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 Azerbaijani soldier bodies relocated following Armenian provocation http://www.today.az/news/politics/159019.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:15:00 +0400 By  TrendBodies of Azerbaijani soldiers were relocated from the battlefield with the participation of international mediators, the press service of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported.Azerbaijani servicemen Agshin Abdullayev, Shakhlar Nazarov, Tural Hashimli, Zulfi Gadimov and Zakir Jafarov were killed while preventing provocations of Armenian Armed Forces along the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops Feb. 24-25.The relocation of the bodies of the Azerbaijani servicemen killed in these battles was scheduled for 12:00 (GMT + 4 hours) Feb. 26 under the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Defense Ministry said.However, when the relocation was about to begin, the Armenian side deliberately started to put forward unacceptable conditions in order to disrupt the procedure, the ministry noted.At the same time, Armenia attempted to commit provocations in other directions of the frontline, opening fire from different caliber weapons, gun mounts, and tried to commit acts of sabotage, the message said.Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has earlier said the Armenian army attempted to infiltrate through the Azerbaijani positions along the line of contact on the night from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25. The Armenian side attempted to seize favorable positions on the Khojavand-Fuzuli part of the frontline, said the ministry, adding heavy battles took place between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.“Azerbaijani military units courageously prevented the attacks and the Armenian side was forced to retreat,” according to the Defense Ministry.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. President Aliyev ends official visit to Qatar [UPDATE] http://www.today.az/news/politics/159001.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsAn official welcome ceremony was held for President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is in Qatar for an official visit, on February 27, Azertac reported.President Aliyev and Emir of the State of Qatar held an expanded meeting. Later, the leaders of Azerbaijan and Qatar had a one-on-one meeting.Following the meeting, a ceremony of signing documents between Azerbaijan and Qatar was held with participation of President Ilham Aliyev and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.Qatari Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser Al Ali and Azerbaijan`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov signed “The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the State of Qatar in the Field of Culture”.Ghanem bin Nasser Al Ali and Elmar Mammadyarov also signed “The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the State of Qatar in the Fields of Youth and Sports”.Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Bin Saif Al Sulaiti and Azerbaijan`s Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev signed “The Memorandum of Understanding between Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC and Qatar Ports Management Company – MWANI Qatar”.The two also undersigned “The Memorandum of Understanding between the State Civil Aviation Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Civil Aviation Authority of the State of Qatar”.Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Bin Saif Al Sulaiti and Azerbaijan`s Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov signed “The Additional Protocol to the Agreement on Air Transport between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the State of Qatar”.Qatari Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi and Azerbaijan`s Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov signed “The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the State of Qatar in the Field of Endangered Wildlife Protection and Habitat Conservation”.President Aliyev completed his official visit to the State of Qatar on February 27. YARAT to present "Second Bullet" film http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159014.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By Azernews By Laman IsmayilovaYARAT Contemporary Art Space invites everyone to enjoy “Second Bullet”, a short film by a young director Natig Rauslov.The film's screening will take place on February 28."Second Bullet" features events happening during the wedding day in one Azerbaijani village. In order to inform all villagers about the outcome of the first wedding night, people resort to tradition named “second bullet”. But, due to a small mistake, all things go wrong and characters confront difficult situation.The producer of the film is  Nariman Mammadov, cinematographer-Kirill Gerra, executive producer-Emin Guliyev.The cast includes honored artists Vidadi Hasanov, Nasiba Eldarova, Husniyya Murvatova, actors Manaf Dadashov, Elmin Badalov, Elgun Hamidov and Leyla Valiyeva.Film will be shown in Azerbaijani language.The even will start at 19:00.YARAT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally. Based in Baku, YARAT (meaning CREATE in Azerbaijani) was founded by Aida Mahmudova in 2011.YARAT realizes its mission through an on-going program of exhibitions, education events and festivals. YARAT facilitates exchange between local and international artistic networks including foundations, galleries and museums. Azerbaijan presents first national navigation system http://www.today.az/news/business/159016.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:46:00 +0400 By Azernews By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan’s first national navigation system AzNav was presented by the Center for Information Technology and Information Management of the State Committee on Property Issues.    Committee’s Deputy Chairman Rustam Shahbazov, speaking at the presentation, said the SCPI has established Address Register Information System (ARIS) with the introduction of information and communication technologies, geographical information systems.GPS navigation system "Aznav" was developed on the basis of ARIS data, according to Shahbazov."Aznav" is extremely helpful in cases of medical aid, fire, accident, police, emergency services and other activities. Also, the navigation system will simplify search for addresses and prevent loss of time. This system operates both online and offline. All mobile devices, phones and tablets of Android", "iOS" (Apple), Windows CE operating systems support the system.Shahbazov noted that besides Azerbaijani language, "Aznav" also supports several languages."The system supports Russian, English, Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish and Georgian languages, as well has an interface in the mentioned languages," he said.The navigation database includes 353 towns and settlements, 5,321 villages, 759,227 buildings and structures, 77,972 facilitates, 117 bridges and 558 pedestrian crossings, 521 radar and monitoring road camera.AzNav operates autonomously and does not require connection to the Internet for search and navigation, which is advantageous when using the system abroad.Navigation AzNav base also includes maps of European countries, South and North America and Africa. A man who wants to fly [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/interesting/159012.html Weird / Interesting Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:30:00 +0400 By Azernews By Laman IsmayilovaA documentary "I want to fly" about Azerbaijani paralympian will be screened in the United States.Directed by Maria Ibrahimova, film will be shown at Annual Durango Independent festival on March 3, Trend Life reported.The film's main character is Kamal Mammadov who has become disabled after traffic accident.Although friends turned their backs on him, but it did not crush him.Mamadov, confined to a wheelchair, did not lose faith and came to lead an active lifestyle.He admitted that the first years after the injury were very difficult for him and he had to adapt to new conditions of life."After a serious injury when I lost close people, I was very upset. However, as time has passed, I have realized that this is not the end of the world. Many people call us people with disabilities. I wanted to prove that we are people with unlimited physical possibilities!" said Mammadov.In July 2012, Kamal Mammadov was the first Azerbaijani, disabled of the first group who made a parachute jump.He did it again with Azerbaijani flag in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.In 2014, Mammadov became the first disabled person in Azerbaijan who made a flight on a paraglider.He created a public organization to provide assistance to athletes with disabilities. At the same time he joined the Paralympic Committee and became infatuated with fencing and in wheelchair dance sport.Earlier in 2013 Mammadov took a gold medal at the Paralympics and became the Azerbaijani champion in fencing. He took the bronze in the dancing competition among the disabled in 2012.The Azerbaijan Paralympics Committee includes hundreds of athletes, many of whom have achieved many successes since 1996 as a result of sound policies. In the same year for the first time, the country was represented in Atlanta Summer Paralympics Games with two athletes, representing two sports.The project is implemented with the support of Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Earlier, documentary have been already shown in Bulgaria, India, USA and Egypt.During this year the film will also be presented in Turkey, Nepal, Ukraine, Germany and Bulgaria. From ‘Dede Gorgud’ to modern ashiq traditions [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159010.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:18:00 +0400 By Azernews By Laman IsmayilovaA symposium entitled "From ‘Dede Gorgud’ to modern ashiq traditions" will be held at Baku State University on February 28 -March 1.The symposium will bring together more than fifty researchers and performers from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, who will present scientific presentations and cultural program.The event is organized by Baku Yunus Emre Institute and the University of Bayburt (Turkey) with the support of BSU, Kazakh National University of Arts, and Kazakh National University of Arts.Media partners of the event are Trend.az, Day.az, Milli.az Azernews.az‘Dede Gorgud’ is an antique epos that describes ethnography, historical geography, language, mindset, outlook, socio-political and moral views, showing us good morals and culture of the Turkic people.The first manuscript of The Book of Dede Gorgud, consisting of 12 stories (songs), was found in a Dresden library by German orientalist Heinrich Friedrich von Diez, who published a translation of the “Tapagoz” (cyclops), which is a part of the epos in 1815.In 2000 Azerbaijan and UNESCO celebrated, the 1,300th anniversary of the epic Azerbaijani legend “Kitabi Dede Gorgud ".Ashiq art began to form in Azerbaijan since ancient times. Ashiq art is a music form of oral art formed in folk environment and in terms of impact strength, popularity and uniqueness of maturity it is an expression having no analogue.Classical heritage of Azerbaijani ashiqs consist of more than 200 songs, 150 dastans (large literary-musical compositions), 1500-2000 poems in different traditional poetic forms (goshma, garayli, tajnis, divani, mukhammas etc.).Despite the regional differences ashiqs are united by a common national language, musical repertoire and the saz, an invariable attribute of the Azerbaijani ashiqs, which may be accompanied with such musical instruments as balaban, nagara, gosha nagara and gaval. Saz is one of the symbols of the Turkic world.The instrument got its final shape in the 16th century. It is sounded mainly with plectrum made of cork of cherry tree. In most cases, the arm and sides body of Saz are adorned with pearls. The stringed musical instrument, Saz is played solo and in ensembles.The art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs was included in the UNESCO`s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, as a symbol of national cultural identity that embodies various artistic spheres practiced by poets, composers, singers or actor-narrators, thus uniting in one artistic expression the communities of the entire country. Italian students to learn Azerbaijani music [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159013.