Weekly political review

Official news

The successful development of the bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Germany was highlighted at the meeting of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, at the Presidential Palace with the delegation of Germany led by Chairman of the Germany-Azerbaijan Forum and former State Secretary, Otto Hauser, on 20 August.

The President recalled his meeting with Mr. Hauser during his official visit to Germany, which he described as very successful. He expressed hope that this visit by German delegation will contribute to further expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Otto Hauser noted that Azerbaijan's holding a leading position in the region that President, Ilham Aliyev, informed about during his German visit attracts great interest of his country. He said Germany is keen on cooperating with Azerbaijan in economic, energy and some other areas. Touching upon the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, the guest expressed hope that it would be settled in a peaceful and just way, based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Iran and Azerbaijan signed an Inter-Governmental Memorandum on opening permanent bus route Baku-Nakchivan-Baku which will pass via the territory of Iran. The Memorandum was signed during the visit of the Iranian delegation headed by the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Azerbaijan.

In addition, memorandums were signed on the construction of a bridge Julfa ( Azerbaijan)-Julfa ( Iran), construction of a hydroelectric power plant Ordubad-Marazad, provision of international status to checkpoint Shakhtakhti-Kholshad. As a result of the visit, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran signed joint declaration.

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, invited the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to Tehran to participate in the summit of the Caspian littoral countries. The State Head of Iran highlighted it during joint press-conference with the Azerbaijani President on 21 August in Baku.

According to the State Head of Iran, Ilham Aliyev's participation in the summit scheduled for autumn will assist in uniting the positions and developing co-operation potential. A joint declaration on legal status of Caspian is expected to be signed during the summit. The declaration has already been devised by the Foreign Ministers of the Caspian countries and submitted to the consideration of the Presidents.

Iran supports position of Azerbaijan on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on 21 August in Baku at the press-conference as a result of talks with the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He said that an article on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was included in the joint declaration of the Presidents which was signed on 21 August in Baku. The State Head of Azerbaijan said that he discussed with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the joint projects, as well as measures to ensure stability in the region. Aliyev added that the results of the talks showed that the two countries are near each other. Touching upon the regional conflicts, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that all problems should be resolved via talks.

"Those who create conflicts and apply force for regulating conflicts do not hold the position of peace and justice," Ahmadinejad said.

According to him, Iran supports peace, stability and respect for the rights of all peoples. He said that all peoples have equal rights.

" Iran is against any violence worldwide. The peoples should resolve conflicts peacefully," Iranian President highlighted.

The development of Iran means the development of Azerbaijan, said the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 21 August at the meeting with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. He stressed that Azerbaijan and Iran have common cultural and historical roots.

The President of Iran is on an official visit to Azerbaijan. "There can be no limitations for the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran," the President said.

According to him, Iran is interested in the development of Azerbaijan and in ensuring security. "We are trying to develop out bilateral cooperation. And there is potential for it," the President of Iran said.

In turn, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, said that the cooperation with Iran touches upon political, economic and cultural aspects and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's first official visit to Azerbaijan will further strengthen relations between the two countries.

"The friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are very strong and both countries have a single approach in all directions," he said.

Inter-parliamentary cooperation and partnership within the framework of international relations were discussed in a meeting between Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and a member of the German Bundestag, Chairman of PACE Monitoring Committee Eduard Lintner on 22 August.

The meeting focused on bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Germany.

As part of his visit to Azerbaijan, the German MP plans to meet with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of Azerbaijan to discuss the state of human rights in the country and Azerbaijan's fulfillment of its Council of Europe commitment.

Over the last three years Azerbaijan has become a country with a dynamically developing economy worldwide, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated while addressing the public in the Neftchala District of Azerbaijan on 23 August. The head of State noted Azerbaijan has become the leading country in the region and this has been recognized by all.

According to President Aliyev, the public budget of Azerbaijan has increased significantly over the past three years and Azerbaijan's economic power is currently enabling all set targets to be resolved. Noting a drop in poverty from 49% to 20% over the past few years, the President said he hopes to eliminate poverty in the country. "I am dissatisfied with the current social state in the country," the President said. In future the Government will concentrate more on eliminating poverty in the country, he said.

The head of State also noted the Government's support to entrepreneurs who receive assistance from the Government to the amount of approximately $100mln a year. He also promised an increase in pensions and salaries in Azerbaijan over the subsequent years.

