WEEKLY POLITICAL REVIEW

Official news

We want Azerbaijan to become a powerful country and live in peace and prosperity, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated on 16 March to an opening ceremony of the 2nd conference of the World Azerbaijanis.

According to Aliyev, the oil strategy of Azerbaijan is successfully implemented and this year the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main export oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline will be complete. Following the exploitation of the pipelines in this year for the crude transportation to the world and European markets the country will receive additional incomes and consolidate its positioning the region, continent and world.

Aliyev underlined that Azerbaijan is an active the most player in the regional development and implementation of political or economic, as well as energy and transport projects is impossible without its participation. The project on construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway route is one of the major tasks and we will achieve it, he stressed. It will lead to increase of deliveries between Azerbaijan and Turkey and put Armenia an occupant country - apart from the regional transit communications, the head of state underscored. We will never allow an aggressor country which occupied our territory to carry out cooperation in the region, Aliyev added.

Azerbaijan must develop its economic and military potential and intensify all political capacities. The Azerbaijani Diaspora can play great role in this respect, including the propaganda of Azerbaijan worldwide, spread of truth, active participation in the public-political life of the residence-countries, Aliyev underlined.

Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan should reconsider its participation in peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution if it founds Armenia violating the peace process and showing unconstructive approach. The 12-year peace talks yielded no results, while it is unknown how long will they continue. We are loyal to peace talks, but our patience expires when we face with unconstructive position by Armenia. If Azerbaijan sees the negotiation process to be of imitation character, it will refuse from participation in it, he stressed

Azerbaijan neither within 10 nor 100 years allow the annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh. Any peace agreement is out question without repatriation of internally displaced people, he assured.

President Aliyev was elected the chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Congress of World Azerbaijanis.

On 17 March Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by Peter Semnebi, the European Unions special representative on South Caucasus, Trend reports.

The head of state congratulated Semnebi n his new appointment and wished him successes. Aliyev underlined that Azerbaijans relationships with the European Union are successfully developing and Azerbaijan hopes in the consolidation of the relationships in the near future.

On Thursday Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, received Dastan Sarigulov, the Kyrgyz State Secretary.

During the conversation the guest handed over the letter by Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the Kyrgyz President, to the Azerbaijani President, Trend reports. The letter says that balanced policy of Azerbaijan aimed at defense of national interests was found by Ex-President Heydar Aliyev, who undertook burden of historic responsibility in difficult days, particularly during the 20 January tragedy. It also mentions significance of Azerbaijan as important source for development of the Kyrgyz state.

In his turn, Aliyev expressed gratitude to the guest for greeting and asked Sarigulov to convey return greeting to his Kyrgyz counterpart.

On Thursday Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, received Galina Koveskaite, the adviser to Lithuanian President. The sides mentioned that the relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania successfully developed in different spheres, as well as Azerbaijani Diaspora took active part in the economic and the public life of Lithuania.

The same day the head of the country received Jan Berzina, a member of the Czech and the European Parliaments. At the meeting the sides exchanged opinions on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Steven Mann, on March 13, Trend reports.

A number of questions regarding the resolution of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh were discussed at the meeting.

Other Caspian states will be able to join the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in future to transport their fuel products via Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will benefit from it politically and economically. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to the Japanese television channel NHK.

According to the President`s statement, BTC is the largest pipeline in the world. The commissioning of the pipeline will be an event of world scale, as this project will unite two seas and three countries. The given pipeline will allow Azerbaijan to export at least 1 million barrels of oil a day to the world markets, said Aliyev

President mentioned that in general pipeline will help to bring security and stability to the region. No doubt that this achievement will enhance our economy and increase regional and international importance of Azerbaijan. said the President, emphasizing that official Baku does not have intentions of building the pipeline to roundabout the territory of any other state.

In the course of work we [Azerbaijan] do not pursue any political aims, the head of state noted, adding, that the two already existing pipelines entering the Black Sea do not have the same capacities as the BTC and can not access the world markets directly.

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict

On 15 March the units of the Armenian armed forces dislocated in 1.5km of north of Sofulu village of Gazakh District fired the positions of the Azerbaijan National Army in Jafarli village of Gazakh district from 03:36 to 03:46.

