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 Russian gymnast expects to perform well in Baku World Cup finals http://www.today.az/news/sports/160667.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:22:00 +0400 By  TrendRussian gymnast Arina Averina has said she expects to perform well in the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup finals in Baku.“I did not perform [in a qualification round] exactly as expected. There is a lot to work on,” she told Trend, adding she believes her today’s performance in the hoop event was better than in the ball event.The gymnast said this is the first time she performs in Baku and the viewers’ support helps and cheers her up.The first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicked off in Baku Apr. 28. The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Ninety-four gymnasts from 21 countries are participating in the event. Italian gymnasts say happy to perform in Baku World Cup finals http://www.today.az/news/sports/160663.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:58:00 +0400 By  TrendItalian gymnasts have said they are very happy to have received a chance to perform in the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup finals in Baku.“This is probably our best performance since the Olympics. We are very happy to have got a chance to once again show a good performance in Baku," the gymnasts told Trend.The Italian gymnasts noted that the experience they will gain at the World Cup in Baku will help them in future competitions.The first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicked off in Baku Apr. 28. The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Ninety-four gymnasts from 21 countries are participating in the event. Armenia responsible for contact line tensions: Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/160657.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:25:00 +0400 By  TrendArmenia is fully responsible for the tensions on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Apr. 28.He was commenting on the anti-Azerbaijani statements of head of the press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.The recent tensions, which caused human losses, once again confirm the fragility of peace on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Hajiyev said.The presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the main source of tensions and ceasefire violations, he noted.“The leadership of Armenia avoids withdrawal of troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as demanded by the UN Security Council resolutions,” Hajiyev added.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 gymnasts’ team reaches FIG World Cup hoops finals [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/society/160655.html Society Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:18:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani gymnastics group exercises team of Siyana Vasileva, Aleksandra Platonova, Diana Doman, Elif Zeynep Celep and Ayshan Bayramova has reached the hoops finals at the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku.In the qualification event, the Azerbaijani female gymnasts scored 16.400 and took the 5th place.Teams of Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Hungary and Spain have also reached the finals.On Apr. 29, the female gymnasts will participate in the ball and ribbon qualification event.The finals on both apparatuses will be held on Apr. 30.The first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicked off in Baku Apr. 28. The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Ninety-four gymnasts from 21 countries are participating in the event. FIG World Cup in Baku announces finalists of hoop, ball events http://www.today.az/news/sports/160656.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:00:00 +0400 By  TrendIndividual hoop and ball qualification events at the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup wrapped up in Baku April 26.Alexandra Soldatova and Arina Averina of Russia, Nicol Zelikman and Victoria Filanovsky of Israel, Evita Griskenas and Camilla Feeley of the US, Alina Gornosko of Belarus and Neviana Vladinova of Bulgaria advanced to the hoop finals after the qualification event.Azerbaijani gymnast Zohra Aghamirova took tenth place by scoring 16.150 points and will be the second reserve gymnast in the finals.Alexandra Soldatova, Arina Averina, Alina Gornosko, Neviana Vladinova, Ana Luiza Filiorianu of Romania, Victoria Filanovsky, Natela Bolataeva of Georgia and Kseniya Moustafaeva of France advanced to the ball finals after the qualification event.Azerbaijani gymnasts Zhala Piriyeva ranked 14th in the ball qualification event.The first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicked off in Baku Apr. 28. The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Ninety-four gymnasts from 21 countries are participating in the event. Baku City Circuit team to run across Baku for charity http://www.today.az/news/sports/160653.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0400 Some 23 employees of Baku City Circuit will run in “Baku Marathon 2017” on April 30 to promote healthy lifestyle and help those in need.BCC has launched “Run for a cause!” campaign to raise money for Leyla Rafizade, a nine-year old girl, who suffers from a severe heart disease.Irana Ahmadova, BCC’s Head of Human Resources and a runner of Baku Marathon 2017, calls on everyone to support BCC team in this event and make a donation: “Promoting healthy lifestyle, youth development and charity campaigns are BCC’s main principles. By joining Baku marathon, we promote our values and invite everybody to contribute to this idea.Every member of BCC team supports this charity campaign and we believe that we will help Leyla to be healed soon. BCC will continue to spread charity and make it one of the main life principles of society. We invite everybody to join this charity campaign!”Running in marathon has already become a tradition in BCC. Runners of upcoming marathon – Ayan Aghayeva and Bulent Ozerdim – are also participants of international marathons. Last year, BCC’s 3 members participated in Baku Marathon and Ayan Aghayeva finished it in 21st place among female runners. “Lend a helping hand to those in need” was the name of BCC’s charity campaign within “Cold hands, warm heart” charity event which was held in December 2016. During the campaign, BCC raised 3,500 manats to cover Zeynab’s surgery, who has been suffering from a severe heart disease since she was born. Now, Zeynab is feeling great and recovering pretty fast.With the upcoming campaign, BCC has set a goal to raise 3,500 manats to cover Leyla’s heart surgery. Turkmenistan to export chemical products through new Caspian Sea port http://www.today.az/news/regions/160652.html World news Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaThe construction of new seaport, through which chemical products will be exported, is currently underway in the Turkmen city of Garabogaz of the Balkan velayat (province).Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister for Industry Batyr Ereshov reported on the progress of the port’s construction at a government meeting held on April 28.The construction of a modern port facility in Garabogaz on the site of the old one is envisaged by a large-scale project to build a chemical plant producing 1.155 million of carbamide a year.With the commissioning of the enterprise the products will be exported by sea.This project is implemented by the Japanese-Turkish consortium as part of the Japanese company Mitsubishi Corporation and the Turkish construction firm Gap Insaat.Currently, relevant studies of the seabed and the coast of the Caspian have been carried out, and volumes of construction and installation work have been established. The planned productivity of the future port is 3,500 tons of shipment per day.The construction of a plant with an annual capacity of 1.155 million tons of carbamide is expected to be completed in June 2018. About 900 workplaces will be created at the plant.Earlier it was reported that this plant will be the largest enterprise of this kind in Turkmenistan and the cost of the contract is approximately $1.3 billion. Natural gas, on the reserves of which Turkmenistan occupies a leading position in the world, will be the raw material for the enterprise. Hungarian envoy: Baku Shopping Festival well organized, colorful, funny http://www.today.az/news/business/160650.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:48:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliHungary’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Imre Laszloczki appreciated the Baku Shopping Festival running in the Azerbaijani capital.In his interview posted on the official website of the Festival (www.bakushopfest.com) Laszloczki said that the event is very well organized, adding that it is colorful and funny, with an interesting program.The diplomat added that every year more tourists come from Hungary to Azerbaijan to attend various events, including the shopping festival.The Baku Shopping Festival started April 10 and will last until May 10. The shopping festival is being held with organizational support of the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.The Shopping Festivals are being promoted as tourism products worldwide, thus attracting large number of tourists to the country.  Recent years have seen the shopping gaining greater significance in tourism, given its contribution to the retail and tourism sectors of a destination.During the Festival, which includes shopping, entertainment, fashion and culture, many city malls offer special discounts, Tax Free, and temporary pop-up shops present a broad range of Azerbaijani and foreign brands.Facilities that have joined the VAT refund system have special stickers entitled “Baku Shopping Festival - Tax Free.” VAT is refunded only to those buyers, who purchased the goods at the facilities with such a sticker. Best moments of Day 1 of FIG World Cup in Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/160654.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:41:00 +0400 By  TrendBest moments of Day 1 of FIG World Cup in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Baku. Azersun becomes 7th Official Supporter of Baku 2017 http://www.today.az/news/sports/160647.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:38:00 +0400 Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games has announced that Azerchay will be the Official Tea of the Games.Azerchay is a brand that is a part of Azersun Holding, an Azerbaijan based food producer, which will become an Official Supporter of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.Azerchay will provide tea concessions in the Athletes Village, as well as in some Games time venues. Besides providing athletes and officials with premium service tea including traditional glasses, samovars and wooden display boxes, Azerchay will set-up a Golf Simulation in the Athletes Village.As an Official Supporter, Azersun will focus on building excitement ahead of the start of the Games – with sport sessions commencing on May 8, ahead of the Opening Ceremony on  May 12 at the Baku Olympic Stadium.Speaking about the agreement Elchin Safarov, Director of Baku 2017 Operation Committee, Mayor of Athletes Village and Ambassador of volunteers said: “Azersun Holding is one of Azerbaijan leading companies and we are delighted they will become an Official Support of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.”