Weekly political review

Offcial news

On 23 April the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and Korea, Roh Moo-Hyun, signed a statement in Seoul as a result of bilateral negotiations at a high level.

President Roh Moo-Hyun met with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday and agreed to deepen bilateral relations in energy, natural resources, construction and information technology, a representative at the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said. Following an hour-long summit, the two leaders signed a 10-point joint statement calling for the widening of practical bilateral cooperation in economic and commercial fields. The statement also called for the simplification of visa issuance procedures for visitors from each other's countries, the signing of investment guarantee and dual tax avoidance accords and South Korea's support of Azerbaijan's membership to the World Trade Organization.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Korea are at a new stage," said the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who is on an official visit to Korea, in his interview with South Korean newspaper Joong Ang Libo. "This visit is a continuation of the intensive dialogue which began after a visit of the Korean President to Azerbaijan," the State Head of Azerbaijan said, adding that the agenda of the 3-day visit is very broad.

Touching upon the visit of the Korean President, Roh Mu Hun, to Azerbaijan in May 2006, Aliyev said that at that time, the sides discussed bilateral relations and economic cooperation and various aspects of economic development. "As you know, the Embassy of Azerbaijan opened in Korea. It arises from an interest in close cooperation with Korea. The agenda of the visit is broad," said the President of Azerbaijan.

"We want to cooperate with experienced and professional companies that are interested in working in Azerbaijan. There are many foreign companies which meet the criteria. I hope that the visit will be successful," Aliyev underlined. According to the President, a joint business-forum will take place in South Korea, attended by Azerbaijani business people. "I consider that the results will be positive," Aliyev spelt out.

23 April, within the ongoing visit of the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev to South Korea, the Azerbaijani First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill, and a member of the Milli Majlis ( Azerbaijan's Parliament) has met the Korean First Lady, Kwon Yang Suk.

After the meeting, both First ladies went sightseeing to the South Korean Capital of Seoul.

Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has expressed his condolences to his Russian counterpart due to the sudden death of the fisrt Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, a source in the Press Service of the Azerbaijani President stated

"Boris Nikolayevitch Yeltsin has entered the history as an ougoing state figure, decisive, influential, and an authoritative politician, which laid the epoch for democratic changes and reforms in Russia. The revival and establishment of new interstate relations between the Azerbaijan Republic and the Russian Federation was linked with the name of Boris Yeltsin" the message sent to the Russian President stated.

The Head of the Azerbaijan expressed his deep condolences to the wife and family of the first Russian President. "An outgoing State and political figure, Boris Nikolayevitch Yeltsin will remain in our minds as a prominent historical personality, the real Russian patriot, strong, decisive and brave," the Azerbaijani Presidents stated in his message addressed to Yeltsin's family.

Notably, Boris Yeltsin passed away in Moscow due to a sudden heart attack. He was 76. The ceremony of bidding farewell to the first Russian President has been scheduled for Wednesday, 25 April. This day will be announced as a day of mourning in Russia.

On 6-8 May the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, will make his first visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The Ambassador of Egypt to Azerbaijan, Youssef El Sharkawy, said on 25 April that Ilham Aliyev will meet with the President of Egypt, Mohammad Hosny Mubarak, Prime Minister, Ahmed Nazif, Cairman of the National Assembly, Ahmed Fathi Sorour and other senior officials.

During the visit, a number of bilateral documents are expected to be signed with regards to education, youth and sport, agriculture, tourism, post-organizations and consular issues. The President of Azerbaijan is also expected to inaugurate the new official premises of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Cairo.

on April 26, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has received Hikmet Chetin, the Ex- Speaker of the Turkish Parliament.

During the meting with the Head of the Azerbaijani State, Mr. Chetin marked the excellent organization of the Baku hosted International Conference - "The Role of Mass Media in Development of Tolerance and Mutual Understanding" describing the fact of its holding in the country as a sign Azerbaijan's high international prestige.

President Ilham Aliyev stressed the importance of holding such international events in Azerbaijan in terms of strengthening of the country's positions in the world.

Moreover, today, the Azerbaijani President has received the Special Rapporteur of the U. N. Commission for Human Rights for the right on freedom of expression and opinion, Ambeyi Ligabo, who has also arrived in Baku to attend the international conference on the role of mass media in development of tolerance and mutual understanding.

Mr. Ligabo expressed his gratitude to the Azerbaijani President for inviting him to the mentioned conference, and marked the importance of the fact that the event is being held in the Azerbaijani Capital.

During the meeting, Mr. Aliyev and Mr. Ligabo viewed what Azerbaijan had done to ensure the protection of the right on expression and opinion, as well as explored ways of boosting the Azerbaijan-UN cooperation in this sphere.

on April 26, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has received Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, the Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Trend reports.

During their meeting, the both parties marked the successful development of relations between Azerbaijan and ISESCO.

Moreover, the Head of the Azerbaijani State awarded the ISESCO Director General with Azerbaijan's highest state award - the "Shohrat" ("Glory") Order, for his great services in the enhancement and development of relations between the Organization and Azerbaijan, as well as for his promoting the Azerbaijani culture worldwide.

On 26 April the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visited the Embassy of Russia in Azerbaijan. the State Head of Azerbaijan offered his condolence on the death of the first President of Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin and made a note in the memory book.

On 26 April the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, received the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Ihsanoglu highly assessed the level and importance of the international conference 'Role of media in developing tolerance and mutual understanding'. He stressed that the relations between Azerbaijan and OIC are always developing and expanding.

In his turn, Ilham Aliyev said that it needs to continue and develop the co-operation with OIC

On 26 April the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, received the ex-President of Romania and also Chairman of Social-Democratic Party, Ion Iliesku. The State Head of Azerbaijan expressed his satisfaction with the visit of Iliesku to Azerbaijan to attend the conference 'Role of media in developing tolerance and mutual understanding'.

Iliesku attached a great importance to the conduct of the international conference in Baku. The sides highlighted the successful development of the relations between Azerbaijan and Romania.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has issued a decree to award Iosif Kobzon with Glory Order.

Iosif Davidovich Kobzon has been awarded with the Glory Order for services in extension of culture bonds between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan Republic.

on April 27, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has expressed his deep condolences to the family of the prominent figure of the World music culture, Mstislav Rastropovitch.

