Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az Russian MFA: Agreed documents available on negotiating table on Karabakh conflict settlement http://www.today.az/news/politics/187385.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:26:00 +0400 By TrendThe task of the mediators involved in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to maximally accelerate the movement towards achieving the final settlement of this issue, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a briefing, Trend reports on Oct. 17.“We proceed from the negotiation agenda which is available,” the spokeswoman said. “We work with the documents agreed between the parties and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Our task as mediators is to maximally accelerate the movement towards achieving the final settlement of this issue.”“For our part, we have always called on the parties to such a constructive approach,” Zakharova said. “We are realizing this task, as it seems to us, as consistently as possible and urge everyone to constructive work, constructive steps in this sphere. We have the agreed formulations, the agreed documents. We have the agreed agenda for moving forward.”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, 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. Fitch’s forecast 14.9 pct inflation in Uzbekistan in 2019 http://www.today.az/news/regions/187373.html World news Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovAccording to Fitch forecasts, inflation in Uzbekistan will average 14.9 percent in 2019 and rise to 16 percent in 2020 before declining to 13.5 percent by 2021.These indicators exceed the Uzbek government's forecasts of 12.6 percent and 9.9 percent in 2020-2021. They continued domestic demand pressures, expected utility tariff adjustments and the country’s currency depreciation given the large external imbalances."A high current account deficit, increased public spending that are impacting domestic liquidity, strong foreign currency demand and depreciation in key trading partners have built up pressure on the som, which had strengthened in August, resulting in a 7.5 percent depreciation of som against dollars compared to the previous (12 percent compared to late 2018)," Podrobno.uz reported.Fitch mentioned that the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (CBU) has eliminated the cap in daily currency trading fluctuation at interbank trading sessions, a significant step towards increased exchange rate flexibility after the September 2017 exhange rate liberalisation.Uzbek authorities target an overall fiscal balance in the medium term by reducing policy lending and quasi-fiscal spending and improving coordination between the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and other entities involved in public investment.In addition, authorities plan to reform government’s direct concessional lending by increasing the interest rate on new local-currency loans to the level of the refinancing rate and moving towards market rates in 2021. The MoF is also developing debt rules introducing ceilings for total public debt and annual borrowing.Cuts to the VAT rate and social contributions could cost 2.1pp in budget revenues, but authorities expect this to be partly compensated by elimination of most of the import VAT exemptions and increases profit and excise taxes.Fitch predicts the overall fiscal deficit to decline to 2.4 percent of GDP in 2020 and 1.8 percent in 2021, as authorities plan to tighten broad fiscal policy by gradually phasing out preferential policy lending, and plan to include UFRD spending in the 2020 budget to increase control over overall fiscal policy."Government debt will increase to 28.7 percent of GDP (including 8.1 percent of GDP in guarantees) in 2019, up from 20.8 percent in 2018, reflecting increased external borrowing (net $5.3 billion including guarantees) and the weaker som," Fitch forecasts. Azerbaijan invites Iranian companies to participate in startups in country http://www.today.az/news/business/187381.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:52:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaIranian companies can benefit from opportunities provided by the Azerbaijani government for startups.This was stated by Tural Karimli, Chairman of Board of the Azerbaijan’s Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, at a meeting with Ali Vahdati, Head of Iran's National Innovation Fund, on October 17.Karimli stressed that a grant of up to 500,000 manats ($300,000) and a loan of up to 7 million manats ($4.12 million) can be provided to startups in Azerbaijan.“If any company obtains a residence in the High Technology Park of Azerbaijan, it will be exempted from various taxes. They will also be exempted from customs duties if they export their products to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus,” he said.In his words, Baku has turned into a real transport hub due to the country’s geographical location.Karimli further pointed out that nine foreign startups are registered in Azerbaijan, including three Israeli, three Ukrainian and three Russian.“The Ukrainian startup needs $2 million in investments. In a short time, about 2 days, we checked these startups. They have already invested $17 million, and Azerbaijan should invest $2 million. Therefore, the Agency’s representatives are going to visit Kiev,” he noted.“Azerbaijan is interested in cooperation with Iranian startup companies,” he added.Representatives of 50 Iranian companies operating in the field of high technologies arrived in Baku as part of the Innovation Week.The Innovation Agency’s goal is to create a dynamic innovation system in the country that serves to transform ideas into products to get access to the market.As startups are mainly related to the application and development of new technologies, Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and High Technologies is taking important measures to support them.In this regard, several agencies were created in the country to enhance innovative environment and widespread introduction of new technologies.Recently, a joint consortium has been established with the participation of the Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, AzInTelecom LLC and companies Lenovo, Nutanix, and iQRex to ensure the participation of startups in tenders held by various government agencies and individual companies, as well as in important projects and to support them in this field.The consortium will provide local startuppers with an opportunity to get access to various financial sources, to take part in important projects, including large and medium-sized tenders.Moreover, a strategy for innovative development will be developed in Azerbaijan. Boston Counsulting company has already been involved in this direction as an expert. SOCAR to issue new bonds http://www.today.az/news/business/187377.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:43:00 +0400 By TrendHolders of SOCAR Bonds, having been issued in 2016 and offering new investment opportunities for our citizens, made an income of $1,250,000 once again during the 12th interest payment for SOCAR Bonds organized on October 17, 2019, and total revenue of the bond holders raised up to $15 million.According to information provided by “SOCAR Capital” Company, quarterly interest amount of $1.25 million of SOCAR Bonds with nominal price of $1,000, turnover period of 5 years, annualized interest gain of 5% and interests of which are paid in a quarterly basis has been transferred to the bank accounts of the holders of SOCAR Bonds.Increase of price of bonds up to $1046.00 and volume of remarketing operations up to $181, 000, 000, as well as the number of transactions up to 2.000, being the most traded corporate financial instrument in the Baku Stock Exchange and pass of REPO operations’ amount over $32, 000, 000 are of the indicators of high demand for SOCAR Bonds.The new bonds are planned to be issued in the first months of 2020 after determining through surveys and investigations the interest rates that meet the capital markets and investors' revenues, as well as the term and amount.Holders of SOCAR Bonds are able to obtain short-term loans through REPO operations on advantageous terms, and at the same time, they can obtain a Manat loan from the relevant bank with an annual interest rate of 15–16% for up to 2 years by pledging bond(s) at the National Deposit Center. In this case, the bond holders do not lose their income of 5% and the actual interest rate of the loan, which they have obtained, reduces by 9–10%.The next interest payment of SOCAR Bonds which may be purchased at the ASAN Service Centers No. 1 and 5 will be made by January 17, 2020. TAP project is 89.8 pct complete http://www.today.az/news/business/187378.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:38:00 +0400 By TrendThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, is 89.8 percent complete, Trend reports citing TAP AG consortium.“TAP is currently moving further into the project construction phase. Every day hundreds of meters of TAP’s Right of Way (ROW) are cleared, strung, welded, lowered into the trenches and backfilled, in line with the project construction steps and schedule.At the end of September 2019, the TAP project was 89.8 percent completed,” said the consortium.TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent). Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan ranks first in CIS in terms of purchasing power of minimum pension http://www.today.az/news/politics/187380.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:21:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan today ranks first in the CIS in terms of the purchasing power of minimum pension, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“Other economic indicators are also very positive,” the Azerbaijani president said. “Our external public debt is at a very low level – it accounts for only 17 percent of the gross domestic product. According to this indicator, we are in ninth place in the world. I should also note that some countries registering better results than ours are the countries that do not receive any external loans at all. Therefore, their high place does not reflect the objective picture. Thus, we are in a leading position in terms of the low level of the external debt on a global scale. I want to say again that I set this task for the government: we must reduce external public debt every year, and this is provided for in the budget for next year.”“The inflation rate is very low – a little more than 2 percent,” Ilham Aliyev added. “It should be noted that a very serious and large-scale social package was implemented this year – the financial situation of more than 4.2 million people was improved, pensions, salaries and benefits were increased. In other words, billions of manat were spent on these purposes, and these funds were socially oriented. Despite this, the inflation rate is very low. This is a very good indicator. Incomes of the population significantly exceed inflation again.”“Azerbaijan today ranks first in the CIS in terms of the purchasing power of the minimum pension,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “In terms of the average monthly pension we are in third place. Of course, we should not be pleased with that, but I should mention this for the sake of comparison. Everything is relative.” Azerbaijan's president: Main goal - to speed up economic growth, continue reforms http://www.today.az/news/politics/187384.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:11:00 +0400 By TrendThe main goal is to speed up economic growth and continue reforms, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“The socioeconomic indicators for the first nine months of the year are positive,” the Azerbaijani president said. “Economic growth has been secured. It is gratifying that economic growth in the non-oil sector exceeds 3 percent. This suggests that diversification measures are bearing fruit. Of course, we would like this growth to be higher. I believe that there are enough opportunities and potential to achieve this. We simply need to use this potential with maximum efficiency.”“High performance in the non-oil industry has been achieved again,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “Thus, our non-oil industry has increased by more than 15 percent. This indicates that the reforms carried out in recent years, especially the measures to develop the non-oil sector, are yielding results. I can say that our non-oil industry growth of more than 15 percent can be considered a record indicator on a global scale.”“Along with this, as you know, major investments have been made in agriculture in recent years,” the Azerbaijani president added. “Agricultural development has been identified as a priority area. At the same time, in previous years I was somewhat surprised that with such a volume of investments, such support and the provision of subsidies and low-interest loans, growth in agriculture was only at 2-3 percent. At the present time, serious advances are being observed in this sector as well. Thus, agriculture grew by more than 7 percent in nine months.”“Other economic indicators are also very positive,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Our external public debt is at a very low level – it accounts for only 17 percent of the gross domestic product. According to this indicator, we are ninth in the world. I should also note that some countries registering better results than ours are the countries that do not receive any external loans at all. Therefore, their high place does not reflect the objective picture. Thus, we are in a leading position in terms of the low level of the external debt on a global scale. I want to say again that I set this task for the government: we must reduce external public debt every year, and this is provided for in the budget for next year.”“The inflation rate is very low – a little more than 2 percent,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “It should be noted that a very serious and large-scale social package was implemented this year – the financial situation of more than 4.2 million people was improved, pensions, salaries and benefits were increased. In other words, billions of manat were spent on these purposes, and these funds were socially oriented. Despite this, the inflation rate is very low. This is a very good indicator. Incomes of the population significantly exceed inflation once again.”