As part of his tour to Neftchala District, the President participated in the opening of a branch of Xalq Bank, as well as visiting the Safarov Boarding School and school of chess. Within the tour, the President intends to visit Hajigabul and Alat districts and plans to participate in the opening of various social facilities.

Neftchala District of Azerbaijan with the square of 1,450sq m and population of 74,000 people is located in 180km of Baku.

Azerbaijani army is strengthening day and by day and is prepared to liberate its lands occupied by the Armenian armed forces, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on 23 August in a public meeting in Hajigabul District of Azerbaijan.

The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

"We take every measure to increase the military efficiency of our Army," the President said. Defense expenses increase in Azerbaijan and currently the military budget of the country is equal to public budget of Armenia.

"At present it is impossible to imagine someone attacking on Azerbaijan," Aliyev stressed.

The head of state once more stated the position of Azerbaijan, which is keen on peaceable resolution of the Armenian -Azerbaijani conflict.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev decreed on publishing the works of renowned representatives of the world literature in Azerbaijan language in 150 volumes and in series of the "World Literature Library".

The relevant ministries and departments are assigned to take measures for implementation of the Presidential Decree

In compliance with the order of the President from 12 January 2004 and from 27 December 2004 works of renowned and Azerbaijani literature were published in large print and were distributed to libraries. These books have been published not for sale, which deprived bibliophile possibility to enrich their libraries in Latin language.

Due to order of the President these books will be sold. The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers was ordered top submit proposals regarding publishing of World Literature Library taking into consideration the recommendation of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Education Ministry, National Academy of Science and the Azerbaijani Writer Association to the President within a month.

Azerbaijan plays a role of a bridge between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated in a meeting with members of the Black Sea Initiative Group in Baku on 24 August

According to the President, the projects carried out in the region progressively unite these seas. The President regarded the visit by members of the Initiative Group to Azerbaijan as prospective for further regional development.

Mark Ellenbogen, the Head of The Global Panel Foundation, informed the President on the talks held in Baku at different ministries and committees

Foreign policy

Germany is supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, a member of German Bundestag, the deputy chairman of the Christian-Democratic Union fraction, Andreas Schokenhoff said, he is part of a delegation that is visiting Azerbaijan for four days,

"We uphold Azerbaijan's fair position in this issue," the German MP said.

According to him, settlement of the conflict through war is not good for the people. "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be settled in accordance with the interests of the people, this is peacefully, for war will create new problems," he noted.

As for the visit of several Bundestag members to Nagorno-Karabakh without Azerbaijan's agreement, Schokenhoff noted that such cases are of a private nature and do not affect the policy pursued by official Berlin with regards to the conflict.

"Our position is that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan. The official delegation of the German Bundestag will not pay an official visit to Nagorno-Karabakh," he noted.

The German delegation includes Bundestag MPs - Dr. Andreas Schokenhoff, Thomas Barreis, Axel Fischer, Eduard Lintner and Otto Hauser.

Armenia should compensate damages inflicted as a result of occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the districts surrounding it, said the Ambassador of Iran to Azerbaijan, Nasir Hamidi Zari, on 20 August in Baku.

According to the Ambassador, Iran recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and this official position of Tehran remains unchanged. " Azerbaijan is neighbors with Iran and is a Muslim country," the diplomat said.

The Ambassador stated that Iran requires that all conditions should be created to release the occupied Azerbaijani land and return internally displaced persons to their native land soon. " Armenia should understand that by realizing its ambition, it is violating the rights of people who are forced to live in confinement. Otherwise, the democracy that we speak of changes its essence," the Ambassador said.

Hamidi Zari said that he will refuse the proposal to visit Azerbaijan's occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran has been directed towards the establishment of peace, stability and security in the region, said the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a press-conference on 22 August in Baku.

"The development, security and stability of Azerbaijan means the development, security and stability of Iran," the President said.

The President of Iran voiced his hope that the cooperation between the two countries will assist in developing security in the region.

He said that political, economic and humanitarian relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are at a high level. According to the President, the two countries actively support each other within international organizations.

In addition, the President of Iran voiced his confidence in the success of talks held during his official visit to Azerbaijan with regards to the development of bilateral cooperation in the energy and transport sectors, as well as in allocating mutual investments.

