Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az Armenia breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/159682.html Society Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:26:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s Armed Forces have 109 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Mar. 24.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Jafarli, Farahli, Gushchu Ayrim, Qaymagli and Kamarli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the nameless heights of the Ijevan district and in the Shavarshavan, Voskevan, Barekamavan and Berdavan villages of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the Aghbulag, Alibayli, Aghdam and Munjuglu villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Chinari, Aygepar, Mosesgekh, Aygedzor villages and on nameless heights of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Garaveliler village of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh, Chilaburt villages of the Tartar district, Garagashli, Yusifjanli, Bash Garvand, Javakhirli, Marzili, Namirli, Shikhlar and Shirvanli villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district.The Azerbaijani army positions were also shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Gorgan, Ashagi Veysalli, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli and Horadiz villages of the Fuzuli district, as well as from the positions on nameless heights of the Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Iran, Russia negotiating joint gas projects http://www.today.az/news/regions/159681.html World news Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:09:00 +0400 BY TrendIran and Russia's Gazprom are negotiating to carry out joint projects, Iran’s deputy oil ministry, Hamid Reza Araqi, said.One of the projects is joint export of natural gas, Araqi, who heads National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), said, Fars news agency reported Mar. 23.Iran and Russia are not rivals in the gas sector, he said, adding that joint activities in this sector will be beneficial for the both sides.Araqi further said that a joint working group has been formed to determine possible projects and joint activities.The two sides also have formed a joint working group to study gas export to Europe and Eastern Asia, he said.Iran and Russia have the ability to export gas and carry out gas storage projects, Araqi added.However, he noted that no joint project has been determined so far, forecasting that the projects will be determined and implemented this year. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan eye to intensify strategic partnership http://www.today.az/news/regions/159680.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By  TrendThe presidents of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Nursultan Nazarbayev have signed a joint declaration in Astana to further intensify the strategic partnership and strengthen good-neighborliness between the two countries, the Uzbekistan National News Agency (UzA) reported.Members of the government delegations in the presence of the two countries’ presidents signed the Strategy for Economic Cooperation for 2017-2019 and the Agreement on Interregional Cooperation.Besides, a protocol on introduction of amendments and additions to the agreement on avoidance of double taxation, a protocol on introduction of amendments and additions to the international road transport agreement of 2006, as well as documents on cooperation in the sphere of parliamentarism, have been signed.The heads of the defense ministries of the two countries signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation.The heads of the foreign ministries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan signed a program on cooperation between the ministries. Kremlin: Iran’s Rouhani to visit Russia on March 27-28 http://www.today.az/news/regions/159678.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:49:00 +0400 By  TrendIranian President Hassan Rouhani will visit Russia on March 27-28, the press service of the Kremlin said Mar. 23, Reuters reported.Rouhani will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 28, according to the press service.It is expected to pay particular attention to the prospects for expanding trade, economic and investment ties, including in the context of implementing major joint projects in energy and transport infrastructure, said the message.It is noted that Putin and Rouhani will continue to exchange views on the topical issues of the global and regional agenda. In addition, a number of bilateral documents will be signed following the talks. Fire of Anatolia on Gabala stage http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159679.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:00 +0400 By  Azertac Acclaimed Turkish dance group the Fire of Anatolia has performed in the Azerbaijani city of Gabala.Held at the Heydar Aliyev Congress Center, the concert marked Novruz holiday.The concert was watched by a 1,000-man audience including locals and foreign tourists.A synthesis of hundreds of folkdance figures and music from different regions, Fire of Anatolia is a unique project whose source is Anatolia’s ancient mythological and cultural history.The Fire of Anatolia, which is regarded as one of the best dance groups of the world because of countless international tours and various promotional activitiesThe Fire of Anatolia, which brings the rich culture of Anatolia and the magic of dance on the same scene in a magnificent style, became the first dance group that performed in The Building of China Parliament. The group performed for an audience of four hundred thousand people, all standing, in Eregli, in the Black Sea region and holds the title for “Largest Auidience” in the Guinness Book of World Records for this performance. They were also the first group performing in the Bodrum Antique Theatre after 2300 years. The Fire of Anatolia has reached over 35 million people both in foreign countries and Turkey since their debut on May 3, 2001. IMF urges Turkmenistan to support private sector http://www.today.az/news/regions/159677.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:11:00 +0400 By  TrendIn the challenging external environment, maintaining strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth for Turkmenistan will require improvements in the business and regulatory environment to support further private sector development, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) mission said in a message following the visit to Ashgabat.Effective implementation of reforms of state-owned enterprises and privatization, greater efficiency of public spending, and continued focus on social protection and human development outcomes will be also required for Turkmenistan, according to the message.“The authorities are aware of these priorities, and plan to embed them in the upcoming 7-year development plan for 2017-2023,” said the message.The IMF team led by Martin Sommer visited Ashgabat during Mar. 6-17, 2017, to hold discussions for the 2017 Article IV consultation.During the visit, the team held meetings to assess macroeconomic and financial developments and discuss economic challenges and policy priorities with senior government officials, members of the Turkmen parliament, representatives of real and financial sectors, academics, and the diplomatic community of the country.“The Turkmen economy continues to adjust to a challenging external environment, including persistently low natural gas prices and slower growth in trading partners,” Sommer said at the end of the visit. “Growth has been broadly stable recently, supported by natural gas exports and industrial policies. However, the external current account deficit remains.”The authorities have been adjusting their strategy to the new reality of lower hydrocarbon prices, according to the IMF mission.“In the near term, the key policy challenge is to re-calibrate the policy mix to reduce the sizable external imbalances,” said the message. “Options include gradual but significant cuts in public investment expenditures that remain among the highest in the world, combined with other policy measures which would help adjust domestic demand to a more sustainable level. The pace and composition of policy adjustment should be designed to reduce the adverse impact on economic growth and vulnerable segments of the population.”“Broader dissemination and improving the quality of macroeconomic and financial data would help enhance understanding of economic trends, attract foreign direct investment, and ease access to the global financial markets,” reads the message.