parliament last December.

    Lawmakers said the dependency on oil exports in the overall budget bill has dropped to 25 percent. The Iranian government has been trying to increase non-oil exports in a bid to slash its reliance on oil revenue.

    The bill will now go to the top oversight body Guardian Council, whose approval is required for the bill to be signed into law.

    It will be sent back to parliament for amendments if it is voted down by the Guardian Council. In case, the MPs insist on their own version, the top arbitration body Expediency Council will intervene.

    Also, an additional $1 billion was allocated in the upcoming fiscal year to the defense budget to strengthen the armed forces, which reinforces the countryв's Supreme Leaderв's call to build up the regimeв's military capabilities.

    Moreover, the budget bill cuts subsidies from roughly $15 to $14 billion. Parliament passed next fiscal yearв's budget bill implementing reduced cash and non-cash subsidies, after reviewing the provisions of the costs of the bill.

    Subsidies for high-income families in particular will be cut. The subsidies are designed to help needy families as well as provide assistance to the manufacturing sector.

    Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Head of Iran's Management and Planning Organization said earlier that the government intends on cutting cash subsidies to financially-fit Iranians and those who live overseas.

    The elimination of state subsidies to rich Iranians was on the agenda of President Hassan Rouhaniв's administration for some time. However, a lack of a comprehensive database hindered efforts to identify those rich people in receipt of such payment. Therefore, implementing measures to regulate subsidies were delayed.
  • UNDP, Japan to assist in upgrading Tajik-Afghan border checkpoint
    05.03.2015 11:19
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The United Nations Development Programme and Japanese government supported the cross-border cooperation between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

    The UNDP, the Tajik and Japanese governments, as well as Japan International Cooperation Agency signed a new, two and half year project on March 3, the Times of Central Asia reported.

    The $4.2 million project will see 160,000 people from Tajikistan and Afghanistan using the target border crossing points and cross border markets benefit from a safer and better run border.

    The objective of the project is to create favorable conditions for effective management of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, including modernization of border checkpoints.

    The project provides for the construction of a new border crossing point in Langar, in Tajikistanв's South East, the upgrading of five other border crossing points nearby and training for Tajik border and customs officials.

    The Japanese government, through the JICA will contribute $3.9 million and UNDP Tajikistan will make up the remaining $0.3 million to implement the project, the UNDP office in Tajikistan said.

    Alexander Zuev, UNDP resident representative said with the funding from Japan, this project will help strengthen border management and stability, and make cross-border trade easier for communities in both Tajikistan and Afghanistan. He added that around one hundred border guards and customs officials from Tajikistan will be trained to build more modern, efficient border management systems.

    UNDP will work with Tajikistanв's foreign ministry, the main department of border guards of the state committee on national security and local governments in the Khatlon and Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous regions of Tajikistan.

    Sirojidin Aslov, Tajikistanв's foreign minister said well managed Tajik-Afghan border is not only in the interests of Tajikistan, but also the entire CIS region.

    UNDP and JICA launched the 'Livelihood Improvement in Tajik-Afghan Cross-border Areasв' project in March 2014 to enhance livelihoods and business development through promotion of cross border cooperation between the Tajik and Afghan communities. The new border management project will give a boost to these existing efforts in the border communities.

    Tajikistan and UNDP also signed the fourth phase of project to support to institutional development of the Tajik foreign ministry.

    The project is aimed providing assistance for the young workers of the diplomatic services of Tajikistan.
  • German FM rules out extension of Iran nuclear talks
    05.03.2015 11:19
    Germany's foreign minister has ruled out a further extension of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 1 group over Tehranв's nuclear program.

    "Talks will not be extended. What cannot be reached in the upcoming three or three and half months cannot be achieved," Frank-Walter Steinmeier told his country's parliament (Bundestag) in a speech on Wednesday, Press TV reports.

    Steinmeier refused to talk about the state of the negotiations, saying only that no one wants a "bad deal."

    In February, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also echoed the stance about the extension of the talks.

    "I do not think another extension is in the interest of anyone, as I do not believe this extension was either necessary or useful," Zarif said.

    Iran and the P5 1 countries - Britain, France, China, the United States and Russia plus Germany - are seeking to seal a comprehensive nuclear deal by July 1. The two sides have already missed two self-imposed deadlines for inking a final agreement since they signed an interim one in the Swiss city of Geneva last November.

    On Wednesday, Zarif and his American counterpart John Kerry wrapped up a third day of intense negotiations between Tehran and Washington in the Swiss city of Montreux.

    Speaking to reporters, Kerry said tough challenges remained to seal a nuclear deal with Iran.

    "We've made some progress from where we were and important choices need to be made," Kerry told reporters after the talks, with a senior US State Department official saying that "tough challenges" had yet to be resolved.

    Meanwhile, Zarif expressed optimism that "despite existing differences, a final deal is not too far off", warning that the issue of sanctions against the Islamic Republic risked torpedoing a nuclear deal.

    "The Western countries, and especially the United States, must decide whether they want a nuclear deal or to continue the sanctions," he said.

    Representatives of Iran and the United States had also held three rounds of intense negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 22-23 to bridge their differences ahead of the July 1 deadline.

    The next round of ministerial talks will be held from March 15 to 20. The venue is yet to be specified.

    Deputy ministers from Iran and the three European countries of the P5 1 group wrapped up a day of nuclear negotiations in Montreux on Wednesday.

    Iran's top nuclear negotiators, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, took part in the talks held in the lakeside city's Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night.

    Hans Dieter Lucas from Germany, Simon Gass from Britain and Nicolas de Riviere from France represented their respective countries at the deputy level talks, which will continue on Thursday.
  • US concerned over escalation of tension on frontline - Ambassador
    05.03.2015 11:08
    Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov met with newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta on March 4, the State Committee told APA.

    Hasanov said that Azerbaijan has always had good relations with the United States and these relations are developing today.

    The Committee chairman informed the Ambassador about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, history of the problem and situation of refugees and IDPs in the country.

    He said that Armenia is unable to pursue an independent policy today. Hands of current rulers of this country are stained with blood of the Azerbaijanis. Therefore, this regime doesn't accept the return of the lands through the peace agreement. So the OSCE Minsk Group can't yield any results.

    Speaking about the Azerbaijan-US relations, Cekuta said that his purpose is to contribute to the development of relations between the two friendly countries.

    The diplomat said the U.S. seriously approaches the solution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and makes efforts for a peaceful resolution of the problem.

    "We are concerned over the recent escalation of tension on the frontline. The sides should refrain from the steps that lead to aggravation of the situation. In our turn, we try to achieve progress in the resolution of the conflict working either with the Azerbaijani side or the Armenian side", he said.

    The ambassador said that the US government has provided Azerbaijan with humanitarian aid in the amount of $115 million for 20 years to assist the people suffering from the conflict. The total amount of the assistance in the field of security is approximately $53 million and this amount was allocated for fight against terrorism, training and other purposes.

    The sides exchanged views on several issues of mutual interest.

    Following this, the Ambassador familiarized himself with the condition in the block built for 760 IDP families in Masazir settlement of Absheron district and met with internally displaced persons.
  • Kazakhstanв's auto market struggles as Russia's economic crisis spills out
    05.03.2015 11:03
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Kazakhstanв's largest trade partner '" Russia's economic slump negatively impacted the automobile industry of this Central Asia country.

    The macroeconomic situation of Kazakhstan has started to deteriorate in autumn following Russia's economic recession due to the Western sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis, and a significant drop in oil prices.

    The weakening of the ruble had a strong negative impact on the Kazakh market.

    Kazakhstanв's auto market first experienced difficulty when its economy began to slow down as a result of Russia's troubles. Reports that devaluation would hit the national currency-tenge made matters worse, putting the auto industry in a state of alert.

    Rumors of devaluation have increased in February as the tenge devalued twice in the last six years, both times in February. The Central Asian economy experienced a 22 percent devaluation of its currency in February 2009 and then a one-step 19 percent devaluation of its currency in 2014, also in February. However, the government could prevent the tengeв's sharp devaluation, which could dramatically worsen the economic situation in the country.

    Following, the worsened economic situation in the country, some Kazakhs have rushed to the Russian automotive market in order to buy suddenly depreciated cars.

    This had a negative impact on the automotive industry in Kazakhstan. Kazakh car dealers suffered great losses from such a trade "tsunami" in Russia. They had to lower the price of cars by 20-30 percent in order to save their business from collapse.

    The Kazakh government has allocated 20 billion tenge ($108 million) to support its domestic auto industry as an anti-crisis measure.

    Andrei Lavrentiev, the president of the Association of Kazakhstan Auto Business, said in an interview with Kazakh media that the money will be primarily used to subsidize loans for buying domestically-assembled vehicles.

    ''During the first half of this year, we expect to sell about 30 percent of production volumes through the subsidy scheme, which will offer favorable conditions for consumers,'' Laventiev said.

    Although the car dealers decreased prices, some financial players have increased their interest rates.

    Realizing that in the pursuit of cheap cars, the individuals will take on new loans, second-tier banks raised interest rates by 6 percent. This fact also negatively affected the auto market in the country as Kazakhs still eye the Russian car market.

