Weekly political digest (19.04- 24.04.2010)

Analysis Materials 29 April 2010 12:07 (UTC +04:00)

Official chronicle

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has sent a congratulatory message to Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres on the country`s Independence day. "I hope that development of Azerbaijan-Israel relationship, strengthening of our friendship and cooperation will further serve the interests of our peoples," the letter says. The Head of State wished the Israeli leader robust health, successes in his activities and friendly people of Israel - peace and prosperity.

On April 19, President Ilham Aliyev received Azerbaijani wrestlers, European championship winners, and leadership of the National Wrestling Federation. The Head of State congratulated the wrestlers on the victory in the European championship. "It is a great success indeed and winning ten medals at the European championship is a huge achievement," said President Aliyev, adding, "this victory is not accidental because our wrestlers have returned with big success from international championships during a couple of years". The President pointed out wrestling had always been popular in Azerbaijan. According to him, the fact that young Azerbaijani athletes achieved historical accomplishments shows that outlook for sports development in Azerbaijan looks bright. The sport became popular with all efforts put into establishing a healthy lifestyle in the country. The Azerbaijani leader hailed the Federation's contribution, saying a good working climate exists in the organization. President Aliyev noted sport is one of major areas of public policy in Azerbaijan. He highlighted the role of veterans in maintaining sport traditions in Azerbaijan. Senior coach of the Azerbaijan national Greco-Roman wrestling team Elchin Jafarov, European champions Khetag Gazyumov and Sona Ahmadli, President of the Azerbaijan Wresting Federation Fazil Mammadov thanked the Head of State for the care he shows for sports and athletes in the country. President Ilham Aliyev wished every success to Azerbaijani wrestlers in the years to come.

On April 19, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree appointing Ramiz Rzayev the Chairman of the Supreme Court, AzerTAj state news agency reported.

On April 19, President Ilham Aliyev received Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivered greetings of Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Teceb Tayyip Erdogan to State Head of Azerbaijan. During the meeting was mentioned the importance to further strengthen friendship and fraternal relations between the two counties.  Turkish Foreign Minister informed of the Turkish-Armenian relations. President Ilham Aliyev talked about the situation with the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijani President thanked for greetings and expressed his greetings to Turkish President and Prime Minister as well.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received Ukraine's ambassador to Azerbaijan Boris Klimchuk in connection with the completion of his diplomatic mission in the country, AzerTaj state news agency reported. Azerbaijani President stressed that bilateral relations strengthened between Azerbaijan and Ukraine during the diplomatic activity of Boris Klimchuk. Most of the issues were implemented of the last period. President Ilham Aliyev stressed that the ambassador had contributed to the expansion of the Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations and wished him luck in future activity. Boris Klimchuk expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani government and President Ilham Aliyev personally for conditions created at a high-level during the period of diplomatic activity. Diplomat expressed confidence that relations between countries will continue to develop.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received Russian Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Yuri Merzlyakov today, who is ending his tenure. Merzlyakov introduced Aliyev with his replacement Igor Popov. At the meeting, the sides discussed the resolution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

On April 20, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received U.S. co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Robert Bradtke. At the meeting the sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of negotiations for the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

On April 20, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev inspected reconstruction of the Nizami cinema and land improvement work at Fountains Gardens in the capital Baku, AzerTAj state news agency reported. The President, accompanied by his spouse Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, first visited the Nizami cinema, whose reconstruction is part of a series of measures aimed at repairing and reconstructing historic buildings and cultural monuments across the country.
Culture and tourism minister Abulfaz Garayev told the President the building of the cinema had never been repaired since its construction 76 years ago. According to the minister, after the overhaul the cinema would have four state-of-the-art halls and feature offices, shops, a cafe and 250-seat restaurant. The reconstruction work will end late this year. The President and the first lady then proceeded to the Fountains Gardens to see ongoing land improvement work.