On 16 March the units of the Armenian armed forces dislocated in Ashagi Eskipara village of Gazakh District fired from 01:40pm to 01:45pm the positions of the Azerbaijan National Army in the opposite, as well as from their positions in occupied Jerabert village of Terter the Azerbaijani positions by guns and machine-guns, the Defense Ministry told Trend.

Website of the song contest Eurovision has taken off all the materials on the birth place of Armenian singer Andre, who has mentioned it as the Nagorno-Karabakh republic, Azerbaijani minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev told Trend.

According to Garayev, after the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan has addressed the contest organizers demanding to correct the mistakes on their website, the latter have considered demands of Azeri side as legitimate and have taken the decision to take the article off. Andre will represent Armenia in this contest, the minister said. And the name of Nagorno-Karabakh was completely deleted from the website.

Autobiographical material of one of the contest participators- Armenian singer Andre was recently published at the Eurovision website. According to that material the singer was born in the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Regarding this fact, Azerbaijani side demanded contest organizers to put an end to injustice and respect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as Nagorno-Karabakh is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan.

Possible war in the South Caucasus will become disaster for the all region, Trend reports quoting Daniel Fried, the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. State for European and Eurasian Affairs, as saying at a news conference on Tuesday.

He noted that Washington was interested in the urgent return of Azerbaijanis to their native lands. At present Azerbaijan adheres to clear and strong position reflecting national interests of the country. Nevertheless, the approach doesnt hinder continuation of constructive negotiations, he stressed. According to Fried, none of the sides can achieve wishful result by 100 percentages and it is necessary to find more acceptable version of the regulation of the conflict, he added.

Nether now, nor 20 years later the military way will not become the final one in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Trend reports quoting Steven Mann, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair (the USA), as saying at a news conference on Tuesday.

He noted that though the USA expressed dissatisfaction with failure of expected result in the negotiations of the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents in Rambue, the process continues.

According to Mann, the USA maintains good relations with the both countries and dont regard military way as acceptable. This conflict is due to be solved on the base of bilateral agreement, he added. The co-chair noted that some moments disturbing the sides were due to be reflected in the final agreement. According to Mann, choosing military way, Azerbaijan is due to answer some questions such as what will happen to the financial revenues into the energy sector or what will the further fate of the existing borders.

In reply to the question on the reasons for non-imposing of sanctions in regard to Armenia by Washington, Mann said that the Nagorno-Karabakh problem may be solved only on bilateral agreement and that was the position of the USA.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party (ADRP) sent an adress to the EU, CE, OSCE and other international organizations in Europea in relation to illegal acts at the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Armenians, ADRP told Trend.

The conducted investigations revealed that Armenians cut the plane forest in the Besitchay state preserve, located in the Armenian-occupied Zangilan region. The occupants opened a woodshop the territories of the Razdere village, Zangilan region, and use the forest as raw materials for the workshop. Besides, Armenians uproot the trees, burn the territory and use it as area under crwon.

The Besitchay is single plane forest in Europe. According to specialists, restoration of the forest will take centuries. ADRP informed the leadership of the liberal and green parties of the danger, as well as called on them to render assistance to Azerbaijan in prevention of Armenian vandalism. This step, aimed at destruction of the single plane forest in Europe, is ecological terror not only against Azerbaijan, but also Europe and the world, the message says.

Ad-hoc committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Nagorno-Karabakh will now continue its work under the direct control of organizations Bureau, the head of Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to PACE, Samed Seidov told Trend exclusively, during his news conference on the results of his visit to PACE committee in Paris.

Commenting on the speech of the committee head, Lord Russell Johnson, Seyidov underlined that the content of this speech was known beforehand, as it was included in the Council of Europes agenda during the January session of the committee. We hold similar evaluation. Following the resolution adopted at the Council of Europes conference, Lord Johnson continues to reflect on the realities of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict and the interests of Azerbaijan, Seyidov said. The date of a meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee will be defined at a meeting of PACE in April.

Seyidov stated that together with PACE Azerbaijan will have to appoint a representative of the mission to participate in talks. But our delegation has not been completely formed, we are waiting for the results of the re-run parliamentary elections in May, Seyidov emphasized.

He also said that another meeting of the CE representatives will take place on March 16 in Istanbul, though no issue on Azerbaijan was included in the agenda.

