Political review of the last week (30.07 - 04.08.2007)

Official chronicle

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was awarded an honorary doctorate in political sciences from the University of Jordan. The university degree was presented to Azeri President during a special function on 29 July attended Chief Chamberlain Prince Raed Bin Zeid, Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit and senior government officials.President Aliyev, who arrived in Amman earlier on the day in an official visit to Jordan, paid tribute to the advanced level Jordan has accomplished in the field of education under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II."King Abdullah has made from Jordan an oasis of security and stability despite the turbulent events in the region, said the Azeri President, who also outlined stages of development in his country including the implementation of economic, political and social reform plans.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who made an official visit to Jordan, stated in Amman his support to peace and prosperity in all Islamic countries, the Jordanian media reports. "We would like to see peace and prosperity prevail in all Islamic countries and we would like to contribute to strengthening cooperation and solidarity between Muslim countries," he said."We are truly interested in what is happening in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other areas in the Middles and we also have our own problems with Armenia which still occupies part of our territories for more than a decade. "About 20 per cent of our land is still under occupation; there has been ethnic cleansing against the Azeri people. About one million of our population are now displaced and this a big problem for us and for the entire region," the Azerbaijani President alarmed. As for Iran, it is a neighboring state and we have good relations based on mutual respect and noninterference in each other's affairs." We have no problems with Iran. On the contrary, Iran is a partner to us and we have great economic cooperation with this country, he said. He noted that Iran's nuclear crisis with the west should be settled peacefully.

On 31 July the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, issued an order approving National Strategy on Increasing of Transparency and Fighting against Corruption to continue measures against the corruption, improve normative and legal base and institutional mechanisms, increase transparency in State and self-governance bodies and implement State policy in this sphere. The Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan is in charge of the issues arising from the order.

Preventing arms sales to Armenia by Albania is assessed as a sample for Azerbaijan's growing international image, said the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on 1 August at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan. A relevant decision was made by the Government of Albania after the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan forwarded a protest letter. During a 31 July conversation with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov and Luis Basha, the Foreign Minister of Albania, Basha said that the Government of Albania did not permit the selling of arms to Armenia. Basha stressed that the relations between Azerbaijan and Albania are significant within international organizations. In his speech, Ilham Aliyev once again stressed that the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may be settled only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. He said that he will be continuing paying special attention to army establishment in the region. In addition, the State Head underlined that the tent camps settled by the internally displaced persons who were expelled from their native lands as a result of Armenian occupation will be liquidated by the end of the year.

The expansion of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Greece in the political and economic spheres is necessary, Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev stated on 2 August during a reception for the Greek delegation headed by the Greek Development Minister, Dimitris Sioufas, at the President's Palace. The Head of the Azerbaijani State expressed confidence that the current visit of the Greek Development Minister would provide a strong impetus for further development of cooperation both at bilateral and regional levels. Dimitris Sioufas extended the greetings of Greek President, Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister, Konstantions Karamanlis to the Azerbaijan President, stressing the importance of the Memo signed during the visit. "This historical agreement will open new opportunities in Greek-Azerbaijani relations," he underscored.

The prospects of energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States of America were discussed in Baku on 2 August by the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Bryza. During the meeting, the two parties discussed the current situation and prospects of future cooperation. According to the information provided by the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, on 2 August, Bryza held meetings in Baku with the representatives of US companies functioning in Azerbaijan and senior officials of the Azerbaijan Government. Bryza plans to hold a meeting at the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan on 2 August.

FOREIGN POLICY

" Europe can establish its own union, its own non-visa zone, but why can't the Turkic speaking countries?" Azerbaijani independent politician, Vefa Guluzadeh, stated while commenting on the decision of the Turkish Government which has introduced a non-visa system in with several Turkic-speaking countries ( Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan). The non-visa system is available only for citizens entering Turkey for a period less than 30 days. The order of the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers was published in the Official Newspaper ( Turkey). According to the politician, stimulation of relationships between Azerbaijan and Turkey can be favourable for both countries which have a lot to learn from each other. The non-visa system will intensify cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkic-speaking countries, he said. This step will enable Turkey to become a more active country of the region, the politician said. "It is obvious that Turkey will not be admitted into the EU. That was a game. Turkey understands that very well. Therefore, for Turkey to establish a Turkic-speaking union in Central Asia and Caucasus, I feel this may be the correct way and it should be taken," Guluzadeh noted. Despite the decision of the Turkish Government to remove the non-visa system with Azerbaijan, Baku has no intentions to do the same for Turkey, according to the spokesman for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Khazar Ibrahim. According to him, the decision was made independently and it is not obligatory for Azerbaijan to do the same.

