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 EU supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty within internationally-recognized borders http://www.today.az/news/politics/177066.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:47:00 +0400 By  TrendEuropean Parliament reiterated the EU’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally-recognized borders, Trend reports on Dec. 14, referring to the statement of Sajjad Karim (ECR, UK), Chairman of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the South Caucasus.According to him, the EU-Azerbaijan relations have been transformed in recent times, with cooperation between the European Parliament and the country’s national assembly – the Milli Majlis – resuming in 2015 and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev undertaking successful visits to European institutions.“When I look around Europe today, with the growing scourge of Antisemitism and Islamophobia plaguing our EU societies, I think we as Europeans can learn from the tolerance and openness that unites Azerbaijani citizens, with Christians, Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians coexisting in harmony,” the MEP said.He added that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia unfortunately remains a sticking point.Karim noted that the status quo was unsustainable and that there is no military solution to the conflict, stressing in this regard that the EP reiterated the EU’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally-recognized borders.On Dec. 12, 2018, the European Parliament by an overwhelming majority of votes (401 for, 173 against) adopted the resolution on the annual report on the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which reiterates “EU’s commitment to support its partners' sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”.Thus, the document once again expresses the EU support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in the framework of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.In 2017, the declaration of the Eastern Partnership Brussels Summit contained a similar wording.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Changes in SOCAR Petrochemical Complex Board in Turkey http://www.today.az/news/business/177063.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:45:00 +0400 By  TrendTevfik Bilgin left the position of an independent member of the board of the Turkish petrochemical complex Petkim, owned by Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, Trend reports referring to the website of the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) of Turkey.Previously, Bilgin headed the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey. He presently chairs the Board of Directors of the company Nuh Cimento.Another report said that Osman Dincbas,the deputy minister of the Treasury and Finance of Turkey, has joined the board.The board of Petkim is currently headed by Vagif Aliyev, who is also the Chairman of the Board of SOCAR Turkey. His deputy in the Petkim board is David Mammadov, the vice president of SOCAR for processing and member of the board of SOCAR Turkey. The board also includes Farrukh Gasimov, Suleyman Gasimov, as well as Neslihan Tonbul, Ilhami Ozsahin and Mehmet Ceylan.Petkim produces plastic packages, fabrics, detergents, and is the sole Turkish manufacturer of such products, a quarter of which is exported. The production capacity of Petkim is 3.6 million tons per year. The complex includes 14 plants that produce 20 different types of products.Petkim shareholders are SOCAR Turkey Petrokimya AS (51 percent), while 49 percent is in free circulation on the stock exchange. Azerbaijani president receives Iran's intelligence minister http://www.today.az/news/politics/177065.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:27:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Mahmoud Alavi. Baku Metro to host handicraft fair http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/177061.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:23:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaOn the eve of the New Year, Baku Metro CJSC will please its passengers with another project.Baku Metro invites passengers to support the creative efforts of young people.The handicraft fair will be held at the Icherisheher station on December 18, Trend reported.Baku residents and city guests have a chance to purchase handicrafts made by young talents from 10:00 to 19:00.Notably, the fair is free of charge.Baku Metro, opened in 1967, was the first subway system to be launched in the East. Serving the residents and guests of the capital for more than 50 years, Baku Metro is the most affordable and safest way to get around the city.Having 25 stations on three lines – Green, Red and Purple – the Baku Metro is 36.63 km in length. By 2030, it is planned to expand the infrastructure of Baku Metro and create a giant underground transport network consisting of 76 stations, six electric depots, and five lines with a total length of 119.1 kilometers. Azerbaijani barman joins MONIN CUP 2018 http://www.today.az/news/society/177057.html Society Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:15:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaAzerbaijani barman successfully represented the country at MONIN Cup.The final of the prestigious international competition for professional barmen was held in France. The competition brought together the best barmen from 46 countries.Azerbaijani representative Emin Gafarov entered the TOP-10, Trend Life reported.The national barman took the sixth place at the competition.MONIN CUP is a national and international competition for bartenders organized by MONIN.Candidates must be 27 years old or younger (born after December 1991) to qualify for the competition.The winner of each of these local competitions represented his country at the MONIN CUP international finals, held in France in December 2018.The theme of this year was  "Modern urban culture".The selected finalists were required to create a new cocktail from ingredients in a mystery box.At the 30-minute mark, each contestant created new cocktail.The winner of the competition was determined by the sum of points of the final stage of the competition and the grand final. The winner of MONIN CUP  2018 was named Dimmy Savvaidis (UK). Youth becomes leading force of society in Azerbaijan – parliamentary speaker http://www.today.az/news/politics/177062.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:08:00 +0400 By  TrendYouth, which constitutes an important part of the world’s population, may contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) as the most dynamic social group, Speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament Oktay Asadov said, Trend reports.He made the remarks at the 5th Inter-Parliamentary Union Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Baku on Dec. 14.Asadov noted that youth is a carrier of a very big intellectual potential, and holds an important place in the political, economic and social structures of many countries by acting as an important factor in the spiritual development of modern society.“I am sure that namely young people should play an important role in shaping the new world order,” he said.The speaker added that youth policy is an important part of state policy.“Thanks to the opportunities created in Azerbaijan, young people have become the leading force of society,” he said. “Azerbaijani youth holds important positions in the country’s parliament. Along with everyday work, it actively participates in the work of international parliamentary organizations.”Asadov added that holding this conference in Baku is a very important event in the political life of Azerbaijan.“I believe that young parliamentarians, representing five continents, 44 countries at the global conference, will receive comprehensive information about Azerbaijan, which plays the role of a bridge between East and West,” he said. National Art Museum presents unique project http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/177056.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:00:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaNational Art Museum invites you to the lecture of museum's consultant, honored cultural worker Mehriban Nuriyeva on December 19.The event is organized within the project “Conversations about Art” of the Russian Information and Cultural Center in Baku.The theme of the lecture is "Historical notes to a female portrait", Yenicag reported.It will be dedicated to two paintings in the museum - works by artists August Kaulbach and Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, which depict a portrait of the same woman. For many years her name remained unknown.The event starts at 12:00. Free admission.For more information, please contact:496-45-00, 496-48-00The Azerbaijan National Art Museum is a treasure house that preserves  national moral values and cultural heritage. The museum holds more than 17,000 artistic exhibits, which have a rich history. The Art department was separated from the Azerbaijan State Museum in 1936 and organized as an independent museum by decision of the Council of People's Commissars. In 2006 thorough restoration work was carried out to the building and in 2009 a new exhibition was opened. UNESCO adopts Azerbaijan’s report on activities over past 5 years http://www.today.az/news/society/177058.html Society Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:55:00 +0400 By  TrendUNESCO has adopted Azerbaijan’s report on its activities over the past five years, Trend reports citing the Ministry of Culture Dec. 14.The Intergovernmental Committee on World Heritage (UNESCO structure) has approved the report, considering that it is fully and professionally prepared in terms of information and meets all criteria.The report provides information on the work carried out in the country in recent years in the field of culture and creativity, adopted documents, etc.The 12th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is taking place in Paris.The event, which will continue until December 14, is attended by Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Culture Sevda Mammadaliyeva, Permanent Delegate of Azerbaijan to UNESCO Anar Karimov, other officials of the Ministry of Culture and the Permanent Delegation of Azerbaijan to UNESCO. Bulgaria to continue Azerbaijan’s work in BSEC - deputy FM http://www.today.az/news/politics/177059.