On April 21, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev expressed his condolences to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, in connection with bereavement to the world's Olympic movement - the death of Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, AzerTAj state news agency reported. "In the person of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the world sports community, the international Olympic movement lost an eminent person. In connection with this, please convey my deepest condolences to the activists of the International Olympic Committee, family members and friends of the deceased," the letter of condolence said.
Ilham Aliyev stressed that he was experiencing a feeling of deep regret at the death of this selfless man who devoted his whole life to the Olympic movement. "The sports community of Azerbaijan will remember the memory of one of the leaders of the Olympic movement Juan Antonio Samaranch for a long time," said the President of Azerbaijan.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Pakistan's Defense Secretary Syed Athar Ali.
The President expressed confidence the Pakistani Defense Secretary`s visit would feature discussions on "important issues" related to the bilateral cooperation, AzerTAj News Agency reported.
President Ilham Aliyev praised the Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations and partnership.
The Azerbaijani leader said his country was interested in expanding its cooperation with Pakistan, stressing "there are good opportunities to get it done in the military field and defense industry".
President Ilham Aliyev thanked Pakistan for supporting Azerbaijan`s "just" position during the voting on a resolution on the situation in the country`s occupied territories at the Organization of the Islamic Conference and UN Security Council, and also for not recognizing Armenia because of its military aggression against Azerbaijan. The President reaffirmed Azerbaijan`s backing of Pakistan`s stance on the Kashmir conflict. Syed Athar Ali praised the Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations.
The Pakistani Defense Secretary stressed the importance of the fact the two countries support each other`s stances on the international scale.  Syed Athar Ali called the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Azerbaijan`s "most critical problem", adding this is the reason why Pakistan does not recognize Armenia.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to provide one-time financial aid to World War II veterans, their widows, the families of deceased soldiers, and individuals awarded orders and medals for their selfless work in the rear, the AzerTaj state news agency reported. Aliyev ordered the provision of 500 manat in one-time financial assistance to veterans and 200 manat to their widows, the families of deceased soldiers, and individuals awarded orders and medals, including the badge for defending Leningrad during the blockade of the city. The Presidential Reserve Fund allocated 8 million manat to execute the order from the 2010 state budget. The Finance Ministry was instructed to transfer these funds to a special account of the State Social Protection Fund. The fund will provide material assistance to citizens, and the Cabinet of Ministers will resolve any issues arising from the order.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed an Executive Order on improvement of work of the country's state telegraph agency, AzerTAc. Under the presidential order, AzerTAc will see the number of its foreign bureaus increase and the agency will also launch multimedia and video as well as German, French and Arabic language services. The agency will also receive a new headquarters. The President instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to deal with the issues arising from the order. The order stresses AzerTAc's "particular" role in disseminating rapid and efficient information about Azerbaijan and increasing the Azerbaijani society`s awareness of the latest world developments.

On April 23, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev sent a message of congratulation to Pope Benedict XVI on the Coronation day. "I am sure Azerbaijan-Vatican relations, our friendship and cooperation will be steadily developing and strengthening in the name of triumph of ideas of humanism and human values". The Head of State wished Benedict XVI good health, success in his mission and coreligionists peace and welfare.

Azerbaijani President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev held a meeting on army building at the Ministry of Defense on April 23. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief noted that the army building had always been in the focus of attention in Azerbaijan: "This is the issue of primary importance for us, because the territories of Azerbaijan are under the occupation for long years". The Head of State stressed that that the existing situation makes Azerbaijan strengthen its military potential at high level: "Armenia and its supporters have committed special cruelty and mercilessness in the process of occupation. Khojaly Genocide is a bright example for this. Armenia roughly violates all legal norms. Despite the adoption of four resolutions by the UN Security Council in the early 1990s demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied lands, the Armenian armed forces are still holding our territories under occupation and do not implement these decisions". Touching upon updated Madrid principles, the Head of State said that the last proposals might be a ground for preparation of the agreement: "I want to reiterate that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has never been and will never be a subject of discussion. Prolonging the negotiations, Armenia does not want to free the territories it has occupied. Our biggest compromise is that Azerbaijan is still committed to the peace process for 20 years. The international community should respect for their decisions. No problem can be solved in the region unless the Armenia - Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved, because the conflict seriously impact on the processes in the region". Speaking about the significance of the meeting, the President stated that further development of the military sphere is in the focus of attention in Azerbaijan. According to him, the military preparation is at high level in Azerbaijan, military expenses has increased by ten times over the last 5-6 years, military industry is rapidly developing and a great number of military equipment has been purchased: "This is our natural right. Today the Army of Azerbaijan is stronger and more professional than Armenian one in all spheres. Azerbaijan is one of the rare countries in the region that doesn't need the help of anyone". Further, Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev provided detailed information on the measures taken in the direction of the army building.


Democratic elections have been held under the current Electoral Code, Azerbaijani Parliamenary Vice Speaker Bahar Muradova said. "Statements made by several NGOs that the elections were undemocratic are wrong. All the elections in Azerbaijan meet international standards," he said. MP Igbal Aghazadeh put forward a proposal for making additions and amendments to the Electoral Code in a parliamentary session. "The opposition offers a variety of additions and amendments to the code. I think the necessary amendments should be made to the code to hold democratic elections," Umid Chairman Agazadeh said at a parliamentary session today. According to the party head, an electoral pledge for parties participating in the elections helps to reduce the number of opposition candidates. "It is necessary to make additions and amendments to eliminate these problems," Agazadeh said. Azerbaijan will hold parliamentary elections in early November.

Azerbaijani Central Election Commission (CEC) has completed monitoring of district election commissions. "The CEC started monitoring of the activity of district electoral commissions April 5," the commission told Trend. Six groups were set up for monitoring. They consist of the CEC members and the Commission's secretariat employees. They carried out extensive testing. "The monitoring was carried out in 125 electoral districts. At present, the CEC studies the results of monitoring, evaluation of which will be given at the commission meeting," - said in a statement.