“The IMF stands ready to support the government’s reforms through policy advice and capacity building, including on macroeconomic statistics and forecasting, monetary policy operations, and fiscal policy,” the message said.Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of the volume of natural gas reserves, according to BP. Currently, the country is able to export natural gas to China and Iran with the possibility of increasing the supply volume. This is while Russia has suspended the purchase of Turkmen gas. European Parliament to host hearing on EU accession to Istanbul Convention http://www.today.az/news/regions/159676.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:47:00 +0400 By  Azertac The European Parliament`s committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and on Women's Rights and Gender Equality will conduct a hearing on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women on March 27.Azerbaijani MP, PACE General rapporteur on violence Sahiba Gafarova will make remarks at the hearing, Azertac reported.Other speakers will include Elisabeth Moiron-Braud, Interministerial Mission on the protection of Women from violence; Gun Heimer, Swedish Expert from the NCK; Maria Miguel Sierra, Director of La Voix des femmes (EWL); Anna Maria Corazza Bildt and Christine Revault D'allonnes Bonnefoy, EP rapporteurs on the file.The hearing will contribute to the interim report to be drafted jointly by the two committees. Azerbaijan`s fixed capital received nearly 1.5bn manats from foreign sources in two months of 2017 http://www.today.az/news/business/159675.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:23:00 +0400 Foreign businesses and companies invested 1,405,700,000 manats (or $824,805,045.86) in Azerbaijan`s fixed capital in the first two months of 2017, according to the State Statistics Committee.Official figures for January-February revealed that the largest foreign investors in Azerbaijan`s fixed capital are the UK, Turkey, Malaysia, Switzerland, Russia, Iran and the USA as they account for 84.6 per cent or 1,189,600,000 manats (or $698,006,745.79) of the total foreign investment. Azerbaijan’s exit from EITI not to impact any SGC project http://www.today.az/news/business/159674.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan’s exit from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) will not impact the progress or the construction of any of the project along the Southern Gas Corridor value chain, SGC Co told the Natural Gas Word (NGW).“All of the partners have committed to finance the project, at a currently estimated investment cost of $43 billion,” said the statement from the company.SGC is also of the opinion that given the progress made with many of the international financial institutions (IFIs) and the recent support expressed by the investors in the debt capital markets, the EITI exit should not inhibit its ability to raise financing from the external sources for the value chain.“Notwithstanding that as per the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan #287 dated Feb.25, 2014, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) stands ready to provide all necessary long-term financing to SGC for the successful completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project,” said the statement.SGC said it will continue to make available its annual audited financial statements to its investors via Irish Stock Exchange, where SGC’s Eurobonds are listed."SGC has already attracted several loans from IFIs and continues discussions with certain other IFIs who are scrutinizing SGC thoroughly,” said the company.SGC remains compliant with applicable regulations, rules and policies that it has agreed to adhere to."Together with the successful tap of the 2026 notes, this reinforces investors’ confidence in Azerbaijan’s strong economic fundamentals and its commitment to develop transportation infrastructure for one of the world’s largest gas fields,” said the statement.The Southern Gas Corridor project constitutes a multi-stakeholder value chain that is not dependent on Azerbaijan/SGC alone.SGC is a majority shareholder only in Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, while in the other three projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, SGC, through its subsidiaries, holds non-controlling interest.The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline. OPEC basket price down http://www.today.az/news/business/159673.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:37:00 +0400 By  TrendThe price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $48.28 a barrel on March 22, compared with $49.23 the previous day, according to the cartel’s website.The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).World oil prices are rising on March 23. The price of May futures for Brent crude oil has increased by 0.39 percent to $50.84 per barrel as of 04:39 EST. Meanwhile, the price of May futures for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil has grown by 0.48 percent and stood at $48.27 per barrel. Pakistan Day celebrated in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/159672.html Politics Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:17:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Pakistan Day was celebrated in the Pakistani Embassy in Baku, Trend’s correspondent reported from the event.The event brought together representatives of the community of Pakistanis in Baku.The guests were greeted by Pakistani Ambassador to Azerbaijan Saeed Khan Mohmand, who congratulated them on the Pakistan Day.Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day, also Republic Day, is a national holiday in Pakistan to commemorate the Lahore Resolution passed on Mar. 23, 1940 and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan during the transition of the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mar. 23, 1956 making Pakistan the world’s first Islamic republic.The Pakistani ambassador to Azerbaijan noted that Pakistan had to overcome many difficulties on the way to the country’s independence.The diplomat also spoke about the successful development of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.Saeed Khan Mohmand noted the mutual support of the two countries regarding the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the Kashmir conflict.Azerbaijan and Pakistan will continue to support each other in all international issues, the ambassador added. Pakistani envoy: Relations with Azerbaijan at highest level http://www.today.az/news/politics/159671.html Politics Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:42:00 +0400 By  TrendRelations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan are at the highest level, Pakistani Ambassador to Azerbaijan Saeed Khan Mohmand told reporters in Baku Mar. 23.The diplomat noted that the two countries have been successfully developing relations for 25 years.He said that three presidents, as well as two prime ministers of Pakistan visited Azerbaijan during this period.He noted that all high-level visits once again demonstrate intense bilateral cooperation between the two sides.The Pakistani ambassador added that Azerbaijan and Pakistan are developing cooperation in different directions, including economy, culture, food and social spheres.The diplomat expressed hope for cooperation between the two countries to increase during his work in Azerbaijan.Saeed Khan Mohmand also noted the importance of the initiative to hold the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan.Preparation is underway for participation of Pakistani athletes in these Games, he said. Armenia breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan 126 times in 24 hours http://www.today.az/news/politics/159669.html Politics Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:25:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s Armed Forces have 126 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on March 23.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Kohnegishlag village of Aghstafa district, Bala Jafarli, Jafarli, Qaymagli, Farahli and Kamarli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the Paravakar, Vazashen villages and on nameless heights of the Ijevan district and in the Shavarshavan, Dovekh, Barekamavan villages of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the Alibayli, Kokhanebi, Aghbulag and Munjuglu villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Aygepar, Chinari villages and on nameless heights of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions located on nameless heights of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh village of the Tartar district, Garagashli, Yusifjanli, Bash Garvand, Shikhlar, Marzili, Namirli, Javakhirli, Sarijali villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district.The Azerbaijani army positions were also shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Gorgan, Ashagi Veysalli, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli villages of the Fuzuli district and Mehdili village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions on nameless heights of the Goygol, Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Kazakhstan ups oil, gas output http://www.today.az/news/regions/159666.