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:40:00 +0400 By  TrendBulgaria will continue Azerbaijan’s work in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Emilia Kraleva said, Trend reports.She made the remarks at a press conference following the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the BSEC member states in Baku Dec. 14.BSEC is a living organism, she said, noting that the organization contributes to the development of the region.BSEC has more than 20 working groups that cover all areas of activity, including trade, she added. The organization will try to increase the efficiency of its work, she said.Kraleva noted that the chairmanship of Azerbaijan in the organization is fruitful.The interconnectivity, which is a priority of the Azerbaijani chairmanship, is very important, she said.Kraleva added that the BSEC should remain an organization focused on projects’ implementation.After Azerbaijan, the chairmanship will be transferred to Bulgaria.The 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member-states was held in Baku under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan.The main priorities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship are to render efficient, reliable and safe transport and transit services as part of BSEC, increase the export potential of agriculture and further develop the tourism sector.The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization uniting 12 countries of the Black Sea and southern Balkans. The organization was founded in 1992. The headquarters of the organization is located in Istanbul.Azerbaijan assumed the BSEC chairmanship at the 38th meeting of the Organization's Council of Foreign Ministers, which took place on June 27. Azerbaijan will chair BSEC until December 2018. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan have solid potential for further cooperation http://www.today.az/news/politics/177037.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:31:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovKazakhstan and Azerbaijan have a solid potential for further mutually beneficial cooperation, Kazakh Ambassador to Azerbaijan Beybit Isabayev said at a reception in Baku on the occasion of Kazakhstan’s Independence Day on December 13."At the present stage, Kazakh-Azerbaijani relations are developing dynamically in all spheres, and the two countries have solid potential for further strengthening partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation," the ambassador said.Isabayev noted that over the years of independence, very close and friendly relations have been established between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, based on mutual trust and equality.The ambassador also briefed the guests on the achievements of Kazakhstan in the socio-economic and political spheres.In turn, Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov noted that during the years of independence, Kazakhstan under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev has achieved great success and has become one of the leading states in the region."By implementing important projects, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have turned their countries into key international energy and transport corridors," the minister said.Shahbazov expressed confidence that the friendly and fraternal relations, as well as cooperation and solidarity between the two countries, will continue.The event was attended by members of the government, MPs, heads and employees of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations, members of the Friends of Kazakhstan Club, activists of the Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan Republican Friendship Society named after Heydar Aliyev and representatives of the public.The event featured various video materials about Kazakhstan, as well as dishes of the Kazakh cuisine.Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are both Turkic countries and share close historical, religious and cultural ties. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan strive to strengthen partnerships and mutually beneficial relations for the benefit of their peoples and countries, to expand the potential of economic integration and development of the entire Eurasian region.Countries are interested in the intensification of cooperation in many areas, particularly logistics and infrastructure today. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, being the Caspian littoral states, are a natural bridge connecting the West and the East. Thus, the new stage of cooperation in the field of transport, energy and trade opens another door for Europe to the East.In January-August 2018, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan increased by 2.1 times compared to last year, that is about $168 million.Azerbaijani side supplies metal structures, ferrous metal products, pipes. Kazakhstan supply agricultural, engineering and petroleum products. Important for BSEC to meet modern challenges - secretary general http://www.today.az/news/politics/177060.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:25:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) is an organization the main task of which is to promote economic development among the participating countries, said BSEC Secretary General Michael Christides, Trend reports.He made the remarks at a press conference following the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the BSEC member states in Baku Dec. 14.It is important for the organization to meet modern challenges, he said.He noted that the organization has a wide range of areas of cooperation, adding that the organization has more than 20 working groups involved in trade, transport, healthcare, etc.He thanked Azerbaijan for its chairmanship, noting that during these six months the sides discussed prospects and plans for the future for further development and cooperation, and made a number of important decisions.The 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member-states was held in Baku under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan.The main priorities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship are to render efficient, reliable and safe transport and transit services as part of BSEC, increase the export potential of agriculture and further develop the tourism sector.The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization uniting 12 countries of the Black Sea and southern Balkans. The organization was founded in 1992. The headquarters of the organization is located in Istanbul.Azerbaijan assumed the BSEC chairmanship at the 38th meeting of the Organization's Council of Foreign Ministers, which took place on June 27. Azerbaijan will chair BSEC until December 2018. Seaside Boulevard getting ready for New Year http://www.today.az/news/society/177054.html Society Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:10:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovThe management of the Seaside Boulevard National Park took care of preparations for the New Year and decorated the park, trying to surprise the Baku residents and guests of the capital with new decorations.A spokeswoman of the park, Gunay Elmargizi, told Sputnik Azerbaijan that luminous garlands have already been installed along the entire boulevard.And behind the puppet theater, an artificial fir tree was installed. The second such tree will very soon be standing opposite the White City.The main decoration of the park this year was a tunnel of light bulbs with a length of 35 meters, a width of over four and a height of five meters.A glowing ball with a diameter of five meters was placed not far from this place. A similar ball on Nizami Street became a favorite place for residents and guests of Baku a year ago. After all, you can be photographed inside the ball in front of the symbols of the new year - reindeer teams.Now the ball was moved to the Puppet Theater, retro cars decorated with the same light garlands were parked nearby. But that's not all.Symbolical boxes of Christmas gifts and snowmen will appear around the perimeter of the boulevard, said the spokesman.Elmargizi assured that the process of preparation for the New Year is coming to an end. Soon the management promises to prepare an interesting program for holidaymakers on the boulevard.Seaside Boulevard is one of the attractions of Baku, a favorite resting place of capital residents and city guests. The Boulevard marked its 100th birthday in 2009. Next year Boulevard will celebrate its 110-year anniversary.The length of the Seaside National Park, which previously was 16 km, reached 25 km after the major reconstruction. Primorsky Boulevard received the status of a National Park by the decree of President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in 1998. Repair work was carried out here. And in 2008, a reconstruction was launched again. A laser fountain unparalleled in the world appeared on the Boulevard, two musical fountains were built, a stepped descent to the sea appeared. At the same time, exotic trees, including baobabs, Canarian palms and Italian olives, began to appear here.The Seaside Boulevard Office was established under the Cabinet of Ministers according to the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan on January 10, 2008 in order to restorate the natural landscape of the boulevard, maintain its historical appearance, develop the area's rich flora, protect the boulevard, and ensure the implementation of social and cultural events. Second round of US-Turkey battle in Syria http://www.today.az/news/regions/177041.html World news Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:00:00 +0400 By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:The anti-terrorist operation planned to be held by the Turkish armed forces in northern Syria will be the third operation over the recent years, but obviously it will not be the last one.A complete cleansing of Syria from the terrorists, who currently control about 30 percent of the country's territory, is not easy even for the Turkish army - one of the strongest NATO armies.The first operation was called the Euphrates Shield, the second one - the Olive Branch, in which the Free Syrian Army also took part. It is not excluded that the new military operation will be called Tigris Shield.The Operation Euphrates Shield was conducted in northern Syria against "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist organization. The Operation Olive Branch, which was also carried out in northern Syria, was directed against PYD/YPG, the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization.Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently stated about the beginning of new military operations in northern Syria against PYD/YPG.It is clear that the matter rests in clearing Syria’s Manbij from the PYD/YPG terrorists.The terrain in Manbij is flat, which facilitates holding the operation as opposed to Afrin, where the Operation Olive Branch was conducted.But on the other hand, there are the US and French military contingents in Manbij, which complicates the military operation as opposed to Afrin.Another important factor is that as opposed to Afrin, terrorists have heavy military equipment in Manbij, which was provided by the US, and as is known, the US is not considered an ally of Turkey any more due to this incident.It is not excluded that taking all this into account, the Turkish Armed Forces will conduct the operation in several stages. At the first stage, jets will be used, at the second stage - artillery, at third stage - infantry, i.e. troops of the Free Syrian Army.No matter how the new anti-terrorist operation is held, it can be considered the second round of the US-Turkish battle in Syria. Azerbaijan becomes most important link in BSEC http://www.today.az/news/politics/177053.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:54:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Abdul KerimkhanovAzerbaijan successfully fulfills all the tasks to increase the country's transit capabilities, implements large-scale projects and makes major investments in improving transit potential.A regular meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) is being held on December 14 in Baku. Azerbaijan assumed the presidency of the BSEC in June of this year and named priorities during the presidency of the organization: the development of transport infrastructure in the region. Azerbaijan will also pay special attention to the development of tourism, agriculture, communications and other areas.Today, the BSEC is probably the only full-format international organization in the Black Sea-Caspian region, which unites states with different economic potential and different foreign policy orientations.In recent years, the BSEC has become a real platform for developing consolidated positions of the participating states. The BSEC gives new impulses to the development of bilateral and combined cooperation between the countries of the region.And the fact that the development of transport infrastructure in the region has become a priority during the period of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship in the organization for a country has a real basis.A strategic trade and economic corridor historically passed through the territory of Azerbaijan, which connected Europe and Asia. The modern world dictates the countries to qualitatively change the existing links, but the regional transport corridors still retain their significance in the global communication system.The role of Azerbaijan in the development of transport infrastructure in the region is growing and acquires special importance. Because of the favorable geographical position, large-scale projects being carried out, more efficient use of the potential of transit and freight provide good opportunities for a steady increase in income for all BSEC members.For Azerbaijan, the investment in transport projects aimed at developing infrastructure, increasing the availability and quality of services of the country's transport complex is of particular importance.In recent years, Azerbaijan is very seriously engaged in the development of transport infrastructure in the country and the country invested large funds in this sphere. Seven airports have been built, of which six received international status. The largest commercial port in the Caspian Sea is being built in Alat, which already operated. The railway infrastructure is being updated. Azerbaijan has the largest fleet in the Caspian Sea.Azerbaijan does not forget about the importance of cooperation with its neighbors, creating, along with transport infrastructure for domestic needs, a regional infrastructure.The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in October 2017 was another historic achievement of Azerbaijan. At the same time, intensive work is underway on the North-South transport corridor. Azerbaijan - a country that has no access to the open seas, has become one of the transport centers of Eurasia.Today, Azerbaijan is the initiator and active participant in a number of large regional transport projects. Thanks to the development of the transport industry, our country is becoming the key transit, logistics center and an important transport hub in the region.International experts recognize that the same North-South transport corridor will allow increasing the transit potential of Azerbaijan. This project has not of a regional, but international scale.The project originates in India and, passing through Iran, covers the territory of Azerbaijan and extends to Russia and the Gulf of Finland. The implementation of the aforementioned project will allow a two-three-fold reduction in the period of cargo delivery to the consumer. So, the North-South corridor not only connects Iran and Russia but also India with Europe.The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of exceptional importance for turning Azerbaijan into a regional transport corridor. Launched last year, the highway connects various continents. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is the shortest and most reliable highway between Asia and Europe.Against the background of the commissioning of the above-mentioned railway, the opening of the RO-RO terminal at the Baku International Trade Sea Port is crucial.The international sea port in Alat occupies an important place in the transport system of Azerbaijan. After commissioning of the complex, this logistics center will become the point of intersection of road, rail and sea routes in the region. The Alat port will give new content and dynamism to the transportation of goods from China to Europe and Central Asia. In addition, the creation of a free economic zone around the port will give new impetus to the increase in freight traffic.The construction of international airports in Baku and the regions, highways of international importance in the direction of East-West and North-South transport corridors and the renewal of railway lines play an important role in expanding the country's foreign economic relations.Expanding the logistics capabilities of Azerbaijan serves not only development but also contributes to enhancing the country's authority in regional and world trade.The opening on August 13, 2018 in the Lokbatan settlement of the Absheron Logistics Center is a brilliant confirmation of the work done to improve the operations in the logistics sector. Absheron Logistics Center provides all services and guarantees time saving and cost reduction.This important infrastructure facility is connected to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, Iran-Astara-Baku, Russia-Yalama-Alat railway routes. After commissioning the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway at full capacity, the center will provide an opportunity to conduct import-export operations with neighboring countries, more flexibly transport multimodal cargoes through the territory of Azerbaijan.Moreover, Azerbaijan is planning to create logistics centers outside the country. Clear evidence of this is the functioning of the Azerbaijani production and logistics center in the Kazakh city of Aktau, which is the first logistics center of Azerbaijan abroad with a 25 percent state share.The creation of logistics centers, the restoration of the ancient Silk Road, the introduction of electronic freight, the simplification of procedural rules indicates the transformation of Azerbaijan into a strategically important transportation hub.All this expands capabilities of Azerbaijan to participate in transit traffic. On the other hand, the republic is a reliable guarantor of the effective transportation of transit cargo through its territory.The implementation of transport projects serves to create direct international road-ferry and rail links in the Black Sea-Caspian region, thereby increasing the role of Azerbaijan in export-import operations. EU reiterates support to Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity http://www.today.az/news/politics/177052.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:45:00 +0400 By  TrendThe EU reiterated commitment to support its partners' sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, Trend reports on Dec. 14 referring to the European Parliament’s resolution of Dec. 12, 2018 on the annual report on the Common Foreign and Security Policy.The document, adopted by an overwhelming majority of votes (401 for, 173 against), underlines the need to address all frozen conflicts in the territories of partner countries in accordance with international law, norms and principles.The resolution also calls on increasing support to conflict-affected residents, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, and countering destabilization attempts.Thus, the document once again expresses the EU support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in the framework of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.In 2017, the declaration of the Eastern Partnership Brussels Summit contained a similar wording.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Azerbaijani speaker sure of Karabakh conflict settlement by principles of int’l law http://www.today.az/news/politics/177050.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:32:00 +0400 By  TrendThe UN and other international organizations demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan’s lands, Trend reports citing Speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament Oqtay Asadov.Asadov made the remarks at the 5th Inter Parliamentary Union Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Baku on Dec. 14.He stressed that Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders have been unequivocally supported in the decisions and resolutions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict adopted by the UN Security Council and other international organizations."Similar decisions and resolutions were adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, PACE, the European Parliament and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Asadov said. “I am confident that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict impeding the comprehensive development of both Azerbaijan and the entire South Caucasus region will be solved upon the generally accepted standards, in particular, on the basis of the territorial integrity of the countries, which is the main principle of international law."The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Meeting of Council of FMs of BSEC member-states underway in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/177049.