“Tea is one of the oldest and most important cultural traditions in Azerbaijan. In supporting the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, Azersun Holding and Azerchay will help ensure that all athletes, official and spectators visiting our country will be provided with the warm and welcoming hospitality for which Azerbaijan has become famous for, around the world.Savash Uzan, Chief Executive Officer of Azersun Holding, said: “We are proud to be Official Supporter of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games and to give our support to one of the important sporting events ever to take place in Azerbaijan. I am sure that together we will achieve great success.”Azersun becomes the seventh Official Supporter of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games alongside BonAqua, iTicket, Fresco, Milla, Red Bull and Nestle.Athletes from Islamic countries around the world will be representing their nations over 10 days of competition across 20 different sports which include 23 disciplines (Athletics and Para Athletics, Aquatics – Diving, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Water Polo, Basketball 3x3, Football, Gymnastics – Artistic, Gymnastics – Rhythmic, Wushu, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo and Blind Judo, Wrestling – Greco, Wrestling – Freestyle, Shooting, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Zurkhaneh, Karate, Taekwondo and Weightlifting) in 16 world-class sporting venues in Baku.Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku was awarded the Games at the General Assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Jeddah in July 2013. PACE co-rapporteur to study issue of destruction of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage http://www.today.az/news/politics/160651.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:31:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovA co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee, Stefan Schennach, will study materials about the destruction of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage.Schennach, addressing the PACE spring session on April 28, said that the Azerbaijani side provided him with a lot of documentation on this topic.The co-rapporteur expressed his desire to examine all the materials if the PACE won't mind.The PACE spring session is taking place in Strasbourg from April 24 to 28.Estimations by Azerbaijan's working group on the assessment of damage in the occupied territories showed that the total damage inflicted to Azerbaijan by the Armenian occupation accounted to $819.15 billion.As many as $177 billion of this amount accounted for the damage caused to historical and cultural monuments of Azerbaijan.Overall, since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the Armenian aggressors destroyed 1,200 historical and architectural monuments, looted 27 museums, over 100,000 items were exported to Armenia. In addition, the Armenian occupiers destroyed 152 religious monuments and 62 mosques, 4.6 million books in 927 libraries, including the Holy Quran and rare Islamic manuscripts.The destruction and damage of historical and cultural monuments by the Armenian invaders in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan contradict many international conventions on the preservation of cultural and natural heritages, including the Hague, European and UNESCO conventions. FIG World Cup solemnly opens in Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/160646.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:20:00 +0400 By  TrendA grand opening ceremony for the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup was held in the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku on April 28.The ceremony was devoted to the path of the champion.The guests enjoyed a colorful composition entitled "Let's look at the champions and become champions" with magnificent choreographic performances.The athletes of different ages, representing artistic gymnastics, acrobatics and aerobics participated in the composition.Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov addressed the Opening Ceremony and cordially greeted all participants of the prestigious competition.“Dear athletes! Dear sports community representatives! Dear ladies and gentlemen! First of all, I would like to state that we experienced thrilling events of the FIG World Cup series in Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling, as well as in Artistic Gymnastics this year – within a short period of time, and, today, we have the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup competitions commenced,” Rahimov said.“Azerbaijan has been an independent state for more than 25 years. Our country appeared on the worlds’ sports map with all its glory within the last 25 years, having started to prove itself and to turn into a sports country namely after gaining independence.”“I would like to emphasize that the high level of development of sports in Azerbaijan in a short period of time is mainly related to the state care shown to this field,” he said.“As a developing country, Azerbaijan has achieved great results in sports field,” the minister added. “The creation of new sports infrastructure takes a special place among them. The program, launched by the National Olympic Committee under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev in due time, has become widespread throughout the country.”“More than 40 Olympic sports complexes operate in Azerbaijan,” he said. “The new sports facilities provide necessary conditions for organization of international competitions in our country as well.”“Therefore, the organization of international sports events in Azerbaijan has already become a tradition,” Rahimov said. “A number of international competitions organized in Azerbaijan for the last years is measured in hundreds and increases year by year.”“Certainly, organization of many international events in our country proves that Azerbaijan is a sports country once again,” he said. “Attention and care is always shown to this field by our state. Certainly, such a progress of Azerbaijani sports is also in the spotlight of the international community.”Rahimov said that being as one of the tools facilitating to friendship, brotherhood and mutual understanding among the nations, sports promotes fair rivalry, healthy lifestyle and plays an important role in physical and moral education of an individual.The minister stressed that organization and holding of international sports competitions is of great importance from this point of view.“The 1st European Games, the World Chess Olympiad, the UEFA European Under 17 Championship, the European Formula 1 Grand Prix, the World and European Championships and other international tournaments hosted by our country at the high level, along with discovering Azerbaijan’s prospects in this field, are of great importance in terms of recognition and promotion of our country on the international arena,” he said.“Although some time has passed since the organization of these competitions in our country, the sports society still shares its impressions,” the minister said.“Taking into account this high organizational level, the international sports organizations regularly entrust our country to host sports events,” Rahimov added.“In order to justify this confidence, we are making efforts to carry out our duties in a worthy manner under special attention and leadership of the Head of State, President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev.”The minister added that entrusting the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017 to Azerbaijan proves that once again.“I am confident that we will also succeed in hosting these competitions at the highest level as well,” he said.“Rhythmic gymnastics is a favorite sports discipline that attracts large audience in the world, including our country,” the minister said.“I would like to emphasize that attention and interest shown in all gymnastics disciplines as well as in rhythmic gymnastics is significantly increased after election of First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the country’s First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva as the President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation,” the minister said. “As a result, all events are organized at high level and turn into sports festival.”“I am confident that this competition will play an important role in improving sport skills of our gymnasts, increasing the interest to this sports discipline as well as facilitate to its further development,” he added.“Taking this opportunity, on behalf of sports community, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the country’s President Mr. Ilham Aliyev and Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva for their attention and care shown to sports in Azerbaijan,” Rahimov said. “I thank the leadership of the International Federation of Gymnastics for entrusting the organization of such prestigious competitions to our Republic.”The minister said that this event with a participation of athletes from 21 countries of the world will certainly play an important role in the development and promotion of this gymnastics discipline in Azerbaijan and create favorable conditions for our athletes to gain experience.“I am confident that these competitions will become an unforgettable event for the spectators and fans, who came to watch the competitions,” he said.“I, once again, welcome the participants of the World Cup on the ancient land of Azerbaijan and wish each athlete to compete with dignity and win a victory,” Rahimov added. “Thank you for the attention.”The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena.On the first day, qualifying competitions on individual performances of gymnasts in exercises with a hoop and ball, as well as on group performances with five hoops will be held.Zhala Piriyeva, Zohra Aghamirova, as well as silver medalists of the European Championships within team in group exercises – Siyana Vasileva, Diana Doman, Aleksandra Platonova, Ayshan Bayramova and Elif Zeynep Celep will represent Azerbaijan during the competitions. Baku conference honors memory of academician Zarifa Aliyeva http://www.today.az/news/society/160648.html Society Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:57:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliThe National Center for Ophthalmology named after academician Zarifa Aliyeva held a scientific conference on "Actual problems of ophthalmology" on April 28 dedicated to the 94th anniversary of the outstanding Azerbaijani ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.Speaking at the conference, Head of the National Center Elmar Gasimov stressed that Zarifa Aliyeva's scientific activity is very rich and multifaceted.Gasimov said that today’s development of national ophthalmology is closely connected with the name of Zarifa Aliyeva. He especially noted the great merits of the outstanding ophthalmologist in the eradication of trachoma in Azerbaijan, which was widespread in the country during the period of the scientist's activity.Gasimov added that about 200 scientific articles were published by Zarifa Aliyeva."Zarifa Aliyeva's activity is an example for modern ophthalmologists, and her memory will remain forever in our hearts," Gasimov said.Deputy Director of the Center Hijran Namazova, speaking at the conference, informed about the scientific and pedagogical activity of Zarifa Aliyeva.Namazova noted that due to the activities and merits of the outstanding scientist, the world recognized achievements of the Azerbaijani ophthalmology, which is closely associated with her name today.