The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan has reported that another member of the US Congress intends to support Azerbaijan. As known a Working Group on Azerbaijan functions in the House of Representatives of the US Congress. The Foreign Ministry states that on 25 July another congressman, member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Europe of the International Relations Committee and Committee on Armed Forces, Jo Wilson, joined the Working Group. There are now 20 congressmen participating in the Working Group on Azerbaijan in the House of Representatives of the US Congress.

Novruz Mammadov, the head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Azerbaijani President's Executive Power, stated in Amman on 30 July that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Jordan is valuable from the aspect of close relations between the two countries, Trend Special Correspondent reports from Jordan. Among other South Caucasus countries Jordan is mostly interested in expanding relations with Azerbaijan. "The visit is significant from the aspect of defining the ways of realizing these goals," Mammadov noted.

The period of the monitoring by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Azerbaijan depends on the level of development in the Country, Council of Europe's position on situation in the Country and general process of the monitoring, said the member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE, MP Aydin Mirzazade. "There is not a concrete answer to this question. Ceasing monitoring of PACE in Azerbaijan may encourage other countries to require ceasing such monitoring," the MP said. According to Mirzazade, Azerbaijan does not see any problems in the process of monitoring and is prepared to answer questions. He said that the main fact is not to cease monitoring, but present realities of Azerbaijan to the attention of PACE and international community.

Jan Khaichzhou, the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan, stated on 31 July that by the end of the year representatives from China's authorities will visit Azerbaijan. The Chinese Ambassador will tour Beijing at the end of the week in order to define concrete dates for the visit. Khaichzhou also noted that the Azerbaijani military sector will attend training sessions in China. "We plan to strengthen the cooperation with Azerbaijan in the military sector and hold an exchange of experience," the Ambassador.

A conversation took place between the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov and Albania, Luis Basha, on 31 July, the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan reported. During the conversation, Basha assured his Azerbaijani colleague that the Government of Albania did not permit MEIKO Company to sell arms to Armenia. He said that the contract has been annulled and arms will not be sent to Armenia. The Albanian Minister particularly highlighted multilateral relations between Albania and Azerbaijan. Mammadyarov was satisfied with the response of his Albanian colleague.

The Russian Secretary of State, and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin and the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Yuri Merzlakov (Russia), Bernard Facie (France), and Mathew Bryza (United States), as well as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office's Personal Representative on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Andrzej Kasprzyk (Poland) held subject consultations in Moscow on 1 August. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the current issues on the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group's Co-Chairmen regarding settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the direction of OSCE's further efforts in the settlement of the conflict, were discussed at the meeting.

A number of project documents are being devised to be ready for signing for the upcoming official visit of Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, to Kazakhstan, on 7-8 August. "Three or four significant documents will be signed. The first one is a joint declaration between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan," said the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan, Latif Gandilov, on 1 August. In addition, both parties are preparing the project of agreement on cooperation between the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan and the TV Company of Kazakhstan, as well as a protocol on amendments and annexes to the agreement between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan on extradition of persons sentenced to imprisonment. Further an agreement on regulation of the financial market will be signed between the Committees on Securities of the two countries. In addition, the two sides are devising documents regarding the oil and gas sector. "In regards to the Memorandum on the Caspian transport system and transport agreement to connect Kazakhstan to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the oil specialists of the two countries are working on it. I cannot say if they will be completing the document until the visit," Gandilov said. The Ambassador believes that the upcoming meetings of the two leaders in Astana will promote relations. "The relations between the two countries have been developing dynamically over the recent period and the upcoming meetings of the two State Heads should assist in propelling them into a new stage. Our positions coincide on many international issues, particularly in defining the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Over the period of independency of the two countries, a rich legal base has been established, including more than eighty Inter-Governmental agreements have been signed," Gandilov said. He stressed that energy, transport, and agriculture are the key spheres for active cooperation between the two countries. "These are base spheres that define the character of our relations. The first plan includes exact transport relations from the point of view of globalization tendencies. The TRACECA project assumes great importance for integrating West into East," he said.