“Azerbaijan today ranks first in the CIS in terms of the purchasing power of the minimum pension,” Ilham Aliyev added. “In terms of the average monthly pension we are in third place. Of course, we should not be pleased with that, but I should mention this for the sake of comparison. Everything is relative. We have the determination to increase the minimum wage and the minimum pension in the future, and the opportunities must be consistent with this. In order to achieve this, full transparency must be ensured in the entire financial and economic sector. Currently, we have sufficient reserves, and the government has been tasked with identifying all these reserves so that budget revenues increase and budget expenditures are goal-oriented and transparent.”“A few days ago, Ali Asadov was appointed Prime Minister by my executive order,” the Azerbaijani president said. “Ali Asadov was my aide for many years. I am sure that he will fulfill my instructions as Prime Minister. The main goal is to speed up economic growth and continue reforms.”“In my inauguration speech after last year’s presidential election, I set the goals practically for all key areas,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “After that, we embarked on hands-on work and deepened the reforms. The reforms carried out in the tax and customs sectors, the measures related to transparency have yielded results. In nine months, customs and tax authorities transferred more than 700 million manat into the budget above the plan. This shows once again how large our reserves are.”“Many companies are still not pay taxes in full,” the Azerbaijani president added. “They do double-entry bookkeeping. Some companies do not register employees. True, tens of thousands of jobs have been formalized in recent times, and thus they were transferred from the grey area to transparent one. But this must be widespread. Many private companies still do not fully pay taxes and do double-entry bookkeeping.”“Tax and other law enforcement agencies should take the most stringent measures against this type of "entrepreneurs",” Ilham Aliyev said. “And entrepreneurs should know that they are required to pay taxes. They can’t be required to make any other payments. I set this task for all agencies: we need maximum transparency and accuracy. It is necessary to put an end to bribery and corruption. But entrepreneurs must pay state taxes in full. It is with these taxes that we implement social projects, settle IDPs and strengthen our army. Therefore, tax evaders should be held criminally liable.”“We often hear that our standards and criteria should comply with European standards,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “We should apply the same punishment to tax evaders as European countries. Therefore, tax evasion should entail very serious consequences. I am instructing all relevant agencies.”“Our social policy is unambiguous,” Ilham Aliyev added. “I have repeatedly said that our policy is centered on the people of Azerbaijan. I believe that Azerbaijan is an exemplary country on a global scale in terms of social protection. The minimum wage and pensions are increasing, while the self-employment program is gaining pace. This year, the program will cover more than 10,000 people. The number of people receiving targeted social assistance is growing. I set the task for the Minister of Labor and Social Protection: we must provide even more assistance to people of this category. At present, each family receives assistance exceeding 200 manat on average. The number of such families should be increased. This is the task we set.”“Of course, our main goal is to deepen the reforms that pave the way for economic development,” the Azerbaijani president said. “In general, reforms in the economic sphere are progressing well in Azerbaijan. Leading international organizations highly evaluate our activities in this area. My numerous meetings with leaders of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions suggest that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are receiving good feedback.”“The Doing Business report ranks Azerbaijan 25th in the world in terms of business environment,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “According to the latest report, Azerbaijan is one of the top 20 most reforming countries again. The Davos World Economic Forum has recently published a new report, which demonstrates again that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are consistent in nature. I would like to inform the Azerbaijani public about some details of this report. As you know, there are many criteria related to competitiveness in it – political situation, fight against crime, economic reforms, social reforms, infrastructure and so on.”“So Azerbaijan ranks 18th in the world in terms of fight against organized crime,” the Azerbaijani president said. “I can say that this report was prepared and published on the basis of the results of a study conducted among 141 countries of the world. Azerbaijan ranks 30th in terms of public confidence in police. In the field of protection of property rights, we are 37th. Please note that in terms of the long-term strategy of the government, i.e. the state and its leadership, Azerbaijan is in 10th place on a global scale.”“In other words, this shows that a thought-out and long-term policy is being implemented in Azerbaijan at the highest level,” Ilham Aliyev added. “In terms of the leadership's desire for change, i.e. for reform, we are fifth in the world. In terms of the transport infrastructure, we are 31st and in terms of road infrastructure - 27th. In the previous report, we were 34th, while in the current report we are 27th and first in the CIS. In terms of railways, we are 34th and 12th in efficiency of transport services. As for the access to electricity factor, we are second in the world. The construction of such a large number of power plants, substations and power lines in recent years has brought us to second place in the world.”“In terms of digital capacity of active population, we are 19th,” the Azerbaijani president said. “This testifies to the talent of our people and their proximity to progressive trends. From the point of view of starting a business, we are in eighth place. These figures, of course, reflect reality, because the Davos World Economic Forum is one of the leading international financial institutions in the world and a very authoritative forum. As you know, the President of Azerbaijan regularly participates in the meetings of the forum.”“All this, of course, is good feedback of our work,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “The best assessment is that of the Azerbaijani people. According to a recent survey, it is possible to say that the vast majority of the population unequivocally supports the leadership of Azerbaijan and our policies. Of course, this support gives us strength, increases our determination, and we aspire to reforms and implement them even more enthusiastically and with even greater opportunities. Despite this, of course, I want to say it again, there are still unused reserves, and we must identify them.”“We must try to ensure that all areas of life in Azerbaijan are transparent and meet the highest standards,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Of course, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to carry out a merciless fight against corruption and bribery. I believe that at present we cannot be fully satisfied with this struggle. Because we know that facts of corruption have assumed large proportions not only in Azerbaijan, but also throughout the CIS. That is, it is a bitter legacy we have inherited from the past. But we must fight against negative phenomena – not only law enforcement agencies, but also all relevant agencies, including citizens.”“I have repeatedly spoken about the need for stepping up public oversight,” Ilham Aliyev said. “If lawlessness occurs somewhere, in any region, anywhere in Baku, relevant authorities should identify this and hold those who have committed lawlessness responsible. People, in turn, should report and be more active in terms of public oversight, so that we carry out reforms and build up the power of our country.”“The budget for next year is being prepared now,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “As you know, the budget is one of the key documents of any country. The new government is facing many tasks. When appointing Ali Asadov to this position, I gave him many responsibilities. I set the task of carrying out reforms, including personnel reforms. It is necessary to attract qualified young people with a modern vision and knowledge of the modern economy. We live in the 21st century, so how can we go into the future with old thinking and old knowledge? How long can we go along this inert path, as they say, and rely on natural resources? True, reforms are under way, and the figures I have quoted are clear evidence of that.”“Any country can boast of such results but we know that we have ample resources,” Ilham Aliyev added. “We also know that if a qualified person who is attached to the Motherland is appointed to a state or private post, we immediately see transformation there. It was believed that we have areas where it is impossible to carry out reforms. One of them is the tax system. It was believed that such a disgraceful situation, as they say, should remain there forever and we cannot make any progress. However, everyone was convinced that we can rectify the situation through reforms. The budget has received funds amounting to hundreds of millions of manat. The same holds true for other areas.”“Numerous violations were committed in the area of social protection,” the Azerbaijani president said. “New minister Sahil Babayev has identified them and is carrying out very serious reforms. I must also say that some people who are in power today also oppose reforms. These reforms affect their personal interests. They are trying to interfere with our work in every way. They tarnish people with new thinking who strive for reforms, including through the media. The media have become a tool for internal struggle. It is unbearable. I do not want to go into too much detail but I have to say that it is unbearable when some members of the government are blackmailed by others.”“They are being denigrated,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “They cast a shadow on the reforms being carried out on behalf of the president. It is an unbearable situation. If someone believes that we should put up with this, they are wrong because there is no alternative to reforms. Those who oppose this and try to covertly hinder our work, then, of course, we can’t go any further with such people. So I want to say it again for the population to know and everyone to hear. Strong political will has been demonstrated. We want to see Azerbaijan a modern and rapidly developing country where transparency is in the first place, and we will achieve that. No one can prevent us from doing this.”“Instructions have been issued in relation to the budget for next year,” the Azerbaijani president added. “The government has been working on it for a long time. Let me note that the budget for next year should be both socially and investment oriented. Next year we will implement serious social programs and take important measures to improve the living standards of the population. We must have sufficient funds to implement infrastructure projects.”“However, we must carefully consider the costs for next year, the government should submit proposals to fully ensure transparency,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Soon, before the end of the year, these proposals will be examined. Thus, I am sure that we can do as much work with less cost. To achieve this, we first of all need transparency, state and public control.""I am saying this to all government agencies, because they have developed a bad habit. At the end of each year when the budget is discussed, they start to send applications,” the Azerbaijani president added. “Moreover, they provide inflated and baseless figures. You ask them, for example, where they got such figures regarding funds for the construction of a dam, roads, cables. Out of thin air. Then an investigation is carried out and it turns out that they inflated the numbers. What for? That is obvious! This must also end. We can't expect only the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics to do this. The government as a controller should analyze all these figures and establish real ones. Those submitting inflated figures should be held accountable. If our state bodies and companies provided inflated figures again this time, they will expose themselves.”“Of course, the government will consider all of their proposals,” Ilham Aliyev said. “But if they provided inflated figures, they will be punished. Therefore, let them work normally and give up the bad habits. So we will significantly save our costs, create room for increasing salaries, pensions and ensure transparency. Therefore, over the coming weeks, it is necessary to work hard on budget parameters for the next year. Today's meeting is dedicated to this issue as well. Therefore, I would like to listen to opinions and suggestions related to the budget for next year.” President Ilham Aliyev: Tax evaders should be held criminally liable http://www.today.az/news/politics/187379.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:08:00 +0400 By TrendTax evaders should be held criminally liable, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“In my inauguration speech after last year’s presidential election, I set the goals practically for all key areas,” Ilham Aliyev said. “After that, we embarked on hands-on work and deepened the reforms. The reforms carried out in the tax and customs sectors, the measures related to transparency have yielded results. In nine months, customs and tax authorities transferred more than 700 million manat into the budget above the plan. This shows once again how big our reserves are.”“Many companies are still not paing taxes in full,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “They do double-entry bookkeeping. Some companies do not register employees. True, tens of thousands of jobs have been formalized in recent times, and thus they were transferred from the grey area to transparent one. But this must be widespread. Many private companies still do not fully pay taxes and do double-entry bookkeeping.”“Tax and other law enforcement agencies should take the most stringent measures against this type of "entrepreneurs",” Ilham Aliyev said. “And entrepreneurs should know that they are required to pay taxes. They can’t be required to make any other payments. I set this task for all agencies: we need maximum transparency and accuracy. It is necessary to put an end to bribery and corruption. But entrepreneurs must pay state taxes in full. It is with these taxes that we implement social projects, settle IDPs and strengthen our army. Therefore, tax evaders should be held criminally liable.”