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:15:00 +0400 By Azernews By Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani composer’s work was included into the manual “MUSICA D`INSIEME” by Italian Professor Antonio Giacometti, Trend Life reported.The book, published by Curci I Volonté includes the work "Passacaglia" by talented composer Kamala Alizade.It is the first Italian didactic textbook of this kind for the youth orchestra, prepared by the professor, composer and musicologist Antonio Giacometti.Earlier, Kamala Alizade’s work entered the tutorial of famous Italian chorus master and composer Tommaso Ziliani "CANTI POPOLARI BRESCIANI" in 2007.Alizade composed "Passacaglia" in 2006 during an internship in Italy.Performed by Fabbrica del Cioccolato orchestra and conducted by Giacometti, the music piece was great success in May 2008 at the Opera House named after  Luciano Pavarotti, one of the most successful tenors of all time.Kamala Alizade’s music pieces are well known in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, USA, China and Japan. Since 2006, Alizade promotes national music giving concerts abroad.Recently, she received an invitation and participated in the famous music festival Udine Castello, where Azerbaijan was represented for the first time.Together with her husband, Italian composer and musicologist Stefano Moscaritolo, Kamala Alizade has implemented numerous projects, including Lamborghini`s Atesh-bullfor, Sound Waves festival, which successfully took place last year in Azerbaijan's capital-Baku. A series of fascinating concerts brought together talented Azerbaijani, Israeli, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian musicians. World-famous designer explores Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/159015.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:59:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe world-famous Russian and French fashion historian, collector, interior designer and theatrical artist, Alexander Vasilyev is in Baku, Trend Life reported.His visit is taking place as part of the project "Visiting the school of Alexander Vasiliev".The famous designer has already explored the sights of Baku, the City of Winds. Vasilyev has visited Icherisheher , a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The shooting place of famous Soviet comedy "The Diamond Arm" also didn't go unnoticed.Alexander Vasilyev and his students will explore the sights and history of Baku city until February 28.Alexander is the head of Russian Fashion Academy and the founder of the international interior award "Lilies of Alexander Vasilyev".He is an owner of one of the biggest collection of Russian period's dresses and suites. The collection is often showed in Australia, different countries of Europe, Asia, America.The collection has been replenished for 30 years and now consists of more than 15000 exhibits from the 17th century till modern times. Among them there are haute couture masterpieces by Worth, Doucet, Drecoll, Lanvin, Chanel, Lucien Lelong, Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Balmain, Carven, Givenchy, Valentino, YSL, Carden, Courege, Paco Rabanne, Gaultier and others. Some of them was presented by famous women - Maya Plisetskaya, Natalia Fateeva, Alla Demidova, Clara Luchko, Lyudmila Zykina and others.Alexander Vasilyev is an author of more than 30 books. His book "Beauty in Exile" was republished in Russian 6 times, and in 2000 it was published in New York in English. The book was named the best illustrated book of 1998.Moreover, Vasilyev is also an author of the book "Russian Fashion. 150 years in Photographs", which included more than 2,000 unique photos and illustrations on history of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet fashion. EU Council OKs visa free regime for Georgian citizens http://www.today.az/news/regions/159005.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:47:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaThe EU Council on February 27 adopted a regulation on visa liberalization for Georgians travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The text will then be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days later, at the same time as the new visa waiver suspension mechanism, the Council reported.The regulation formally amends regulation 539/2001, moving Georgia from Annex I (countries whose nationals need a visa to enter the Schengen area) to Annex II (visa free countries). Georgian citizens with a biometric passport travelling to the EU for up to 90 days for business, tourist or family purposes will no longer need a visa. These measures will not apply to Ireland and the United Kingdom. The signing ceremony of the agreement on visa-free regime between Georgia and the European Union countries is expected to be held in Brussels on March 1, 2017.On March 9, 2016, the European Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the Council a legislative proposal on visa liberalization for Georgia. In late 2016, the EU approved the completion of the legislative process of providing the citizens of Georgia with the visa-free regime with the EU member states.The prospect of easier travel to Europe has been used by the pro-Western government in Tbilisi to win popular backing for EU-sponsored reforms.Negotiations on visa liberalization for Georgia began back in 2008 as part of the Eastern Partnership Program. Georgia entered the practical phase of those talks in 2012 as it prepared for associate EU membership. Georgia abolished visa requirements for EU citizens back in 2006. Turkmen president makes new appointments http://www.today.az/news/regions/159003.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:39:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has made appointments to form a new government.The appointments come after the February 12 presidential election, where Berdimuhamedov was re-elected for a third term.Berdimuhamedova ppointed Purli Agamyradov as minister of education, Nurmuhammet Annanepesov as minister of health and medical industry, Toyly Komekov as chairman of the State Committee for Sports, and Gulshat Orazmuhammedova as minister of culture, the Turkmen government said in a message.He also appointed Akmyrat Khudayberdiyev as chairman of the State Publishing Service, Bekdurdy Amansaryev as chairman of the State Information Agency, and Serdar Cholukov as chairman of the State Committee for Tourism.Chary Gylyjov was appointed as chairman of the Supreme Control Chamber.Berdimuhamedov dismissed the Cabinet of Ministers on February 17 due to formation of a new government. The members of the Government were instructed to carry out their duties until the adoption of a new composition of the cabinet of Ministers. Blogger Lapshin meets with mother in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/159007.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:18:00 +0400 By Azernews By Rashid ShirinovBlogger Alexander Lapshin, who is under arrest in Baku, has one again met with his mother, Lapshin’s lawyer Eduard Chernin told Trend on February 27.Chernin said that Bella Lapshin inquired her son about the conditions of detention and his health. The blogger did not express dissatisfaction with detention conditions.The lawyer refused reports spread by some Armenian news media on Lapshin’s conditions of detention.“The aim of Armenians in disseminating such information is well-known. My client is kept in normal conditions, as he himself has repeatedly stated. He met twice with mother, and he has no complaint,” the lawyer said.He added that Lapshin’s spouse is also going to visit Baku. “That is, there is no problem with regard to meetings and conditions of his detention. The information spread by Armenians is not true,” Chernin noted.Lapshin will stand trial in Baku for his illegal visits to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The blogger, who owns citizenships of several countries, paid a number of visits to Azerbaijan`s occupied lands, where he voiced support for "independence" of the illegal regime, and made public calls against Azerbaijan`s internationally recognized territorial integrity. The blogger was arrested in Belarus and later was extradited from Minsk to Baku.Earlier, representatives of the Russian and Israeli embassies in Azerbaijan met with Lapshin. After the meetings, the embassies confirmed that Lapshin has no complaints about conditions of detention. Representatives of the ICRC and Azerbaijan Ombudsman Office also met the blogger.Baku has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats of unauthorized visits to its territories that are occupied by Armenia, calling them contradictory to international law.Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions pay special attention to the illegal activity in the occupied areas of Azerbaijan. The work is constantly carried out to prevent such illegal actions. American stands to be opened in country's regions [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/business/159004.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliAzerbaijan and the United States signed a memorandum on reopening of American stands in the country’s regions.The agreement was inked on February 23, as Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev received U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta.  The memorandum envisages reopening of American stands in Ganja, Khachmaz, Salyan and Kurdamir regions.  The project will take an important place in the ministry's work plan for 2017, said Garayev, commenting on the memo.“I hope that the U.S. will also take part in one of the important projects organized by Azerbaijan soon. This is the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue organized by UNESCO, UN Alliance Civilization, World Tourism Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, European Union, ISESCO, North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and scheduled for May 4-6. As you see this forum is supported by world’s leading organizations. I hope that the U.S. will also be seriously interested in the project,” the minister said, noting that Azerbaijan has already sent a letter on participation to the U.S. Secretary of State.In turn, Cekuta noted that MoU will be beneficial for the two countries and will serve both Azerbaijani and U.S. citizens to obtain useful information.“If to consider that the project includes not only culture, but also tourism field, then we will stimulate development of relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijani tourism agencies. American stands will be installed in libraries and will give a chance for local residents to use internet and educational materials for free,” the ambassador explained.Cekuta is sure that the project is also an incredible opportunity for Azerbaijani young people to improve their English skills and learn more about the U.S. culture and society.   TAP continues rehabilitation of roads in Albania http://www.today.az/news/business/159006.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:48:00 +0400 By  TrendThe consortium of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project continues the work on rehabilitation of roads in Albania.In February 2017, TAP concluded the refurbishment work for another 8 km road segment, connecting approximately 3,000 residents from the Seman i Ri, Baltez, and Hamil villages to the city of Fier, Albania, said the message on TAP’s website.The refurbishment of this road segment is part of TAP’s commitment to improve several road and bridges along the pipeline corridor in Albania.During the first phase of the work, completed at the end of 2016, more than 58 km of roads have been rehabilitated, 40 existing bridges were refurbished, and two new bridges were built, according to the message.During the second phase of the work another 120 km of road will be rehabilitated.TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union.TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.The pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 km, Albania 215 km, Adriatic Sea 105 km, and Italy 8 km). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, while its lowest point will be 820 meters beneath the sea. Iranians celebrate as Farhadi’s Oscar win goes beyond film http://www.today.az/news/regions/159002.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:43:00 +0400 By  TrendIranian social media users have sized on the opportunity to blast US President Donald Trump’s “inhuman” travel ban as they woke up to the great news on film director, Asghar Farhadi, who won Oscar for the best foreign language film for the second time last night.Farhadi who boycotted the event over Trump’s anti-travel ban, has condemned the executive order describing it as “inhuman” through a message read out at the ceremony.“Asghar Farhadi once again made Iran’s cinema and Iranians proud. The text that was read out on his behalf by Anousheh Ansari was precise, wise and glorious,” Ataollah Mohajerani, a reform-minded figure and the former minister of culture under President Mohammad Khatami tweeted.Firouz Naderi, a director of NASA’s Solar System Exploration program as well as Iranian-born US engineer and astronaut Anousheh Ansari, represented Farhadi at the ceremony last night.“My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US,” Farhadi’s message read."Dividing the world to us and our enemies creates fear," Asghar Farhadi said in his acceptance speech.“Congratulations to the entire cast of “The Salesman” for Oscar and more for the human message conveyed against discrimination and also supporting the shared human values as well as peace and friendship,” Masoumeh Ebtekar, an Iranian vice-president, tweeted referring to the message read out at the ceremony on behalf of Farhadi.In the meantime a group of Iranian social media users shared Firouz Naderi’s remarks who said that “If you go away from Earth and look back at Earth, you don’t see any of the borders, any of the lines. You just see one whole beautiful Earth.”“Express love instead of seeking revenge,” an Iranian Twitter user wrote reacting to the outcome of Oscar and Trump’s travel ban.Sahand Iranmehr, an Iranian journalist wrote on his Twitter account that Asghar Farhadi’s Salesman proved that being “guided intercontinental” does not always has to be a missile to reach the world.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also took the opportunity to criticize Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policy. Armenia continues provocations on frontline http://www.today.az/news/politics/159009.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:33:00 +0400 By Azernews By Rashid ShirinovOn the background of increasing social protests in public, Armenia's government uses the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to prolong its life in power.  High tension on the frontline with the Azerbaijani troops helps the current regime to shift the public attention from internal problems to the grave situation on the conflict zone. This tactics turns out the favorite of Serzh Sargsyan's government, which basically includes people taking an active part in the occupation of 20 percent of internationally recognized territory of neighboring Azerbaijan. Over the last few days, the Armenian Armed Forces have intensified their provocations and sabotages against Azerbaijan on the frontline.If a week ago the Armenian side breached ceasefire on average 30-40 times a day, now the number of these provocations has increased fourfold to 130. The Armenian army uses mortars of various caliber, sniper rifles and large-caliber machine guns during ceasefire breaching.Back in February 21, Azerbaijani Armed Forces prevented an act of sabotage by Armenia on the frontline. Azerbaijani army identified the actions of the Armenian side and carried out pre-emptive strikes on the Armenian positions. The enemy, suffering heavy losses, was forced to retreat.On February 23, the Azerbaijani army detected another Armenian sabotage group trying to carry out provocation near the Talish and Gulustan villages. As a result of  immediate measures, Azerbaijani Armed Forces forced the enemy to retreat.Further, at midnight on February 25, the armed forces of Armenia attempted to penetrate into the positions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. The Armenian armed group aimed to conduct large-scale provocation on the frontline and to seize advantageous positions in Khojavand-Fizuli direction of the frontline. After heavy battles between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Armenian attacks were prevented. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan had casualties during the battles.It is noteworthy that this provocation of Armenia took place on the eve of the Khojaly genocide committed against the people of Azerbaijan 25 years ago. After the provocation, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group released a statement expressing their concern over the escalation of violence on the line of contact.However, on February 27, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry disseminated another statement saying that the Armenian Armed Forces once again tried to commit provocation on the frontline, in the direction of Talish village. The enemy suffered losses and was again forced to retreat.It is likely that Armenia will continue to take action in order to escalate the situation along the entire frontline.Political analyst Arzu Nagiyev believes that the tension at the frontline is primarily connected with the parliamentary elections in Armenia scheduled for April 2.He says that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the trump card in the hands of the Armenian ruling party, and therefore, Armenia always aggravates the situation in the conflict zone on the eve of important political events in Armenia.“The unresolved conflict and the status quo play into the hands of the leadership of Armenia. In this way, it keeps the power of the Karabakh clan and the rule of  Serzh Sargsyan for a longer period,” Nagiyev said.Obviously, Armenia provides all the military and political provocations against Azerbaijan in order to prevent substantive negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.More than two decades have passed since the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides in 1994. For all these years, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been supposed to find a solution by peaceful means. However, the OSCE Minsk Group, which tries to resolve the conflict, still has not managed to make considerable progress.The fault for this lies on the Armenian side, which always neglects and shows disregard to the negotiation process. The status quo in Nagorno Karabakh fully satisfies the Armenian leadership, which is afraid of being overthrown if Armenia comes to the negotiating table to resolve the long-lasting conflict.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. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. Putin says Astana talks lay groundwork for Geneva meeting http://www.today.az/news/regions/159008.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:24:00 +0400 By Azernews By Kamila AliyevaTalks on consolidating the Syrian ceasefire held in Kazakhstan this year helped jumpstart the United Nations-led peace negotiations in Geneva.The ceasefire monitoring mechanism in Syria that was formed at Astana talks last month has laid the foundation toward resuming UN-backed negotiations in Geneva, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 27, RIA Novosti reported."A mechanism to monitor the ceasefire has been established, that is, in fact, the most important foundation which provided the opportunity to continue the Geneva talks," Putin said.He thanked Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for organizing the Astana talks, stressing that Kazakhstan "has played a very positive role not only as a host and organizer of this event but also influenced the positive results of the meeting in Astana."Moscow does not rule out an international meeting on Syria after peace talks in Geneva, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said."So far we don’t have such plans, although I do not rule it out as it is a very important form of collective efforts but for now we have to, first of all, discuss the plans for the future with our American partners in the framework of International Syria Support Group (ISSG)," he said.Meanwhile, Russian side also hopes that the Syrian opposition will create a unified delegation at the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, according to Bogdanov."We hope [to create a unified delegation of the opposition], because, ultimately, they all came there to perform the UN Security Council resolution 2254, and that’s why the common goal is clear, but, as I understand it, each delegation has certain nuances in the interpretation of the resolution," Bogdanov told reporters at the conference on the Middle East, organized by Valdai international discussion club.He stressed that the task of the negotiation process is to come to a common interpretation eventually.In January, the first round of talks in Astana resulted in Moscow-Tehran-Ankara agreement on the establishment of a tripartite mechanism to monitor the ceasefire in Syria. Many experts assessed the agreement between Russia, Turkey, and Iran on the establishment of a tripartite mechanism as a step to a political solution which might end the six-year war.Armed conflict continues in Syria since March 2011. Government troops are confronted by militants of different armed rebel groups. Russia has begun airstrikes on terrorist facilities in Syria since 30 September 2015. The Russian military involvement follows an official request from President Bashar Assad to President Vladimir Putin.The UN has repeatedly tried and failed to end the Syrian conflict, which has killed 300,000 and displaced 11 million since it began five years ago. Russia, Iran negotiate oil-for-goods deal http://www.today.az/news/regions/159011.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:07:00 +0400 By Azernews By Nigar AbbasovaMoscow and Tehran are discussing oil-for-goods swap. The barter deal would see Moscow buy Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, talking to reports on the sidelines of an economic forum in Sochi on February 27, said that he expects the deal to be reached "within weeks."“In the coming weeks we will work at the accelerated pace. All depends on the process of coordination. We are discussing terms of supplies. Authorized agency is Promsiryoimport, a trading unit of Russia's Energy Ministry,” Ria Novosti quoted the minister as saying.Earlier, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced that Iran would begin selling 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Russia receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services.Briefing the media following his meeting with Novak in Tehran, Zanganeh said a number of Russian companies had already signed MoUs with Iranian companies.“Of course, we were ready to sign the contract tonight [February 21] but our Russian counterpart was in a hurry and had to go to the airport,” Zanganeh said.The attractiveness of the mechanism for the Islamic Republic was high during the era of international sanctions as the scheme eliminated an obstacle that the country was facing in selling its oil to other nations.The hamper was due the fact that nearly all oil transactions worldwide are conducted in dollars, while U.S. sanctions limited Iran's access to the greenback.In late 2016, eased sanctions on Iran following landmark nuclear agreement, allowed businesses to do dollar transactions with Iran by offshore banking institutions as long as they do not enter the US financial system.However, Novak earlier said that Russia and Iran can im AFFA Secretary General meets President of Serbian Football Association http://www.today.az/news/sports/158999.html Sports Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:38:00 +0400 By  Azertac Secretary General of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) Elkhan Mammadov has met with President of the Football Association of Serbia Slavisa Kokeza.The sides discussed the bilateral cooperation between AFFA and the Serbian Football Association. They agreed to organize friendly matches between junior national teams of Azerbaijan and Serbia. Mammadov expressed his hope that Kokeza will support his candidacy for membership of the UEFA Executive Committee. Beatty and Dunaway name La La Land as Best Picture after being given wrong envelope http://www.today.az/news/regions/159000.