Foreign policy

The Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elmar Mammedyarov, met with US Ambassador Steven Mann, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, on March 13 in Baku, Trend reports.

At the end of the meeting Mann stated that they discussed the peaceful solution to conflict and attributed the meeting very productive in general.

He also added that he was going to Baku airport to welcome US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried and will report about the talks that he had.

Elmar Mammedyarov, Minister of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, left for Saudi Arabia for a working visit on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Trend.

In the course of the visit Mammedyarov will take part at a meeting of foreign ministers of Turkey, Yemen and Azerbaijan that will be held in Jeddah. The major subject of the meeting is preparations for the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) due in Baku in June 2006 at the foreign ministers level.

Mammedyarov left Jeddah for Brunei and Malaysia. Meetings with the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Albar, familiarity with Petronast company, as well as program on technical cooperation with the headquarters at the Prime Minister of Malaysia, were held.

Ukrainian president Victor Yuschenko held a meeting with the First Deputy Premier of Azerbaijan, Abbas Abbasov, Trend reports.

The Ukrainian government announced that the sides mulled the trade-economic relationships between the two countries, noting their development over the past year and the considerable potential.

The talks centered on the bilateral interrelationships in he energy sector and capacities for development of joint energy projects.

Iranian nuclear program must be suspended. This is not only the US position, but the position of the whole world, US State Secretary assistant on Europe and Eurasia Daniel Freed at his press conference in Baku March 14, Trend reports.

According to Fried, the crisis situation has to be resolved via dialog. We believe that the dialog will yield the results, Fried said. At the same time he has stated that in recent days Tehran has made a number of deceitful statements. We are not going to bear this sort of statements towards the West in future, he said.

Fried also highly estimated the Russian efforts to solve the crisis around the Iranian nuclear program. We highly appreciate constructive efforts of Moscow, he noted.

Azerbaijan did not choose its neighbors. But it is doomed to live next to them, Fried shouted. Azerbaijan has the full right to consult with Washington considering the White Houses policy towards the region. We are well aware of Azerbaijans positions and we think that Azerbaijan has the full right to know about our policy, Fried said, giving the highest estimation of the US relations with Azerbaijan.

Khalaf Khalafov, the Azerbaijan Deputy Foreign Ministers, will participate in the 20th meeting of a special working group on definition of Caspian legal status. The meeting is scheduled for 14-15 March, Trend reports.

During the consultations the high ranking expert delegations will continue coordinating a draft Convention on Caspian legal status. The document reflects issue concerning the exploitation of Caspian natural reserves, in particular, the oil and gas reserves, shipment, fishing, and ecology problems.

Attending the gathering in Moscow will be Deputy Foreign Ministers of five Caspian littoral countries Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Working group on Caspian was established 9 years ago at the resolution of the Foreign Ministers of 5 littoral countries and the last consultations were held in Astana.

I hope European Parliament will not adopt baseless resolutions unreflecting realties any more, Trend reports quoting Jan Brezina, a member of the group of the European Popular Party and the European Democrats of the European Parliament, as saying to journalists on Wednesday. He was commenting destruction of the so-called khichkars in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (AR).

Setting of closer relations will allow prevention of the European Parliaments resolutions unreflecting Azerbaijans positions in the future, he said. According to Brezina, the position of the European Parliament consists in the closer cooperation with Azerbaijan both in the level of official organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Besides, Brezina reported that he arrived in Azerbaijan to get familiar with the work of the 2nd congress of world Azerbaijanis. I understand importance of the similar events for strengthening of Azerbaijani Diasporas, the European MP stressed. Brezina noted that he was a member of the European Parliament commission on energy, education and science and would give overhaul information on the results of the visit.

Senior EU officials will visit Baku in April, Gultekin Hajiyeva, a member of Azerbaijan delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), told Trend.

Hajiyeva noted that the visit will be paid according to the Council of Europes business schedule, which targets observing the preparations for the re-run elections to the parliament on May 13 2006. Delegation will review transparency of the elections, whether they are conducted line with the Council of Europe and international standards and to observe the agitation campaign. Meetings with state officials, heads of NGOs and political leaders are also on schedule.

The representatives of ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) will pay a visit to China in April, the Chinese embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend.