“Zarifa Aliyeva was also an excellent teacher. Her legacy still lives today, being an example for ophthalmologists,” Namazova said.Zarifa Aliyeva, an honorary scientist of the Republic of Azerbaijan, doctor of medical sciences and academician of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, was born on April 28, 1923 in the village of Shahtakhty, Sharur region.Aliyeva graduated from the Treatment and Prophylaxis Faculty of the Azerbaijan State Medical Institute in 1947. Then she acquired the major in ophthalmology in Moscow after successfully completing a two-year advanced training course at the All-Union Central Doctors Improvement Institute.Zarifa Aliyeva graduated from post-graduate courses in the Institute in 1953. In 1977 she was granted the academic degree of a doctor of medical sciences.Zarifa Aliyeva dedicated her research to treatment of trachoma, more exactly, to studying more effective means in curing, and aggravation of trachoma, use of synthomycin, an antibiotic that was new at the time, which had an antichlamydial activity except wide antibacterial spectrums. She is the author of a number of valuable research papers, 12 monographs, textbooks and manuals, about 150 scientific works, one invention and 12 rationalization proposals. Mrs. Aliyeva is also one of the authors of unique scientific works like 'Therapeutic ophthalmology' and 'Fundamentals of iridodiagnostics'.In 1981, Aliyeva was awarded the highest prize in the field of ophthalmology - the Prize named after Academician M.I.Averbakh of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR for her great contribution to the development of ophthalmology -- the researches she had conducted in the field of professional pathology of vision. Professor Zarifa Aliyeva was the first woman to have received that prize.She was awarded orders and medals, and the title of Honorary Figure of Science of Azerbaijan.Aliyeva passed away on April 15, 1985 in Moscow. Country’s insurance market slightly reduces http://www.today.az/news/business/160649.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:43:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAzerbaijan’s insurance companies collected premiums worth 150.68 million manats ($88.5 million) in January-March 2017, which is 1 percent less than in the same period of 2016.During the first three months of 2017, the insurance companies paid 60.29 million manats ($40.7 million) for insurance cases. The figure is more by 14.7 percent compared to January-March of the previous year, reads a report by the Financial Market Supervisory Body.Voluntary insurance fees increased by 4 percent, up  to 111.9 million manats ($65.7 million), payments - by 16 percent, to 47.34 million manats ($27.8 million).Fees on compulsory types of insurance decreased by 13.65 percent, amounting to almost 38.77 million manats ($22.7 million), and payments increased by 11 percent - to 12.95 million manats ($7.6 million).During the reported period, for every hundred manats insurance companies paid 40 manats ($23). In January-March of 2016 this indicator was 35 ($20) manats.Some 21 insurance companies are currently implementing their activities in the country.Last year 4 insurance companies were closed. Recently, Bashak insurance company made a decision to leave the market. National culinary team claims medals in Montenegro [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/160645.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:28:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan’s National Culinary Association took part in the international culinary championship in Budva, Montenegro.The championship brought together the best cooks from more than 10 countries, including Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Croatia, India, etc.The Azerbaijani cooks grabbed one silver, two bronze and one distinctive diploma, Trend Life reported.Medina Aliyeva was awarded the distinctive diploma (4th place) in the individual class youth category. Sarkhan Mammadov won the silver medal in the adults’ class. Gulnar Aleskerova won bronze of the championship. She also claimed bronze in the team event (Art class), said Tahir Amiraslanov, President of the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association.Amiraslanov thanked Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Montenegro and Azersun Holding for support.The Association was founded in 2005 and has successfully participated in several international events since its creation. It is the member of International Culinary Association.In February, Azerbaijani cooks grabbed 4 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals in the15th Istanbul Gastronomy Festival. The national culinary team successfully participated in the BESTCookFESTJunior–2016 in Ukraine.Delicious Azerbaijani cuisine is one the first things that tourists want to discover coming to the Land of Fire. Most of Azerbaijan's national meals are cooked from mutton, beef, poultry and fish. The variety of national foods also includes many dishes with rice, flour, vegetables and greens.The unique dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine such as dolma, bozbash, bozartma, chykhyrtma, khashil, Shish kebab, piti, pilaff, and govurma are included in the national menus of the neighboring Caucasus nations. Russia, Japan to sign a number of agreements http://www.today.az/news/regions/160644.html World news Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaRussia and Japan will sign 28 agreements following the Moscow visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Seko said.The minister especially emphasized an agreement on changing the regime of bilateral taxation, agreement between Russian R-Pharm and Japanese Mitsui, agreement on the construction of an international airport in Khabarovsk and agreement to lift the ban on the export of processed chicken meat from Russia to Japan."I will continue to strive for good results of the Japanese-Russian cooperation so that the implementation of our plans would have created a favorable cycle in the development of our relations both in the economy and in the political sphere," Seko said.The new convention should replace the current "Convention on the avoidance of double taxation", which was signed by the USSR and Japan in 1986.This new Convention reinforces or introduces provisions for the purposes of clarifying the scope of taxation in the two countries, eliminating international double taxation and preventing tax evasion and avoidance, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry.The Ministry noted that the convention will be signed after passing the necessary procedure, and will come into force after ratification by the parliaments of both countries.Russia and Japan have been holding consultations since the mid-20th century in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands.In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, but the islands issue was not solved. At the same time, the Soviet Union expressed readiness to hand the Shikotan and Habomai islands over to Japan as a gesture of goodwill but the plan was never implemented. Armenia uses “Osa” missile system against Azerbaijan [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/160643.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovArmenia continues to carry out armed provocations aiming to escalate the situation in the frontline, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on April 28.The ministry reported that on Thursday evening, the air defense units of Armenia launched a guided rocket from the “Osa” surface-to-air missile system in Khojavend-Fizuli direction of the front.“Without hitting any targets, the rocket fell onto an empty section in the territory controlled by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces,” the ministry noted.During the inspection of the territory, there was revealed the cap and other remains of the 9M33 rocket.The preliminary investigation concluded that the rockets that the Armenian armed forces have in use are outdated and unfit for use.Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. President Aliyev views construction progress at carbamide plant in Sumgayit [UPDATE] http://www.today.az/news/politics/160617.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:59:00 +0400 By  Azertac SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, director of the plant Khayal Jafarov and project manager on behalf of Samsung Engineering Han-su Kim informed the head of state of the construction work.The foundation of the plant was laid by the President of Azerbaijan in December, 2011. Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd won an international open tender to provide engineering, procurement, construction and pre-commissioning services for the plant.The plant will have a capacity to produce 1,200 tonnes of ammonia per day and 2,000 tonnes of urea per day.The President was also informed of the project to build a gas supply system under Sumgayit industrial zone development plan.President Ilham Aliyev toured the plant and viewed construction progress.The project involves a 3,200-strong workforce, including 3,100 Azerbaijani citizens. The plant will create up to 400 permanent jobs. The total cost of the project is 750 million euros. The plant will play a key role in strengthening Azerbaijan`s economy, increasing the country`s export potential and boosting its non-oil sector. First day of FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicks off in Baku [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/160642.