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:35:00 +0400 By Daily Mail There was disaster at the Oscars on Sunday night when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway wrongly announced La La Land as the winner of Best Picture, rather than the triumphant Moonlight. In a heart-stopping moment, the stars and producers of La La Land were stopped midway through their acceptance speeches and forced to hand their trophies to the stars of Moonlight. The terrible end to an otherwise triumphant show left the audience gasping in horror as Beatty revealed he had incorrectly read La La Land as the winner.  Beatty blamed the epic mishap on being given the wrong envelope, saying he had seen the name Emma Stone from 'La La Land' when he opened his envelope.   'I want to tell you what happened I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land and that is why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny. This is Moonlight for best picture,' Beatty told the shocked crowd as he explained the blunder.   Hours after the blunder, accounting firm PwC, formerly Price Waterhouse Coopers, who tally the Oscar results, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a joint statement to apologize for the biggest Oscar screw up in the ceremony's history. The statement said: 'We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture.  'The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.'We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.'  An investigation is continuing into how La La Land was wrongly named Best Picture rather than the triumphant Moonlight. Only two people know the Oscars winners list and supervise the counting procedures - PwC tax adviser Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan an accountant who is the chairman of PwC's US board. Just days before the showcase event, they told the Huffington Post that they were unsure of the exact procedure in the event that the wrong actor or film was named as a winner in any given category since such a mistake had never been made in the awards' 88-year history. Cullinan and Ruiz each carry a suitcase containing a copy of the winning envelope for all the categories - meaning there are two envelopes for each award. The pair stand on opposite sides backstage and memorize the winners to avoid having to write them down and have revealed in the past how they carry out rigorous checks to ensure they have stuffed the envelopes correctly. When Beatty and Dunaway took the stage to announce the Best Picture award, Cullinan and Ruiz realized that they still had two best picture envelopes. The best picture envelope for Moonlight hadn't yet been opened.  Executives from PwC immediately realized there was a problem, but they were too late to rectify the mistake  as Dunaway read out the name La La Land. An official tried to get on stage to immediately afterward. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz returned to the microphone after being told about the mix up and said 'Moonlight won Best Picture' and insisting that 'this is not a joke'.  Just seconds before, confusion was etched across Beatty's face after he opened the envelope. He took a second glance inside the winner's envelope before showing it to Dunaway who mistakenly thought he was asking her to read out La La Land. 'It's one of the strangest things that's ever happened to me,' Beatty said backstage. 'Thank God there were two of us up there,' Dunaway responded. The actress then asked Beatty, 'Who else should I tell?' 'Everybody,' he said.  At that point, a security guard tried to take the real envelope and Beatty said, 'Security is not getting this. I'm giving it to (Moonlight director) Barry Jenkins at a later time.' Beatty also refused to show it to anyone else. U.S. exit from UN Human Rights Council http://www.today.az/news/regions/158998.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:24:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaThe U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering the possibility to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Politico magazine reported.The Trump administration is considering pulling the United States out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that has been accused of being biased against Israel and criticized for including abusive governments, according to two sources in regular contact with former and current U.S. officials.No immediate withdrawal is expected ahead of the council’s next session, which starts on February 27, the sources of Politico assured but stressed that the U.S. State Department chief Rex Tillerson had been increasingly skeptical of the UN body."There’s been a series of requests coming from the secretary of state's office that suggests that he is questioning the value of the U.S. belonging to the Human Rights Council," the department’s former official familiar with the matter told Politico.State Department spokesman Mark Toner did not confirm whether the issue was being considered and would only say that "our delegation will be fully involved in the work of the HRC session which starts on Monday."Some of the concerns are that the council has been targeting Israel, a key U.S. ally, over its treatment of the Palestinian minority, including a perceived lenient jail term for an Israeli soldier who had killed an incapacitated Palestinian attacker. Washington has also been critical of the UN body for giving seats to China and Saudi Arabia.In any case, even talks on abandoning the council are likely to alarm international activists which are already worried that the United States will take a lower profile on global human rights issues under President Donald Trump. Don’t miss evening of Indian culture! http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/158995.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:13:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThis year marks the 25th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and India.The Embassy of India in Baku and the Indian Association invite everyone to join Cultural Evening and Reception scheduled for February 28.Lovers of Indian food will have a great opportunity to sample the flavors of Indian cuisine.The event will be held in the State Musical Theatre named after Rashid Behbudov. The event will start at 19:00.India is a land of diversity in race, region, caste, language, flora and fauna and so on.India has close and friendly relations with Azerbaijan and was among the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan and establish diplomatic ties.Last year the trade and economic exchanges between India and Azerbaijan progressed from strength to strength, increasing by 63 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015.Building on India’s ONGC Videsh presence as a shareholder in Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli oilfield and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Indian companies are keen for partnership in undertaking projects in petrochemical sector such as building and renovating oil refineries. The companies are also eager to make use of opportunities in non-oil sectors, like agriculture and pharmaceuticals and information technology.This visa would soon become available to Azerbaijani travelers who plan to visit India for recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit. The visa applicants can apply online and it would not require any facilitation by any intermediary/agents. In December 2016, Azerbaijan also included India among the 81 countries whose citizens can take advantage of ASAN Visa through ASAN Visa Portal designed to simplify the procedure for issuing visas to foreigners.  Baku, Tehran eye integrated cooperation http://www.today.az/news/business/158996.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:57:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Nigar AbbasovaAzerbaijan and its southern neighbor Iran continue to explore business opportunities for expanding the economic ties.An Azerbaijani business delegation, headed by Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev, paid a visit to Iran on February 22-24 and participated in business forums and business meetings in Ardebil and Urmia.The visit was aimed at bolstering of relations, integration of regional transport networks, as well as implementation of mutually advantageous business projects.  Such spheres as agriculture, banking sector, pharmaceutics, as well as cooperation within the international North-South Transport Corridor were in the focus.Mustafayev, talking about results of the visit, said that the Islamic Republic intends to expand investments in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan’s economy. He said that Iran has so far invested some $2.7 billion in the Azerbaijani economy, however, most of the investments account for the oil sector.“Investments in oil sector amounted to $2.6 billion, and Iranian companies have already received a $1.7-billion income from these investments,” Mustafayev said.The sides anew demonstrated that they are determined to increase their non-oil trade as the current level of cooperation in the sphere is far from the existing potential. Investments in Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector from Iran amounted to only about $150 million, which does not satisfy either of the sides. The trade turnover between the countries hit some $15.77 million in January 2017, while the index of the last year stands at $9.56 million. Mustafayev went on to add that the two countries have already created several joint ventures and their number will increase in the future. Some 538 companies with Iranian capital are operating in Azerbaijan. Cooperation may be established between Azerbaijan and Maku Free Trade Zone, Mustafayev said, noting that Urmia`s businessmen would benefit from Azerbaijan`s opportunities and will deliver products to the foreign markets.Iranian ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, who headed Iranian delegation, earlier said that the two countries would work to decrease dependence on oil.He said that political and economic ties between the two countries have increased in recent years and the two sides have made serious efforts to boost mutual ties, mentioning that grounds have already been prepared for private sector investors from the two countries to launch mutual cooperation.Cooperation in the banking sphere was also discussed during the visit.  Mustafayev said that an Azerbaijani bank will soon open its branch in Iran, thus expanding Azerbaijan’s banking sector in the country.  “I cannot say what bank it will be, but, I want to note that now work is underway to create a relevant legal base. Besides, the issue of raising the status of the Baku branch of Bank Melli Iran is being considered,” he said. Iran's Central Bank Chief Valiollah Seif earlier told Trend that it is planned to create a new bank with 100 percent of Iranian capital in Azerbaijan. He said Bank Melli Iran’s branch in Azerbaijan will turn into an independent Azerbaijani bank, and all the shares of the new bank will be owned by Bank Melli Iran.Expansion of the ties in aviation sector was also high on agenda. The number of non-stop flights between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Azerbaijan is expected to be increased in the short run. Mustafayev said that non-stop flight between Gabala and Urmia are planned to be operated in the near future."We have well established air links with Iran. Ten flights are carried out to Tehran, six flights to Tabriz and six flights to Mashhad in a week. Currently, work is underway to establish air service between Gabala and Urmia. All economic and technical aspects on this issue have already been discussed,” Mustafayev said.The minister added that the flights will be carried out by the Azerbaijani and Iranian companies on the basis of the principle of parity.The tourist flow between the two countries intensified with the introduction of simplified visa regime, which has come into force starting from January 10, 2017. Iranian citizens became eligible to register visas for entry into Azerbaijan via the ASAN Viza system, as a result of which, they got a right to obtain visas within three days.Since February 2010, Iran unilaterally abolished its visa regime for all citizens of Azerbaijan. The citizens of Azerbaijan can travel to Iran and stay in the country without visa from 15 to 90 days.The Islamic Republic may also join Azerbaijan-Georgia- Turkey trilateral format of cooperation.