Weekly political digest (07.03- 12.03.2011)

Official chronicle

March 7

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the Azerbaijani women on 8 March - International Women's Day and wished them good health, happiness and successes.

March 9

Presided over by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev , a meeting was conducted at the building of Baku City Executive Power dedicated to the socio-economic development of Azerbaijan's capital and its suburb towns.

March 10

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received Albania's Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto and his accompanying delegation.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev accepted credentials of new ambassador of Argentina Armando Juan Jose Maffei.

President Ilham Aliyev accepted credentials of newly-appointed ambassador of Sudan Mohammed Hussein Hassan Zarug on March 10.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has today accepted credentials of newly-appointed ambassador of Thailand Mrs. Arbhorn Manasvanich.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received credentials from newly appointed ambassadors of the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of Paraguay and the Kingdom of Belgium in the country, the official website of the Azerbaijani President reported.

March 11

First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva met Thursday with visiting US President`s science envoy Dr. Alice Gast.

President Ilham Aliyev received the credentials of a newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth of Australia in Azerbaijan, Ian David Grainge Biggs.

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has accepted today credentials of newly appointed Ambassador of Spain Cristobal Gonzalez-Aller Jurado.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on measures to improve activities of the Agency for corruption enforcement at the Prosecutor General's Office.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has inspected today the ongoing construction works in a new building of the school № 6 in the capital's Sabail District.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev today issued an Executive Order on the measures on construction and repair of the motor roads in the Baku settlements.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has expressed condolences to Emperor of Japan, His Majesty Akihito due to numerous victims suffered as a result of the earthquake.

Foreign policy

March 7

Think tanks in Azerbaijan and Turkey have signed a memorandum of cooperation.

The Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and the Strategic Research Center under the Turkish Foreign Ministry signed the memorandum.

A book titled "Heydar Aliyev: friendship of the Georgian and Azerbaijani peoples - an example in the world" has been published. In the book dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the first official visit of the Azerbaijani national leader to Georgia, the relations of fraternal and friendly countries are commented upon the relevant speeches by Heydar Aliyev and current Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Azerbaijan offers Iran to create new border checkpoints with 24-hour schedule of work. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov made this proposal on Monday at the eighth meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.

March 9

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov received the new ambassadors of Guatemala, Slovenia and Paraguay - Arturo Duarte , Milan Yazbets and Marcial Bobadilla. Ambassadors presented copies of their credentials and expressed satisfaction with the beginning of their activities in Azerbaijan.

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul stressed that the Turkey -Azerbaijan cooperation in the defense industry field is not done on a proper level and Turkey wants to strengthen this cooperation.

Turkey is ready to meet Azerbaijan's needs in the products of the defense industry and military uniforms at the most reasonable terms, as well as participate in joint production and transfer of the technology, Gonul said in an interview with Trend.

March 10

Azerbaijani Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova stressed the importance of developing relations with the U.S. Embassy in Baku in the sphere of human rights. Priorities for further cooperation were also determined.

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiyev has left for Brussels today to attend a meeting of defense ministers of the countries that have contributed to the coalition of the North Atlantic Council. It is held at the invitation of NATO Secretary General, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

Azerbaijan and Albania have signed an agreement on abolishing visa requirements for persons with diplomatic and service passports. The agreement was undersigned following talks between Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Hacinasto and his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku.

The Albanian foreign minister has condemned the killing of an Azerbaijani child as a result of a recent ceasefire violation.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov on Thursday sent a protest letter to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in connection with his remarks in Parliament that "the right of peoples to self-determination is a fundamental principle."

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov was on a working visit to Italy at the invitation of the Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari on March 9-10, the ministry said.

The General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament adopted a bill to approve the Azerbaijan-Turkey treaty on strategic partnership and mutual assistance on March 10.

March 11

The EU encourages Azerbaijan to maintain an open dialogue with members of civil society organizations expressing views and opinions in a peaceful manner.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Azimov has been on a visit to Turkey since March 9.

The prospects of further cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Vatican in the field of culture were discussed by Azerbaijani Ambassador, the Holy See Elchin Amirbekov with the Vatican's Culture Minister Gianfranco Ravasi. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on prospects for further cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture of the Vatican.

Azerbaijani ambassador to France, who was also accredited to the Holy See, Elchin Amirbekov , participated in a conference-debate organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Vatican for the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.

Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan in the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov stated during his speech at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkish media reported.

March 12

Azerbaijan and Turkey have started preparation for the first ministerial meeting of the High-level Strategic Partnership Council, which aims at strengthening the relations. The first meeting will be held next month.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov and Turkish General Staff Chief Gen. Isik Kosaner mulled the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Ankara on Friday. The sides also discussed the two countries' relations.

Interior Minister of Azerbaijan, Colonel-General Ramil Usubov on Friday met the new U.S. ambassador in Baku, Matthew Bryza .