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:42:00 +0400 By  TrendThe first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup has kicked off in Baku on April 28.The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena.On the first day, qualifying competitions on individual performances of gymnasts in exercises with a hoop and ball, as well as on group performances with five hoops will be held.Zhala Piriyeva, Zohra Aghamirova, as well as silver medalists of the European Championships within team in group exercises – Siyana Vasileva, Diana Doman, Aleksandra Platonova, Ayshan Bayramova and Elif Zeynep Celep will represent Azerbaijan during the competitions.The participation of 94 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected at the event. Thirty-seven of them will perform in the individual program, while 57 gymnasts will take part within the teams of group exercises.The results of the qualifications to be held on the first two days of the competitions, will define the winners in the all-around as well as the apparatus finalists both among individual gymnasts and the teams in group exercises. The finals will be held on the last day of the competitions.During the three-day competitions, along with the well-known Azerbaijani gymnasts, the spectators will get an opportunity to watch the performances of favorite athletes from abroad: Aleksandra Soldatova (Russia) – two-time World and European Champion, Nicol Zelikman (Israel) – bronze medalist of the European Championships, silver medalists of the Olympic Games from Spain, bronze medalists of the Olympic Games from Bulgaria, bronze medalists of the World Championships from Belarus. Professor Nargiz Pashayeva receives “Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal” http://www.today.az/news/society/160641.html Society Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:25:00 +0400 By  Azertac The Presidium of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) has awarded recipients of “Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal of the Republic of Azerbaijan” at its general meeting.Corresponding member of ANAS, professor Nargiz Pashayeva was awarded “Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal of the Republic of Azerbaijan” for her exceptional role in establishing Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, which is a remarkable project implemented in Azerbaijan`s science and education area in the years of independence, and ensuring the centre`s effective activity.Addressing the ceremony, professor Nargiz Pashayeva thanked for the award, and highlighted the activity and accomplishments of Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.The centre’s co-chair on behalf of the UK, professor Robert Hoyland also received “Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal of the Republic of Azerbaijan” for his contribution to the study of Azerbaijan`s culture and history on a global scale.Professor Robert Hoyland said he was happy to be awarded the medal, and thanked ANAS Presidium for recognizing his activity. Net cash flow from Kashagan may reach $180M in 2017 http://www.today.az/news/regions/160639.html World news Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:18:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaThe net cash flow from the Kashagan project is expected to reach $180 million in 2017, Executive Vice President and Financial Director of Kazakh national oil and gas company KazMunaiGaz Dauren Karabayev said at a briefing, Kazakhstan Today news agency reported.The rate of production at Kashagan is about 180,000 barrels per day. By the end of the year, this figure will increase to 370,000 bpd, according to Karabayev."Preliminary estimates show that Samruk-Kazyna fund and KazMunayGaz Company will jointly receive net cash flow of about $180 million in 2017 after investing in Kashagan," he said.Karabayev noted that the project already covers its operating costs and capital investments for maintaining and increasing production rates and generates a positive cash flow for its partners.More than 2 million tons of oil has been produced so far at this largest oil field discovered in the last 40 years.Oil is the main export product of Kazakhstan, and the country made every possible effort to increase oil production. The production at the Kashagan field was re launched in autumn 2016.Kashagan, first discovered in 2000 and located in the north of the Caspian Sea, is considered to be the world's largest discovery in the last 30 years, combined with the Tengiz Field. Kashagan field, which earned the unfortunate nickname “cash-all-gone” due to a series of expensive overruns, finally started up in October 2016. The field, located in the north of the Caspian Sea is the biggest oil field opened in the last 40 years, while its recoverable oil reserves are assessed at 9-13 billion barrels.The project participants are KMG Kashagan BV (16.88 percent), AGIP Caspian Sea BV (nearly 16.81 percent), CNPC Kazakhstan BV (8.33 percent), Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Inc. (nearly 16.81 percent), INPEX North Caspian Sea Ltd. (nearly 16.81 percent), Shell Kazakhstan Development BV (nearly 16.81 percent), and Total E&P Kazakhstan (nearly 16.81 percent). The field is operated by North Caspian Operating Company BV (NCOC).Currently, Kashagan oil is exported via pipelines of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium and the Kazakh national company KazTransOil.Kazakhstan's proven oil reserves as of early 2016 stood at 30 billion barrels, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Baku, Zagreb hold political consultations http://www.today.az/news/politics/160638.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:07:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe Azerbaijani and Croatian foreign ministries have conducted political consultations.The deputy foreign minister, Khalaf Khalafov, and the assistant minister for European Affairs, Gordan Bakota, led the Azerbaijani and Croatian delegations at the negotiations, Azertac reported.Khalafov stressed speedy development of political dialogue between the two countries, hailing the role of visits and meetings of the heads of state in this process.He noted that Azerbaijan is interested in expanding and deepening cooperation with Croatia in all spheres.Khalafov expressed his confidence that the inter-governmental economic commission will contribute to the development of economic and trade relations.Bakota, in turn, emphasized the importance of continuing joint efforts towards developing economic ties. He stressed the role of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi?’s visit to Azerbaijan in raising the bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership.President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visited Azerbaijan in  October 2016.During her visit, the Croatian president had bilateral meetings with the country’s leadership and discussed the prospects of cooperation in political, economic and humanitarian spheres. MP: Italy has particular importance for Azerbaijan in country`s relations with Europe [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/160637.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:55:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Amina NazarliA forum marking the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two strategic partners- Azerbaijan and Italy was held in Baku on April 27.Titled “Dialogue Forum Italy Azerbaijan”, the event brought together officials, ambassadors of foreign countries accredited in Baku, scientific figures and the businessmen.Vice-Rector of ADA University Fariz Ismayilzade addressing the event named Italy an important partner for Azerbaijan.  Ismayilzade highlighted the importance of the Forum, describing the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Italy as a remarkable occasion.Italian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Giampaolo Cutillo, in his turn, recalled President Ilham Aliyev`s visit to Italy, saying that these visits further strengthened cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, cultural fields.“Italy and Azerbaijan are strategic partners,” he added.Head of Italy-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Working Group Azer Karimli, addressing the event, said Italy has a particular importance for Azerbaijan in the country`s relationship with Europe.“Italy was among the first countries that recognized Azerbaijan`s independence. Azerbaijani-Italian relations cover various fields. Italy is one of main investors of Southern Gas Corridor project,” he added.Former Chair of the Senate`s Foreign Affairs Committee Fiorello Provera highlighted similarities between the two countries. “Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups operating in the Parliaments of both countries serve to development of bilateral ties,” Provera added.Cutillo in an exclusive interview with Trend said that relations between Italy and Azerbaijan are based on mutual understanding. “Within 25 years we have done a great job,” he said.The envoy noted that Azerbaijan is a very good partner of Europe.The ambassador said Italians are in a very particular geographical and historical situation, in the middle of the Mediterranean, and Azerbaijanis are in the middle of the Caucasus, adding this has been crucial for the countries’ past and reality.There is strong and consistent support from the Italian government for the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, Cutillo said.There were some legal problems with the SGC, but it has been cleared by the Italian court, the envoy reminded.“As far as I know, work [on the SGC] remains on schedule and there is very complex work which needs to be done on the ground,” Cutillo said.TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.TAP will connect 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 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, with lowest point at 820 meters beneath the sea. Lawyer: Lapshin gets acquainted with investigation materials http://www.today.az/news/politics/160636.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:46:00 +0400 By Azernews By Rashid ShirinovThe arrested blogger, Alexander Lapshin, met with his lawyer in the infirmary of the Baku Detention Facility No. 1 on April 27.Blogger Lapshin, who owns citizenship of several countries, will stand trial in Baku for his illegal visits to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.Lawyer Eduard Chernin told Trend that Lapshin is currently being treated in the infirmary.“The treatment continues, he feels fine, there is no deterioration. Lapshin also met with the investigator and got acquainted with the investigation materials. The investigator asked him the necessary questions," Chernin said.The lawyer said that the investigation still continues and its completion is expected in the coming days.Chernin also noted that Lapshin isn’t thinking to move to the treatment facility of the Justice Ministry.The lawyer earlier informed that Lapshin complained of pain in the heart and then was taken for examination in a private clinic where he was diagnosed as ‘tachycardia’.The blogger illegally visited Azerbaijan`s Armenia-occupied lands and now is charged under the articles 281.2 (appeals directed against state) and 318.2 (illegal border crossing) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. He violated Azerbaijani laws on state border in April 2011 and October 2012.Helped by his accomplices in the occupied territories, Lapshin 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 on April 6 and June 29, 2016.The blogger was arrested in Minsk in late 2016 and transferred to Baku in February 2017. Baku hosts Jewels of World fair [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/160634.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:35:00 +0400 By  Azertac The fourth edition of the International Jewelry and Art event, organized by Jewels of the World took place on April 26 at the prestigious Suites of Four Seasons Hotel.Baku’s most luxurious Beaux-Arts style Hotel traditionally hosts the world’s finest and most exquisite jewelry creators and rare watch makers, Azertac reported. The following exclusive brands showed their exceptional collections to the Azeri audience: DeLaneau, D’Joya high jewelry, Greubel Forsey, Lydia Courteille Creations, Magnificent Hong Kong, Tenzo high jewelry, Urwerk, Yvel.Current year the accent is on presenting the right balance and the subtle blending between high-end precious stones and South Sea pearls collections, and hand crafted watches, accompanied by dedicated work-shops of the brands, revealing the unique process of creating exceptional pieces. Each brand welcomes the guests in their specially arranged and designed Suite, further contributing to the feeling of uniqueness. Art has always been an inalienable and important part of JW concept. This year we will be glad to host the Parisian Gallery Stanislas Bourgain who jointly with Yarat Foundation, Baku present in “Suite Russe” its mind-teasing contemporary art collection. Azerbaijan, Turkey mull prospects for military cooperation http://www.today.az/news/politics/160635.