“We recently held the 5th business forum in a trilateral format between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The next similar forum will be held in Azerbaijan and we want to hold it in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. This step can attract Iran to this format, leading to future quadrilateral business forums. We want to attract Iran to this event as well and we are working in this direction,” Mustafayev said.The minister added that work is also underway to create a trilateral cooperation format between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran.Azerbaijan and Iran have signed two memorandums of understanding as part of a joint business forum in Ardabil.The memorandums were signed by Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), Azerbaijani National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers') Organizations and Ardabil Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Kazakhstan plans to cut uranium output http://www.today.az/news/regions/158994.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:43:00 +0400 By  TrendKazakhstan, which is the biggest uranium producer in the world, plans to decrease uranium production by 8 percent or 2,000 tons in 2017 (about 3 percent of total global output), Kazakh State Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna reported on February 27.The output will be reduced due to weak market conditions triggered mostly by a global oversupply. In 2016 Kazakhstan produced 24,000 tons, or 1.7 percent more compared to 2015.“The production is expected to rise once market conditions improve,” the report said.Samruk-Kazyna noted that in response to the production cut plans, uranium prices recovered to above $24 per lb. from of $17.75 per lb. as at end-November 2016, its lowest level since February 2015.Kazakhstan does not presently possess nuclear power generation capacity and export all the produced uranium, primarily under long-term contracts. China accounts for 56 percent of Kazakhstan’s total uranium export.Kazakhstan produced 39 percent of the world uranium output in 2015. Canada (22 percent) and Australia (9 percent) follow as second and third biggest uranium producers. ANAMA continues mine cleaning operation in liberated Jojug Marjanli http://www.today.az/news/politics/158993.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:20:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovAzerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) continues operations on mine cleaning in the Jojug Marjanli village.The village was liberated by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces from the Armenian occupation in April 2016.On February 26, ANAMA held an operation on cleaning a territory of 36,835 square meters of Jojug Marjanli. The Agency discovered 482 fragments of exploded ordnance, one unexploded part of a missile engine PQ-7, two anti-personnel mines OZM-72, two anti-tank mines TM-57, and 24 MVZ-57 fuses of anti-tank mines.In general, a territory of 653,059 square meters and 89 houses were cleared by ANAMA since the beginning of operations in Jojug Marjanli. Following ANAMA's demining operations, the work on construction of new houses will be launched in the liberated village.ANAMA was established in 1998 for planning and coordination, management and monitoring of mine action related activities all over the country.ANAMA cleared more than 393,832,826 square meters of Azerbaijan’s territory, discovered and defused over 754,010 pieces of unexploded ordnance since the beginning of its activity. Most of the unexploded ordnance is the result of Armenian aggression.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. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. Iran tests anti-ship missile as part of naval drills http://www.today.az/news/regions/158990.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:55:00 +0400 By  TrendIranian naval forces have tested a new anti-ship missile system dubbed “Dehlaviyeh” as part of ongoing massive war games dubbed “Velayat-e 95” in the country’s southern waters.The home-made laser-guided missile was tested on the second day of the drills, Tasnim news agency reported.The naval forces of the Iranian army staged large-scale military war games code-named “Velayat-e 95” on Feb. 26 in the north of the Indian Ocean, Oman Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Mandeb.Last January the country’s navy launched "Velayat 94" drills across a large swath of territorial waters and high seas in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean. Kazakh president nominated to Nobel Peace Prize http://www.today.az/news/regions/158991.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:49:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaKazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was nominated to Nobel Peace Prize for its initiatives for global nuclear disarmament, according to the Nobel Peace Prize Watch.The president was nominated by Director of a peace research institute, the Basel Peace Office, Alyn Ware (Switzerland) and Scottish MP Bill Kidd.“President Nursultan Nazarbayev stands out as a leader who has taken a number of significant nuclear disarmament initiatives during his 22 years as leader of Kazakhstan,” Alyn Ware said.He said Nazarbayev not only has a commitment to the achievement of a nuclear-weapons-free world but also continues to take a number of initiatives that are influential in the process to achieve such a world.Alyn Ware and Bill Kidd also nominated Kazakh artist and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project Karipbek Kuyukov to this high prize.Kuyukov is a hero of the nuclear age who is highlighting the tragic experience of his region in Kazakhstan - devastated by the long-term effects of Soviet nuclear tests.The ATOM Project, which he leads, informs the world of the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impact of nuclear weapons and the imperative for nuclear abolition.“A joint nomination of Nursultan Nazarbayev (President of Kazakhstan) and Karipbek Kuyukov (Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project) for their dedicated and effective actions to highlight the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, as well as for their leadership in promoting a nuclear-weapons-free world,” Bill Kidd said.The Nobel Peace Prize is a prestigious award, presented annually by the Nobel Foundation for achievements in the areas of peace, one of the five Nobel prizes, founded by Alfred Nobel in his will, written in Paris on November 27, 1895.According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Kazakhstan plans to decrease uranium output http://www.today.az/news/regions/158989.html World news Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:35:00 +0400 By  TrendKazakhstan, which is the biggest uranium producer in the world, plans to decrease uranium production by 8 percent or 2,000 tons in 2017 (about 3 percent of total global output), Kazakh State Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna said in a report published Feb. 27.The output will be reduced due to weak market conditions triggered mostly by a global oversupply. In 2016 Kazakhstan produced 24,000 tons, or 1.7 percent more compared to 2015.“The production is expected to rise once market conditions improve,” the report said.Samruk-Kazyna noted that in response to the production cut plans, uranium prices recovered to above $24 per lb. from of $17.75 per lb. as at end-November 2016, its lowest level since February 2015.Kazakhstan does not presently possess nuclear power generation capacity and export all the produced uranium, primarily under long-term contracts. China accounts for 56 percent of Kazakhstan’s total uranium export.Kazakhstan produced 39 percent of the world uranium output in 2015. Canada (22 percent) and Australia (9 percent) follow as second and third biggest uranium producers. Azerbaijnai alpinist ascends highest peak in Europe http://www.today.az/news/sports/158992.html Sports Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:24:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliAzerbaijani alpinist Israfil Ashurly has conquered Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.Ashurly, the first Azerbaijani who climbed Mount Everest and Kangchenjunga, safely passed along the route to the Western top of the mountain (5,642 meters).“Last year was the first in over 16 years, when I didn’t climb mountains. But, it will not happen again. I climbed one of the most popular peaks – Elbrus for the second time in two months,” Ashurly wrote on his page on the social network.Israfil Ashurly is a mountaineer, explorer, general secretary of Ice-Climbing Commission and Competition, owner of Insol Company and president of Azerbaijan Mountaneering Federation.He is also first Azerbaijani to receive Snow Leopard award and Volcanic Seven Summits in 2009 and first undisputed Azerbaijani explorer to walk on the North Pole in 2009. Armenia breaches relocation rules for Azerbaijani soldier bodies [UPDATE] http://www.today.az/news/politics/158988.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:16:00 +0400 By AzernewsArmenia has violated the rules for relocating bodies of Azerbaijani soldiers from the battlefield, achieved with participation of international mediators, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported on February 27.“Through the mediation of the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) representatives, it was planned to take appropriate measures at 12:00 on February 26 in order to remove bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen Abdullayev Agshin Ismayil oglu, Nazarov Shahlar Yashar oglu, Hashimli Tural Abdul oglu, Gadimov Zulfu Rahim oglu and Jafarov Zakir Nazim oglu, who were killed over the night from February 24 to 25 while preventing the large-scale provocations committed by Armenian Armed Forces along the front line”, the Defense Ministry said.However, when the removal process was started, Armenia, in violation of conditions agreed in advance in the presence of international mediators, deliberately put forward new demands to interfere in the operation.“Furthermore, the enemy fired from weapons and artillery systems of various calibers on Azerbaijani positions in several directions of the frontline and attempted to carry out a diversion in a planned way in several directions”, said the Ministry.Armenian army attempted to infiltrate through the Azerbaijani positions along the line of contact on the night from February 24 to February 25.The Armenian side attempted to seize favorable positions on the Khojavand-Fuzuli part of the frontline, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported earlier.  “The Armenian side’s large-scale provocation attempt was timely detected and resolutely prevented. Azerbaijani military units courageously prevented the attacks and the Armenian side was forced to retreat. Azerbaijan has casualties as a result of the battles.”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. Azerbaijani production to be exhibited at Gulfood 2017 http://www.today.az/news/business/158987.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Nigar AbbasovaAzerbaijan will showcase its production branded “Made in Azerbaijan” at Gulfood 2017 exhibition, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show. The participation of the country is organized by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) with the support of Economy Ministry.The exhibition is taking place from February 26 to March 2 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Earlier, the ministry held a competition for those wishing to take part in the exhibition, while some 24 companies got a chance to participate.The stand of the country will exhibit a range of traditional Azerbaijani specialties and delicacies such as fruit, tea, honey, confectionaries and other products. All costs (related to the organization of the stand) are covered by the government.  