High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, Dr. Javier Solana, believes that granting Kosovo independence cannot be a precedent for separatist regimes in different countries, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region. "The Kosovo issue is a special case that cannot be compared to any other region," Solana said in an interview for Trend. According to him, there is the historical context of Yugoslavia's violent and non-consensual break-up, as well as the massive violence and repression that took place in Kosovo in the period up to and including 1999. There is also the unique situation of the extended period of international administration under the UN resolution 1244, where Kosovo has basically been run by UNMIK since 1999. These specifics have been acknowledged by the Contact Group, which also includes Russia. Solana said that it is regrettable that an agreement could not be reached within the United Nations Security Council. "I think that the best way forward now is to give negotiations another chance. This is also what the EU ministers agreed at their meeting on 23 July. But I want to be clear on the fact that these negotiations should not be open-ended. There should be a time limit of more or less 120 days," the Commissar emphasized. "I would therefore appeal to Belgrade and Pristina to engage actively and constructively in this final round of negotiations. The EU wants to move this process forward and find a lasting solution to the Kosovo status. We are determined to remain united on this issue in support of European interests, notably the stability and prosperity and European future of the Balkans," Solana stated.

Gazprom does not plan to reconsider the tariffs for the gas delivery to the CIS countries in upcoming years. Currently the price condition has have not been established for Ukraine, but the physical and volume and balance of the gas have been specified. The price will depend on the gas prices in Central Asia, said the Press Secretary of Gazprom, Sergey Kupriyanov. "This year, our gas for Georgia has been defined in amount of $235. Currently it is difficult to say how the volume of gas supply will be this year because it depends on the supplies from Azerbaijan," he said.

Political movements

The election staff of the Azerbaijani Umid party was formed due to the intentions of the Chairman of the Party, Igbal Aghazadeh, to participate in the presidential elections to be held next year in Azerbaijan, Aghazadeh reported. According to Aghazadeh, the staff has already proceeded to work on the preparations for the upcoming presidential elections. The Party completed its first stage of preparations and began the implementation of the program in the second stage. The program including the election campaign of Aghzadeh, meetings with the population, election platform and other issues has been developed.

The attitude of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP), the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), and the Musavat party towards the Union for Democracy (UFD) will be reciprocal, the chairman of the Classic Popular Front Party (CPFP) represented in the UFD, Mirmahmud Miralioghlu, stated. The UFD has recently criticized several opposition parties, blamed the ADP, the APFP, the Musavat and other parties, which call themselves the 'leading opposition', in slander. Furthermore, the statement of the union indicated that the aforementioned parties were independent from foreign patrons and served their own interests. Miralioghlu noted that the union had no problems with those organizations. According to him, that is only a response to the statements of the functionaries of the parties regarding the UFD. "We have closed the issue. If we experience a good attitude from them, we will extend a helping hand. Otherwise, we will respond the same," Miralioghlu added. The chairman of the CPFP mentioned that at the end of the statement the UFD called upon all parties to put aside their disagreements and to unite in the struggle for national interests. "The Union is expecting an unbiased position from the opposite side," he said.

MP Igbal Agazadeh, the Chairman of the Umid Party, stated on 30 July that the Party had developed a draft on the changes and supplements in the Election Code and submitted it to the political parties and representatives of international organizations. The draft proposes to form the Central Election Commission equally, 9 members of the ruling party and 9 members of opposition parties. Agazadeh stated that the formation of the Election Commission from representatives of the parties, which represented at the latest Parliamentary elections on the principle of equality, was the most favorable alternative. "We propose to elect 9 representatives from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and Ana Vatan Party and 9 representatives from the opposition Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, National Independent Party of Azerbaijan, Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, Liberal Party, Citizen and Development Party, Musavat and Umid parties, which attended the latest Parliamentary elections," Agazadeh said. The MP added that the Party's draft proposal will be submitted to the corresponding commissions of Parliament as soon as the autumn Parliament session begins. The Party will hold discussions in September. Agazadeh will also take part in the discussions of the Election Code and meetings with the participation of international organizations and the Azerbaijani Government, which will be held in Baku. Agazadeh considers the draft proposal developed by Azadlyg bloc to be unacceptable. Azadlyg had proposed that the Election Commission be formed from the New Azerbaijan Party, National Independent Party of Azerbaijan, Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Democratic Party, Liberal Party and Musavat. According to the MP, the proposal of Azadlyg is unacceptable. Agazadeh believes the candidates cannot gain votes if they will not unite within the parties, in particular Azadlyg unites three parties -DPA, PFPA and Musavat, and New Policy - SDPA, LPA, NIPA. "The parliamentary elections were not held in proportional conditions. The juridical base of the proposal of the Azadlyg party does not correspond to the reality of the present," MP noted.