Protest should be expressed regarding the U.S policy pursued in recent years on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, a number of MPs from the ruling party believe. "The current position of the U.S., as a co-chair country [the OSCE Minsk Group], which undertook the mission to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, does not correspond to the nature of relations between this country and Azerbaijan," ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary Ali Ahmedov said today. According to him, the U.S, as a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group, provides economic support to Armenia to the detriment of Azerbaijan's interests. "This doesn't correspond to the U.S. mission, which positions itself as town crier of democracy in the world," Ahmedov said. According to him, Azerbaijani Parliament should take a serious position on this issue. "The Azerbaijani public, in particular the political parties should express open protest to the U.S. policy," Ahmedov said. According to the Deputy Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Siyavush Novruzov, biased attitude of some states towards the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is entirely directed against Azerbaijan. And some forces inside the country support such a policy of these states, he believes. "Given all this, it is necessary to express a strong protest against the processes that run counter to Azerbaijan's interests," - Novruzov said. The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

Azerbaijani Parliamentary Speaker Bahar Muradova said the Azerbaijani and Kuwaiti leaders hadve a special role in development of the cooperation between the two countries. "President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Kuwait in 2009, gave a new impetus to the development of the Kuwaiti-Azerbaijan relations," Muradova said during her meeting with women Kuwaiti parliamentarians. Muradova informed the MPs about the Azerbaijani parliament's activities, international relations, cooperation and experience in improving the legislation base. She believes such visits will promote cooperation not only in the parliamentary level, but also in other areas. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict obstacles Azerbaijan's development, Muradova said. Muradova thanked the Kuwaiti government and people for support to Azerbaijan's just position over the conflict and humanitarian aids that it provides to the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs. Head of Kuwaiti delegation, MP Masuma Saleh Al-Mubarak said the consultations held in Azerbaijan will help process on establishment of the legislation. Al-Mubarak also noted that Kuwait pays great importance to development of the relations with Azerbaijan. She also spoke The meeting also exchanged views on activity of the two countries' women MPs, gender equity, cooperation in tourism and the matters that are interest of both sides.  

The Azerbaijani Parliamentary Legal Policy and State Building Committee submitted new bill on approval of general prosecutor for the parliament's discussion. The committee meeting mulled the bill related to the approval of Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov to this post once again. The bill will be tabled for discussion at the next parliamentary meeting. President Ilham Aliyev sent the bill on approval of general prosecutor. Current Azerbaijani Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov occupies this position since April 25, 2000 and his office term will expire April 25 in 2010. Garalov was appointed to this position twice. In 2009, the parliament adopted an amendment to the law on prosecutor's office. The bill includes an item removing limitation on appointment of the prosecutor general, military prosecutor, prosecutor and military prosecutor of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), which was described in the Article 16 of the law on the "Prosector's Office". Azerbaijan appoints Prosecutor General once every five years.

MPs of the Azerbaijani Milli Mejlis (Parliament) will leave for France in order to attend the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). "PACE spring session will be held April 26-30 in Strasbourg. The session will be attended by a group of MPs headed by PACE Vice President and head of the Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE, Azerbaijani Parliamentary International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee Chairman Samad Seyidov," - the Parliament told Trend today. The group includes MPs Gultekin Hajibeyli, Ganira Pashayeva, Rafael Huseynov, Aydin Abbasov and Sabir Hajiyev. "Reports on the results of the Bureau, the Standing Committee of the Assemblym will be heard, views will be exchanged on the fight against extremism, the impact of the global economic crisis, the outcome of the war between Georgia and Russia, as well as on issues relating to migrants and refugees, climate change, the obligations of Montenegro and other issues at the session," - said in the statement. The head of Azerbaijani delegation Samad Seyidov and MPs, who will express their attitude on the session's agenda, are expected to address at the session.

Foreign policy

The Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President director Elkhan Nuriyev's visit to Germany has been postponed.
His visit to Germany and Great Britain from April 19-25 has been postponed due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, and a ban on air flights in most European countries, the Center said.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov canceled his Germany visit scheduled for April 19-21, due to the deteriorating weather and suspension of flights in Europe, the ministry reported. The new date for the visit will be defined soon.

Azerbaijanis suffered from the riots in the Mayevka village, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, eyewitnesses reported. According to them, affected by the fights between the Turks and Kirgiz, the Azerbaijanis are now at the hospital, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan and one Turk was killed. Yet it was failure to get details from Azerbaijani consulate in Kyrgyzstan. At least three Azerbaijanis suffered from the riots in the Maevka village, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, eyewitnesses reported. According to them, affected by the fights between the Turks and Kirgiz, the Azerbaijanis are now at the hospital, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan and one Turk was killed. Yet it was failure to get details from Azerbaijani consulate in Kyrgyzstan. Riots are continuing in the Maevka village. According to witnesses, the police do not specifically prevent the events taking place. AKIpress reported that in the Moscow street four army trucks with machine guns escorted by two police cars moved at high speed in the direction of the mosque. The villagers who were concerned by outrage marauders create self-defense units. AKIpress also reports that about 600 police officers, supported by armored personnel carriers, left on patrol in the village. A group of young people demanded the allocation of land. More than 500 people, which local media called "squatters", attacked on the houses of Meskhetians, hijacked two cars of BMW and Mazda. Residents reported that a group of young people on the outlying streets smash windows of homes and asked to send to the village police to stabilize the situation.
The agency "24.kg" reported about attack on correspondents of Mond newspaper and Kabar state news agency, who tried to take photo of events.

