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 Kazakhstan presents agricultural export potential in China http://www.today.az/news/regions/183865.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovKazakhstan showcased its agricultural export potential at China International Food Safety Technology & Innovations exhibition in Beijing.Kazakhstan’s pavilion features thematic booths and various exported goods such as Kazakh chocolate, candies, honey, etc.The goal of the three-day expo is to show the potential of countries that export safe and quality foodstuff. A seminar was held in Kazakhstan’s pavilion, where participants presented their export opportunities.Sergei Salmanov, Head of KazakhExport in China, made a presentation on the potential of Kazakhstan in the field of export of agricultural products. He told the seminar participants that Kazakhstan exported agricultural products to China for $258 million in 2018."China considers Kazakhstan as one of the most promising markets for importing safe food to China," Salmanov noted.Kazakhstan is an agro-industrial country where agriculture is the sphere of activity of the main part of the population.The country is the largest grain state of the world. Grain crops occupy an area of 18 million hectares, of which 12 million hectares are allocated for wheat, the gross harvest of which is 600,000 tons. Azerbaijan creates conditions for Montenegro's investments in various sectors of economy http://www.today.az/news/business/183874.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:53:00 +0400 By TrendDiversification of the national economy, implying decrease in energy dependence and the development of the non-oil sector is priority of Azerbaijan’s state policy, Head of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) Yusif Abdullayev said at the Azerbaijan-Montenegro Business Forum held in Baku June 25, Trendreports.Serious measures are being taken in this direction, including in the sphere of encouraging investments and expanding exports, he added. He noted that real steps are being taken in order to increase the share of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan’s GDP.“AZPROMO is doing a big job of attracting foreign investments in Azerbaijan from Europe, including Montenegro, and in turn, Azerbaijan is creating the necessary conditions for investing in various areas of Montenegro,” he said. “The lion’s share of Azerbaijan’s foreign trade turnover accounts for oil and gas; nevertheless, we strive to increase the export volumes of the non-oil segment.”He added that Azerbaijan has an impressive transit potential, the country is a participant and initiator of the implementation of East-West and North-South transport routes.The creation of the Baku International Sea Trade Port in Alat settlement, 70 kilometers from Baku, plays a significant role in terms of transit of goods, export and import operations, which is evidence of infrastructure development in Azerbaijan, he said.According to Doing Business 2019 report, Azerbaijan ranks 25th among 190 countries, he noted, adding that compared to 2018, Azerbaijan improved its indicators by more than 30 points.Azerbaijan has been ranked among the top countries in the field of reforms carried out in various segments of the economy, he said.As a result of these reforms, a number of bureaucratic delays were eliminated, licenses for entrepreneurs were issued in the country on the basis of the single window principle, and a number of licenses were abolished in order to facilitate doing business in the country, he noted.During the exports, no duty is required, it is completely exempt from all types of taxes, he added. He noted the importance of export missions, so that Azerbaijan’s potential partners abroad invest not only goods, but also services in the country.“To this end, an institute of trade missions has been created, which function in four directions: in China, Russia, the UAE and Eastern Europe,” he said. “Industrial parks have been established in order to invest in Azerbaijan and find local partners. This is while the attitude to a local and a foreign investor is absolutely the same. Our partners can easily repatriate their profits. In a word, Azerbaijan has created optimal conditions for developing the business climate and encouraging the export of foreign investments.”“Accordingly, our partners in Montenegro can also take advantage of this opportunity, they can invest in Azerbaijan and jointly participate in the development of new business promotion mechanisms in the two countries, with subsequent entry into new markets,” he added. Local licorice to be supplied to Israel http://www.today.az/news/business/183866.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:40:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzexport portal continues to present local non-traditional export products to foreign markets.Azerbaijan starts exporting licorice to Israel, the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication said in a message.At the invitation of the Azexport portal, representatives of the Israeli company F&C Licorice Group visited Azerbaijan and met with one of the licorice producers in the country.According to the initial agreement, Azerbaijani supplier will export 2,500-3,000 tons of high quality licorice products to Israel starting from the next season.Azerbaijan annually produces 6,000-7,000 tons of dried and pressed high quality licorice products low in ochratoxin A. The product is mainly exported to countries such as China, Singapore, India, Israel and Iran, but is also used to meet domestic demand.At the same time, Israeli representatives were provided with information on Azerbaijan's favorable investment environment, as well as proposals for the establishment of licorice reception and processing centers in the future within the framework of joint cooperation.The licorice grows in southern Europe and Asia, and is used in both food and medicine. It has many health benefits and has been used in several medicinal herbs and folk remedies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.It helps in the treatment of constipation, cancer, heartburn, stomach ulcers, inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestinal leakage. Licorice is also used as an additive in tobacco products. Some people consume it to treat sore throat, cough, bronchitis, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.Excess licorice can cause side effects in the form of high blood pressure, low potassium levels, brain damage and even paralysis.Medicines based on licorice root are widely used in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory tract and cardiovascular system, inflammatory processes in the stomach, constipation, metabolic disorders and hormonal disorders, in atherosclerosis, to reduce the fragility of blood vessels and cleanse the body of toxic substances.According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover with Israel amounted to $1.3 billion in 2018. Almost the whole trade turnover accounted for the export of Azerbaijani products to Israel.It should be noted that Azexport portal, integrated with the most popular electronic trading platforms, makes local products available to potential buyers from anywhere in the world.The portal offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to export goods produced in Azerbaijan to traditional and new markets via international e-trading platforms. The mission of Azexport is to provide information about products of Azerbaijani origin and to be a beneficial platform for their sales in foreign and domestic markets. Non-oil sector takes main share in GDP http://www.today.az/news/business/183867.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:33:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeAzerbaijan’s economy keeps showing positive indicators of growth.The real GDP growth in Azerbaijan made up 1.4 percent in 2018, says a report of Azerbaijan Chamber of Accounts on the implementation of Azerbaijan's budget for 2018.The highest growth rates were recorded in the transport and warehousing sectors (37.4 percent), the non-oil sector (over 24 percent), trade (over 22 percent) and agriculture (over 18 percent). Tourism sphere, communications and other spheres of the economy showed growth between 10 and 13 percent.Decrease in the construction sector by 9 percent had a noticeable impact on the GDP growth slowdown.As for the monetary terms, the country's GDP in 2018 reached 79.8 billion manat ($46.94 billion), which was by almost 15 percent higher than forecasts. The main share of GDP accounted for the non-oil sector, 46.89 billion manats ($27,58 billion). The share of the oil sector exceeded the forecasts by 51.2 percent and amounted to 32.9 billion manats ($19.35 billion).The share of industry in the structure of GDP was 35.3 billion manats ($20.76 billion), which exceeded the forecast figures by 45.5 percent. The share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries amounted to 4.19 billion manats ($2.46 billion) (growth of 0.5 percent), construction - 6.35 billion manats ($3.73 billion) (decrease of 14.8 percent), trade and repair of vehicles - 7.67 billion manats ($4.51 billion) (decrease of 2.6 percent).The share of the transport and warehousing sector showed an increase by 0.8 percent and reached 5.03 billion manats ($2.95 billion). An increase in indicators is also observed in the field of information and communications, the share of which amounted to 1.24 billion manats ($0.72 billion) (growth of 7.8 percent). The share of tourism and catering sector decreased by 1.9 percent and amounted to 1.83 billion manats ($1.07 billion).The share of the social and other sectors decreased by 3.5 percent and equaled to 11.94 billion manats ($7.02 billion).As for current economic indicators, the GDP growth in Azerbaijan amounted to 2.2 percent in January-May 2019 compared to the corresponding period of last year.According to the State Statistics Committee, 46 percent of GDP production accounts for industry, 9.9 percent - for trade, 6.4 percent - for transport and warehousing, 5.9 percent - for construction, 3.7 percent - for agriculture, forestry and fishing, 2.6 percent - for tourists accommodation and public catering, 1.8 percent - for information and communications, and 14.4 percent - for other spheres.Considering the forecasts on the country’s economy in 2019, World Bank and EBRD predict approximately equal figures for GDP growth - 3.3 and 3.5 percent, respectively. Forecast figures of Fitch agency coincide with predictions of EBRD. IMF forecasts that the growth rate of the Azerbaijani economy will be 3.4 percent in 2019.Meanwhile IMF and WB forecast 3.1 and 3.5 percent, respectively, of GDP growth in Azerbaijan in 2020, while ADB expects 2.7 percent. Montenegro eyes to develop co-op with Azerbaijan in tourism sector http://www.today.az/news/business/183876.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:26:00 +0400 By TrendMontenegro regards Azerbaijan as an important partner in the tourism sector, Vice-President of Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ivan Saveljic said at the Azerbaijan-Montenegro business forum in Baku, Trend reports on June 25.He stressed that the countries have great potential for cooperation and such forums give impetus to the development of partnership relations and highlighting of the most attractive segments in terms of economic feasibility."Montenegro is actively increasing its potential in the tourism sector and has high indices in this sphere among the European countries,” Saveljic added. “We are interested in intensifying the cooperation in the tourism sector and in increasing the tourist flow from Montenegro to Azerbaijan, and vice versa.”“At the same time, we intend to take advantage of those mechanisms thanks to which Azerbaijan has greatly advanced in the Doing Business ranking,” he said. “We intend to learn from Azerbaijan’s experience in the development of the priority sectors of the economy."Saveljic stressed the importance of political cooperation.“As a NATO member, Montenegro supports Azerbaijan’s policy aimed at ensuring stability and preserving peace in the region,” he said. Turkish expert: Pashinyan unable to rule Armenia http://www.today.az/news/politics/183873.