In August the Consultation Board of several opposition parties of Azerbaijan will continue discussions on social-economic problems, said Sardar Jalaloglu, Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) represented in the Board. Established by the Heads of Musavat Party, Tereggi Party, Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Azerbaijan National Independence Party, Azerbaijan Social Democratic Party and independent politician Eldar Namazov, the Consultation Board holds monthly meetings. According to Jalaloglu, the next meeting will be organized by Tereggi Party. "During last meeting, it was decided to seriously analyze the social-economic situation in Azerbaijan. Eldar Namazov was in charge of preparing a report on this topic. The discussions at the next meeting will focus on the report. Possibly concrete decisions will be made, for instance to create an organization for establishing relations with international organizations," Jalaloglu said. The composition of the Consultation Board will not be expanded in the near future. Azadlyg political bloc refused to join the Board and did not accept the invitation to the recent meeting. The ADP Chairman said that the Government and opposition of Azerbaijan incur crises. Jalaloglu consider that conducting consultations under such conditions and adopting programs may be considered certain success. According to Jalaloglu, the Consultation Board will not discuss new political way of ADP to establish dialogue with the Government. "Other political parties also analyze political situation and come to different conclusions. Pluralism should exist in democratic society," Jalaloglu said.

The ambitions of the opposition parties present obstacles to participate in the upcoming presidential elections with a single candidate, said the Chairman of Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP), Ayaz Rustamov. According to him, the opposition leaders can not base their decision. From this point of view, the unified participation of the opposition in the presidential elections is unreal. "ANIP supports to participate with a single candidate in the upcoming elections," he said.

Zardusht Alizadeh, the independent political scientist, considers that the political forces of Azerbaijan and opposition parties try to form election commissions on the base of their own political interests. According to political scientist, the current political atmosphere will not allow to hold democratic elections in the country. "The Government tries forming of election commissions to implement its own plans. Opposition, in its turn, understand that they cannot win at the approaching elections and try to fake up the results of the election, as it was observed in 1992," Alizadeh noted. Alizadeh said that every time the Authorities and opposition charge each other during election process, appeal to international organizations, and perform with different proposals. Alizadeh considers meaningless proposals of opposition parties regarding forming of election commission on parity bases. Opposition parties have no enough skilled stuff and potential to fill almost half of election commissions. "There are not people among opposition parties, who will refuse to take bribery, proposed by the Authorities and to stick to his policy till the end of his position. Due to this reason the proposal of opposition parties about creation of election commission on parity bases is senseless. Neither the Authorities, nor opposition parties have been interested in holding free and fair elections. I believe that guaranty for free and fair elections can be free control over the election process," Alizadeh noted.

The Chairman of the Azerbaijani Democratic Reforms Party (DRP), Asim Mollazadeh, held a roundtable on the subject of 'What GUAM Promises to Azerbaijan?' (the Organization for Economic Development and Democracy - GUAM - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova). Young representatives of political parties, NGOs, and state organizations of Azerbaijan were in attendance. Mollazadeh noted the importance of studying how Azerbaijan wants its youth to develop, how youth stability in Azerbaijan compares to the rest of the world's youth, and in which issues is cooperation of the world's young generation possible. The Chairman of the DRP wants to see the Azerbaijani youth literate, ready for competition, tolerant to different positions, and inclined to development. Mollazadeh listened to the viewpoints and proposals of the representatives of the APFP, Musavat Party, 'No', 'Be', 'Wave', 'Platform of Azerbaijani Youth', and 'Ahead' youth organizations, including the advisor of the Youth and Sports Minister, and students of different universities.