In late 2016, with a view to bring the economy to a new level Azerbaijan started promoting the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand in foreign markets and developed a number of promotional mechanisms, including participation in international exhibitions.Today Azerbaijan outputs more than 250 kinds of home-made products in food, light, heavy and construction industries. A total of 3 million manats ($1.71 million) was allocated out of the Azerbaijani President’s Reserve Fund in the 2016 State Budget to finance the export support measures. Currency rates for February 27 http://www.today.az/news/business/158986.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:49:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for February 27 was set at 1.7475 manats and 1.8466 manats, respectively.Below are the rates of manat against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsFeb. 27, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.74751 euro1 EUR1.84661 Australian dollar1 AUD1.34481 Argentine peso1 ARS0.1129100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.92931 Brazilian real1 BRL0.56171 UAE dirham1 AED0.47581 South African rand1 ZAR0.135100 South Korean won100 KRW0.15451 Czech koruna1 CZK0.06831 Chilean peso1 CLP0.27021 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.25411 Danish krone1 DKK0.24841 Georgian lari1 GEL0.6781 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.22521 Indian rupee1 INR0.02621 British pound1 GBP2.172100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0131100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00461 Swedish krona1 SEK0.19341 Swiss franc1 CHF1.73421 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.47381 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.33411 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.7221 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00561 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0252100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.1161 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.39331 Mexican peso1 MXP0.08791 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.08771 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.1111 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.2087100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.05221 Polish zloty1 PLN0.4281 Russian ruble1 RUB0.03011 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.24391 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.4661 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.36781 Turkish lira1 TRY0.4861 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.0571 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.21651 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.51 Ukrainian hryvna1 UAH0.0649100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.55741 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.2586Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2190.7534Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG32.0841Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1794.6825Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD1373.535 OSCE MG concerned about escalation of violence on line of contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/158985.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:30:00 +0400 By  Azertac The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France and Richard Hoagland of the United States of America, have released a statement expressing their concern over the escalation of violence on the line of contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan.“According to reports from the Ministries of Defense of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as other sources, in the early morning of February 25 there was a serious breach of cease fire on the Line of Contact, resulting in casualties. Several bodies remain in the no-man's land. The Sides accuse each other of an incursion attempt,” the Co-Chairs said in the statement.The Co-chairs urged the parties to keep heavy military equipment, which had been moved earlier close to the LOC, in its present positions and to allow recovery of the dead, as it was agreed upon under mediation of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.The co-chairs reminded the Parties of their commitments to refrain from the use of force.Armenian army attempted to infiltrate through the Azerbaijani positions along the line of contact on the night from February 24 to February 25.The Armenian side attempted to seize favorable positions on the Khojavand-Fuzuli part of the frontline, said the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, adding heavy battles took place between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.“The Armenian side’s large-scale provocation attempt was timely detected and resolutely prevented. Azerbaijani military units courageously prevented the attacks and the Armenian side was forced to retreat. Azerbaijan has casualties as a result of the battles.”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. Khojaly–25: 613 martyrs staring from photos [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/158997.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:23:00 +0400 By  Azertac February 26 marked the 25th anniversary of the bloody tragedy, which went down in history of mankind in the 20th century as the Khojaly Genocide.Photos of 613 civilians who were murdered by the Armenian armed forces in the town of Khojaly were displayed on the side of a building in Baku as a nationwide march, which was joined by more than 40,000 people, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the genocidal act, Azertac reported.The statistics of the slaughter were displayed on large monitors along the streets, and on placards on building walls and balconies as the people marched from Azadliq Square to Khojaly memorial.Of 3,000 people who were in the town of Khojaly at the moment of the attack 613 were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elders. 487 people were severely wounded, including 76 children. 1,275 people were captured and subjected to unprecedented torture, the fate of 197 people still remains unknown. 8 families were totally annihilated, 130 children lost one and 25 lost both parents.Khojaly is one of one of the most gruesome and tragic acts of genocide in recent history.And, for the most part, it is a massacre disremembered, given only a passing mention — if any — in most modern-day history texts.But for the people of Azerbaijan, the haunting anamnesis of the ruthless decimation of an entire village will be engrained in their collective memory forever. ICGB AD exec: Southern Gas Corridor key for promoting IGB project http://www.today.az/news/business/158984.html Business Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:10:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Southern Gas Corridor project plays a key role in promoting the implementation of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) project, Teodora Georgieva, executive officer at ICGB AD joint venture company, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.She pointed out that these two projects are interrelated, adding that IGB is a key project for diversification of sources and routes for Bulgaria.“We are very much relying on our partnership between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. The backbone of this partnership is the contract signed between Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR for supply of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Shah Deniz 2,” added Georgieva.Talking about IGB, she said that it is a very mature, trans-boundary project: 31 kilometers of this pipeline will run through Greece and 151 kilometers will pass through Bulgaria’s territory. This project has two shareholders: Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (50 percent) and IGI Poseidon S.A. (50 percent), she added.Georgieva pointed out that the advantage of this project is that it is supported by both Bulgarian and Greek governments, which is not always a usual case for interconnectors.“We already have the Environmental Impact Assessment for the two parts of the project and the technical design already approved in Bulgaria,” she said. “Currently, the aim is to have a construction permit for which we should finalize all the procedures for the acquisition of property rights. That is what we did last year. So we are very close to getting the construction permit which is expected by middle of this year.”Currently, Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) package is under development as part of the implementation of the IGB project, she said, adding that it is also planned to start the procedures for EPC this year.“In order to fit to what Azerbaijan promised to start the delivery of gas in 2020, we should definitely start the construction in 2018 so as to be ready,” said the executive officer.The main difference of the IGB project is that its commercial viability is also required to be verified, according to Georgieva.The executive director noted that the results of the market test, which was finalized in November 2016 for allocation of IGB capacity, were quite satisfying.Regarding SOCAR’s participation in the market test, Georgieva pointed out that this shows its interest in this project.“SOCAR also booked capacity in IGB, which shows its trust in the project and proves that IGB is recognized as a project playing a key role for the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project,” she added.“We already have 1.570 billion cubic meters of the IGB capacity booked for the long term, which is very satisfactory,” she added.The IGB project already has external shippers different from the shareholders and this really shows that there is interest in the project and in the Southern Gas Corridor in general, said Georgieva.It shows that IGB is not only a project connecting two countries, but rather a project which will have a regional impact, according to the executive officer.“IGB has the privilege to be on the top of PCI projects (Projects of Common Interest) for the European Union. It is the first project put out of seven in the Central and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity Group (CESEC),” she said. “It shows that we have been appreciated by the EU as well.”“The pipeline’s capacity can be increased to 5 billion cubic meters per year with the construction of additional compressor stations. If the interest is more, we are ready to reconsider the capacity,” said Georgieva.She pointed out that IGB can help to deliver gas to the countries which could suffer from gas shortage in the future and from this point of view, it has a substantial role.IGB is a gas pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field. IGB is expected to be connected to the Trans Adriatic pipeline via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets. Armenia’s another provocation prevented http://www.today.az/news/politics/158983.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:45:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Armenian armed forces once again tried to make a provocation but were forced to retreat by suffering losses, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on February  27. Afghan envoy: We demand justice for crimes committed against innocent lives in Azerbaijani ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/158980.