Political review of the last week
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Ganja City on May 25. The president has visited the central Heydar Aliyev square and placed flowers on the grave of National Leader. President Aliyev got familiarization with reconstruction of the square. Aliyev met with representatives of city society.
On May 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Goygol district. President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated a park of culture and rest in the district. President Ilham Aliyev visited a monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev in Goygol district and put flowers at it.
On May 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated officers' hostel in N military unit of the Interior Forces in Ganja. The president got familiar with the hostel. President Ilham Aliyev hailed conditions created in the hostel.
On May 25, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated new building of the Ganja City Police Office. Interior Minister General Colonel Ramil Usubov reported to the president.
The construction of the building was launched in April 2008. The four-storey building has an area of 7,000 square meters. Both domestic and foreign building materials imported from Turkey, Italy and European countries were used during the construction.
The president congratulated staff on opening of a new building and wished them success.
On May 25 the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev inaugurated a central hospital in Goygol region. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Head of State familiarized himself with the Hospital. The construction of the 180-bed hospital started in 2007.
The 4-hectare hospital has been equipped with modern medical devices brought from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Germany and other European countries.
President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the hospital's staff and posed for photographs together with them.
A memorial plaque has been established on the residence of National Council and Government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) in Ganja. ADR was established in 1918 in this city. The building now belongs to the Azerbaijan State Agrarian University. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the inauguration ceremony on May 25.
A radiogram sent from this building to the world countries announced on proclamation of state independence of Azerbaijan.
Fundamentals of independence of Azerbaijan were established in Ganja, said the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, making a speech before the public of the city.
"The active role of Ganja and Ganja people is well known to all Azeri people. At all times Ganja people played an important role in the development of Azerbaijan as an independent country," said the Head of State.
Azerbaijan celebrates 28 May as an Independence Day.
Aliyev appreciated the work carried out in Ganja. He also said that Azerbaijan will continue to pay special attention to Ganja and necessary work will be carried out on the development of the city.
On May 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev got familiarized with the re-construction of the monument of famous Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in the center of Ganja city.
Pedestal of the bronze monument was constructed from Dashkesan marble on April 30, 1949. Currently, marble cover was updated, the area around the monument was improved. A modern lighting system, as well as, benches was established.
Re-construction work began this month and is expected to be completed by June 15 - National Salvation Day.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev arrived in the Gedabay region, the Azertaj state information agency reported.
The president has visited the monument to National Leader Heydar Aliyev and placed flowers on the grave.
On May 26, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev participated in the foundation laying ceremony of Ashiq Music School in Gadabay region. The president got familiar with layout of the two-storied building to be built in a classic style. President Aliyev dropped cupped blank to the foundation.
The president spoke to ashiqs (folk singers) and posed for memory photographs with them.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited the complex, erected in honor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in the Istiglaliyyat Street in Baku on May 27.
The Azerbaijani president laid a wreath on the complex. The Azerbaijani national anthem was sounded.
On May 29, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev inaugurated a new building of the State Population Register Service under the Justice Ministry of Azerbaijan.
The Head of State cut the ribbon symbolizing official opening of the building. Justice Minister Fikret Mammadov informed the President that the construction of the building started in January 2008.
Along with the Population Register Service, the building will also house Chief Registration and Notary Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics and State Notary Archives.
Documents and photos reflecting the history, activity, international ties of the country`s justice bodies and ongoing reforms were put on display here.
A stand featuring the lifetime of national leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev is located on the third floor.
President Ilham Aliyev saw the well-equipped training room.
On May 29, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated a new pre-trial prison building in Baku. The Head of State got familiarized with the basic plan of the building.
The Minister of Justice Fikret Mammadov said that the building office, rooms for short and long meetings and investigation department.
The building was designed for 2,500 people in the 76 cells, each of which may contain one to six persons.
The Minister said that in the future an administrative building of the Court on Heinous Crimes will be constructed in the territory of the pre-trial prison.
On 26 May, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by the World Bank's Regional Director for the South Caucasus Asad Alem. The WB Regional Director said that one of the main activities of the World Bank is to support successes achieved in the economy of Azerbaijan.
