Weekly political digest (14.06- 19.06.2010)

Official chronicle

Azerbaijan marks the National Salvation Day.

Azerbaijan got its independence in October 1991. The first years of the independence are characterized by the crisis within the country and in the government. Chaos occupied all the spheres of the social life. The case was harder in the army, as the number of desertion increased. Armenia increased its occupation day by day. Azerbaijan faced a crisis in the authorities. Separate individuals and groups struggled among themselves for power in the young republic. National Front occupied the power of the state May 14, 1992 and showed inability to lead the state on the first days of its ill-determined ruling. In 1993 Azerbaijan faced the danger of the civil war.

On such a hard period of time people invited the prominent son of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev from Nakhchivan to Baku. Aliyev came to Baku June 19, with the insistence of the people and the authorities of the republic.

Aliyev prevented civil war in Azerbaijan in a short period of time.

Aliyev was elected the chairman of the Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet June 15, 1993 and this date entered our history as the National Salvation Day. The Azerbaijani Parliament declared June 15 a holiday in June 1997 with the insistence of the people.

President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order on upgrading facilities of the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction.

Under the presidential order, the Ministry of Education will receive AZN 3 million from the President`s Reserve Fund for the reconstruction of the university`s building.

Head of the Turkish International Center of Strategic Research Celal Cem Oguz and editor-in-chief of the Hurriyet Daily News newspaper David Judson visited Thursday the Alley of Honors to lay flowers at the tomb of Azerbaijan`s national leader Heydar Aliyev.

They put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.

Then, they visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country`s independence and territorial integrity, and put flowers at the Eternal Flame monument.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has today arrived in the Russian Federation for a working visit.

At the "Pulkovo" airport of Saint Petersburg city, the President was welcomed by Russia`s high-ranking state and government officials.

A delegation led by Gianfranco Ravasi, an Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, who currently serves in the Roman Curia as President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has visited Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The guests were briefed on the Foundation`s goals and activity, the AzerTaj sate news agency reported.

They got familiar with the items taken from the national leader Heydar Aliyev`s personal archive. The visitors were informed that the main goal of the Foundation is to study and popularize Heydar Aliyev`s rich heritage, give an idea to the future generations about his large-scale activity to achieve Azerbaijan`s socio-economic, cultural progress, and assist projects that popularize the history and culture of Azerbaijan.

They also saw photos, documents and books reflecting different periods of national leader Heydar Aliyev`s life and activity. One of the photos depicting Pope John Paul II and Heydar Aliyev during his official visit to Italy and Vatican in 1997, aroused a particular interest of the Italian delegation.

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev today has received Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Bernard Fassier of France and Igor Popov of Russia - as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.

The meeting focused on the current state and prospects of the talks on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenia Serzh Sargsyan during the talks with their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev confirmed their readiness to continue dialogue on agreeing upon the Madrid principles for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the press secretary of the Russian president Natalia Timakova said, RIA Novosti reported. 

Basic principles for the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, known as the Madrid principles, were presented to Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Foreign Ministers of France and Russia and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State in November 2007 in the Spanish capital. At the meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Sochi in January, the OSCE Minsk Group submitted the parties an updated version of the Madrid document.

"There was mentioned the rapprochement of parties' positions on a number of disputable provisions of the text of the basic principles of settlement," said Timakova, noting that the trilateral meeting covered key problems of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

"The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia confirmed readiness to continue dialogue aimed at finalizing the document with the mediation of Russia, USA and France as co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group," she said. 

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a joint meeting at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg on June 17.

"It is already our sixth meeting, trilaterally we have met for six times already, it is a lot," Medvedev said at the opening of the meeting, RIA Novosti reported.

In the presence of journalists, the talks of the presidents of the three countries dealt with the weather. The Russian president noted with regret that now it is not very warm in St. Petersburg.