In his message to the wife of the world-known musician-violoncellist, the Head of the Azerbaijani State says - "The name of Mstislav Rastropovitch, the world-known musician- performer, violoncellist of a charisma, conductor, band-master, who always performed only with World's best symphonic orchestras , will enter the depositary of the World musical art for ever".

Mstislav Rastropovitch was a real citizen of peace, prominent public figure, person of the highest morality, who always and everywhere advocated high ideals of humanism and values of common to all mankind. "We shall always keep him in mind as a unique, excellent, and extremely charming and outstanding person fascinating," says the Azerbaijani President in his message.

Mastislav Rastropovitch was born in Baku on March 27, 1927 to a family of a violoncellist, Leopold Vitoldovich Rastropovitch. He has passed away in Moscow today after an enduring disease. He was 80.

The burial service of Mstislav Rastropovitch will be held in the Jesus Savior Cathedral of the Russian Capital on April 29.

on April 27, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has received Miklosh Kharashti, the OSCE Representative for Freedom of Media, Trend reports.

Mr. Kharashti particularly marked the importance on holding such events like the International Conference on the topic of "The Role of Media in Development of Tolerance and Mutual Understanding" in Azerbaijan.

The Head of the Azerbaijani State said that Azerbaijan had all capabilities and conditions for organizing of arrangements of an international importance.

During the meeting, the parties exchanged opinions on the work and activities carried out in the field of ensuring the activity of mass media, as well as freedom of a word and media in the country.

on April 27, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has received the prominent Kazakh poet, scientist, and public and political figure, Oljas Suleymenov, Trend reports.

Expressing his satisfaction with the fact that he had arrived in Azerbaijan, Mr. Suleymenov marked the sucesful organization and holding of the International Conference - "The Role of Media in Development of Tolerance and Mutual Understanding". At the same tame, the Kazakh guest marked the importance on organizing such events in Azerbaijan. The prominent scholar also estimated President Ilham Aliyev's visit to the Republic of Korea as successful and interesting.

Having noted a number of authoritative events, Azerbaijan had held, the Head of the Azerbaijani State said the participation of different well-known politicians and governmental representatives from different countries, including such preeminent public and political figures as Oljas Suleymenov at this conference is the evidence to the high level of the event held in Baku.

On April 27, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, has received a delegation led Ali Sarikaya, the President of the Organization of the Islamic Conference's Youth Forum, Trend reports.

Mr. Sarikaya particularly marked the support rendered by the Youth Forum by President Ilham Aliyev. He provided the Azerbaijani President with the information about the activity of and future plans of the Youth Forum of OIC.

President Ilham Aliyev marked the great successes of the Forum for a short period of its being, and expressed a confidence that the activity of the mentioned Organization would develop in a right direction that would lead the Forum to a success.

On April 27, the Protocol on Bilateral Cooperation has been signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and ISESCO (Islamic Education, Science, and Culture Organization), Trend reports. The mentioned document was signed between Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, the Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO Good Will and Abdulaziz bin Osman al Tuveidjri, the Director General of ISESCO.

Prior to the signing ceremony of the mentioned Protocol, Mrs. Aliyeva met with Mr. Tuveidjri.

The signed Protocol envisages cooperation between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and ISESCO in the fields of culture and education.

On 27 April, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, signed a decree to prepare a State Program to ensure the development of chess within the Country.

According to the decree, the Ministry of Youth Azerbaijan, the National Olympic Committee and the Azerbaijan Chess Federation are responsible for preparing and submitting their proposals to the President within three months.

In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers is responsible of resolving the issues arising from the decree.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who arrived in Moscow on 27 April with his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva, attended a funeral of the world renowned musician, Bakuian Mstislav Rostropovich.

The beginning Ilham Aliyev and his spouse participated service at the Christ Savior's Temple, in presence of nearly 5,000 people to see off the People's Artist of the USSR. The Azerbaijani President and his spouse offered their deep condolences to the spouse of the late, Galina Vishnevyskaya, and his relatives.

President Aliyev was accompanied by the Azerbaijani Minister for Culture and Tourism, Abulfaz Garayev, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia, Polad Bulbuloglu, the head of the Division at the President's Executive Power, Fatima Abdullazade, renowned composer, Firangiz Alizade.

Attending the funeral ceremony were relatives and friends, Yeltzin's spouse, Naina with daughters, Alexander Solzhenitsin's spouse, Queen of Spain Sofia, Moscow Mayor Luzhkov.

Rostropovich was buried at the Central Alley of Novodevichi Cemetery, near the great commander of the Great Patriotic War, Dovator, Panfilov, Govorov and in the opposite to first Russian President Yeltzin's grave buried on 25 April.

After the burial of the outstanding cellist and conductor, public figure, UNESCO's Goodwill Ambassador ЮНЕСКО, honorary citizen of many cities Mstislav Rostropovich, President and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva were back to Baku.

Parliament

Rabiyat Aslanova, the Chairwoman of the Commission for Human Rights of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijan's Parliament), has stated today that the arrest of the founder and editor-in-chief of the Newspapers "Realniy Azerbaidjan" ("Real Azerbaijan") and "Gundalik Azarbaycan" ("Daily Azerbaijan"), Eynulla Fatullayev, is not breaking any human rights. According to her, the dwellers of the Azerbaijani Small Town of Khodjali, which was subjected to genocide by Armenians in February 1992, whose honour and dignity were insulted, are right in their claims to Mr. Fatullayev. She added that that they took advantage of their constitutional rights to protect their honour and dignity.

"The arrest of Mr. Fatulayev fully meets the existing legislation. Each journalist should respect his or her editorials and should not insult the honour and dignity of people," said Mrs. Aslanova.

Notably, on 20 April, on the special accusatory suit brought about by the Chief of the Centre for Protection of the Rights of refugees and IDPs, Tatyana Chaladze, Mr. Fatulayev was accused of Article 147 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic (label and insult) and sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment. He was accused of insulting the honour and dignity of the dwellers of Khodjali in the recently-published article named "The Diary of Karabakh".

The Co-chair of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Friendly Group, MP Nizami Jafarov, said that a meeting of the representatives of the Turkic-speaking countries is to be held by the end of 2007 in order to create a Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking States. According to him, discussions are presently held with the representatives of the parliaments of Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzia.