The visit will be paid at the invitation of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. It will come as return visit. The representative of the party visited Azerbaijan in 2005.

During the visit the representatives of NAP to China the sides will discuss the cooperation between the two ruling political parties.

The mandate of the EU Special Representative on the South Caucasus countries was expanded, Trend reports quoting Peter Semneby, the EU Special Representative on the South Caucasus countries, as saying at a news conference in Baku on Friday.

My mandate was particularly expanded for solution of frozen conflicts. I will follow all aspects of conflict situations and draw up recommendations for the leadership of EU, he stressed. Semneby stressed that EUs support in solution of the conflicts in the South Caucasus might consist of dispatching of observation missions, peacemaking forces or rehabilitation of territories.

Semneby also said that from 1 March 2006 the Office of the EU Special Representative on the South Caucasus countries would be removed from Finland to Brussels due to increase of interest in the region. It has two reasons. First, two countries will became member of EU soon. They both have access to the Black Sea that is very important. Besides, Turkey, bordering with the region, also holds negotiations on joining EU.

The efficiency term of the Council of Europes Action Plan on parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan has been prolonged. The resolution has been taken at 958th meeting of the CE Ministerial Committee held in Strasbourg on 15 March on the level of permanent representatives.

Term of the action plan officially exported with the November elections in 2005, while taking into consideration the forthcoming re-run elections scheduled for 13 May 2006 in 10 constituencies, the CE Ministerial Committee took a resРѕlution to prolong the term of Action Plan.

The meeting of the CE Ministerial Committee ranked the issue as the first in the context of discussions of 2 items of the agenda political issues.

Bogdan Borusevich, the chair of the Upper Chamber of the Polish Senate [Parliament] will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan from 6 to 7 April, the Polish embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend.

The visit is paid within Borushevichs tour of the South Caucasus countries. The sides are currently determining program of the forthcoming visit. The visit program will include meetings with Ogtay Asadov, the chair of the Milli Majlis [Parliament], Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, and Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President.

Political life

Registration of candidates for the re-run parliamentary elections is over on March 13, the Azerbaijani Central Elections Commission (CEC) told Trend.

The CEC 154 of 196 applicants registered therefore of 196 candidates who have submitted the subscription lists to the Commission.

In total, 218 candidatures were put forward for the participation in the re-run parliamentary elections. 196 of this them have submitted the subscription lists. 20 persons have later rejected their candidatures and other 22 were rejected by the Commission. According to the registration results total number consists of 154 candidates.

27 candidates are women and 71 are independent candidates. 23 members are nominated by the New Azerbaijan party, 12 by Musavat, 5 by Peoples Front and National Independence, 3 by Umid, Adalyat and Communist party, 2 by People `s Front (classics) and 1 from Great Azerbaijan, Democratic world of Azerbaijan, People `s democratic party, the Civil solidarity party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Reforms and Civil Unity party respectively. 18 candidates did not indicate their party belonging.

Largest number of candidates is nominated by the second Binagadi district #9 22 persons and the lowest number from Gazax-Tovuz- Akstafa district #106 and Zakatal district #110 1- persons. 141 candidatures were submitted individually, 2 from the initiative group and 11 from political parties.

The electioneering period starts from March 13.

The implementation of state financing of political parties in Azerbaijan is impossible in 2006, Ali Ahmdaov, the Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP), told Trend.

According to Ahmadov, the first reason for non-implementation of the issue in 2006 was absence of such funds in the 2006 public budget. The issue has been put for discussion among the political parties. Along with positive aspects the state financing of political parties is a difficult process. Prior to approval of funds it is necessary to discuss widely the criteria and mechanisms to be used for financing. If the idea finds support in public and all interested sides, the discussions can be held in higher level. I hope the Azerbaijani government will shortly adopt the necessity of public financing of political parties and take relevant steps in this respect, he underscored.

He also noted that attempts of giving different color to public financing of political parties demonstrates their illogic conduct. The NAP functionary explained the concerns by the opposition with their accountability to the government for the use of public funds. The opposition parties create speculation around this idea to avoid accounting to the government and conceal the directions of use of these funds.

On Wednesday Ali Ahmadov, the deputy chair of New Azerbaijan Party (NAP), also executive secretary of the party, met with Emil Shultz, the new Director of the U.S. National Democracy Institute (NDI), and Tomas Wary, the chief program manager of the NDI Washington Office, the press service of NDI told Trend.