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:14:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovArmenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is incapable of managing his own country, Engin Ozer, Turkish political scientist, leading expert of "Ankara-Moscow" analytical network, said in an interview with Azernews.He said Azerbaijan and Armenia are parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and that occupied Karabakh cannot open shared be considered as such.Ozer recalled that no matter how much the current Armenian government talks about the need to bring the occupied Karabakh to the negotiating table, Armenia itself has not yet recognized the so-called “independence” of Nagorno-Karabakh. He added that all statements of the current Armenian leadership are about nothing.Turkish political scientist considers direct contacts are important and should be conducted directly between Baku and Yerevan.He expressed regret about the impossibility of current Armenian authorities in the person of Pashinyan to deal with the Nagorno-Karabakh issue."Under the government of Pashinyan, I do not expect that the peace talks will give any result," he said.As for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, Ozer mentioned that the keys of the conflict solution are in the Kremlin. He stressed that Russia, as well as Iran, can contribute to a faster resolution of the conflict.Speaking about the recent repeated Armenian provocations on the frontline, Turkish expert stressed that the killing of Azerbaijani servicemen is certainly a provocation. He expressed the opinion that some groups in Karabakh opposed to Pashinyan are taking these steps.Ozer pointed out that Armenian PM is trying to restore Armenia's image in the world society, that is why he seeks to establish relations with France and the EU."Armenia is completely dependent on Russia in the eyes of the world’s community. Pashinyan tries to get away from this dependence by pursuing a balanced policy," Ozer said.He went on to say that opponents of Pashinyan create provocations to prevent the coming of peace in Nagorno-Karabakh."Therefore, I do not believe that Pashinyan will be able to adhere to the agreements signed in Dushanbe. At the moment, Armenian PM cannot run his own country. A lot of internal and external players are involved in the Karabakh conflict, so I do not expect a positive outcome from these negotiations," Ozer stressed.Commenting on the possibility of joint exercises of Armenia and Iran on the border with Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan, the expert noted that they will not threaten the security of Azerbaijan.He expressed doubt that Yerevan can occupy Nakhchivan because the international community fully supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. He also stressed that any attack on Azerbaijan will be regarded by Turkey as an attack on itself.Ozer also noticed the great influence of the Karabakh clan in Armenia. He noted that pro-European politicians appeared in the country after the velvet revolution, adding that they have problems with the usual pro-Russian forces that usually dominate in Armenia."Pashinyan does not have enough strength to resolve the contradictions between the parties who see the development of Armenia in opposite direction, “ the Turkish expert concluded. Another Azerbaijani boxer reaches quarter-finals at 2-nd European Games http://www.today.az/news/sports/183877.html Sports Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:03:00 +0400 By TrendThe fifth day of the boxing competition kicked off within the second European Games, which are held in Minsk, Belarus, Trend reports on June 25.Azerbaijani athlete Javid Chalabiyev gained a victory over Moldavian athlete Dorin Bucsa and reached the quarter-finals.Chalabiyev will also take part in the competitions on June 26. Before Chalabiyev, athletes representing Azerbaijan - Rufat Huseynov (49 kilograms) and Lorenzo Sotomayor (69 kilograms) reached the quarter-finals a well.The second European Games are being held in Minsk, in which 82 athletes are representing Azerbaijan.The first European Games were held in 2015 in Baku. Novak: Azerbaijan, Russia successfully cooperate within OPEC+ format http://www.today.az/news/business/183872.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Mirsaid IbrahimzadeBaku and Moscow are aimed at expanding energy cooperation.Energy Ministry of Russia has said in a message that the Energy Ministers of Azerbaijan and Russia, Parviz Shahbazov and Alexander Novak, have discussed current state and potential areas of cooperation in the countries energy sectors. The meeting was held within the framework of the Future Leaders Forum of the World Petroleum Council in St. Petersburg on June 24.Novak noted that long-term cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan is based on the principles of good-neighborliness and strategic partnership. He added that Baku and Moscow are conducting a constructive dialogue in the field of energy.“Bilateral cooperation in the transportation of oil and the sale of Russian oil refining products in Azerbaijan continues. Rosneft and Lukoil are actively working in this direction in the country, the latter of which also conducts gas production and supply from the Shah Deniz project,” Alexander Novak said.Russian energy minister stressed that Azerbaijan and Russia actively cooperate in the framework of the CIS Electric Power Council and in the format of OPEC+.“I am sure that only thanks to our solidarity and determination we will be able to succeed in developing the fuel and energy complexes of the countries and maintaining long-term stability in the market,” Novak emphasized. Georgia elects new chairman of parliament http://www.today.az/news/regions/183875.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:54:00 +0400 By TrendArchil Talakvadze has been elected Chairman of the Georgian parliament, Trend reports with reference to apsny.ge.During the elections, 94 deputies supported Talakadkadze's candidacy and no one voted against it, while 101 members of the parliament passed the registration for the voting process.The deputies representing the “National Movement” and “European Georgia” parties did not participate in the voting.Archil Talakvadze replaced Irakli Kobakhidze as the chairman of the parliament, who left this position a few days ago.In the parliament of the ninth convocation, Talakvadze was the leader of the parliamentary majority. In 2014-2016, he held a position of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia. Ceasefire monitoring on LOC of Azerbaijani, Armenian armed forces ends http://www.today.az/news/politics/183870.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:45:00 +0400 By TrendThe ceasefire monitoring exercise on the line of contact of the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in the territory of Aghdam disctrict, held in accordance with the mandate of Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on June 25, ended with no incident, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.The Personal Representative's field assistants Ognjen Jovic, Simon Tiller and the representative of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) LTC Harry O'Connor carried out the monitoring exercise from the territory of Azerbaijan.The Personal Representative's field assistants Mihail Olaru, Ghenadie Petrica, Martin Schuster and the representative of the HLPG LTC Ralph Bosshard carried out the monitoring exercise on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan occupied and controlled by the armed forces of Armenia.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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Azerbaijani oil prices down http://www.today.az/news/business/183871.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:33:00 +0400 By TrendThe price of the AZERI LT CIF oil produced at Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block of oil and gas fields amounted to $65.51 per barrel at Italian port of Augusta on June 24, which is $1.25 less than on June 21, a source in Azerbaijan's oil and gas market told Trend.On June 24, the AZERI Light FOB Ceyhan oil price was $64.78 per barrel, which is $0.2 less compared to the previous price.Azerbaijan has been producing AZERI LT since 1997 and exports it via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Supsa pipelines and by rail to the Georgian port of Batumi. Azerbaijan also exports URALS oil from Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. The oil is delivered there via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline.The price for URALS-NOVO with shipment from port was $60.87 per barrel on June 24, which is $2.11 less than the previous price.The price for a barrel of Brent Dated, produced from the North Sea, stood at $64.91 on June 24, or $1.12 less than the previous price.(1.7 AZN = 1 USD on June 25) Azerbaijan defense minister holds official meeting on eve of Armed Forces Day http://www.today.az/news/politics/183869.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:21:00 +0400 By TrendAn official meeting under the leadership of Azerbaijani Minister of Defense Colonel General Zakir Hasanov with the participation of deputy defense ministers, commanders of various types of troops, chiefs of main departments, departments and services of the ministry, commanders of Army Corps as well as commanders of formations and other officials involved in meeting via the video communication was held at the Central Command Post, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.The minister of defense conveyed his congratulations to the meeting participants on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day and emphasized that the whole military personnel of the Azerbaijani army has perceived with deep feeling of gratitude and with high spirit the order signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev to enhance the social protection of servicemen. The minister expressed confidence that the work carried out by the state in this area will be continued.The defense minister assigned tasks for officials to pay special attention to the implementation of strict control over the operational situation on the line of contact of troops, to increase vigilance and ensure the security of military personnel.The minister, taking into account the weather conditions, also gave instructions in regard to preventing cases of heat and sun strokes among the military personnel, increasing attention to their health and adopting fire safety measures in military units. Armenia totally mired in regional isolation http://www.today.az/news/regions/183864.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:12:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovArmenia once again brings to the agenda an issue that calls into question the territorial integrity of Georgia.Recently, a regular meeting was held within the framework of the Russian-Georgian transport agreement of 2011, providing for the opening of roads through the occupied territories of Georgia. Road and rail corridor through Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the Georgian government considers separatist regions, should be an alternative to the problematic checkpoint Upper Lars.This checkpoint is the only way to connect Armenia, which is isolated from the world by the aggressive policy. It is not surprising that the Armenian side is the main interested party in the process that has been going on since 2011. With the help of demagoguery, Yerevan is trying to push Georgia to a step contrary to its sovereignty and national interests.Zurab Abashidze, Georgian Special Envoy to Russia, told the Armenian media that the specific terms of the implementation of the agreement have not been established yet again. He added that the experts are working and agreed that there is a need to work.So, there is nothing encouraging for the Armenian side as there are no preconditions that the issue will be resolved in the near future.Armenia’s impatience about the news from Georgia is easy to understand. The country, which has been isolated due to the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, depends entirely on the mountain checkpoint in Georgia. Despite the fact that Armenia is a member of the Eurasian organizations, it has no access to this space. As many as 80 percent of cargo to Armenia and back is moving through Georgia’s Upper Lars checkpoint.Armenian experts assess the situation only from the point of view of their interests. They consider, there are two alternative ways; by land through South Ossetia and railway through Abkhazia. These ways would be comfortable for Armenia both economically and politically.Unlike Armenia, which due to its aggressive policy does not have diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, Georgia has such a reliable alternative as the transport network of Azerbaijan -- the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars corridor, which the country can always use.Armenian propaganda deliberately turns a blind eye to the main factor hindering the solution of the issue. The passage of alternative corridors through Abkhazia and South Ossetia runs counter to Georgia's national interests. This is the only and unique reason for the unresolved issue since 2011.Gela Vasadze, Georgian political scientist, considers it unlikely to open a road through Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He stressed in an interview with an Armenian TV channel that the road opening through Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a serious blow to Georgia's sovereignty.Vasadze noted that public opinion in Georgia has a negative attitude to this idea and is categorically against the opening of roads in the territories that Georgia does not control.Armenia is trying not to pay attention to this opinion. Meanwhile, the processes taking place in Georgia in recent days should make it clear to the Armenian side that the situation will not develop according to a favorable scenario for it.Armenians cynically believe that Georgians do not care about their own national interests, that the Georgian people will agree to the inclusion of unrecognized territories to the transport projects. However, Georgia has once again proved that it will not follow Armenian interests at the expense of theirs. Washington meeting turns bad for Yerevan http://www.today.az/news/politics/183863.