The President said that Azerbaijan, attaining significant successes in all spheres of economy, cooperates with the international financial organizations, including the World Bank. Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence that the cooperation with the World Bank will be continuing in the future.
On May 26, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation headed by the United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy Mohammed bin Dha'en Al Hamili.
Minister of Energy said that the main purpose of his first visit to Azerbaijan is to discuss prospects for energy cooperation at bilateral and international levels. There is a great potential for future cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UAE in this regard, the Minister said.
The Head of State said that Azerbaijan, as an initiator and participant of large-scale energy projects, develops relations in the international energy cooperation. The President expressed confidence that the visit of the UAE Minister to Azerbaijan will be useful to enhance energy cooperation between the two countries.
On May 26, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmed Davutoglu.
At the meeting the sides exchanged views on developing bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has met with Minsk Group co-chairs Matthew Bryza (the United States), Bernard Fassier (France), Yuri Merzlakov (Russian) and representative of OSCE chairman-in-office Andrzej Kasprzyk, the President's official website reported.
The current status and prospects of negotiations for settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh were discussed at the meeting.
On May 28, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shmatko.
At the meeting the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Sergey Shmatko stressed the importance of Baku in two major events - a meeting of Azerbaijani-Russian inter-governmental commission and next meeting of the CIS Electric Power Council.
The Head of State stressed the importance of the electricity system. He also said that there is large experience in bilateral cooperation, and highlighted the existence of favorable conditions for multilateral co-operation.
The President of Azerbaijan noted that the energy sector of Azerbaijan and Russia are mutually reinforcing.
On May 26, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev extended condolence to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on death of country's former President Roh Moo-hyun.
In the letter of condolence, the president said he was deeply saddened at the news of death of South Korea's former president. The president offered condolence to the family of the deceased and Korean people.
On May 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Independence Day. "Azerbaijani and Georgian peoples have historically lived under friendly and goodly neighbor conditions and maintained close ties. These pleasant traditions are successfully maintained today and have played an important role in development of inter-state relations and developing cooperation into strategic partnership," the letter of congratulation said.
President Aliyev expressed his hope that friendship and cooperation between the two countries will further enhance.
On May 27, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev sent a letter of congratulation to German President Horst Kohler on re-election. The president said in the letter of the congratulation that he is confident the joint efforts will further be made to enhance cooperation and business ties between the two countries.
Heads of countries congratulated Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with the Day of Republic.
President Ilham Aliyev received letters of congratulation from President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak, President of India Pratibha Patil, President of Romania Traian Basescu, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the azertaj state information agency reported.
Head of countries, expressing hope for further strengthening relations between their countries and Azerbaijan, wished the Azerbaijani people happiness and future development.
Heads of State and senior officials continue to send congratulations to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to the Republic Day.
On Friday, the President of the Republic of Malta George Abela, the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf, President of Ireland Mary Makalis, Sultan Bin Saeed of Oman, Gabus, the King of Belgium Albert, president Federanoy Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer, the Governor General of Australia Quentin Bruce, President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus , chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina Neboyta Radmanovich, head of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, President of the Republic of Tunisia Ben Ali Zeynalabdin congratulated Ilham Aliyev.
On May 31, Ilham Aliyev was congratulated by the Emperor of Japan Akihito, Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Said, King of Jordan Abdullah II, President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Said.
The number of municipalities will be reduced 36 percent in Azerbaijan. "As many as 993 of 2757 municipalities will be canceled in Azerbaijan," Azerbaijani parliament's Committee for Regional Affairs Head Arif Rahimzade said.
The Bill on Unification of Municipalities in Azerbaijan was discussed at a parliamentary meeting today.
Rahimzade said 1,764 municipalities will operate in Azerbaijan and two new municipalities will be established under the law. There will be a total of 1,766 municipalities. New municipalities will be established in Zabujuq settlement of Fuzuli region.
The bill was recommended to be brought up for discussions in the parliament. Azerbaijan will hold municipal elections by late 2009.
Azerbaijani parliament adopted a bill which eliminates restrictions preventing ombudsman from being elected more than once.
Additions to the Constitutional Bill on Azerbaijani Ombudsman were adopted with 102 votes at a parliamentary meeting.