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:22:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijan`s Minister of Defense, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov met with a delegation led by Commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie Forces, Army General Yasar Guler in Baku on April 27.Hasanov stressed that the military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey, built on strategic partnership and fraternal relations, is constantly developing, and these ties are stable, Azertac reported.Touching upon the military and political situation in the region, Hasanov noted that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a serious threat to regional stability and requires an early decision within the norms and principles of international law.Expressing his satisfaction with the visit to Azerbaijan, Guler noted that the relations of the two countries have historical roots and are based on good friendly traditions, adding that Turkey is an important partner of Azerbaijan.The sides also discussed prospects for the development of relations between the military structures of Azerbaijan and Turkey, areas of cooperation in the military, military-technical sphere and in the field of military education, preparation of joint plans, conducting joint exercises and organization of reciprocal visits.During his Baku visit, Guler also met with Chief of the State Border Service Elchin Guliyev.They praised development of relations between the two countries in various fields. The parties discussed a range of issues including border security between the border services of both countries, as well as managing the migration processes.The sides also exchanged views on holding the exchange of information for strengthening the border security between the two countries. One more health complex to appear in country http://www.today.az/news/society/160633.html Society Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:11:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Sara IsrafilbayovaAzerbaijan’s National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) is planning to finance the construction of a health complex in Gobustan district.The complex will be financed through preferential loans issued by the Fund in the framework of a business forum.In total, the Fund allocated 1.5 million manats to entrepreneurs from this region. These funds will be used to develop livestock farming, aviculture and other areas.Executive Director of NFES Shirzad Abdullayev informed that preferential loans the Fund issued since the beginning of the year amount to 25 million manats, which allows to create 700 new jobs.Abdullayev added that in general entrepreneurs of the Mountainous-Shirvan economic region, which includes Gobustan district, received 69 million manats for the implementation of almost 2 ,000 investment projects.About 150 million manats will be issued for granting preferential loans to entrepreneurs in 2017.The Fund, established in 1992, issues loans to entrepreneurs through authorized banks and non-bank lenders.Main objectives of the Fund are to develop entrepreneurship in the Republic of Azerbaijan and participate in activities to increase the activity of business activities of the population and provide them with financial assistance.Allocation of funds by NFES is aimed at the mitigating of the impact of global economic crisis to the national economy and minimization of its dependence on the oil sector. The country takes steps in its bid to diversify the national economy and provide for the development of entrepreneurship in the country.   Azerbaijan, Czech Republic mull issues of agro cooperation [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/160632.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:54:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijan and the Czech Republic have discussed ways of developing cooperation as a delegation of Azerbaijani parliamentarians visited Prague.The delegation, led by MP Eldar Ibrahimov, included Mahir Aslanov, Igbal Mammadov and Elchin Guliyev, Azertac reported.During the meetings with Vice Chairmen of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Radek Vondrá?ek and Vojtech Filip, the Azerbaijani delegation discussed the Azerbaijani-Czech bilateral relations, prospects for developing interparliamentary cooperation, as well as economic cooperation between the two countries.The meetings with Czech Deputy Minister for Agricultural commodities, foreign relations and organic farming section Ji?í Šír, Chairman of the Senate Committee for Economy, Agriculture, and Transport, agriculture expert Jan Hajda, and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture of the Czech Parliament Ladislav Velebny featured discussions on the reforms carried out in both countries' agricultural sectors.The Azerbaijani delegation also met with Vice-Director of Czech State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF) Miloš Irovski to discuss the establishment of cooperation between the Fund and relevant Azerbaijani authorities.The diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan were established in 1993. The two countries  actively cooperate in the fields of economy, tourism, culture and education.The Czech Republic ranks the 12th in the list of main importers of Azerbaijani goods. The share of the Czech Republic in the total export from Azerbaijan totaled 2.58 percent in January-November 2016.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic amounted to $316 million in January-November 2016, and $214.4 million of which accounted for the export of Azerbaijani goods to the Czech Republic, according to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee.  Azerbaijan, Turkey to deepen cooperation with African countries http://www.today.az/news/business/160631.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:38:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan’s Agriculture Minister Heydar Asadov is on an official visit in the Turkish city of Antalya.Asadov was invited as an honorary guest by Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Faruk Celik, to take part in the first meeting of agriculture ministers of Turkey and African countries, and the business forum, to be held in Antalya on April 27-28.The role of rural development in ensuring food security, as well as prospects for cooperation of private sector representatives, attracting foreign investments in the country’s economy to ensure sustainable and continuous development of the agrarian sector are the topics of discussion at the event.Meanwhile, an exchange of views will also be held in order to bring to a high level the cooperation between Azerbaijan, Turkey and African countries in the field of agriculture. Journey from the Caspian in Gabala [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/160630.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:26:00 +0400 The Baku 2017 Journey from the Caspian reached Gabala. This tour that including 15 regions of Azerbaijan will bring the spirit of a celebration of sports, as well as the feelings of solidarity and joy to the people.Water, the source of life, and a symbol of purity and unity within Islam, will be the theme of the Journey from the Caspian.The Operation Committee of Baku 2017 stated considerable role of the project which route of journey starts from the Caspian promises covering whole Azerbaijan areas will showcase beautiful country’s history, culture and traditions.It was emphasized that each representative of the country attending in 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in May 12-22, will leave Azerbaijan with the most pleasant impressions. The Operation Committee stated that, Azerbaijani people’s hospitality, love of history and culture is well known to everybody. Journeys will demonstrate peculiarities, traditions, history, also Azerbaijan’s beauties to the world.The Baku 2017 Water Vessels, beautifully crafted in three sizes from smooth and hammered copper, were inspired by Azerbaijani metalworking technics, and traditional vessel designs from across the Islamic world. First day of FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicks off in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/160640.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:17:00 +0400 By  TrendThe first day of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup has kicked off in Baku Apr. 28.The competitions are being held at the National Gymnastics Arena.On the first day, qualifying competitions on individual performances of gymnasts in exercises with a hoop and ball, as well as on group performances with five hoops will be held.Zhala Piriyeva, Zohra Aghamirova, as well as silver medalists of the European Championships within team in group exercises – Siyana Vasileva, Diana Doman, Aleksandra Platonova, Ayshan Bayramova and Elif Zeynep Celep will represent Azerbaijan during the competitions.The participation of 94 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected at the event. Thirty-seven of them will perform in the individual program, while 57 gymnasts will take part within the teams of group exercises.The results of the qualifications to be held on the first two days of the competitions, will define the winners in the all-around as well as the apparatus finalists both among individual gymnasts and the teams in group exercises. The finals will be held on the last day of the competitions.During the three-day competitions, along with the well-known Azerbaijani gymnasts, the spectators will get an opportunity to watch the performances of favorite athletes from abroad: Aleksandra Soldatova (Russia) – two-time World and European Champion, Nicol Zelikman (Israel) – bronze medalist of the European Championships, silver medalists of the Olympic Games from Spain, bronze medalists of the Olympic Games from Bulgaria, bronze medalists of the World Championships from Belarus. SOFAZ’s investment opportunities in France discussed http://www.today.az/news/business/160629.