Bavarian Minster for Federal and European Affairs Emilia Mueller will discuss the Nabucco pipeline project designed to transport gas from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia to Europe during her visit to Baku. "A short while ago, I had talks in Austria at the other end of this pipeline. Now, I would like to discuss the Nabucco project at its starting point in Azerbaijan," Mueller said in an interview with Trend in the run up to her Baku visit scheduled for April 21-22. Speaking about Azerbaijan's important role in the energy security of Europe, Mueller marked out the Nabucco gas pipeline among the important joint projects. Nabucco's European shareholders rely on fuel, which will be produced in the second stage of development of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field, to fill the pipeline. The German company RWE is a shareholder in the Nabucco project, worth 7.9 billion euros, with 16.67 percent equity share. In addition to fossil fuels, Mueller noted the increasing urgency of renewable energy. Many Bavarian companies produce high quality products working on renewable energy sources such as solar, she said. "Bavarian enterprises offer a wide range of innovative high tech products. Of special interest to Azerbaijan might be Bavarian know-how in environmental technology, for example sewage treatment plants, or building construction technology," Mueller said. Mueller noted the agriculture among the most promising areas for mutually beneficial cooperation with Azerbaijan. "There are many ideas for new projects - from livestock farming to the training of agricultural experts," Mueller said. During Baku visit Mueller intends to learn the country's plans to further develop the EU Eastern Partnership program, in which the country has been involved since 2009. "Our political cooperation is still in an early stage. It is my aim to promote it during my visit," Mueller said.

An article was published in Swedish weekly newspaper 'Kalmar Läns Tidning' (April 18-23, 2010) in connection with Azerbaijan's ambassador to Sweden, Rafael Ibrahimov's speech at the Higher School of Economics, University of Kalmar. Kalmar Läns Tidning is the oldest newspaper, published in Sweden in 1827. It publishes thousands of copies, the statement said. The newspaper also publishes in electronic format. The publication reported that Ibrahimov spoke about historical and political sides of the country. Ambassador also stressed the economic development of Azerbaijan. He emphasized the most important geopolitical role of the country in the context of international cooperation and energy corridors. He also raised the question of priorities in the further intensification of non-oil sectors of the economy. Later Ibrahimov told about the activities of the country in attracting foreign investments. He noted emphasized AZPROMO's role, as well as the need for such statements. Rafael Ibrahimov stressed the country's leading role in regional economic development and spoke about export from Azerbaijan in details, the report said.

Joint military exercises of the United States and Azerbaijan were postponed by mutual agreement of Ministers of Defence of two countries, MP from Azerbaijani ruling party said. "Postponement is not related to tensions that have recently occurred between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. Joint military exercises between Azerbaijan and Georgia were postponed by mutual agreement of Ministers of Defence of two countries. Previously, we also faced the facts of postponement, planned to be held in Georgia " the Azerbaijani Parliament committee member on security and defence, Deputy Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Siyavush Novruzov told Trend. As to the place when they will be held Novruzov said it will be determined after discussions of defense ministers of both countries. Azerbaijan has refused from holding joint military exercises with the U.S., which were scheduled for May.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov received Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Anung Vibo, the Foreign Ministry said. The meeting discussed relations between the two countries, the processes in the region. Mammadyarov briefed the guest about the situation around the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and Azerbaijan's position in this issue.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov received the Ukrainian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Boris Klimchuk in connection with the completion of his diplomatic mission in our country, the Ministry said today. During the meeting, Klimchuk expressed satisfaction over the fact that he was the Ukrainian Ambassador to Azerbaijan. The Ambassador said that his activity was aimed at further development and expansion of bilateral relations between the two countries in all spheres, and also stressed the valuable cooperation in this direction with the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry. He expressed gratitude for support and attention during his activity. In turn, Mammadyarov Minister wished Klimchuk success in the future activity.

Azerbaijani Consul General in Los Angeles Elin Suleymanov spoke on energy security of Azerbaijan and Europe before the teachers and students of the University of California at Santa Barbara. In his speech Suleymanov told participants about the important strategic position and regional energy policy of Azerbaijan. Moreover, he informed the participants about the contribution of Azerbaijan to regional development. Azerbaijan is a leader in the region, Suleymanov said. Speaking to representatives of the academic circles about the role of Azerbaijan in the energy security of Europe, Azerbaijani diplomat said that Azerbaijan's foreign policy has always rested on a pragmatic basis and served the national interests of the country. Stressing the priority of implementation of Azerbaijani energy policy to diversify export routes of energy, Suleymanov said that this very moment, according to the Azerbaijani side, is considered important in ensuring security in Europe and the whole Eurasian space.