"The parliaments of all Turkic-speaking countries agree with this decision and at the moment the mechanism of realizing the project is being discussed. The proposals include creating the Assembly and holding a meeting to include the Heads of Inter-Parliamentary Friendly Groups of all Turkic-speaking countries," Jafarov said. According to him, Armenia has raised an objection before the international organizations to prevent the establishment of the Assembly, claiming that the plan is dangerous. Jafarov said that in order to satisfy international organizations, explanatory work will be carried out to provide evidence of the importance of the Assembly. He stressed that the first meeting of the Assembly will take place in Baku.

The Co-chair of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Friendly Group, MP Nizami Jafarov, stated that the Azerbaijan Parliament's Permanent Commission for Cultural Affairs is preparing a law draft "On creative unions".

He said that the law will reflect issues on the functions of creative organizations, as well as financing of these unions by the State. According to Jafarov, the law draft aims to divide the creative organizations from NGOs because NGOs are public organizations. "Such a practice already exists in Ukraine and Russia. The law draft will be presented to the creative unions for their opinions and then it will be presented for discussions in Parliament," Jafarov said.

The law draft 'On internal audit' devised by Azerbaijan Parliament's Permanent Commission on Economic Affairs will be presented to the discussions in the Parliament in the near future. The law draft aims to raise the productivity in the management of the auditor service of Azerbaijan, assess risks and ensure expediency of the internal resources. The law draft includes all suggestions made by the members of Azerbaijan Parliament.

On 27 April the permanent parliamentary commission of the Milli Majlis [Azerbaijan Parliament] on social policy discussed the bill on Law on Social Adaptation of People Released from imprisonment in Penitentiaries in the second reading.

The Milli Majlis announced that the chairman of the commission, Hadi Rajabli, stressed the significance of the law from the aspect of eliminating isolation of the former prisoners from the society. It will help former prisoners to become full citizens of the country and contribute in their social adaptation.

MP Akhundova announced that the law envisages the establishment of social adaptation centers, rendering of medical, psychological, juridical and in formation assistance to former prisoners. After the discussion in the first reading at the Milli Majlis, the document was changed on basis of proposals by MPs. It was decided to pass the bill to the Milli Majlis

Foreign policy

According to information provided by the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, taking into consideration changes to the provisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Azerbaijani Government has postponed a visit of the Azerbaijani delegation to Washington for bilateral security talks, scheduled for April 23-24. The delegation was to include high level officials from the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergencies, Ministry of National Security, Interior Ministry, Border Service, Customs Committee, and Special Protection Service.

"Resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict based on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with the Nagorno Karabakh as its indisputable part, is a primary and foremost element for our country in the broad-format of Azerbaijan-US security cooperation. Introduction of changes into the already published report, which distorts the essence of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict, confuses and puts in doubt the US position of the "honest broker" in the resolution of the conflict. Such a step may become a serious impediment to further security-related cooperation between our countries," mentioned a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

The changes about Nagorno-Karabakh made in the US State Department's report on the state of human rights have lead to the cancellation of the visit of the Azerbaijani governmental delegation to the United States.

Politician Rasim Musabeyov, has stated that it is unusual to make changes to a published report due to any insistences. The changes, which do not correspond to the truth, were made in the report relating to an evident issue proves that the -Armenian lobby has a great impact upon the United States' policy. "The US officials are confident that Azerbaijan will continue its co-operation with Washington even if such alterations are made in the report," the expert added.

Musabeyov has said that the United States has stuck to a wrong policy by changing the report. Vardan Oskanian has affected the issue as well. "Oskanian is considered to be a pro-American representative in the present ruling elite of Armenia. The nomination of Oskanian at the forthcoming presidential elections is not ruled out," Musabeyov noted.

The expert has indicated that the alterations have been made in that part of the report relating to Armenia, and the part concerning Azerbaijan has remained unchanged. To apply a double standard on a single matter is ridiculous, he said.

He has noted that the postponement of negotiations scheduled for Washington harms not only the United States' plans relating to the region, but also relations between Azerbaijan and the country.

Politician Zardusht Alizadeh has stated that the changes are the result of a lengthy process. The experts of the State Department have arrived at the idea that Azerbaijan and Armenia do not seek the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "They believe that the parties are trying to suspend relations. For this reason the experts suggested to the government that the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh should not be mentioned in the report any more," Alizadeh has said. According to the expert, the alterations will not seriously affect the relationship between Azerbaijan and the United States.

Politician Rustam Mammadov has noted that the bonds between the two countries are on high level and added that the United States always applies a double standard in its policy. "The United States does not see Armenia as its future ally. However, Washington seeks to make the country pursue a pro-western policy. The changes in the report were made in order not to let the Armenians turn their back on the United States," Mammadov said.

He noted the readiness of Azerbaijan to become an ally for the United States. However, Washington's goal is to bring Armenia out of Russia's control.

The Council of Europe Special Representative to the Secretary General in Baku, Denis Bribosia, said on 23 April in Baku that open and constructive speech should exist in society. He said in a presentation of the campaign "All Different - All Equal" that discrimination exists in all societies. "If society wishes to become democratic, then it needs to consider the interests of all layers," he said. As a unified decision of equality in society, Bribosia highlighted the conduct of speech not only for people, but also authorities. He called speech a good tool for understanding.

According to the campaign, representatives of youth of Azerbaijan will organize travels from Ganja to Baku, as well as hold meetings with local communities, especially with people isolated from society in four districts of the country.

The Embassy of France in Azerbaijan reported on 23 April that Nicola Sarcozi won the first presidential voting held in the Embassy in Baku. The elections were attended by 75% of French citizens residing in Baku.

The voter's list included 71 names. The Embassy noted that the elections passed without any hitches.

As a result of the presidential elections in France, member of the ruling conservative party Union for People's Movement, Nicola Sarcozi, and member of the opposition Social Party, Segolen Royal, passed to the second round of voting.

The president of the American-Azerbaijani Society (AAS) in the United States, Tomris Azeri, informed Trend that the organization seeks changes in the report of the State Department of the United States, which does not correspond to the truth and questions Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

In 2005, the part of the report regarding Azerbaijan mentioned the occupation of 16% of the Azerbaijani territory by the Armenian armed forces, while the section regarding Armenia did not include any data in this connection.