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:51:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe results of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington gave Yerevan a reason to reflect on its behavior.The fact that at the negotiating table there were questions on which Azerbaijan insists, attracts special attention. In particular, substantive negotiations aimed at achieving concrete results, which is the final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.In turn, Armenia is trying to avoid a substantive agenda by posing strange demands on the table, which sound almost ultimatum. The stubborn and insistent demand of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to invite Karabakh separatists to the negotiating table is among this category. This condition is accepted neither by Azerbaijan nor by intermediaries. The ultimatum put forward by Yerevan hampers the negotiation process and indefinitely postpones the discussion of the settlement agenda itself.The fact that in its statement after the Washington meeting, the OSCE Minsk Group drew attention to the need for a transition to substantive negotiations is positive. This can be called the defeat of the occupying country, which hoped to transfer the negotiation process to the direction desired by Armenia. The Armenian side, putting forward impracticable demands, is trying to gain time to strengthen its position, but it is inexorably weakening while Azerbaijan strengthens.Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated that Baku will not discuss the involvement of separatists in the process, and the specific points of the proposals on the negotiating table regarding the conflict settlement should be the topic of discussion. The new Armenian authorities had a whole year to get acquainted with the situation and develop a constructive position on Karabakh issue. Time has passed, and no reasonable steps towards peace have been taken by Yerevan.The "new" Armenia, just like the Serzh Sargsyan’s Karabakh clan, shows no desire for constructivism. Speaking in Parliament on June 20, Nikol Pashinyan made a number of militant statements, almost threatening Azerbaijan with war. On June 21, at the event on the occasion of the police day, he said that "all the enemies of Armenia will be unconditionally defeated."Surprisingly, it seems to Pashinyan that the negotiations are going in a constructive direction, and the Azerbaijani side is trying to prevent this. So, a year was not enough for the Armenian Prime Minister to get acquainted with the process. In addition, he clearly lacks an adequate perception of reality. Otherwise, he would not have claimed that Armenian diplomacy is "becoming more effective" when speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.In fact, the Armenian diplomacy has suffered a complete collapse. If under the previous regime this was somehow hidden from the eyes of the public, Pashinyan is a bad diplomat, and all his actions are in plain sight. Experts are terrified of his ultimate perseverance in the attempts to expand the negotiation format. These moments discrediting Armenia in the settlement process testify to its weakness, not to its strength.Armenian expert David Shahnazaryan has recently bitterly stated that today the pre-April 2016 agenda and the term "substantive negotiations" have returned to the negotiating table. That is, the negotiators no longer discuss the notorious "investigation mechanisms" and "confidence-building measures", which the Armenian side, frightened by the April defeat, managed to get on the agenda. Instead, the term "substantive negotiations" came back into use.The expert told Armenian reporters that there are substantive negotiations exclusively around the settlement, which means return of territories to Azerbaijan.Thus, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ statement on the need to create a favorable atmosphere for a return to substantive negotiations, made after the Washington meeting of foreign ministers, suggests that there will be no return to the past. New Azerbaijani trading houses may appear in Central Europe http://www.today.az/news/business/183862.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzerbaijan intends to get access to new foreign markets in the European countries and expand the range of local products exported under the Made in Azerbaijan brand.The country plans to expand the network of trading houses in Central Europe in the near future, Azerbaijan's trade representative in Poland Nemat Nagdaliyev told Trend.He noted that trading houses are planned to be opened in Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary.“We are actively exploring the mechanisms to open new sale points of our products, and currently, the opening of Azerbaijani trading houses in these three countries of Central Europe is on the working agenda. At present, we are in search of partners and hard work is underway in this direction,” he said.Nagdaliyev stressed that that the Trading House of Azerbaijan, created at the initiative of the Ministry of Economy, represents products under the Made in Azerbaijan brand on the Polish market, and supports the promotion and expansion of the export of Azerbaijani goods to Poland.The trade representative added that the sale of various types of products of 30 Azerbaijani companies producing alcoholic beverages, dried fruits, pomegranate, hazelnuts, tea, jams, fruit juices and other products is organized in the Trading House in Poland.“At present, there are approximately 20 Polish companies operating in services, industry and trade in Azerbaijan,” he added.Nagdaliyev went on to mention that hazelnut products and pomegranate juices are in the greatest demand among all Azerbaijani products exported to Poland.The trade representative reminded that a memorandum of understanding on the sale of hazelnuts and concentrate of pomegranate juice was signed between the Trading House of Azerbaijan and the Polish company STX ONE in 2018.He further stressed that Azerbaijan plans to launch textile exports to Poland.“The Polish and Azerbaijani sides are currently discussing this issue. There is a great demand for textile products on the Polish market. We studied this market, and we consider that export from Azerbaijan to Poland is economically viable and promising.”He noted that contacts have already been established between Baku Textile Factory and Polish partners, and the export of Azerbaijani textiles to this European country is expected in the medium term. The details of the upcoming bilateral cooperation are currently discussed.Nagdaliyev underlined that at the current stage, certain agreements have been reached between the Baku Textile Factory and Polish companies on several types of textile exports.“In the future, we intend to organize the export of Azerbaijani textile products not only to Poland, but also to the countries of Central Europe,” he added.It should be noted that the Azerbaijani Trading House in Poland, which has been operating in Warsaw since late 2018, aims to promote export of Azerbaijani products, organize sales of local products in Poland, and coordinate these activities with entrepreneurs.Recently, Azerbaijan and Poland signed important documents on cooperation within the Azerbaijani-Polish Business Forum held in Baku.The memorandums of understanding on mutual cooperation were signed between the Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) of Azerbaijan and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, Azerbaijan Investment Company OJSC and Polish Investment and Trade Agency, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers') Organizations of Azerbaijan and Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Azerbaijan's Marklab, Nova Digital Solutions and Poland's OEX24.com, Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Azerbaijan's AZPARK company and Polish Satermus company, Azerbaijan's PSG Capital and Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Azerbaijan's 4S company and Polish company UNIA.In 2018, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 34 percent compared to 2017 and amounted to $104 million. So far, Poland has invested over $20 million in Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan’s investments in the Polish economy amounted to $6.5 million.Azerbaijan and Poland also enjoy significant prospects to expand cooperation in the agricultural, industrial, ICT, tourism and energy sectors. Currently, there are about 20 Polish companies operating in services, industry and trade in Azerbaijan. Bel Suono piano trio to present show in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/183861.html Arts & Entertainment Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:24:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBel Suono piano trio invites music lovers to enjoy a spectacular show at the Culture Center of State Security Service on December 20.Russian piano players will present "The Magic of Three Kings" show, organized by MGM Production, Trend Life reported.Bel Suono's piano show is a trio of virtuoso pianists who were educated at the Moscow State Conservatory and are laureates of national and international competitions. Bel Suono is an original mix of modern technologies and the best examples of classical and modern music, which makes the band unique in the whole world. The trio performs a variety of music - from world hits to completely new music, written specifically for the project.In eight years of existence, Bel Suono released four albums – “Megapolis”, “Upgrade”, “Favorite” and “Passionate”. The albums include masterpieces of classical music performed by Bel Suono as well as their own compositions.The musicians successfully tour not only in Russia, but also abroad - Israel, Monaco, Austria, Bulgaria, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia.The trio has performed at all the main stages of Russia including the State Kremlin Palace, Crocus City Hall, the Hall of Church Councils (two concerts in one day), the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, the Moscow International House of Music and performed at various large television projects and anniversary evenings.Tickets can be purchased at all ticket offices of Baku, ASAN Service Centers, Ganjlik Mall and 28 Mall, as well as on www.iticket.az. Shaki Khans' Palace may join UNESCO World Heritage List http://www.today.az/news/society/183860.html Society Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:03:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaThe 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will be held in Baku on June 30-July 10.At the session, the Committee will discuss inscription of the historic center of Shaki together with the Khan's Palace on the UNESCO World Heritage List.The World Heritage Committee will consider 36 applications for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.The Committee will view the state of conservation of 166 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and 54 sites of the List which are under threat.Inscriptions on the World Heritage List are scheduled for July 5. The meeting will be chaired by the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev.The agreement to organize the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku was signed by Abulfas Garayev and UNESCO Assistant Director General Ernesto Ottone Ramirez.The document features the responsibilities of both Azerbaijan and UNESCO on the organization of the event. In addition, the document touches upon issues on the organization of the Young Professionals Forum