"At this time, usually cold snap is coming for some reasons, although it was warmer. May was very warm, just it is abnormally warm in Moscow and St. Petersburg," he said.

After this, the journalists covering the beginning of the meeting left the room of negotiations.


The Azerbaijani Parliament will consider the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court, Baku Supreme Court and Appeal Court , Shirvan Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic at an extraordinary meeting, to be held June 22, the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) said today.

Kamran Shafiyev, Jeyhun Garajayev, Fikret Babayev, Rovshan Ismayilov, Rafael Gvaladze and Sona Salmanova's are nominated for judges at the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Republic.

Some 49 people nominated for judges to the Court of Appeal.

The judicial and legal council proposed the candidatures for judges of the Shirvan Court of Appeal Hajigaibov Imran, Farhad Kerimov; judges of the Baku Court of Appeal Ilgar Dadashov Saadat Bektashi, Mehpara Akhmedova, chairman of the Sabail District Court Gulzar Rzayeva and judges of the Supreme Court of Nakhchivan Hafiz Babayev to the Azerbaijani Supreme Court, the Azerbaijani Supreme Court said.

According to the Article 96 of the law "Courts and Judges", a term of the first appointment as a judge is five years.

The judge's activity is estimated at the end of this period.. The age limit of powers is extended to 65 years on the proposal of the Judicial-Legal Council in case of no deficiencies in the work.

In the case of high level of professionalism on the proposal of the Judicial-Legal Council, the term may be extended to 70 years.

If the term of judges'office ends while considering the case, their authority is extended until the end of the judicial process.

The bill of the constitutional law "Normative legal acts" was adopted at the third reading of an extraordinary meeting of the Azerbaijani Parliament.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Ali Huseynov gave detailed information about the bill to the parliamentarians.

This law determines the rules of preparation, design, approval, adoption, promulgation, enactment, interpretation and systematization of legal acts, the committee head said.

"This project is appreciated by Lithuanian experts cooperating with the Azerbaijani Parliament within the twinning program, and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

According to the assessment of the Venice Commission, the project is developed in details.

The law is designed to prevent abuse of power by officials in state bodies," Huseynov said.

Adoption and implementation of next bills will be carried out within the requirements of the Constitutional Law.

MPs Ilyas Ismailov and Panah Huseynov noted some gaps in the bill. MP Sabir Rustamkhanli called the bill an extremely important document.

The Parliament of Azerbaijan adopted a bill on making additions and amendments to the Electoral Code at its extraordinary meeting on June 18.

Additions and amendments to the Electoral Code were proposed earlier by the members of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on legal policy and state-building.

33 additions and changes were proposed to the Electoral Code. The changes include the cancellation of the practice for allocating funds from public budget to candidates, changing the period of announcement of date of elections from 75 to 60 days before polling day, confirming lists of constituencies 55 days before the election, and their publication for 50 days, said the committee chairman Ali Huseynov.

One of the amendments deals with the formation of district election commissions at least 50 days before the election. Changes also envisage reducing the period of defining the voter lists in paragraphs of electoral commissions.

Under the proposed amendments, documents for registration of candidates shall be submitted maximum 50 and minimum 30 days before the voting day. Since the adoption of the Electoral Code in 2003, amendments to the law were made 10 times.

Amendments to the Law "Constitutional Court" were adopted during an extraordinary session of the Azerbaijani Parliament.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Ali Huseynov said that these additions include consideration of the provisions adopted at the referendum in the Constitutional Court.

"The law includes articles 53.1 and 55.1", Huseynov said.

Article 53.1 provides for the consideration of extending the term of the Azerbaijani Parliament in a state of war. Article 55.1 provides for the consideration of extending the term of the President of Azerbaijan in a state of war.

MP Zahid Oruj said about the importance of taking these amendments, given that it is impossible to hold elections when the country is at war

Foreign policy

The visit of the parliamentary delegation of Saudi Arabia, headed by the Parliament Speaker Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al Alsheikh, started to Azerbaijan, Trend correspondent reports from the International Airport named after Heydar Aliyev.