“We often hear that our standards and criteria should comply with European standards,” the Azerbaijani president added. “We should apply the same punishment to tax evaders as European countries. Therefore, tax evasion should entail very serious consequences. I am instructing all relevant agencies.” Azerbaijani president proved that Armenia pursuing policy based on fascist ideology http://www.today.az/news/politics/187376.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:00:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has proven that Armenia is pursuing a policy based on fascist ideology, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmadov said.Ahmadov made the remarks at the conference entitled "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!" in Baku, Trend reports on Oct. 14.The deputy prime minister reminded that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s statement “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” at the Valdai International Discussion Club and his speech at the meeting of the heads of state in Ashgabat once again revealed Armenia’s true face.Ahmadov stressed that by his statement, President Aliyev exposed the dangerous policy of Armenia and the Armenian government.“The president proved the implementation of this policy by the Armenian government while the whole world clearly opposes fascism and fascist ideology,” he added. “Tens of millions of people died as a result of fascist policy in the world. While pursuing a policy based on fascism, Armenia betrays the whole world and President Aliyev once again proved this.”Ahmadov emphasized that by his statement “Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and exclamation mark”, the president demonstrated a new approach in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.“The main meaning of the words “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” is that Karabakh is a matter of life and death for Azerbaijan,” he said. “While uttering these words, President Aliyev demonstrated Azerbaijan’s decisive position.”Ahmadov stressed that the Azerbaijani people unequivocally support President Aliyev’s statement.“But, unfortunately, a few Azerbaijani opposition parties demonstrate an approach that almost protects Armenia’s position,” he said. “This testifies to the fact that the opposition has completely lost its national image.”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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.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 regions. Ilham Aliyev: WEF report demonstrates again that Azerbaijan's reforms consistent in nature http://www.today.az/news/politics/187375.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:44:00 +0400 By TrendThe Davos World Economic Forum report demonstrates again that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are consistent in nature, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“The Doing Business report ranks Azerbaijan 25th in the world in terms of the business environment,” the Azerbaijani president said. “According to the latest report, Azerbaijan is one of the top 20 most reforming countries again. The Davos World Economic Forum has recently published a new report, which demonstrates again that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are consistent in nature. I would like to inform the Azerbaijani public about some details of this report. As you know, there are many criteria related to competitiveness in it – the public and political situation, the fight against crime, the economic reforms, the social reforms, infrastructure and so on.” Ilham Aliyev: Majority of population unequivocally supports Azerbaijan’s leadership & policies http://www.today.az/news/politics/187374.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:39:00 +0400 By TrendThe vast majority of the population unequivocally supports Azerbaijan’s leadership and our policies, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“The Davos World Economic Forum has recently published a new report, which demonstrates again that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are consistent in nature,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “I would like to inform the Azerbaijani public about some details of this report. As you know, there are many criteria related to competitiveness in it – the public and political situation, the fight against crime, the economic reforms, the social reforms, infrastructure and so on.”“So Azerbaijan ranks 18th in the world in terms of fight against organized crime,” Ilham Aliyev said. “I can say that this report was prepared and published on the basis of the results of a study conducted among 141 countries of the world. Azerbaijan ranks 30th in terms of public confidence in police. In the field of protection of property rights, we are 37th. ?n terms of the long-term strategy of the government, i.e. the state and its leadership, Azerbaijan is in 10th place on a global scale.”“In other words, this shows that a thought-out and long-term policy is being implemented in Azerbaijan at the highest level,” the Azerbaijani president added. “In terms of the leadership's desire for change, i.e. for reform, we are fifth in the world. In terms of the transport infrastructure, we are 31st and in terms of the road infrastructure 27th. In the previous report, we were in 34th place, while in the current report we are in 27th place and first in the CIS. In terms of railways, we are 34th and in terms of efficiency of transport services - 12th. As for the access to electricity, we are second in the world. The construction of such a large number of power plants, substations and power lines in recent years has brought us to second place in the world.”“In terms of digital capacity of the active population, we are in 19th place,” Ilham Aliyev said. “This testifies to the talent of our people and their proximity to progressive trends. From the point of view of starting a business, we are in eighth place. These figures, of course, reflect reality, because the Davos World Economic Forum is one of the leading international financial institutions in the world and a very authoritative forum. As you know, the President of Azerbaijan regularly participates in the meetings of the forum.”“All this, of course, is good feedback of our work,” the Azerbaijani president added. “The best assessment is that of the Azerbaijani people. According to a recent survey, it is possible to say that the vast majority of the population unequivocally supports the leadership of Azerbaijan and our policies. Of course, this support gives us strength, increases our determination, and we aspire to reforms and implement them even more enthusiastically and with even greater opportunities.” World-famous opera stars to perform in Baku http://www.today.az/news/regions/187369.html World news Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:27:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaWorld-famous opera singers will perform at the Heydar Aliyev Center on November 23.Opera stars Giovanni Gualliardo, Massimiliano Pisapia and Marina Nachkebia will be accompanied by the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, Trend Life reported.The concert will feature popular Italian songs, solo parts and duets from operas "La Traviata" , "Rigoletto", "Troubadour", "Carmen", "Tosca", "La Boheme", "Love drink", "Don Juan", "Eugene Onegin", included in the Golden Fund of world classics.Tickets can be purchased at Heydar Aliyev Center, iTicket.az and box offices in Baku.Italian baritone Giovanni Gualliardo has long won the love of the public. He is the soloist of the La Scala Theater in Milan, the Roman Opera House, the Massimo Theater in Palermo, the Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa, etc. He tours with such prominent conductors as Bruno Campanella, Daniel Harding, Daniel Oren and others.  Massimiliano Pisapia made his debut as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Opernhaus Leipzig under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Since that moment he had started a career performing in many of the world's most important concert halls and opera houses, such as: the Teatro La Scala in Milan, Opernhaus Zurich, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Colõn in Buenos Aires, Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Arena di Verona, Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Teatro Regio in Parma and Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago.His repertory includes "Madama Butterfly", "Rigoletto", "Les Contes d'Hoffmann", "Macbeth", "Simon Boccanegra", to name only a few.Marina Nachkebia  (soprano) is a laureate of international competitions Montserrat Caballe (2012), Luciano Pavarotti (2012), Francisco Vinyas (2013), Riccardo Zandonai (2013), Renata Tabeldi (2013), Marcello Giordani (2014). Her wonderful voice can be heard in the best theaters in Italy-Reggio Theater in Parma, Municipal Theater in Piacenza, the Massimo Bellini Theater in Catania and the La Scala Theater in Milan. President Ilham Aliyev receives chairman of Board of Directors of Azerbaijan Highway State Agency http://www.today.az/news/politics/187383.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:15:00 +0400 By TrendPresident of  Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Chairman of the Board of Directors of Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Saleh Mammadov. Kazakhstan increases black gold exports to Italy, France http://www.today.az/news/regions/187372.html World news Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:43:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe volume of oil exports from Kazakhstan to Italy and France increased by $500 million in August 2019, the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan (AFC) has reported.The foreign trade turnover of Kazakhstan slightly increased according to the results of August 2019, and amounted to $8.3 billion, which is one percent more than the month before. According to AFC’s analysts, increase in revenues from the export of goods was up to $4.6 billion (+5.8 percent), while the country's imports fell to $3.7 billion (-4.6 percent)."Against this background, the trade surplus in August increased to $1 billion compared to $500 million in July," analysts said.After a sharp decline in July (-28.4 percent), the volumes of oil export in August grew by 20 percent to 5.2 million tons. This is probably due to the restoration of oil production after repairs at key fields and the restoration of supplies at the Druzhba pipeline, AFC believes."Despite the repair work, the production level in January-August 2019 increased by 0.5 percent compared to the same period of 2018 and totalled 51.4 million tons of crude oil. At the same time, the pricing environment for the commodity market was less favorable. The average price of a barrel of Brent oil in August fell by 6.6 percent to $59.75 per barrel," experts noted.They added that in the country structure, a sharp increase in revenues from the supply of black gold falls on Italy (+$376 million) and France (+$129.4 million). In July, quite the contrary, the main decline was in European countries.As for the import of goods, the main decrease in August was observed for liquid pumps, while the largest increase was for the import of air and vacuum pumps. These changes in imports are likely related to the construction and repair work at industrial facilities in the country."Results of January-August 2019 show that Russia still holds the leading place in the country’s import structure, accounting for 35.4 percent of all imported products (-4 percent). China ranked second - 16 percent (-0.1 percent) and South Korea third - 9.6 percent (+7.8 percent)," the AFC’s statement reads.AFC believes that, given the increase in revenues from oil sales to European countries, the share of oil in the country's export structure in August rose sharply from 54.5 percent to 59 percent."At the same time, with a simultaneous decrease in imports, the trade surplus of Kazakhstan doubled in August, from $0.5 billion to $1 billion. This increase may have a positive effect on the current account for the third quarter of 2019," the analysts believe."The current account in Kazakhstan is determined by the dynamics of the trade balance and income balance, while the dynamics of the balance of services is stable and its impact on current account indicators is limited.Earlier, the National Bank of Kazakhstan said that in the first half of the current account of the balance of payments there was a deficit of $1.9 billion, due to a decrease in the surplus of the trade balance," analysts concluded.Kazakhstan exports mainly light crude CPC Blend, which is appreciated for its high yield of gasoline and light distillates.Kazakhstan is among the top 15 countries in the world for proven oil reserves, with three percent of the world's reserves of ‘black gold'.Oil and gas bearing areas occupy 62 percent of the country's area and have 172 oil fields, of which more than 80 are under development. More than 90 percent of the oil reserves are concentrated in the 15 largest fields.Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan are the largest oil fields in Kazakhstan. Three oil giants will be able to bring Kazakhstan's oil production to a new level in the coming years even if new oil fields are not discovered.The Atyrau region has the most prospected oil reserves, on the territory of which more than 75 fields with reserves of industrial categories of 930 million tons are discovered. The largest field in the region is Tengiz (the initial recoverable reserves are 781.1 million tons.)KazTransOil is the largest oil pipeline company of Kazakhstan, providing services for the transportation of oil to the domestic market and for export. Russian pianist stuns audience in capital http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/187370.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaFamous Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky has brilliantly performed at State Philharmonic Hall.Magnificent concert was organized with the support of the Culture Ministries of Azerbaijan and Russia.At the concert,  Russian pianist and the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra delighted the listeners with Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68 and Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16, Azertag reported. The orchestra was conducted by People's Artist Rauf Abdullayev.Nikolai Lugansky has won prizes at numerous piano competitions, most notably the Silver Medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1994 (no first prize was awarded). At the same time he began to make recordings on the Melodiya (USSR) and Vanguard Classics (Netherlands) labels.His performance at the Winners' Gala Concert of the 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition was recorded and released on the Pioneer Classics label, on both CD and video laser disc formats.This was followed by more recordings for Japanese labels. He went on to make recordings for Warner Classics, Erato Records, PENTATONE, Onyx Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, and Naïve Records. In 2018, Lugansky signed an exclusive recording contract with Harmonia Mundi.Russian pianist has performed together with Vadim Repin, Alexander Kniazev, Anna Netrebko, Joshua Bell, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Rudenko, Mischa Maisky and Leonidas Kavakos, among others.Lugansky has collaborated with word-famous conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Temirkanov, Edo de Waart and others.In addition to performing and recording, Lugansky teaches at the Moscow Conservatory.Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli was formed in 1920, being one of the first orchestras in the Soviet Union, at the request of composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli. The first master of the orchestra was an experienced conductor M. I. Chernyakhovski.Many great works of world music such as those of G. Mahler, I. Stravinski, C. Debussy, A. Bruckner, J. Brahms and others occupy honorable place in the repertoire of the orchestra. The orchestra is an active participant of "Music of the 20th Century" organized by R. Abdullayev and Festival of M. Rostropovich, which is held annually. Since 2007, the orchestra has been participating in summer festivals In Italy. Baku hosts workshop as part of joint customs project with UK http://www.today.az/news/business/187371.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:23:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovA four-day workshop for customs officers kicked off in Baku on October 15, as part of the joint project Hunter by the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and the UK Border Guard.The workshop is about identifying targets on Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR).Speaking about customs cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UK at the opening ceremony of seminar, Customs service Major-General Javad Gasimov noted that the Hunter project, which is being implemented since 2018, is important in enhancing the capacity of customs officials, in sharing experience in risk management, exchanging views on border security and in cooperation on implementing modern technology.It was emphasized that the project’s priority objectives are to simplify customs procedures for the Hunter project, to develop targeting systems with the use of new modern technologies, including the implementation of the State Customs Committee's API and PNR systems.He informed the guests that the customs system was formed on the basis of modern and new challenges, taking into account international experience and introducing new management mechanisms.During the workshop, experts from the UK National Rifle Association and UK Border Agency Bob Hilton and Debbie Tether will share information about "Introduction to Airline Risk Management", "Risk Management and Other Techniques", "Profiling and Risk Indicators" and on other topics. The workshop will include practical sessions as well.James Sharp, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Azerbaijan, also delivered a speech at the seminar’s opening. He spoke about the relations between Azerbaijan and the UK, noting that recent projects in the development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan have created additional opportunities for mutual cooperation.Expressing satisfaction with cooperation in the field of customs between the two countries, Sharp stressed that Azerbaijan has taken important steps to develop the North-South and East-West transport corridors, adding that effective border control will play an important role in this area.  Gasimov also said that customs authorities will focus on ensuring economic security, regulating customs in more modern and flexible ways, creating a favorable business environment for foreign trade participants, and enhancing the competitiveness of transit corridors.State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and State Secretariat for the Home Office on behalf of the UK Border Guard signed a joint statement in February 2019 to develop cooperation in building capacity of customs officers, to share advanced practice in the area of risk management, to exchange views on ensuring border security on the goods, travellers and transport vehicles crossing the state border.The joint declaration was signed as part of the Hunter project funded by the UK border service. The declaration envisages creating international opportunities for analyzing information on cargos and persons crossing borders by simplifying customs and border procedures. API and PNR, as well as preventing transportation of goods and persons who are likely to harm the national interests of the countries are also among the goals of the project. Ilham Aliyev: Budget for next year should be both socially & investment oriented http://www.today.az/news/politics/187368.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:05:00 +0400 By TrendThe budget for next year should be both socially and investment oriented, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“Instructions have been issued in relation to the budget for next year,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “The government has been working on it for a long time. Let me note that the budget for next year should be both socially and investment oriented. Next year we will implement serious social programs and take important measures to improve the living standards of the population. We must have sufficient funds to implement infrastructure projects. However, we must carefully consider the costs for next year, the government should submit proposals to fully ensure transparency. Soon, before the end of the year, these proposals will be examined. Thus, I am sure that we can do as much work with less cost.”“To achieve this, we first of all need transparency, state and public control,” Ilham Aliyev said. “I am saying this to all government agencies, because they have developed a bad habit. At the end of each year when the budget is discussed, they start to send applications. Moreover, they provide inflated and baseless figures. You ask them, for example, where they got such figures regarding funds for the construction of a dam, roads, cables. Out of thin air. Then an investigation is carried out and it turns out that they inflated the numbers. What for? That is obvious! This must also end. Therefore, you cannot expect only the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics to do this. The government should analyze all these figures and establish real ones. Those submitting inflated figures should be held accountable. If our state bodies and companies provided inflated figures again this time, they will expose themselves. Of course, the government will consider all of their proposals. But if they provide inflated figures, they will be punished.”“Therefore, let them bother to work normally and give up the bad habits,” the Azerbaijani president added. “So we will significantly save our costs, create room for increasing salaries, pensions and ensure transparency. Therefore, over the coming weeks, it is necessary to work hard on budget parameters for the next year. Today's meeting is dedicated to this issue as well. Therefore, I would like to listen to opinions and suggestions related to the budget for next year.” President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan - exemplary country on global scale in terms of social protection http://www.today.az/news/politics/187367.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:51:00 +0400 By TrendI believe that Azerbaijan is an exemplary country on a global scale in terms of social protection, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“The minimum wage and pensions are increasing, while the self-employment program is gaining pace,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “This year, the program will cover more than 10,000 people. The number of people receiving targeted social assistance is growing. I set the task for the Minister of Labor and Social Protection: we must provide even more assistance to people of this category. At present, each family receives assistance exceeding 200 manat on average. The number of such families should be increased.”“Of course, our main goal is to deepen the reforms that pave the way for economic development,” Ilham Aliyev added. “In general, reforms in the economic sphere are progressing well in Azerbaijan. Leading international organizations highly evaluate our activities in this area. My numerous meetings with leaders of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions suggest that the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan are receiving good feedback.” Minister urges completion of TAP on agreed schedule http://www.today.az/news/business/187366.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:47:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rasana GasimovaAzerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has said that it’s important to complete the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) – a key component of the Southern Gas Corridor - on an agreed schedule, local media reported citing the ministry.Mammadyarov made the remarks during the meeting with the delegation led by President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate of Italy Vito Petrocelli in Baku.During the meeting, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov spoke about the regional transport and transit projects implemented with Azerbaijan’s initiative and participation as well as the development of East-West connectivity strategy. The minister further emphasized the high level of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy and noted the importance of further development of these relations in the future.In his turn, Vito Petrocelli noted that the representatives of the Parliament fully support the development of cooperation between the two countries. Petrocelli emphasized that Azerbaijan and Italy have similar approach to the "One belt - one way" project and expressed satisfaction with Azerbaijan’s support for this project.Along with the necessity of strengthening the economic and trade relations, the importance of developing relations in cultural sphere and people-to-people contacts were also highlighted during the meeting.Italian delegation also included the member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Gianluca Ferrara, and the Deputy Head of the Senate Secretariat of the Foreign Affairs Committee Gianluca Polverari.The sides further spoke about the cooperation between Azerbaijan and European Union and Italy’s contribution to this cooperation. The parties also exchanged views on regional security and issues of mutual interest.Worth 4.5 billion euros, TAP is a part of Southern Gas Corridor project that envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Greece and southern Italy across the Adriatic Sea through Greece and Albania, and involves designing, construction and operation of the natural gas pipeline.TAP project started in 2016. Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it. About 90 percent of TAP pipeline construction works were implemented.TAP may bring a net profit of 238 million euros after the first year of operation, that is, in 2021, according to the estimates of one of the partners of the TAP AG consortium.TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company registered in Baar, canton Zug, Switzerland, with a purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP pipeline. Spain through eyes of national photographer http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/187360.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:26:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaA solo exhibition of famous photographer and traveler Aydin Sadikhov has solemnly opened in Landmark Hotel Baku.The exhibition was timed to the National Day of Spain, and was held with the organization of the Spanish Embassy in Azerbaijan, Trend Life reported.Representatives of diplomatic missions, cultural and art workers attended the event, organized by the Spanish Embassy in Azerbaijan.Aydin Sadikhov presented nine cities of Spain with amazing beauty - Madrid, Barcelona, ??Girona, Seville, Granada, Valencia, Malaga, Mallorca and Segovia. The presented works made a lasting impression on viewers.The photographer invited visitors to plunge into the Spanish culture and history to get acquainted with its outstanding sights, magnificent castles, mysterious monuments and even to learn a number of interesting legends.Spain is a country of great history, rich culture and stunning architectural masterpieces. The country captivates everyone with its unique and amazing beauty.The rhythms of the Spanish guitar, mesmerizing singing and flamenco dances became another magnificent surprise for the guests of the evening.Notably, Aydin Sadikhov has recently presented his works inspired by the Czech Republic.The exhibition includes 20 works, which depict the most famous historical sights of such cities of the Czech Republic as Prague, Telc, Kutna Hora and Cesky Krumlov. The photo works were highly appreciated by the viewers.Aydin Sadikhov is a big fan of mystical stories, legends, fiction and therefore his work is a kind of portal, where one can enjoy the world of mysteries. He is a member of the Azerbaijan Photographers Association.His personal exhibition "BAKU: a city where traditions meet with modernity" opened in Athens this April and aroused great interest among visitors. The photographer presented the visitors the unique historical and architectural masterpieces of Azerbaijani capital as well as modern buildings. Through his works, the photographer also wanted to show the architectural development of Baku.  </p><p style="border: 0px; font-family: Roboto, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; margin: 0px 0px 19px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: rgb(252, 252, 252);"><br /></p><br /> </div></body> </html> Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan’s non-oil industry growth of over 15 pct can be considered a record ... http://www.today.az/news/politics/187358.