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:24:00 +0400 By  TrendThe 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member-states is being held in Baku under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan, Trend's correspondent reported from the event."Among the main topics at the meeting, which is being held under the motto "Boosting Trade through Connectivity", are an increase in the efficiency of the organization’s work, trade facilitation, promotion of cooperation in such areas as energy, transit, ICT, tourism, agriculture and other important topics," Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the opening ceremony of the meeting.The minister thanked the participants for accepting the invitation and arriving in Azerbaijan.The delegations headed by senior officials of the BSEC member-states are taking part in the meeting.Among the main priorities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship are to render efficient, reliable and safe transport and transit services as part of BSEC, increase the export potential of agriculture and further develop the tourism sector.In general, during Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, four ministerial meetings were held, including a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, 21 thematic meetings of the working group and an ad hoc working group.The action plans of a number of working groups (tourism, ICT, energy) were adopted. More than 10 meetings of the bodies of the organization, workshops and other events were held. Moreover, the corresponding assessment documents were prepared to improve the efficiency of the organization.Moreover, during Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, the discussions were underway to complete the work on the project "Regional Trade Facilitation Strategy for the BSEC Region" and the project "BSEC Single Window Cooperation".After Azerbaijan, the chairmanship will be transferred to Bulgaria.The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization uniting 12 countries of the Black Sea and southern Balkans. The organization was founded in 1992. The headquarters of the organization is located in Istanbul.Azerbaijan assumed the BSEC chairmanship at the 38th meeting of the Organization's Council of Foreign Ministers, which took place on June 27. Azerbaijan will chair BSEC until December 2018. Azerbaijan, Inter-Parliamentary Union mull cooperation http://www.today.az/news/politics/177046.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:11:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron, Trend reports referring to Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.At the meeting, the sides exchanged their views on the organizational issues of IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians, which is to be held in Azerbaijan on Dec. 14-15.Expressing her satisfaction over the organizational work on the mentioned event, Gabriela Cuevas Barron underlined her confidence that the global conference will be held at a high-level.The sides reiterated their belief that the conference will give an impetus to further development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the IPU.The sides also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest. Turkish FM: Some problems solved thanks to Azerbaijan’s efforts during BSEC chairmanship http://www.today.az/news/politics/177051.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:00:00 +0400 By  TrendA number of problems were solved thanks to Azerbaijan’s efforts during the chairmanship in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Trend reports citing Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying.Cavusoglu made the remarks at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the BSEC member-states in Baku on Dec. 14.He added that the organization has been operating for 25 years and needs reforms.“We attach great importance to this organization,” he added. “The topics of our further activity have been discussed today. We will do everything to improve the work of this organization.”Cavusoglu also congratulated Azerbaijan on its successful chairmanship in the organization.The 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member-states is being held in Baku under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan.The delegations headed by senior officials of the BSEC member-states are taking part in the meeting.Among the main priorities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship are to render efficient, reliable and safe transport and transit services as part of BSEC, increase the export potential of agriculture and further develop the tourism sector.The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization uniting 12 countries of the Black Sea and southern Balkans. The organization was founded in 1992. The headquarters of the organization is located in Istanbul.Azerbaijan assumed the BSEC chairmanship at the 38th meeting of the Organization's Council of Foreign Ministers, which took place on June 27. Azerbaijan will chair BSEC until December 2018. Kazakh national currency down against US dollar http://www.today.az/news/regions/177044.html World news Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:42:00 +0400 By  TrendThe weighted average US dollar rate in the morning session of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) on Dec. 14 amounted to 371.23 tenge, Trend reports citing the Kazakh media.Thus, the national currency of Kazakhstan has depreciated by 1.3 tenge against the US dollar compared to the morning session of Dec. 13 (369.93 tenge per US dollar).At today's morning trading session of the US dollar, the minimum rate was 370.8 tenge per US dollar and the maximum rate was 371.65 tenge, while the closing rate was 371.3 tenge per dollar.The trading volume amounted to $52.9 million, while the number of currency transactions totaled 124.Meanwhile, the official rate by the National Bank of Kazakhstan on Dec. 14 is 370.04 tenge per US dollar. In the exchange offices of Astana and Almaty, the maximum selling rate of the US currency is 373 tenge. 5th IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians kicks off in Baku http://www.today.az/news/society/177043.html Society Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:35:00 +0400 By  TrendThe 5th Inter Parliamentary Union Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians kicked off in Baku, Trend reports on Dec. 14.Before the conference, the participants visited the Alley of Martyrs, revering the memory of national heroes who died for Azerbaijan’s independence.Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov, Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Gabriela Cuevas Barron, as well as other foreign and local guests are taking part in the conference.Various sessions were held during the two-day conference. Azerbaijan tightens supervision over compulsory real estate insurance http://www.today.az/news/business/177034.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:28:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Narmina MammadovaThe market for compulsory insurance of real estate may double in Azerbaijan in 2019, the chairman of the board of the Azerbaijan Insurers Association (AIA), Mustafa Abbasbayli, said on December 12.The head of the Association said that the penetration of compulsory real estate insurance in Azerbaijan is 10-15 percent. Measures are being taken to increase the premiums on this type of insurance."In particular, the plans include establishing cooperation with the State Real Estate Register Service, in order to identify which objects are not insured," said Abbasbayli.Also, the head of the AIA added that the main task of the compulsory type of insurance is the development of this type of insurance among individuals, since almost all objects belonging to legal entities are insured."The penalty for non-compliance with the rules on compulsory real estate insurance is less than that of cars. The code of administrative offenses provides for a penalty for evading property insurance, but an appropriate regulatory mechanism has not yet been created. For all these questions, some proposals have already been sent to the Chamber of Financial Supervision markets. Active work is underway in this direction," said Abbasbayli.Fees for compulsory real estate insurance in Azerbaijan for January-October 2018 amounted to 25,299 million manats, which is 17.97 percent more compared to the same period last year and accounts for 4.1 percent of all fees. At the same time, payments amounted to 3,284 million manats, which is 36.55 percent more compared to the same period last year and accounts for 1.59 percent of all payments.At present, 13 insurance companies are members of the Compulsory Insurance Bureau (Ateshgah Insurance, Standard Insurance, AtaInsurance, Xalq Insurance, PASHA Insurance, AXA MBASK, AzInsurance, State Insurance Commercial Company AzerInsurance, Meqa Insurance, Silkway Insurance, Azerbaijan Senaye Insurance, Qala Insurance, Gunay Insurance).Compulsory real estate insurance covers all types of buildings, residential buildings, apartments owned by individuals and legal entities, as well as state property. In this case, the facts related to damage to this property as a result of fire, explosion, short circuit in the power grid, an accident in the sewer or water supply system, natural disasters, etc. are considered the insured event.The tariff for this type of insurance is 0.2 percent of the sum insured.The maximum amount of insurance coverage for real estate in Baku is 25,000 manats, 20,000 manats - in Ganja, Sumgayit and Nakhchivan, in other settlements - 15,000 manats. The cost of insurance, respectively, is 50, 40 and 30 manats.AIA was established in December 2006 through the merger of two insurance organizations - the Association of Insurers of Azerbaijan and the Union of Insurance Companies of Azerbaijan. The main purpose of the association is to ensure the development of the insurance market in Azerbaijan, as well as joint discussion of the problems and prospects of the market. Azerbaijan, Russia mull expansion of co-op in SME sector http://www.today.az/news/business/177042.