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Gunay CamalAzerbaijan's sovereign wealth fund SOFAZ has considered investment opportunities  in France.The issues was among the topics of a meeting between SOFAZ Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov and Florence Mangin, the Director of the Department of Continental Europe  at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development in Baku.Movsumov briefed the French delegation on the Fund’s activities, management of its assets, South Gas Corridor project, Azerbaijan’s activities on transparency in extractive industries and work to be implemented by the Commission on Transparency in Extractive Industries established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, ongoing economic reforms and measures for maintaining macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability, Strategic Roadmaps approved by the President, and answered questions.Being a special purpose state organization, the primary objectives of SOFAZ are to help maintain macroeconomic stability in the country and to generate wealth for present and future generations.SOFAZ earlier announced that it will continue to invest in real estate within its investment strategy on real estate. The share of SOFAZ investments that can be made in real estate is 10 percent of the total investment portfolio.The practice of investing in real estate abroad has already allowed the Fund to acquire Gallery Actor, a mixed-use office and retail complex located on Pushkin Square in Moscow for $133 million, an office complex in London's West End for £177.35 million, a property in Paris for €135 million, Pine Avenue Tower worth $447 million in Seoul and Palazzo Turati office building in Italy, Milan.Earlier during her Baku visit, Mangin met with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. At the meeting shre stressed that two French banks are interested to participate in financing of TAP and major railway projects initiated by Azerbaijan. Mariana Vasileva promises great opening ceremony for FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup http://www.today.az/news/sports/160628.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0400 By  TrendA composition titled "Let's look at the champions and become champions" will be presented at the opening ceremony of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku, said  Mariana Vasileva, head coach of the Azerbaijani national gymnastics team“The idea of the composition is that any champion can inspire a girl or a boy to engage in any kind of sport and any gymnastics discipline,” Vasileva, who is also director of the ceremony, said. “We will show every moment from the very beginning of the gymnast’s career till the moment of becoming an Olympic champion.”The head coach said the preparation of the opening ceremony is a result of the enormous work of choreographers, coaches and staff of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.She added that everything that the audience will see has been created within 10 days. “I hope everyone will love the show and get the idea we wanted to convey,” Vasileva said.The head coach added that the path to the championship is difficult for any athlete, with a lot of people involved in the process.She said 178 gymnasts of different ages, as well as choreographers will participate in the opening ceremony.Baku will host another FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup on April 28-30. Gymnasts from different countries will gather at the National Gymnastics Arena to demonstrate their mastery this time as well. Participation of 94 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected in the event. Georgian ministry talks purchase of Iranian gas http://www.today.az/news/business/160618.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:43:00 +0400 By  TrendThe gas delivery  from Iran to Georgia is theoretically possible, and there is necessary infrastructure for this, but such contracts were not concluded between state companies, Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Mariam Valishvili told Trend on April 24."The Iranian side expresses its readiness to supply gas to the Georgian market. However, we prefer Azerbaijani gas, since it is the most optimal supplier [of gas] to our market," noted Valishvili.She further added that in accordance with the legislation of Georgia, such contracts can also be concluded by private companies if they decide that the Iranian supplies are acceptable from an economic point of view."There are no restrictions on such supplies," she said.In July 2016, Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Alireza Kameli said that Iran signed an agreement with the Georgian private company, Georgian International Energy Corporation to pump 40 million cubic meters of gas to Georgia.Valishvili went on to day that Georgia’s pipeline system is in possession of the state, and private companies must present similar contracts to the government in order to obtain services for the transportation of purchased gas through the country.There is information that one of commercial entities of Georgia has signed a contract for the supply of Iranian gas in 2016, but this contract hasn’t yet been presented to the Georgian government, she added.The deputy energy minister said that it is theoretically possible to supply Iranian gas to Georgia through Azerbaijan – there are pipelines from Iran to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan to Georgia."It is also possible to swap supplies, that is, the contract is signed with Iran, but real gas will be supplied to Georgia from Russia, and Iran will, in return, supply gas to Armenia in line with mutual settlements with Russia," noted Valishvili adding that however, for the implementation of such supplies an agreement is necessary among all four countries."Such negotiations aren’t conducted. When we receive the contract, we will consider it and make a decision," added the Georgian minister.Following the visit to Tbilisi, Head of General Department of CIS and Caucasus Countries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Gholamreza Bagheri Moghaddam has recently said that Georgia plans to realize gas purchase deal with Iran in a month.Commenting on the issue, Valishvili said that even if the contract on purchase of Iranian gas will be presented to the Georgian government in the coming days, it is unlikely that it will be possible to resolve all issues within a month to ensure its transportation.Azerbaijan has been the main exporter of gas to Georgia for many years. Moreover, in previous years, Georgia received from Russia 10 percent of Russian gas supplies to Armenia as a payment for its transit. Since April 2017, Georgia has decided to abandon Russian gas and fully switch to purchasing Azerbaijani gas. Azerbaijani diaspora holds rally in Strasbourg in support of Turkey [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/politics/160627.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:21:00 +0400 By  TrendMembers of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Strasbourg have staged a rally outside the PACE building to protest the assembly's decision to reopen monitoring on Turkey.The protestors described the decision of the PACE as the triumph of Islamophobic tendencies within the organization and as a sign of a new wave of double standard policy towards Muslim countries."The assembly's monitoring serves the interests of various circles which aim to exert pressure on independent states and harm their national interests. A number of issues, including so-called 'political prisoners' game, Christoph Strasser's monitoring on Azerbaijan, and the discussions held in PACE in this regard is a clear evidence that the assembly has become a tool for political pressure.""What has Azerbaijan, which joined the Council of Europe in 2001, achieved over 16 years of membership? What should we expect from the CoE which has not taken any effective step towards ensuring international law and preventing Armenia's aggressive policy," the protestors said.The protestors stated that the Azerbaijani society will never accept the European institutions' unfair position against itself and brotherly Turkey, as well as the Western Islamophobic circles' attempts to target Muslim countries.The PACE voted in favor of restarting its monitoring of Turkey's respect for fundamental freedoms, which concluded in 2004, with 113 of the assembly's lawmakers voting in favor, 45 against and 12 abstained.The report called on Ankara to lift its state of emergency and release those arrested in the wake of the failed coup in July 2016 under its anti-terrorism laws.Ankara immediately reacted to the decision, announcing that "such a decision leaves no choice to Turkey but to reconsider its relations with this institution." AGF Sec.Gen. Azerbaijani gymnasts have good chances at Baku 2017 http://www.today.az/news/sports/160626.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:14:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani gymnasts will have very good chances at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, said Farid Gaibov, secretary general of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF).Azerbaijan will be represented in three types of gymnastics at the Islamic Solidarity Games, he told reporters in Baku Apr. 27.“Those are men's and women's artistic gymnastics, and rhythmic gymnastics. All three types of gymnastics are Olympic sports,” Gaibov noted.He said that in rhythmic gymnastics, there will be team competitions.The AGF secretary general noted that currently there are six types of gymnastics in Azerbaijan and some of them have started developing in recent years.He added that Azerbaijani gymnasts will head for the European championship immediately after the Islamic Solidarity Games.The 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will be held on May 12-22 in Baku. About 6,000 athletes from 57 countries will compete in the Games. Erdogan: EU cannot question our democracy http://www.today.az/news/regions/160625.html World news Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:06:00 +0400 By  TrendTurkey cannot allow other countries, “especially the European Union to question our democracy”, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, Anadolu reported.“Turkey is a country that has made its decision on the subject of democracy and the rule of law on July 15 without any doubt,” Erdogan said referring to last year’s coup attempt, which martyred 249 people.“We cannot allow some institutions and states, especially the European Union, to question the democracy of our country through the results of April 16 referendum,” Erdogan said during an Istanbul meeting to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Turkey’s Constitutional Court.More than 50 percent of Turkish citizens voted Yes to a presidential system in Turkey’s April 16 referendum. Euro dips against U.S. dollar on dovish ECB tone http://www.today.az/news/regions/160624.html World news Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:44:00 +0400 By  TrendThe euro dipped against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers did not discuss removing the bank's easing bias on monetary policy, while the dollar jumped against the Swedish crown after the Riksbank extended its bond-buying, Reuters reported.The euro initially rose to a session high of $1.0932 EUR= on language in the ECB's statement, read by Draghi, which said the euro zone's recovery was increasingly solid and downside risks had diminished.But other parts of the statement and Draghi's replies to questions stressed the barriers the ECB still faces before beginning to tighten the ultra-loose financing conditions it has maintained for nine years."Draghi wasn’t as hawkish as people had hoped," said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York."Upside event risk for the euro is gone," he added, noting that there was a tendency to bet against the euro in part given the likelihood of centrist Emmanuel Macron defeating anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen in the final round of France's presidential election.The euro was last down 0.3 percent against the dollar at $1.0875, near a session low of $1.0852.Sweden's Riksbank extended its bond-buying and predicted its first interest rate hike in mid-2018, later than previously projected. That sent the dollar as much as 1.3 percent higher against the Swedish crown to a session peak of 8.8730 crowns per dollar SEK=.The Bank of Japan also signaled it would maintain its massive stimulus effort, despite offering its most optimistic assessment of the Japanese economy in nine years.Governor Haruhiko Kuroda conceded that public perceptions of future price increases remained subdued, which disappointed some traders hoping for a more hawkish inflation outlook and pushed the dollar higher against the yen."That lower inflation forecast would suggest continued accommodative monetary policy," said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York.The dollar was last 0.2 percent higher against the yen at 111.22 yen after rising as much as 0.5 percent to a session high of 111.59.The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.1 percent at 99.104.The dollar was down 0.8 percent against the Mexican peso at 19.0300 pesos MXN= after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would not scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has excellent president: Ukrainian coach http://www.today.az/news/sports/160623.