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:18:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan’s non-oil industry growth of more than 15 percent can be considered a record indicator on a global scale, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“The socioeconomic indicators for the first nine months of the year are positive,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Economic growth has been secured. It is gratifying that economic growth in the non-oil sector exceeds 3 percent. This suggests that diversification measures are bearing fruit. Of course, we would like this growth to be higher. I believe that there are enough opportunities and potential to achieve this. We simply need to use this potential with maximum efficiency.”“High performance in the non-oil industry has been achieved again,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “Thus, our non-oil industry has increased by more than 15 percent. This indicates that the reforms carried out in recent years, especially the measures to develop the non-oil sector, are yielding results. I can say that our non-oil industry growth of more than 15 percent can be considered a record indicator on a global scale.”“Along with this, as you know, major investments have been made in agriculture in recent years,” Ilham Aliyev added. “Agricultural development has been identified as a priority area. At the same time, in previous years I was somewhat surprised that with such a volume of investments, such support and the provision of subsidies and low-interest loans, growth in agriculture was only at 2-3 percent. At the present time, serious advances are being observed in this sector as well. Thus, agriculture grew by more than 7 percent in nine months.” President Aliyev: Necessary to attract qualified young people with knowledge of modern economy http://www.today.az/news/politics/187359.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:00:00 +0400 By TrendIt is necessary to attract qualified young people with a modern vision and knowledge of the modern economy, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting on the economic area dedicated to the socio-economic results in the 9 months of 2019 and state and consolidated budget projects for 2020.“There are still unused reserves, and we must identify them,” Ilham Aliyev said. “We must try to ensure that all areas of life in Azerbaijan are transparent and meet the highest standards. Of course, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to carry out a merciless fight against corruption and bribery. I believe that at present we cannot be fully satisfied with this struggle. Because we know that facts of corruption have assumed large proportions not only in Azerbaijan, but also throughout the CIS. That is, it is a bitter legacy we have inherited from the past. But we must fight against negative phenomena – not only law enforcement agencies, but also all relevant agencies, including citizens.”“I have repeatedly spoken about the need for stepping up public oversight,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “If lawlessness occurs somewhere, in any region, anywhere in Baku, relevant authorities should identify this and hold those who have committed lawlessness responsible. People, in turn, should report and be more active in terms of public oversight, so that we carry out reforms and build up the power of our country.”“The budget for next year is being prepared now,” Ilham Aliyev said. “As you know, the budget is one of the key documents of any country. The new government is facing many tasks. When appointing Ali Asadov to this position, I gave him many responsibilities. I set the task of carrying out reforms, including personnel reforms. It is necessary to attract qualified young people with a modern outlook and knowledge of the modern economy. We live in the 21st century, so how can we go into the future with old thinking and old knowledge? How long can we go along this inert path, as they say, and rely on natural resources? True, reforms are under way, and the figures I have quoted are clear evidence of that.”“Any country can boast of such results but we know that we have ample resources,” the Azerbaijani president added. “We also know that if qualified person who is attached to the Motherland is appointed to a state or private post, we immediately see transformation there.” Entrepreneurship Development Fund to finance 39 projects in Sheki-Zagatala http://www.today.az/news/business/187364.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:56:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaMinistry of Economy continues to provide entrepreneurs operating in the regions with financial support to stimulate entrepreneurship across the country.Entrepreneurship Development Fund under the Ministry of Economy issued a total of 491,000 manats ($288,907) of soft loans to entrepreneurs operating in the Sheki-Zagatala economic region, during a business forum held in Zagatala region on October 16.The loans have been provided to finance 39 investment projects in the areas of livestock and gardening, etc. The implementation of these projects will open 50 new jobs.In general, Entrepreneurship Development Fund has so far granted 119.7 million manats ($70.43 million) of soft loans to finance 2,400 investment projects in the Sheki-Zagatala economic region.Since early 2019, the Fund has provided soft loans at 134.1 million manats ($78.91 million) to entrepreneurs operating in Azerbaijan, of which 65 percent accounted for the country's regions.At the event, sample investment projects on rural tourism, tobacco growing, gardening, creation of beekeeping farms, warehouse complex for dry tobacco storage and hazelnut processing facility have been presented.Azerbaijani Entrepreneurship Development Fund was established on the basis of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, operating in the country since 1997.The authorized capital of the Fund was set at 1.9 billion manats ($1.1 billion). Loans are issued for 5,000 ($2,933) to 50,000 manats ($29,326) for a period of 3 years, from 50,000 to 1 million manats ($586,510) for 5 years and from 1million to 10 million ($5.87 million) for 10 years. The annual loan rate is 5 percent.The Fund intends to issue soft loans worth 160 million manats ($94 million) this year. In general, the Fund has issued soft loans in the amount of more than 2.3 billion manats ($1.35 billion) so far. About 68 percent of the loans was directed to the agricultural sector. Azerbaijan to export locally manufactured cars to Russia http://www.today.az/news/business/187363.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:43:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rasana GasimovaAzerbaijan will deliver to Russia ten Khazar SD cars produced by the joint Azerbaijani-Iranian car production plant in Neftchala Industrial Zone, Trend reported, citing Azerbaijani Ambassador to Iran.The cars will be sent to Russia under the Made in Azerbaijan brand, Ambassador Buniyad Huseynov said during a meeting with Chairman of the Tabriz Chamber of Commerce Younes Jael.Huseynov also mentioned that the plant uses advanced technology, and its production capacity is 10,000 sedans of various models.He recalled that the joint plant was opened on the basis of agreements between the major Iranian automaker Iran Khodro and the Azerbaijani company Azeurocar (a subsidiary of AzerMash) during the official visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Baku in April 2018. The total cost of the project amounted to 24 million manats ($14.1 million), of which 75 percent were invested by the Azerbaijani side, and 25 percent by the Iranian side.Over 1,000 Iranian companies are registered in Azerbaijan in industry, construction, services, communications, trade, transport, agriculture and other spheres. Iranian investments in Azerbaijan exceed $3.4 billion.Iranian companies successfully operate in Azerbaijan.Two countries cooperate within the joint car production plant in Neftchala Industrial Zone, joint pharmaceutical plant Caspian Pharmed in Pirallahi Industrial Park, Khudaferin and Maiden Tower hydro power plants, etc.Recently, Iranian Trade Center opened in Baku to support trade relations between the businessmen of the two countries and help them solve their problems. The trade turnover between the two countries is planned to reach $2 billion in short term perspective. Azerbaijani society concerned about inefficiency of Karabakh talks http://www.today.az/news/politics/187382.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:35:00 +0400 By TrendA meeting with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group has been held in the “Azerbaijani Community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region” Public Association, Trend reports on October 17.Speaking at the meeting, Association Chairman Tural Ganjaliyev noted that the Azerbaijani society is concerned about the inefficiency of the negotiation process on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement.“As a society, we are asked about the results of the negotiation process, but we cannot give concrete answer,” Ganjaliyev said. “We appreciate your efforts, but the inefficiency of the negotiations worries the society. We want to see concrete results.”The chairman added that the Azerbaijani side is ready for peaceful resolution of the issue, for living in peaceful conditions.“However, the Armenians aren’t ready for this,” Ganjaliyev said. “The Armenian community refuses joint peaceful coexistence.”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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.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 regions. EU, Georgia develop draft law on energy performance in building http://www.today.az/news/regions/187365.html World news Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:24:00 +0400 By TrendGeorgia’s building sector accounts for over 40 percent of the country’s energy consumption, representative of the Energy Community Secretariat told Trend.As reported, residential buildings are by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions."The EU4Energy Governance project team, supported by Georgian authorities, is developing a draft 'Law on Energy Performance in Buildings' and working on related secondary regulations in compliance with the relevant EU directive", said the representative.According to the Energy Community Secretariat, a well-functioning energy sector needs clear rules and regulations that ensure both competition and a level-playing field for all stakeholders and undertakings operating in the energy sector of Georgia."With such rules and regulations in place, consumers, businesses and industry can expect the benefits of trading on a commercially driven open market", said the Energy Community Secretariat.Moreover, as the EU noted, large industrial consumers, small and medium sized enterprises as well as households will have equal rights in terms of choosing their own supplier and have the opportunity to manage their consumption portfolio."An improved legal framework will also provide enhanced reliability and safety of energy supply and advanced quality of service in Georgia", said the representative.According to the Energy Community Secretariat, by implementing the EU4Energy Governance project, the Energy Community Secretariat provides technical assistance projects in all areas of reforms to be implemented by Georgia under the obligations of the Energy Community Treaty. President Ilham Aliyev receives OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs http://www.today.az/news/politics/187357.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:50:00 +0400 By TrendPresident of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Stephane Visconti of France, Igor Popov of Russia, Andrew Schofer of the US, as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.They discussed the current state and prospects of negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Georgia increases electricity exports from Azerbaijan by 39.6 pct http://www.today.az/news/business/187362.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:42:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaBy strengthening its power system, Azerbaijan aims not only to meet the growing demand in local scale, but also to ensure energy security of neighboring countries.Georgia increased electricity imports from Azerbaijan by 39.6 percent to 820.9 million kWh in January-September 2019, the Georgian Electricity System Commercial Operator (ESCO) has said in a message.Total electricity imports by Georgia increased by 22.6 percent amounting to 1.20 billion kWh in the reporting period. Thus, 80.43 percent of Georgia’s total imports accounted for Azerbaijan.In addition to Azerbaijan, Georgia purchased electricity from Russia - 199.7 million kWh (a decrease of 0.2 percent).During the reporting period, Georgia exported 240.65 million kWh of electricity, of which 9.3 million kWh was delivered to Azerbaijan.Meanwhile, electricity transit through the territory of Georgia was carried out only from Azerbaijan to Turkey, where 94.63 million kWh was transported.In 2018, Azerbaijan's electricity exports increased by 165.2 million kWh in comparison with 2017 (1.28 billion kWh), reaching almost 1.5 billion kWh. As much as 1.23 billion kWh of this amount was exported to Georgia.Electricity exports to Georgia increased by 175 million kWh or 14.2 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.Recently, energy operators of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia held a working meeting in Tbilisi. The parties reviewed the mechanisms for regulating power flows and agreed to discuss the details related to the creation of the United Electric Power Ring, which will significantly improve the stability of the electrical systems of the three countries and increase the possibilities of electricity export and import.Earlier, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed a memorandum on the prospects of Azerbaijani-Georgian power systems after discussion of the state of the power systems of Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as the construction of a 330 kW two-way (duplex) transmission line.Azerenergy is the main exporter of electric energy in Azerbaijan. There are over 30 power plants on the balance of Azerenergy. The total power generation capacity of these stations exceeds 6,000 MW, which allows generating about 24 billion kWh of electricity annually.Since early May 2019, Azerenergy has started supplying electricity to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary through Georgia and Turkey. In the coming months, the company also plans to export electricity to Austria and Italy. Azerbaijan turning into important regional transit hub - minister http://www.today.az/news/business/187361.