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:07:00 +0400 By  TrendKazakhstan’s oil production increased by 4.4 percent in January-February 2017 compared to the same period of 2016, the Kazakh Statistics Committee said.During the period, oil and gas condensate output hit 13.69 million tons (11.47 tons of oil and 2.23 tons of gas condensate).In the mentioned period, oil production increased by 3.8 percent and gas condensate production - by 0.7 percent.Gas production increased by 6 percent– to 8.57 billion cubic meters in January-February 2017.Associated gas production amounted to 4.59 billion cubic meters, which is 8.3 percent more than in the same period of 2015.Oil and gas condensate production in February 2017 hit 6.57 million tons, which is 7.7 percent less compared to January 2017. Gas production in February decreased by 9.5 percent compared to January to 4.05 billion cubic meters.Kazakhstan’s oil and condensate output totaled 78.04 million tons in 2016, which is 1.8 percent less compared to 2015. Gas production hit 46.59 billion cubic meters in 2016 which is 2.4 percent more compared to 2015. OPEC deal can be extended for shorter period - expert http://www.today.az/news/business/159670.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:05:00 +0400 By  TrendOPEC oil output cut deal could be extended for a shorter period, perhaps to three months or so, instead of six months, Tom Pugh, the economist at British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics, told Trend March 23.“It seems that the market expects the OPEC cuts to be extended. We also think this is now more likely than not,” said the expert.OPEC will be especially wary of increasing US production, as there is no point OPEC continuing to cut output if the US is filling the gap, according to Pugh.The expert believes that if Saudi Arabia decides that other countries aren't pulling their weight in the deal it could also decide not to renew cuts.“For the deal to collapse it would need one or more of the OPEC members to increase production and effectively no longer participate in the deal,” he said. “This could then cause Saudi Arabia to increase its production which would effectively kill the deal. This is quite unlikely, but countries like Iran, Iraq and Venezuela have been reluctant to lower the output.”In December 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices.Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd starting from Jan. 1, 2017 for six months, extendable for another six months, to take into account prevailing market conditions and prospects.OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from Jan. 1, with top exporter Saudi Arabia cutting as much as 486,000 bpd.According to OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, world’s oil supply decreased in February by 0.21 million barrels per day compared to January to average 95.88 million barrels per day. In November 2016, world’s oil supply was at 96.84 million barrels per day. Soldier martyred in PKK attack in southeast Turkey http://www.today.az/news/regions/159665.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +0400 By  TrendA Turkish soldier was martyred Wednesday in a clash with PKK terrorists in the southeastern Hakkari province, security sources said, Anadolu reported.The sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media said an armed PKK group that attempted to cross border attacked a military base on the Turkey-Iraq border.Terrorists hit the base with rockets after the fighters were detected by Turkish soldiers. Three soldiers were also wounded in the clash.PKK casualties are unknown. Turkish units are conducting military operation in the region.More than 1,200 victims, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015. Oil bounces off November lows, but bloated US stockpiles pressure market http://www.today.az/news/business/159664.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:27:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices recovered on Thursday from losses chalked up the session before, but the market remained under pressure as bloated U.S. crude inventories and rising output dampen OPEC-led efforts to curb global production, Reutersreported.Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at $50.95 per barrel at 0231 GMT, up 31 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. That came after Brent briefly dipped below $50 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time since November.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 35 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $48.39 a barrel, after testing support at $47 overnight.Analysts said Brent had found technical support around $50 a barrel and was being pushed up as traders took new long positions after crude hit multi-month lows overnight.Despite the bounce, traders said the market remained under pressure, largely due to a big U.S. inventory and doubts that an effort led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output was reining in a global fuel supply overhang.Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader, said OPEC was "underwriting the investment plans and returns of their competition in U.S. shale oil."McKenna said there was a risk of oil prices dropping further due to U.S. output and a lack of compliance by some producers who said they would cut production.The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. inventories climbed almost 5 million barrels to a record 533.1 million last week, far outpacing forecasts of a 2.8 million-barrel build.The high inventories come as U.S. oil production has risen over 8 percent since mid-2016 to more than 9.13 million barrels per day (bpd) to levels comparable in late 2014, when the oil market slump started.There were also signs of a bloated market in Asia, where China's gasoline imports slumped while its refiners sent huge volumes overseas as they refine more fuel than the domestic market can absorb.China's gasoline exports in February hit the second highest on record, up 76.6 percent over a year earlier at 1.06 million tonnes, data from the Chinese customs showed on Thursday. Diesel exports last month surged 66.7 percent on year at 1.32 million tonnes.China imported just 7,245 tonnes of gasoline in February, tumbling 94 percent from the same period last year. Diesel imports dropped 52 percent from a year ago to 50,000 tonnes. Trump sends holiday greetings to Iranians http://www.today.az/news/regions/159663.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:05:00 +0400 By  TrendU.S. President Donald Trump, who has sought to ban travelers from Iran and other Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, issued a holiday greeting on Wednesday to Iranians celebrating the New Year holiday known as Nowruz, Reuters reported.Trump, who has also criticized the nuclear deal between Iran and western powers negotiated during President Barack Obama's administration, did not refer to the travel ban in his statement."Nowruz means 'new day' in Persian. It is an occasion to celebrate new beginnings, a sentiment that is particularly meaningful for so many Iranians who have come to our country in recent decades to make a new start in a free land," Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.Nowruz is Iran's most important national event and is celebrated with family gatherings, vacations and gift-giving."For many years, I have greatly enjoyed wonderful friendships with Iranian-Americans, one of the most successful immigrant groups in our country’s contemporary history," he said. Abu Izzadeen named as suspect in London terrorist attack http://www.today.az/news/regions/159662.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:31:00 +0400 By  TrendReports have named Abu Izzadeen, born Trevor Brooks, known for his links to terrorism, as the suspect in the terrorist act in London earlier Wednesday, The Independent reported.It said Izzadeen had been to prison in the past for inciting and glorifying acts of terror as well as for fund-raising. Trump speaks to May following London attacks http://www.today.az/news/regions/159661.