    The Kazakh government also struggles with so-called "gray" (illegal) import of motor vehicles to Kazakhstan.

    Lavrentiev said the share of 'grayв' dealers accounted for about 25 percent of all sales in the national auto market.

    ''The largest share of 'grayв' market is represented by Russian companies that do not pay taxes, do not invest in infrastructure, or do not develop the servicing network,'' he said.

    Lavrentiev went on to say that the Association of Kazakhstan Auto Business proposes to introduce a temporary license to tackle the problem.

    ''We and our Russian colleagues are saying that all deliveries of vehicles should only continue through official channels to avoid consumer fraud and trademark violation,'' he said.
  • Azerbaijanв's 2015 folk art capitals named
    05.03.2015 10:51
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The towns of Shamakhi and Gakh have been named the folk art capitals of Azerbaijan for 2015.

    Shamakhi has been named the literature capital, while Gakh has become the national cuisine capital of Azerbaijan.

    The ceremony of folk art capitals was held at the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum on March 4.

    Addressing the event Abulfaz Garayev, the culture and tourism minister noted the country pays great attention to the preservation and development of Azerbaijani intangible cultural heritage.He explained that the measure aims to preserve such cultural heritage as folk, local history and crafts.

    ''The intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan is based on trends of species and forms of modern societyв's popular culture. To preserve it the government prepares special projects. As "Capitals of folk art in 2010-2014" program has given positive results. So, within the new program in 2015, Shamakhi was declared ''Literature capital of Azerbaijan'', and Gakh ''National cuisine capital of Azerbaijan,'' he said.

    Vugar Mammadov, the adviser of folk art and the intangible cultural heritage department of the ministry talked about the measures held in 2014, when Azerbaijani region Gabala was named the capital of legends, Balakan region was named the capital of folklore and Absheron region was the capital of crafts.

    Later, representatives of Shamakhi and Gakh executive powers gave information about numerous ceremonies, national and international scientific conferences, round tables, concerts, competitions, festivals, exhibitions, fairs, and info-tours to be held.

    The activities within the framework of the "Capitals of folk art in 2010-2014" program are held as a tradition.

    The measure aims to preserve Azerbaijani intangible cultural heritage, achieve international recognition of folklore bands and performers, craftsmen, national traditions and customs, and support Azerbaijani regions and cities, as well as develop domestic and international tourism.

    Shamakhi, rich with its mountain forests and meadows lies 122 km west of the capital city.

    In its history eleven major earthquakes have rocked Shamakhi, but through multiple reconstructions it maintained its role as the economic and administrative capital of Shirvan and one of the key towns on the Silk Road. The only building to have survived eight of the eleven earthquakes is the landmark Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, built in the 10th century.

    The region is famous for its traditional dancers, and also for giving its name to the Soumak rugs.

    Shamakhi since ancient times has been famous as Azerbaijan's carpet weaving center. A carpet factory still operates here. The favorable climate of the region is also favorable for wine growing.

    Gakh is a pleasant and tranquil provincial town, northwest of the countryв's Sheki region.

    The town's name translates as "fortress". Historical sites abound in Gakh region. Artificial hills suggest that the region was already inhabited in the Bronze Age.
  • Azerbaijani climbers to compete in Kirov World Cup
    05.03.2015 10:47
    Azerbaijan`s national ice climbing team will compete in the UIAA World Championships, in Kirov, Russia on March 6-8, AzerTag reports.

    Azerbaijan will be represented by a delegation of the Azerbaijan Federation of Air and Extreme Sports (FAIREX) of 7 people.

    Members of Azerbaijani team will test themselves in the three-day competition in speed climbing among women and men.
  • Iranian security forces release kidnapped diplomat in Yemen
    05.03.2015 10:45
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 5

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    The Islamic Republic security forces have released an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen in 2013.

    "The security forces released the kidnapped diplomat, Nour Ahmad Nikbakht after a series of complex operations in a certain region of Yemen," Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran's deputy foreign minister in Arab and North African Affairs said, Iran's Mehr news agency reported March 5.

    Nikbakht returned home on March 5 morning after detained in Yemen for more than 1.5 year.

    After Nikbakht was kidnapped, a special committee was established in the foreign ministry to secure his freedom, Amir Abdollahian said.

    Nikbakht was on his way to work from his home in the diplomatic quarter of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on July 21, 2013, when unidentified gunmen blocked the road, forced him out of his vehicle and abducted him.

    In January 2014, another staff member at the Iranian Embassy in Sanaa, Abolqasem Asadi, was gunned down by gunmen outside the Iranian ambassador's residence in the Yemeni capital.

    The assailants first tried to kidnap the Iranian diplomat, but when they faced resistance, opened fire on him. The diplomat who was seriously injured passed away in hospital.

    Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to be completed in late 2015
    05.03.2015 10:39
    ''Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be completed in late 2015'', Turkish Minister of Transportation, Maritime and Communication LГјtfi Elvan said at the press conference in Istanbul while answering APAв's question.

    Commenting on delay of the project, the minister said: "Length of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project in Turkey is 79 km. Turkey has completely finished all its works. We'll put the railway into use at the end of 2015. This line will be one the significant steps for reviving historical Silk Road. Now, I can say that the project will not be delayed this time and be launched at the end of 2015".
  • Azerbaijani Defense Minister meets with Commander of Turkish Air Force
    05.03.2015 10:39
    Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov has received Commander of the Turkish Air Force, General AkД±n Г-ztГјrk, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, said the Ministry, APA reports.

    At the meeting, Z.Hasanov stressed that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey is based on the ties of friendship and brotherhood and these ties are constantly developing.

    Mentioning that the joint exercises of the Air Forces held in Azerbaijan in 2014 and in Turkey at present according to the military cooperation plan between the two countries are important in terms of gaining experience, the Defense Minister emphasized that the relations in this field should be further developed.

    Touching upon the military-political situation in the region, Hasanov said that Armenia is the main threat to regional stability and stressed the importance of a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the international law.

    Mr. Öztürk noted that the relations between the two countries are based on historical roots and friendship and Turkey is an important partner to Azerbaijan.
  • Kerry arrives in Saudi Arabia for key talks
    05.03.2015 10:18
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia early Thursday for talks with Gulf allies on Middle East turmoil and the battle against jihadists, Al Arabiya reported.

    Kerry was to brief Gulf foreign ministers about his latest negotiations with Iran to seal a nuclear deal which the United States believes will make the region and the world safer.

    He arrived from Switzerland where he spent three days in talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Sunni Gulf nations are wary about the growing rapprochement between Shiite-dominated Iran and Washington, which is seeking the deal to rein in Tehran's nuclear program.

    With instability sweeping much of the region from Syria to Iraq, Libya and Yemen, Kerry's talks in Saudi Arabia will focus on "things that we can do together to strengthen our joint security framework," a senior State Department official told reporters.

    The so-called P5 1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany is trying to strike an accord that would prevent Tehran -- Riyadh's regional rival -- from developing a nuclear bomb.

    In return, the West would ease punishing sanctions on Iran which insists its nuclear program is purely civilian.

    Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations belong to an international coalition brought together by the United States to fight Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, which has captured a swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria.

    Kerry will meet with new Saudi King Salman following up on their first talks after the January 23 death of his predecessor late King Abdullah.

    The top U.S. diplomat was part of a heavyweight delegation led by President Barack Obama which held talks in Riyadh five days after Salman acceded to the throne.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Armenians violate ceasefire
    05.03.2015 10:18
    Armenian armed forces have fired at Azerbaijani positions 33 times on different sections of the front.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Ministry of Defense that over the past day the Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions on nameless heights of Gedabey from their posts on the nameless heights of Krasnoselsk.

    Azerbaijani positions were also fired on from positions near Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy, Chilaburt, Chayli, Goyarkh, Gyzyl Oba villages of Terter, Yusifjanly, Sarijaly, Javakhirli, Kengerli, Shuraabad villages of Agdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Ashaghy Seyidahmadli village of Fizuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil, as well as nameless heights of Goranboy, Khojavand, Fizuli and Jabrayil.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
  • One percent of Iranian students consume narcotics
    05.03.2015 10:00
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: One percent of Iranian students consume narcotics, Alireza Jazini, deputy director of the country's Anti-Narcotics Headquarters, stated.

    He added that over 60 percent of the students receive narcotics from students of the same age for the first time, Iran's ISNA news agency reported March 4.

    Statistics show that the use of narcotics in the country is on the rise, he said, adding that 1.325 million people in Iran are below 15 years of age.

    Two years ago, 5 percent of women in Iran consumed narcotics, but the figure has risen to about 10 percent currently, he noted.

    Annually about 450 metric tons of opium is consumed in Iran, Rouzbeh Kardouni, the head of Social Vulnerabilities Office at the Ministry of Cooperatives Labor and Social welfare said Feb. 16.

    The figure is equal to 42 percent of total opium consumption in the world, Kardouni said.

    The official further said that over 1.3 million people suffer drug addiction in Iran.