to be held ahead of the session.It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan’s Shaki is home to a number of ancient arts. Many potters, hatters and musical instrument makers are working there. Shebeke ornament is one of the ancient arts in Shaki, and this made Shaki famous around the world.The Palace of Shaki Khans remains one of the most precious pearls of this unique city. The maples in the palace's yard are even older than buildings standing there.The palace was built in 1797 by Muhammad Hasan Khan. The palace amazes with its magnificent interior and exterior.Measuring thirty-two meters by eight and a half meters on the exterior, the unique beauty two-storied building is elongated on the north-south axis and covered with a wooden hipped roof with long eaves.The basic material for the palace construction was raw bricks, river stones, plane trees and oaks. The most amazing is that not a single nail or glue drop was used for the construction of the building.There are 6 rooms, 4 corridors and 2 mirrored balconies in the palace. All the windows and doors of the palace were skillfully assembled from pieces of wood and colored Venetian glass. So the light getting inside the palace plays with all colors of the rainbow.The interior walls of the palace are covered entirely with frescoes painted at different times during the 18th century.Many of them feature flowers in vases, while a series of paintings on the first floor halls depict hunting and battle scenes. Signatures on frescoes list the names of artists Ali Gulu, Gurban Gulu and Mirza Jafar from Shamakhi, Usta Gambar from Shusha, and Abbas Gulu.The rooms of the first floor were intended for ordinary visitors - they show the riches and power of Shaki khans. On the walls and ceilings there are trees, flowers, animals and birds - the symbols of fertility and noble origin.The second floor is divided into two parts - female and male. The female half is painted with flowers and oriental ornaments. The male part was intended for visitors reception. It is the richest room of the palace. The miniatures on the walls show the military power of the Shaki khanate, its attitude to friends and enemies. The room's ceiling is painted with images of the khans' coat of arms and various symbols.The Shaki Khans' Palace has been previously restored and today it is open for tourists in all its majesty and beauty.Azerbaijan became member of UNESCO on June 3, 1992, after restoration of its independence.In 2003, Azerbaijan and UNESCO signed the framework agreement on cooperation in the areas of culture, science, education and communication, which allowed Azerbaijan to become one of the donors of UNESCO.In 2017, the organization marked the 600th anniversary of the death of the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi.Moreover, last year UNESCO celebrated the 200th anniversary of the first settlement of Germans in Azerbaijan. In 2013, with the support of UNESCO, the 900th anniversary of Azerbaijani poetess Mahsati Ganjavi was celebrated in Paris.The gems of Azerbaijani culture, including Icherisheher (Old City), Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah's palace were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, while since 2007 the Gobustan National Historical-Artistic reserve has been also listed among these heritages.The World Heritage Committee includes representatives of 21 states parties to the World Heritage Convention who meet annually. The Committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.To date, 1,092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.UNESCO’s Heritage List also includes Novruz holiday, Azerbaijani mugham, national ashig art, the national carpet, traditional kelaghai headscarf and national musical instrument tar. PM: Montenegro invites Azerbaijani businesses to invest in priority areas http://www.today.az/news/business/183868.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:56:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan is a major foreign direct investor in Montenegro, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said at the Azerbaijan-Montenegro business forum held in Baku, Trendreports.The Montenegrin PM noted that the bank established in Montenegro with Azerbaijani capital currently demonstrates successful performance."Presently, Azerbaijan has invested 260 million euros in the Portonovi project in Montenegro. In addition, our countries cooperate in the energy sector, in the implementation of large-scale gas pipeline projects TAP and IAP," Markovic said.The prime minister noted that Montenegro invites Azerbaijani businesses to invest in the areas of agriculture and transport, and added that European partners are seriously interested in these areas. In turn, Montenegro is ready to provide a wide range of preferences for stimulating investments, he said. Freestyle wrestlers become second at Cadet European Championships http://www.today.az/news/sports/183859.html Sports Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:46:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovAzerbaijani freestyle wrestler Sabir Jafarov (60 kg) has won the gold medal at the Cadet European Championships in Italian city of Faenza.In qualification round, the national wrestler did not give a chance to Tobias Neuschitzer from Austria (12-0). In 1/8 stage, Jafarov won Ayub Musaev from Belgium (6-1). In quarterfinal, the wrestler from Azerbaijan beat German Adrian Barnowski (10-0). In semifinal, Jafarov overpowered Alexandru Ioan Matea from Romania (8-1).In the final, Azerbaijani freestyle wrestler was stronger than his Armenian opponent Genik Asatryan (6-1).In addition, two other national wrestlers gained silver medals in Italy. Murad Hagverdiyev (45 kg) started from a qualification round and won Russian Anzor Mazhidov at a tough duel (3-2). In 1/4 stage, Pavel Colesnic from Moldova could do nothing against the Azerbaijani athlete (10-0). In semifinal, Hagverdiyev won Tolga Ozbek from Turkey (7-6). Unfortunately, Nikolozi Santeladze from Georgia stopped the Azerbaijani athlete in final (12-5).The other athlete who won silver medal was Jabrayil Hajiyev (65 kg). He won Fiorenzo Priolo from Italy (10-0), Krystian Tomasz Krupinski from Poland (10-0) and Narek Pohosian from Ukraine (8-3) in 1/8 stage, quarterfinal and semifinal respectively. However, in the final match, Hajiyev lost to Iman Shikhshabekov from Russia (0-4).In addition, the Azerbaijani team grabbed three more bronze medals. Kanan Heybatov (51 kg) in duel for the bronze medal beat Ilya Rahozau (10-0). Ziraddin Bayramov, in turn, beat Armenian Hayk Abrahamyan (8-6), and Hamlet Nasibli won Hubert Wisniewski from Poland (4-0).Thus, the Azerbaijani national team in freestyle wrestling, having won one gold, two silver and four bronze medals, scored 153 points and took second place in the team competition. The first were the Russians with 190 points, and the third - the Georgians who scored 140 points.Wrestling remains the most popular sport in Azerbaijan and is overseen by the National Wrestling Federation, which was established in 1993.The Rio Games opened a new page in wrestling for Azerbaijan. The country became one of the only two nations ever to increase the number of medals achieved in five consecutive Games.Azerbaijan left Rio de Janeiro with a total of 18 medals. Nine of these medals were gained by the national wrestling team. Azerbaijani energy operator creates new department for work with businessmen http://www.today.az/news/business/183858.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:39:00 +0400 By TrendThe Administration for Perspective Development and Work with ASAN Service was abolished at Azerbaijan’s Azerishiq OJSC and the Department of Electronic Control and Work with ASAN Service was established, spokesman for the company Tanriverdi Mustafayev said, Trend reports on June 25.“Elsevar Rustamli was appointed head of the new department,” he said. "The department will have broader powers, and, along with subscribers, it will work with entrepreneurs involved in small and medium-sized business compared to the administration." Reps of int’l organizations familiarized with activity of Azerbaijan’s DOST center in Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/183856.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:24:00 +0400 By TrendRepresentatives of a number of countries to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations visited Center #1 of the Agency for Sustainable and Operational Social Security (DOST) in Baku under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, Trend reports on June 24.Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Metin Karimli informed the guests about the work carried out in the country to improve the quality of social services through the introduction of innovative methods.He stressed that the "DOST" project will allow to meet all the requests of citizens by using the "single window" service.The diplomats visited the departments rendering services in the field of pensions, benefits and scholarships, employment, labor relations, disability, medical expertise, prosthetic and orthotic care, and other services.Director of the Center #1 Seymur Aliyev spoke about the principles of the activity of the center and stressed that about 500 people are served here every day.The guests were informed about the work of social agents and volunteers, as well as of the process of rendering services to citizens.The electronic systems in the field of labour, employment, social security as well as electronic servicesrendered to the population were demonstrated to the representatives of foreign delegations. The video footage about DOST was also demonstrated. New UNICEF representative accredited in Turkmenistan http://www.today.az/news/regions/183854.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:06:00 +0400 By TrendOn June 24, 2019, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with the new UNICEF representative in Turkmenistan, Christine Weigand, who is starting her mission in Turkmenistan, Trend reports referring to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.At the beginning of the meeting, the UNICEF representative in Turkmenistan presented her credential letters.Congratulating Christine Weigand on her appointment to a responsible post, the Turkmen side expressed its readiness to assist and support the activities of the representative in all areas related to children's rights.Weigand, in turn, expressed gratitude for the warm wishes.Noting the effective development of mutually beneficial cooperation, the parties discussed issues of further development of relations on children’s issues. Weigand thanked the Government of Turkmenistan for its long-term mutually beneficial partnership, for adopting the National Action Plan to implement the rights of the child in Turkmenistan for the period 2018-2022, as well as for the long-term financing of the state budget for vaccination and the purchase of premix for flour fortification. Turkey adding more military equipment on Syrian border http://www.today.az/news/regions/183852.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 13:42:00 +0400 By TrendTurkey increases the presence of military equipment in the province of Hatay, on the border with Syria, Trend reports via Turkish media.The measures are taken as part of the fight against the Syrian wing of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - PYD/YPG.A part of the military equipment will be redeployed to the north of Syria, the territories liberated as part of the military operations of the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch.The safety zone in the north of Syria includes a territory 32 kilometers deep and 460 kilometers long along the Syrian border with Turkey. In the case of the creation of this zone, it will be divided into two parts, the first part will start from the Iraqi-Syrian border and will be extended to the Syrian city of Qamishli, because the Syrian government forces control this city.The second part of the safety zone will start from Qamishli and will be extended to Jarabulus city, which was liberated from the terrorists of the “Islamic State” (IS) as part of the Operation Euphrates Shield conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces in 2016.Manbij city, where Turkey had previously intended to conduct new anti-terrorist operations, is not a part of the safety zone. China launches new BeiDou satellite http://www.today.az/news/regions/183853.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 13:31:00 +0400 By TrendChina sent a new satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday, Trendreports citing Xinhua.Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket, the satellite was sent to the inclined geosynchronous earth orbit. It is the 46th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the 21st satellite of the BDS-3 system.The design of the BDS constellation is unique, including medium earth orbit (MEO), geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and inclined geosynchronous earth orbit (IGEO) satellites.So far, there are already 18 MEO BDS-3 satellites, one GEO BDS-3 satellite, and two IGEO BDS-3 satellites sent into space.After in-orbit tests, the new satellite will work with those BDS satellites already in orbit to improve the coverage and positioning accuracy of the system.The new satellite and the carrier rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.The launch was the 307th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.China began to construct its navigation system, named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, in the 1990s and started serving the Asia-Pacific Region in 2012.The positioning accuracy of the system reached 10 meters globally and five meters in the Asia-Pacific Region as the system started to provide global service at the end of last year, according to Yang Changfeng, chief designer of BDS.China planned to send 10 BDS satellites into space this year. The launches will help complete the BDS global network by 2020.The system has been applied in many industries including transport, maritime affairs, electricity, civil affairs, meteorology, fishery, surveying and mapping, mining and public security.The BDS has also been widely used around the world, like building construction in Kuwait, precision agriculture in Myanmar, land survey and mapping in Uganda and warehousing and logistics in Thailand.To enable BDS to better serve the economic and social development in Belt and Road countries and regions, China has established BDS cooperation mechanisms with countries and organizations in South Asia, Central Asia, ASEAN, the Arab League and Africa, strengthening technical exchanges and personnel training, and building BDS overseas centers. French-Azerbaijan University students in top-10 of National Mathematical Olympiad in France http://www.today.az/news/society/183851.html Society Tue, 25 Jun 2019 13:26:00 +0400 By TrendTen students of the French-Azerbaijan University (UFAZ) have managed to reach the top ten of the National Mathematical Olympiad held among French students, head of the department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Education Jasarat Valekhov said, Trend reports.UFAZ student Laman Jalilova was able to rank fourth in mathematics in France. Prices of precious metals up in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/183850.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 13:18:00 +0400 By TrendPrices of precious metals increased in Azerbaijan on June 25 compared to the previous prices, Trend reports citing the data published by the country’s Central Bank.The price of gold increased by 57.1455 manats to 2,441.2850 manats per ounce.The price of silver increased by 0.256 manats to 26.3207 manats per ounce.The price of platinum increased by 4.335 manats to 1,384.9305 manats per ounce.The price of palladium increased by 20.315 manats to 2,599.4700 manats per ounce.Precious metalsJune 25, 2019June 24, 2019GoldXAU2,441.28502,384.1395SilverXAG26.320726.0647PlatinumXPT1,384.93051,380.5955PalladiumXPD2,599.47002,579.1550The precious metals are gold, silver, platinum and metals of platinum group (palladium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium) brought to the highest fineness (999.9).The precious metals are sold as ingots, coins or powder and have the appropriate quality certificates.Troy ounce is a unit of mass equal to 31.1034768 grams.(1 USD =1.7 AZN on June 25) Armenia’s Jewish problem http://www.today.az/news/regions/183847.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:59:00 +0400 By TrendThe scourge that famed historian Robert Wistrich once described as “the longest hatred” is undergoing a frightening contemporary resurgence, Trend reports citing The Jerusalem Post. From synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, which grabbed global headlines, to lesser-known but near daily reports of vandalism, threats and violence, the 21st-century revival of antisemitism is unmistakable.While most attention – justifiably so – focuses on growing antisemitism among the far Right, far Left and Islamic extremists, one traditional source of Jew-hatred has been largely overlooked: Christian antisemitism.This past week’s report that an antisemitic attack was carried out earlier in June by 60 Armenian Church students on the eve of the Shavuot holiday in Jerusalem brings to light the centuries-old trend of Christians targeting Jews, and in this case the ongoing antisemitism in Armenia. Beyond that, the incident represents a cautionary tale for both Jewish leaders and the Israeli government as they seek to build global partnerships and alliances.With major reforms in the Catholic Church (such as Vatican II) that ended centuries of antisemitic teachings, as well as the burgeoning movement of Christian Zionism found especially within the Evangelical community, it is easy to presume that Christian antisemitism is on the wane.On a parallel track, given the threat of Islamic terrorism and the tensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is usually a safe assumption that Israel will have stronger alliances with Christian-majority nations than Muslim-majority states.But facts on the ground occasionally dictate otherwise – particularly in Armenia, one of the world’s oldest Christian nations.There is abundant evidence of Armenian society displaying systemic antisemitism, including high-profile research conducted in recent years. In 2018, a Pew Research Center survey found that 32% of Armenians would not accept Jews as fellow citizens. The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) latest “Global 100” study, meanwhile, found that a majority of Armenians believe a variety of antisemitic stereotypes are “probably true.”Furthermore, despite the establishment of diplomatic relations shortly after Armenia gained independence in the early 1990s, ties between Israel and Armenia remain woefully underdeveloped – especially compared to Israeli ties with Armenia’s Muslim-majority neighbor, Azerbaijan.Israel’s deep relationship with Azerbaijan is no accident. Azerbaijan has no history of antisemitism (and no contemporary antisemitism, for that matter), a prosperous Jewish community of its own for over two millennia, and a thriving immigrant community in Israel.HOW IS it possible that a Muslim nation has warm ties with the world’s only Jewish state, while a Christian country like Armenia is plagued by antisemitism and frosty relations with Israel?First, one must consider the broader environment of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan, which is rooted in proper separation of church and state. In a Gallup International/WI Network of Market Research poll, Azerbaijan ranked as one of the most secular nations among 65 countries surveyed. Azerbaijan’s population is 97% Muslim, but the country’s constitution affirms the country as a secular state. The state education system is secular. It is a tremendous statement in support of religious freedom for an overwhelmingly Muslim population to avoid designating any official state religion.Contrast that with Armenia, where the Armenian Apostolic Church holds significant influence. In the fourth century CE, the Kingdom of Armenia became one of the first states to officially adopt Christianity. The sway that the church holds over the Armenian state continues to this day. The Armenian Apostolic Church holds official status as the national church, despite the fact that Armenia’s Law on Freedom of Conscience establishes the separation of church and state. As such, Armenia is not a purely secular state like Azerbaijan.At the same time, there is ongoing concern over vestiges of ancient church-based antisemitism, particularly in Eastern Orthodox churches. The ADL has called on these churches to remove ancient antisemitic passages in their liturgy and to end the teaching of replacement theology.Given the central role the Armenian Church still plays in the country, it is perhaps no surprise to see Armenia whitewashing Holocaust history on the state level, Armenian media showing consistently anti-Israel and antisemitic tendencies, and most recently the antisemitic attack by Armenian Church students in Jerusalem. Without authentic separation of church and state, religiously motivated bias and hate have greater potential to fester among a country’s population.The contrast with Muslim-majority, yet secular Azerbaijan could not be starker. Azerbaijan has consistently stood up against antisemitism, maintains close defense and economic ties with Israel, and is a bulwark against the threat of Iran.Jewish and Israeli leaders must keep this historic and present-day context in mind. Don’t judge a nation by its predominant religion. Although conventional wisdom on sources of religious hatred often holds to form, allies can still be found in unexpected places. Azerbaijani minister talks on necessity to introduce new technologies in agriculture http://www.today.az/news/business/183848.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:45:00 +0400 By TrendThe process of introducing innovative technologies should be strengthened to achieve transparency and efficiency in the field of agriculture, Azerbaijani Minister of Agriculture Inam Karimov said, Trend reports from the UN Public Service Forum, which is held in Baku on June 24-26.The minister stressed that this process is underway in the country.“This issue is a priority of the state policy,” Karimov said. “One of the most vivid examples is the activity of the ASAN service, which covers a whole range of inclusive services. At the same time, the country’s most important task is to turn agriculture into a profitable and attractive sector of the economy.”“The purposeful work is carried out in this direction,” he said. “We are developing and implementing support mechanisms to subsidize the country's agriculture in the context of tax exemption. At the same time, it is necessary to involve our youth in this sphere.”“This will greatly enhance our capabilities in terms of applying new technologies, as well as building up human resources in the promising future," Karimov added. “It is necessary to continue to carry out the reforms in certain segments of the agricultural sector to achieve an effective model of agricultural production.” Georgia's alternative plan to lure Russian tourists includes Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/183857.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:38:00 +0400 By TrendGeorgia is considering the possibility of launching free bus shuttles from airports in Baku, Turkish Trabzon for Russian tourists, said the head of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia Shalva Alaverdashvili, Trend reports via 1tv.ge.He prepared a corresponding project for the Ministry of Economy and representatives of the tourism sector.He went on to add that the mentioned free shuttles should bring Russian tourists to Georgia, via the mentioned airports in countries neighboring with Georgia.Alaverdashvili also added that the final decision will be made jointly with the Georgian Foreign Ministry.According to him, the owners of hotels in Georgia stated that they receive calls from Russian tourists who want to come to Georgia. Also, the country is considering the introduction of charter flights from Ukraine and Kazakhstan.Alaverdashvili said that Georgia could suffer losses in the amount of $750 million a year due to the suspension of flights from Russia.Hotel managers in Georgia acknowledged that the tourism industry in Georgia was dealt a “powerful blow” - in recent years, the flow of tourists from Russia has been growing very rapidly (in 2018, 1.29 million tourists from Russia, 11.8 percent more than in the previous year). In the first quarter of 2019, the flow increased by 26 percent.Against the background of the unrest in Georgia, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on a temporary ban on Russian airlines from July 8 to fly to Georgia, and Georgian to Russia. Cluster SME Company’s criteria approved in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/183849.