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:16:00 +0400 By  TrendUS President Donald Trump spoke to UK Prime Minister Theresa May over the telephone after attacks took place earlier on Wednesday in London, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a briefing, Sputnik reported.On March 22, several people were killed and many were injured after a vehicle drove into a crowd on London’s Westminster Bridge near the UK Parliament building. One man was later shot by police after he stabbed an officer inside the Parliament compound.London Metropolitan police said earlier in the day they were treating the events as terrorist incidents."He [Trump] just spoke to Prime Minister May," Spicer stated on Wednesday."We obviously condemn today's attack in Westminster, which the United Kingdom treats as an act of terrorism."The attack is currently being investigated. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemns London attack http://www.today.az/news/politics/159667.html Politics Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:06:00 +0400 By  TrendAs a country that has suffered from terror, Azerbaijan strongly condemns the London terror attack, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry tweeted Mar. 23.“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of victims,” the ministry said. “We wish speedy recovery to the injured.”On Mar. 22, at 14:40 GMT, a single attacker drove a car over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament in central London. The car had mounted the pavement and driven the whole way across the bridge, knocking people over. The car then crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament.The attacker, armed with a knife, ran to the parliament where he was confronted by the police. One officer - who was not armed - was stabbed and killed.The attacker was shot dead by armed police officers. Five people have died and 40 people have been injured in the attack, according to the latest information. Germany: Steinmeier urges de-escalation with Turkey http://www.today.az/news/regions/159660.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:47:00 +0400 By  TrendGermany’s new president Wednesday called for de-escalation of tensions with Turkey, stressing the importance of bilateral ties for both countries, Anadolu reported.Addressing lawmakers at parliament after being sworn in as the country’s new president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed recent signals from Ankara towards calming tensions with Berlin, after a weeks-long standoff over Turkish campaign rallies being blocked.“Reliable signals to reduce tensions are welcome. But unspeakable Nazi comparisons should come to an end,” he said, referring to the Turkish politicians’ sharp criticisms of moves by German local authorities to block planned campaign rallies.Tensions between Turkey and Germany rose after dozens of rallies were cancelled where Turkish ministers and politicians were scheduled to address their countrymen ahead of Turkey's April 16 referendum.Nearly 3 million Turkish migrants live in Germany and around half are eligible to vote in the referendum on transition to a presidential system of governance.Turkish political leaders were outraged at the cancellations, which particularly targeted the Yes campaign of the government, and compared them to Nazi-era practices.Turning down the tensionDespite tensions, Germany’s federal government distanced itself from the cancellations by local authorities, and also last week gave its approval to Ankara’s request to open polling stations in the country for the April 16 referendum.Turkish politicians reportedly cancelled some of the rallies planned in Germany for this week, a move welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government, as a sign of intention to calm down tensions.Steinmeier, who served as foreign minister from 2013 until last January, expressed hope for overcoming the recent tensions, and reviving partnership between Germany and Turkey.The experienced Social Democrat politician praised Turkey’s political reforms and economic development in the last decade during the EU membership process, and once again condemned the foiled July 15 coup attempt last year.But he also raised expectations for democracy and press freedom in Turkey, urging authorities to release Die Welt daily’s Istanbul correspondent Deniz Yucel, who was detained last month on charges of making propaganda for the terrorist group PKK. President Aliyev congratulates Pakistani counterpart http://www.today.az/news/politics/159668.html Politics Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:43:00 +0400 Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the occasion of the Novruz holiday.The message reads:Dear Mr President,On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan, I extend my most sincere congratulations to you and through you to all your people on the occasion of the national holiday of your country – Pakistan Day.Azerbaijan and Pakistan are bound together by strong ties of friendship and brotherhood, which stem from common spiritual values. Based on mutual confidence, trust and support, our inter-governmental relations clearly express the will of our peoples.I recall with pleasure my recent visit to your country, our meeting and the exchange of views we held. I believe that we will consistently continue our joint efforts to strengthen and develop Azerbaijan-Pakistan strategic partnership and alliance.On this remarkable day, I wish you robust health, success in your activities and the brotherly people of Pakistan tranquility and prosperity. Oil prices hit lowest since Nov on expanding US inventories http://www.today.az/news/business/159659.html Business Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:35:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices fell to almost four-month lows on Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude inventories rising faster than expected, piling pressure on OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June, Reuters reported.The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that U.S. inventories climbed by 4.5 million barrels to 533.6 million last week, outpacing analyst forecasts of 2.8 million.Investors now want to see whether Wednesday's figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration confirm the rise. EIA will release its report at 10:30 a.m. EDT (9:30 a.m. ET)."With U.S. crude stocks continuing to mount into record territory both in total and at Cushing following almost two months of OPEC production restraint, we feel that the odds of a gradual unraveling in the OPEC agreement have been increased significantly," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.Global benchmark Brent futures for May delivery were down 59 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $50.37 a barrel by 9:48 a.m. ET. Earlier the contract fell as low as $50.05, its lowest since Nov. 30 when OPEC countries agreed to cut output.On its first day as the front-month, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for May were down 53 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $47.71 per barrel."A look below $50 (for Brent) is quite possible today if (EIA) data show a similar pattern, but it's impossible to say how far below $50," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.A deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017 has had little impact on bulging global stockpiles of oil.OPEC, which sources say is increasingly leaning toward extending cuts, has broadly delivered on pledged reductions so far, but non-OPEC states have yet to cut fully in line with commitments."OPEC has used up most of its arsenal of verbal weapons to support the market. One hundred percent compliance by all is the only tool they have left and on that account they are struggling," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.U.S. shale oil producers have been adding rigs, pushing up the country's weekly oil production to about 9.1 million bpd for the week ended March 10, up from an average of 8.9 million bpd for calendar 2016, according to U.S. energy data."OPEC's market intervention has not yet resulted in significant visible inventory drawdowns, and the financial markets have lost patience," U.S. bank Jefferies said in a note.But the bank said the market was undersupplied and, if OPEC extended cuts into the second half, inventories would draw down and prices recover above $60 in the fourth quarter.However, it said U.S. crude production was expected to grow by 360,000 bpd in 2017 and 1 million bpd in 2018, and a price recovery could spur more U.S. shale activity. Five dead, 40 injured in London