    He added that the number of people who use narcotics has increased by 70 people per day in the last five years.

    According to official estimates, the fight against drugs annually cost Iran about $1 billion.

    About 237 metric tons of various drugs, including 190 metric tons of opium, 35 metric tons of hashish, 5.4 metric tons of heroin, 5.3 metric tons of morphine, and one metric ton of methamphetamine were seized in Iran in the first half of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2014).

    It was reported that some 500 metric tons of drugs were seized in the country during the last Iranian fiscal year (March 21, 2013 to March 21, 2014).

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Hamas' Haniyeh calls for better ties with Egyptian people
    05.03.2015 10:00
    Leading Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that his group was open to proposals for improving relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian people Anadolu Agency reported

    In a phone conversation with Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Mohamed Sobeih, Haniyeh described relations between Hamas and Egypt as "strategic."

    According to a Hamas statement, Haniyeh added that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian people had ever interfered in Egypt's affairs.

    "Egypt's national security is a priority for Hamas," Haniyeh told Sobeih, according to the statement.

    Earlier Wednesday, Sobeih had said the Arab League would not recognize a recent Egyptian court ruling designating Hamas as a "terrorist" group.

    "The Arab League does not recognize decisions issued by local courts in particular countries," he told journalists.

    On Feb. 28, an Egyptian court designated Hamas a "terrorist" organization.

    The lawsuit was filed by an Egyptian lawyer who accused Hamas of carrying out attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula and contributing to Egypt's current instability.

    The ruling sent shockwaves across the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and stunned Islamist parties across the region.

    In January, an Egyptian court likewise designated the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, a "terrorist" organization.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Georgian government, IMF agree to reduce budget spending
    05.03.2015 10:00
    Tbilisi, Georgia, March 5


    The government will have to reconsider the macroeconomic forecasts, Georgian Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said following the negotiations with the IMF, Georgia Online reported.

    "The government will reduce the current budget spending for this year.

    Khaduri will be able to talk about the forecast and budget decrease only after the ministry finalizes the specific document.

    The minister also said that the Georgian authorities agreed to coordinate work with the IMF.

    "We agreed that the current budgetary expenditure for the current year will be reduced," he said. "Perhaps, we will have to reconsider the macroeconomic projections. I think that given the external shocks, Georgia's economic growth will decrease by about 2 percent."

    The Georgian government predicted a five percent economic growth in 2015 before the currency crisis.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan, Bulgaria sign documents
    05.03.2015 09:54
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 5


    The Azerbaijani-Bulgarian documents were signed in Sofia following the expanded meeting of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov March 4.

    Azerbaijan`s Minister of Communication and High Technologies Ali Abbasov and Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski signed the Agreement on Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria in the field of electronic communication, information technologies and electronic governance.

    Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Emil Karimov and Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Tourism Irena Georgieva signed the Protocol on the Expansion of Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria in the field of Tourism.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • ISIL destroys Islamic civilization, Turkish President ErdoДџan says
    05.03.2015 09:54
    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is trying to destroy everything in Islamic culture, President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan has said, likening its acts to the burning of 36 libraries in Baghdad during the Abbasid era by the Mongols, and the burning of 1 million Islamic books in Andalusia upon an order by a Spanish cardinal.

    "Today, a terrorist organization active in Syria and Iraq is taking the same path, trying to destroy everything in our civilization, culture and roots," ErdoДџan said during the opening of a classical arts exhibition in Istanbul, referring to ISIL, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "A library in Mosul, which was holding 8,000 rare works, was unfortunately set alight by the organization. A similar thing was also practiced in Timbuctoo [in Mali, Western Africa]," he said.

    "Our civilization has managed to sustain its existence against all such cultural massacres and attempted genocides. God willing, we will continue to do so," ErdoДџan said.

    "Our civilization attaches a great importance to knowledge and learning, books and libraries," he said, adding that the Prophet Muhammad preached that Muslims must keep learning until the last day of their life.

    "Maybe it was the Chinese who discovered paper, but it was our ancestors who used it deservedly and then took it to the West and other places," he said.

    In his speech, ErdoДџan thanked Mehmet Çebi, the curator of the exhibition, its sponsor DoДџuЕџ Holding, the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Academy and the Istanbul Art Museum Foundation, for their contributions to the exhibition.

    The show was organized by the Islam and Culture Arts platform and includes precious calligraphic works of Quranic verses, in addition to other artifacts.

    President ErdoДџan also revealed that a large center for Islamic artifacts would be opened on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, alongside the under-construction mosque on ÇamlД±ca Hill.

    A 5 million-book library will also be opened inside the gargantuan new presidential palace in Ankara, he also stated.
  • Azerbaijan to allocate $1m to fight Ebola
    05.03.2015 09:37
    Azerbaijan is to allocate $1m to fight Ebola in Western Africa as a donor-country.

    According to UN Radio, the statement came from head of the agency for international development of Azerbaijan Ashraf Sheikhaliyev:

    "We are trying to define who will get this money. This will likely be the two UN structures that will implement jointly coordinated programs to fight Ebola. We do not set the goal to focus these funds on any country. We are currently consultations and define the format of using this aid".

    Today Azerbaijan's assistance goes to nearly 30 countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Chinese company restarts working to build freeway in Iran
    05.03.2015 08:23
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 3

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: A Chinese company has recently restarted work to build the Tehran-Shomal freeway in Iran without naming the Chinese company, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Mar. 3

    The company, which had begun the work a couple of years ago, stopped the work due to lack of funds but it resumed work ten day ago.

    However, Deputy Director of Iran's Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company, Hassan Ahmadi-Nouri, said on Jan. 7 that China's SPA Company was previously in charge of construction of the first section of the freeway.

    The first section of the freeway to the length of 32 kilometers will come on stream in two years, he added.

    Tehran-Shomal freeway is among the top priorities of Iran's Roads and Urban Development ministry.

    Several contractors, including Bonyad, Khatam-ol-Anbia headquarters, and Chinese firms, have signed agreements to carry out the project over the years, but little progress was made.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Chinaв's GDP growth to amount to 7%
    05.03.2015 07:13
    China's GDP growth is expected to reach 7 percent in 2015, which is 0.4 percent lower than in the previous year, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an annual report released ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's parliament address.

    Li, who is presenting the report to China's National People's Congress on Thursday, said that this year will be harder for his country than the previous one in terms of economic challenges and stressed the need to restructure the economy and deepen reforms.

    The premier also vowed to fight corruption and pollution in China, with NDRC expected to implement policies aimed at reducing coal consumption and increasing the use of cleaner fuels and renewable energy resources this year, according to the report.

    The NDRC report said that China will aim to cut energy intensity, which is the amount of energy used per unit of GDP growth, by 3.1 percent in 2015. In 2014, the rate fell by 4.8 percent.

    China's GDP growth amounted to 7.4 percent last year, while the government's target was about 7.5 percent.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • US ambassador to South Korea injured in attack
    05.03.2015 05:13
    US envoy to Seoul Mark Lippert was taken to hospital after the attack that followed a lecture Thursday morning, reported the Yonhap news agency.

    Lippert is the United States ambassador to the Republic of Korea. He previously held senior positions in the Department of Defense from May 2012 until September 2014.

    Televised pictures showed Lippert bleeding heavily. A suspect was arrested, though officials have not made a statement on his identity or motives.

    According to South Korean media, witnesses at the scene said the attacker shouted his name, Kim, several times during the attack. "Kim" reportedly has a criminal record and was last in prison in 2010 for throwing a concrete sculpture at the Japanese ambassador.

    Reports say "Kim" used a razor blade to attack the ambassador and shouted "No drills for war," an apparent reference to ongoing South Korea-US military exercises.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkish PM reassures investors on stability
    05.03.2015 01:58
    Turkey is an "island of stability" with a vision for the future and consistent economic growth, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    In a meeting with a group of Goldman Sachs investors in New York, Davutoglu said political and economic stability are interdependent and Turkey has both.

    The Turkish economy has enjoyed a strong growth rate of almost 5.5 percent since 2002, fueled by trade and foreign investment. The growth has been faster than much of the industrialized world.

    Turkey's GDP -- the broadest measure of economic output and growth -- has increased to $840 billion from the modest figure of $230 billion recorded in 2002, when the ruling AK Party came to power.

    "If you don't have political stability, even if you have an excellent economic vision, you cannot realize it. If you don't have economic stability, even if you have the best brains of the country, you cannot have the political stability," Davutoglu said. "These two are the assets of Turkey."

    Davutoglu said Turkey has seen three general, three local and two presidential elections, as well as two referenda, in the last 12 years and in all these polls the AK Party won with clear majorities.

    Turkey retained its political and economic stability even after the presidential election in August 2014, after which there was a significant change in the higher echelons of the government, he said.

    "This was the first time ever in Turkish democracy that a ruling party changed its chairman and its prime minister when they were in the government," he said.

    He said the latest opinion polls ahead of the June 7 general election indicate that his party stands at 48 to 52 percent while the nearest opposition party is estimated to get 22 to 25 percent.