"We support all resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which were adopted at the international organizations and it is long known that we back territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," Al Ash Sheikh told journalists at the airport.

The visit will have a positive impact on further development of intreparliamentary relations between the two countries.

The visit to last by June 18 is paid at Azerbaijani Speaker Oktay Asadov's invitation.

During the visit the delegation is scheduled to meet with Azerbaijani state and government officials. The visit targets developing interparliamentary relations between Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov during one-day visit to Pakistan will attend the opening of the new building of Azerbaijani Embassy in Islamabad today, the Embassy's spokesman Vusal Suleymanov told Trend.

The new building was constructed on the territory acquired by Azerbaijan's Embassy.

Azerbaijan was keen to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan, Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mamadyarov, who was on a one day visit to Pakistan, said, APP reported.

At the meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Mammadyarov emphasized that the country, given its huge oil and gas reserve was destined to play an important role in the overall development of the region and beyond. 

The two ministers exchanged views on a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues. Pakistan and Azerbaijan agreed that the two countries, which enjoy excellent brotherly relations, would continue supporting each other on important issues at multilateral forums.

On bilateral relations, Qureshi noted that while the political relationship between the two countries was very strong, economic and commercial relations notably lagged behind.
The current volume of bilateral trade to the tune of $ 11 million was not commensurate with the intense political warmth that existed between the two countries, he added.

The two sides agreed that at the next session of the Joint Ministerial Commission, which was to be held in Baku, they should consider all aspects of bilateral relations and look into opportunities for cooperation in non-traditional areas.

During the working visit, Mammadyarov took part in the opening of the new building of Azerbaijani Embassy in Islamabad.

Azerbaijani Embassy in Georgia conducted a number of activities on the eve of the National Salvation Day - June 15.

June 15, 1993 the National leader of Azerbaijan people and a great friend of the Georgian people Heydar Aliyev returned to Baku at the request of the Azerbaijani people and headed the country during difficult times of chaos, civil strife and the continuing aggression of Armenia, supported by the countries interested in destabilizing the situation in the region and increase expansion of ethnic separatism in the Caucasus, the press release of the embassy said.

The stability and order were restored in the country within several months, and on the front, the Azerbaijani army, inspired by the return of the leader, held a series of successful military operations and drove the enemy back to a considerable distance. After a year, the Contract of the Century was signed on the export of Azerbaijani oil, which laid the foundation for future stability in the Caucasus.

Wreaths and flowers were laid at the bust of nationwide leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev in Tbilisi June 12, 2010. Along with Azerbaijani ambassador to Georgia, the event was attended by representatives of the Azerbaijani community in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Gardabani and Marneuli, the National Congress of Azerbaijanis of Georgia, Cultural Center of Azerbaijanis in Tbilisi, NGOs of Azerbaijani students. After laying ceremony, a round table on "Heydar Aliyev and stability in the Caucasus" was held.

Georgian Parliament's Speaker David Bakradze and his Azerbaijani counterpart Oktay Asadov discussed at Cyprus the issue of intensifying inter-parliamentary relations, a source at the Parliament of Georgia told Trend.

Meeting of Speakers of the two countries took place in Limassol within three-day conference of speakers of the European Parliament. 

"Bakradze and Asadov noted the traditionally friendly relations between the two countries, which resulted from the friendly relations of both two nations and their leaders and agreed upon a number of joint activities for the intensification of inter-parliamentary relations," the Georgian Parliament said.

David Bakradze made a speech at the conference of Speakers of the European Parliament.

The conference was also attended by the leader of the parliamentary majority of Georgia Peter Tsiskarishvili and leader of the parliamentary minority Georgy Targamadze.

June 9-11 in New Delhi Azerbaijani and Indian delegations hold a meeting aiming to agree on draft agreements between the two countries on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, extradition, judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry press service told Trend.