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:24:00 +0400 By TrendThe criteria of the Cluster SME Company (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) were approved upon the decision of the collegium of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Taxes, Trendreports.A certificate issued by the Azerbaijani Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises agreed with the Ministry of Taxes testifies the compliance of the Cluster SME Company with the criteria.The Legal Department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Taxes has been instructed to send the decision to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice for its inclusion into the Azerbaijani State Registry of Legal Acts within three days.The Media and Communication Center of the Ministry of Taxes was also instructed to publish the approved regulatory legal act on the official website of the Ministry of Taxes after publishing the decision in the Azerbaijani State Registry of Legal Acts.The criteria were developed in accordance with Article 8.1.1 of the Azerbaijani presidential decree #148 dated June 26, 2018 "On ensuring the activity of the Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises" and the Azerbaijani civil legislation and select the "Cluster SME Company" as a commercial legal entity. Trump, Erdogan to meet in Japan http://www.today.az/news/regions/183846.html World news Tue, 25 Jun 2019 12:13:00 +0400 By TrendTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, a senior official of the US administration told reporters at a telephone briefing, Trend reports referring to the Turkish media.He stressed that Trump will hold the meetings with leaders of eight countries, including President Erdogan.“The leaders of the two countries will discuss the issue related to the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems by Turkey, as well as bilateral relations,” he said.The G20 summit will be held in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29. Tokyo will chair the G20 for the first time. ASAN int’l association created in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/183844.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:57:00 +0400 By TrendAn international association of ASAN (State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan) has been created in Azerbaijan and it will cooperate with international organizations in the provision of public services, Trend reports.The memorandum of cooperation was signed by eight countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Montenegro, the UAE, Uganda, Afghanistan, Morocco and Azerbaijan.Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations Ulvi Mehdiyev said that the signing of the agreement under the patronage of the UN is the beginning for new relations that will develop in the future and will expand the geography of the agency’s activity. New traffic signs planned to be included in Law on Road Traffic in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/society/183843.html Society Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:49:00 +0400 By TrendA new road surface marking - the yellow box junction is planned to be included into the "Horizontal Road Surface Marking" in Azerbaijan to effectively manage the traffic and enhance road safety, Trend reports.The "Law on Road Traffic" in the country is planned to be amended. Presently, the "Horizontal Road Surface Marking" includes special lanes.Along with these lanes, stop lines, as well as stop lines for vehicles with Disabled symbol sticker are planned to be added to the new project.According to the project, the driver is prohibited to enter the intersection marked with a yellow box junction 1.25 in case of a traffic jam.This road surface marking is successfully used in such countries as the US, UK, Turkey, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, where the transport infrastructure is currently developing.According to another new project, the traffic sign “Constant turn to the right” is planned to be added to the “Information signs” group. Azerbaijan, Turkey sign protocol on intention in field of public services http://www.today.az/news/politics/183845.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:31:00 +0400 By TrendChairman of the Azerbaijani State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations (ASAN) Ulvi Mehdiyev signed a letter of intent with Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Trend reports from the UN Public Service Forum, which is held in Baku on June 24-26.“The parties will cooperate in the sphere of rendering public services, as well as in the field of e-government,” he said. “The cooperation between the two countries will assist other countries in sharing experience in rendering public services.”The opportunities of partner organizations are planned to be expanded within the protocol. Moreover, human capacity building will be ensured through expert consultations and technical assistance, training programs, specialized courses and other tools.The parties stressed the importance of the document amid expansion of cooperation and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Azerbaijani energy minister takes part in 6th Future Leaders Forum of World Petroleum Council http://www.today.az/news/business/183855.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:07:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijani Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov took part in the 6th Future Leaders Forum of the World Petroleum Council held with organizational support from the World Petroleum Council and the Russian Ministry of Energy in St. Petersburg, Russia, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Energy Ministry on June 24.While delivering speech on "Energy Transformation, Energy Map of the Future", the minister spoke about the renewable energy and trends on energy efficiency in the world as the main driving forces of energy transformation, the steps being taken in Azerbaijan and the upcoming tasks.Shahbazov stressed that along with fluctuations in oil prices, greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere."When switching to low-carbon energy, the role of natural gas has recently increased, but such issues as energy security, sources and routes of diversification are the priority today,” he said. “In today's realities of the world energy system, only recoverable energy acts as a universal source, creating an opportunity for everyone to ensure the energy and environmental security.”"As opposed to hydrocarbons, this potential is everywhere,” Shahbazov said. “While using it, the countries may turn into energy countries and be energy independent and also ensure reliable protection against environmental pollution."“The global energy transformation will play an important role in changing the geopolitical map of the 21st century, which will greatly differ from the map, which exists more than 100 years and is based on traditional energy sources,” he said.Shahbazov stressed Azerbaijan’s role in the creation of the energy map of the world and the contribution of the Southern Gas Corridor to the decarbonization of the continent.During the forum, Shahbazov met with Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Novak. The issues of energy cooperation in the electric power, oil and gas sectors between the countries were discussed at the meeting. The consultations were held within the OPEC + cooperation format. Currency rates for June 25 http://www.today.az/news/politics/183842.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:05:00 +0400 By TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro against Azerbaijani manat was set at 1.7 and 1.9396 manats respectively for June 25.Below are the rates of Azerbaijani manat against world currencies, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan for June 25.CurrenciesJune 25, 20191 US dollar1 USD1.71 euro1 EUR1.93961 Australian dollar1 AUD1.18351 Argentine peso1 ARS0.0401100 Belarus rubles1 BYN0.83541 Brazil real1 BRL0.44441 UAE dirham1 AED0.46281 South African rand1 ZAR0.1184100 South Korean won100 KRW0.14731 Czech koruna1 CZK0.07591 Chilean peso100 CLP0.24971 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.24711 Danish krone1 DKK0.25981 Georgian lari1 GEL0.60611 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.21781 Indian rupee1 INR0.02451 British pound1 GBP2.1676100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0121100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00401 Swedish krona1 SEK0.18321 Swiss franc1 CHF1.75301 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.47241 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.28931 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.60581 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00451 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0236100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11251 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.41021 Mexican peso1 MXP0.08851 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.09371 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.10181 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.2003100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.01991 Polish zloty1 PLN0.45611 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02721 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.25701 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.45331 SDR (Special Drawing Rights of IMF)1 SDR2.36541 Turkish lira1 TRY0.29331 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05481 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.18011 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.48571 Ukrainian hryvna1 UAH0.0649100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.59141 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.1304 Inactive floating rig in Baku bursts into flames http://www.today.az/news/society/183840.html Society Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:41:00 +0400 By TrendThe structures of the second and third floors of a three-story residential block of the Khazar-1 inactive floating drilling burst into flames, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations on June 25.The report said an area of some 250 square meters was burning. The fire-fighting team arrived at the scene and put out the fire. The remaining part of the drilling rig was protected from spreading fire. Comparatively quiet situation observed on line of contact of Azerbaijani, Armenian troops http://www.today.az/news/politics/183841.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:32:00 +0400 By TrendA comparatively quiet situation was observed on the line of contact of the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops throughout June 24, Trend reports referring to the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.The ceasefire regime was violated by rare single shots in some areas of the front.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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Gold production increasing in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/183839.html Business Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:17:00 +0400 By TrendSome 1,395 kilograms of gold were extracted in Azerbaijan in January-May 2019, which is 9.8 percent more than in the same period of 2018, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee.Silver production in Azerbaijan increased by 18.1 percent in January-May 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. According to the statistics, the total volume of the extracted silver and concentrates reached 1,364 kilograms in January-May 2019.Some 805 tons of copper ore and concentrates (44.9-percent growth) were extracted in January-May 2019.As of June 1, 2019, finished copper ore stocks reached 552.2 tons, gold ore - 219 kilograms, silver ore - 590.4 kilograms.Two companies are operating in the sphere of extraction of precious metals in Azerbaijan - Anglo Asian Mining and AzerGold state company. First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva awarded a special UN award http://www.today.az/news/politics/183838.html Politics Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:00:00 +0400 By TrendAs part of the United Nations Public Services Forum in Baku, our country has been awarded a special UN award.The UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin presented the UN special award for promoting innovation in the digital public service delivery in Azerbaijan to First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva.Co-organized by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations, the UN Public Service Forum passes at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.The Forum involves more than 500 delegates from over 190 countries, including ministers of public administration and public services from various countries, as well as senior executives of local authorities, academic circles and private sector. World Heritage Young Professionals Forum opens in Baku http://www.today.az/news/society/183837.html Society Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:50:00 +0400 By TrendThe World Heritage Young