    "Getting a strong base for democratic stability towards the general elections in June, we have a clear vision for all sectors through reforming our economy and making a qualitative change," Davutoglu said.

    The recent move by the leadership of the terrorist group PKK to invite its militants to lay down arms was "historic," he said, and another indication of Turkey's stability in a region beset by war and conflict.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran, three European dy foreign ministers hold talks
    05.03.2015 00:38
    Deputies foreign ministers of Iran and three European countries started negotiations in Montreux, Switzerland, IRNA reported.

    Deputy foreign ministers of Germany, the UK and France engaged in talks with their Iranian talks on the remaining issues of difference.

    Iran's Majid Takht Ravanchi and Abbas Araqchi sat down for talks with Simon Gass, Nicolas de Riviere and Hans Dieter Lucas who represent Britain, France and Germany respectively.

    Iran and US foreign ministers held four rounds of talks in the same city. Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi too met with the US secretary of energy Ernest Moniz and the European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid.

    The next round of talks is to be held March 15-20. The venue of the talks are not clear yet.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • President Ilham Aliyev visited the Saint Sofia Church
    04.03.2015 23:29
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4


    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has visited The Saint Sofia Church as part of his official trip to the Republic of Bulgaria.

    Located in the center of Sofia, the cathedral is the oldest church in Bulgaria.

    The first church was built here in 311-313 years. Subsequently, with the support of the Emperor Constantine the cathedral was expanded. In 537, the Emperor Justinian the Great restored the affected cathedral. In the time of the Ottoman rule it was turned into a mosque for some time. In the 8th century people began to call the city "Sophia" by its name and in the second half of the 14th century the city became officially known as "Sophia" in the charters of the Bulgarian kings.

    President Ilham Aliyev signed the guest book of the cathedral.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan, Turkey preparing European gas breakthrough
    04.03.2015 22:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    In recent days, there have been two events that are seemingly unrelated to each other - the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Bulgaria, and the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's visit to Turkey.

    However, both of these visits have one common component -gas.

    Today, Turkey and Azerbaijan, as evidenced by these visits, being political and economic strategic partners, work jointly to achieve the set goal, that is, to bring the Caspian (including Turkmen) gas to European markets.

    Both Azerbaijan and Turkey are the parts of the route that will deliver Caspian gas to Europe, and without them putting this route into practice is impossible.

    This is also confirmed by the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's request to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to revive the lsquo;Nabucco' pipeline project.

    During the talks between Turkmenistan and Turkey, the importance of bringing Turkmen gas to European market and mutual interest in this were stressed.

    Today, Azerbaijan, being an initiator of the most practical first alternative route of gas supply to Europe and ensuring the realization of the lsquo;Southern Gas Corridor' project, continues to develop the success achieved through coverage of the markets of other Eastern European countries.

    The statement made by Bulgaria, which will get gas with the creation of the Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB), reflects its intention to become a transit country and confirms that access to Caspian Sea gas by East and Central European markets is possible.

    Azerbaijan's experience in such negotiations gives the country a certain advantage. In addition, the country is very familiar with the Nabucco project, since it was considered as one of the options for gas supplies to Europe, and if there is sufficient volume, it will not be difficult to implement it.

    The delivery of Turkmen gas to the European market by Azerbaijan and Turkey is beneficial for all participants of this project. In particular, Turkmenistan will be able to diversify its export routes and sell its gas at one of the most solvent markets in the world.

    Turkey and Azerbaijan also will get financial benefit from the transit of energy resources through their territories, and Europe will get considerable volume of alternative gas, especially after plans by Russia's Gazprom to bring the Turkish Stream project to its southern borders.

    Such tactics used by Russia, in fact, are an attempt to encircle Europe both from the North and South and to further "surround" more than half of the Old World. In fact, today, the Southern Gas Corridor is the only "antidote" to this positioning.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkish lira hits second record low against dollar in one day
    04.03.2015 21:59
    The Turkish lira slid to a second record low against the dollar Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    In late trading, the lira fell to 2.5673 against the dollar, with a loss of more than two percent in value since Monday. In morning trading, the Turkish lira had first hit a record low of 2.5492.

    "There have been significant short-term capital outflows from the country in recent weeks," explained Bernd Berg, director of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale Cross Asset Research in Paris.

    "The lira keeps hitting fresh new all-time lows against the dollar each day. This is driven by a very weak general backdrop for emerging market currencies these days, but mainly due to negative domestic news."

    Economists also point to the U.S. dollar's strength. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, including Japanese Yen, rose to 95.64 Wednesday, an increase of 0.20 percent.

    "All emerging market currencies tumble these days. In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable general trend of dollar strength against emerging-market currencies ahead of key U.S. data like non-farm payrolls ahead of Fed meetings," Berg said.

    In the past year, the dollar has appreciated more than 17 percent against the euro, more than 13.5 percent against the Japanese yen and more than 30 percent against the Turkish currency lira.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Some try to use Baku 2015 as main topic of ''smear campaign'' against Azerbaijan - top official
    04.03.2015 21:18
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    The Organizing Committee of the First European Games has carried out considerable work to ensure excellent organization of this important international sports event after the European Olympic Committees announced its decision, head of the Public and Political Issues Department of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, presidential aide Ali Hasanov told Trend on Mar.4.

    The issues related to the construction of new sports facilities, repair of existing ones, improvement of social and transport infrastructure up to world standards, accommodation of guests, security and others are successfully addressed, and this work is nearing completion, according to the top official.

    The European Olympic Committees has highly praised the preparation work, said Hasanov, adding that all this gives grounds to say with confidence that the first European Games to be held in Azerbaijan will be remarkable.

    "Unfortunately, some local groups and international circles that are trying to discredit Azerbaijan's achievements in economic, social, political, humanitarian and other fields, don't want to miss this opportunity and attempt to make the First European Games the main topic of the "smear campaign" carried out against our country," Hasanov said.

    Amnesty International's calling to boycott the First European Games, dissemination of disinformation on the measures taken in preparation for the Games, partial and biased articles published in foreign media and other issues are examples of these efforts, the top official said.

    He said it is not accidental that Radio Liberty and some interested parties share animal cruelty videos on social networks, showing as if it was done in Azerbaijan.

    "There is no evidence confirming that the video was shot in Azerbaijan," the top official said.

    "This proves once again that those putting forward such "facts" are trying to tarnish the image of Azerbaijan and commit provocation amid a major international sporting event, the European Games."

    "We faced such provocations in the past - on the eve of Eurovision-2012 Song Contest," said the presidential aide.

    "At that time, the international community was convinced that all this is nothing more than an insidious game of the forces intending to put pressure on Azerbaijan and impose their will on the country's independent policy."

    "We are confident that the use of such primitive and feeble methods to discredit Azerbaijan will produce no results and urge those forces to abandon their intentions," Hasanov added.

    The European Games will be hosted in Baku on June 12-28, 2015.

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Russia and Romania hope history repeats
    04.03.2015 20:23
    The Baku Prepares Series starts today its 2015 schedule with the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics Disciplines.

    A total of 131 gymnasts from 22 countries will compete in all five disciplines at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, where hosts Azerbaijan will be hoping to keep 2014 world championship winners Russia and Romania off the top spots in rhythmic and aerobic events.

    Russiaв's Yana Kudryavtseva has dominated at the last two rhythmic gymnastics world championships, taking gold in the individual all-around events in both 2014 (Izmir, Turkey) and 2013 (Kiev, Ukraine), and leading Russia to victory in the team competition in 2014. Marina Durunda (Azerbaijan) will be hoping to improve on her sixth-place result in the all-around in 2014 to present a challenge to Kudryavtseva in front of a home crowd.

    Teammates Daria Avtonomova (Russia), Anastasiia Maksimova (Russia) and Maria Tolkacheva (Russia) will be hoping to match their gold medal-winning performance in the rhythmic group competition at the 2014 world championships, where Russia beat Bulgaria and Belarus by achieving an impressive 9.050 difficulty score in the 3 2 apparatus final, using balls and ribbons.

    In the aerobic competition, Romania has become the team to beat in the past two seasons; winning gold in the trios, groups and mixed pairs categories at the 2014 world championships (Cancun, Mexico), and taking gold in the trio and mixed pairs at the European championships in 2013 (Arques, France). Of the gymnasts who competed in Romaniaв's recent medal-winning team combinations, only Maria Bianca Gorgovan and Dacian Barna will be taking part in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship. They will be aiming to maintain their dominance in the group category, joined by three teammates Gabriel Boscer, Lucian Savulesce and Lavinia Panaete.