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:31:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rasana GasimovaAzerbaijan is becoming the biggest transit, logistics and important transport hub in the region due to its active involvement in a number of large regional transport projects and the development of the country’s transport sector.Azerbaijani Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade made these remarks during the opening ceremony of the meeting of the International Transport Forum (ITF) held in Baku on October 14.In his words, the international transport corridors passing through Azerbaijan’s territory have been completely reconstructed and brought up to European standards."All sectors of the Azerbaijani economy are dynamically developing. The transport sector is expanding, including the automotive industry," the minister said.The Minister also touched upon the work carried out in the field of regulation of international trucking and informed about the action plans taken with regards to the International Transport Forum Charter of Quality.About 100 ITF member states delegates are taking part in the two-day forum held in Baku. The event is dedicated to the implementation of the Charter requirements by the member countries, and the application and development prospects of the European freight market.Note that the International Transport Forum has 57 members. Azerbaijan became a full member of the forum since May 1998.The main objectives of the International Transport Forum are: determination of measures for the efficient use and effective development of international transport by the member states of the forum, coordination and strengthening of the activities of all international carriers, taking into account the activities of national authorities in the field of international transport.In 2017, Azerbaijan put into operation Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that provides shortest rail link between Europe and Asia; it plays an important role in the implementation of China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy and the International North-South Transport Corridor project. The BTK railway route is the shortest way to deliver cargo from the Russian regions located in the Volga, Ural and Siberian Federal Districts to the Mediterranean ports of Turkey, and further to the countries of Africa and the Middle East.Another important route is Lapis Lazuli transport corridor. Afghanistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed an agreement on the creation of the Lapis Lazuli transport corridor which is set to connect the five countries in 2017.Azerbaijan is also interested in the development of both the "North-South" and "West-East" Transport Corridors. The country is a central territory in both cases. TRACECA is an international cooperation program in the field of transport between the EU and partner countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia.Azerbaijan pins great hopes on the Baku International Sea Trade Port, arguably the most modern in the Caspian basin, as well as the creation of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) that will ensure a wider transit and transport potential of the country. Unprotected deposits in liquidated Azerbaijani banks to be repaid http://www.today.az/news/business/187356.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:17:00 +0400 By TrendAzerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund (ADIF) has announced the repayment of unprotected deposits of up to 17,000 manat ($10,000) in more than 10 liquidated banks, Trend reports referring to ADIF.The banks include Atrabank, Bank of Azerbaijan, Demirbank, Bank Standart, Credo Bank, United Credit Bank, Caucasian Development Bank, Royal Bank, Ganja Bank, Texnika Bank, Zamin Bank.According to the ADIF, depositors of the listed banks are invited to apply with an identity card to the corresponding branches of Kapital Bank OJSC, indicated in the list published by the fund. Azerbaijan-Russia trade turnover exceeds $2bn http://www.today.az/news/business/187355.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:54:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Rasana GasimovaRussia is among Azerbaijan’s main foreign trade partners and ranks first in terms of export of non-oil products from the country.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia in January-September 2019 increased by 24.2 percent to reach $2 billion 104 million 562,180, compared to the same period of 2018, State Customs Committee told local media.According to the Committee, trade operations with Russia accounted for 8.34 percent of the country’s total foreign trade turnover in the past nine months.During the reporting period, the volume of Azerbaijani products exported to Russia amounted to $499 million 151,170. In general, exports to Russia accounted for 3.36 percent of Azerbaijan’s overall exports in January-September 2019.Imports of Russian products to Azerbaijan amounted to $ 1 billion 605 million 411,010 (a 28.2 percent increase). The share of supplies from Russia accounted for 15.47 percent in the total volume of imports of goods to Azerbaijan.Thus, in January-September 2019, Azerbaijan’s negative balance in export-import relations with Russia amounted to $ 1 billion 106 million 259,840.Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy, Shahin Mustafayev said that the trade turnover with Russia could reach $3 billion by the end of 2019.Note that Azerbaijan is one of the main economic partners of Russia among the CIS countries. Interregional cooperation plays an important role in the development of Russian-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations and the increase in trade turnover.Today, about 50 percent of Russia's trade in the South Caucasus region accounts for Azerbaijan. Russia is the leader in the import of Azerbaijan’s non-oil products. About 700 companies with Russian capital are operating in Azerbaijan.So far, the value of investments by Russian companies in Azerbaijan amounted to $4.7 billion, and the Azerbaijani investments in Russia stood at $1.2 billion.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $2.55 billion in 2018, which is 19.1 percent more than in 2017, according to Azerbaijan’s State Statistics Committee. The share of trade operations with Russia in 2018 accounted for 8.25percent of the total foreign trade turnover of Azerbaijan.Last year, Russia’s exports to Azerbaijan were mainly food products and agricultural raw materials ($422.1 million), machinery, equipment and vehicles ($381.6 million), metals and products from them ($315.9 million), wood and pulp-paper products ($238.1 million) as well as chemical products and rubber ($198 million). Demand for Azerbaijani Central Bank's notes greatly exceeds supply http://www.today.az/news/business/187354.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:34:00 +0400 By TrendBaku Stock Exchange (BSE) held an auction for placement of the notes of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) worth 170 million manat, Trend reports referring to BSE.The demand at the auction exceeded the supply by more than three times, as 14 investors filed 24 applications worth 547.249 million manat.The cut-off price for competitive bids was set at 99.5158 manat (6.26 percent), the weighted average price was also 99.5158 manat (6.26 percent). The volume of notes placed at the auction amounted to 170 million manat.The deadline for payment is Nov. 14, 2020.(1 USD = 1.7 AZN on Oct. 16) Gold, palladium prices up in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/187353.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:27:00 +0400 By TrendGold and palladium prices have increased in Azerbaijan on Oct. 17 compared to the previous prices, Trend reports referring to data published by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA).The price of gold increased by 5.8225 manat to 2,529 manat per ounce.The price of silver decreased by 0.2218 manat to 29.4487 manat per ounce.The price of platinum decreased by 5.712 manat to 1,503 manat per ounce.The price of palladium increased in comparison with the previous figure by 71.1705 manat to 3,025 manat per ounce.Precious metalsOct. 17, 2019Oct. 16, 2019GoldXAU2,529.09002,523.2675SilverXAG29.448729.6705PlatinumXPT1,503.39501,509.1070PalladiumXPD3,025.15002,953.9795The 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 Oct. 17) "Pomegranate Valley" agro tour attracts local, foreign visitors http://www.today.az/news/business/187352.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:12:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe "Pomegranate Valley" agrarian tour was held on October 12 with the participation of Agrarian Procurement and Supply OJSC (which is subordinate under the Agriculture Ministry), Agrarian Credit and Development Agency and UN Development Program.Leaders of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan, representatives of international organizations, relevant state and private organizations participated in the agrarian tour organized in the village of Meyniman of Azerbaijan’s Hajigabul region.Leyla Mammadova, Chair of the Management Board of the Agro Procurement and Supply OJSC, gave detailed information about the agro-ecotourism project "From City to Village", which is one of the first projects in the field of agro-tourism in Azerbaijan."The organization of such tours is of great importance in terms of promotion of agriculture in Azerbaijan, especially pomegranates growing, which is a new and promising area of country’s non-oil sector," Mammadova stated.The farm of Red Valley LLC, which is the host place of the tour, is engaged in the cultivation of pomegranate products, symbols of Land of Fire. The main reason for choosing this farm for the tour is the cultivation of the new varieties of Azerbaijani pomegranate "MinaShirin".Speaking at the ceremony held during the Agrarian tour, Alessandro Fracassetti who is UNDP Resident Representative for Azerbaijan, said that the joint project of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan and the UN Development Program “Conservation and Sustainable use of Agro-Biodiversity” is being successfully implemented.In turn, the head of Red Valley LLC Rashad Shirinov spoke about pomegranate farming. He noted that the MinaShirin variety, which was acquired through a long period of research and work, was included in the Ministry of Agriculture's register in 2018 and was patented.The quality and taste of the new variety "MinaShirin" is not inferior to other varieties of pomegranate. Large and juicy, with good taste and sour taste, this variety is about 20 centimeters in diameter.As part of the tour, local and foreign visitors had a chance to  familiarize themselves with MinaShirin variety of pomegranate. They also were informed about the state of pomegranate breeding in the country, the process of growing and harvesting pomegranates.The ecotourism and agrotourism are new and quite promising directions of tourism in Azerbaijan. The fact that ecotourism is gradually becoming popular in the country is natural, since there are all conditions for this, first of all, the unique geographic position and the nature of Azerbaijan. U.S. Congressmen’s illegal visit to Nagorno-Karabakh lowers hopes for conflict settlement http://www.today.az/news/politics/187350.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:51:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovNagorno-Karabakh’s Azerbaijani community has expressed concerns over the visit by U.S. Congress representatives to Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.In a letter sent to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and members of the U.S. Congress on October 14, the community members said that the illegal visit of the US Congress representatives “affects not only democracy, fundamental principles of human rights, peaceful co-existence and international law, but also the situation in the conflict zone and lowers hopes for the conflict settlement.”"On behalf of IDPs expelled from Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region as a result of the Armenian occupation, we express serious concern and protest over the visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories by the U.S. Congress representatives Frank Pallone, Judy Chu and Jackie Speier," the letter reads. The visit took place on October 1-8.The Community noted in their statement that the visit completely contradicts congresswoman Judy Chu’s earlier statement about the desire to be a peacemaker. If she had such a desire, she would not make an illegal visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, the statement reads.The Community further states that this visit serves to support Armenia’s illegal occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, and the massacres and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis at the hands of Armenians."We represent more than 80,000 people of the Azerbaijani community expelled from the Nagorno-Karabakh and more than 700,000 IDPs from surrounding territories. These people continue to suffer amid the negotiations that have resulted in no progress for over the past 25 years. Armenia not only deprives us of the fundamental rights to return to our houses, to visit the graves of our family members; it also pursues a policy aimed at destroying our cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh region and continues to misappropriate our private property," the message reads.The Community emphasized in the letter that in order to counter this policy and maintain the prospect of the peaceful conflict settlement, the international community has committed itself not to render any assistance to the illegal regime in Nagorno-Karabakh."This approach corresponds to the spirit of international law, which is based on the rules supported by the U.S. and its institutions. Unfortunately, the recent visits of the congressmen completely contradicts these obligations and the international law," the community stressed."The discriminatory approach to the occupation and the victims cannot promise the peace in the region and well-being to the victims. One cannot build happiness as a result of the violation of the rights of others. Thus, we must not allow such actions and must not support those who commit them," the statement reads.The Community pointed out that illegal visits to the region help neither the Armenian people or the Armenian community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region."The continuation of the occupation leads to the depletion of resources necessary for the development of Armenia and at the same time to turning the Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region into a hostage of the illegal military regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories...Therefore, such visits misinform the public and lead to the popularization of people and political forces pursuing a policy of discrimination, grossly violating all norms of humanitarian law and human rights, putting forward shameful versions of the superiority of one ethnic group over another,” the statement further reads.