Last week review (Jan. 15-19)

President Aliyev: Relevant instructions given to increase cargo transportation of Bulgaria via BTK

Relevant bodies have been given instructions to increase Bulgaria's cargo transportation via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) rail corridor, said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, while making press statements with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Baku on Jan. 15.

"I have informed the Prime Minister that Baku hosted the grand opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in October last year. This railway reshapes the transport map of Eurasia. It will be the shortest transport route between Europe and Asia. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has been commissioned and it is the shortest way between Europe and Asia in terms of distance. And in terms of time, cargo can be transported from Asia to Europe through this corridor in just two weeks. Of course, since Bulgaria is located on this corridor, we have given instructions to relevant bodies to discuss this issue and work to increase the freight traffic," Ilham Aliyev said.

President Aliyev: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria have very close, friendly relations

Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have very close and friendly relations, said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

He made the remarks at an expanded meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Baku on Jan. 15.

"Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have established very close and friendly relations, which are also strengthened by our efforts. Today we have already discussed many important issues of bilateral interaction in the political and energy spheres. I congratulated the prime minister on the chairmanship of Bulgaria at the European Union. This is a great success of your country, a great responsibility. I am confident that you will cope with this important task with honor," said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

The president further stressed that today the delegations will discuss important issues in politics, economy and energy.

"We have very much in common; the main thing that unites us is friendly relations between our peoples and friendly relations between the leaders of our countries. I am very glad that 2018 begins with the visit of our friend," the head of state said.

Azerbaijan allocates over 50% of preferential loans to develop cotton growing

As of the end of 2017, preferential lending by the State Service for Management of Agricultural Projects and Credits under the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan totaled 9.5 million manats, Zaur Aliyev, deputy head of the state service, said in his article published in the Respublika newspaper.

He said that these loans were allocated to 57 entrepreneurs in 30 districts of Azerbaijan.

As many as 5.06 million manats were allocated for projects in the cotton growing, 2.975 million manats were allocated for projects in animal breeding, 600,000 manats were allocated for projects in potato growing, he said.

This is while 20,000 manats were allocated for projects in horticulture, 100,000 manats were allocated for projects in flour processing, and 570,000 manats were allocated for creation of greenhouses, he added.

Zaur Aliyev said that loans worth 640,000 manats were also allocated within international projects in 2017.

The allocated preferential loans made it possible to create 298 temporary and permanent jobs, he added.

Azerbaijani, Bulgarian PMs see first direct flight from Baku to Sofia take off

The first flight from the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, to Bulgarian Sofia was sent off on Jan.16.

Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade and Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov took part in the ceremony of sending off the first flight.

An agreement on opening of direct flights between Baku and Sophia was reached during negotiations of Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Bulgaria Rumen Radev.

The capital of Bulgaria will become the first city in the European Union, where Azerbaijan's low-cost airline Buta Airways will perform direct flights.

The minimum fare on route Baku-Sophia, as well as in other routes of airline, will be 29 euros (one way). The flights will be operated once a week on Tuesdays.

The sale of tickets is open on the official website Being a low-cost airline, the minimum fare Buta Airways will offer additional services such as carriage of baggage, hand luggage, hot meals onboard, check-in at the airport, and seat selection in the airplane on a paid basis.

Buta Airways is the first low-cost airline in Azerbaijan, a structural unit of the CJSC Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL). It was founded in December 2016. The Airline's fleet consists of modern Embraer aircrafts. The Airline is based in Baku, at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

Azerbaijan to export horse meat to countries of Customs Union

Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has granted licenses to two Azerbaijani companies for the delivery of various products to the territory of the Customs Union, said the Service Jan. 18.

The licenses were obtained by Agro Invest & Istehsalat (Agro investments and production) and Azmeat777.

According to the Russian Service, Agro Invest & Istehsalat will supply various fish products, including fresh and chilled fish, fish fillets, dried and salted fish, sturgeon caviar and various semi-finished products and canned food.

Azmeat777, which is engaged in cutting and storing horse meat, production of horse fat, plans to export horse meat. Azerbaijan has exported horse meat only to Kazakhstan so far.

Meanwhile, the Russian Service has expanded the license of Azerbaijan's Khazar Balyg LLC, which will now be able to supply a wider range of fish products, including fillets, salted, dried fish and other products.

More than 20 Azerbaijani companies have permission to supply products to the territory of the Customs Union.

Overhaul of Baku-Boyuk Kasik railway section launched

Azerbaijan Railways CJSC has launched the next stage of work for overhaul of the Baku-Boyuk Kasik railway, Sevinj Gadirova, head of the press service of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, told Trend Jan. 19.

She said that the overhaul of the 7.8-km Tovuz-Govlar section began on Jan. 19.

The reconstruction work will last five days, she added.

The project to reconstruct the 600-km Baku-Boyuk Kasik railway started in October 2015.

To date, 435 kilometers of the railway have been reconstructed.

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UN chief urges countries to adopt special measures, quotas to advance women's equal participation
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