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:11:00 +0400 By  TrendRepresentatives of the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) of Azerbaijan are on a visit to Russia, Trend reports referring to the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan.During the visit, head of the agency Orkhan Mammadov met with deputy head of the department for foreign economic and international relations of the Moscow mayor’s office Evgeny Dridze, during which he provided information about the agency’s activities, support mechanisms for SMEs and discussed opportunities for cooperation.The meeting, organized on the initiative of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia (AMOR), was attended by Azerbaijani students studying in Russia as well.Also, according to the "road map" signed in September between the agency and the Russian Federal Corporation for the Development of SMEs, a meeting was held between Russian and Azerbaijani businessmen with the participation of Orkhan Mammadov, executive director of the Russian corporation Alexander Braverman, representatives of AZPROMO and Tamiz Shahar OJSC.The parties discussed expansion of relations in the field of SMEs, the implementation of joint projects in this direction.As part of the event, discussions were held on establishing ties between Azerbaijani and Russian businessmen in the agriculture, construction, tourism, ICT, logistics spheres, etc. Kyrgyzstan develops country's cybersecurity strategy http://www.today.az/news/regions/177055.html World news Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:03:00 +0400 By  TrendA draft cybersecurity strategy of Kyrgyzstan for 2019-2023 was presented, the Information Support Department of the Cabinet reported, Trend reports referring to 24.kg.The document was created by the State Communications Committee in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Security Council, as well as national and international experts. The Vice Prime Minister Zhenish Razakov noted the particular importance of the strategy’s implementation.«Our life switches to electronic mode, respectively, there are certain risks, and the issue of cyber security both in our society and in the world is relevant not only for a common citizen, but also for the state as a whole. State and corporate cyber espionage campaigns, as well as covert data collection, carried out with the help of malicious software products, have become large-scale,» said Zhenish Razakov.It was noted that the main goal of the strategy was to form a national cybersecurity policy to ensure the level of security of citizens, business and the state, allowing them to protect their vital interests in cyberspace and ensure sustainable social and economic development of the country, including digital transformation of the national economy. Azerbaijan defense minister mulls contact line situation with Kasprzyk http://www.today.az/news/politics/177040.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:58:00 +0400 By  TrendMinister of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov has met with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, Trend reports referring to the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.During the meeting, an exchange of views was held on the current situation at the contact line of troops, the results of monitoring and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Azerbaijan, Moldova mull holding next meeting of intergovernmental commission http://www.today.az/news/politics/177039.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:44:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has received the delegation headed by Tudor Ulianovschi, minister of foreign affairs and European integration of Moldova, in the framework of his working visit to Azerbaijan, Trend reports citing Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry.Mammadyarov noted that the current visit is praiseworthy and creates a good opportunity to coordinate the positions on a wide range of issues related to the broad agenda of bilateral relations.During an exchange of views, the sides discussed political-diplomatic issues, including the continuation of mutual visits, international and regional cooperation.The importance of the trade-economic cooperation between the two countries was noted and the prospects to arrange the next meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation as well as coordination of the work to be done by various governmental bodies and business circles with a view to improving the quality of bilateral cooperation to a new, higher level were discussed.It was emphasized that there are opportunities to continue the good partnership for further development of relations in the spheres of logistics, industry, energy, and transport.At the meeting, the sides noted with satisfaction the existence of reciprocal support within the international organizations.The sides reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the principle position of unconditional compliance with the principles of international law, territorial integrity and the inviolability of the international boundaries as an assurance for proper regulation of the ongoing world developments, including the resolution of existing conflicts.The sides also exchanged views on expansion of the legal framework between the two countries, as well as other regional and international issues of mutual interest. Azerbaijani tourism offices open in six countries http://www.today.az/news/business/177032.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:39:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaIn the modern world, tourism is one of the most dynamically developing and profitable sectors of the economy for each country.Therefore, Azerbaijan aims to develop this sphere by all possible means. Sustainable development of the non-oil sector, in particular the tourism sector, is crucial at a time when it is impossible to fully rely on oil and gas industry.The country enjoys a great potential for the development of tourism. Nature, climate, historical monuments, cuisine, rich culture of the people and other factors lay the foundation for the development of many areas of tourism. There are wide opportunities for Azerbaijan to be recognized as a tourist destination in the world.An agreement was signed to launch official foreign tourism offices of Azerbaijan in six foreign countries.According to the contract, Travel Consul Agency Network Worldwide has acquired the right to open official tourism offices in six countries through its world-renowned divisions, the State Tourism Agency told Trend.Tourism offices in foreign countries aim to introduce Azerbaijan's tourism opportunities, conduct propaganda and campaigning.Representation offices in Frankfurt in Germany (Lieb Management & Beteiligungs GmbH), Dubai in UAE (Gulf Reps Ltd), Riyad in Saudi Arabia (Gulf Reps Ltd), Beijing in China (Brand story Inc Pte Ltd), Mumbai in India (Blue Square Consultants, a division of Ezeego One Travel & Tours Limited) and Moscow in Russia (Tourism Marketing & Intelligence Ltd) are aimed to achieve recognition of the country abroad, to increase the flow of tourists from the target markets, and to promote the development of tourism in the country as a whole.The representations will operate in areas such as propagation of tourism potential of Azerbaijan and the region in which they operate, marketing research, preparation of reports, publication of propaganda materials and conducting trainings.Organization of official tourism missions will also serve to organize seminars on Azerbaijan, as well as meetings for cooperation of tourism and travel companies in regions and Azerbaijan, support Azerbaijan's participation in international exhibitions and coordinate activities to stimulate bilateral relations.Continuous development and expansion of tourism has made this sector a key driving force in socio-economic progress. It shows itself in creating new jobs, establishing tourism related businesses and infrastructure.The beautiful nature of Azerbaijan, hospitality of its people, the country's capital with its super modern and ancient buildings draws the attention of all tourists visiting this South Caucasian country. Moreover, the recent devaluation of Azerbaijani manat much facilitated tourist inflow to the Land of Fire. All this is expected to soon place the country amongs major tourism countries of the world.The growing popularity of Azerbaijan among foreign tourists has led to the emergence of a new trend in the field of local hospitality - rural tourism as well as the traditional tourism types.  The country’s regions began to attract more and more foreign and local tourists, wishing to familiarize with non-western culture and different lifestyle, which they find in rural areas.Azerbaijan is among the fastest-growing destinations for tourists.In January-October 2018, 2,420,400 foreigners and stateless persons from 194 countries arrived in Azerbaijan, and this indicates a 6.1 percent growth compared to the same period of 2017. Russians made up the majority of the tourists who visited Azerbaijan. As many as 31.1 percent of the tourists came from Russia.According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, 2 691 998 foreign tourists visited Azerbaijan last year, which is 20 percent more than in 2016.It is emphasized that most tourists came to Azerbaijan in July - 313 515 people.It is noted that in the winter, both domestic and foreign tourists prefer the Shahdag Gusar and Gabala Tufandag tourist centers. Azerbaijan exports aluminum profiles to Denmark http://www.today.az/news/business/177031.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:27:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Narmina MammadovaAzerbaijan exported various types of aluminum profiles to Denmark, the Sumgayit Technologies Park reports on December 13.Sumgayit Technologies Park signed a contract with a private Danish company to sell 100 tons of aluminum profiles in November. The company has completed the preparation of the order, and the products were sent to the client.The aluminum plant, which was established at the Sumgait Technology Park in 2014, produces hot and cold rolled profiles, window frames, aluminum busbars, and other aluminum products in accordance with clients' orders.At the plant, together with the production of aluminum profiles, there are such areas as smelting and billet aluminum, copper smelting, etc. The productivity of furnaces is 30,000 tons a year, the design power of dry paint production is 240 tons per month. Local raw materials produced in Ganja are mainly used in the production of products.STP has been launched by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on December 22, 2009.STP is a pioneer in the creation of technology parks in the region and is a complex of giant factories specializing in various manufacturing areas. In 2017, it received a status of a resident of Sumgayit Chemical Industry Park.STP, a unique project in the region, fully meets the needs of the domestic market and is capable of exporting products to the foreign market. At present, 2,000 people work in the company, and there are 12 factories equipped with the latest technological equipment in Europe and Japan and more than 30 production areas. Raw materials used in the production process meet international standards. All factories of the Techno Park are equipped with European-produced laboratories and accredited in accordance with the AZS ISO / IEC 17025-2009 standards. All products have relevant certificates. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards are also applied at the STP.All plants of Sumgayit Technopark are equipped with modern European technological equipment. The raw materials used in the production process are also imported from leading European countries.STP plans to expand operations in the Central Asian market, as well as to enter the markets of Western Europe and Africa. Azerbaijani president allocates funds to construct road in Neftchala http://www.today.az/news/politics/177048.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:21:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order regarding measures to construct Neftchala-Khol Garagashli road in Neftchala district.Under the presidential order, 18.2 million manats will be allocated to the Azerbaijan Highway State Agency for the construction of the road connecting 19 residential areas with a total population of 44,000 people. Azerbaijan provides energy supply to Russia as past of emergency assistance http://www.today.az/news/business/177038.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:01:00 +0400 By  TrendIn connection with the accident Dec. 12 on the Artem-Makhachkala power line of the Russian energy system, Azerbaijan’s energy system provided the Dagestan power grid (Derbent substation) with electricity of 140-160 MW from 08:52 to 20:51 (GMT +3), Trend reports citing Azerenergy OJSC.Energy was exported on the basis of an agreement on mutual assistance in an emergency signed between Azerbaijan and Russia.In July-November 2018, under the agreement, the mutual exchange of electricity was carried out during the repair and emergency modes in the power systems of both countries.In this regard, the volume of electricity imported by Azerbaijan from Russia amounted to 16.4 million kilowatt-hours, while the volume of electricity exported by Azerbaijan to Russia amounted to 32.4 million kilowatt-hours. Deputy minister: Azerbaijan hopes to speed up talks on partnership agreement with EU http://www.today.az/news/politics/177036.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:46:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijan and the EU may agree on the text of a partnership agreement till March 2019, Trend reports, citing Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev.Mammadguliyev made the remarks in Baku on Dec. 14 at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) member-states."If there is mutual understanding between us and compromises are reached, then I think that we will agree on the text of the agreement till March 2019,” he told reporters. “The main thing for us is to prepare and initial the agreement, and then ratify it."“The results of the upcoming election in the European Commission and the European Parliament will not affect the process of signing the document, as both parties support this agreement,” he added.The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan in November 2016.The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets. Azerbaijani president receives Turkish FM http://www.today.az/news/politics/177047.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:40:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu. Azerbaijan Railways acquire lands for new railway construction as part of INSTC http://www.today.az/news/business/177030.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:37:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Leman MammadovaAzerbaijan Railways CJSC has been identified as an authority that will acquire land plots for state needs that fall under the construction of a railway line on the 56-kilometer Gasimly-Astara section of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).The decision was signed by Azerbaijani Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov, Trend reported.According to the decision, Azerbaijan Railways Closed Joint-Stock Company was determined as an owner of the lands under the construction of a new railway line in the 56-kilometer Gasimli-Astara section of the North-South International Transport Corridor. Azerbaijan Railways should carry out preparatory measures for the acquisition of land in accordance with the requirements of the Law on the Acquisition of Land for State Needs, and submit proposals in this regard to the Cabinet of Ministers.Control over the implementation of this decision was entrusted to the Department for the Development of Regions, Agricultural and Environmental Issues of the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers.The North-South transport corridor was established in 2000 within the Intergovernmental Agreement between Russia, Iran and India. The main purpose of the agreement is to increase the efficiency of transport communications in the organization of freight and passenger transportation, to create conditions for member states to enjoy the international rail, automobile, sea, river and air transport services, to assist in increasing the volume of international transportations. The project envisages connecting India with the Middle East and the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe.In total, 13 countries have ratified the Agreement. Azerbaijan joined this Agreement in 2005. The purpose of the corridor is to reduce the delivery time to three weeks from India to Russia, as well as to North and Western Europe as the current route takes more than six weeks.Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia signed an agreement in 2005 on the construction of 375 km long Astara-Resht-Qazvin railway project envisages the construction of a new railway line in Iran, which will connect Astara, Azerbaijan to the Iranian cities of Astara, Rasht and Qazvin as well as the reconstruction of an existing railway in Azerbaijan.The railway between Astara regions of Azerbaijan and Iran has been already completed. Qazvin-Rasht part of railway has been launched in November. The construction of the Rasht-Astara railway will be completed in two years.The expected volume of cargo on the corridor passing through the territory of Azerbaijan is 3 million tons at the first, 5-8 million tons at the second and 15 million tons at the third stage. Azerbaijani FM: BSEC ministerial meeting - great opportunity to mull co-op prospects http://www.today.az/news/politics/177035.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:14:00 +0400 By  TrendThe meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member-states is an excellent opportunity to discuss the current relations and prospects for cooperation, Trend reports citing Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.Mammadyarov made the remarks in Baku on Dec. 14 at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of BSEC member-states."Among the main topics at the meeting, which is being held under the motto "Boosting Trade through Connectivity", are an increase in the efficiency of the organization’s work, trade facilitation, promotion of cooperation in such areas as energy, transit, ICT, tourism, agriculture and other important topics," he added.The minister thanked the participants for accepting the invitation and arriving in Azerbaijan. Museum every book lover should visit http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/177029.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:05:00 +0400 By AzernewsBy Laman IsmayilovaWith its rich history, Azerbaijani literature is a treasury of national values for its people.The first examples of Azerbaijani literature date to the late 1200s following the arrival of Oghuz Turks in Caucasus. They were written in Perso-Arabic script.At the end of the 19th century popular literature such as newspapers began to be published in Azerbaijani language.Azerbaijan is home to many genius writers  who have excelled in all forms of literature.Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) enriched Oriental poetry and created great monuments of Renaissance literature.His five poems, known collectively as the Khamsa (Quintet) are considered the treasury of Azerbaijani poetry. In his work, the poet revealed the living pages of history.Over the past centuries, the works of the legendary poet have been perceived as an artistic phenomenon as his works reflect social and moral values of humanity of all time.All poems and ghazals are full of deep philosophical content that call for freedom and justice.The attack of the Russians on Barda city, a fairy tale of the Russian Princess, the beautiful Shirin amazons, battles, described in various poems of Nizami - all this is historically and geographically related to medieval Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.The works of Nizami Ganjavi have been translated into many languages. The rare manuscript copies of his works are kept and preserved like precious pearls in famous libraries, museums and literary foundations in such cities as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Baku, Tashkent, Tabriz, Tehran, Cairo, Istanbul, Delhi, London, Paris and others.Anyone with a creative bone in their body cannot fail to be inspired by the National Museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi.Outstanding architecture, stunning location make famous building soaked with creativity.The museum attracts attention of everyone with its blue majolica on the facade where monuments of six outstanding representatives of Azerbaijani literature - Fizuli (sculptor F. Abdurahmanov), Vagif (sculptor J.Garyaghdi), Mirza Fatali Akhundov (sculptor P. Sabsay), Natavan (sculptor E. Tripolskaya), Jalil Mammadguluzade (sculptor N. Zakharov) and Jafar Jabbarli (sculptor Y. Klyatskin) - were erected.This is the building of the National Museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi, genius poet and thinker of Azerbaijan. The building where the museum is located was built in 1850, as a one-storey caravanserai. According to the project of Gasim bay Hajibababayov (1811-1874), the chief architect of Baku Gubernia, the second floor was added to the one-stored caravanserai by the order of the new owner of the building Azerbaijani millionaire Haji Hajagha Dadashov (1828-1905). The civil engineer Alexander Nikitin (1878-1952) prepared the project of the banquet room on the second floor and in 1915 the building was transformed into "Metropol" hotel.The Cabinet of Ministers of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan used the building as a work-place between 1918 and 1920.In 1920-1930, Trade-Union Committee of Azerbaijan was located in the building.Later, the memorial museum was changed to the Museum of Azerbaijani Literature.In connection with 800th anniversary of genius Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi’s jubilee there was a decision ? 