“We know that the visit does not reflect the U.S. official position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Congressman Pallone admitted that the visit was made in defiance of the State Department's open warning in connection with the trips to the occupied Azerbaijani territories," the letter says.The Community expressed regret that illegal visits to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh give reason to say that such visits are made to meet interest of the Armenian Lobby in the United States."Making visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories is not part of the official duties of representatives of the U.S. Congress. Such visits raise serious grounds for believing that there is a personal interest of the Congress representatives. Strong support for pro-Armenian lobbyists and advocacy of illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani lands further intensify such suspicions," the message reads.In the letter, it was reiterated that illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories and a biased approach to the Azerbaijani society set bad precedence from the moral, legal and political points of view.As was stressed, the best thing that Congress representatives can do is to take steps to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will ensure the fundamental rights of all the displaced persons and will serve to establish peace and stability. The Community believes this would be a positive example of the activity of the U.S. officials and the triumph of human rights over ongoing discrimination."The Azerbaijani community of IDPs tirelessly continues to work to restore peace, co-existence and development of both communities of Nagorno-Karabakh. We thank the U.S. president and other international leaders who support positive work in this sphere and urge everyone who is trying to question it to change their mind," the letter ends. Turkmenistan, UK mull business partnership prospects http://www.today.az/news/regions/187351.html World news Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:43:00 +0400 By TrendA meeting was held between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom to Turkmenistan Hugh Stanley Philpott on Oct.16, Trend reports referring to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.At the meeting, the British ambassador presented copies of his credentials to the Turkmen minister. The parties discussed a wide range of issues regarding the political-diplomatic, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian interaction of the two countries. They also considered the possibility of expanding regular contacts between the foreign ministries.The parties especially focused on the constructive cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Kingdom within the framework of international organizations, primarily on the UN and OSCE venues. Diplomats also noted the particular importance to support the initiatives and candidatures of the two states in various structures of international organizations on a reciprocal basis.The establishment of the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group with the House of Lords of the United Kingdom in the Assembly of Turkmenistan in 2018 marked the evidence of active inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two states.Noting the effectiveness of cooperation, the Turkmen minister expressed his readiness to provide support to the ambassador in his activities to further develop bilateral relations. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 20 times http://www.today.az/news/politics/187349.html Politics Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:13:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 20 times, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on October 17, Trend reports.The Armenian armed forces were using 60 millimeter mortar.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, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.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 regions. Oil, gas, electricity exports see growth http://www.today.az/news/business/187348.html Business Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaThe State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan has disclosed statistics on oil, gas and electricity exports.Azerbaijan exported 23.3 million tons of oil worth $11.3 billion in January to September 2019, reports the Committee.In January-September 2018, the oil export from the country amounted to 22 million tons at $11.6 billion. Thus, oil exports increased in quantitative terms by 6 percent, in value terms - decreased by 2.8 percent in 2019.Following the results of the first nine months of 2019, gas export from Azerbaijan amounted to 9.1 billion cubic meters worth $1.8 billion.The country exported 5.3 billion cubic meters of gas costing $1.28 billion in the same period of 2018. Thus, this year, gas export increased in quantitative terms by 73 percent, in value terms - by 76.1 percent.In January-September 2019, Azerbaijan exported 708,054 tons of oil products for $345.8 million. Last year, 837,919 tons of oil products were exported from the country, the value of which was $ 425.1 million.As for electricity, Azerbaijan exported 1.5 billion kWh of electricity at $63 million in the first nine months of 2019. Last year, 1.3 billion kWh of electricity for $59.6 million was exported from the country. Thus, in January-September 2019, electricity export from Azerbaijan in quantitative terms increased by 14.9 percent, in value - by 5.6 percent.Azerbaijan exports electricity to Georgia, Turkey, Russia and Iran. Azerenergy is the main exporter of electric energy in the country. Azerbaijan, which has been exporting electricity to neighboring countries for a long time, has already begun exporting energy to European countries, including Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.The total oil exports from Azerbaijan amounted to 29.5 million tons worth $15.7 billion, gas exports – 7.9 billion cubic meters worth $1.5 billion, and electricity exports - 1.4 billion for $65.6 million in 2018.Azerbaijan mainly carries out oil exports through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, and gas exports via the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), namely the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum.Currently, an average of 110,000 tons of oil and 94 million cubic meters of gas are extracted per day in Azerbaijan from offshore and onshore fields, including the Shah Deniz, Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) and Umid fields, which are jointly operated with foreign companies.ACG is the largest oil and gas field in the Caspian Sea, covering more than 432 square kilometers. A contract for the development of ACG block of oil and gas fields was signed in 1994 for 30 years. The new agreement signed in 2017 provides for the development of the field until 2050.Proven oil reserves of ACG block of oil and gas fields are estimated at 1.2 billion tons, while gas reserves make 350 billion cubic meters. Ecologist predict drizzle in Baku http://www.today.az/news/society/187347.html Society Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaEcologist predict changeable cloudy in Baku on October 17. Light fog and drizzle will be observed in the morning in some places. Northwest wind will become north-east in the afternoon.In Absheron peninsula, the temperature will be 16-18 °C at night, 22-26 C in the daytime.In Baku, the temperature will be 16-18 °C at night and 23-25°C in the daytime, the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry reported.Atmospheric pressure will be 767 mm mercury column. Relative humidity will be 65-75 percent  at night, 50-55 percent in the daytime.The weather will be mainly rainless in country's regions. However, intermittent rain is expected in the Lankaran-Astara zone. Fog will be observed at night and in the morning in some places. East wind will blow.The temperature will be 11-16 °C at night, 24-29 °Cin the afternoon. In mountains, the temperature will be 8-13 °Cat night,5-20 °C in the daytime.As for the medical-meteorological forecast, the weather on October 17-18 will be favorable for meteo-sensitive people. Turkmen president intends to visit Italy http://www.today.az/news/business/187345.html Business Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:45:00 +0400 By TrendPresident of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov intends to pay an official visit to Italy in November 2019, Trend reports on Oct. 16 referring to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.This issue was touched upon during the Turkmen delegation’s visit to Italy.The delegation was headed by Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Berdyniyaz Myatiev. Myatiev held the talks with Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Manlio Di Stefano.The issues of expanding cooperation in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic and cultural fields were discussed during the meeting. The issues related to the upcoming joint business forum, which is scheduled to be held in Milan as part of the Turkmen president’s official visit, were also touched upon.While stressing the positive dynamics in the development of relations, the sides stood for further strengthening the ties in various spheres of mutual interest.According to the Turkmen State Statistics Committee, the biggest increase in the total export volume by country was observed in Italy - more than ten times in January 2019 compared to January 2018.The recent foreign trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Italy has reached annually about $1.5 billion with a great predominance of the export of the Turkmen goods.The two countries see the fuel and energy sector, trade, the transport and communications complex and agriculture as the key vectors of intensifying the cooperation. Bakuba Jazz Band captivates music lovers in Turkey http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/187344.html Arts & Entertainment Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:31:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaTofig Hasansoy and Bakuba Jazz Band have captivated the listeners with powerful and expressive performance at the 16th Alanya Jazz Festival in Turkey.Bakuba Jazz Band included Tofig Hasansoy (vocalist), Tofig Jabbarov (percussion), Seymur Hasansoy (accordion), Nijat Aslanov (piano), Evgeny Manukhin (drums) and Nijat Pashazade (bass guitar).Speaking about the festival, the project manager Nigar Babazade stressed that national musician performed with tremendous success, after each composition the audience burst with applause, Trend Life reported.The songs of Azerbaijani, Turkish and American composers sounded in a new way. The music compositions featured Afro-Cuban and Latin American jazz and mugham.Before each song, Tofig Hasansoy told the audience about the history of Azerbaijani jazz and its prominent representatives such as Vagif Mustafazade, Tofig Guliyev and others.The festival was held under the motto "Music brings joy to the heart!", bringing together music bands from Azerbaijan, Turkey, France, Montenegro and Russia.Memorial gifts were presented to the musicians from Alanya City Hall.The 16th Alanya Jazz Festival was held under the auspices of Alanya City Hall, Alanya Tourist Operators Association (ALT?D), Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation: (ALTAV).The event was widely covered by mass media. Oil prices decline as demand fears linger http://www.today.az/news/business/187346.html Business Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:24:00 +0400 By TrendOil prices declined on Tuesday as the market continued to be concerned about weak global demand, Trend reports citing Xinhua.Analysts said investors were worried that trade uncertainties among world's major economies will lead to global economic downturn and dampen oil demand.The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery declined 0.78 U.S. dollar to settle at 52.81 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for December delivery erased 0.61 dollar to close at 58.74 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Rouhani praises Iranian advanced medicine http://www.today.az/news/regions/187343.html World news Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:09:00 +0400 By TrendIranian President Hassan Rouhani attended the ceremony on the start of the academic year at the universities of the country held at Tehran University on Oct. 16, Trend reports citing IRIB.“Over 41 years after the revolution, we have had economic problems, war and pressures, but the university has fulfilled its mission in various disciplines. We are not far behind the world and advanced societies, and we have made good developments in performance and knowledge,” noted Iranian president.Speaking about Iran's advanced medicine sector, Rouhani said: “I have met a specialist working in a medical center in Germany who brought one of his relatives, who needed a surgery, to Tehran for the treatment. I asked him whether Germany would be a better option. He answered that quality of medical services in Iran are at a good level and that our health centers are better than European ones in terms of treatment.”The president added that the country is proud of so many professors and researchers. Meantime, in his words, students shall learn science alongside gaining skills to be successful in employment.“Why there are not enough jobs for graduates? Someone may say this is because of economic problems or lack of economic development of, and investments in, the country,” Rouhani said. “However, a graduate with good practical skills will get the job sooner than a scientist who is good only in theory.” SPE Annual Caspian Technical Conference kicks off in Baku http://www.today.az/news/business/187322.html Business Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:55:00 +0400 By TrendThe Annual Caspian Technical Conference held by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has kicked off in Baku, Trend reports from the event.Opening the session, Vice President of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR for Field Development Yashar Latifov said that exploration and production of oil becomes complicated without the digital transformation of technology.The vice president noted that SOCAR has successful operational development projects. SOCAR is rapidly implementing project systems and this adapts the state of the company in the market, added Latifov.The Caspian Technical Conference will continue until October 18. The main focus of the conference is the oil and gas industry in the Caspian region and at the global level.The theme of the conference is digital transformation, which will be reflected in thematic panel sessions and technical sessions that bring together industry experts, representatives of regulatory bodies and innovative companies as well as students. Bangladeshi PM due in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/politics/187341.