Wary congratulated NAP on the victory in the November 2005 parliamentary elections and expressed assurance in the further continuation of the cooperation between the parties.

Ahmadov noted importance of the cooperation with NDI and said that NAP was interested in the implementation of joint projects. The sides held exchange of opinions on the existing relations between NAP and NDI, as well as perspectives of development of further cooperation.

Ana Veten party will support candidates from the ruling New Azerbaijan at the re-run elections scheduled for 13 May 2006, the chairman of Ana Veten, a pro-governmental party, MP Fazail Agamali told Trend.

He explained the reasons for partys non-participation at the re-run elections with minimal chances for victory. Realizing that we have a few chances to win at the repeating elections we decided not to move forward any candidatures, Agamali said.

However, party members are not forbidden from participating independently at the elections, he also noted. Those who are confident in their victory can put forward their candidatures, head of the party said, adding that his party will support Yeni Azerbaijan party at the elections. Preparations for this process are underway, he underlined.

No guests were invited to the next session of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan Party (PFAP-classics) to be held on 26 March, Trend reports quoting Mirmahmud Miralioglu, the chairman of the party.

He noted that the meeting sessions usually last several days. However, the session scheduled for 26 March will take a day. Taking into consideration the time and preparations for the by-elections, the party did not invite guests to the session from other parties or organizations. I suppose that they will not take umbrage at us, Miralioglu said. He underlined that only media representatives were invited to the session.

Around 350 delegates from 64 regional branches will participate in the session of the party.

As to balloting in the re-run elections to parliament on 13 May 2006, Miralioglu stressed that his candidacy was registered from Sumgayit 2nd constituency 42, the candidacy of Yusif Sevdimaliyev - Sumgayit-Absheron constituency 44, Zalimkhan Mammadli - Surakhany 2nd constituency 31, Fikrat Jafarov - Jalilabad-Masalli-Bilasivar constituency 69.

On Thursday Isa Gambar, the chair of Musavat Party, met with Alexander Sokolovsky, the representative of the U.S. International Development Agency (IDA), the press service of the party told Trend.

The sides discussed the public-political situation in Azerbaijan, the state in human right and democracy, the by-elections, the action plan of Musavat for the nearest future and development of the bilateral relations.

On the same day Gambar met with Colin Munro, the British representative to OSCE. The sides exchange opinions on the results of the November 2005 parliamentary elections, as well as by-elections and wasys of regulation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict.

State building

Azerbaijani Speaker Oktay Asadov received the Minister of Defense of Romania Theodore Atanasiu March 14. Asadov highly appreciated Romanian support in political and military areas during the talks, Trend reports. We hope that bilateral relations will develop in all areas, he said.

Atanasiu in his turn emphasized Azerbaijans important role in the region and expressed interest of developing closer ties with Azerbaijan. The visit targets expanding existing relations between the countries.

Perspectives of Azerbaijani-Romanian contacts and other questions of bilateral interest were discussed at the meeting.

Cooperation between Azerbaijani and Russian special services is at the highest level. Azerbaijan National Security minister Eldar Mahmudov made the statement after his visit to Moscow on March 9-10.

Minister expressed his satisfaction with the talks and meetings held there. I appreciate the results of my first visit to Moscow and consider that bilateral relations between our special services are at the highest level now, he said. The talks in Moscow covered a wide range of questions of bilateral interest

According to the Minister, a wide exchange of opinions on the situation in the region took place at the meetings and the joint protocol for durable cooperation was signed.

Azerbaijan and Russia expressed their interests in closer relations and deeper bilateral cooperation, Mahmudov stated. Russia is very interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan. We have signed a number of documents that serve now as a basis for cooperation, exchange of opinions and information. he said.

He especially emphasized, that a large criminal group involved in kidnappings was neutralized last year in Azerbaijan. Two of the group members were hiding in the Russian territory.

A group of MP of Milli Mejlis [Azerbaijani parliament] left for Brussels went to participate at NATO headquarters seminar on March 11.

A delegation comprised of MPs Azer Amiraslanov, Rovshan Rzayev, Chingiz Asadullayev, Akram Abdullayev and Intizam Akbarli will join a workshop organized by the US delegation in NATO and US embassy in Azerbaijan.