4972 of PCU from November 1, 1939 on establishment of the Museum dedicated to Nizami Ganjavi’s life and creative activity.The museum is located in the center of Baku, near the Fountain Square and next to the entrance to the Old City.The main mission of the Museum is propaganda of literary heritage of Azerbaijan.In 1943, the facade and interior of the building was decorated in national style and the monuments of prominent representatives of Azerbaijan literature were erected on the balcony.The total area of the museum is 2,500 square meters. The museum collection includes more than 3,000 manuscripts, rare books, illustrations, portraits, sculptures, miniatures, documental photos, and other exhibits in 30 general and 10 auxiliary halls of the museum.On May 14, 1945, the Museum of Azerbaijani Literature named after Nizami Ganjavi opened its doors for the first time to the guests.Museum visitors can get acquainted with valuable audio-video materials – various films, fragments of performances, music pieces of well-known Azerbaijani composers and poetic examples performed by popular actors.The museum has turned into one of the most important cultural attractions in Baku.Some halls dedicated to 13th century scientist Nasiraddin Tusi’s life and creativity, Shams Tabrizi, Zulfugar Shirvani and Molla Gasim Shirvani, Shah Ismail Khatayi, Hasan bay Zardabi, Husein Javid attract great attention of the visitors.In the monitor room of the Museum, the visitors can get wide information about literature, culture and traditions of the nation in Azerbaijani, Russian, English, German and Persian languages. Azerbaijan's Olympic prize winner completing his career http://www.today.az/news/sports/177028.html Sports Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:55:00 +0400 By ReportAzerbaijan's Olympic prize winner in boxing Teymur Mammadov plans to complete his career.The 25-year-old athlete explained his decision to Report by injuries: "After the Islamic games I had surgery on my left hand. For that reason I could not train. I also had a nose trauma. Now I have a problem with my right hand. Now I have no money for surgery. It is regrettable that the financial state of the Azerbaijan Boxing Federation leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, even if I am operated, I won't be able to recover in 3-4 months and I won't be able to earn the license points for the 2020 summer Olympic games in Tokyo. Logically thinking, it is better to leave with honors than to step to the ring and lose."The boxer competing in the 91 kg division said he does not know what to do in case he ends his career: "I do not know what I will do if I complete my career. I would like very much to work in a state institution. But I do not know who I should apply to."Mammadov also said that all the achievements are the result of the support provided to him at the state level.Notably, Mammadov is a bronze winner of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. He is also the European champion, the winner of the First European Games Baku 2015 and Fourth Games of Islamic Solidarity Baku 2018. The 25-year-old boxer is the silver and bronze winner of the world championship.  Azerbaijani weightlifter takes silver at International Solidarity Championships http://www.today.az/news/sports/177027.html Sports Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:46:00 +0400 By  Azertac Azerbaijani weightlifter Alish Nazarov (102kg) has clinched a silver medal at the 5th International Solidarity Championships in Cairo, Egypt.Nazarov secured the medal after scoring a total of 309kg, with a lift of 142kg in the snatch and 167kg in the clean and jerk. Lenovo supplying data storage systems for Azintelecom http://www.today.az/news/business/177025.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:34:00 +0400 By  TrendLenovo has started supplying data storage systems to Azintelecom LLC of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, Director General of Lenovo Global Technology Russia and the CIS Dmitry Parshin said at a conference dedicated to the launch of the first corporate blockchain platform Dec. 13, Trend reports.He said cooperation with the company began at the end of this year.“We very much hope that our technological solutions will continue to be actively implemented in Azintelecom, including in the creation of backup data centers and corporate clouds for banking sector,” he said.Lenovo is also a supplier of a personal identification system based on blockchain technology, which is being introduced by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, he added.“Lenovo was chosen as the supplier of hardware and software,” he said. “Nutanix is ??our technology partner in the project. For us, the uniqueness of this project is that the highest performance systems of Lenovo, namely four-processor servers, which are the most reliable in the world, were chosen as the hardware platform for this system."Parshin mentioned another project, which was also implemented on the basis of the Nutanix platform. This project includes construction of a data center in the region’s biggest medical center in Azerbaijan, which was opened in March this year, he noted.“More than 70 different medical software products were adapted to work on the Nutanix virtualization platform, including solutions based on Microsoft and SAP,” he said. “Lenovo has big plans for investments and creation of a competence center in Azerbaijan.""While many companies, optimizing their expenses, reduce their presence in the region, we are trying to increase it. All this has become possible thanks to our partners.” Precious metal prices down in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/177021.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:23:00 +0400 By  TrendPrecious metal prices decreased in Azerbaijan on Dec. 14, Trend reports citing the data published by the country’s Central Bank.The price of gold decreased by 5.2955 manats to 2,110.7115 manats per ounce in the country on Dec. 14 compared to the price on Dec. 13.The price of silver decreased by 0.0999 manats to 24.969 manats per ounce.The price of palladium decreased by 7.7775 manats to 2,144.805 manats.The price of platinum decreased by 16.303 manats to 1,353.4975 manats in the country.Precious metalsDec. 14, 2018Dec. 13, 2018GoldXAU2,110.71152,116.007SilverXAG24.96925.0689PlatinumXPT1,353.49751,369.8005PalladiumXPD2,144.8052,152.5825The 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.(1.7 AZN = 1 USD on Dec. 14) Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 26 times http://www.today.az/news/politics/177020.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:05:00 +0400 By  TrendOver the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have 26 times violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Dec. 14.The Armenian armed forces were using heavy machine guns.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts. Deputy FM: Next round of talks on Azerbaijan’s accession to WTO to be held soon [UPDATE] http://www.today.az/news/politics/177018.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:57:00 +0400 By  TrendThe next round of talks on Azerbaijan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Geneva next week, Trend reports citing Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev.Mammadguliyev made the remarks in Baku on Dec. 14 at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) member-states."The work in this direction is underway,” he said. “The negotiations are being held.”“The next negotiations will take place in Geneva next week," Mammadguliyev said, adding that the organization itself is also undergoing reforms.“Azerbaijan is holding talks on four main areas - on goods (tariffs for agricultural and industrial products), on trade in services, on improvement of legislation (bringing it in line with WTO requirements) and on support for agriculture (subsidizing),” Mammadguliyev told Trend earlier.“Azerbaijan expects to join the WTO as a developing country,” he said earlier. "In any case, everything depends on the negotiations."Azerbaijan has recently implemented a number of reforms, adopted 12 strategic roadmaps for economic development, changed the regulation of trade, the import customs tariff system, improved trade and logistics infrastructure.The implementation of the road maps is expected to serve as the basis for Azerbaijan’s successful accession to the WTO.In turn, WTO calls on Azerbaijan to strengthen its work with the organization’s member-states to ensure mutual access to the markets for goods and services.Azerbaijan launched negotiations with WTO member-states in 2004.The country is holding negotiations with 13 countries. The negotiations have already been completed and protocols have been signed with Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Azerbaijan is at the stage of signing protocols with China and Moldova.Azerbaijan has a WTO observer status since 1997. A working group on Azerbaijan under the WTO secretariat was established on July 16, 1997. Meeting of Council of FMs of BSEC member-states kicks off in Baku http://www.today.az/news/politics/177019.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:40:00 +0400 By  TrendThe 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member-states kicked off in Baku under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan, Trend's correspondent reported from the event.The delegations headed by senior officials of the BSEC member-states are taking part in the meeting.Among the main priorities of Azerbaijan’s chairmanship are to render efficient, reliable and safe transport and transit services as part of BSEC, increase the export potential of agriculture and further develop the tourism sector.In general, during Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, four ministerial meetings were held, including a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, 21 thematic meetings of the working group and an ad hoc working group.The action plans of a number of working groups (tourism, ICT, energy) were adopted. More than 10 meetings of the bodies of the organization, workshops and other events were held. Moreover, the corresponding assessment documents were prepared to improve the efficiency of the organization.Moreover, during Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, the discussions were underway to complete the work on the project "Regional Trade Facilitation Strategy for the BSEC Region" and the project "BSEC Single Window Cooperation".After Azerbaijan, the chairmanship will be transferred to Bulgaria.The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization uniting 12 countries of the Black Sea and southern Balkans. The organization was founded in 1992. The headquarters of the organization is located in Istanbul.Azerbaijan assumed the BSEC chairmanship at the 38th meeting of the Organization's Council of Foreign Ministers, which took place on June 27. Azerbaijan will chair BSEC until December 2018. Azerbaijani president expresses condolences to Turkish counterpart http://www.today.az/news/politics/177023.