    Artistic '" menв's

    Filip Ude (Crotia) won silver on the pommel horse at 2014 world championships

    Azerbaijanв's Petro Pakhnyuk finished 15th in the individual menв's all-around at 2014 world championships

    Alexander Shatilov (Israel) finished sixth on floor at the London 2012 Olympic Games; won gold on floor at 2013 European championships, becoming the first Israeli gymnast to win at a European championship

    Artistic '" womenв's

    Azerbaijan has five gymnasts competing in the womenв's competition

    Marina Nekrasova (Azerbaijan) placed sixth on vault at the 2014 world challenge cup (Cottbus, Germany)

    Tutya Yilmaz (Turkey) represented Turkey at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, finishing eighth on both vault and floor


    Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Germany are the three National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competing at this event

    Acrobatic gymnast Elena Velikova (Bulgaria) is the youngest competitor at the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship '" 14 years old at the time of competition


    Spainв's Vicente Lli and Sara Moreno are the ones to watch to challenge Romania for the top of the podium in mixed pairs, after finishing sixth at 2014 world championships and taking gold two years earlier at 2012 world championships (Sofia, Bulgaria)


    Total of 49 gymnasts from 13 NOCs will compete in group and individual categories

    Georgiaв's Salome Pazhava, who finished 13th in the 2014 world championships will be battling to keep up with her Russian and Azerbaijani opponents for a medal in the individual competition


    Gymnasts will compete in individual and synchronised categories, both menв's and womenв's

    USAв's Shaylee Dunavin placed fourth at 2014 world championships (Florida, USA), along with her then partner in synchronised trampoline, Charlotte Drury

    Silvia Saiote (Portugal) finished third at 2013 world games (Cali, Colombia), and was part of the silver medal-winning team at 2011 WC (Birmingham, UK)
  • 100-day countdown to Baku 2015
    04.03.2015 19:19
    Lithuania's Olympic Committee (LTOK) is celebrating the 100-day countdown to the Baku 2015 European Games.

    Lithuanian athletes, coaches, sports medics and veterans joined the gathering with the LTOK to celebrate the up-coming inaugural European Games, which will take place from 12-28 June in Baku.

    "I am glad that the first Games will take place with more than 60 athletes from Lithuania," LTOK President Daina GudzineviДЌiЕ«tД— said.

    "The mission will include both experienced athletes and young athletes starting their career. These Games provide a great opportunity to become the first champions of the European Games."

    Presently, no less than 57 Lithuanian athletes have fulfilled Baku 2015 qualification standards in nine sports '" 3x3 basketball, swimming, boxing, kayak and canoe, cycling, gymnastics, sambo, beach volleyball and wrestling.

    The LTOK is still hoping to have athletes qualify from judo, badminton, table tennis, triathlon and shooting.
  • Iranian Majlis speaker says ex-president's remarks '˜false analogyв'
    04.03.2015 19:13
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has rejected remarks by Expediency Discernment Council chief Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who said that Iranian entities that speak against Iran's nuclear negotiations with the West speak in unison with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Larijani disagreed with the senior Iranian politician's chastising Iranian MPs who spoke against the ongoing nuclear negotiations, IRNA news agency reported March 4.

    The Majlis speaker in the meantime requested that MPs opposed to the talks avoid "addressing non-real issues" on the Iranian nuclear case.

    Yesterday, Rafsanjani had said a group famously known inside Iran as "The Anxious", move in line with Netanyahu in trying to prevent a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

    Hours after Rafsanjani's remarks, lawmakers such as Hamid Rasaee and Mehrdad Bazrpash, who are members of the Front of Islamic Revolution Stability party, had voiced strong reaction.

    Talks between Iran and the P5 1 group (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) have been extended until July 1, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

    After the sides failed to meet the 24 Nov. 2014 deadline they also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed in November 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

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

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Implementation of the project continues
    04.03.2015 18:40
    Azerbaijan successfully continues to implement the project National Computer. To date, 25300 computers have been sold as part of the project.

    Computers and notebooks offered within the project National Computer are equipped with licensed software from Microsoft and sold on interest-free loan for up to 12 months at prices 25-40% below the market price.

    Teachers and pupils of high schools, university teachers and students, as well as workers of the education sector in Azerbaijan can get computers on favourable conditions within the project National Computer. Other groups of people will also be able to take advantage of this project in the next phase.

    It will be recalled that the project National Computer is organized by the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan (MCHT) and Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan, as well as companies Microsoft and HP. Sales of computers are carried out by BestComp Group.
  • Gymnastics in Azerbaijan became a leading type of sport
    04.03.2015 18:25
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    Azerbaijan has become a venue for prestigious international competitions, and the revival of Azerbaijani sport is in the focus of world attention, the deputy youth and sports minister of Azerbaijan, Ismayil Ismayilov said.

    He made the remarks on March 4 at the ceremony for opening of the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines, held in Baku.

    Ismayilov said that from the point of view of modern requirements, the world and European championships, and international tournaments held in Azerbaijan have been organized at a high level.

    He said the positive feedbacks of international sports organizations about regular holding of such events in Azerbaijan are connected with this.

    "To justify this confidence, we, under the leadership of the president of Azerbaijan, the head of the National Olympic Committee, Ilham Aliyev, are trying to adequately fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to us," Ismayilov said.

    He also thanked the president of the European Union of Gymnastics, Georges Guelzec for assisting in holding such a prestigious tournament in Azerbaijan and athletes for participation in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines.

    "These tournaments, where the athletes from over 20 European countries are taking part, will undoubtedly play important role in the growth of mass character of gymnastics, development and promotion of this type of sport in Azerbaijan, and will create conditions for athletes to gain experience," Ismayilov said.

    He also expressed confidence that these competitions will be an unforgettable holiday for spectators and fans.

    "I believe the athletes, who compete here, will also be able to demonstrate their skills at the First European Games," he further noted.

    Ismayilov underscored that the foundation for the development of sport in Azerbaijan was laid by the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev.

    He said that as a result of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev's policy, Olympic complexes have been built even in the most remote regions of Azerbaijan, and training assemblies and competitions are held in these regions.

    "This policy is today very successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev," he said.

    Ismayilov added that as a result of this policy, about 60 world and European level competitions giving license are annually held in Azerbaijan at a high level.

    "Azerbaijani athletes have won in various countries around the world, 805 medals in Olympic and non-Olympic sports," he said.

    The deputy minister especially noted the great care and attention provided to the development of gymnastics by the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation's President, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva.

    "Today, gymnastics has become in Azerbaijan one of the leading types of sport," he further said. "Our gymnasts very successfully perform at the world and European championships, and win medals."

    He said Azerbaijan every year hosts European championship and international tournaments in gymnastic disciplines, which is a result of the Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva's attention to this type of sport.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics kicked off in Baku on March 4. This is the test championship on the eve of the First European Games.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts will compete for medals both in the all-around and the individual competitions.

    Azerbaijani gymnasts won gold medals at Baku's Championships in Gymnastics. Oleg Stepko and Kristina Pravdina won gold medals in the all-around competition among men and women respectively.

    The European Games themselves will be hosted in Baku on June 12-28, 2015. There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition. Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku hosts 2nd meeting of Azerbaijan Foreign MBA Club
    04.03.2015 18:18
    On 27 February 2015, the second meeting of Azerbaijan Foreign MBA Club participants took place at Four Seasons Hotel Baku. The event again brought together more than 30 holders of the prestigious title - entrepreneurs, senior managers, heads and professionals from various sectors of business and government agencies.

    This time Jalal Gasimov, CEO of Unibank shared his experience with the guests of the club. Mr. Gasimov told about difficulties faced by graduates of foreign business schools in Azerbaijan. Speaker also noted the career opportunities, which are open to candidates with MBA from foreign schools, affecting both global trends and the specifics of the local business climate.

    Currently, Azerbaijan Foreign MBA Club is a unique platform for interaction between graduates of foreign educational institutions in Azerbaijan. The founders are going to hold regular meetings of the business club, which will be an effective tool for the establishment of business relations.

    Representative Office of KPMG in Azerbaijan sponsored the second meeting of Azerbaijan Foreign MBA Club.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Putin calls Boris Nemtsovв's death '˜shameful tragedyв'
    04.03.2015 17:54
    ''Russian law enforcement authorities must pay a special attention to uncovering politically motivated crimes like the murder of Boris Nemtsov,'' said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    He added that any future tragedies of this kind must be prevented from happening in Russia.

    "Scandalous crimes as well as politically motivated ones need paying much attention to. We should finally spare Russia from shameful tragedies like the one we've seen lately. I mean the brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital," Putin said.
  • Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipelineв's renewal
    04.03.2015 17:53
    Details added. First version posted at 17:28

    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipeline project to be unfrozen, Bulgarian FOCUS News Agency reported citing the country's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

    "We want Nabucco pipeline project to be unfrozen and more precisely - its part through Bulgaria," Borisov said after the meeting with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

    Borisov said that Bulgaria, which is the EU member, met all legal requirements in terms of the energy package in contrast to many other countries.

    He said that it expected that the project will be presented before the European Commission.

    Borisov also said that Azerbaijan is a strategic partner for Bulgaria.

    The consortium of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development selected the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the gas transportation route to the European markets. TAP is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and then to Western Europe.

    Nabucco West was the second pipeline that competed for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe. It was proposed to transport gas from the Turkish-Bulgarian border, transiting Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania to the Central European Gas Hub at Baumgarten, Austria.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan to use local fiber optics
    04.03.2015 17:48
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan will replace imported fiber optics with domestic production.

    Sumgayit Technological Park will be a supplier of fiber optic cables in the project of broadband internet development in Azerbaijan, the park reported.