Constitution laws on additions to the Constitution take effect after they are signed by president after a second vote.
Azerbaijani deputy offered the Foreign Ministry to take steps preventing Iran's interference into country's domestic affairs.
"Israeli President's visit to Azerbaijan will give impetus to the establishment of relations between the two countries at a higher level. But I regret that Iran's official circles concerned about this visit. And Iran has previously dealt with the right of sovereignty of Azerbaijan, in violation of international law, tried to interfere in our internal affairs," Chairman of the Ana Vatan party Fazail Agamali told a parliamentary session. Israeli President Shimon Peres is expected to visit Azerbaijan in summer. Iranian officials said that Israeli President's visit to Azerbaijan is unacceptable.
According to Agamali, the Foreign Ministry should respond adequately to the statements of Iranian officials. "Azerbaijan is an independent state, and its policy defines itself. And the fact that Iran has a very friendly met Serzh Sargsyan, whose hands soiled in the blood of the Azerbaijani people, who participated in the Khojali genocide, establishes full relations with this country. Shouldn't it damages the neighborhood relationships?" the deputy said.
The Azerbaijani member of parliament has proposed to mark National Flag Day.
"The decree signed by president to build Square of the National Flag is very important. The fact that the president inspected construction of the square recently is praiseworthy," MP Ali Masimli said at the parliamentary meeting on May 26. Masimli offered to celebrate National Flag Day on November 9. Azerbaijan's Constitution stipulates that flag, coat of arms and hymn are Azerbaijan's state emblems.
Azerbaijan's national flag consists of three equal horizontal bands colored blue, red, and green, with a white crescent and an eight-pointed star are centered in the red band.
Azerbaijani Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Police on May 26.
The amendment to article 10 envisages assistance to police officials and local governments, as well as individuals.
"The state agencies and local governments should help police in carrying out its duties. Everyone can help the police in carrying out its responsibilities. The police can not force anyone to cooperate to fulfill the mandates entrusted on it," the draft says.
Anyone who has information on prepared or committed crime must report to the police, said the paper.
"In some circumstances, certain laws of Azerbaijan may lead to accusation for not giving information available. According to certain law of Azerbaijan, while involving members of the state agencies, who are not police officers, in the work to ensure public order and security, the responsibility of police are entrusted on them, the draft says.
Azerbaijani members of parliament say mass food poisoning in the Garaheybat Troop Training Center in Garadagh District of Baku is not provocation.
"There are no substantial arguments to blame outside forces for the mass food poisoning in the military unit. Every issue must be taken under control so that nothing will intervene with the army building process," Chairman of the National Security and Defense Committee of the parliament and MP Zahid Oruj said. As many as 164 soldiers have been hospitalized with the Military Clinic Hospital for mass food poisoning in the Garaheybat Troop Training Center in Garadagh district of Baku. A total of 158 soldiers returned to the service place after examination. Six of them are still undergoing treatment as extra diseases have been revealed in them. Their condition is satisfactory.
The Military Prosecutor Office has filed a suit over the case.
Oruj said regulations must be strictly observed in a large institution such as army. "Food security, hygienic norms and exercising control over them are major tasks," he said. The public can not exercise control over internal condition of every unit of the army, he said. "It is impossible to control food regime and mutual relations in the army. The units are required to punish those responsible for such facts so that to prevent it. Negative cases such as mass food poisoning affect army units, defense sector and security. Such cases must be a message for us," Oruj said.
"This incident shows that Azerbaijani army has a mechanism to respond to irregularities in time and take immediate measures. News about food poisoning does not mean that the army faces problems," head of the Group for Public Control over Army and member of parliament Aydin Mirzazade said.
Mirzazade said army is a complicated mechanism and it can encounter temporary problems. "The army is valuable specifically when it addresses to problems in time and measures are taken to prevent it," he said. He said there is mechanism of public control over the army. Visits to military units in the regions testify to it.
Azerbaijani parliament adopted a law to unite several municipalities.
"Though there are a number of municipalities in Azerbaijan, in fact they do not operate. Therefore unification of municipalities is important," parliament's Regional Issues Committee Chairman Arif Rahimzade said. He said there are 2,757 municipalities in Azerbaijan. "The number of municipalities is expected to be reduced up to 1,766. About 1500 municipalities will unite," Rahimzade said.