Professionals Forum opened at Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction on June 24, Trend reports.Rector of the university, professor Gulchohra Mammadova announced the event open. Stressing the importance of the forum, Mammadova said that it allows presenting Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage to the world.The rector also said that as a result of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage was damaged. "During the forum, we will have the opportunity to inform representatives of 30 countries about that," Mammadova said.Then Azerbaijani Minister of Culture Abulfas Garayev spoke about the significance of the forum for the world.He stressed that this forum provides young people with the opportunity to gain new experience. "The youth will discuss important issues and exchange their views and experience,” the minister added. “The forum will contribute to development of new ideas."The participants of the forum watched Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center Mechtild Rossler’s video message, addressed to the forum participants. Stressing the importance of the forum, Rossler expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan for hosting the event at a high level.Within the forum, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of education, innovation, science, advanced training and employment.The forum entitled "World Heritage: New Ideas for Global Challenges" is held on June 24-July 2. The first four days of the forum will be held at the University of Architecture and Construction, Administration of “Icherisheher” State Historical-Architectural Reserve, Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve and in historic Gabala-Ismailli-Lahij region.Several presentations will be held with the participation of local and foreign experts. In conclusion, the forum participants will present their declaration at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Baku on June 30 - July 10. Azerbaijan's ASAN defines its goal: making life easier for citizens http://www.today.az/news/business/183835.html Business Mon, 24 Jun 2019 18:00:00 +0400 By TrendASAN (a state agency rendering public services to citizens of Azerbaijan) aims to apply innovative technologies in public services, Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations Jeyhun Salmanov said at the UN Public Service Forum, which is taking place in Baku June 24-26, Trend reports.He said that the use of innovative technologies in public services is a priority for the sustainable development of the economy in Azerbaijan.This is evidenced by such initiatives as ASAN finans, ASAN Viza, Mygov.az and other projects formed in ASAN service, he noted.Regarding the forum, the deputy chairman noted that the most important is the exchange of experience in the field of public services, as well as participation in discussions with international participants of the forum.He added that holding an international forum in Baku is a great honor. Zhara Festival pre-party held on Caspian coast http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/183833.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:43:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaA fascinating pre-party of Zhara International Music Festival has been held at the Sea Breeze recreation center on the coast of the Caspian Sea.The pre-party traditionally gathered artists who will shine at the Zhara Festival this year.People's Artists of Azerbaijan Emin Agalarov (EMIN), Brilliant Dadashova, Zulfiyya Khanbabayeva, Aygun Kazimova, Eurovision 2011 winner Nigar Jamal, as well as representatives of Azerbaijan at Eurovision Aysel Mammadova (AISEL), Chingiz Mustafayev, Samra Rahimli, Dilara Kazimova and other singers performed at the pre-party, Trend Life reported. The local singers shared the same stage with Russian singers and music bands, including SEREBRO and MBAND, CYGO (Leonid Vakulchuk), Irina Nelson, Lusya Chebotina and DJ TWINS (twin sisters Anna and Christina Grushinas). Wonderful atmosphere and great music left no one indifferent.Zhara International Music Festival 2019 offers its guests four days of non-stop entertainment at the Sea Breeze recreation center on July 25-28.Fantastic concerts with more than 80 artists, incredible light shows and much more await music lovers.This year, the festival organizers promise to go on a record and significantly exceed the scale of previous years: in addition to the main stage, two pools with two large stages will be installed on the Caspian coast. In addition, the food court zone and VIP zone will be expanded.In late May, some participants of Zhara already plunged into the beloved atmosphere in Moscow: pre-party ahead of the festival was held there.The hosts of the evening were Yana Koshkina and Konstantin Tarasyuk, who greeted the organizers of the annual Zhara festival, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan Emin Agalarov (EMIN), Honored Artist of Russia Grigory Leps and the founder of the Russian Radio and Golden Gramophone Prize Sergey Kozhevnikov.Gluk’oZa, Jasmin, Stas Mikhailov, Nyusha, Mitya Fomin, Alexander Panayotov, Alena Apina were among the Moscow pre-party participants.Russian singers Rita Dakota, EMIN, Elina Chaga, Natan, Doni, Irina Nelson and many others performed at the pre-party. The event was also attended by Yuri Aksyuta, Araz Agalarov, Igor Matvienko, Steven Seagal, Yana Churikova, Yuliya Baranovskaya and others. Stunning red carpet and wonderful performances left no one indifferent. Azerbaijani, Russian prosecutor general’s offices sign co-op agreement http://www.today.az/news/politics/183836.html Politics Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:35:00 +0400 By TrendThe delegation led by Azerbaijani Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov is on an official visit to Moscow on June 24 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Yury Chaika, Trendreports referring to the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office.The development of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, raising these ties to the level of strategic partnership thanks to joint efforts and the political will of the presidents of the two countries were stressed at the meeting with Chaika.Garalov informed his colleague that the structure of the prosecutor’s office has been improved over the past years.He spoke about the work being carried out to create a staff of young lawyers, the measures being taken to combat corruption, mutual relations with other law enforcement agencies to ensure the rights and freedoms of citizens.An agreement on cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Russian prosecutor generals was signed during the meeting.During the meeting, the sides talked about cooperation in the fight against various crimes, including terrorism, corruption, financial crimes and high technology crimes.The views on the protection of rights and freedoms of citizens, legal assistance, mutual activity within bilateral cooperation and international organizations, as well as other issues of interest to the parties were also exchanged at the meeting.At the conclusion of the meeting, Garalov awarded Chaika with the anniversary medal "100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office (1918-2018)", approved upon the Azerbaijani law dated May 31, 2018. Pashinyan afraid of negotiations with Baku http://www.today.az/news/regions/183829.html World news Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:24:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovArmenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan insistently continues to repeat his strange and illogical, but favorite statements, which aims at undermining the negotiations process on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Recently, in an interview with an Armenian TV channel, Pashinyan has once again expressed a stupid idea that the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh is already taking part in the negotiations in the person of the Azerbaijani leadership, but he cannot speak on behalf of another "state" (the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan).Armenian PM repeated that he can negotiate on behalf of Armenia and cannot negotiate on behalf of Nagorno-Karabakh since he is not the president and was not elected by those who live in Karabakh.Pashinyan cannot even imagine how frivolous his arguments sound, and what a foolish position they put him in as the head of Armenia.Apparently, Armenian PM is not aware that the residents of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan live with the passports of Armenian citizens and they travel to other countries with these passports. Even the “head” of the Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Sahakyan uses the Armenian passport to make his foreign visits. That is, the inhabitants of the self-proclaimed illegal entity are citizens of Armenia. So, it is completely incomprehensible why Pashinyan refuses to represent his own citizens at the Karabakh negotiations.It is ridiculous that speaking against the Azerbaijani community’s participation in the negotiations, the Armenian PM states that all Karabakh Azerbaijanis, without exception, are citizens of Azerbaijan. Occupied Karabakh at the international level is recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan -- therefore the fact that the Karabakh Azerbaijanis are citizens of Azerbaijan is not something surprising.During a recent visit to the region, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs met with members of the board of the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh. This fact caused great concern in the Armenian expert circles – they consider this meeting as the answer to Pashinyan’s claims.Now it is obvious to everyone that Pashinyan is afraid of negotiations with Azerbaijan. He does not want and is not able to participate in the resolution of such a serious matter, and he plays for time in search of a way out for himself. Pashinyan is afraid of responsibility. He understands that the world will never recognize either the "independence" of Nagorno-Karabakh or the annexation of the occupied territories to Armenia.Thus, anyone can see that Pashinyan only wants to maintain his image and play for time in the hope of a miracle. However, the miracle will never happen and the head of Armenia must eventually seriously engage in the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. World's fastest pianist to perform in capital [VIDEO] http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/183834.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaPeter Bence, an incredible Guinness World Records breaking pianist with the fastest fingers on the planet, is going to once again delight his music fans in Azerbaijan.The musician will perform at Baku Congress Center on November 22, Trend Life reported. “Mr. Fast Fingers" will present a completely new program with worldwide hits. The event is organized by MGM Production. In fact, this is not the first visit of the Hungarian virtuoso to the Azerbaijani capital. His first concert in Baku took place at Baku Congress Center on November 24, 2018.Back then, Peter Bence stunned the listeners with "Awesome Piano" solo program. Tar was presented to the Hungarian pianist by the Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, tar player Shahriyar Imanov.The Hungarian pianist is listed in the Guinness World Records as a record holder for the speed of repeated key press (765 piano key strokes in a minute).He has taken the Internet by storm with his piano arrangements of songs of Michael Jackson, the Queen and Sia, gathering over 300 million video hits and huge number of followers on YouTube and Facebook over the past two years.Peter Bence has achieved sensational success with his edgy, percussive and expressive playing style that has broken down boundaries between classical and popular music. He takes the piano to a whole new level, which inspires both younger and older generations of musicians and music lovers from everywhere around the world.When he was two years old, he already played back melodies by ear from his favorite cartoons and films on his grandparents’ upright piano. Showing serious interest and talent, Peter soon began his musical education at 4 at the local music school of his hometown Hajduboszormeny in Hungary.Peter Bence was considered a musical prodigy by teachers and peers, and was accepted at Franz Liszt University of Music in Debrecen, although he was still enrolled at elementary school.At seven he wrote his first composition, which was heavily influenced by the music of Mozart and Chopin, and at 11 he published his first solo piano album of his early compositions.In his teens, Peter started to show great interest in film music, especially the music of John Williams, which has opened up a new world for him and made him further explore himself musically.After his training in classical piano and composition in Hungary, Peter Bence continued his studies as a scholar at Berklee College of Music in the United States as a film scoring and piano major. Even though he was taking in every genre of music possible, he found his biggest influence in Michael Jackson.Peter began uploading videos to YouTube while at Berklee and in 2015 with his arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” he quickly rose to fame, collecting a whopping 10 million hits over just a few days, becoming a massive viral sensation.He has performed for tens of thousands throughout 20 countries, opened BBC’s Proms in the Park 2017 in Hyde Park, London, for 50,000 people, and was featured the Ellen DeGeneres Show’s website, BBC, Buzzfeed, 9GAG, Classic FM, iHeart Radio and Billboard.  