NATO relations with the South Caucasus and Central Asian countries, EU and Russia, initiatives in the technology and research areas, NATO`s Istanbul initiative on Mediterranean countries cooperation and other subjects will be highlighted during the meeting.

Azad Rahimov, the Azerbaijani Youth and Sports Minister, met with Vyacheslav Fetisov, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for physical training and sports, in Moscow.

The meeting between the officials was of familiarization character, Trend reports quoting Ragif Abbasov, the spokesman of the Ministry. The sides agreed on signing of some agreements aimed at mutual cooperation. The plans will be realized soon, Abbasov noted. The Ministries will probably draw up common strategy of preparations for the forthcoming Games- -2008 in Beijing.

A delegation from the Austrian Supreme Court led by chairman Johann Reshutun will pay an official visit to Baku on April 10 at the invitation of Azerbaijan Supreme Court judge Ramiz Rzayev, the head of Supreme Court press service told Trend.

The major aim of the visit which is to last by April 13 is to inform Reshutun on the legal reforms planned by the Azerbaijani legal system, including introduction of exams for persons willing to be appointed as judges and other vacant court positions.

Tuesday sitting of the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijani parliament] heard a report by the Cabinet of Ministers on its activities in 2005. Azerbaijani Prime Minister Artur Rasizade delivered a report. He said that 2005 was remembered for many achievements in the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Rasizade noted that last year the Gross Domestic Product and average salary increased, reforms were held in the state government system, state credits approved for the development of entrepreneurship, positive results were achieved in the sphere of privatization and education.

Bilateral agreements on military cooperation were signed during the meeting of Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister, with his Rumanian counterpart Theodore Atanasiu on Tuesday, the press service of the Azerbaijani Ministry told Trend.

At reception of the delegation led by Atanasiu, Abiyev noted that the visit of Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, in October 2004 stimulated further deepening of the Azerbaijani-Rumanian ties. We pin great importance to the cooperation with Rumania in all spheres, including, military field, Abiyev underlined.

Touching upon the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, he stressed that Azerbaijan supported the regulation of the problem within international legal norms and territorial integrity. In case of unsuccessful negotiations, Azerbaijan will resort to other opportunities, Abiyev said.

In his turn, Atanasiu noted that the visit would serve to further expansion of the cooperation. According to Atanasiu, ensuring of peace and stability in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea countries is important issue to Rumania.

As a result of the meeting the sides signed agreement on military and technical cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Rumanian governments, agreement on protection of secret military information exchangeable between the Azerbaijani and Rumanian Defense Ministries, additional protocol on cooperation in military education between the Azerbaijani and Rumanian Defense Ministries signed in Baku on 15 February 2000.

The Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Safar Abiyev, received on 17 March the Polish Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Kshishtof Krayevskiy, the Defense Ministry told Trend.

The meeting was of familiarity character. Abiyev congratulated Krayevskiy with his new appointment and wished his successes in the development of Azerbaijani-Polish relationships.

Participation of Azerbaijani Armed Forces in any training in the territory of Armenia is impossible, Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense assistant of the press service Ilgar Verdiyev told Trend.

Military training within the frames of NATOs Partnership for Peace program will be held in May, Armenian agency Panarmenia told, in reference to the Armenian deputy minister of defense, Artur Agabekyan. Agabekyan stated that the Azerbaijan Armed Forces might participate in the training among 20 other countries.

He said that Armenian government is ready to accept those representatives of Azerbaijan Armed Forces who would wish to participate at the NATO training.

The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense regards visit of Azerbaijan Armed forces representatives to Armenia as impossible. Verdiyev stated that Armenia is only formally participating in the NATO training under Partnership for Peace. In the course of year Armenia hosts only 1 exercise of this program, which is completely of formal character. Armenia is an occupant country and by participating in this program it wants to show itself as a peaceful state, he said.

Even if Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense will receive any official invitation to participate in training in the territory of that country it will be declined, he concluded.

The Azerbaijani Diaspora now is in the stage of progress and evolution, Trend quoted Nazim Ibrahimov, the chairman of the state committee on work with Azerbaijanis residing abroad, as stating on 16 March to the 2nd conference of the world Azerbaijanis.