    "Production capacity of the park can fully meet the domestic demand of the country for fiber optic cables. The main advantage of the local producer is an acceptable price for the customer, which is lower than that of the imported cable," according to the report.

    The price of local products will be approximately 30 percent cheaper than that of imported fiber optic cables.

    Currently, the park is in talks with the Azerbaijani operators on the issue.

    Being the only manufacturer of such products in Azerbaijan, the Sumgayit Park uses European technology and equipment for the production of fiber-optic cables, as well as all its other types.

    The development of broadband Internet projects in Azerbaijan aims to provide the whole country, including remote rural areas, with high-speed internet in the range of 10-100 megabits/second and to increase the share of broadband internet users to 85 percent.

    Currently, about 70 percent of the population uses the Internet, and the broadband Internet penetration among the population stands at 50 percent.

    The total cost of the project is estimated at more than 450 million manats.

    The project will be implemented through a loan for 27 million euros allocated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The interest rate is six percent per annum.

    Azerbaijan is taking the 64th place in the world in terms of ICT development, the International Telecommunication Union has said.

    Azerbaijan is adopting a series of measures to develop the non-oil segment of its economy. In this context, ICT is one of the prominent sectors, and the income of Azerbaijan's information technology sector has doubled in the past five years.
  • Kenyan police probe mosque over terrorism links
    04.03.2015 17:46
    Baku-APA.Kenyan police said Tuesday they are investigating another mosque allegedly linked to terrorism activities in the coastal city of Mombasa amid heightened security over fresh terror attacks by Al-Shabaab group, APA reports quoting XInhua.

    Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa told journalists that the police are monitoring the activities of Masjid Mlango wa Papa situated near the famous tourist attraction site, Fort Jesus.

    "We are investigating the mosque. We suspect it could be used to radicalize Muslim youth. It's under 24 hours surveillance and risk closure," Marwa warned.

    According to National Intelligence Service (NIS), some radical Imams are indoctrinating youth with jihad sermons at the mosque.

    Marwa said the mosque committee must take charge and stop extremist teaching that aimed at recruiting youth to Al-Shabaab terror group in Mombasa. He said the police are profiling several youth believed to have been radicalized within residential estates in the coastal city.

    Marwa said the youth are accused of being behind organized gun and knife attacks in the city, and their names have been shared among security agencies and will be flushed out very soon.

    "We have arrested two gang members in a major crackdown conducted by police at old town area following public outcry over rise of criminal gangs in the area. The operation will continue," Marwa said.

    Meanwhile, police on Tuesday launched a probe into a report of alleged radicalisation of inmates by extremist preachers at main prisons in the coastal region.

    Mombasa County CID commander Henry Ondiek said they have commenced investigation into the report released. "We have received the report and investigations has been launched to ascertain the authenticity of the report and take up appropriate measures."
  • Turkish Standards Institute to check quality of pipes for TANAP
    04.03.2015 17:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:

    The companies, which will supply pipes for the construction project of Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), will be required to obtain a certificate from the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE), a message of the TSE posted on its website March 4 said.

    The institute also will check the quality of the pipes, which will be delivered from China to Turkey for the construction of the pipeline.

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

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

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

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

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

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Armani blames Madonna
    04.03.2015 17:34
    Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who designed the cape Madonna wore to perform at last week's Brit Awards, has shifted the blame for her well-documented fall back onto the singer herself.

    The 56 year-old was wrenched backwards off of the stage when her backing dancers tried to remove the garment, which had failed to untie.

    "Everyone was worried my cape was going to slide off, so they tied it really tight around my neck," she explained last week. "So here I am marching in like the queen, I got to the top of the stairs and I pulled the silky string and it wouldn't come undone."

    Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr Armani explained that the huge cape was meant to be closed with an easy-to-undo hook, but the singer instead insisted that it be replaced with a tie closure.

    "Madonna, as we all know, is very difficult," he said backstage after his Emporio Armani show. "That's all there was to it."
  • Armenia ruled by hooligans, say traders in Yerevan
    04.03.2015 17:34
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    "We live in a country of hooligans and that's include the country's rulers," - these words were uttered by salesmen in Yerevan. Traders have claimed that Armenia is now in the grip of a severe business orientated repression.

    Newly applied turnover tax in Armenia continues to dirt the waters in business field despite obvious protests calling for its withdrawal.

    Traders in Gnuni building materials and furniture trade center in Yerevan likened Armenia to a country ruled by swindlers and hooligans in light of the government's crackdown on business enterprises.

    "The authorities, including Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan are hooligans and brainless creatures, who demand for 5 percent tax from trash sellers. It is like imposing a tax on a deceased man," said salesmen in the trade center.

    The new law that came into force on March 1 urges the countryв's marketplace workers to unconditionally submit relevant documents on their commodity circulation to the tax agencies. Otherwise, it will impose a fine on those business enterprises, which fail to submit all required documents.

    Salesmen claim that the documentation of a large part of the goods in the market is impossible, which is why they argue that paying a 5 percent tax is absurdly wrong. They urged the government to stop such repression and to leave them work in peace.

    "The market is almost dead given the already passivized trade. We can barely pay our rent and earn our daily bread. What does the government want from us?" complained desperate sellers.

    When it became clear that there are teachers, sports trainers, former directors of manufacturing workshops among those earning a living from dirt and dust, the real picture of Armenia's poor social life began to take shape before the eyes.

    Vendors said that the army of unemployed in the country was a direct result of the closure of almost all production facilities.

    "Millionaire statesmen living in their luxurious mansions should not develop such a complicated tax law, which they themselves fail to explain," said the vendors.

    Some 500 people representing small and medium businesses gathered in front of the government building in Yerevan in January to chant against the new law on turnover tax. Angry protesters even called on the prime minister to emerge before the crowd and lively respond to their complaints. Abrahamyan refused to address their complaints.

    Small and medium business owners in Armenia have unanimously opposed the new law when it was first proposed earlier in October. The merchants claim that it is unrealistic to require necessary documents from large businesses, which belong to oligarchs in state power, since they often refuse to produce any document of the bargained products to the small and medium-sized enterprises.

    The Armenian government, in turn, explains that the new law is part of an effort to combat tax evasion by large businesses in the country.

    As Armenia failed to escape the recent worldwide economic crisis due to its lame domestic economy, the reports showed that the gap between the rich and poor in the country has deepened over 2014, making rich people richer, while pushing the poor further down on the ladder of misery.

    Latest data by the National Statistics Committee recorded that 32 percent of Armenia's population is living in poverty, with even less than $20 income per month.
  • Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipelineв's renewal
    04.03.2015 17:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    Bulgaria wants Nabucco gas pipeline project to be unfrozen, Bulgarian FOCUS News Agency reported citing the country's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

    "We want Nabucco pipeline project to be unfrozen and more precisely - its part through Bulgaria," Borisov said after the meeting with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

    Story still developinghellip;

    Story still developing

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan-Czech business relations to develop
    04.03.2015 17:22
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic are interested in developing mutual relations in agriculture, industry, oil and gas sectors. The ample opportunities for both countries were discussed at the Azerbaijani-Czech business forum in Baku on March 3.

    Some 32 Czech companies and banks as well as more than 150 businessmen from both sides were taking part in the business forum within the framework of visit of the Czech delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister, Jan Mladek.

    Currently, the Czech Republic mainly imports Azerbaijani oil, while industrial equipment and consumer goods are exported to Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan is interested in establishing joint ventures on the export of agricultural products with the Czech Republic," said Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijanв's Economy and Industry Minister, at the event.

    Mustafayev said the cooperation between the two countries is possible, using the Czech equipment for the food industry and the opportunities offered by the Azerbaijani agriculture.''Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic have a good potential for the development of cooperation in economy, primarily in the industrial sphere,'' he said.''The Czech Republic has invested over $1 billion in Azerbaijan. At present, six major projects implemented in Azerbaijan are funded by Czech companies. Their total value stands at about $2 billion.''

    The minister noted that it is very important that cooperation would not be limited only to Azerbaijan.''The level of Azerbaijani companies allows them to work in European countries, including the Czech Republic,'' Mustafayev said. ''I think that our companies have every opportunity to strengthen their activities in the Czech Republic.''He brought up the experience of an Azerbaijani company dealing with road construction in Serbia as an example of the work of Azerbaijani companies in Europe. The company does not lag behind local companies in Serbia and it actually largely outruns them in terms of quality.

    The minister also noted that the two countries can expand cooperation in tourism, ICT and other areas.

    Consequently, Jan Mladek expressed his satisfaction with the economic development of Azerbaijan, adding that Czech companies successfully operate in the country.

    Talking about the interests of the Czech Republic in purchasing Azerbaijani gas, he added that in this regard, the project for construction of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline is very important.

    The trade turnover between the two countries increased by 23 percent in 2014 up to 1.5 billion euros.

    The Czech banks have provided the country with loans worth $1.5 billion over the past decade, he noted.

    Furthermore, Mladek said that taking into account the failure of Nabucco and South Stream projects and the fact that the implementation of the Turkish Stream project will take quite some time, TANAP currently represents the most real project in this sphere.

    Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. This project envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijanв's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.

    Addressing the journalists in Baku, Mladek said his country is interested in importing Azerbaijani oil.

    ''One third of the oil delivered to the Czech Republic is produced in Azerbaijan, while the remaining part accounts for Russia,'' said the minister.

    ''Import of Azerbaijani oil is very important for us, since we donв't want to be dependent on one source and one supply route,'' he added.

    Moreover, Mladek said that the Czech Republic is ready to further develop and finance the joint projects with Azerbaijan. In particular, the Czech companies are ready to take part in the construction of metro stations in Baku.

    ''While many countries are undergoing unstable economic situation, Azerbaijan remains a stable country and offers good opportunities for business development,'' he said.

    He added that in general, there are great prospects for the development of Azerbaijani-Czech relations in various spheres. ''Czech companies are interested in developing the cooperation in many fields, for instance in the spheres of energy and agriculture.''

    The Czech Republic does not export agricultural products, however, it supplies equipment for agriculture and food industry to other countries, the minister added.

    Moreover, some Czech companies would like to deliver coaches, locomotives to Azerbaijan and take part in the road construction in this country, Mladek added.

    President Aliyev receives Czech delegation

    The Czech delegation was also received by President Ilham Aliyev on March 3.The parties highlighted the successfully developing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic in political, economic and other fields. It was noted that these relations paved the way for mutual investment making, and that there were good prospects for cooperation in energy field.The sides also exchanged views over the prospects of cooperation in economic area.
  • Turkey, Iraq discuss regional security issues
    04.03.2015 17:22
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu- Trend:

    Regional security issues were discussed during the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz to Iraq, the Turkish news agency Anadolu said March 4.

    During the visit, Yilmaz met with his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al-Obeidi.

    During the visit, Turkish defense minister of Iraq discussed the fight against the terrorist organization "Islamic State."

    On March 3, two C-130 cargo aircraft of Turkish Air Force with military assistance to Iraq landed at the airport of Al-Muthana, 20 kilometers east of Baghdad.

    Military cargo was shipped to Iraq within the framework of the fight against the ISIS.

    The "Islamic State" (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS) penetrated Syria's territory in 2013. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared "a holy war" against all groups and government forces of Syria.

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

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

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Food prices increase in Georgia
    04.03.2015 16:58
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Mar. 4


    Food prices have increased in Georgia, the information-analytical portal Georgia Online said March 4.

    The cost of almost all types of food increases in grocery stores of the country, according to information.

    Over the last month, the price of vegetable oil rose in average by 50 tetri. ($1 = 2.14 GEL)

    Sugar and buckwheat prices rose by 25 tetri. Sweets, coffee, salt, hygiene products and detergents prices also rose.

    In addition, starting from March, 1 price for alcoholic beverages also rose, which is associated with an increase in excise duty.

    The cost for all types of Coca-Cola products has increased by 10-25 tetri.

    The prices mainly began to rise after lari began to depreciate, according to the trade representatives

    Lari exchange rate in relation to the US dollar began to decline starting from November 20, 2014.

    On the results of the last trading, lari rate was set at 2,16GEL / $1.

    Until November 20, 2014, exchange rate of the national currency of Georgia was 1, 74-1, 76 GEL / $1.

    In connection with the expected rise in prices in Georgia due to the devaluation of lari exchange rate, the National Bank of the country in February began to tighten monetary policy.

    Edited by CN

  • Novruzali Aslanov awarded 2nd grade order ''For Service to the Motherland''
    04.03.2015 16:58
    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order on awarding Novruzali Aslanov Davud oglu the 2nd grade order ''For Service to the Motherland''.

    Aslanov was awarded for his fruitful activity in Azerbaijan's socio-political life and his merits in the development of the Red Crescent movement, APA reports.
  • Next round of Iran nuclear talks scheduled for March 15-20
    04.03.2015 16:47 1__24112013.jpg 1__24112013.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.4

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and P5 1 will be held from March 15 to 20.

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarid said that planning for next round of nuclear talks for next weeks is being carried out, ISNA reported March 4.

    Zarif said that during the nuclear talks with P5 1, some results have been achieved, but there are still some disputes over technical and political issues. He didn't go into detail of achievements or disputes.

    The talks between Iran and the P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) were extended until June 30, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement. However, the sides attempt to reach a political accord in March.

    After the parties failed to meet the November 24, 2014 deadline they also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed in November 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

    The sides are attempting to reach a political agreement in March and achieving a comprehensive nuclear agreement is expected by July.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • ''Romantic Mugham'' drawing published on postmarks of Hungary
    04.03.2015 16:35
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    A splendid blend of three fabulous national instruments - the tar, gaval and kamancha - has gained a mandate to get published on postmarks in Hungary.

    "Romantic Mugham" by Chingiz Mehbaliyev, an Azerbaijani artist, which was first exhibited in Budapest in 2013, drew the attention of the Post Office for its unique composition.

    The artist painted the sketches while observing an elderly man listening to Mugam, a magnificent musical genre, which has conquered many hearts by its unexplainable mystery.

    "The elderly man had his eyes closed and was fantasizing while listening to Mugam. It was pretty clear to me that he was remembering his youth. The elderly man was putting his head into his shoulders and having his eyes closed," he said while talking about how the idea of the painting came about.

    "The Mugam took him to very far places'¦ to his romantic youth," continued the artist. "To me the man looked like the Mugam, melting under the influence of love,"The picture describes 3 musical instruments: - the tar, qaval and kamancha, which melt and mixed with each other. The tar is fallen into the qaval and the Kamancha is leaned on the leather of the qaval. There is a candle on the kamancha which is on fire and on the other side the artist protrayed a flying butterfly.The national musical instruments described at the painting seems sheltered to each other while acting together. The candle which is on fire on the Kamancha and the butterfly flying on the opposite side are the symbol of love. But they got apart from each other like the elderly man who got apart from his youth and love.The Mugam musical instruments touch the older generation who listen to Mugam and get nostalgic feelings. It seems like Mugam melts itself and pour into the souls of audience.

    Chingiz was born with a passionate love for colors. He was the youngest participant in the international art exhibition dedicated to the 800th anniversary of Mevlana Djalaleddin Rumi, organized by UNESCO in 2007.

    He took part in the international cartoon contest "Molla Nesreddin, Azerbaijan" and became a member of Azerbaijan Cartoonists Union. The artist was invited to Bartin, Turkey, to display his arts and after much success he became a member of SESAN ("Serbest Sanatchilar" - Free Artworkers) in 2010.

    A year later, his painting "Colors dedicated to Imadaddin Nasimi" attracted the attention of the jury of the international art contest among CIS member states and his painting was included in the final catalog of the contest.
  • Only one regime unhappy with nuclear talks '" Rouhani
    04.03.2015 16:28
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that Iran is looking for a nuclear agreement that would benefit the whole world.

    We hope that the Group P5 1 would adopt a wise approach to the talks, the president said, speaking of the Western countries negotiating over Iran's nuclear program.

    Rouhani who was speaking during the cabinet meeting, stated that while everyone is happy with the nuclear talks, there is only one side that speaks against them, Fars news agency reported Mar. 4.

    "An aggressive, occupying regime which finds its survival in war is unhappy and angry about the negotiations," he said.

    "This regime is worried about regional peace; you can see that the Nusrah Front, with all the atrocity it commits, is supported by this regime."

    He further stated "People all over the world, no less people in the US, are smarter than to [be fooled by] the soft words of a regime whose job has always been to make war. A regime which, despite all international regulations and away from the international watchdogs, has sought nuclear bombs, made bombs, stored a large number of bombs, and by not signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, does not allow IAEA inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities."

    Rouhani asserted that the Islamic Republic has always pursued a plan for a nuke-free Middle East in the United Nations.

    "Accusations against Iran are made by a regime which has attacked its neighbors time and again, killing innocent people, and targeting children in Gaza. This regime, which is in fact a terrorist government, is now talking of peace and of future hazards, while it has been the greatest hazard to the region," the Iranian President pointed out.

    He noted "Such words will not affect the will of nations or governments. The basis in our negations with the world is goodwill versus goodwill, honesty versus honesty, certainty versus certainty, and trust versus trust."

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku 2015 marks 100 Days To Go by unveiling first European Games medal design
    04.03.2015 16:17
    Baku 2015 European Games today marked the start of the 100 Days To Go countdown by revealing the design of medals for the inaugural event, to be held on 12-28 June this year.

    Baku 2015 also announced that tickets for children and teenagers under 16 will be free of charge at most competition events, while adult admission will be affordably priced. The new-look Baku 2015 website was also launched.

    The gold, silver and bronze medals revealed today feature unique iconography developed in line with the decorative Baku 2015 branding. The design, which features the Baku 2015 logo at its centre, is a metaphor for the dynamic, beautiful and culturally-rich host city, while the reverse face features the European Olympic Committees emblem and word mark.

    The medal design was created by renowned jeweller Adamas, which also produced the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games medals, in collaboration with Azerbaijani artist Nargiz Huseynova. They will be manufactured locally by Azersouvenir.