The Azerbaijani section of the report based upon the results of 2006 states that the Armenian Armed Forces seized Nagorno-Karabakh and nearby regions under its control. And Armenian, on the other hand, mentions the occupation of Karabakh's neighbouring regions by Armenia; however omits the occupation of Karabakh itself. Baku violently criticized the changes in the report and cancelled the visit of the Azerbaijani governmental delegation to Washington.

The representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora applied to the UN Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, with a request to alter the report. The president of the AAS voiced her confidence that the changes in the earlier published report were made under the influence of the Armenian lobby.

"The Armenians have close links with the legislative and governmental bodies. Azerbaijani Diaspora is too weak and does not have enough financial opportunities. There are plenty congressmen ready to support us, however we cannot offer them any assistance," Ms. Azeri stressed.

The activities of the AAS, which has been operating in America for over 50 years, are aimed at directing efforts to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the rights of its refugees.

"Unfortunately, most Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations operating in the United States do not have any definite plan of activities," Ms. Azeri noted.

According to official statistical data of Turkey and Britain, some 300,000 Armenians resided in turkey in 1915. The decree issued by Talat Pasha on 24 April, 1915, established the re-settlement of 300,000 Armenians from one part of the country to another.

The data was provided on 24 April during a meeting held in the Ataturk Centre and organized by the World Congress of Azerbaijanis (WCA). Professor Nizami Jafarov, the director of the centre, reported that the re-settlement of the Armenian population residing in Eastern Anatolia to other territories of Turkey in 1915 was a great concession of the most neutral and equitable ruler of those times for the Armenians. The groups, which betrayed the country, had to be neutralized or liquidated in a peaceful way. Turkey decided to remove the Armenians from one settlement to another part of the country. The decision should be considered a humanistic deed of the government.

Jabi Bahramov, the deputy director of the History Institute at the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, noted in his report that according to official statistics and archive documents, the number of Armenians that died in Turkey from 1914-1917 due to different reasons (war, diseases) comprised of 302,000. This fact disproves the statement of Armenians of the slaughter of 1.5mln Armenian people in April, 1915.

Armenian groups killed over 600 Turks in 1915.

"Only an element of the criticisms in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding Azerbaijan is objective and this needs to be fully analysed," said the Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE, MP Samad Seyidov, at the press conference during the PACE spring session.

Seyidov stressed that if the objective criticisms reflect the real processes in Azerbaijan, then this needs to be eliminated through constructive co-operation with the Council of Europe. "Part of the criticisms in the report result from a contradictory and biased approach to Azerbaijan. We should fully analyze these issues. We should investigate the reasons for it and act so as to avoid double standards. And we need to develop positive tendencies which are reflected in the document," Seyidov stressed.

He said that the majority of the document of the co-rapporteurs on Azerbaijan is positive. According to Seyidov, irrespective of their insistence, the members of the Armenian delegation were not able to make changes to item 9.2 of the report regarding Azerbaijan. "Except Armenia, 46 Council of Europe member-countries again recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," Seyidov underlined.

According to Seyidov, in general, it can be considered that the PACE spring session was successful for AzerbaijanAccording to Seyidov, in general, it can be considered that the PACE spring session was successful for

Gultakin Hajjiyeva, a Member of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijan's Parliament), Member of the Azerbaijani Parliamentary Delegation to PACE, has said that the report on prisoners pf war, hostages, and missing person in South Caucasus, prepared by PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe) says that 4600 Azerbaijani citizens have suffered the same fate.

According to her, the report prepared by a Holland Delegate to PACE, Leo Platvoet, analyzes the issue connected with the fate of prisoner of wars and hostages in South Caucasus.

"The report says about international organizations and the disputing parties themselves must directly take their active part to solve this burning issue," stated the Azerbaijani MP.

The Azerbaijani MP considers that the figure cited in the PACE document correspond with the reality. The fact that 4600 Azerbaijanis were captured or missed was proved a long time ago.

"The mentioned document was agreed with the Azerbaijan State Committee for Prisoners of War, Hostages, and Missing Persons, as well as the International Committee of the Red Crescent," stated Mrs. Hajjiyeva.

She also noted that the date on putting the report into discussion would depend on the decision to be taken by the PACE Bureau. If the PACE Bureau makes a corresponding order, then the mentioned document might be introduced to discussion during the forthcoming PACE summer session.

Terrorism ad Islam should not go hand-in-hand in Europe and Muslim countries should destroy such notions. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani foreign minister, made this statement in his opening address at a three-day international conference which began in Baku on 26 April on the role of the media in encouraging tolerance and mutual understanding.

"We show respect for any religion and its values, the minister stated. Azerbaijan has historically been the root of tolerance in the region and the country's leadership pursues the policy of tolerance with respect to other religions and national minorities. Mammadyarov stressed the importance of tolerance and intercourse among civilizations. "Otherwise, peace is impossible in the region. If Islamic countries succeed to establish intercourse with Europe, we will be able to overcome such prejudice, he noted.

The conference has been organized by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The first two days of the forum will consist of two sessions dedicated to challenges, namely problems of mutual understanding and tolerance as a method of mutual understanding and mutual understanding between the state and civil society and education.

In general the meeting is expected to be attended by nearly 150 people, including the Secretary-General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammad and the Foreign Minister of Slovenia, Dmitry Rupel, Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutes and Human Rights, Christian Strohal, High Commissioner of the European Union, Javier Solana and OSCE representative for Freedom of Press, Mikolosh Harashty, representatives from America, Europe, Asia, Muslim countries, as well as high-ranking employees of the world media sources such as CNN, BBC, ITAR-TASS News Agency, newspapers Figaro, the Washington Post, Die Zeit and El Pais, etc.

Novruz Mammadov, the head of the Foreign Relations Department, stated on 26 April that Azerbaijan wants total liberation from Armenian occupation, of both Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding districts.

The comments were made in reply to a statement by the US Ambassador Matthew Bryza, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, who said that major principles of talks envisages the withdrawal and return to Azerbaijan of troops from 5 occupied districts attached to Nagorno-Karabakh, placement of peacekeeping forces and the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced people.