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:39:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) has an excellent president – First Vice-President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, said Irina Deriugina, senior coach of the Ukrainian national rhythmic gymnastics team, vice president of the Ukrainian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics.“Other countries can only admire what is being done in Azerbaijan to develop all kinds of gymnastics,” she told Trend.A young Ukrainian team has come to Baku to participate in the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup, according to Deriugina.“Previous World Cups have been extremely successful for us,” she said, adding they hope for success in Baku as well.Baku will host another FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup on April 28-30. Gymnasts from different countries will gather at the National Gymnastics Arena to demonstrate their mastery this time as well. Participation of 94 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected in the event. Armenia breaks ceasefire with Azerbaijan 120 times in 24 hours http://www.today.az/news/politics/160622.html Politics Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:27:00 +0400 Over the past 24 hours, Armenia’s armed forces have 120 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said April 28.The Azerbaijani army positions in Qaymaqli, Kamarli villages of the Gazakh district underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on the nameless heights of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani army positions in Agbulag, Munjuglu and Kokhanabi villages of the Tovuz district were shelled from the Armenian army positions located in Aygedzor, Chinari villages of the Berd district of Armenia.The Azerbaijani army positions on the nameless heights of the Gadabay district also underwent fire from the Armenian army positions located on the nameless heights of the Krasnoselsk district of Armenia.Moreover, the Azerbaijani army positions were shelled from the Armenian positions located near the Armenian-occupied Marzili, Javakhirli villages of the Aghdam district, Gorgan, Horadiz, Qarakhanbayli, Ashagi Veyselli villages of the Fuzuli district, as well as from the positions located on the nameless heights in the Goranboy, Tartar, Goygol, Aghdam, 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. Currency rates for April 28 http://www.today.az/news/business/160621.html Business Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:15:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat for April 28 was set at 1.7025 manats and 1.8495 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 metalsApr. 28, 20171 US dollar1 USD1.70251 euro1 EUR1.84951 Australian dollar1 AUD1.27191 Argentine peso1 ARS0.1105100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.90751 Brazilian real1 BRL0.5351 UAE dirham1 AED0.46351 South African rand1 ZAR0.1276100 South Korean won100 KRW0.14991 Czech koruna1 CZK0.06851 Chilean peso1 CLP0.25681 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.24721 Danish krone1 DKK0.24861 Georgian lari1 GEL0.69571 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.21881 Indian rupee1 INR0.02651 British pound1 GBP2.1978100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0128100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00461 Swedish krona1 SEK0.19261 Swiss franc1 CHF1.71161 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.46861 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.24811 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.5931 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00541 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0252100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11281 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.39151 Mexican peso1 MXP0.08921 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.08891 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.09431 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.1987100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.0461 Polish zloty1 PLN0.43811 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02991 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.21971 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.4541 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR2.33091 Turkish lira1 TRY0.47741 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05641 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.19291 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.48721 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.0641100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.53221 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.1709Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU2149.917Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG29.4533Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1607.16Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD1379.025 Azerbaijani directors awarded in Russia [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/160620.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani film "Lesson" was screened at the international festival of film and TV programs for family viewing named after Valentina Leontyeva.During the festival, which was held in Samara,Russia, film's producer-directors  Rafiq Aliyev and Javid Tavakkul were awarded the diploma "For the best presentation of  teenage challenges"."The Lesson" is a story about the life of Azerbaijani schoolchildren, friendship and responsibility for their actions.Schoolboy Khalid becomes a target of ridicule for his classmates. No-one wants to become friends with him. He dreams of making friends with the most popular boy in the class.  "If I have such a friend, I'll be respected and loved by everyone," the kid once told to his granddad.In the end, the naive boy realizes that respect and recognition come only to those who have self-esteem and who value and remember their roots."The Lesson" was shot upon the order of the Culture and Tourism Ministry by the Azerbaijanfilm studio named after Jafar Jabbarli.The film was scripted by Elza Agayeva and Anastasiya Volkova, directed by Rafiq Aliyev and Cavid Tavakkul, produced by Musfig Hatamov and photography by Rauf Qurbanaliyev.The film was named best at "Kinoshock-2016" film festival. "The Lesson" also awarded the prize “Golden Listapadzik” at Minsk International Film Festival. Canadian gymnasts hope for success at FIG World Cup in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/160619.html Sports Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:48:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Canadian rhythmic gymnastics team hopes to successfully perform at the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup, to be held in Baku, coach of the team Mira Filipova told reporters in Baku.She said their preparations for the FIG World Cup took more than a year, adding they are happy to perform at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku.Filipova also praised the work Azerbaijan has done for sports.The coach noted that everything is very well organized in the Baku arena and said there are no such large sports facilities in Canada as there are in Baku.Baku will host the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup on April 28-30. Gymnasts from different countries will gather at the National Gymnastics Arena to demonstrate their mastery.Participation of 92 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected in the event. SOCAR about to finalize construction of carbomide plant, continues talks on polymer production http://www.today.az/news/business/160616.html Business Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Kamila AliyevaAzerbaijan state oil company SOCAR is sure to finalize the construction of carbomide plant in accordance with schedule and launch production no later than  early 2018.    The construction of a carbamide plant is complete by 94.8 percent, the plant's director Khayal Jafarov said at the second SOCAR International Caspian and Central Asia Downstream Forum – Trading, Logistics, Refining, Petrochemicals scheduled for April 24-26.He said that engineering work and procurement of equipment have been done by 100 percent, construction work by 82 percent, civil engineering work by 93 percent, and installation of equipment by 70 percent.Jafarov added that it is planned to complete all work and start adjustment and commissioning of the plant by the end of 2017.He noted that the plant will produce 650,000-660,000 tons of carbamide per year.It is planned to supply a quarter of production, that is, 150,000-200,000 tons of carbamide, to the Azerbaijani domestic market, he said, adding that the remaining part will be exported to Turkey, Georgia and the markets of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea countries.Jafarov recalled that Samsung Engineering won  the tender for the construction of a carbamide plant. The net cost of the project for the construction of production capacity units amounts to about 498 million euros."Samsung acts as a general contractor, but has no license to produce ammonia, which will be an intermediate product in the process of production, and carbamide. Therefore, the relevant licensing agreements have been signed with Danish Haldor Topsoe for ammonia and Stamicarbon for carbamide in Netherlands," the director of the plant clarified.Production at the plant will be environmentally friendly, that is, no emissions into the atmosphere are expected. The plant will be completely autonomous and produce electricity independently. It will consume electricity in the amount of 25-26 megawatt per hour."The construction of infrastructure to provide the plant with gas, industrial water and connection to electricity networks, as well as electricity in emergency situations, will be completed in June or July this year," Jafarov said.As many as 3,000 jobs were created at the peak of