The meeting was a continuation of talks, which began in September 2009 in Baku.

On the second day of talks all drafts were fully agreed. The Indian side invited the Azerbaijani Justice Minister Fikret Mammadov to visit India in September-November this year for the signing of agreements.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov received former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan (2000-2003), the current head of the Eurasian Center at the Atlantic Council, Ross Wilson, the Foreign Ministry reported.

During the meeting, Wilson told about the activities of the center, noting that the center deals with economic, trade, political and energy issues.

In his turn, the Azerbaijani minister touched upon the question of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Mammadyarov said that this conflict can be solved only on the basis of international principles and law, within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

During the meeting, the sides discussed energy issues between the U.S. and Azerbaijan, as well as other issues of mutual interest.

The Azerbaijani Defence Minister Safar Abiyev discussed cooperation with the Alliance with the NATO Secretary General's special representative Robert Simmons, the Defence Ministry said.

The meeting between Abiyev and Simmons discussed military and political situation in the region and, in particular, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The foundation for cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO was laid through signing a program-document within the framework of the Partnership for Peace May 4 1994. Azerbaijan was one of the 27 OSCE member countries to join the program.

In April 1996, an official document envisaging concrete directions in the cooperation was signed within the framework of the Partnership for Peace. Now, Azerbaijan is fulfilling about 50 tasks in conformity with the program.

August 3, 2005, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed the Decree on "Approval of the Action Plan on Individual Partnership between the Azerbaijani Republic and NATO".

Azerbaijan and NATO are now cooperating within the second stage of the Action Plan on Development of Individual Partnership between Azerbaijan and NATO.

Since 1999, the Azerbaijani troops have being providing support to peacekeeping operations of NATO in Kosovo, and since 2002 - in Afghanistan.

The Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker met with the member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, Secretary of the Parliament's Central Commission on disciplinary affairs Hee Gotsian, who is on visit to Baku.

Speaker Ogtay Asadov highly appreciated level of the Azerbaijani-Chinese relations, foundation of which was laid in 2005 by signing a declaration on the development of bilateral relations and other important documents during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to China.

He said these documents have created a legal basis for the development of relations between the two countries.

"Relations between Azerbaijan and China are developing in all spheres. In 2009, despite the global financial crisis, the country reached trade turnover worth $ 659 million, and during four months of 2010 this figure amounted to $357 million", Asadov said.

However, he said, there is great potential for development of trade turnover, which has not yet been used.

Asadov expressed his gratitude to the State and Government of China for its continuous support to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

"Azerbaijan is developing rapidly and is the most powerful country in the region. China has always been interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan", Gotsian said.

He said China has always supported and will support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

Azerbaijani Interior Minister, Colonel-General Ramil Usubov received a delegation headed by NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons, Interior Ministry's press service said.

The minister said that based on the principle of indivisibility of security in the Euro-Atlantic area, Azerbaijan participates in NATO-led peacekeeping operations mandated by the UN Security Council. Republic attentively considers the prospects of cooperation with NATO and is trying to make its contribution.

The minister said that during 13 years since the signing of an intergovernmental protocol between Turkey and Azerbaijan on the training and assistance in providing personnel of the Interior Troops by the Turkish Gendarmerie, a large number of troops have been involved in trainings. Currently, the training center of the Armed Forces and the Gendarmerie of Turkey continue to train 21 people.

Upon a joint plan, 22 trainings will be conducted in various centers of the Armed Forces and the Gendarmerie of Turkey in 2010-2011.

Simmons mentioned Azerbaijan's active participation in the peacekeeping mission of NATO and the expansion of cooperation.

Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Research (CSR) representative Gulmira Rzayeva took part in an Institute of Europe RAS conference in Moscow.