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:16:00 +0400 By AzernewsAfghanistan's Ambassador to Baku Mohammad Taqi Khalili, Ambassador sent a message to the Azerbaijani people over the 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide. The message reads:"In moments of reluctance, and in shame, and sometimes moved by a faint light of courage in the human conscience, the international community has met the ugly face of genocide on far too many occasions.It is a meeting that often has ended in silence and in tears, and one which has forced upon the world a lingering question: to what extent are we, the global community, willing to defend the basic rights of man, to accept him not as we wish him to be, but as he is – culturally, socially, and ethnically? And for those amongst us who were not regarded as worthy of life, how can we now give life to our words so that people know when they hear us speak that they did not die in vain? Today, deeply moved by the need to answer this question and to answer it sincerely, the people of Afghanistan, commemorate with the people of Azerbaijan, those precious lives that were lost in the tragic genocide of Khojaly on February 25-26 in 1992. With you, we continue to demand justice for the crimes committed against innocent lives in Azerbaijani territories, and stand fully with the entire international community in our fidelity to the cause of speaking out against genocide not only today, but in every chapter of human history," he said.   Azerbaijan`s first VP Mehriban Aliyeva interviewed by Rossiya 1 channel [PHOTO/VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/158979.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:12:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijan`s first Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva has been interviewed by Rossiya 1 television channel.The interview was featured in weekly “Vesti nedeli” program. President Aliyev holds several meetings in Doha [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/158981.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:05:00 +0400 By AzernewsAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with Chairman of Al Faisal Holding and the Qatari Businessmen Association Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani in Doha on February 26, Azertac reported.The importance of the Azerbaijani President`s visit to Qatar in terms of the expansion of the bilateral relations was stressed at the meeting.Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani recalled his Azerbaijan trip, and shared his good impressions of the country.He described Azerbaijan as a modern and safe country. He hailed good attitude towards Qatari citizens in Azerbaijan. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani said they will visit Azerbaijan with a large delegation in the near future.They discussed prospects for cooperation in the fields of trade and investment.Later, President Ilham Aliyev met with President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.They discussed prospects for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Qatar Petroleum, and highlighted the possibility of joint involvement in a number of projects.They also exchanged views over the possibility of Qatar Petroleum`s participation in projects in the Caspian Sea or SOCAR`s projects in other countries. Heydar Aliyev Foundation VP Leyla Aliyeva attends "Endless Corridor" screening [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/158982.html Politics Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:00:00 +0400 By  TrendThe “Endless Corridor” film was has been screened at Nizami cinema center on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide.Prior to the screening vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva viewed an exhibition of photos reflecting atrocities committed in Khojaly.The screening was attended by officials of the Administration of the Azerbaijani President, MPs, representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations, and representatives of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS).A multi-award-winning independent documentary, Endless Corridor is a film produced and directed by Aleksandras Brokas. Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, it has invariably proved deeply moving to its audiences – reducing some to tears.Produced at the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, the film covers the events and the aftermath of the massacre of 613 people that took place in February 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It follows two journalists, Lithuanian Ricardas (Richard) Lapaitis and Russian Victoria Ivleva, as they return to Azerbaijan to discover what had happened to survivors they had met at the time.Endless Corridor premiered at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in London in 2014. Ilham Aliyev phones Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan http://www.today.az/news/politics/158978.html Politics Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:19:00 +0400 BY TrendPresident of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a phone call to President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan Feb. 26.The head of state congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his birthday, and wished him robust health and success in his high state activity for the prosperity of the brotherly people of Turkey.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked President Ilham Aliyev for his attention and congratulations. The heads of state agreed to meet in the near future.President Ilham Aliyev and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed their confidence that friendly and brotherly ties between the two countries will continue to develop. Armenia breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/158977.html Society Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:30:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 117 times violated the ceasefire in various directions along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend Feb. 26.Armenia’s armed forces have fired 34 shells using 60- and 82-millimeter mortars.The Azerbaijani army positions located in the Bala Jafarli, Ashagi Askipara, Farakhli, Kemerli villages and on nameless heights of Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district, Aghdam village and on nameless heights of Tovuz district, as well as Garaveliler village of Gadabay district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located in the Paravakar, Vazashen villages of Ijevan district, the Voskepar, Shavarshavan, Dovekh villages and on nameless heights of the Noyemberyan, Mosesgekh, Chinari, Berd districts of Armenia and on nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselsk district.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian army positions located near the Armenian-occupied Chilaburt village of the Tartar district, Shuraabad, Bash Gervend, Yusifjanli villages of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino village of the Khojavand district, Horadiz, Ashagi Veyselli villages of the Fuzuli district and Mehdili village of the Jabrayil district, as well as from the positions located on nameless heights of the Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam, 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. Independent Azerbaijani experts to partake in Russian Valdai Club’s forum http://www.today.az/news/society/158975.html Society Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:41:00 +0400 By TrendDirector of the Baku International Policy and Security Network (Baku Network) Elkhan Alasgarov has been invited to take part in an international forum organized by Russia’s Valdai Discussion Club.Alasgarov told Trend the invitation for Baku Network to participate in the event of one of the world’s most reputable political platforms is indicative of serious perception of Azerbaijani expert community by international centers.“This is the appraisal of not only Baku Network’s success, but also an indication that most of our colleagues want to become acquainted with Azerbaijani experts’ positions,” he said. “The increasing interest in our expert community is a result of successful foreign policy of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.”The international conference titled “The Middle East: When Will Tomorrow Come?”, organized with partnership of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences will be held in Moscow on Feb. 27-28.The conference will be attended by well-known politicians, scholars, diplomats, military and former public figures from 25 countries. Ilham Aliyev, First VP Mehriban Aliyeva taking part in march on 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide http://www.today.az/news/politics/158974.html Politics Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:35:00 +0400 BY TrendA march on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide is underway in Baku.President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva are participating at the event.Over 40,000 participants of the procession that began at Azadliq Square, will arrive to “Cry of the Mother” monument (Khojaly Genocide Memorial) in Baku’s Khatai district, and commemorate the victims of the genocide.Thousands of young people gathered along the avenues and streets that the marchers are moving. They hold portraits of innocent victims of the bloody event - slaughtered children, women and elders - photos depicting abominable scenes of slaughter, placards demanding to bring to account and punish perpetrators of the tragedy and to recognize this genocide at an international level, as well as placards with names and surnames of victims.“The world must recognize Khojaly genocide”, “Justice for Khojaly”, “Do not forget Khojaly”, “No to Armenian fascism”, “Khojaly genocide -25” and other slogans are displayed on large monitors along the streets, and on placards on building walls and balconies.On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of the former Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. A total of 1,000 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.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. MFA: Armenia attempts to seize positions in Khojavand-Fizuli direction http://www.today.az/news/society/158976.html Society Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:00:00 +0400 BY TrendAs stated by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on February 25 at midnight, the armed forces of Armenia made an attempt to penetrate into the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan with the aim of conducting large-scale provocation on the frontline and trying to seize advantageous positions in Khojavand-Fizuli direction of the front, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend."The escalation of the situation in the front and perpetration of military provocations are continuation of Armenia’s political provocations as holding of illegal “referendum” in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan on February 20, 2017. The political and military provocations of Armenia are aimed at deliberate escalation of the situation and undermining the efforts for solution of conflict via the substantive talks, diverting the attention of the international community in the eve of Khojaly genocide from the responsibilities borne by Armenia for Khojaly and strengthening already lost social support base and position of Armenia’s ruling regime in forthcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia", he added."Azerbaijani side has repeatedly emphasized that the illegal presence of armed forces of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remains the prime reason for the escalation of the situation. The events occurred in April last year proved it over again. The international community and particularly the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs at the Heads of State level on many occasions stated that the status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable and it must be changed", Hikmat Hajiyev said.He noted that with a view of preventing the escalation of situation and changing the status of quo of occupation and ensuring sustainable peace in the region, full and unconditional withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan has to be provided based on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council."Instigator of the escalation of situation in the front is Armenia and thereby, all responsibility falls on political-military leadership of Armenia", Hikmat Hajiyev said. Khojaly Massacre: Bloody page in Azerbaijan's histor http://www.today.az/news/politics/158973.html Politics Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina Nazarli“I remember that cold night from February 25 to 26, when we walked through the woods, sinking into deep snow. So many people died there. But you should have seen those who survived ... how many of them had a heart attack, many were injured, while others remained in captivity, and no one knows anything about their fate,” says Hasrat Khalilova, a survivor of the Khojaly massacre.February 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide, one of the most horrible tragedies, which Azerbaijani people faced in the 20th century, during the Nagorno-Karabakh, started when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. The night claiming the life of 613 civilians mostly women and children, and leaving 1,000 people stayed disabled and 1,275 held hostage.The refugee from Khojaly, who lost many members of her family, reminded the life in the city before the tragedy. “We lived happy, we had flowering gardens, planted with our own hands. We had no need in Khojaly. It was a big city,” said Khalilova.Within one night, Khojaly, one of the oldest settlements in Karabakh with a population of about 7,000 people, was razed to the ground.It began when Russian 366th Regiment and Armenian fighters surrounded the town of Khojali from four directions, opening heavy and ceaseless fire from artillery and salvo launchers. Within a short time, the city was enveloped in flames of fire. The defending army and local population had to leave town.Hoping to escape the aggressive and insidious Armenian soldiers, the population of the town run to the mountains and forests in frosty February night. Armenian armed forces pursued them there and were jeering at them cruelly. Many young girls were taken hostages, many civilians were shot at close range, scalped or burned alive and many of those froze to death.Many foreign publications were shocked of what they saw that day. The Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote on January 29, 1994: "We have seen prisoners from Khojaly. Almost all of them were unfit for normal life. In cold weather they were kicked half-naked out into the street, doused with icy water, glass was smashed over their heads... An Armenian cut a baby’s body into two and began to beat his mother with one half. The mother, soaked in blood, suddenly started laughing ... She went mad...”Over 200 years Azerbaijan has endured ethnic cleansing and genocide by Armenian chauvinists. Azerbaijanis were expelled from their historical lands, became refugees and IDPs, and all this was accompanied by massacres committed by Armenians.The events that unfolded over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988, the desire of Armenian ideologists to implement crazy idea called "Armenia from sea to sea" led to the destruction of villages, cities and the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their historical lands.Historian Lala Aliyeva said Armenians wanted to clear Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijanis and the genocide was arranged to scare Azerbaijanis to make them leave their villages.“Khankendi city in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region is controlled by Armenians since 1989. Whereupon, Shusha and Khojaly remained two large settlements consisted of Azerbaijanis in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians were unable to arrange the massacre in Shusha, since Shusha was located on a steep hill and has a large population. But Khojaly was more "affordable,” she explained.Despite the country formed volunteer troops to fight against Armenians in Nagorno- Karabakh, Azerbaijan was not recovered yet at the time after securing independence in 1991. That’s why the population of border villages were in a panic after the horrors committed by Armenian forces.“After the Khojaly tragedy, residents of Azerbaijani villages had to leave their houses before the Armenian began attacking,” Aliyeva said.Thus, Khojali was chosen by Armenian extremists deliberately. The fact that the city was populated only by ethnic Azerbaijanis is enough to argue that it was a genocide, as the Armenian soldiers killed civilians on ethnic grounds.Today, thousands of Baku residents arrive at the Khojaly memorial every February 26 to pay tribute to the victims of the genocide. Numerous events are organized in different cities and regions across Azerbaijan to commemorate the tragedy.In an interview with British journalist Thomas de Waal on December 15, 2000, Serzh Sargsyan, then the commander of breakaway Nagorno Karabakh's military forces and current president of Armenia, confessed his involvement in the Khojaly massacre.“Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us; they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that [stereotype]. And that’s what happened,” Sargsyan said.The parliaments of Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Jordan, as well as the legislative bodies of 20 states of the Unites States, including New-Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Western Virginia, New-Jersey, Tennessee, Arizona and Hawaii have adopted resolutions to recognize the tragic crime as a genocide.The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a final Cairo Communiqué in February 2013, at its summit held in Cairo, labeling the Khojaly tragedy genocide against humanity. The Communiqué calls on the international community to recognize the genocide. Mehriban Aliyeva’s dynamic character to manifest in state management: official http://www.today.az/news/politics/158972.html Politics Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:08:00 +0400 By  TrendMehriban Aliyeva’s dynamic character will also manifest in the state management, said Azerbaijani president’s aide for public and political affairs, Professor Ali Hasanov.He was addressing presentation of his books dedicated to the Khojaly genocide’s 25th anniversary, titled “Khojaly genocide: causes, consequences and international recognition” and “Stages of the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis”.Congratulating Mehriban Aliyeva on her appointment as the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Hasanov said this appointment will bring great benefits to Azerbaijani people and state.“In the years to come, you will observe dynamism in the state management in Azerbaijan. You will witness the manifestation of Mehriban Aliyeva’s dynamic character in the state management as well,” said Ali Hasanov. U.S. Azeris Network organizes protest rally outside Armenian Embassy in Washington http://www.today.az/news/politics/158971.html Politics Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0400 By  Azertac U.S. Azeris Network (USAN) has organized a protest rally outside the Embassy of Armenia in Washington to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.The rally brought together Azerbaijani and Turkish communities in Washington.The protesters held posters highlighting the truth about the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and the Khojaly genocide. They chanted slogans such as “Condemn Armenian terror!”, “Khojaly massacre must not be repeated!”, “Armenia is to blame for ethnic cleansing!”, “Shame on Armenia!”, “Armenia out of Karabakh!”, “Murders of children!”, “Armenia is a vassal country!”.The protesters urged the Armenian government to recognize the Khojaly genocide, and demanded that the Armenian armed forces immediately withdraw from Azerbaijan, free hostages and ensure the return of Azerbaijani refuges to their homelands.They also urged Armenia to fulfill the four resolutions of the UN Security Council. Azerbaijan, Iran to expand bilateral air service http://www.today.az/news/business/158970.html Business Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:52:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan and Iran are to expand bilateral air service, said Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev Feb. 25.He made the remarks at a press conference dedicated to the results of an Azerbaijani delegation’s visit to Iran.“It is planned to open direct flights between Gabala and Urmia in the near future,” he said."We have well established air links with Iran. Ten flights are carried out to Tehran, six flights to Tabriz and six flights to Mashhad in a week. Currently, work is underway to establish air service between Gabala and Urmia. All economic and technical aspects on this issue have already been discussed,” Mustafayev said.The minister added that the flights will be carried out by the Azerbaijani and Iranian companies on the basis of the principle of parity. Iran made $1.7B from investments to Azerbaijan: minister http://www.today.az/news/business/158969.html Business Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:22:00 +0400 By  TrendIran intends to expand investments in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan’s economy, said Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev Feb. 25.“Azerbaijani side is also interested in this,” he told a press conference dedicated to results of an Azerbaijani delegation’s visit to Iran.“As you know, Iran has invested $2.7 billion in the Azerbaijani economy, but most of this investments account for the oil sector. They amount to $2.6 billion, and Iranian companies have already received a $1.7-billion income from these investments,” Mustafayev said.“Investments in Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector from Iran amounted to only about $150 million, which does not satisfy either of the sides. Therefore, we – both the Iranian and the Azerbaijani sides – aim at increasing investments in the non-oil sector.”The two countries have already created several joint ventures and their number will increase in the future, according to the minister.On the other hand, the last business forums in Ardabil and Urmia showed that Azerbaijani companies are also interested in operating in Iran, Mustafayev said.Azerbaijani delegation headed by Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev visited Iran on Feb. 22-23. The parties discussed expansion of cooperation in various areas. Azerbaijan says wants world be aware of Khojaly genocide victims’ sufferings http://www.today.az/news/politics/158968.html Politics Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0400 By  TrendBaku hosted presentation of two books dedicated to the Khojaly genocide’s 25th anniversary, titled “Khojaly genocide: causes, consequences and international recognition” and “Stages of the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis”.The author of the books is Azerbaijani President’s Aide for Public and Political Affairs, Professor Ali Hasanov.During the event, attended by government and state officials, members of the Azerbaijani parliament, well-known figures of science and culture, representatives of the media, the memory of Azerbaijan’s sons, who became martyrs for the freedom of Azerbaijani lands, was commemorated with a minute of silence.“As you know, Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev has signed an action plan on marking the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide,” noted Hasanov addressing the event.He said the action plan determines the issues on studying and spreading information about the Khojaly genocide, the aims Azerbaijan wants to bring to international community’s attention and other issues.He said each book contains articles and has 30 pages.The presidential aide also noted that the books, which have been published in 2,000 copies, will also have electronic versions.The most important thing is that the books don’t prompt hatred and vengeance, said Hasanov.“The Armenian people themselves have suffered enough from the current criminal regime of Armenia, maybe they have suffered more than us and they still suffer,” added the Azerbaijani top official.“Today, the Armenian people are the hostages and victims of that criminal regime,” noted Hasanov, adding that therefore there is a call for peace in the books.Meanwhile, the books introduce to the world the people who committed those crimes, he said.The books introduce these people in order to prevent their future such attempts, allow the world to know them and prevent them in time, added Hasanov.He noted that there is a call in the books for good-neighborliness among the peoples of South Caucasus.“At the same time, we can not forget the Khojaly genocide, the memory of innocent people killed in this massacre,” added Hasanov. “We want the whole world to be aware of the sufferings of these people and hate those who caused them.”