There is potential for developing bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, Pakistani Defense Secretary Syed Athar Ali said at a meeting with Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov. Pakistan supports Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and doesn't recognize Armenia, Ali was quoted by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry as saying. Stressing the potential for cooperation between the countries in the political, economic and cultural spheres, Khalafov emphasized the importance of effectively using this potential to deepen the relations between the countries. Khalafov thanked Pakistan for its support of Azerbaijan's just position in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan does not believe that the U.S. President Barack Obama will pronounce the words "Armenian genocide". "President Obama's pronouncing these words does not conform to U.S. interests, it would bring harms to the U.S., from this point of view, I do not believe it," Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic told reporters on April 24.  Every year on April 24, U.S. President addresses the nation on the false "Armenian genocide". Armenia claims that the Ottoman Empire committed "genocide" against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Making greater efforts to promote the issue internationally, Armenians have achieved its recognition by parliaments in some countries. If Obama pronounces the word "genocide", then he makes a big mistake, said deputy chairman and executive secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Ali Ahmedov. "I think this will enter the history as a mistake made in the policy by the president," he said.
"But I do not believe that any word, phrase used by the U.S. President would lead to a change in the situation in our region," said Ahmedov.  "In our region there is an aggression against Azerbaijan, and if there is a reality to be changed, it is this. If Obama makes such a mistake, it means that the removal of this injustice has not found its reflection in the policies of the U.S. One word, used by the President of the United States, can not exert influence on the policies pursued by such a great state like Turkey," he said.

Political movements

The newly established opposition party in Azerbaijan made a decision with regards to approximately 30 candidates who will participate in the parliamentary elections. "About 40 members of our party are going to nominate. We support participation of our most successful candidates in the parliamentary elections," deputy chairman of Aydinlar party Gadir Ibrahimli told Trend on April 19. The parliamentary elections were held in Azerbaijan in autumn this year. The recent elections in the legislature body were held in November 2005. The parliamentary elections are held by the majority system in 125 electoral districts in Azerbaijan. According to Ibrahimli, all members of the party's leadership are going to nominate. "Chairman Gulamhuseyn Alibeyli will nominate from one of the constituencies in Masalli district or Baku. I think to nominate from Lankaran region. Another deputy chairman Gorkhmaz Ibrahimli will nominate from one of the constituencies in Baku," said the functionary of the party. According to him, deputy chairman on organizational issues Khanoglan Ahmedov must nominate from the Yardimli district, chairman of the Supreme Assembly Nizami Guliyev - from Gedabey district. "This is not a final decision. Discussions are continuing within the party. Changes can be made to our preliminary list," said Ibrahimli. The constituent congress of the Aydinlar party was held December 14, 2008. Gulamhuseyn Alibayli was elected chairman.

An Azerbaijani opposition party chairman believes that several opposition parties may participate in the parliamentary elections with additional candidate lists. "Our participation in the elections with a single list has not yet been defined, as discussions with the Musavat party are underway," Great Azerbaijan Party Chairman Elshad Musayev told Trend. The parliamentary elections were held in Azerbaijan in autumn 2010. Previously, elections were held in November 2005. In Azerbaijan, the parliamentary elections are held by the majority system in 125 electoral districts. Musayev said the party's council discussed the issue once more today. "Although we are continuing talks with Musavat, we hope the opposition parties will participate in the elections with a single list and in a more expanded composition," he added. The union and Musavat have partly agreed on the candidate lists, Musayev said. "However, this does not mean that we will participate in the elections with a single list. Everything depends on the continuation of talks. If the sides agree, then the union and Musavat may participate in the parliamentary election with two lists defined during the talks," he said. Recently, the union turned to the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) and Musavat Party to hold consultations related to the parliamentary elections. Following discussions in the Musavat Party's meeting, it was decided on the importance of participation in the consultation, after which representatives of both sides held two meetings. The PFPA has decided not to participate in the consultations.

An Azerbaijani opposition party's youth organization wants the education and youth and sports ministers to attend their rally in April. "Given that most of those killed and injured in the terrorist attack at the Azerbaijani State Oil Academy were students and youths, we want Education Minister Misir Mardanov and Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov to attend our rally April 30," the Musavat party said. Last week, Musavat's youth organization decided to hold a solidarity rally in Jafar Jabbarli Square from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m in connection with the anniversary of the terrorist attack. They voiced the slogans "Declare April 30 Students Day," and "Erect a Monument to the Victims!" Farda Gadirov entered the academy and killed 12 people April 30. About 13 people were injured. Four people were arrested. Upon the completion of an investigation, a criminal case was submitted for consideration to the court.