While receiving funds from the State, Azerbaijan NGOs are not permitted to take on any external obligations, but to solely undertake responsibility for implementation of presented projects, the head of the Social and Political Department at the Azerbaijani President's Administration, Ali Hasanov, said in an interview with Trend. He was commenting on the state conception on cooperation with NGOs and their development recently signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. According to Hasanov, regarding other issues, the work of NGOs will be based on the Charter and activity principles of the organizations. From this standpoint, state financing will not restrict the freedom of NGOs. The core of the presidential order consists in the fact that there is no country in the world that can pay equal attention to all fields. The NGOs functioning in different fields seek more operative approaches in resolving problems. The funds establishment of which is stipulated in the presidential order will be a Grant Fund functioning at the expense of different financial resources and will be managed transparently. The key financial resource will be the public budget. "The work in this connection is underway. The financial resources will be indicated in the statute of the fund," Hasanov added. Hasanov said that state financing would not impede the projects implemented by NGOs jointly with international organizations at the expense of the grants. "NGOs are free in their activities. They can take up any activities corresponding with Azerbaijani legislation and national interests," Hasanov clarified. Establishment of a state organization on work with NGOs, what is also stipulated in the presidential order, will give an impetus to develop the third sector. "The internal policy of the Azerbaijani State is intended to strengthen Azerbaijani civil society institutes and to stimulate their activities. The organization will carry out the work in this connection and will fortify the relationships between NGOs and state organizations, it will give an impetus to attract projects in different fields connected with the development of the country," he said. Within two months, the Azerbaijani President's Executive Administration will submit different variants of suggestions on the occasion to the President, Hasanov added. NGOs have been also become attracted to their development.

If the former Health Minister of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov, makes a written appeal for admitting him to Musavat Party, the issue may be discussed in the Divan of the party, said the Chairman of party's Assembly, Sulhaddin Akper. He refuted the information that Insanov has made an appeal for admission to the party. The Leader of Musavat Party, Isa Gambar, said that that he was not aware of the appeal of Insanov. Gambar did not answer how Insanov's admission into the party is real.

Nagorno-Karabakh

On 30 July the President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, received the US Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza and US Charge-d'affaires to Armenia, Rudolf Perin. The meeting focused on the current stage of talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

The Azerbaijani Security Ministry reported on 30 July that the Armenian Armed Forces broke the ceasefire agreement and fired at the Azerbaijani National Armed Forces from their positions located in the south of the occupied village of Shikhlar of Agdam District on 30 July from 02:30 to 02:40 hours. The Azerbaijani National Armed Forces retaliated and no casualties were reported

Armenian Armed Forces again set fire to occupied Azerbaijani territories of Aghdam region approximately at 10:40 p.m. on 29 July. According to the residents of the bordering villages, the arsons lasted by the morning of the next day and mainly covered dry grass pastures in the foothills and mountains of the region. Growing fire was moving towards troops contact line. As a result of the arsons, wild animals and reptiles moved from the occupied territories to the settlements, what caused large damage to agriculture and cattle-breeding.

The co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group are close to a compromise settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the US Co-chairman of the Minsk Group, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Mathew Bryza, reported in Yerevan during his meeting with the Armenian Parliament Speaker, Tigran Torosyan. Speaking on the conflict Bryza focused on three principles of the Conclusion Statement in Helsinki - territorial integrity, free self-determination of the people and the search for compromising options to settle the conflict without resorting to military operations. "The co-chairmen of the Minsk Group are close to a compromise settlement where all three principles of Helsinki are reflected," Bryza said to ARKA agency. According to him, basic principles should be used with the settlement of any conflict. However, he believes it illogical to follow the Kosovo precedent.

The Azerbaijani Security Ministry reported on 30 July that the Armenian Armed Forces broke the ceasefire agreement and fired at the Azerbaijani National Armed Forces from their positions located in the south of the occupied village of Shikhlar of Agdam District on 30 July from 02:30 to 02:40 hours. The Azerbaijani National Armed Forces retaliated and no casualties were reported

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry condemns the so-called 'municipal elections' in the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijan region of Nagorno-Karabakh. "The so-called 'elections' in the occupied Azerbaijani territory contradicts the forms and principles of the international law and the Constitution of Azerbaijan. They will be recognized neither by the members of international community nor by countries. These elections have a negative impact on negotiations on the resolution of the Armenian -Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh," Khazar Ibrahim, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry announced on 1 August. He was commenting on the forthcoming 'municipal elections' scheduled for 14 October. The conflict between two South Caucasus countries broke out in 1988 in face of Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Since 1992, 20% of Azerbaijani territories (Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 nearby regions) have been under occupation by Armenian Armed Forces. In May, 1994 a ceasefire was signed between the sides. The talks under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, France, and the United States are still fruitless. The Central Elections Commission of the so-called "Nagorno Karabakh" has set up arrangements for holding 'elections' to self-government bodies, Armenian media reports.