Designers gather for summit in capital http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/183830.html Arts & Entertainment Mon, 24 Jun 2019 16:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaBaku Youth Center has hosted Azerbaijan Design Summit, bringing together beginners and professional designers who have been successful in this field. The summit discussed innovations and the current state in the field of design; the speakers presented their extraordinary ideas, Trend Life reported."In general, such events are a great way to understand the design community. Mostly young people are interested in design events, and such meetings help educate, communicate and expand knowledge," said Sarkhan Surkhaev, organizer of Azerbaijan Design Summit.The speakers included Erkin Ergin, Rizvan Baghirli, Elnur Babayev, Ramin Nasirov, Aynur Isayeva, and Sabiha Hande Tanriverdi.Erkin Ergin graduated from the faculty of International Economic Relations at Azerbaijan State Economic University. As a screenwriter and actor he took part in several TV shows and films. He worked as a copywriter at "Yellow", "Shamans" and advertising agencies. He appeared in commercials of such brands as Bakcell, Volkswagen, Dominos, etc. Since 2009, he has been working as a standup comedian (TEDxBaku, Kamedi Shmamedi, Standup ARB TV, Stand-up Baku ATV). He enjoys drawing cartoons.Rizvan Baghirli has 12 years of experience in the field of design. He worked as a graphic designer at the Organic Ogilvy advertising agency and art director at the McCann Baku advertising agency. Baghirli graduated from the faculty of International Economic Relations of Azerbaijan State Economic University.He took part in the work on visual communication of domestic and foreign companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Eti, Bakcell, MasterCard, Norm Sement, Gilan Holding, SOCAR.Since 2018, Baghirli has been working as a graphic and web design teacher at Code Academy, at the same time he is an art director. He is the first Azerbaijani who received the status of Adobe Certified Expert on Adobe Photoshop.Elnur Babayev graduated from the faculty of industrial design at Dogu Teknik University in Turkey. His works have won many international awards in the field of graphic design and product design. His social posters have repeatedly been awarded first place in competitions in foreign countries and were presented in more than 20 countries around the world.Safee project has resonated around the world. This project was discussed on such platforms as BBC, Mirror, Yahoo, 9gag.Ramin Nasirov, co-founder and organizer of the Azerbaijan Design Award project, has collaborated with ISR Holding, Altes Group, C Hotels Group, Gilan Holding, Azersun Holding. He graduated from the Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry.Nasirov created design for such brands as Natura fruit juices, Zeytun olive oil, Saville pomegranate juice, Fruit & Life preserves and jams, Bizim Tarla jams and Super Sun finished dishes, etc.Since 2011, Aynur Isayeva has been a member of the Azerbaijan Union of Artists. She graduated from the faculty of fashion design of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts.Her works were presented in various expositions; she worked at the 3Dost advertising agency as an artist and graphic designer. Isayeva is actively engaged in calligraphy and lettering.Sabiha Hande Tanriverdi graduated from the faculty of Architecture at Izmir Institute of Technology. Her works have been awarded at international contests, articles were published in architectural magazines. She successfully collaborates with Art Atelier Design Bureau, which operates in many countries, including Azerbaijan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar. Sabiha took first place in the project "Architecture of Interiors" held in Azerbaijan.Media partners of the event were Azernews.az, Trend.az, Day.az, Milli.az. Minimum salary for first time in Azerbaijan exceeds subsistence minimum - minister http://www.today.az/news/business/183828.html Business Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:48:00 +0400 By TrendIn Azerbaijan, through raising the minimum salary to 250 manats by order of President Ilham Aliyev dated June 18, 2019, the minimum salary exceeded the subsistence minimum for the first time, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Sahil Babayev told Trend June 24.The minister reminded that the current subsistence minimum is 180 manats, and starting from September 1, the minimum salary will exceed the subsistence minimum by almost 40 percent.At the same time, as a new legislative initiative by President Ilham Aliyev, the minimum pension will rise from 160 manats to 200 manats from October 1, thereby the minimum pension will exceed the subsistence minimum of pensioners up to 34.2 percent (149 manats), the minister said.He stressed that the increase in the minimum salary will cover 950,000 people, and the growth of salaries in various spheres of the public sector – 400,000 people.Babayev noted that the social package provided this month has allowed a serious increase in salaries of 1.35 million people, pensions of over 750,000 pensioners, and a total of salaries and pensions of 2.1 million people.Babayev added that the additional financial burden of the state on this increase amounted to 2 billion manats. Country receives over 1 million tourists http://www.today.az/news/business/183827.html Business Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:38:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzerbaijan, which combines both Eastern and Western cultures, is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for international tourists.The number of foreign tourists and stateless persons from 108 countries visiting Azerbaijan made up 1.1 million in the first five months of this year.According to the State Statistical Committee, this is 3.7 percent more than in the same period of 2018.As for the origin countries, 28.5 percent of the tourists came from Russia, 26 percent - Georgia, 10.9 percent - Turkey, 7.7 percent - Iran, 3 percent – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 1.9 percent each - Ukraine and India, 1.6 percent each – the UK and Turkmenistan, 1.2 percent each - Pakistan and Iraq, 14.4 percent - other countries, and 0.1 percent accounted for stateless persons.As many as 69.1 percent of tourists were men, and 30.9 percent – women.During the reporting period, the number of tourists who came from the EU countries increased by 27.8 percent to 54,400 people, and of those from the CIS countries - by 3.6 percent to 380,800 people.It is noteworthy that the tourist flow to Azerbaijan from Turkmenistan increased 1.9 times, from Egypt and China - 1.8 times, India and Saudi Arabia - 1.7 times, the UK – by 42.3 percent, South Korea - by 31.4 percent, Japan - by 30.1 percent, Germany - by 28 percent, Canada - by 27.7 percent, Poland - by 23.4 percent, and Georgia - by 22.7 percent.In January-May 2019, the number of Azerbaijani citizens who went abroad increased by 25.5 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching 2 million people.Some 39.5 percent of Azerbaijanis went to Iran, 27 percent - to Georgia, 18.3 percent - to Russia, 9.8 percent - to Turkey, and 5.4 percent - to other countries.The number of Azerbaijani citizens who went to Iran increased by 73.6 percent, to Georgia - by 10.6 percent, to Russia - by 5.6 percent, and to Turkey - by 0.1 percent.Azerbaijan, the popular destination for many tourists, attracts millions of visitors every year. The beautiful nature of Azerbaijan, hospitality of its people, the country's capital with its super modern and ancient buildings draws the attention of all tourists visiting this South Caucasian country.It is noteworthy that 2.8 million tourists from 196 countries arrived in Azerbaijan in 2018, showing a 5.7 percent increase compared to 2017. Last year, Russian, Georgian, Turkish and Iranian citizens made up the largest part of the tourists arriving in the country. In 2018, there was a significant increase in the number of visitors from the Gulf countries.In recent years, the creation of a diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has increased the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in Azerbaijan, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sport, etc.The successful holding of international events has also turned Azerbaijan into a country recognizable by everyone in the world, and a country that many foreigners wish to visit as soon as possible.Moreover, simplification of the visa regime plays a major role in the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. Currently, citizens of a number of countries get visas right at the Azerbaijani airports, while other tourists can visit the country by getting online tourist visas.Azerbaijan aims to develop tourism sector by all possible means to ensure sustainable development of the non-oil sector. Car production sees growth http://www.today.az/news/business/183826.html Business Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaThe production of cars and tractors is increasing every year in Azerbaijan. Production of passenger cars in Azerbaijan amounted to 926 units in January-May 2019.According to the State Statistical Committee, production of cars increased 7.1 times compared to the same period of 2018. This growth is due to the fact that the production of passenger cars in Azerbaijan resumed in April 2018.Eighty-nine cars were produced in January this year, 87 in February, 107 in March, 153 in April, and 490 in May. Thus, more cars were produced in May than in January-April.As of June 1, 2019, there are 297 vehicles in stock. As many as 631 various-purpose tractors were also produced in Azerbaijan in the first five months of the current year. In addition, the number of tractors in stock made up 312 units.The car production in Azerbaijan should reach 5,000 units per year in the medium term.Automative sector is currently developing fast in Azerbaijan, as more plants engaged in the production of cars are being launched across the country.There are currently three car manufacturing plants in Azerbaijan in Neftchala, Ganja and Nakhchivan.About 1,000 cars were sold in 2018, which is 32.4 times more than in 2017. If last year 40 percent fell on purchases by government agencies and 60 percent - by the population, now this ratio has changed. This year only 15 percent account for the state structure while 85 percent falls in the share of the population.Such a sharp increase in the production of cars in the country was achieved by commissioning of a joint Azerbaijani-Iranian plant Khazar in the Neftchala industrial park in March 2018.So far, Khazar car plant produced over 1,600 cars, most of which were sold. The plant plans to produce 3,000 cars by the end of year.At the same time, the car plant in Nakhchivan assembles eight models of Lifan passenger cars designed by China’s Lifan Group, which provides all the necessary spare parts for cars to the plant.The country also has the Ganja Automobile Plant, where a number of tractors of Belarusian and Russian companies are manufactured.The plant produced 478 units of machinery in January-April 2019, including 466 different models of tractors, one MAZ automobile trailer, one KAMAZ automobile, two MAZ buses and five tractor trailers with a self-operating mechanism.In addition, the automobile plant of the Russian GAZ Group is planned to be built in the Hajigabul Industrial Estate in late 2019.Azerbaijan is taking further steps for developing its own automobile manufacturing market to increase the local production and decrease import dependence.According to the Market Analysis Azerbaijan 2019, production in the automotive industry of Azerbaijan will reach $20 million this year and $70 million by 2022.