Ibrahimov noted that the work of the state committee in different world countries, the talks held with governmental, officials, as well as Diaspora plays a considerable role in the formation of the Azerbaijani lobby. Increasing number of Azerbaijani students also play considerable role in this respect and they initiate the establishment of circles and public unions. He underlined the importance of continuing work in the direction of formation of Azerbaijani Diaspora, as well as economic lobby.

Ibrahimov informed joint efforts taken by the Azerbaijani and Turkish Diasporas abroad. Considerable work has been in Europe and the United States and as a result, a unified forum of Diasporas of Azerbaijan and Turkey will be held in 2006. The event will focus on issue of expansion and perspectives of the activities of the two Diasporas on the base of recommendations by the Azerbaijani President and the President and Prime Minister of Turkey.

The congress adopted a resolution on 6 March and 5 appeals to world Azerbaijanis, countries and influential international organizations in connection with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, UNESCO in connection with the Armenian vandalism, to the Turkic countries for development of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Diaspora, as well as to the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev.

Attending the event were 650 local delegates, 600 representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora and 350 foreign guests.

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Turkmen company plans to increase harvest of vegetables
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to hold deposit auction
Five-month cargo shipment volume via Turkish Mersin port disclosed
Turkey bans entrance of Kazakhs as anti-COVID quarantine extended
Fitch estimates Georgia Global Utilities regulated water revenue
Aztelekom develops project to improve quality of services in Azerbaijani districts
Kazakhstan starts exporting locomotives to Moldova
PETRONAS Carigali in Turkmenistan opens tender for purchase of high-speed ship
Azerbaijan records growth in export of its products to Switzerland
Erdogan: Some countries' statements on Hagia Sophia - direct interference in Turkey's internal affairs
Data on maritime cargo transshipment from US via ports of Turkey announced
Plastic cards number grows in Kazakhstan year-on-year
Info on cargo shipment from Iran via Turkish ports disclosed
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz to streamline global production network
Georgian citizens traveling to Latvia not be placed under mandatory quarantine
Azerbaijan Hotel Association eyes restoring work in post-pandemic period
Russia's Tatneft opens tender for construction, installation work in Turkmenistan
Iran's export to Kuwait declines
Oil demand won’t get back to pre-crisis growth trend for some years
Azerbaijan confirms 583 new COVID-19 cases
IOM assists Turkmenistan in developing counter-trafficking plan
Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers approves resolution on toughening quarantine regime
Revenues of Georgian Vannilla Sky decrease
Transport cooperation between Lithuania, Kazakhstan growing despite COVID-19 pandemic
Kim Jong Un says North Korea prevented coronavirus from making inroads
Azerbaijani president sends letter to US conterpart
Raw milk prices increase in Georgia
CAERC talks current operational balance of Azerbaijan
Georgia building new highways
Azerbaijan, Indonesia to sign energy memorandum
Volume of five-month cargo transshipment from UAE via Turkish ports disclosed
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan agree on co-op in water resources area
Georgia effectively monitors land borders
Kazakhstan's export to South Korea decreases
WB to support sustainable development of beef production in Kazakhstan
Data on cargo movement from Greece via Turkish ports announced
Turkey's export to D-8 countries drops compared to last year
TANAP Natural Gas Transmission Co. sees increase in current assets
Total assets of Azerbaijan’s Bank BTB grow
Thailand's main airport offers rapid coronavirus test for international arrivals
Azerbaijan supports entrepreneurs’ existing loan portfolio
Revenues of TANAP Company up
Azerbaijani, Russian experts highlight economic perspectives of North-South strategy
Macron names Jean Castex as prime minister in government overhaul
Volume of cargo shipment from China via Turkish ports revealed
Industrial production surges in Azerbaijan
Uber widens taxi app to Japan's Tokyo but ride-sharing still barred
Large harvest of potatoes, onions expected in Turkmenistan
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 3
Serbia's capital declares state of emergency over rising COVID-19 cases
Air France unions braced for job cut talks
OECD: COVID-19 limiting inflow of investments into Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan Railways to buy accumulators via tender
Iran to address debt payment issue of productive units
Shell evacuating its staff from Kazakhstan's Kashagan field
Georgia expects rich harvest of wheat, barley
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