The Azerbaijani parliament has developed a bill on status of troops participating in peacekeeping operations.
"To adopt this bill, we have received positive opinions from the ministries of finance and defense, as well as the president's advisor on defense affairs," Parliamentary of First Vice Speaker and Head of the Committee on Security and Defense Ziyafat Asgarov told journalists on May 29.
Asgarov said the bill has been prepared for discussions, but it will be discussed only in the autumn session.
"As we participate in peacekeeping operations, it is too necessary to adopt this bill," the first vice-speaker said.
Asgarov did not give additional information about the details of the bill.
The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) is standing for discussion of changes and amendments to the Law on Political parties in parliament. "We want the provisions relating to the future financing of political parties from the Public budget to be reflected in the document," Deputy Executive Secretary of NAP Mubariz Gurbanli said.
This issue must be discussed both by parliament and publicly, head of the Azerbaijani President Public Political Department Ali Hasanov said earlier. The most adequate and optimal version to be made during the discussions in parliament. Hasanov said that the character of political parties and their economic interests will be taken into account during financing from the Public budget. The form of financing will be defined only after discussions, Hasanov added. Azerbaijan may use the worldwide procedure for financing of parties. "We can use the experience of Turkey, Germany, Italy and other countries. In any case the number of places in parliament must be the main criteria," Hasanov said.
Azerbaijani opposition party Musvat has met with grandson of Mammad Amin Rasulzade. "Leader of the Musavat party Isa Gambar stressed the significance of Mammad Amin Rasulzade for his contribution to the country," the press service of Musavat said. The leaders of the party praised the work of a democratic republic, held in public construction, protection of territorial integrity and establishment of a free civil society. Rasulzade stressed the need to raise awareness of values of the state and citizens.
Azerbaijani opposition party Modern Musavat is going to change its political stance.
"The party has chosen a radical position as an adequate response to ongoing processes in the country. The main reason for non-constructive position is a social injustice in society, arbitrariness of officials and other negative factors. By taking a radical position, the party put the interests of the state and people above all. By fulfilling its mission, the party turns into a powerful force that could change the situation in the country," Chairman of the Modern Musavat Hafiz Hajiyev said.
He said the commission of five has designed draft changes to party's program.
"The initial draft was adopted during initial discussions. There were suggestions on improving the project during consultations with district and city organizations of the party. It is expected that a final draft will be approved at a meeting in June," he said.
Hajiyev said that the plan of a political party will again be discussed with a view to establishing links with other radical opposition parties.
The Azerbaijani ruling party considers proposals related to reform of the electoral commissions as groundless.
"At present, the current has been formed on a parity basis. These commissions have sufficient experience to conduct free, fair, democratic elections in Azerbaijan," Deputy Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party Mubariz Gurbanli said.
In anticipation of the municipal and parliamentary elections, some opposition parties in Azerbaijan made proposals to reform the electoral commissions.
Gurbanli said opposition's proposal concerning to form election commissions on a parity basis before the municipal elections can not be taken into account. "These commissions are quite experienced. So I think it is inappropriate to review the composition of committees. I do not understand the reason of such a proposal," the governing party's member added.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has once again condemned the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, adopting three resolutions at the 36th conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization in Damascus.
On May 25 at the final meeting of the OIC, were adopted resolutions on the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan; on economic assistance to Azerbaijan in connection with the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan; on destruction of the Islamic cultural and historical monuments in Azerbaijan's territories occupied as a result of Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan was represented at the meeting by the delegation headed by the Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
U.S. experts call for the Barack Obama administration to a more active and pragmatic foreign policy with regard to Azerbaijan, head of the Center for Strategic Studies (CIS) under the President of Azerbaijan Elkhan Nuriyev told journalists on Monday.
According to American experts, Azerbaijan is becoming a very significant country for the United States and the European Union, Nuriyev said. "Experts note that Azerbaijan is a relevant country not only of the energy and geopolitical points of view, but also of regional security," he said.
Nuriyev partook and delivered a report at the first session of the international forum "Prevention and management of conflict situations in investment relations in the energy and natural resources spheres". The meeting was held in the New York Columbian University Energy Policy and Public Relations Centre on May 12-13.