The Institute of Europe RAS held the international scientific and theoretical conference on the "Black Sea and Caspian Regions: A Search for a New Format of Security and Cooperation" on June 9. The conference addressed current political and economical issues in the regions, as well as future prospects of expanding cooperation, the center reported.

Russian and foreign experts and businessmen, and governmental representatives were invited to the event. MP Jamil Hasanli, All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress Vice President, Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences Academician, Russian Presidential State Service Academy Professor Afrand Dashdamirov, All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress Executive Director, Ambassador Eldar Guliyev and Counselor to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia Eldar Bayramov also represented Azerbaijan at the conference.

The Armenian side was represented by extraordinary minister-counselor of the Armenian Embassy in Russia and plenipotentiary minister Robert Ananian, representative of the russian-armenian university Hovhannes Nikoghosian and employee of the information-analytical department of the Armenian Embassy in Russia Arsen Melik-Shakhnazarov.

Turkey was represented by First Secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Russia Sadin Ayyildiz.

The conference primarily aimed to summarize the major results of economic and political activity in the Black Sea and Caspian regions.

Rzayeva delivered report political decisions as a chief factor in oil and gas pipeline strategy. She also focused on Azerbaijan's important and increasing role in regional energy security, and stressed that as sales markets expand, Azerbaijani gas will receive access to the Chinese and likely the Indian markets in the long term.

The Azerbaijani Embassy in Kyrgyzstan will send fourth Azerbaijani student, who is in the Osh city, to home.

The embassy established a contact with another Azerbaijani citizen Sabir Karimov, graduate of the Osh State University. Karimov's parents called on the embassy to find out the location of their son and the diplomatic mission immediately contacted the city authorities, and found Karimov, Advisor to Azerbaijani Embassy in Kyrgyzstan Ilgar Jabbarov told Trend.

According to the local authorities, Karimov is in a safe place and will be delivered to the embassy tomorrow.

Three of the 13 Azerbaijani students who were evacuated from the Jalalabad region of Kyrgyzstan to Bishkek are citizens of Azerbaijan, others - the citizens of Georgia, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Trend earlier.

According to him, students Guliyev Kanan, who lives in Baku, Hasanov Mehdikhan, who lives in Tovuz district and Kerimov Zeynaddin, who lives in the Guba district, are now at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Bishkek and will be sent to Azerbaijan.

One of them had already been sent to Baku today, Jabbarov said.  

The riots in southern Kyrgyzstan began June 10. The ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations then clashed in Osh and Jalalabad.

The Kyrgyz Health Ministry reported that the death toll has reached 187 people.

A total of 600 Azerbaijanis reside in Osh and Jalalabad.

Azerbaijani and Canadian parliamentarians discussed the development of cooperation.

Azerbaijani MPs Asim Mollazade, Ganira Pashayeva met with Canadian parliamentarians Monte Kwinter and Reza Moridi, on a visit to Azerbaijan, the Democratic Reforms Party said. The Azerbaijani-Canadian relations, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the difficulties encountered while solving the problems created by the Armenian aggression, regional issues were discussed at the meeting.

MPs informed their Canadian counterparts about the obstacles committed by the Armenians in the way of the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the state of refugees and internally displaced people. They said that the conflict hampers the establishment of regional peace and security.

At the same time, Canadian parliamentarians were informed about the development strategy of Azerbaijan, the country's position in regional energy policy. Canadian MPs stressed that they are familiar with the problems of Azerbaijan. They pointed out the correct strategy for the country.

The need for the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Canada, expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the spheres of science, education, culture, economy, trade and energy were stressed at the meeting.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Canada Farid Shafiyev took part in the meeting.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to India was awarded with the diploma for his great contribution in the field of diplomacy and international relations.

The World Environment Day was marked in India with the participation of senior officials of the country, heads of embassies and diplomatic missions, the embassy said.