Mammadov said that the Azerbaijan President has, on numerous occasions, stated Azerbaijan's position in this respect which remains unchanged. Despite different statements by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Azerbaijan retains its position on the liberation of its occupied territory, he stated.

The Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, stated on 26 April that in the near future, security talks, which had been ceased due to changes to the provisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, will be re-established with the USA.

Mammadyarov stressed that this was a positive step, but added that if the State Department continues to make such changes to its reports, then its results will be unknown.

Ann Derse, the U. S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, has stated today that U. S. A. acknowledges Nagorno-Karabakh as a part of Azerbaijan.

Answering questions put by Azerbaijani journalists concerning moving an amendment into the report on human rights for 2006, prepared by the U. S. State Department, the American diplomat said that U. S. realized how sensible this issue had been to both the Azerbaijani authorities and people. "No changes have not been in the U. S. position toward the Nagorno-Karabakh issues. We acknowledge the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and being one of the OSCE Minsk Co-Chair states, we realize the importance of this mission in the resolution of this conflict," stressed Mrs. Derse.

"The changes in the Romanian political structure will not affect relations between Romania and Azerbaijan," reported the former President of Romania, Ion Iliescu, who held this position for three terms, informed Trend.

According to Iliescu, presently the events occurring in Romania are linked with the Constitutional rules regarding the regulation of relations between the President, the Government and Parliament. "We have different rules. Unlike Azerbaijan, the Government of Romania is appointed not by the President, but by Parliament. The Constitutional Court is independent and the judges of the Constitutional Court are not appointed by the President. The Romanian President has violated the constitutional rules and tension has been observed in the Country for over two years," he said.

On 19 April a joint meeting of both Parliament chambers made a decision to dismiss the President of Romania, Trayan Basesku, from his position. Until the pre-schedule presidential elections, the responsibilities of the State Head in Romania will be fulfilled by the Chairman of the Senate, Nikolai Bekeroyu.

According to the law of Romania, when the President of the Country violates constitutional rules, the Parliament has the right to remove him/her from his/her position for a month. Thereafter, a referendum is organized and the people decide the destiny of the President. Presently such a referendum is being organized in the Country. The referendum will take place on 19 May.

Iliescu said that he does not intend to put forward his candidature again as it is contrary to the Constitution of Romania. According to the law, the President has the right to be elected for two terms.

Casey, Deputy Spokesman for the US Department of States has recently stated at a White House briefing that the US policy on Nagorno-Karabakh has not changed.

"Certainly nothing in the Human Rights Report should be interpreted as differing from that longstanding policy. In the Human Rights Report, as well as in all of our documents, we try and be as accurate and as factual as we can. Certainly, we are fallible. But again, with respect to this issue, the policies remain the same and I think that's the main point," he stated.                                                                   

On 6 March the US Department of State issued its Human Rights Practices Report, which indicated the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 districts attached to it by Armenia. However, on 20 April the formulation indicating the fact of occupation of Armenia was changed.

The Azerbaijani officials insisted on the necessity to inject changes to their incorrect statement and to cement this Baku delayed its visit to Washington to discuss security issues.

On 25 April the US Department of State restored the initial version of the report.

Ion Iliesku, Ex-President of Romania stated on 27 April that in future Azerbaijan can enter the European Union (EU).

Iliesku said that the major factor is the existence of necessary pre-conditions in Azerbaijan for entrance to the EU and it could make possible Azerbaijan's membership at the EU in future.

Religious issue should not be considered while entrance to the EU and it can be a dominating one. Citing Albania as an example, ex-President stressed as a Muslim country it can soon enter the EU. The same can be said about Turkey," Iliseku emphasized.

Iliesku arrived in Baku to participate in a conference "The Role of Media in Tolerance and Mutual Understanding".

"The statement by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, of a possible deferment by Russia to implement the Agreement on Limitation of Armed Forces in Europe (ALAFE) is certainly a means to put pressure to resolve this issue, but not a plan envisaging total armament," Russian politician, Head of the Political and Economic Department of Kommersant newspaper, Azer Mursaliyev, reported. Recently in his annual message to the Federal Assembly of Russia, Putin described it as practical for Russia to announce a deferment in implementing the ALAFE.

Answering the question on the impact of the deferment on the South Caucasus region, Mursaliyev said that this situation deals with not only the south but also the north. "One of the serious pretensions of Russia to the West is that part of the new NATO member-countries, particularly the Baltic countries, should not sign this agreement," he stressed. Answering the question on the possible impact of the deferment to expand Russia's military participation in Armenia, Mursaliyev replied. " Russia has already been widely represented in Armenia, what is next? If Russia decides to expand its military participation in Armenia, it will be made without either leaving or joining ALAFE".

ALAFE was signed by States of Warsaw States and NATO in 1990. The agreement is attended by 28 countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Dania, Island, Spain, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxemburg, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Czechia), including USA and Canada.

"It needs to change the wrongly propagated image of Islam in the world," said the ex-Speaker of Supreme Assembly of Turkey, Hikmet Chetin, who is on a visit to Baku to attend the conference 'Role of media in developing tolerance and mutual understanding'.

He said that over the long years, especially after the terror act in New York on 11 September 2001, the wrong approach to Islam is increasing every day a result of the activities of terror organizations such as Al Kaida, Taliban, etc. "The terror is only terror and has not religion. The fight against terrorism is a general process which should absolutely be implemented. Unfortunately, it leads to a wrong understanding regarding Islam," Chetin added.

According to him, the conference in Baku can not resolve this problem radically. He stressed that the key responsibility to release Islam from the wrong image falls on Muslim countries, as well as scientific workers.

Speaking of the role of the press in this process, Chetin stressed that the press possesses great power in organizing and directing public processes. "In addition to freedom, the press should take responsibility. Everything can not be explained as freedom of speech. It needs to act attentively because sometimes the freedom may disturb somebody's faith or insult religion. It is necessary to avoid actions that may jeopardize lives of people," he concluded.

Marat Tajin, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister, has said during the briefing followed the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of CIS Member-States that issues connected with reforming CIS have been discussed during the mentioned event being held today in the Kazakhstan Capital of Astana.