Nuriyev said that American experts suggest the U.S. President Barack Obama to visit the region and particularly Azerbaijan. "According to experts, the Obama administration must establish a pragmatic view of the Caucasus and Caspian regions. They call for Obama to play an active role not only in the energy sector but also in resolving conflicts in the region," he added.
American experts also recommended to Obama administration to repeal the Amendment 907 against Azerbaijan, he said. According to him, experts say the amendment meaningless.
According to Nuriyev, U.S. experts strongly condemned the foreign policy of former and current U.S. administration.
"According to experts, Azerbaijan did much to ensure the energy security of European Union, and the country's leadership has played a big role in expanding and strengthening the strategic interests of the United States and the European Union. Despite this, the United States and the European Union at the right time did not have strong political support to Azerbaijan", the head of CIS said.
During the visit, Nuriev made a speech at the "round table" on Modern Geopolitics in Azerbaijan: energy security and foreign policy strategy, at the American Center for Strategic and International Studies
He also attended at another "round table" on the topic "Azerbaijan's strategic choice: course for modernization and pragmatism of foreign policy", at the Brookings Institute.
A wide share of views on Azerbaijan's modern role in the regional and international policy, including in the energy security, analysis of regional and international issues of mutual interest have been held.
Nuriyev also reviewed with heads of U.S. centres regional projects on the scientific and studies cooperation among analytical institutes of the countries.
The Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) supported the international campaign Justice for Khojali and urged the international community to recognize the tragedy.
This was reflected in the resolution adopted at the 36th meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers.
International informational and agitation campaign Justice for Khojali was initiated by OIC Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation General Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue Leyla Aliyeva and launched on May 8, 2008.
Within the campaign, a Web site (www.justiceforkhojaly.org) was created. The OIC intends to continue supporting the campaign to achieve the goal - unless the international community makes correct assessment on Khojali accidents.
"The campaign was supported by all 57 OIC member countries," said Secretary General of OIC Youth Forum Elshad Iskenderov. This is the success of the Azerbaijani diplomacy, said Iskenderov.
The sixth consultations on consular issues between the Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan and Turkey took place in Baku on May 25-26.
The consultations discussed the legal status of citizens of both countries living in Turkey and Azerbaijan, ways of solving problems, the deportation of citizens, visa problems, the issue of combating human trafficking, the Foreign Ministry said on May 26.
They also touched upon the legal regulation of the acquisition of real property by citizens of Azerbaijan in Turkey and the registration of citizens of Turkey in Azerbaijan.
The consultations were attended by the representatives of the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, border, immigration and customs services of both countries.
A protocol of intention was signed as a result of the meeting.
Recent consultations on consular issues between the foreign ministries of Azerbaijan and Turkey were held in Ankara in 2006.
Priority issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Latvia will be discussed during the official visit by Latvian President Valdis Zatlers to Baku in mid-July, Azerbaijani Ambassador to this Baltic country Tofig Zulfugarov said.
During the visit, Latvian President is expected to sign a range of documents on bilateral cooperation in different spheres, Zulfugarov said over phone from Riga.
A group of Latvian businessmen will accompany Zatlers to Azerbaijan. Latvian businessmen will discuss the ways to expand cooperation with Azerbaijani colleagues.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Latvia hits $7.86 million in 2008, the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee said.
"We will always make efforts for the development of relations between Iran and Azerbaijan," Azerbaijani Ambassador to Iran Abbasali Hasanov said to press conference dedicated to the Republic Day of Azerbaijan, İRNA news agency reported.
He said that currently the trade turnover between Iran and Azerbaijan is $750 million.
"We are not satisfied with these figures, because both states have enormous potential for expanding trade ties," said Hasanov.
According to him, the private companies of Iran took the third place for investment in Azerbaijan, after Turkey and the United States.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is possible only through observance of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at a meeting with the representatives of the U.S. Congress Alan Makovski and Jonathan Katz, the Foreign Ministry reported.
The Minister added that the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will bring peace and stability to the Caucasus.
The meeting with the representatives of the U.S. Congress also focused on regional and global issues, in particular, attention was paid to the development of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan plays an important role in the political life of the South Caucasus, said the representatives of the Congress, adding that they were satisfied with the development process.