The head of Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of USA's largest and most ancient Jews organizations, Abraham Fohman, removed from office the Regional Director on North-East America, Andrew Tarsi for his statement on League's recognition of Armenian genocide, the chairman of Azerbaijani-Jewish inter-parliamentary friendship group, Azerbaijani MP of Jewish origin, Evda Abramov, said in Baku on 24 August.

"One or two Jews can recognize Armenian genocide. That will be the result of Armenian lobby's impact. However, that does not mean that Jews residing in the United States and the organizations functioning there also recognize the genocide," he said.

Tarsi's discharge caused serious disagreements within the organization. Then ADL placed a statement in its web-site saying that the organization considers the events that happened in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 to be genocide. ADL's president said that he had done that to remove clashes in the organization.

US Congress and Senate's members of Jews origin consider the Armenian genocide fictitious, Abramov said.

According to him, Congressmen and Senators of Jews origin repeatedly stated that the events of 1915 cannot be discussed at the US Congress and Senate. That can damage USA-Turkish relationships.

Recognition of Armenian genocide by a Jewish organization or backing of the law by several Jewish Congressmen or Senators cannot negatively affect Israel's relationships with Turkey or Azerbaijan.

Expenditures for elections into the US Congress or Senate of well-known Jewish candidates are undertaken by Armenian lobby. Instead, the Congressmen and Senators have to meet the interest of the Armenian lobby, the MP said.

"Except Holocaust, Jews do not recognize any event as genocide. Genocide ha to be proved and recognized by the entire world. Fictitious Armenian genocide was given a political colour, which is inadmissible in this case," he said.

Azerbaijani Jews and Jewish organizations functioning in Azerbaijan condemn and protest against the activities of the persons recognizing the fictitious Armenian genocide, he added.

ADL was established in 1911.

Turkic-speaking countries did not reply to official Ankara's step on removal of visa regime for Turkic nations. According to Turkey's Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Huseyn Avni Karslioghlu, official Ankara has pans to completely remove visa regime for all representatives of Turkic nations.

On 1 August Turkey removed visa regime for Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan's citizens. They can stay in Turkey without a visa for 30 days.

Turkey stated on its intention to extend the list. The country removed visa regime for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

According to Karslioghlu, it is necessary to make it maximum easy for the nations with common roots to enter Turkey. "Our country removed visa regime, which was considered to be an obstacle. However, we cannot tell any country to abolish visa regime with Turkey," the Ambassador said.

Removal of visa regime is linked with socio-economic and political conditions in any country, Karslioghlu said.

Azerbaijan uses non-visa entrance and exit with Russia and Georgia. Azerbaijan does not hurry to annul visa regime with Turkey. Azerbaijani officials explain that by delay in settlement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Azerbaijani experts believe that removal of visa regime between Azerbaijan and Turkey will not seriously affect expansion of relations. According to Rasim Musabeyov, an independent political scientist, official Ankara wants to prevent entrance to Turkey from Turkic-speaking countries of the persons wishing to be engaged in prostitution.

Political movements

The administration of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party (ADP) has approved the decision of the congress regarding participation in the upcoming presidential elections, according to the ADP.

The meeting of the administration held on 20 August discussed the presidential elections of 2008. Participation of the Party in the elections was approved by the 9th congress of the ADP. It was also decided to begin discussions on pre-election tactics in the near future.

ADP was founded in 1991 by Sardar Jalaloghlu. The Party was in radical opposition by January 2007. In January ADP changed its political course after discussions with the authorities.

The opposition Party 'Our Azerbaijan' political bloc will be renamed to ' New Way'. This issue was discussed on 20 August in Baku at the last meeting of the Council of Chairs of the bloc. As a result, it was decided to discuss the issue again after electing a new Chair to the bloc on 25 August.

The Chair of 'Our Azerbaijan', Head of the Turkic National Party, Vugar Beyturan, said that the meeting of the bloc scheduled for 19 August has been postponed and will take place after the election of a new chair.

'Our Azerbaijan' political bloc was established during the 2003 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan in support of the leader of the Musavat Party, Isa Gambar. Later the Musavat Party left the bloc. Currently the bloc brings together eight Parties.

The unification of Azerbaijani opposition parties Adalat and Azadlyg did not happen, said the Chairman of the Azadlyg Party, Ahmad Oruj.