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:34:00 +0400 By TrendPrime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will attend the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), to be held on October 25-26 in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, Trend reports citing Dhaka Tribune.The country’s Foreign Minister Abdul Momen has confirmed the prime minister's participation at the summit of the heads of state and government.The summit will be preceded by the preparatory senior officials’ meeting on October 21-22 and the preparatory ministerial meeting on October 23-24.Foreign Minister Momen will attend the ministerial meeting.XVIII Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement will be held on 25-26 October 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan.The Summit will be preceded by the Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting on October 21-22 and the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting on October 23-24.At the NAM Baku Summit the Republic of Azerbaijan will take over the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement for the upcoming 3 years.NAM has 120 member-states, 17 observer countries and 10 observer organizations.Non-Aligned Movement was officially founded in 1961, at the Belgrade Summit, drawing on the principles (also known as Bandung Principles) agreed at the Afro-Asian Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. Azerbaijani historian: Transfer of Zangezur to Armenia weakened bonds among Turkic-speaking states http://www.today.az/news/politics/187340.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:26:00 +0400 By TrendThe transfer of Azerbaijan’s Zangezur region to Armenia weakened the bonds among the Turkic-speaking states, Ziyad Amrakhov, Ph.D. in History, head of the department of the Institute of the History of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, told Trend.“Azerbaijan lost its historical lands after the secession of Zangezur from Azerbaijan and its accession to Armenia,” the head of the department added."This led to the separation from the Turkic world in terms of geography, as well as the inaction of the beneficial transit routes of the historic Great Silk Road in the Caucasus,” Amrakhov said. “The reason for all this is a violation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.”The head of the department added that the Armenians’ separatist steps in connection with Zangezur were obvious in 1919.“The discussions in connection with Armenia’s constant territorial claims against Azerbaijan and the genocide of Azerbaijanis being committed by the Armenians have been repeatedly held in the parliament of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR),” Amrakhov added.“In the parliament, Azerbaijani MPs from Irevan and the Karabakh region repeatedly raised the issue [saying] that the Armenians commit massacre of the Turks and, therefore, to resolve this issue, it is necessary to proceed to the actions and prefer a military solution to the issue,” the head of the department said.“According to the historical facts, the British military forces were also present in Azerbaijan in November 1918 and the Azerbaijani and Armenian governments were recommended to resolve this issue at an international conference in connection with the presence of the British military forces,” Amrakhov added.“However, after holding important discussions in the parliament, the ADR government conducted an operation in autumn 1919 to put an end to the separatist actions of the Armenians in Zangezur and Karabakh considering the fact that the Armenian government did not abandon its actions,” the head of the department said.“According to the order of Minister of War of ADR Samadbey Mehmandarov, this operation was entrusted to two Azerbaijani generals,” Amrakhov said. “However, the operation was unsuccessful.” Strengthening political integration among Turkic-speaking states very important - analyst http://www.today.az/news/politics/187339.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:10:00 +0400 By TrendStrengthening political integration among the Turkic-speaking states is very important, Azerbaijani political analyst Arzu Nagiyev told Trend Oct. 16.Nagiyev noted the great importance of the 7th Turkic Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (Turkic Council) held in Baku on Oct. 14-15.The analyst added that the summit opens up crucial prospects for future cooperation.Nagiyev reminded that the Turkic Council, the foundation of which was laid by the Nakhchivan Agreement in 2009, has been functioning for already 10 years.“Initially, this Agreement was signed among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey,” the political analyst said. “After the time passed, given the importance of this cooperation, other states also expressed desire to become members of the Council.”Nagiyev added that since this year, Turkmenistan has been participating in the summit as an observer, and Uzbekistan is now represented in the structure not as an observer, but as a full member of the Turkic Council.“That is, the idea of ??representing all Turkic-speaking states in the Turkic Council is being gradually implemented,” the analyst said.Nagiyev stressed that the scope of this organization isn’t limited only to the Asian continent.“Giving Hungary observer status means expanding the Council to European borders,” the political analyst said. President Aliyev: Taking Zangezur from from Azerbaijan divided Turkic world geographically http://www.today.az/news/politics/187338.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:54:00 +0400 By TrendThe taking of Zangezur from the rest of Azerbaijan and its adding to Armenia divided the great Turkic world geographically, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States (Turkic Council) in Baku on Oct. 15.“Having taken over chairmanship in the Turkic Council from Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan will make every effort in the coming period to strengthen the friendship and cooperation among our countries,” Ilham Aliyev said. “The common roots that connect us, our history, culture and national values are an important basis for mutually beneficial activities. The development of cooperation between Turkic-Speaking States is one of the priority areas of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy.”“The Seventh Summit of the Turkic Council coincides with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Nakhchivan agreement,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “The summit of the heads of state held in the ancient Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan in October 2009 set up a new institutional format for cooperation among our countries. Zangezur is located between the main part of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan region. The taking of Zangezur from the rest of Azerbaijan and adding it to Armenia divided the great Turkic world geographically. However, thanks to the decisions we made in Nakhchivan and our joint work, we have further strengthened the unity of the Turkic world and will continue our brotherhood. In this sense, the decision to set up the Turkic Council during the summit held in Nakhchivan is also of tremendous significance for the Turkic world.”“Over the past 10 years, the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States as an organization has come a long way in development,” Ilham Aliyev added.“The Council plays an important role in the development of cooperation among our countries in the political, economic, transport, humanitarian spheres, in the fields of tourism, information and communication technologies, etc. The relations of the Turkic Council with influential international organizations are expanding. Currently, fruitful cooperation is being maintained with such entities as the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the OSCE, the Organization for Economic Cooperation. TURKSOY, the Fund for Turkic Culture and Heritage, the Turkic Academy. This plays an important part in studying our rich cultural heritage and promoting our material and cultural values in the world.” Azerbaijani president: Armenia can't be friend to Muslims after destroying mosques sacred to them http://www.today.az/news/politics/187337.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:46:00 +0400 By TrendHaving destroyed mosques sacred to Muslims around the world, Armenia cannot be a friend of Muslim countries, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States (Turkic Council) in Baku on Oct.15.“As you know, there is no progress in the settlement of Azerbaijan’s most painful problem, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, because of Armenia’s destructive policy,” Ilham Aliyev said.“For about 30 years, Armenia, flagrantly violating the norms and principles of international law, has continued its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. A policy of ethnic cleansing has been carried out in the occupied territories, more than a million of our compatriots have found themselves in the position of refugees and internally displaced persons. In these territories, the historical and cultural heritage belonging to the Azerbaijani people, Islamic monuments and mosques have been destroyed and razed to the ground.”“Armenia is trying to establish close cooperation with Muslim countries,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “However, having destroyed mosques sacred to Muslims around the world, Armenia cannot be a friend of Muslim countries. This vandalism against our religion shows the Islamophobic essence of Armenia.”“Four resolutions of the UN Security Council have been adopted in relation to the conflict, and they contain an unequivocal demand for an unconditional and complete withdrawal of occupying forces from Azerbaijani lands,” Ilham Aliyev added. “Similar decisions and resolutions have been adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, NATO, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and other organizations. Armenia ignores the requirements of these resolutions and decrees and evades fulfillment of its international obligations.”“Nagorno-Karabakh is historical and original Azerbaijani land,” the Azerbaijani president said. “It is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The conflict must be resolved within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in accordance with the norms and principles of international law. The final statements of the summits of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States also constantly express support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of state borders. Taking this opportunity, I want to thank our partners who support a fair settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.” President Ilham Aliyev: Over past 16 years, Azerbaijan’s economy more than tripled http://www.today.az/news/politics/187336.html Politics Wed, 16 Oct 2019 15:38:00 +0400 By TrendOver the past 16 years, Azerbaijan’s economy has more than tripled, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States (Turkic Council) in Baku on Oct. 15.“Our summits are traditionally dedicated to topics which cover various areas of cooperation,” Ilham Aliyev said. “The theme of our current event, “Development of Small and Medium Enterprises”, is of great relevance. In 2017, the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise was established in Azerbaijan. The objective of this agency is to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. A strong class of entrepreneurs with broad business opportunities has emerged in the country and abroad. To date, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund has provided 36,000 entrepreneurs with low-interest loans worth $1.4 billion. In 2018, the private sector’s share in the gross domestic product of our country amounted to 85 percent.”“More than $270 billion has been invested in the country, half of which is foreign investments. Azerbaijan is a state with a small external debt. Azerbaijan’s external debt accounts for only 17 percent of the gross domestic product. According to this indicator, we are in ninth place in the world.”“The reforms carried out in the economic sphere are also approved by international organizations,” Ilham Aliyev added. “The World Bank’s Doing Business report ranks Azerbaijan among top 20 most reforming countries. Azerbaijan is currently one of biggest investors in the Turkish economy. Thus, Azerbaijan’s investment in the Turkish economy is $15 billion and Turkey’s investment in the Azerbaijani economy is $12 billion.”“The transport cooperation among our countries, historically located on the ancient Silk Road, is one of the important directions, of course,” the Azerbaijani president said. “Azerbaijan is an active participant in the East-West transport corridor. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, commissioned in October 2017, is our joint contribution to the restoration of the historic Silk Road. The cargo handling capacity of the Baku International Sea Port is 15 million tons of cargo and 100,000 containers. If necessary, the cargo handling capacity of the port can be increased to 25 million tons and 1 million containers. Azerbaijan as a reliable transit country continues its efforts to facilitate the access of Turkic-speaking countries to world markets. In 2018, 8 million tons of cargo was transported from Turkic-speaking countries through Azerbaijan.”“We attach great importance to cooperation in the energy sector,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “Azerbaijan offers its opportunities in this area too. A portion of the energy resources of our partners from Central Asia is transported to world markets via Azerbaijan.”“We must intensify our efforts to attract foreign tourists to our countries and encourage the flow of tourists among our countries,” Ilham Aliyev added. “In the nine months of 2019, a total of 2.4 million tourists visited Azerbaijan, of which 330,000 were people from Turkic-speaking countries. In the same period of 2018, this figure was 285,000.”“Cooperation among our countries in the field of security is also expanding,” the Azerbaijani president said. “Last month, the 22nd meeting of the Conference of Secret Services of Turkic-Speaking States was held in Baku. Cooperation in this area is important from the point of view of strengthening the security of our countries and ensuring regional stability.”