It would be shameful if the longstanding activities of the OSCE Minsk Group turned out to be fruitless, the US Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, stated in Baku on 2 August. The diplomat said that the parties have to achieve an agreement before the presidential elections of 2008 in Azerbaijan. Bryza again stated that settlement of the conflicts depended on the decisions of the two Presidents. Bryza added that the visits of the representatives of Azerbaijani and Armenian intelligentsia to Nagorno-Karabakh should periodically take place. "A compromise can be achieved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we are approaching that. In order to achieve anything there is a price to be paid for it by the countries," Bryza noted.

The Armenian Armed Forces have been incessantly violating the ceasefire agreement for several days, the spokesman for the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, Eldar Sabiroghlu, reported on 2 August. According to Sabiroghlu, the Armenians regularly open fire on the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. "Unfortunately, Armenia does not observe any international agreements. We have made appeals to international organizations regarding this matter and the organizations were informed of the incessant violation of the Bishkek Protocol on Armenia's ceasefire agreement with us," Sabiroghlu added. He noted that when the OSCE monitors the contact line of Azerbaijani-Armenian troops, Armenia suspends its shelling, but again violates the ceasefire one the monitoring exercises have been completed.

The Armenian captive, Valerie Stepanyan, who is now in Azerbaijan, wants to refuse his Armenian citizenship, said the Press Secretary of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, Eldar Sabiroglu, on 2 August. According to him, Stepanyan fears returning to Armenia. "To our knowledge, due to Stepanyan's position, Armenia's special service began to oppress his family," Sabiroglu said. Stepanyan was taken prisoner by Azerbaijan during his military service in the Armed Forces of Armenia.

Armenian Armed Forces broke the ceasefire agreement and fired at the Azerbaijani National Armed Forces in the directions of Chiragli, Ahmadagali and Sarjali villages of Azerbaijan's Agdam district and Hasangaya village of Azerbaijan's Tartar district on 2 and 3 August. The Azerbaijani National Armed Forces retaliated and no casualties were reported

An Azerbaijani citizen was detained on 2 August by the Armenians whilst trying to pass the Karabakh territory in the north-east direction of the Armenia-Azerbaijani border. The Mediamax of the State Commission of self-proclaimed ' Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' on issues of military captured and missing persons, reported that the soldier did not carry an identity card. He stated his name as Aliyev Anar Marifoglu, 28, and a citizen of the Azerbaijani Terter region. Azerbaijani Defence Ministry has disproved reports on the detention of an Azerbaijani citizen by Armenian Armed Forces. Azerbaijani Armed Forces do not have a military man with such a name and surname, according to the Ministry. On 3 August, International Committee of the Red Cross' representative visited the Azerbaijani citizen being detained by Armenians, who was imprisoned on 2 August in the north-east direction of the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops while he was passing to the Nagorno-Karabakh side. The representative of the Red Cross reported that the physical and psychological state of the prisoner was examined. The results of the examination have not yet been announced. The Committee stated that the Azerbaijani Authorities has been informed about the results of visit. The Committee noted that they also visited the other Azerbaijani man being kept in Nagorno-Karabakh.

All Armenians who are residing in the Azerbaijan occupied district of Lachin must leave the district, said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov, on 3 August commenting on the information that a large part of the Armenian population has already left Lachin. According to Azimov, the Armenians are residing in this territory illegally. "This cannot continue. Azerbaijanis returning to their native land is a principle issue. Those who do not reside in their native land cannot feel comfortable," he said. Azimov stressed that the Azerbaijanis will return to their native land and will be prepared to co-exist peacefully with the Armenians. "However, relevant conditions need to be created for this," Azerbaijani diplomat said.

Araz Azimov, the Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister, stated in Baku on 3 August that Baku does not rule out the sale of arms to Armenia by Russia. Azimov said that the cooperation between Armenia and Russia is at a level of military alliance and they determine issues of defense and military development. He was commenting on the possibility of the Russian arms delivery to Armenia. He did not rule out the realization of any joint policy occupation of between Armenia and Russian, particularly, in the armament policy. In case the announcement turns out to be true, Russia should realize that the outcome could be unpleasant. The current situation in the region requires the conflict sides to continue talks in accordance with international standards. " Azerbaijan will not ignore armaments from Armenia," he emphasized. He recalled that from the efforts of the Azerbaijani diplomacy, it was possible to prevent supplies to Azerbaijan by many countries. "There is no country or enterprise in Europe delivering arms to Armenia. Russia should make a choice, either cease the policy on armaments of Armenia for a peaceful resolution to the conflict or promote the commencement of a crisis in the region," Azmiov stressed.