"It became clear after discussions that there are several problems in the merger of the Adalat and Azadlyg parties, which are impossible to be resolved," Oruj said.

The issue of unification of the Adalat and Azadlyg parties surfaced at the beginning of 2007. A commission was established and discussions began with the participation of representatives from both parties.

Orujov said that the key problem preventing the merger of the two parties was the definition of the political lines and positions of the combining parties. In addition, the parties could not reach an agreement on with what parties cooperation will be established.

The Deputy Chairman of Adalat, Mutallim Rahimli, confirmed the information. He stressed that Adalat and Azadlyg carried out certain works for merging, but later, the discussions and meetings were ceased.

"The failure to unite the parties was not the fault of the party heads; it was due to objective reasons. The key problem was linked to the future of the political organization which would appear as a result of the merging of the two parties. We consider that if the merging of the parties is not something new in the political arena, it will lose its significance. There is stagnation in Azerbaijan's political life and it will not yield the necessary effect. The reasons for failure to unite the political parties did not result from various political lines and views of the representatives of the party," he said.

Adalat and Azadlyg were planning to unite for a joint political fight.

Member of the opposition deputies' group, former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Panah Huseyn, said that opposition parties should participate in the 2008 presidential elections.

There were different views from the opposition parties with regards to the participation of the forthcoming presidential elections. Azerbaijan's leading opposition political unity Azadlyg Bloc, which brings together Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Citizen and Development Party and National Unity Movement, considers that participation in the elections is unacceptable if no amendments are made to the legislation and the election commissions are not formed on an equal basis. The position of the bloc is also supported by the leader of the opposition Azerbaijan Open Society Party, former Speaker of Azerbaijan Parliament, Rasul Guliyev, who lives as an emigrant in the USA. On the other hand, the Musavat Party, Azerbaijan National Independence Party and other parties believe that it is necessary to participate in Presidential elections.

Huseyn said that political forces who suggest boycotting the presidential elections have serious grounds for arguments. According to him, the supporters and opponents participating in the forthcoming presidential elections should hold discussions to define the general political position on this issue.

According to Panahov, theoretically it is possible to implement the suggestion of boycotting the elections. However, in this case, it is necessary for the parties to attend the elections which require preparation time. Co-chair of Azadlyg Bloc, Chairman of Citizen and Development Party, Ali Aliyev, who has suggested boycotting the elections, said that they are prepared to have talks with the supporters who will be participating in the elections. The Head of the Executive Apparat of Musavat Party, Arif Hajili, said that they are planning to participate in the Presidential elections. "We are prepared for all discussions to define the general position of the opposition on this issue," he said.

The next Presidential election in Azerbaijan will take place on 15 October 2008.

The Azerbaijani former Prime Minister and member of the opposition Musavat party, Panah Huseyn, is likely to run for president in 2008, Huseyn reported in Baku on 21 August.

"We have proposals and initiatives regarding my nomination in the presidential elections, but I have not made a political decision in connection with this yet. I do not rule out my running for president," he said.

According to Huseyn, an election campaign requires serious preparations, financial opportunities, organizing bodies and human resources. The MP noted that there was enough time left before the presidential elections and he would assess the proposals in good time. The person to run for president from the opposition in the approaching presidential elections is a matter for serious discussion.

Huseyn was in the office of Prime Minister from 1992-93.

Opposition Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP) protests against the visit of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Azerbaijan.

The party accuses the Government of Iran of assimilation, violence against the Azerbaijanis residing in South Azerbaijan. ANIP states that Ahmadinejad's visit to Baku grazes the sense of Azeri people.

"We are protesting against the visit of State Head who does not cease his hostility policy with regards to Azerbaijan. The visit of high ranking representatives of this Country to Azerbaijan is unacceptable as long as the Persian chauvinist regime dos not respectfully approaches the history, culture, national traditions and religious values of Azerbaijan," mentioned by the party's statement.

According to unofficial information, nearly 35mln Azerbaijanis reside in Iran. ANIP, Congress of the World Azerbaijanis and other organizations plan to hold a demonstration in front of Iranian Embassy in Baku to protest against Iranian President's visit to Azerbaijan.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Baku visit will not change the problem regarding violation of Iran's Azerbaijani many-million population, the leader of Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP), Etibar Mammadov, said to Trend on 23 August.

Iranian President was visiting Azerbaijan from 21 to 22 August. Several agreements and a memorandum were signed between Azerbaijani and Iranian Governments during the meeting.