"The Commonwealth is presently experiencing the period of step-by-step reforming in order to fully comply with the status of a dynamic and high-professional organization, which will meet all present-day requirements and challenges," explained Mr. Tajin. According to him, during the mentioned meeting, its participants discussed works carried out to fulfill orders made by CIS Countries' Heads on reforming CIS, as well as made a decision on holding the next regular meeting of the Interstate Working Group for Preparation for the Project on the Conception of the Further Development of CIS on May 3-4, 2007.

"Last year, the Head of our State, Noursultan Nazarbayev, put forward a programme on further reforming of CIS, and we hope that after the meeting and discussion are held on May 3-4, the final reading of this Conception will be submitted to the Heads of CIS Member-States, during their forthcoming meeting to be held in Minsk in June, 2007," said the Kazakhstan Prime-Minister.

The Minister also said that the agenda of the present meeting had covered a rather wide spectrum of issues concerning further coordination among CIS Countries as a whole, particularly in the field of humanitarian, military, and defence cooperation, as well as educational and cultural spheres. He also said that a dozen of issues to be put forward to discussion during the forthcoming meeting of Prime-Ministers of CIS Member-States to be held in the Ukrainian Southern Resort City of Yalta May, 2007 as well

In addition, the participants prepared a project of recommendations on elaborating international agreements Most part of the issues discussed were referred to military and defense cooperation among CIS countries, particularly, the participants of the event made a decision on the issue on coordination of the Frontier Services of CIS countries at emerging and eliminating crisis and emergency situations along CIS borders.

The Council of Foreign Ministers of CIS Member-States has approved a decision on foundation an Institute for Re-Training and Improving the Professional Skills of the republic of Belarus as a basic organization of CIS member-States on teaching, training, and re-training staff in the area of emergency situations. At the same time, the Kazakhstan Financial Police Academy and Russian Economic Security Academy has gained the status of a basic organization on preparation, training, and re-training of staff for CIS countries' financial investigation bodies.

Notably, the next regular meeting of Foreign Ministers of CIS Member-Sates is expected to be held in Dushanbe in October, 2007.

Nagorno-Karabakh

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs from Russia, the United States and France have issued a statement in Belgrade on the results of the meeting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers, Elmar Mammadyarov and Vartan Oskanian.

A document released by the OSCE Baku Office states that the talks focused on major principles in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which was proposed by the mediators.

The co-chairs noted that the parties are driving the process closer to the point where it has progressed to discussions involving the Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Robert Kocharian.

The co-chairs will visit the region in May and hold talks with both Presidents so as to organize additional meetings. The mediators are certain that the meeting will accomplish major issue principles and instigate the development of the overall agreement which will pave the way towards long-term peace and stability in the region.

The co-chairs have underlined the importance by the Azerbaijan and Armenian leaders for peace amongst both countries and call on taking measures to assist in establishing that confidence.

The expression - "Armenian Forces still occupy most of Azerbaijani lands adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh" has been used in a report for 2006, prepared by the US State Department, concerning the human rights situation worldwide.

In his written appeal to the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Nizami Bahmanov, the Head of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh evaluated the phrase used in the report as a vivid disregard to the violation of the rights of more than 62,000 Azerbaijanis of the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mr Bahmanov considers that the change in the position of the USA, the world's key to human rights, under the influence of Armenian organizations sponsoring Armenian terrorism, means America doubt the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. "We can understand and admit it as their support to the Armenian separatist regime. The Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh insists that the USA, being a OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair ought to keep its position fair towards the issue, and leave the first reading of the report unchanged," says Mr Bahmanov in his appeal to USA.

Notably, Armenia occupies 20% of Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 and up to now, all these territories have been under the occupation of Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement that put an end to active battles and hostilities in Azerbaijan's breakaway region and surrounding territories. However, Armenian separatist has founded their own imaginary regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an integral part of Azerbaijan.

Press Secretary to the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, Jonathan Henick, said on 23 April that the USA hopes for prompt re-establishment of negotiations with Azerbaijan regarding security. He stressed that cooperation with Azerbaijan with regards to security is one of the priorities of US policy. Henick said that at present the Governments of Azerbaijan and the United Stated are continuing negotiations regarding changes made to the provisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The American diplomat said that the position of the USA on the Nagorno-Karabakh remains unchanged and occupied territories, including the Nagorno-Karabakh, are recognized as territories belonging to Azerbaijan.

Taking into consideration the changes to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Azerbaijani Government postponed a visit of the Azerbaijani delegation to Washington for bilateral security talks, scheduled for April 23-24. The delegation was to include high level officials from the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergencies, Ministry of National Security, Interior Ministry, Border Service, Customs Committee and Special Protection Service.

On 26 April the divisions of the Armenian Armed Forces fired with machine guns at the Azerbaijani army in the occupied Shykhlar village of Agdam District of Azerbaijan from 00:15 to 00:35 and from the Javahirli village of Agdam from 04:20 to 04:45

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that the Armenian armed divisions also violated the ceasefire regime in Mazamli village of Gazakh village.

The Azerbaijan army retaliated and no injuries were sustained.

George W. Bush, the President of U. S. A. did not use the word - "genocide" again during his annual message to the Congress held on April 24. He once more prefered using the folowing expresion - "We honour the memory of victims of one of the largest tragedies of 20 century, when almost 1.5 mln. Armenians died during the last years of the existing of the Ottoman Empire, when many of them became victims of massacres and forcible resettlement".

Asim Mollazadeh, the Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party, considers that this step taken by President Bush spoke about the fact that U. S. perfectly realized that the country's acknowledging the so-called "genocide" might seriously blow on cooperation with the American strategic partner - Turkey.

Therefore, as compared with the position of some American congressmen, the position of the U. S. Administration has always based upon the national interests of U. S. A only.

Touching making alterations to the human rights report prepared by the U. S. State Department, Mr. Mollazadeh said that it should not affect mutual strategic relations between Azerbaijan and U. S. A , since we were strategic partners. According to him, the attempt to organize a campaign on one's own and use this fact was the key role in the issue on making changes into this report.

The behavior and actions taken by the Armenian Acting Foreign Minister, Vardan Oskanian was a vivid example to it. Mr. Oskanian has always tried to play this event as a possibility of Armenia's political influence on taking decisions both in the U. S. State Department and America as a whole.