At the end of the event, Azerbaijani Ambassador to India Tamerlan Garayev was awarded with a diploma "GREEN DİPLOMATİST AWARD" for his great contribution in the field of diplomacy and international relations, established jointly with the association of organizations for nature and environment, the UN, the world enlightenment association, the global open university Nagaland, as well as Research Committee, established by the Confederation of Indian universities.

The European Union in cooperation with Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry organized a seminar on Mobility issues in Baku June 17-18, 2010, the EU's Baku office said.

The seminar was prepared in the context of the implementation of the Eastern Partnership programme in Azerbaijan, providing political and economic rapprochement between the EU and six post-Soviet countries - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. Facilitation of the visa regime and mobility is one of the main points of the program.

"The European Union is ready to offer increased mobility for citizens from partner countries willing to ensure that the conditions for a well managed and secure mobility are in place. For that matter, the dialogue we have established with Azerbaijan is very encouraging," Ambassador Roland Kobia, Head of the EU Delegation in Baku said in his opening speech.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev and Ambassador Roland Kobia opened the session June 17, calling for concrete results and for an action plan to be established.

During the seminar, participants from relevant Azerbaijan ministries and agencies exchanged with European Commission officials and experts on Mobility issues.

Visa policy, visa facilitation and readmission agreement, EU global approach to migration, document security and asylum were among the themes covered during the session.

NATO's mission highly appreciated the implementation of Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) by  Azerbaijan, the Romanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nikolai Ureki said at the conference on the topic  "Partnership perspectives between NATO and Azerbaijan: expectations of Azerbaijani society", held in Baku.

Assessment of the Mission on implementation of the Plan, led by NATO Special Representative for the South Caucasus Robert Simmons, completed its work and highly appreciated its implementation June 17, Ureki.

Now discussions over the third phase of the plan are underway , the diplomat said.

Political movements

June 15 marks Azerbaijan's National Salvation Day and the date must forever be remembered as the birthday of independent Azerbaijan, MP Aydin Mirzazade told Trend today.

"Before (former President and national leader) Heydar Aliyev returned to the helm of the government, Azerbaijan was on the verge of losing its independence," he said. "The country was on the verge of civil war. Azerbaijani territories were occupied by Armenia and Aliyev did not only face having to resolve such pressing issues, but he also had to determine the path of our future development."

Mirzazade said Azerbaijan was confronted with the threat of a civil war in the summer of 1993. The Azerbaijani public then called for Aliyev to return from Nakhchivan to Baku, and the former president returned and quickly proved able to prevent a civil war.

Aliyev was elected chairman of the Azerbaijani Supreme Council June 15, 1993. Today the date is remembered as National Salvation Day. The date was declared a holiday in June 1997.

The opposition's inability to unite will lead to its defeat in the parliamentary elections, Opposition Azadlig Party Chairman Ahmed Oruj said.

"Uncertainty of the Azerbaijani opposition's position and its inability to unite will have a negative impact on the outcome of the elections. This fragmentation does not depend on government or other outside forces, but on the opposition itself," Oruj said.

The opposition should define a form of participation in the elections More than two months before the official start of the election, but so far no progress in this direction is observed, Oruj said.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the reluctance of the opposition leaders to participate in elections. The opposition should activate the society and unite to achieve success in the elections.

Nobody has put forward his candidature for the post of chairman of the opposition National Independence Party. No one has expressed its official position on this issue, Azerbaijani National Independence party Secretary on propaganda and press Ali Orujov said.

"Perhaps, there are pretenders for the presidency. Those people will nominate their candidatures for elections at the congress," he said.

After the 2003 presidential elections, NIPA chairman Etibar Mammadov resigned from his post. Since that time, Ali Aliyev and Ayaz Rustamov acted as chairmen.

Regarding the exact date of Congress, he said that the political council will determine it after local organizations complete meetings and conferences.

"We have no intention to postpone the Congress from July to another time. The exact time of the congress will be determined within one week," he said.