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:25:00 +0400 By  TrendAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in connection with the accident at the railway in Ankara city.“I was deeply saddened by the news of casualties and injuries caused by a train crash in Ankara,” President Aliyev said.“On behalf of the people of Azerbaijan and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest condolences to you, families and the loved ones of those who died and the brotherly people of Turkey, and wish those injured swiftest possible recovery,” the president added. “May Allah rest the dead in peace.” Currency rates for Dec. 14 http://www.today.az/news/business/177022.html Business Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:15:00 +0400 By  TrendOfficial exchange rate of the US dollar and euro against Azerbaijani manat was set at 1.7 and 1.9314 manats, respectively, for Dec. 14.Below are the rates of Azerbaijani manat against world currencies, according to the data from the Central Bank of Azerbaijan for Dec. 14.CurrenciesDec. 14, 20181 US dollar1 USD1.71 euro1 EUR1.93141 Australian dollar1 AUD1.2221 Argentine peso1 ARS0.045100 Belarus rubles100 BYR0.80121 Brazil real1 BRL0.4371 UAE dirham1 AED0.46281 South African rand1 ZAR0.1194100 South Korean won100 KRW0.15031 Czech koruna1 CZK0.07491 Chilean peso1 CLP0.24941 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.24661 Danish krone1 DKK0.25871 Georgian lari1 GEL0.63771 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.21771 Indian rupee1 INR0.02371 British pound1 GBP2.1474100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.0117100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.0041 Swedish krona1 SEK0.18751 Swiss franc1 CHF1.71031 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.45171 Canadian dollar1 CAD1.27151 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD5.58871 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00461 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.0243100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.11271 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.40651 Mexican peso1 MXP0.08361 Moldovan leu1 MDL0.09841 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.09471 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.1985100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.02031 Polish zloty1 PLN0.44891 Russian ruble1 RUB0.02561 Singapore dollar1 SGD1.23881 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.45321 SDR (Special Drawing Rights of IMF)1 SDR2.3531 Turkish lira1 TRY0.31761 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.05511 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.18041 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.48571 Ukrainian hryvna1 UAH0.0612100 Japanese yen100 JPY1.49831 New Zealand dollar1 NZD1.1552 Russia, India reach ‘unprecedented’ level in military technology transfer http://www.today.az/news/regions/177024.html World news Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:08:00 +0400 By  TrendThe level of cooperation between India and Russia in military technology transfer is ‘unprecedented’ and Moscow is ready to develop military and technical cooperation with Delhi on a long-term basis, Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday, Trend reports referring to TASS."The intensity and the depth of military and technical cooperation speak about the unprecedented level of trust between our countries," Shoigu said at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman.The Russian defense minister said he was confident that "no other state cooperates with India in the sphere of the transfer of armament and military hardware production technologies as close as Russia." "Our cooperation spreads to the most sensitive spheres," Shoigu said.As an example, Russia’s defense chief cited the contracts for the delivery of S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems and Project 11356 frigates signed with India despite external pressure."We are ready for further cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres on a planned and long-term basis," Shoigu said.Defense is a key area of Russian-Indian cooperation, which develops intensively and keeps the considerable potential, he said."The interaction of the general staffs and military branches of the armed forces is strengthening, the exchange of military delegations is expanding and work is being carried out in the sphere of military education. This helps multiply the useful experience of developing and reforming the Army and the Navy, planning and organizing operational and combat training measures," Russia’s defense chief said.The session of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission on military and technical cooperation that will be held on December 13 will contribute to developing military cooperation between Russia and India, Shoigu said.According to Shoigu, this session will sum up the results of the commission’s work over the year and determine how to promptly and effectively implement the accords reached by the leaders of both countries during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in October this year, the defense minister said.Russia and India are also bound by the strong and time-tested friendship based on the deep sympathy and mutual trust, Shoigu emphasized.‘The special privileged strategic partnership of our countries is based on common approaches towards solving global regional problems, the spiritual closeness of or great cultures. For many years, we have been expanding fruitful contacts at all the levels. Regular meetings of the leaders of our countries, the latest of which took place in Buenos Aires, is a vivid proof of constructive bilateral relations," the Russian defense minister said. Azerbaijani president receives Russian FM http://www.today.az/news/politics/177045.html Politics Fri, 14 Dec 2018 09:50:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov. Azerbaijani president inaugurates Youth Center http://www.today.az/news/politics/177026.html Politics Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:15:00 +0400 By  TrendPresident of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the inauguration of the newly built Youth Center in Bakikhanov settlement, Sabunchu district, Baku.The Youth Center is located in the renovated recreation park. The renovation of the 2.3-hectare park started in 2014.A statue to national leader Heydar Aliyev was erected in front of the three-story Youth Center as part of the renovation work.The president laid flowers at the statue of national leader Heydar Aliyev.President Aliyev then cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the Youth Center, and viewed conditions created there. Azerbaijan eyes to expand export of goods to Saudi Arabia http://www.today.az/news/business/177015.html Business Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:00:00 +0400 By  TrendThe delegation of Azerbaijani entrepreneurs left for Saudi Arabia to establish cooperation, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) told Trend on Dec. 13.“The Azerbaijani delegation includes 29 companies engaged in the production of building materials, textiles, canned products, juices, as well as travel agencies, etc.,” AZPROMO said. “The negotiations will continue until December 14.”"In 2018, AZPROMO sent 10 delegations to various countries up till now," the message said.According to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia amounted to $15.476 million in January-October 2018, which is 5.7 percent more than in the same period of 2017.During the reporting period, Azerbaijan exported products worth $727,000 to Saudi Arabia, while $14.749 million accounted for the import. Turkmenistan launches national seismic risk assessment project http://www.today.az/news/regions/177014.html World news Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:46:00 +0400 By  TrendThe Institute of Seismology and Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), launched a national project to assess seismic risks, prevent and respond to potential earthquakes, Trend reports via the “Neutral Turkmenistan” newspaper.The project is funded by the government and will be implemented by 2020. Within its framework, in particular, it is planned to conduct an assessment of the seismic stability of buildings and structures of Ashgabat.According to the results of the research complex, a seismic zone of the capital will be compiled.The information says that more than twenty digital stationary, dozens of autonomous, mobile seismic stations track the seismic activity in the territory of Turkmenistan. One of these mobile objects is installed in the Karakum desert near an artificial lake.In 2017 national map-scheme of seismic zoning of the country was created, and new seismic intensity scale is currently in the works.The participants of the joint project with UN, will analyze practices of specialized institutions of the CIS. EU hopes to agree on new partnership agreement with Azerbaijan till summer 2019 http://www.today.az/news/politics/177016.html Politics Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:34:00 +0400 By  TrendThe EU and Azerbaijan intend to agree on a draft partnership agreement on cooperation till May 2019, Trend reports citing Head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas as saying.The political and trade components of the agreement were discussed in early December 2018, Jankauskas told reporters in Baku on Dec. 13.Following these discussions, great progress was achieved, especially in the trade component of the document, he said.The negotiations on trade issues will be also held in the format of a videoconference till the end of December 2018, Jankauskas added.The next round on the new agreement as a whole will be held in Brussels in late January 2019, he added.The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan in November 2016.The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.