According to Mammadov, observation of Iranian Azerbaijanis' rights is not under discussions and between Iran and Azerbaijan and Ahmadinejad's Baku visit will change nothing.

"The only problem in the bilateral relationships is violation of Iran's Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijani Government does not raise the issue. Despite improvement of official relationships between the countries, the state of our compatriots in Iran will not change," Mammadov said.

Azerbaijani Government at least should not impede putting the issue on protection of Iranian Azerbaijanis for discussion, the leader of the ANIP said. In this connection Mammadov mentioned recent events in Baku, namely dispersal of protest actions in front of Iranian Embassy by police.

"Azerbaijani Government should be in charge of protection of world Azerbaijanis' rights not depending in their residence. Unfortunately, the authorities do not take this duty. That should not affect Azerbaijan's official relationships with other countries, including Iran," Mammadov said.

Improvement of bilateral official relationships and Ahmadinejad's visit will not stop Iran secretly and openly assisting Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Mammadov said.

According to unofficial reports, Iran's indigenous Azerbaijani population makes up 35mln.

The leader of opposition ANIP is the deputy chairman of the International Democratic Union. ANIP is a party criticizing Iranian authorities for violation of the rights of the Azerbaijanis residing in the country.

MP Panah Huseyn stated on 23 August that the bill on State backing for opposition parties in Azerbaijan would be submitted to the Azerbaijani Parliament for discussion during the autumn session.

"This bill envisages regulating the function of opposition parties represented in Parliament," MP noted.

The bill on 'Political Guarantees of opposition parties' was developed by the MP group of the Musavat party.

The MP believes that creating juridical guarantees for the functioning of opposition parties represented in the Parliament is a relevant issue. Huseyn noted that such a bill has already been approved in European countries. The bill will focus on creating conditions for opposition parties to familiarize population with their positions through the press.

Five MPs represent Musavat in the Parliamen

The Citizen and Development Party (CDP) of Azerbaijan has received State registration, Ali Aliyev, the Chairman of the party reported to the Trend Agency on 24 August.

The Party was founded in January 2006. The issue concerning registration of the party was delayed for a year. CDP instituted proceedings against the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry. However, representatives of the Party did not participate at the two scheduled hearings. The Justice Ministry invited representatives of CDP before the next hearing scheduled for 24 August and stated that the Party was registered.

Aliyev met with Subkhi Mammadov, the Deputy Chief of the Central Notary Department and State Registration of the Justice Ministry. The documents concerning State registration were submitted to Aliyev.

The opposition Citizen and Development Party is a member of Azadlyg bloc.

Political parties cannot participate in the elections without State registration in Azerbaijan or having only limited dealings with international organizations.

The Azerbaijani National Independent Party (ANIP) accused the Azerbaijani Citizen and Development Party (ACDP) with pro-governmental orientation.

Cooperation of ACDP's leader, Ali Aliyev, with the Authorities was well-known much before, Ali Orujov, the press-secretary of ANIP, said.

"If this fact not to be right the party will not be registered, Orujov added. Ali Aliyev assumed a range of obligations before the Authorities and it will be evident during the upcoming presidential elections.

ACDP was founded in 2006. The members of the party have been represented within ANIP so far. Supporters of Ali Aliyev held meetings and founded ACDP as a result of split in ANIP.

ANIP was founded in 1992. The party received official state. Etibar Mammadov was the co-founder and chairman of the party by the end of 2004. Presently, Mammadov is the deputy chairman of the International Democratic Association

The Great Establishment Party of Azerbaijan will not join political parties, which will be established due to the upcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan, Fazil Gazanfaroglu, the chairman of the party said to the Trend Agency on 24 August.

Presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan in 2008.

"Establishment of bloc may not join electorate during election process. I prefer to participate at the approaching elections individually," Gazanfaroglu noted.

The final decision on approaching presidential elections and joining of the bloc will be discussed at the meeting of the Political Council of the party scheduled for 28 August.

Gazanfaroglu wishes to nominate his candidature at the presidential elections 2008.

The existing blocs have no prospects at the current stage. Some political parties uniting into one bloc hope to draw attention of international organizations, Gazanfaroglu said.

Gazanfaroglu noted that he would not prevent forming of bloc around his party.