Azerbaijan ready to revive entire spectrum of economic and cultural relations with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkmenistan Elkhan Huseynov said in his interview with Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper.
"There is no doubt that all issues of further development of bilateral relations and the triumph of the atmosphere of brotherhood and cooperation will become more vivid in the near future," the ambassador said.
Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are taking joint actions regarding the Caspian Sea. During President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov's term, Turkmen embassy resumed work in Baku in 2007 and a constructive dialogue on the disputed oil fields on the Caspian Sea was launched, the issue of mutual debt was addressed and visits were exchanged at the highest level. The two countries are interested in the realization of Nabucco gas pipeline project that will bring Caspian energy to Europe through the Caspian Sea and Caucasus.
"Over the past few years Azerbaijan-Turkmen relations have been developing at a faster pace. The further expansion of cooperation between our two countries contributed to resuming Turkmen embassy in Baku and the accreditation of the new Turkmen Ambassador to Azerbaijan," the diplomat said. Intergovernmental Turkmenistan-Azerbaijani commission for economic cooperation has been launched upon the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.
The statement "One Nation, Two States" can not be perceived wrongly, Cihan news agency quoted Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey Zakir Hashimov as saying at an event on occasion of Azerbaijan's Independence Day
Turkish State Minister Jamil Chichek, Foreign Minister Ahmad Davudoglu and other senior officials attended the event.
State Minister Chichek said he shares both happiness and troubles of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan celebrates Republic Day on May 28. Azerbaijan marks 91st anniversary of independence this year.
"Relations between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan are of strategic partnership. Azerbaijan is very important for the Czech Republic. In September of this year, I'll make a visit to Azerbaijan", - the chairman of the Senate Przhemisl Sobotka said at the event organized in Prague on the occasion of Republic Day of Azerbaijan.
In his speech, the chairman of the Senate stressed the importance of maintaining independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the source in the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Czech Republic said.
During the speech, Ambassador Tair Tagizade informed about the current state and prospects of Azerbaijani-Czech relations, described the activities aimed at strengthening democracy and economic development in Azerbaijan.
28 May is marked as Republic Day in Azerbaijan.
Turkey plans to open the consulate in the Azerbaijani southern Lankaran region (270 kiloneters of Baku). "We plan to open the Turkish Honored Consulate in Lankaran in the coming time. Then, we will turn this into the Consulate General," Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilich told journalists in Lankaran on May 29.
Turkey has decided to form the Consulate General in Ganja - the second biggest city of Azerbaijan in 2009.
Israel and Azerbaijan attached great importance to the forthcoming visit of Israeli President Shimon Peres to Baku, Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan Arthur Lenk said. Israeli President's first visit to Azerbaijan is tentatively scheduled for the last week of June. "This is indeed an unusual event. Azerbaijan is a Muslim country with a Shiite majority, which has a side of Iran. However, President Aliyev has already stated that he will receive Shimon Peres with all honor and will respect him. Both sides attach great importance to this visit, because few people understood Azerbaijan as well as Israel. And we, and they are small countries, which are, diplomatically speaking, in a difficult environment ...",Lenk said.
According to the diplomat, the visit would strengthen political and economic relations between the two countries. "We have all the prerequisites to develop mutually beneficial cooperation. We get oil from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is interested in our technology, medical services and telecommunications. This is what the English called a win-win situation - where both sides win," Lenk said.
The United States is prepared to support Azerbaijan in joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), head of the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan Public Relations Department Terry Davidson said at the opening of an international student program "Students in free enterprise."
The United States assess the possible accession of Azerbaijan to the WTO as an important step forward, Davidson said. "U.S. ready to support reforms implemented in Azerbaijan on the recommendations of the organization," he said.
Azerbaijan, appealed to the WTO with a view to joining the organization since 1997. Intensive work is in this direction started in 2004, negotiations with the organization and the member countries of WTO are conducted so far.
In recent years, there has been a considerable economic growth in Azerbaijan, he said. "The energy resources of the country are jointly developed with foreign partners to enter the international market", Davidson said. However, Azerbaijan's main wealth is not energy. "The true wealth of Azerbaijan is the education and educated young people," Davidson added.