The Chairman of the Azerbaijani Party notes that as a result of all these, Mr. Oskanian has achieved a counter result by his behavior, and U. S. A. once more stated that they acknowledge the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

However, a political analyst, Zardusht Alizadeh considers that the American ultimate goal is to redeem Armenia from Russia. "Official Washington states that it acknowledges the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but we should base upon the facts, not words," considers Mr. Alizadeh. According to him, America financially, morally, as well as politically, psychologically, and militarily maintains Armenia.

Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani foreign minister, stated during talks with journalists on 26 April that, although there are still serious problems pending, talks on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh have reached a stage where major principles have been settled.

Azerbaijan remains loyal to the liberation of the occupied territory. "We understand that this is impossible to achieve in one day and we working step-by-step," the minister stressed.

"The peacekeeping forces should be placed in the liberated areas and communication should be restored. Kelbejer and Lachin should be liberated unequivocally, because they are, like the other occupied districts Agdam, Jabrayil etc., under occupation," the minister stated.

Mammadyarov noted that the Azerbaijani population should return to liberated regions. "Next we can discuss the status of Nagorno-Karabakh," the minister stressed.

New changes have been made to the provisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the initial 2006 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. After the protest of Azerbaijan, the sentence 'Armenian Armed Forces occupies large part of Azerbaijani territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh' was replaced with a sentence 'Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories'. The politicians of Azerbaijan comment on this issue.

Former State Consultant, Politician Vafa Guluzade considers that irrespective of the expressions in the report, the position of the United States regarding Nagorno-Karabakh is clear and unanimous. "The USA wants Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be resolved in favor of Armenia. However, the USA recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan because all gentlemen countries support and respect the territorial integrity of other countries. At the same time, the USA and other European countries try that Azerbaijan itself denies Nagorno-Karabakh. In this case, they will be innocent before Azerbaijan in this issue," Guluzade said.

According to him, it needs to consider as faults the repeat changes to the report of the Department of State.

The Chairman of Democratic Reforms Party, Parliamentarian Asim Mollazade, approaches the issue from the point of view of US-Azerbaijan strategic partnership. He thinks that the Department of State's objective changes to its report result from the issue that the USA supports the international legal norms and recognizes the importance of Azerbaijan in the region. "Therefore, I assess this event as a demonstration of the development prospects of the US-Azerbaijan partnership and friendship relations. It is already the second document. Before the US Department of State, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted documents on the base of the international law. If all international organizations demonstrate such fair position, Armenia may be forced to change its policy and peace may be achieved," Mollazade underlined.

Other politician Rasim Musabeyov assesses the objective changes in the report as an indicator of Azerbaijan's strategic importance for the USA. Musabeyov considers that the issue that American senior officials and Assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Byrza, refute the fact that the initial variant of the report has been changed under the influence of the Armenian lobby testifies his insincerity. "After this, the Armenians may become more active, but in any cases, the Department of State will not make changes by getting itself into a funny situation. On the other hand, unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan has not financial dependence on the USA," he said.

Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven Districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended.

Robert Kocharian, Armenia's President, has stated during today's meeting with students of the Yerevan State University that the next meeting between his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev and him is expected to be held in St. Petersburg on 10 June, 2007, Trend reports referring to PanARMENIAN.

"The last meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries was held under a more composed atmosphere and some optimistic statements were made." admitted the Armenian President.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that on 26 April the divisions of the Armenian Armed Forces fired at the Azerbaijani Army using machine guns from their positions 1.5km southwest of Javahirli village of Agdam district of Azerbaijan, from 18:20 to 18:30 hours. On the same day the Armenian forces located in 4.8km of Zengishal village of Agdam fired at the Azerbaijani army from 20:30 to 21: 00 hours

No injuries were sustained.

In compliance with the mandate of the special representative and active chairman of the OSCE, monitoring was held nearby Tapgaragoyunlu village of Geranboy region on 27 April. There were no incidents.

The OSCE representatives met with the head of the Geranboy Region Executive Power, Novruz Novruzov. During the meeting Novruzov informed the representatives that due to the break in the ceasefire by the Armenians, buildings and schools situated on the contact line were damaged.

From the Azerbaijan side, monitoring will be done by the assistants of the OSCE active chairman, Pieter Ky and Jaslan Nurtazin and from the Armenian side the monitoring will be done by Imre Palatinus and Miroslav Vimetal

Geranboy region is situated 320km far away from Baku.

POLITICAL MOVEMENTS

The Deputy Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP), Novruz Mammadov, said on 23 April that the party confirmed its strategy of action regarding the forthcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan.

He stressed that within the party, 500 voters will be represented by one observer in the polling stations 500-1,000 voters by two observers and for more than 1,000 voters there will be three observers. According to Novruzov, the members of NAP who will be represented in the polling stations will pass training sessions attended by the international organizations. Mammadov said that at present the party has begun to prepare the election plan.

Alimammad Nuriyev, the co-ordinator of the Information and Co-operation Network of NGOs on Corruption Enforcement, the President of the Constitution research foundation, reported on 23 April that corruption in Azerbaijan had taken root in public administration, law enforcement, the judicial system, as well as educational, healthcare and transport fields. He noted that the state program on corruption enforcement for 2004-2006 provides for 145 items (arrangements). According to the estimations, 17.25% of them have definitely not been observed, 15.87% mainly observed, 12.4% partially observed, and 54.48% completely observed.

Not observed means that the items were not fulfilled at all and no arrangements for their fulfillment were made. Mainly observed means that despite a certain success, the goal was not achieved during the fulfillment. Partially observed mean that a part of the arrangements was implemented and first steps in the implementation of the program was made. Completely observed means that all items of the program were fully implemented.

Nuriyev added that over 15 legal standard regulations had been developed for the implementation of the arrangements. He said that significant progress in the creation of institutional basis for corruption enforcement had been achieved during the last two years. The departments on corruption crimes investigation have been established at the Commission on Corruption Enforcement, Corruption Enforcement Department at the Prosecutor General's Office, and the Central Department on Fighting Organized Crime of the Interior Ministry.