attack http://www.today.az/news/regions/159658.html World news Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:18:00 +0400 By  TrendAmong the dead include London police officer Keith Palmer as well as the perpetrator of the attack, Sputnik reported.At least five people have been killed and 40 others were wounded in the attack. The attacker ran numerous Londoners down on Westminster Bridge from inside his car, before leaping out and fatally attacking Officer Palmer with a knife.Police claim to know the identity of the assailant, but have thus far refused to release it to the press. They claim to have shot the assailant dead, and are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.22:20 (GMT+4) At least four people were killed, including a police officer, and 20 others injured in a chaotic incident near British parliament, Reuters reported.Amid confusing scenes, it appeared the situation may have unfolded in several locations, including on the nearby Westminster bridge where eyewitnesses said a car had crashed into pedestrians. A woman was later pulled alive, but with serious injuries, from the River Thames.20:56 (GMT+4) Shots have reportedly been fired outside the UK Parliament in London; the building is currently on lockdown. Conflicting reports suggest that one or two people were shot by police outside the UK parliament in London, Sputnik reported.20:37 (GMT+4) A policeman was stabbed, an assailant shot and several people injured on Wednesday close to Britain's Houses of Parliament in what police said they were treating as a terrorist incident, Reuters reported.Reuters reporters inside the building heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards a Reuters photographer said he saw at least a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge, next to parliament.His photographs showed people lying on the ground, some of them bleeding heavily and one apparently under a bus. The number of casualties was unclear."Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.The House of Commons, which was in session at the time, was immediately suspended and lawmakers were asked to stay inside.Prime Minister Theresa May was safe after the incident, a spokesman for her office said. He declined to say where May was when the attack took place.19:50 (GMT+4) British police said they were treating an incident in which a policeman was stabbed inside the perimeter of Britain's parliament building as a terrorist incident, Reuters reported."Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise," police said in a statement.18:57 (GMT+4) Shots have reportedly been fired outside the UK Parliament in London; the building is currently on lockdown, Sputnik reported.Conflicting reports suggest that one or two people were shot by police outside the UK parliament in London.London Metropolitan police said they were aware of reports of the incident. iTicket.az company supports ticket sales of Baku 2017 Games http://www.today.az/news/sports/159657.html Sports Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +0400 From March 19, ticket sales for the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games have already started and we are pleased to announce thatBaku based ticketing company iTicket.az is theOfficial Ticketing System Provider and Supporter of Baku 2017 Games.iTicket.az was foundedin 2016 performing online and offline ticket sales for concerts, theaters, sports and entertainment events with 15 ticket sale outletsoperating under iTicket.az supervision.  Online purchase on iticket.az web site is available 24/7 and tickets can be delivered to any points of the city.Mr. Elchin Safarov, Corporate Director, Baku 2017 said: “Launching ticket sales is one of the most important steps for us, we are confident that everyone intends to buy their own ticketsfor the Games as soon as possible, to ensure their seats at sport sessions, as well as Opening and Closing Ceremonies,in advance. Ticket prices will remain reasonable as it was during the Baku 2015".Mr. Ziya Mammadov, iTicket.az CEOnoted: "Certainly it was a great honor for us to became not only an official Supporter of the Baku 2017 Games, but also a Provider of Ticketing System. We were challenged to develop and implement ticketing system for multi-sport event in accordance with international standards and it was not an easy task to do. I should proudly note that our team finalized that task successfully and today iTicket.az is the only company in a regionwho can substitute any European counterparts in this industry”.Anyone willing to be a part of this fantastic sporting occasion can do so by purchasing a ticket either via the Baku 2017 website - www.baku2017.com/tickets, or from 12 ticket outlets including Park Bulvar, GanjlikMall and 28 Mall, as well as 5 ASAN Service sales pointslocated across Baku. Additionally, Venue Ticket Box offices will be operating at 17 venues during the Games.The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games is an exciting multi-sport event uniting the Islamic world, which will take place from 12 – 22 May 2017. Athletes from Islamic countries around the world will be representing their nations over 10 days of competition across 20 different sports which include 23 disciplines (Athletics and Para Athletics, Aquatics – Diving, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Water Polo, Basketball 3x3, Football, Gymnastics – Artistic, Gymnastics – Rhythmic, Wushu, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo and Blind Judo, Wrestling – Greco, Wrestling – Freestyle, Shooting, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Zurkhaneh, Karate, Taekwondo and Weightlifting) in 16 world-class sporting venues in Baku.Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku was awarded the Games at the General Assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Jeddah in July 2013.The Organising Committee was set up by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, honourable Ilham Aliyev.  According to this decree, the leadership of the Organising Committee has been assigned to the First Vice President of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva. The Azerbaijan Islamic Solidarity Games Operations Committee (AISGOC) will organize and run the Games in cooperation with the ISSF. Leadership of Ministry of Defense visits military hospital on occasion of Novruz holiday http://www.today.az/news/society/159656.html Society Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:42:00 +0400 By AzertacOn the occasion of the Novruz holiday, leadership of the Ministry of Defense visited the Main Clinical Hospital of the Armed Forces. The leadership of the Ministry honored memory and laid flowers at a monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev erected in the territory of the hospital.Having met with the military personnel undergoing treatment at the hospital, Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov inquired about the health of the servicemen, presented gifts to them and wished them a speedy restoration to health and strength and a return to duty areas.Then the opening of a maternity department equipped with the modern equipment and devices based on latest technology and that is designed for medical care for family members of military personnel, as well as civilian and military female employees was held.Having met with the medical staff, the Minister of Defense congratulated them on the holiday, wished them success and also gave appropriate instructions in connection with the provision of high professional services and care to all those who applied for medical assistance. FM: Turkey, Russia work jointly to settle Karabakh conflict http://www.today.az/news/politics/159655.html Politics Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:30:00 +0400 By TrendTurkey and Russia have restored their relations and are currently working to settle regional problems, including the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.He made the remarks at the National Press Club in Washington.“We have overcome our differences. Our relations have been restored, and we cooperate to solve a number of problems in the region,” noted Cavusoglu.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Armenian army breaks ceasefire 143 times using large-caliber machine guns http://www.today.az/news/politics/159653.html Politics Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:08:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 143 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry told Trend Mar. 22.The Armenian army was using large-caliber machine guns.