Booklets for receivers of social payments and pensioners have been published in Azerbaijan as a part of the reforms in the insurance and payment system.
The booklets aim to give detailed information to society about conditions for issuing labor pension, payment of mandatory social insurance and individual account, State Social Protection Fund spokesperson Elman Babayev told Trend .
Booklets, which will be distributed to the public for free have been issued under five names: "Secure Path to the Future" (social insurance and pension provision), "Sure Path to the Future" (social insurance and personal records), "Instructions for Use of ATMs for Pensioners", Central Call System: 190" and "The Timely Payment of Social Security - to Ensure Your Future".
Booklets have also been prepared to educate citizens who are not yet receiving a pension. Distribution of social benefits to insured persons and pensioners through the local offices of the fund has already begun. There are also video films to educate people.
Office of the Ombudsman of Azerbaijan has conducted an investigation on the mass food poisoning in the Garaheybat Military Training Center.
According to the analysis made by the sanitary-epidemiological center of the Ministry of Defense, the fact of poisoning had not been recorded, the press-service of the Ombudsman Office told Trend on May 29.
MP Aydin Mirzazade, together with a group of journalists, got familiarized with the food and conditions of soldiers in the military training center on May 28.
Staff of the Ombudsman visited the Garaheybat Training Center and the Military Clinic Hospital of the Ministry and met with the soldiers and military doctors.
В The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will visit the region in coming time to arrange the next meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, U.S. Co-Chair Matthew Bryza told Trend in a telephone conversation from Washington on May 25.
"The Co-Chairs plan to visit the region before June 4," he said. Bryza hopes the meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan will take place in St.Peterburg.
If it does, the Co-Chairs further hope the two presidents will build on the constructive approach of President Aliyev in Prague and on the positive reaction we sensed from President Sargsian after meeting.
The next meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents is scheduled for early June as part of the economic forum in St.Peterburg.
Bryza said all three Co-Chairs are working well together. "Despite our differences with regard to Georgia, the USA and Russia enjoy effective cooperation with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh," Bryza said.
On May 24, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from the nameless heights and an area outside the Gulistan village of the Goranboy region at 19:00-19:15 and 19:10-19:35, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.
The meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in St.Petersburg must be fruitful, Head of the Strategic Researches Centre at the Azerbaijani President Administration Elkhan Nuriyev told journalists.
Leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia are planning to meet within the framework of the economic forum to discuss the ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in St.Petersburg in early June.
The world community is well aware that the truth on the side of Azerbaijan, Nuriyev said. "The United States, Russia and the EU recognize the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. They know who the aggressor and who is the victim of an aggressor in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said. "Azerbaijan is ready to contribute utmost to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but after the withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied territories, return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their native land," he said. Armenia should see the realities of contemporary geopolitics of the region, he said. "Armenia must make compromises and to demonstrate constructivism. Azerbaijan's constructivism has passed all bounds," Nuriyev said.
On May 25, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions near Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy region at 12:20-12:35 and 15:45-15:55, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said. Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No casualties were reported.
The European Union supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group on settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and is ready to render necessary assistance in this direction, Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, said.
"EU is ready to support and render any assistance, in particular through intensifying our efforts in order to enhance confidence and contacts among the peoples," Semneby told a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday.
Co-chairs stressed a considerable progress in the negotiation process, saying that "house's foundation has been laid".
On May 28, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions near Chayli village of Tartar region at 21:35-22:00 and on May 29, from nameless heights of Khojavand region at 06:30-06:35, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said. Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No casualties were reported.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs engaged in resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict note progress in the talks. However, they do not expect the coming meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents to end with signing of a document.
"We do note expect any document to be signed, but we believe in progress," Minsk Group Co-Chair Mathew Bryza said to Trend over telephone after a meeting with President Ilham Aliyev.
Bryza said his visit to Baku was a preparation for Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan's upcoming meeting to take place in St. Petersburg on June 4. Bryza said during the current visit to Baku the co-chairs discussed concepts and details of several remaining elements of the Basic Principles with Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov.
The talks have recently seen progress. The co-chairs note significant progress in talks and describe it as "foundation of the house has been laid."