Araghchi, Grossi discuss JCPOA developments
Araghchi, Grossi discuss JCPOA developments
International Atomic Energy Agency chief talks JCPOA
International Atomic Energy Agency chief talks JCPOA
Iran's intensive talks underway in Vienna
Iran's intensive talks underway in Vienna
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Azerbaijan holds meeting of Working Group on Transport, Communications and High Technologies
Share of renewables in Kazakhstan’s energy sector to increase by 2030
Iran shares data on voters
Azercell presents high-quality mobile network at EURO 2020!
Hybrid power plant commissioned in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan
GPI ranks Tajikistan 97th among 163 nations in terms of peacefulness
COVID-19 outbreak expected in Kyrgyzstan
Azerbaijani minister discloses volume of properties inventorized in liberated lands
Azerbaijani startups arouse great interest from Turkish companies
Treasury eager to introduce Tel Aviv congestion charge
Top U.S. diplomat Blinken to travel to Germany, France, Italy next week
Georgia's foreign trade turnover increases
Iran's presidential election: first results of voter turnout
Energy minister tells Lebanese to prepare for end of gasoline subsidy
Cyberattacks - one of most major problems of current period, Azerbaijan's Central Bank says
Azerbaijan unveils number of citizens vaccinated on June 18
Azerbaijan confirms 60 more COVID-19 cases, 148 recoveries
EBRD invests in first 'green bond' issued by Georgian Railways
Russian GAZ to study organization of light commercial vehicles output in Uzbekistan
Croatia supports sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of Azerbaijan’s borders
Uzbekistan reveals number of vaccinated citizens as of June 17
Turkish Zorlu Holding to invest in Azerbaijan's economy (PHOTO)
Hydrogen aircrafts can take to air over coming decades
Turkey notes substantial growth in car exports to US
Azerbaijan Airlines increases frequency of Baku-Tbilisi-Baku regular flights
Creation of North American camel association important for the sector: ICO President
FEZs bringing foreign capital inflows to Azerbaijan's economy - Entrepreneurs' Confederation
Azerbaijani gas to give boost to European pipe imports recovery
Uzbekistan to increase number of flights to Georgia
Volume of passenger transport in Kazakhstan up despite COVID-19
Georgia's TBC Capital company releases report on country's tourism sector
Russia records 17,262 new daily COVID-19 cases, the highest number since Feb 1
Turkmenistan, Germany stress need to continue holding business forums
SSL certificate
No irregularities detected in Iran's presidential election abroad – Iran's FMA
Ministry discloses volume of cargo from Romania transshipped through Turkish ports
Israel to hand Palestinians up to 1.4m Covid vaccine doses
Transactions volume at Uzbek commodity exchange for 5M2021 revealed
French Thales talks projects implemented in Azerbaijan
Turkey discloses volume of cargo transshipped through Canakkale port
European Commission to allocate loan for Greek LNG terminal
Azerbaijani president, first lady attend inauguration of InterContinental Baku hotel (PHOTO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for June 18
Turkey shares data on export of electrical goods to Iran
Kazakhstan reports decrease in coal, hydrocarbons output
Georgia to receive COVID-19 vaccine from Estonia
Armenian colonel, involved in mining Lachin and Kalbajar districts, placed on int'l wanted list
ADB invests funds in green bonds issued by Georgian Railway
Iran to develop transit routes with Azerbaijan by rail and Caspian Sea
Kyrgyz airline to start charter flights to Georgia
Iran's former minister hopes for continuation of JCPOA talks by next president
Technical issue in Iran presidential election resolved - deputy minister
Iran sees record turnout in early hours of Presidential election
Russia in close contact with Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan to stabilize situation in Karabakh - official
Azerbaijan taking part in Turkey’s Antalya Diplomacy Forum
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spares for oil pumps via tender
Kazakhstan’s Akmola region sees dynamics of investment growth in manufacturing industry
Azerbaijan-Iran relations to develop on upward trajectory – Iranian ambassador
Number of flights to Baku from Krasnodar airport increases
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