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Jafarli, Gushchu Ayrim, Qaymagli and Kamarli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of the Ijevan district and in the Shavarshavan, Voskevan, Barekamavan villages of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the Aghbulag and Munjuglu villages and on nameless heights of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Chinari village and on nameless heights of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions located on nameless heights of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Chilaburt village of the Tartar district, Garagashli, Bash Garvand, Shikhlar villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Horadiz, Ashagi Veysalli, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli villages of the Fuzuli district, Mehdili village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions on nameless heights of the Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Ukraine names 5 priority areas of co-op with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/159654.html Business Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:22:00 +0400 By TrendUkraine and Azerbaijan should develop cooperation on joint production in chemical industry, pharmaceutics, shipbuilding, aircraft and machine building, said Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv in an exclusive interview with Trend.Kubiv noted that Azerbaijan is a strategically important partner of Ukraine and this was confirmed by statements and meetings of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman with the Azerbaijani delegation led by Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev in Kyiv.The Azerbaijani delegation visited Ukraine on March 13-14."Activation of cooperation between our countries is very timely, because Ukraine and Azerbaijan haven’t yet fully realized the potential of cooperation. Over the past several years, the volume of mutual trade declined and in 2016 it didn’t exceed even $300 million, but now we are actively working to restore and expand the range of trade and economic cooperation," noted Kubiv.During the meeting with the Azerbaijani delegation, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman positively assessed Shahin Mustafayev’s proposal to establish Azerbaijan’s trade house in Kyiv, he said, adding, "This should strengthen trade cooperation between our countries".Kubiv said that along with the abovementioned areas Ukraine intends to expand cooperation in the agro-industrial sector and on food supplies to Azerbaijan."Of course, we are also interested in further deliveries of Azerbaijani oil to Ukrainian refineries and to European countries through our territory," added the first deputy PM."Taking into account the strengthening competition in world markets, it is important for the two countries to establish cooperation, search for ways to create conditions that will increase their own and joint competitive opportunities in foreign markets," he said."Global trends dictate the need to use high-tech production, which will allow creating products with high added value. Global production chains, often involving several countries simultaneously, are important," noted Kubiv.Therefore, it is needed for Ukraine and Azerbaijan to establish cooperation in several directions: from trade and economic to scientific and technical sphere by improving and expanding the foundation of cooperation, he added."We plan to hold a joint forum in Baku," said Kubiv, adding that Kyiv will also soon host the 12th meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. Iran to turn gasoline exporter soon http://www.today.az/news/regions/159652.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:55:00 +0400 By  Trend The First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri says Iran will soon turn into gasoline exporter, IRNA reported.Speaking to a group of officials in Kerman Province, Jahangiri said Iran has now turned into exporter of gasoil, once used to be its importer.“Iran is now major gasoil exporter and will soon turn into exporter of gasoline,” said the Veep.The oil fields common with other countries was one of the main pivots of economy of resistance last year, said the official, adding that just almost eight years ago, Iran’s amount of gas extraction from South Pars almost equaled that of Qatar and when current government took office, the Qataris extracted gas from the field twice that of ours. “Such a gap should be interpreted as plunder of public wealth: The share and right of Iranian nation was plundered by a miniature state.”During the period, the focus was shifted to South Pars and the amount of extraction of Iran equaled with that of Qatar to the extent that in the calendar year of 1396 (March 21, 2017-March 20. 2018) Iran’s amount of extraction from South Pars will exceed that of Qatar, he boasted.He also announced that Iran’s oil recovery from common fields west of Karoon River has increased. 773 children adopted in Azerbaijan last year http://www.today.az/news/society/159651.html Society Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:25:00 +0400 By  Azertac  A total of 773 children, including 402 boys and 371 girls were adopted in Azerbaijan in 2016, according to the State Statistics Committee.Official figures show that 45.4 per cent of the adopted children were aged under three years old, while 20.7 per cent between three and five years old, 19.7 per cent between six and 10 years old, and 14.2 per cent between 11 and 17 years old.Fourteen children, including seven girls, were adopted by foreign and stateless persons, according to the committee.The committee also said that courts in Azerbaijan annulled decisions on adoption of 63 children last year. Azerbaijani entrepreneurs invited to join Drinktec trade fair in Munich http://www.today.az/news/business/159650.html Business Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:12:00 +0400 By  Azertac  Azerbaijani entrepreneurs are invited to attend Drinktec, the world's leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, to be held in Munich in September, according to AZPROMO.At this event the manufacturers showcase their latest technologies for the production, filling and packaging of beverages of all kinds—including raw materials and logistics solutions.Approximately 1,600 exhibitors and 70,000 visitors are expected to take part in the trade fair. Iran-Russia ties unprecedented, historic: ambassador http://www.today.az/news/regions/159648.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:48:00 +0400 By  Trend Iran-Russia relations are historically powerful, Tehran’s Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei said.Sanaei made the remark in an address on the occasion of Nowruz, IRNA news agency reported March 21.He said relations between Iran and Russia in almost the past four years have been unprecedented and historic, and hoped that President Hassan Rouhani’s imminent visit to Moscow will result in drastic elevation of mutual cooperation.He added that conclusion of key protocols for economic and commercial relations and scientific and technological cooperation testify the claim.The diplomat said both countries managed to overcome stagnation of economic ties, and volume of trade showed more than 80 percent growth in 2016 compared to the previous year. Germany’s Steinmeier congratulates Iran’s Rouhani on Nowruz http://www.today.az/news/regions/159647.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:30:00 +0400 By  Trend German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has congratulated Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on advent of Nowruz.In a message, Steinmeier said, “I do extend my and German people’s best greetings to you and all Iranian citizens on advent of Nowruz of the year 1396,” IRNA news agency reported March 21.He said Nowruz marks a day to regard future challenges with much hope.He recalled Vienna accord and its implementation, and said since its conclusion Iran and Germany have opened a new chapter in mutual cooperation.Concluding his message, Steinmeier said promotion of mutual understanding will be a common duty of both Iran and Germany in the new Iranian year. China’s Huawei to build ‘Smart City’ in Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/159649.html Business Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:25:00 +0400 By  Trend China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will help the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies to implement the Smart City project in Baku and Azerbaijan’s districts, says Marco Xu, Huawei vice-president for Central Asia and Caucasus.Implementation of the Public Wi-Fi project in Azerbaijan’s capital, the launch of which has been timed to coincide with the Nowruz holiday, is the beginning of the Smart City project, he told reporters in Baku.