The Azerbaijani opposition union that brings together several opposition parties attempted to hold rally. "We failed to hold rally in front of the Baku City Executive Power as some protestors were detained, " Citizens and Development Party chairman presented in Azadliq bloc Ali Aliyev said. Aliyev said the rally was aimed to protest problems in the sphere of freedom of assembly and nomination of requirements associated with additions and changes to the Electoral Code. Earlier, the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) presented in Azadliq bloc decided to hold mass rallies. The other parties represented in the bloc parties have expressed their intention to support the action. Azadliq bloc intended to hold a meeting April 25, but the meeting was rescheduled for today due to weather conditions.

Some Azerbaijani parties can refuse from participating in the parliamentary elections shortly before their start, Azerbaijani opposition party chairman said. Azadliq bloc decided to boycott the upcoming elections. It avoids from cooperation with the political forces that intend to participate in the parliamentary elections," Azerbaijani Democratic Party chairman Sardar Jalaloglu told Trend. The parliamentary elections were held in Azerbaijan in autumn this year. The recent elections in the legislature body were held in November 2005. The parliamentary elections are held by the majority system in 125 electoral districts in Azerbaijan. Jalaloglu said that "Musavat" is one of the parties opposing the unity of the opposition. "Musavat opposes unification because it wants to get many seats in the Azerbaijani parliament," he said. Jalaloglu said that his party does not want to play a mediating role in the games in the interests of certain political forces, or associated with the support of the boycott tactics. "Therefore, our independent participation in elections is more realistic," he said. "Rumors about boycotting of the elections by Azadliq bloc are wrong. We are seriously preparing to participate in the elections," Citizens and Development party chairman Ali Aliyev told Trend today. He said that non-participation of other political forces in one polling unit with the parties included in Azadliq bloc is connected with the policy of the bloc. "Socio-political situation in the country, events surrounding Azerbaijan, make it impossible to predict the situation on the eve of elections. Of course, if the current tensions persist, this will impact on the process of the parliamentary elections. During consultations there were debates with some parties on issues related to the situation in the country. We can not establish a joint unit, " he said.  Aliyev said that Azadliq bloc intends to hold the first mass protests on improving the country's situation in connection with the elections. "This demonstrates our serious intent in connection with the elections. Parties seriously prepare for the elections. We are committed to the issue of participation in elections. We follow the aim to achieve serious success," the party chairman said. Earlier the party proposed the establishment of a new electoral bloc by Umid party and parties represented in Azadliq block due to the parliamentary elections.

The opposition Liberal Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (LDPA) decided to convene an extraordinary congress. Preparations for parliamentary elections to be held in the autumn, and the convening the extraordinary VI (III) Congress of the Party on Chairman Fuad Aliyev's offer were discussed along with other issues at the meeting. It is planned that the congress will be held in October. It was also decided to establish an organizing committee in connection with it, instructed to carry out the works, conferences in connection with the preparation for the congress in the region and municipal organizations of the Party.

Azerbaijani opposition parties, having weak social bases, are trying to accuse the government and related organizations, prohibiting them from holding rallies in places unprovided for this, executive secretary, deputy chairman of ruling New Azerbaijan Party, Ali Akhmadov, told media. "Places have been allocated for opposition to hold meetings in 2007-2008. They have demonstrated their weak social support. Therefore, opposition parties have changed their tactics of behavior. Now they try to explain weakness of the social base, the reluctance of people to participate in their meetings as the governmental and appropriate organizations' ban to hold rallies where they wish," Akhmadov said. He said that it is impossible to hold mass rallies in places claimed by opposition parties from the point of security, the normal movement in the city. "Appropriate places have been allocated for all the parties to hold mass actions ", he added. Akhmadov said that opposition's policy, consisting of meetings, street rallies, is ineffective. According to the decision of the executive authority in Baku, a stadiumof the sports complex "Neftchi" in the Bibi-Heybat, a square in front of Baku oil refinery, a square of Ukraine in Khatai district and a stadium named after Tofiq Ismayilov, a fitness center "Neftchi" in Surakhani district have been allocated for rallies. According to the executive authority's decision, it is possible to organize the march from the metro station "Neftchiler" to the square in front of the refinery named after Heydar Aliyev, from the metro station "Hazi Aslanov", across the street of Muhammad Hadi to a square of Ukraine, from the square named after Sattar Bahlulzade to the stadium of Sport Health Center "Neftchi".  However, opposition supports the holding of rallies in the central streets of the city.

During a regular meeting of the presidium of Azerbaijani opposition party a decision was made to hold mass rallies. "A committee has been set up to prepare for actions," Umid party told Trend. The party will hold meetings calling on democratization of the electoral environment and changes to the Electoral Code. "The place and time of the rally was determined at the meeting. The appeal to the executive power of Baku in connection with the rally on May 1 at 03:00 in front of a cinema named after N. Narimanov, former Cinema Gelebe and other places," the information said. The Parliamentary elections will be held in Azerbaijan in autumn this year. The last elections were held in November 2005. The parliamentary elections are held by the majority system in 125 electoral districts in Azerbaijan. About 32 candidates who will take part in the parliamentary elections were approved at the meeting. Earlier the issue on the nomination of 30 members of the party was positively resolved.