    Mr Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015, said: "It has always been our intention to recognise the first European Games athletes' achievements with a medal design as unique as the occasion itself. There are now only 100 days before the start of the Games, and I am sure that these beautiful medals will provide athletes with inspiration and raise the public's anticipation even further during the countdown to the event in June."

    Mr James Macleod, Director of Athlete Services and Operations at Baku 2015, added: "Winning a medal at the first European Games will be a career-defining moment for athletes competing at Baku 2015. The medal designs capture that sense of achievement, along with a creative allusion to Azerbaijani motifs which celebrates our host country."

    Baku 2015 also today announced its ticketing policy for the inaugural European Games. Adult tickets for sport sessions will range between AZN 2 - AZN 5, according to competition round (ie. preliminary or final), seat category, and venue. Children and teenagers under 16 will benefit from complimentary admission to most venues when accompanied by an adult (aged 18 ) in possession of ID and a valid ticket for the session. The only exceptions will be events held at the Heydar Aliyev Arena and National Gymnastics Arena, where admission for under-16s will cost just AZN 1.

    The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will have a separate pricing scheme, with affordable seats priced at AZN 20 and AZN 10, respectively, for spectators of all ages.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: "I am very proud of our ticketing policy announced today, which will allow us to share the experience of the European Games competitions with the widest possible audience, including families. Baku 2015 is focused on Europe's athletes and their commitment to sporting excellence, and bringing the inspiration they provide to the public.

    "It is also wonderful to mark the beginning of the 100 day countdown by revealing the iconic design of the first European Games medals, and to look forward to the great sporting feats our continent's sportsmen and women will accomplish here in Baku. We are committed to providing athletes with the perfect stage upon which to shine, and I believe that these marvellous medal designs will provide recognition that is worthy of their efforts."

    Details of admission prices to Baku 2015 European Games competitions and Ceremonies can be found on the new website at
  • Azerbaijani, Bulgarian presidents hold one-on-one meeting
    04.03.2015 16:16
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4


    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev held a one-on-one meeting in Sofia on March 4.

    During the meeting, the sides expressed their satisfaction with the successful development of bilateral relations between the two countries in the political, economic, energy, humanitarian, cultural and other areas, and stressed the importance of high-level reciprocal visits.

    It was noted that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's official visit to Bulgaria will make a huge contribution to the further strengthening of the bilateral ties.

    Moreover, it was emphasized that there are big prospects and good opportunities for the expansion of the cooperation.

    The parties also exchanged views over bilateral relations and international issues.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Central bank unveiles average interest rates on deposits
    04.03.2015 16:15
    The Bank issued a statement.

    The average interest rate on deposits decreased.

    Thus, according to the February 1, 2015, the average interest rate on bank deposits and deposits made in the national currency, ie in manats, is 8.82%, and in foreign currency - 8.93%, reports with reference to the Central Bank.

    The average interest rate on deposits and deposits of legal entities in manat was 5.66%, in foreign currency - 4.36%.

    The average interest rate on deposits and deposits of individuals in manat was 9.41%, in foreign currency - 10.05%.
  • Ministry conducts another raid
    04.03.2015 16:09
    Artificially inflated prices revealed.

    Ministry of Economy and Industry continues raids to prevent artificial price increases.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Ministry of Economy and Industry that during the inspections in the "Seval" supermarket, located at the Absheron region, on the Baku-Sumgait route in "Absheron" youth town and owned by Ahad Ahadov, it was found that the prices quoted on goods do not correspond to those type in the fiscal memory of a cash register, which indicates the cheating of buyers and artificially increase of prices.

    Serious measures in accordance with the law were taken against a person who has committed an offense.

    Control measures in the consumer market continued.
  • Azerbaijani gymnasts leading at Bakuв's Open Joint Championships in Gymnastics
    04.03.2015 15:54
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Azerbaijani gymnasts Oleg Stepko and Kristina Pravdina are currently in the lead in the all-around competition at the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics in Baku March 4.

    Azerbaijan's representative Oleg Stepko with 45 points is in the lead among the men in all-around competition following three rotations.

    Another Azerbaijani gymnast Petr Pahnyuk with 43.550 points ranks second. The Croatian winner of the Olympic Games in London Filip Ude with 42.850 points is third.

    Azerbaijani gymnast Kristina Pravdina with 26.233 points is in the lead in the all-around competition among women following two rotations.

    Turkish gymnast Tutya Yilmaz with 25.299 points is second. Another gymnast of Azerbaijan Yulia Inshina with 24.932 points ranks third.

    The medal winners among men will be determined in the all-around competition after six rotations and among women following four rotations.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics has started in Baku. This is the test championship on the eve of the European Games.

    The official opening ceremony of the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics was held in Baku on March 4.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts will compete for medals both in the all-around and the individual competitions.


    follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijani Air Force join first ever military drills abroad
    04.03.2015 15:48
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Turkish and Azerbaijani air forces started joint drills in Turkey's Konya region on March 3. The exercise turned to be remarkable as it is the Azerbaijani Air Forces' first ever attendance in a military drill abroad.

    Six fighters and 106 personnel of the Azerbaijani Air Forces joined the ongoing drills TURAZ Sahini-2015 alongside their Turkish counterparts.

    The drills that will last until April 2 are expected to see the active involvement of fighting jets MIG-29 and F-16 from the both air forces.

    Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said TURAZ Sahini-2015 military training was organized as part of the plan for military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Three MIG-29 combat jets, three Su-25 fighters and a military transport aircraft Il-76 of the Azerbaijani Air Forces will reportedly take part in the drills.

    Commander of Turkish Air Forces, Colonel Abdurrahim Arslan said 6 combat jets of MIG-29 and SU-25 types landed on the airbase in the first day of the drills, according to Turkish media outlet Anadolu Ajansi.

    "It is a historical day. First we experienced drills in Azerbaijan last September. Now we are again feeling the delight of joint drills in between the two brother countries," Arslan noted.

    Azerbaijani Air Forces Commander, Colonel Elchin Akhundov said he was very honored and glad to join the drills, namely in Turkey.

    "Thanks, Turkey! Thanks for warm welcome and for a historical day. Azerbaijani Air Forces joined its first ever military exercises abroad in Turkey. We are very happy, we wrote history here," Akhundov added.

    Earlier in September, the Turkish Air Forces joined large-scale military exercises in Azerbaijan, with a squad of over 30 combat jets to carry out joint missions with their Azerbaijani counterparts.

    Furthermore, four Mi-17 military transport helicopters were dispatched to the air base in Konya to partake in the international search and rescue drills ?SIK-2015.

    ISIK-2015 exercises, which will last until April 13, will involve military equipment of the air force of several countries, along with Azerbaijani and Turkish forces, to carry out certain tasks on planning joint activities, exploring the possibilities of interaction and coordination during operations, as well as the search and rescue operations.

    Azerbaijan-Turkey joint exercises serve primarily to test and reinforce planned joint activities of both countries' air force, explore the possibilities of joint actions and coordination in view of conducting combat operations and destruction of ground targets with air strikes.

    Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan's independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The two countries have very good relations almost in every field, including political, economical, military and defense, touristic, cultural and more.

    Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey started in 1992 with an agreement signed on military education. The agreement established the close and sustainable cooperation of the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments on defense and security fields.

    Turkey's continuous military assistance to Azerbaijan surpassed $200 million in 2010. Azerbaijan army possesses various Turkish-made military equipment, as Turkey is among the main arms suppliers to Azerbaijan. Over 20 Turkish defense industry companies hold cooperation and commercial relations with the South Caucasus country.
  • Baku 2015: 100 days left
    04.03.2015 15:36
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Only 100 days to go before Baku's historic European Games scheduled for June.

    The inaugural sporting event will open in the newly-built brand Olympic Stadium in Baku on June 12. Through 17 days of competition, over 6,000 sportsmen will represent 50 countries in 20 sports.

    Baku 2015 is going places with presentation in major European cities including Paris, Cannes, Berlin, Athens, Istanbul and others. The presentation is also expected in Rome soon.

    At present, Baku is preparing to host athletes and tourists. Along with the construction and refurbishment of its sport facilities, the city itself is changing. By now, some 318 hotels have been licensed throughout the country.

    The museums and historical sites are also getting ready. The Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to extend the opening hours of all tourists attractions.

    Moreover, a number of theaters are expected to deliver performances in Russian and English languages, or include translations in their show performances in June.

    A special edition of Baku Guide catalog will be also issued during the Games and distributed in the hotels of the capital city. Information kiosks will also function in the airports and Baku will provide visitors with detailed information.

    Starting April 25, the torch relay ceremony of Baku 2015 will visit 51 cities of Azerbaijan.

    The tickets for 21 stadia and facilities in Baku and Mingachevir city, where the games will take place, are planned to go on sale in March.

    As of now, Baku is training volunteers and professionals to organize all outstanding event. Guests are welcomed to the Land of Fire to experience a series of unforgettable ceremonies this June. Toward this the country has spared no efforts.
Exchange Rates of Central Bank