Sardar Jalaloghlu, the head of the Congress organizing Committee of the Azerbaijani Democratic Party (ADP), was proposed as chairmanship of the party.

Jalaloghlu was nominated during the conference held within the framework of preparations for the congress in Imishli and Astara regions.

Jalaloghlu stated that during the congress he will be proposed for the chairmanship of the party. "There are five or six persons in the ADP capable of ruling the party. However, I believe they will nominate themselves for other positions," he noted. In compliance with the decision of the ADP the candidates must be registered beforehand.

The chairman of the Citizens and Development Party (CDP), Ali Aliyev, reported on 24 April that the Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice would consider the registration of the party.

Members of the party Bullur Humbatov and Aflatun Guliyev recently met with representatives of the Ministry.

According to Humbatov, the representatives said that preparation of the documents for registration had been completed.

"The representatives of the Ministry of Justice stated that the CDP should wait for its turn in registration. As soon as the time comes the matter will be resolved at the earliest possible date," Aliyev said.

Aliyev added that the party is ready to wait and is not going to apply to court.

Right-wing CDP was founded by the former chairman of the National Independence of Azerbaijan Party, Ali Aliyev, in 2006. Along with the CDP, the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party and the Azerbaijani Liberal Party the organization is a member of the bloc Azadlig.

The head of the Azerbaijani Jews Community, Misha Bekker, reported on 24 April, during the meeting held in Ataturk Centre in Baku organized by the World Azerbaijanis Congress, that in 1918 the Armenians committed genocide against all nationalities residing in Azerbaijan.

He noted that as a result of research held by the Institute on Human Rights of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), the facts regarding the genocide had been traced in the archives. In 1918, the Armenians slaughtered some 3,000 Jews residing in Azerbaijan. Eye-witnesses at the event provided data on this occasion. MP Ganira Pashayeva noted that the descriptions of the Armenian vandalism provided by elderly persons residing in different Azerbaijani regions coincided with historical facts. Mass burials found in Guba and Neftchala are indispensable historical items of evidence proving the genocide of the Azerbaijani people committed in the beginning of 1918. Pashyeva added that the Armenians constantly increase the number of victims of the fictitious Armenian people's genocide.

The dean of the History faculty at the Baku State University, Sani Hajiyev, noted that in April 1915, Talat Pasha was informed of the secret gatherings of the Armenian groups residing in the Eastern Anatolia. He issued a 6-item decree to resettle 300,000 Armenians to other parts of Turkey. Politicians and historians consider the decision to be very reasonable.

The very Armenians, who committed genocide all over Azerbaijan (March 1918) and in Khojaly region of Azerbaijan (1992) have groundless accusation against Turkey.

The Armenian armed forces occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani territory (Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 nearby regions) in 1992. As a result of the occupation, some 1mln Azerbaijanis became refugees and 10,000 died in the conflict.

According to official statistical data of Turkey and Britain, some 300,000 Armenians resided in turkey in 1915. The decree issued by Talat Pasha on 24 April, 1915, established the re-settlement of 300,000 Armenians from one part of the country to another.

The data was provided on 24 April during a meeting held in the Ataturk Centre and organized by the World Congress of Azerbaijanis (WCA). Professor Nizami Jafarov, the director of the centre, reported that the re-settlement of the Armenian population residing in Eastern Anatolia to other territories of Turkey in 1915 was a great concession of the most neutral and equitable ruler of those times for the Armenians. The groups, which betrayed the country, had to be neutralized or liquidated in a peaceful way. Turkey decided to remove the Armenians from one settlement to another part of the country. The decision should be considered a humanistic deed of the government.

Jabi Bahramov, the deputy director of the History Institute at the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, noted in his report that according to official statistics and archive documents, the number of Armenians that died in Turkey from 1914-1917 due to different reasons (war, diseases) comprised of 302,000. This fact disproves the statement of Armenians of the slaughter of 1.5mln Armenian people in April, 1915.

Armenian groups killed over 600 Turks in 1915.

Azadlyg Bloc urged that the electoral commissions of Azerbaijan should be formed of the representative from 5 parties, including the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, and the opposition Musavat, the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, the Liberal Party, and the Democratic Party.

The Commission on State Arrangements and Law at the Azadlyg bloc have developed a draft law on inclusion of changes and amendments into the Election Code of Azerbaijan.

The bloc suggests forming the Central Election Commission of the parties that took part in the latest presidential elections with candidates collecting 1% of the votes in total.

The Chairman of Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP), Ayaz Rustamov, said that the party has prepared an appeal to the international organizations.

The appeal states that ANIP has been working without an office space for a long time. The appeal mentions the ANIP's history, how they were evicted from their office, as well as the positive response it received from the State to provide an office.

The deputy chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) its executive secretary, Ali Ahamdov, met with the Ambassador of Moldova to Azerbaijan, Ion Robu, on 26 April.

The ambassador was informed on the foundation of the NAP and its role in the public and political life of the country.

The relationships between the two countries, development prospects, and the role of the Organization for Democracy and Development - GUAM ( Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) in the implementation of regional projects aiming at settlement of both countries' conflicts were discussed at the meeting.

The NAP was founded in 1992 in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The first chairman of the party was the late ex-president Heydar Aliyev. At present the party is headed by the President of Azerbaijan Republic, Ilham Aliyev.

An attempt by members of the Party of National Independence of Azerbaijan to hold a demonstration in front of the office of the Iranian Embassy in Baku was dispersed.

Today, on April 27, a group of activists belonging to the Azerbaijani Party and armed with placards and slogans attempted to approach the Iranian Embassy in the Azerbaijani capital. "Put an End to Repressions and Insulting!", "Mother Tongue Will Not Be Wiped Off!", "Freedom to Political Prisoners!", "Chauvinism - Real Threat to Humanity!" were the major slogans.

However, the path was blocked by policemen near the school close to the Embassy and the demonstrators were not allowed access to the front of the Iranian Embassy. Five participants of the unauthorized action were detained by police and sent to Police Station 9 of Sabayil District of Baku City.

Opposition Party of National Independence of Azerbaijan protested against numerous violations of the rights of Azerbaijanis living in Iran, repressions against activists of the National Movement of South Azerbaijan, as well as different obstacles and barriers the Iran authorities had introduced against the development of the Azerbaijani language in this country.

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