The MP group of Musavat Party representing opposition in the Parliament considers that the article of the internal Charter of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) on establishment MP fraction does not functioning and changes should be injected, MP Nasib Nasibli has said on 24 August.

"The article of the internal Charter of the Parliament on creation MP fraction has not been functioning, and nobody could use this right for recent years," Nasibli noted.

Participation of 25 MPs is necessary to establish official fraction and receive registration in compliance with the article 43 of the internal Charter of the Parliament. MP's representing opposition demand to inject changes in this article and to decrease the number of MPs.

"If one of the articles has not functioning it should be replaced," Nasibli noted. There are MPs wishing to be represented in one fraction, but the internal Charter hinder this process, Nasibli added.

The numbers of MPs designed for establishment fraction in the Parliament should be decreased by 4 or 5 people.

MP Mubariz Gurbanli, the deputy executive secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijna Party, said that there was no necessity to inject changes into the Charter. It would be better if the people wishing to establish fraction to collect necessary supporters.

MP group from opposition Musavat Party is not satisfied with State care to juveniles. The parliamentary group has developed bill on 'Improvement social security of juveniles', Panah Huseyn, the member of the MP group said.

The sum of allowance for each child made up AZN 1.80. After creation address social relief allowance was canceled. Huseyn considers that allowances should be granted to mothers with juveniles. The bill will be submitted to the Parliament during autumn session for consideration.

Public organizations of Azerbaijanis residing in Georgia intend to apply to the Parliament of this country, Alibala Askerov, the chairman of national movement "Geyrat", informed Trend last weekend.

The appeal will propose that Azerbaijani schools in Georgia not be closed down. Around 500,000 Azerbaijanis reside in the region of Borchali in Georgia.

Azerbaijanis are native residents of the capital and 13 regions of Georgia. A total of 164 Azerbaijani schools operate in Georgia.

The closing of Azerbaijani schools in Georgia first surfaced in 2004. Soon legislative bodies of Georgia will adopt a new law on education. The document will state that education in schools must only be in the Georgian language. The adoption of this law may be grounds for closing down Azerbaijani schools.

Nazim Ibrahimov, the chairman of the State Committee on work with Azerbaijanis residing abroad, came up with this initiative. He considers it expedient to educate in the Georgian language.

Askerov said that the statement by Ibrahimov caused concern and protest from Azerbaijani residents of Georgia . If Azerbaijanis receive their education in the Georgian language only, they will only preserve their oral language skills.

"We propose to preserve Azerbaijani schools and simultaneously develop a state program for the correct teaching of the Georgian language".

Furthermore, a Georgian education can be offered in Azerbaijani schools to allow the interested persons to study there. Thus, Azerbaijanis can choose in which language to receive their education,"- he said.

An appeal will be submitted to the Georgian Parliament shortly.

Nagorno-karabakh

On 19 August from 8.30pm to 2.50am, the Armenian Armed Forces division fired at the National Army of Azerbaijan using machine and sub-machine guns from their positions located near the villages of Javahirli, Bashgervend and Tagibeyli of Azerbaijan's Agdam district, according to the Azerbaijan Defence Ministry.

The National Army of Azerbaijan retaliated and no casualties were reported

On 20 August from 21:00 hours, the divisions of the Armenian Armed Forces again committed arson in the occupied Talish village and upper part of Chayli village of Azerbaijan's Tartar district.

The Head of the Monitoring Group on Arson of the Ecology and Natural Resources Department No 8 in Azerbaijan's Barda district, Vagif Aliyev, said that the arson attack which lasted until morning destroyed dry grassland areas which covered an area of about 150 ha. Currently the monitoring group is defining the amount of damage caused by the arson attack.

On 21 August from 10pm to 11.40pm, the Armenian Armed Forces division fired at the National Army of Azerbaijan using machine and sub-machine guns from their positions located near the villages of Javahirli of Azerbaijan's district of Agdam and Tapgaragoyunlu of the district of Goranboy, as well as on 22 August from 1.05am to 5.40am from positions in the villages of Bashagrv and Acharly of the district of Agdam, according to the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.

The National Army of Azerbaijan retaliated and no casualties were reported

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejat is all for a peaceful resolution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the frame of the law. The Iranian President made this statement at a news conference in Baku on 22 August for Azerbaijani and Iranian journalists

"Our position on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was stated openly and yesterday [21 August] I said this to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev," Ahmedinejat stressed.