The opposition's dispute over the site to hold the rally is nothing but a baby scam, MP, chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights Rabiyat Aslanova said in her latest interview with the New Azerbaijan Party.

"If representatives of opposition parties live in a legal state, if they wish all people to be guided by the rule of law, they must understand that all actions must be committed within the law," she said.

Recently, the Azerbaijani opposition is trying to hold mass rallies and protests in places where it is prohibited. Opposition parties refuse from conducting rallies where it is allowed by the executive power of Baku.

Freedom of assembly is a matter regulated by the law, she said. She said that we live in a legal state. Our society is a vivid example of implementation of laws in force. So, there are no illegal actions in such a society.

"Today, New Azerbaijan party holds mass rallies where it is authorized by the relevant bodies of executive power. That is, the ruling party has not chosen a separate, special place. The opposition parties must hold their rallies like the ruling party in the same place. The same conditions were created for the parties participating in elections. It is necessary to use these conditions. The opposition's dispute over the site is nothing but a baby scam ", she said.

People make the choice for many years, but not two or three months, she said. People will not vote for those who failed to establish themselves in society during five years after the previous parliamentary elections and did nothing to resolve the problems of society.

Azerbaijan's opposition Musavat party and the Union for Democracy (UD) decided on joint support of all their candidates in the parliamentary elections.

"There will not be a candidate from UD in constituencies where the Musavat Party will nominate its candidate, and there will not be a candidate from the Musavat Party in constituencies where UD will nominate its candidates." However, both Musavat and UD will support these candidates," the chairman of the UD electoral headquarters Ahmed Oruj said.

Musavat party and UD held joint discussions on June 17 and the decision was made after these discussions. The parliamentary elections will be held in Azerbaijan this autumn. Previous legislative elections were held in November 2005. In Azerbaijan, the parliamentary elections are held by the majority system in 125 electoral districts.

Both sides also agreed upon joint actions. "The next meeting on June 21 will determine the venue and time of mass actions," said Oruj.

Chairman of Supreme Majlis of Azerbaijani opposition Classic People's Front party resigned. 

Supreme Majlis of Classic People's Front party has held the meeting today, Trend reported.

Supreme Majlis chairman Zalimkhan Mammadli's statement on resignation was considered and adopted during the meeting of Supreme Majlis.

After this, the party chairman Mirmahmud Mirelioghlu, who spoke about the activity of the party, its political course and the steps to be taken by the party before the parliamentary elections.

Representatives of the opposition bloc Azadliq (Azerbaijani People's Front Party, Citizens and Development Party, Liberal Party) tried to hold an unsanctioned protest today.

About 15-20 members of the opposition attempted to hold a rally near the metro station "Icheri Sheher".

Executive Power of Baku called the stadium in Sahil settlement of Garadagh district, the stadium in front of the trust "Azneftgeofizik" in Sabunchi district, the stadium named after Tofig Ismayilov in Surakhani district, the stadium of 3155 block in Yasamal district, settlement Turkan in Azizbayov district, the territory in front of the cinema "Tabriz" in Nizami district and in front of the metro station "Ulduz" in Narimanov district as sites to conduct public meetings.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

June 14, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions in the Tapgaragoyunlu village in the Goranboy region at 19:45-19:55, from positions in the nameless heights in the Hojavand region at 20:45-20:50 and 02:05-02:10 June 15, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

June 15, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions outside  nameless heights in Khodjavend region at 09.00 to 09.25 and at 11.30 to 11.35;

-from  positions outside  outside village Javahirli in Agdam region at 20.20 to 20.30;

-from positions outside village Jilaburt in Terter region at 21.20 to 21.25;

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

Peru doesn't recognize "parliamentary elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh and supports Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

The Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations sent a letter to the Azerbaijani representation in this Organization. In its letter the Mission expresses position regarding the "parliamentary elections" held May 23 in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Foreign said in its statement.