Azerbaijan's ruling party has held a regular board meeting. "The meeting discussed the activities on the occasion of the celebration of National Leader Heydar Aliyev's 87th anniversary," - the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) said. It was emphasized that the activities to be held on the occasion of the birthday of the late President should be multifaceted and involve all layers of the society. Views exchanged about the party's activities over recent months and the next objects at the meeting. "The results of the certification of staffs of the party's city and regional branches held March-April were analyzed" -the Party said. NAP was founded in 1992 by national leader Heydar Aliyev, when he was chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan. Now, President Ilham Aliyev heads the organization.

Azadliq bloc will not take part in the Round Table, to be held at the initiative of Azerbaijani opposition party. "We think that several parties represented in this bloc are not serious. Their participation in the meeting is unacceptable", Azerbaijani Party of National Independence secretary for press and propaganda Ali Orujov told Trend. Orujev said that despite this, they want to participate in the discussions of Azerbaijani Popular Front Party's leadership. "We think this party is a serious political organization. But we could not send a separate invitation, as the party is a member of this bloc," he said. Discussions will be held with the joint participation of the opposition in the parliamentary elections at a meeting with representatives of the Union for Democracy and the Musavat party, he said. "Other opposition parties represented in the parliament were invited to the discussions", the party secretary said. Azerbaijan National Independence Party has recently made a proposal to hold a round table on "Opportunities for cooperation of opposition parties". NIPA was established in 1992. This is the first party in Azerbaijan which passed state registration. After resignation of party chairman Etibar Mammadov in late 2004, the party split. Some members of the NIPA were dissatisfied when Ali Aliyev headed the party and left it. Currently, Mammadov is deputy chairman of the International Democratic Union (MDS).


Baku hosted the presentation today of the English-language book "Victims of the Genocide Committed by Armenians - Baganis Ayrim." MPs Ganira Pashayeva and Akif Ashirli are the book's authors. The book describes the crimes committed on the night of March 23-24, 1990 by Armenian forces with the support of the Soviet army in the Baganis Ayrim village in the Gazakh region. Speaking at the presentation at the AMI Trend Press Center, Pashayeva said the book aims to inform the international community about Armenian occupation policy in Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan, including Gazakh. "We want to tell the world the truth about the genocide committed in Baganis Ayrim with this book. Sometimes it seems the Armenian armed forces committed genocide only in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas. But the Armenian armed forces occupied seven villages of the Gazakh region. This book provides specific photographs showing the vandalism of the Armenians and revealing the names of some of the criminals," she added. Pashayeva said the book also presents testimonies of those who witnessed the genocide in Baganis Ayrim, and individuals whose relatives and beloveds were killed during the tragedy. The book will be translated into Russian and Arabic in coming months, Pashayeva said. Co-author of the book, Ashirli, said the Armenian lobby around the world runs a campaign in an effort to recognize the so-called "Armenian Genocide" each year on the eve of April 24. The book responds to their lies, he said. Azerbaijani Military Prosecutor Khanlar Valiyev is the book's main consultant.

April 18, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions and areas near the Gizil Oba and Chayli villages in the Tartar region at 23.20- 23.40 and 01.15- 01.30 April 19, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

Solving the problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan and liberating Azerbaijani lands is one of our key missions, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said to a press conference after his meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. "We had a bilateral meeting which covered the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Discussions were held on steps to be taken to achieve peace and stability in the South Caucasus. We discussed recent processes with President Ilham Aliyev, and Mammadyarov. I must say about the summit, which was held in Washington, that at all our meetings, we demonstrated that our main goal is to continue the process based on peace, security and stability," said Davutoglu Davutoglu also added that Turkey's goal is clear: establishing a new period in the South Caucasus, which would be based on the normalization of relations, opening of borders, trust and security. "We hope that it will be achieved together with the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group," said Davutoglu.

The parliamentary elections held by Armenian separatists in Nagorno Karabakh contradict international legal norms. "The elections are held to form a legitimate government. They must be fair, free and democratic. But holding elections in war zones and occupied territories oppose international legal norms," Azerbaijani Central Elections Committee (CEC) Secretary Natig Mammadov told Trend.
Nagorno Karabakh's Armenian separatist regime intends to hold parliamentary elections May 23. It has already started the candidate registration process. There is no single entity with a legal framework meeting legislative requirements and international standards in Nagorno Karabakh, Mammadov said. "These territories are under occupation and international organizations and countries around the world recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Therefore, the elections in these areas should be conducted under Azerbaijani legislation," he added. Mammadov said Azerbaijani legislation is in force throughout the country. "Currently, Azerbaijani laws cannot be directly applied in the territories under Armenian occupation. Thus, holding legitimate elections in Nagorno Karabakh is impossible. This is a game to justify and legitimize the occupation," Mammadov said. The elections are offensive to Karabakh Azerbaijanis and IDPs, he added.