Iran thinks that talks on the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict on the Nagorno-Karabakh contributes to its resolution and provides a basis for the development of cooperation within the frame of the law.

"We want to see peaceful solution to a conflict between our two neighbors," the Iranian President said.

On 23 August divisions of the Armenian Armed Forces fired at the National Army of Azerbaijan using machine and sub-machine guns from their positions located near the villages of Javahirli, Bashgarvand, Shikhlar, Garagahli of Azerbaijan's district of Agdam and Tapgaragoyunlu of the district of Goranboy, as well as Jerabert of Terter District, according to the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.

The National Army of Azerbaijan retaliated and no casualties were reported

Over the past three months, several soldiers of the Azerbaijani National Army have been killed as a result of frequent violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Armenian Armed Forces.

Adgam is located in 375km of Baku, Terter in 350km and Goranboy in 320km

On 23 and 24 August divisions of the Armenian Armed Forces fired at the National Army of Azerbaijan using machine and sub-machine guns from their positions located near the villages of Javahirli, Ajarly, Chiragli, Shikhlar of Azerbaijan's district of Agdam and Tapgaragoyunlu of the district of Goranboyt, according to the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.

Over the past three months, several soldiers of the Azerbaijani National Army have been killed as a result of frequent violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Armenian Armed Forces in the directions of Agdam, Terter and Goranboy districts.

The Defense Ministry announced that over the past two days the Armenian Armed Forces located in 1.5km of northeast of Berkaber village of Ijevan District fired at Gizilhajili village of Gazakh District using machine and sub-machine guns.

The National Army of Azerbaijan retaliated and no casualties were reported

An Azerbaijani citizen has been injured as a result of a violation of cease fire agreement by the Armenian military forces in the Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line on 23 August.

Guliyev Zohrab Boranoglu, the resident of Shikharkh village of Terter region of Azerbaijan, was injured on his arm while tending to the cattle in the Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line, the regional reporter of the Trend Agency has reported.

Guliyev is being treated at home and his condition is said to be normal. His relatives have been informed.

The Central Hospital of Terter region reported that Guliyev was not registered in the hospital.

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry had no report of the incident

On 24 August at 08.30 two military vehicles UAZ, belonging to the Armenian Armed Forces, attempted to cross the frontline from the territory of Yusifjanly village of Agdam District of Azerbaijan in the direction of position of the Azerbaijani National Army.

Major part of Agdam was occupied by the Armenian Armed Forces on 22 July 1993. Part of the Yusifjanli village is under Armenians' control and the rest Azerbaijani National Army.

A reliable source informed Trend regional correspondent that the vehicles carrying the Armenian military attempted to cross to Azerbaijan's frontline positions in Yusifjanli village via Gargar River. The sides exchanged fire and the Azerbaijan National Army soldiers intersected the Armenians.

Residents of the frontline area confirmed the fact of shooting, which lasted around two hours.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry did not report on the fact.

The proposal to commence anti terrorist measures in Nagorno-Karabakh was sounded in Azerbaijan. The Union for Democracy of Azerbaijan considers this way as the one to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. This idea was included into the new package of proposals concerning settling of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Ahmad Oruj, the co-chairman of the Union, said.

The Union for Democracy unites three opposition parties, the Classic Popular Front Party, Azadlyg and National Democratic Party. The Union is the consultative structure of these political organizations.

The Union held two Karabakh forums with participation of political parties and representatives of community. Proposals of the Task Group of the Union were developed and submitted to the President Administration, Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) and community as the result of each forum.

Oruj noted that the next Karabakh forum would be held and the Task Group was developing new package of proposals. The package stated about necessity to hold anti terrorist measures against the Armenian military forces acting in the Azerbaijani occupied territories. Furthermore, concrete date for beginning of the measures should be defined.

"These measures will not be of military character. Government cannot wage war in its own territory. We propose to neutralize Armenian terrorists to provide security for Azerbaijani citizens," Oruj said.

Commenting proposal of the Union, Alakpar Mammadov, the military expert, said, that he supported proposal regarding anti terrorist measures in Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Such a policy should be implemented earlier on the international level, expert added.

"I was against including Armenia to the process of settling the conflict, as this country always attempt to gain support of international organizations for their own separatist interests in the Azerbaijani territories. We should have hold anti terrorist measures before," military expert said.

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