the plant’s construction. Once the plant is commissioned the number of jobs will decrease to 300-350.At first, construction work was financed out of the state budget and about 205 million manat has been allocated by 2015. But later it was decided to switch to project financing and negotiations were launched with the banks."As a result, a 500 million euro credit line was opened by Korean Eximbank under Azerbaijan's state guarantees to complete the construction. So, Eximbank directly provides 251 million euros, while 249 million euros are allocated by three commercial banks with the support of Eximbank - UniCredit, Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank,” Jamalov said.Speaking about carbamide exports, he noted that the main market for the sale will be Turkey. According to market research, today Turkey imports about 1.5 million tons of carbamide. By 2020, imports are expected to grow up to 1.8 million tons. Taking into account the fact that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be launched by the end of this year, it will be possible to supply carbamide to the Turkish market quickly and inexpensively, Jafarov said.Despite the construction of a carbamide plant in Azerbaijan, building a carbamide plant in Georgia remains on agenda, he added.Fuad Ahmadov, financial director of SOCAR Polymer company who also participated in the event, said that the final investment decision on the project of construction of the SOCAR GPC, a gas processing and petrochemical complex of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, in the country is expected to come out by early 2018.Currently, SOCAR is negotiating with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) company for the financing of the construction of SOCAR GPC, he noted.The construction of the complex will take four years, and it is planned to complete it in late 2022, he added.More than 150 delegates including managers of SOCAR’s units and members of Azerbaijani Parliament as well as high-level officials, industry leaders, analysts, trade and financial experts, top executives, managers and representatives from ministries and transnational oil&gas companies from Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and other countries participate in the event. The three-day forum featured eight plenary sessions. Podium training starts for Baku World Cup in rhythmic gymnastics [PHOTO] http://www.today.az/news/sports/160612.html Sports Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:40:00 +0400 By  TrendThe podium training for the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup has started today at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku.Baku will host the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup on April 28-30. Gymnasts from different countries will gather at the National Gymnastics Arena to demonstrate their mastery.Participation of 92 gymnasts from 21 countries is expected in the event. Envoy: Italy strongly, consistently supports SGC http://www.today.az/news/business/160614.html Business Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:23:00 +0400 By  TrendThere is strong and consistent support from the Italian government for the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, said Giampaolo Cutillo, Italy’s ambassador to Azerbaijan.There were some legal problems with the SGC, but it has been cleared by the Italian court, the envoy told Trend.“As far as I know, work [on the SGC] remains on schedule and there is very complex work, which needs to be done on the ground,” Cutillo said.On April 20, the Lazio Regional Administrative Court in Italy revoked the order that earlier stopped the work to remove olive trees from the route of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe.Lisa Givert, head of communications at TAP AG, said, “Following today’s positive decision of Italian Lazio Regional Administrative Court, TAP continues to collaborate with all the authorities involved in the process to resume its activities on the ground as soon as possible, in order to remain on schedule.”“Once works can safely resume, the remaining olive trees could be removed and replanted in a matter of days,” added Givert.TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.TAP will connect 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 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, with lowest point at 820 meters beneath the sea. Expert: New form of government not to change Armenia's policy http://www.today.az/news/politics/160615.html Politics Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:16:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovThe April 2 parliamentary elections in Armenia and the transition to the new form of government will not lead to significant changes in the policy of this country, political analyst Azer Hasrat said during recent discussions of the Baku Network Expert Council.He, together with the head of Baku Network, PhD Elkhan Alasgarov, former Ambassador, PhD Namig Aliyev and political scientist Sahil Isgandarov discussed the situation in the region against the background of the parliamentary elections in Armenia, as well as ways of resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Hasrat noted that Armenia, every citizen of which wants to leave abroad as quickly as possible, has no future.The economic and social situation in Armenia continues to remain terrible and deteriorates every year. The poor South Caucasus nation faces a number of problems – inflation, unemployment, corruption, depreciation of the dram, low foreign investment, falling exports and many others.“If the political leadership of Armenia does not change, then nothing good will happen in the country in the next ten or twenty years,” the expert said.Hasrat noted that the Armenian nation has always been suffering from insane actions of its leaders, and today the people live under the blockade resulting from the aggressive policy of their leadership against the neighboring states – Azerbaijan and Turkey.“Not wishing to continue living in poverty, Armenian citizens are forced to emigrate. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia's population was about three million people, and today less than two million citizens live in this country – more than a million people left it,” the expert said.Hasrat noted that the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict contributed to this. “Until the Armenian leadership does not change its policy, the crisis in the country will further deepen,” the expert noted.Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. Azerbaijan women’s 3x3 basketball team name squad for Baku 2017 http://www.today.az/news/sports/160613.html Sports Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:45:00 +0400 The Azerbaijani women’s national 3x3 basketball team has named a squad for the Baku 2017 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.The team includes Dina Ulyanova, Tatyana Deniskina, Abigail Mollenhauer and Marcedes Walker.Azerbaijan will struggle against Turkey, Algeria, Mali and Afghanistan in Group A.The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games is an exciting multi-sport event uniting the Islamic world, which will take place from 12 – 22 May 2017.Athletes from Islamic countries around the world will be representing their nations over 10 days of competition across 20 different sports which include 23 disciplines (Athletics and Para Athletics, Aquatics – Diving, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Water Polo, Basketball 3x3, Football, Gymnastics – Artistic, Gymnastics – Rhythmic, Wushu, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo and Blind Judo, Wrestling – Greco, Wrestling – Freestyle, Shooting, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Zurkhaneh, Karate, Taekwondo and Weightlifting) in 16 modern competition venues in Baku.Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku was awarded the Games at the General Assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Jeddah in July 2013. Azerbaijan, France mull strengthening cybersecurity http://www.today.az/news/politics/160611.html Politics Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:16:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rashid ShirinovBaku hosts a working meeting of experts on cybersecurity in accordance with the plan of bilateral cooperation for 2017, signed between the Defense Ministries of Azerbaijan and France.The experts noted the importance of strengthening cybersecurity measures in the nation's critical infrastructure, such as government, communications and financial services, transport as well as in other areas, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on April 27.The experts identified as important areas the issues of cybersecurity, online security and reliability of networks.The defense ministry noted that the working meeting of specialists will last until April 28.On the same day, a working meeting of the specialists on chemical, biological and radiological defense took place in the Military Academy of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.The meeting was held in accordance with the plan of bilateral cooperation for 2017 between the Defense Ministries of Azerbaijan and Russia.During the meeting, the specialists discussed the experience gained by the military structures of both states in the sphere of chemical, biological and radiological defense, and noted the importance of conducting scientific meetings in this field. Gymnasts to represent Azerbaijan at Baku 2017 identified http://www.today.az/news/sports/160610.html Sports Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBaku vigorously prepares to host 20 sports competitions at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games to be held on May 12 – 22.The Games will bring together athletes from every one of the ISSF’s 57 member nations, who are based across four continents. Athletes will compete in 20 sports, across 270 medal events, including football, athletics, wrestling and boxing.Program of the Games for the first time includes gymnastics which is very important for both the world and the Muslim countries. Athletes from 14 countries will compete in the gymnastics events.Athletes will compete in three types of gymnastics - rhythmic gymnastics, women's and men's artistic gymnastics, the Baku 2017 press service reported with reference to Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.The first gymnastics event will be held at National Gymnastics Arena on May 12 - the opening day of the Games - and will last for 4 days.The classification phase on rhythmic gymnastics will take place on May 12-13 and finals will be held on May 14. The classification phase on artistic gymnastics will take place on May 13-14 and finals will be held on May 15.Azerbaijan’s hopes in rhythmic gymnastics will be pinned on Marina Durunda, Zhala Piriyeva, Zohra Agamirova, in women artistic gymnastics - Yuliya Inshina, Marina Nekrasova, Maria Smirnova, Ekaterina Tishkova and men artistic gymnastics - Murad Agharzayev, Timur Bayramov and Bense Talas.The AGF, which was founded in 1956, has experienced revival since 2002 and the renewed federation lifted this popular sport to a new level. Thanks to a high-level and dynamic activity of the Federation, Azerbaijani gymnastics has been able to break into the world sporting arena.