The United States took a neutral position on the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and highly supports the OSCE Minsk Group's efforts, U.S. State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said in an interview with the Azerbaijani representation of Voice of America.
There is no cooling in Azerbaijani-U.S. relations, Tonar said. As co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States has taken every effort to resolve the protracted conflict together with Azerbaijan and Armenia. "The United States does not recognize the independence of Nagorno Karabakh. We are not on anyone's side. We support the Minsk Group and the peaceful settlement of the conflict," he said. Toner also touched upon the Turkish-Armenian negotiations. "We stand for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian ties, which corresponds with the interests of the region. At the same time, we support the Minsk process. We would like to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and to work with Azerbaijan and Armenia in this regard," he added.
Speaking about the meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and Ankara's role in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Toner said the country as a strong partner and ally and the United States plays a constructive role in the region.
"Turkey is a strong partner and ally in the region. We are confident that the country plays a constructive role in the region. Of course, the Davutoglu-Clinton meeting discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Minsk process. Our objective in the region is the normalization of Turkish -Armenian and Azerbaijani-Armenian relations, and we pledged to achieve these objectives," he said.

The Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions and areas near the Gulustan village in the Geranboy region at 15.10- 15.30 April 20, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

Armenia is ignoring the international decisions and resolutions on Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijani Parliamentary Speaker Ogtay Asadov said at a meeting with an Indonesian delegation headed by Indonesian House of Representatives Deputy Chairman Anung Vibo, the Parliamentary Press Service reported. "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a painful problem of a dynamic Azerbaijan. The aggressor, Armenia, continues to ignore international organizations' decisions and resolutions on the issue. We stand for a just solution to the problem within international legal norms," Asadov said. The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories. Asadov praised Indonesia's support for Azerbaijan's position in discussions on this problem in authoritative international organizations. "The meeting also noted that so far the two countries have only signed five documents and over 20 documents are under development. Azerbaijan believes that it is important to develop relations with this country in politics, economy, culture and humanitarian relations. The sides noted extensive development potential in the economic field between rich oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan and Indonesia," the press service reported. Asadov said inter-parliamentary relations play a special role in developing cooperation between the two states. "Working groups on inter-parliamentary relations with 70 countries around the world operate in the Azerbaijani parliament. There is also a group for cooperation with the Indonesian legislature. Our deputies met in international institutions to exchange experiences and information," he added.

Noting the importance of the meetings, Vibo said his country had a serious interest in cooperation with Azerbaijan in various spheres. He said Indonesia, which once suffered from separatism, is well aware of Azerbaijan's problem with Nagorno Karabakh, and supports the country's position and territorial integrity unambiguously. The sides also exchanged their views on inter-parliamentary relations, and potential cooperation in the economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, as well as solutions to regional conflicts and other issues of mutual interest.

On April 21, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from nameless heights in the territory of Goranboy region and positions near the village Tapqaraqoyunlu; on April 22 from positions near the village of Javakhirli in the Agdam region from 02:00-02:15, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

The parliamentary election held by Armenian separatists in Nagorno Karabakh is not serious step, Azerbaijani Central Election Commission (CEC) Head Mazahir Panahov said. "The separatist regime previously held such elections, but neither the international community nor the U.S. State Department recognized the results of these elections," Panahov said. Nagorno Karabakh's Armenian separatist regime intends to hold parliamentary elections May 23. It has already started the candidate registration process. The CEC will appeal to the international community not to recognize these elections, he added. Panahov called Nagorno-Karabakh residents, who are citizens of Azerbaijan, to take an active part in Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections scheduled for November.

Preservation of the status quo, which occurred as a result of occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia is unacceptable and resolving of the conflict is possible based on norms and principles of international law and only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov said today at the meeting with Emilia Muller, minister for Federal and European Affairs of the State of Bavaria, Germany. Muller, expressing her satisfaction with the stay in our country said Germany is interested in developing relations with our country and that there are opportunities in this direction. Muller said that a number of the Bavarian companies have implemented successful projects in our country, and her country is interested in deepening of cooperation with Azerbaijan in economic, educational, construction, engineering and other fields in the future. Then the German guest inquired about the processes in the region. In his turn, Mammadyarov said that the interest is mutual, and stressed that he shares the idea of the importance of implementing specific projects for further deepening of the relations.

High level meetings in Washington, Baku and Moscow provide a new impetus to the advancement of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the Madrid Principles, the joint statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group says. Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassador Yuri Merzlyakov, Russian Federation; Ambassador Bernard Fassier, France; Ambassador Robert Bradtke, United States) made the statement as a result of their meeting in Moscow on April 22. The meeting was organized to discuss recent developments on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, including high level meetings in Washington, Baku, and Moscow. The Co-Chairs will travel to Vienna in early May to brief the Minsk Group on these efforts. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

April 22, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions and areas near the Yusifjanli village in the Agdam region at 10.45- 10.55 and from areas outside the Gizil Oba village in the Tartar region at 21.30- 21.50, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.