"Peru supports the principle of state sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders and the inadmissibility of the occupation of territories by force, supports resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through peaceful negotiations, as well as supports the efforts of the UN, OSCE, the Minsk Group" the letter says.

Terrorist groups are formed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov, the Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the State Committee for refugees and internally displaced people said at the conference on Day of Refugees organized by the UN.

"Drugs are planted and sold in the occupied territories of Karabakh. Incomes are spent for the purchase of weapons and ammunition, as well as formation of terrorist groups. A new international drug route has been created here," Hasanov said.

None of the decisions taken by international organizations on the Nagorno-Karabakh, has not been fulfilled, he said.

"If international organizations are not able to enforce their decisions, then who needs these decisions? It will lead for the countries to turn aside from them .

International organizations should ensure fulfilment of their decisions. For 18 years, international organizations do not have any pressure and influence on Armenia. Moreover, they even provide them with humanitarian aid ", Hasanov said.

Azerbaijan has over one million refugees and IDPs.

June 17, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani troops from positions and areas outside the Horadiz and Ashagi Veysalli villages in the Fizuli region at 21:00- 21:30 and 22:45-23:00, as well as from positions outside the Sarijali village in the Agdam region at 23:45- 23:50, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

Further, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani troops from positions and areas outside the Kuropatkino village in the Khojavand region at 00:05-00:18 and from positions outside the Chayli village in the Tartar region at 03:25- 03:40 June 18, the ministry reported.

It would be better if the Armenian side recognized the need to transfer the number of meetings on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement in quality, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Trend.

The meeting held an extensive exchange of views, he said. "We believe any meeting at the presidential level, especially with the Russian leader's participation, is important in finding a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Polukhov said.

Polukhov said such meetings always give us hope to find ways leading to a mutually acceptable resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Azerbaijan's position is that today exist a document submitted by the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides allowing to reach a new level of negotiations," Polukhov said.

Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenia Serzh Sargsyan during the talks with their Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev confirmed their readiness to continue dialogue on agreeing upon the Madrid principles for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the press secretary of the Russian president Natalia Timakova said, RIA Novosti reported. 

Basic principles for the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, known as the Madrid principles, were presented to Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Foreign Ministers of France and Russia and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State in November 2007 in the Spanish capital. At the meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Sochi Jan.15, the OSCE Minsk Group submitted the parties an updated version of the Madrid document.

"There was mentioned the rapprochement of parties' positions on a number of disputable provisions of the text of the basic principles of settlement," said Timakova, noting that the trilateral meeting covered key problems of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

"The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia confirmed readiness to continue dialogue aimed at finalizing the document with the mediation of Russia, USA and France as co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group," she said. 

Amendments to the Azerbaijani 2010 state budget envisage allocating an additional 300 million manat to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, MP Aydin Mirzazade told journalists. The funds will be used to purchase new weapons.

"First of all, the additional funds will solve financial problems. The funds will also be directed toward improving our infrastructure and purchasing new weapons," Mirzazade said.

Parliament adopted amendments to the 2010 state budgets with 98 MPs voting "for" and five MPs voting "against" the initiative. Under the amendments, the budget deficit was reduced from 1,249 billion to 770.3 million manat. Thus, the state budget deficit decreased from 3.9 percent to 2.3 percent of the GDP. Budget revenues were increased by 49 billion manat to 11.505 billion.

Mirzazade stressed that Azerbaijan is still a country at war regardless of whether negotiations are being held to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"Armenia should know that Azerbaijan is keeping all the options on the table to resolve this issue," he said.

June 18, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at Azerbaijani troops from positions outside village Kuropatkino in Khodjavend region at 14.00 to 14.21;

-from  positions outside  village Merzili in Agdam region at 14.00 to 14.20;

-from positions outside village Garakhanbeyli in Fizuli region at 17.00 to 17.10;

June 19 from  positions outside  nameless heights in Geranboy region at 01.30 to 01.35;.

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported

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