“Our aim is to help the ministry to create the Smart City. Such components as the Smart Transport, Smart Port, Smart Trade and others will be implemented at the next stages,” Xu said, adding that each of these components has specific solutions that will be implemented step-by-step.Any country that has set a goal to develop tourism first of all does everything necessary to create the infrastructure, according to Xu.“The Public Wi-Fi project is one of the elements that can be interesting for tourists,” he noted. “Baku has the same potential for attracting tourists like Barcelona or Dubai, where similar projects have already been implemented.”He noted that a strategic partnership has been formed between Huawei and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, and Public Wi-Fi is the first project implemented within this partnership.“We, as a company, also try to contribute to transformation of Azerbaijan into a regional leader,” Xu added. Imprisoned blogger Lapshin has no complaints about detention conditions http://www.today.az/news/politics/159646.html Politics Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:18:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficials of the Russian Embassy in Azerbaijan met with the imprisoned blogger Alexander Lapshin, the embassy’s press attaché Denis Apashkin told Trend Mar. 21.Investigation into Lapshin’s case continues and the embassy is in constant contact with his lawyer, said Apashkin.“On March 15, consular officers of the embassy held a meeting with Russian citizen Alexander Lapshin, who is detained in the Baku Investigative Prison No. 1,” noted the press attaché.He added that Lapshin has no complaints about the detention conditions.“He is in satisfactory health condition,” said Apashkin.Alexander Lapshin is a citizen of several countries and has had a criminal conspiracy with Armenians living in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. He also illegally visited these territories.Lapshin is accused of violating Azerbaijani laws on state border in April 2011 and October 2012.On Jan. 17, Alexei Stuk, deputy prosecutor general of Belarus, ruled to extradite Lapshin to Azerbaijan. Lapshin was brought to Azerbaijan on Feb. 7. Azerbaijani films to be screened at LET‘S CEE Film Festival in Vienna http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159645.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:51:00 +0400 By  Azertac Four Azerbaijani films will be screened as part of LET‘S CEE Film Festival in Vienna.The festival features exclusively high-quality productions from Central and Eastern Europe, including the Caucasus region and Turkey. This year the festival will feature four Azerbaijani films, including Ali and Nino, Red Garden, Shanghai, Baku short film, and The Cloth Peddler.Ali and Nino is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia and produced by Leyla Aliyeva, vice-president of Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and Kris Thykier. Its screenplay was written by Oscar-winning writer Christopher Hampton. The film stars Adam Bakri (Ali) and Maria Valverde (Nino). The film is based on a love story between a young Azerbaijani Muslim nobleman and Georgian Christian princess during the tumultuous years of 1914-1920. Ali and Nino is based on the novel of the same name, the world best-seller of Gurban Said.The festival’s programme features a selection of the best current feature films and documentaries as well as promising short films, all of which take part in the festival‘s film competitions. In addition to those, the festival also features various categories, ranging from legendary classics to topic-related retrospectives and tributes to distinguished children‘s films, depending on the respective topical focus. Azerbaijani karate fighter wins Rotterdam tournament http://www.today.az/news/sports/159644.html Sports Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:37:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijan`s Irina Zaretska has won Karate 1 Premier League tournament in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.On her way to gold in the women`s 68kg weight category, Zaretska beat three former world champions.The tournament is a preparatory event ahead of Baku Islamic Solidarity Games. Syrian army repels series of rebel attacks east of Damascus http://www.today.az/news/regions/159643.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:26:00 +0400 By  Trend Syrian troops rebuffed several attacks staged by ex-Nusra Front, Syrian television reported Tuesday.Syrian troops rebuffed a series of powerful attacks staged by ex-Nusra Front and its affiliated fighters east of Damascus, Syrian television reported Tuesday.The repelled attacks on an industrial zone in Jobar municipality took place near an electric company office, according to Syria's General Organization of Radio and TV. Quake shakes Iran’s Bam http://www.today.az/news/regions/159642.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:00:00 +0400 By  Trend A 4.3 magnitude quake shook Bam, a city east of Kerman Province in Iran, at 02:13 (22:43 GMT) local time on Tuesday, IRNA reported.The Seismographic Center of Iran put the depth (hypocenter) of the quake at 11 km deep inside the ground.The epicenter was reportedly at 29.169 degrees north latitude and 58.390 degrees east longitude.No immediate report is yet available about likely casualty or damage caused by the tremor.Bam in Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman witnessed a strong quake in December 2003, which killed 31,000 people.Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90 percent of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.The deadliest quake in Iran's modern history happened in June 1990. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people. Iran ready to return to pre-JCPOA situation: Zarif http://www.today.az/news/regions/159641.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +0400 By  Trend Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the country is completely prepared to return to the situation it had before signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if the US continues its lack of commitment to the deal.“Iran is completely ready to come back to the situation it had prior to the JCPOA, even more powerfully than before, if the US creates a situation in which continuation of the JCPOA damages Tehran’s national interests,” Zarif said, IRNA news agency reported March 21.“During the past couple of months, with the efforts made by skilled Iranian scientists and experts, we have succeeded to make operational the most advanced centrifuges that were just an idea at the time of approving the JCPOA,” he stressed.Zarif reiterated that despite several cases of lack of the US commitment to the landmark nuclear deal, “pursuing the JCPOA is still justifiable for Iran.” Belarus completing Garlyk plant’s construction in Turkmenistan http://www.today.az/news/regions/159640.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:32:00 +0400 By  Trend Completion of construction and opening of the Garlyk Mining and Processing Plant in Turkmenistan was discussed during the visit of Chairman of the Belarusian National Assembly’s Council Mikhail Myasnikovich to Ashgabat, reads a message from the Council.The opening of the Garlyk Mining and Processing Plant is scheduled for March 31.The Belarusian Belgorkhimprom JSC has been constructing the plant, worth more than $1 billion, since June 2009. The plant is intended for production of 1.4 million tons of fertilizers per year.Garlyk, a large potassium salt field located in Koytendag District of Turkmenistan’s Lebap Province, will be the plant’s raw material source.“The new industrial giant has great importance for social and economic development of the Lebap Province and the entire country. It will produce high-quality potassium mineral fertilizers completely meeting the needs of Turkmen agriculture,” the Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said earlier in a report about the Garlyk plant. Supreme Leader wishes govt. success in New Iranian Year http://www.today.az/news/regions/159639.