Political movements

March 10

The Azerbaijani youth, in addition to receiving a qualitative education and holding of useful activities, should also be actively involved in social and political life of our country, Ruling New Azerbaijan Party ( NAP ) Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary Ali Ahmedov said at a meeting with the party's young activists.

The Baku City Executive Power did not allow the opposition Musavat Party to hold its rally scheduled for March 12 in front of the Tabriz Cinema.

The Azerbaijani opposition Umid party refused to participate in the Public Assembly.

The Party's Executive Office the decision at a meeting, spokesman Shebnem Karsli told Trend.

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) strongly condemns the killing of a young child by the Armenians. The NAP has made a statement on this issue. This action once more fixed the brand of child killer on the Armenian army.

March 11

The Recognition of the Khojaly Genocide Public Association held a press conference on the murder of an Azerbaijani child, this week after Armenian armed forces opened fire on the conflict line.

Fariz Badalov , a 9-year-old resident of the Orta Garvand village in the Agdam region was killed on March 8 as a result of a ceasefire violation by Armenian troops.

March 12

With organizational support of ASAIF a Forum of Azerbaijani youth studying or graduating from foreign universities started in Strasbourg under the title "Azerbaijan 20 - Visions 2020".

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

March 7

On March 6, the Armenian armed forces opened fire from positions outside the Azatamut village in the Ijevan region of Armenia at the Azerbaijani troops in the Jafarli village in the Azerbaijani Gazakh region at 23.05-23.10, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
Further, the Armenian armed forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani troops from positions in the nameless heights in the Goygol region at 17:20-17:30, from positions in the nameless heights in the Goranboy region at 18.00-18.30, from positions outside the Javahirli and Yusifjanli villages in the Agdam region at 16.48-17.02, 01.10- 01.30 and 05.35-05.40 on March 7, from positions outside the Ashagi Seyidahmadli village in the Fizuli region at 02.15-02.30, as well as from position outside the Giziloba village in the Tartar region at 01.55-02.15, the ministry reported.

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

March 8

Nine-year resident of Orta Garvand village, Agdam region was killed as a result of cease-fire violation by the troops of Armenia, Agdam region prosecutor Islam Gasimov told Trend Tuesday.

Gasimov said that about 5-6 pm Tuesday nine-year-old Fariz Badalov was wounded in the head by shots from Armenian-occupied village of Shikhlar while playing in the yard of his house.

The boy was taken to hospital, but doctors couldn't save his life.

March 10

Monitoring held on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces proceeded without incident, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend.

The monitoring was held on the south of the Borsunlu village in the Goranboy region of Azerbaijan March 10under a mandate of the OSCE chairman special envoy.

The monitoring was held on the Azerbaijani side by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative field assistants Imre Platinus, William Pryor and Jaslan Nurtazin.

The monitoring was held on the opposite side, which the international community recognizes as Azerbaijani territory, by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk's field assistants Antal Herdich and Christo Christov.

About 2, 307, 727 square meters of Azerbaijani territory was cleared from mines and unexploded ammunition last month, the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) said.
As a result of operations about 2,645 unexploded ammunition and 1 antitank and 3 antipersonnel mines were found and neutralized.

About 480 experts participated and 120 assistants, as well as the six mechanical demining machines and 37 mine-detection dogs participated in the operations.

So far the agency cleared 156, 209, 570 square meters of land, found and neutralized 646,600 mines and unexploded ammunition.

ANAMA operates in Agdam, Agstafa, Agjabadi, Tartar and Fuzuli regions, as well as Garadag district of Baku.

In February, no case of mine/unexploded ammunition was fixed.

Collecting of information about Azerbaijani citizens, missing as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has been completed.

The first phase of a joint project implemented by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and the Azerbaijani government has been completed. A report of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People was made. The collected materials will be transferred to the State Commission.

On March 10, the Armenian armed forces opened fire from positions outside the Vozashen village in the Ijevan region of Armenia at the Azerbaijani troops in the nameless heights in the Azerbaijani Gazakh region at 01.35-01.40, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported. The Azerbaijani troops answered their fire. No causalities were reported.

March 11

On March 10, the Armenian armed forces opened fire from positions in the nameless heights in the Krasnaselsk region of Armenia at the Azerbaijani troops in the nameless heights in the Azerbaijani Gazakh region at 13.05-13.27, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

Further, the Armenian armed forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani troops from positions in the nameless heights in the Gedabey region at 18.00-18.35, from positions outside the Javahirli village in the Agdam region at 21.00-21.10, the ministry reported.

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

On March 11, the Armenian armed forces opened fire from positions in the Paravakar village in the Idjevan region of Armenia at the Azerbaijani troops in the Kohne Gishlag village in the Azerbaijani Gazakh region at 13:35-13:55, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

Further, the Armenian armed forces opened fire from positions in the Berdavan village in the Noenberyan region of Armenia at the Azerbaijani troops in the Kamarli village in the Gazakh region at 19.20-19.25, from positions in the nameless heights in the Goranboy region at 20.00- 20.15, the ministry reported.

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

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