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:18:00 +0400 By  TrendSupreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday wished further success of Iranian government in the New Iranian Year in serving Iran and Iranians, IRNA reported.The Supreme Leader also congratulated President Hassan Rouhani and the great family of Iranian nation on the happy occasion of New Year.The Supreme Leader extended the felicitation in the course of phone talks with President Rouhani on advent of the new Iranian year of 1396 (March 21, 2017-March 20, 2018).President Rouhani, congratulating the Supreme Leader on the occasion, wished him health and longevity.He hoped that in light of the wise guidelines of the Supreme Leader, the New Year will undoubtedly be the year of collective efforts and continued implementation of the policies of Economic Resistance, more progress of dear Iranian nation, further vibrancy in national production, and more employment, especially for the youth. Oil prices rise on talk that OPEC could extend supply cut http://www.today.az/news/business/159636.html Business Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:50:00 +0400 By  TrendOil prices rose early on Tuesday on expectations that an OPEC-led production cut to prop up the market could be extended, and as strong demand was seen to slowly erode a global fuel supply overhang, Reuters reported.Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at $51.76 per barrel at 0043 GMT, up 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.28 a barrel.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with other producers including Russia, has pledged to cut its output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January and June in an effort to prop up prices and rein in a global supply glut that has dogged markets for almost three years.Yet so far the cutback has not had the desired effect as compliance by involved exporters is patchy and as other producers, including the United States, have stepped up to fill the gap, resulting in crude prices falling more than 10 percent since the beginning of the year.To halt the decline, OPEC members increasingly favor extending the pact beyond June to balance the market, sources within the group said, although they added that this would require non-OPEC members like Russia to also step up their efforts.Traders also said that healthy oil demand would help rebalance markets and support prices."Global demand for 2017 is expected to remain healthy and surpass long-term average growth in demand of 1.2 million barrels per day by between 0.2 and 0.4 million barrels per day. As such, the combination of robust demand and weaker global supply leading to rebalanced markets will not be de-railed by U.S. shale oil," said Jeremy Baker, Senior Commodity Strategist, at Vontobel Asset Management.Baker said this would "support the case for a shift from contango to backwardation in the crude markets during the second-half 2017."Contango describes a market structure in which prices for future delivery of a product are higher than current ones, while backwardation is price curve in which spot prices are more expensive than future deliveries.The Brent futures forward curve <0#LCO:> currently shows a slight contango shape, in which prices for May delivery are 62 cents below those for delivery in January 2018. US Secretary of State congratulates Azerbaijani people on Nowruz holiday http://www.today.az/news/politics/159635.html Politics Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:37:00 +0400 By  TrendUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson congratulated Azerbaijani people on the occasion of Nowruz, official site of State Department reported."I wish a joyful and prosperous Nowruz to all those around the world celebrating this ancient tradition that marks the beginning of spring and the beginning of a new year.Millions of people across the world, including communities in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and many other peoples of South and Central Asia and the Persian Gulf celebrate this time of the year with their families and friends. Today, many Americans will join in this celebration, sharing with a new generation the cherished traditions of their ancestors.Nowruz is a time to look toward the coming year with hope and optimism. We look forward to celebrating this new spring together, and hope that this Nowruz brings peace and prosperity to all." Armenia again breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/159638.html Politics Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:30:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 128 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry told Trend Mar. 21.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Kohnegishlag village of Azerbaijan’s Aghstafa district, Jafarli, Bala Jafarli, Gizilhajili, Gushchu Ayrim, Qaymagli and Kamarli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the Paravakar, Vazashen, Berkaber villages and on nameless heights of the Ijevan district and in the Shavarshavan, Voskevan, Barekamavan villages of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the Munjuglu, Kokhanabi, Aghbulag villages and on nameless heights of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in the Aygepar and Chinari villages and on nameless heights of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions located on nameless heights of the Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Goyarkh, Chilaburt villages of the Tartar district, Garagashli, Yusifjanli, Bash Garvand, Shuraabad, Shikhlar, Marzili, Namirli villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Gorgan, Ashagi Veysalli, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli villages of the Fuzuli district, Mehdili village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions located on nameless heights of the Goygol, Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts of Azerbaijan.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Trump daughter Ivanka to get West Wing office http://www.today.az/news/regions/159634.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:10:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, is getting an office in the White House West Wing, stepping up her highly visible role in helping advise her father, Reuters reported.A White House official on Monday confirmed reports that Trump's 35-year-old daughter would be getting her own West Wing space, as well as access to classified information and a government-issued phone.She is not expected to have an official title and will not be paid a salary.Ivanka Trump will be joining her husband, Jared Kushner, who is a chief adviser to the president and is a regular presence at his father-in-law's side.When Kushner's job was announced earlier this year, aides said Ivanka would not take on a role in her father's White House but would focus on settling her family in Washington.Since then, she has been a frequent behind-the-scenes adviser. Last Friday, she sat next to visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel when Merkel visited the White House. Tillerson signaled US policy of patience on North Korea is over: White House http://www.today.az/news/regions/159632.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:46:00 +0400 By  TrendUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "sent a very clear signal that our policy of strategic patience is over" with North Korea during his recent visit to China, a White House spokesman said on Monday, Reuters reported.Spokesman Sean Spicer made the comment at a news briefing in reply to a question about Tillerson's reaction to an announcement by North Korea about its latest rocket-engine test on Sunday.Tillerson was in Beijing during his first visit to Asia for talks dominated by concern about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. Damascus ready to discuss Syria’s new constitution — Assad http://www.today.az/news/regions/159633.html World news Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:32:00 +0400 By  TrendSyria’s authorities are ready to discuss the country’s new constitution but want to know who will take part in the Geneva talks, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Russian journalists on Monday, TASS reported."We are ready to discuss anything including the constitution, but we need to see who's going to be in Geneva, are they going to discuss the same paper or not?" he said. "But for us, as a government, our position is very clear: that we are ready to discuss it in details, but we support the headline, of course.""Yesterday, I think, our representative in the United Nations, Mr. Jaafari, announced that we support the Russian initiatives - different initiatives, not only this one - as headlines, and now we are discussing with the Russians the details, he said."The problem is that we went to Astana recently, as you know, the other delegation, the delegation of the militants, didn't join that meeting, they didn't go to Astana, and we all believe that this is the negative influence of the Turks. So, how can we start something concrete if you don't have a partner?"