Azerbaijan News Digest

Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the Azerbaijan News Digest, you will find articles about Azerbaijan’s growing influence in Europe, a significant increase in the country’s GDP this year and the strengthening of its relationship with Israel. We hope you enjoy this issue, and invite you to like the Embassy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

September 4, 2013

US-Azerbaijan Relations

US Envoy: Azerbaijan has all the potential to be a significant regional player
News.Az

10-1
(photo credit)

Azerbaijan has all the potential to be a significant regional player, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar has said. "It can become a major player if it can move towards a resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Morningstar said in an interview with The Politic. "It will encourage more regional integration, and if it carries through on democratic and economic reforms, which is really necessary for its long-term stability," he stressed. The ambassador also pointed to democratic and economic reforms, which, according to him, are really necessary for long-term stability.

US General: “Azerbaijan is a close friend of the US and has become a strategic country in the world”
APA

Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev recently received Major General Myles Lynn Deering, Commander of the Oklahoma National Guard in Baku. Expressing his satisfaction with the positive results of the recent cooperation between the two countries and relations between Oklahoma National Guard and Azerbaijani Armed Forces, the Defense Minister said broad opportunities create favorable conditions to improve these relations. Safar Abiyev also noted some obstacles caused by Section 907 in the establishment of close cooperation. According to the Minister, despite these barriers created by the US legislation, improvement of the partnership is in the strategic interests of both countries.

US Congressman visits Azerbaijani center in Houston
News.Az

10-2

Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH) recently visited the Azerbaijani Center in Houston and discussed bilateral relations between the United States and Azerbaijan with members and friends of the city’s Azerbaijani community.

As a supporter of improving relations and trade ties between the U.S. and its energy-producing allies, and as an author of a resolution in Congress calling for strengthening the energy security of European allies through the implementation of the Southern Corridor, Turner discussed the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project and Azerbaijan’s significant contributions toward its implementation. The legislator said that the U.S. administration should pay more attention to Azerbaijan in this sphere.

George Friedman: US is Azerbaijan’s best ally
AzerNews

Azerbaijan became one of the most important countries in the world by playing a significant role in providing energy security, head of "Stratfor" Analytic Center George Friedman said at the second forum "South Caucasus in a Changing World" of the Association of Scientists for International Relations, organized by the Strategic Studies Center. The U.S is Azerbaijan's best ally, he stressed.

Michael Rubin: Azerbaijan will ultimately achieve what it wants
American Enterprise Institute

In a recent interview with Trend.az, AEI resident scholar Michael Rubin said of the future for US-Azerbaijani military cooperation: “The prospects are good, but the problem remains the same: Armenian activists who seek to subordinate contemporary American defense interests to a polemical hatred of Azerbaijan. Take, for example, some Armenian activists who have lobbied successfully against the provision of modern patrol boats for Azerbaijan. Certainly, Azerbaijani boats are not going to impact the military situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. But as Iran has militarized the Caspian Sea and has begun operating offshore in waters rightly belonging to Azerbaijan, it is essential that Azerbaijan not only be able to provide security to its Caspian coast, but also to the American contractors working on offshore rigs. Let us hope that common sense will prevail in Washington.”

New US mediator's appointment puts prospects for Karabakh settlement in spotlight
APA

10-3
(photo credit)

According to Trend.az, the appointment of the new co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group from the United States could be seen as a positive signal for a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The appointment of James Warlick is expected to be helpful in the resolution of the bitter conflict, which has persisted for more than two decades.

Foreign Relations

Unlikely Allies
Jewish Times

“Azerbaijan is a friend of the Jewish people, of the Israeli people and of the American people,” said Elin Suleymanov, the Republic of Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States. “This is not just a coincidence. It is a conscious decision by the government of Azerbaijan and the people of Azerbaijan.”

The Circle of Friendship: Azerbaijan and Israel
Jewish Times

Azerbaijan is a robust, secular, majority-Muslim, emerging democracy and a trusted and valued ally that is showing great allegiance to Israel and to the United States. This, while simultaneously driving Mullahs and extremists throughout the world crazy by embracing Western culture and ideas.

Perhaps the U.S. should more closely examine the relationship between Azerbaijan, Israel and the West. The friendship that exists between Azerbaijan and Israel is a great place to begin looking for positive signs — in the present and for the future.

Azerbaijan receives chairmanship in Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States
Trend

The chairmanship of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States was recently passed on to Azerbaijan, which took over from Kyrgyzstan. The summit was attended by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Turkey Abdullah Gul, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The main topics of discussion at the summit were the issues of cooperation in the transport sphere and simplification of customs procedures.

European Union: Elections to demonstrate Azerbaijan’s progress in implementation of its international commitments
Trend

The final assessment will demonstrate the progress made by Azerbaijan in terms of implementation of its international commitments in the field of elections, one key area for the democratic development in the country, European Union's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said in a statement. In the statement, Kobia said he welcomes the agreement between the Government of Azerbaijan and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to enable an election observation mission to observe the upcoming Presidential elections.

"A meaningful size, a professional and balanced composition of the observation mission and an unimpeded working environment in situ for fulfilling their duties, should provide the right framework for a successful work of the mission on the basis of their overall ODIHR mandate. Together with the presence of other national and international observers, it will add international legitimacy to this phase of the election process. We reiterate full support for the ODIHR observation mission and to OSCE for their important work," the statement said.

Jamestown Foundation: European countries unaware of true potential of South Caucasus region
Trend

European countries are not fully informed on the true potential of the South Caucasus region, while the U.S better understands the region's significance, President of the Jamestown Foundation Glen Howard said while speaking at the recent "South Caucasus in a Changing World" forum in Baku.

Domestic Affairs

Azerbaijan's GDP grows by 5%
News.Az

In January-July 2013, Azerbaijan's GDP amounted to AZN 32.3bn. This is 5% higher than the GDP for the same period in 2012, according to a report of the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan. 63.8% of GDP was generated from the production, in particular, 47.7% - in industry, 10.8% - construction (up 33.8%), 5.3% - agriculture, forestry, fishing (up 4.8%), and 29.7% of GDP came from the services sector.

First Lady of Azerbaijan among most stylish in the world
News.Az

Mehriban Aliyeva, wife of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who marked her birthday August 26, is among the seven most elegant and stylish first ladies of the world, according to Allure magazine. "One of the most active women in the world knows that appearance is one of the main weapons. Mehriban Aliyeva always comes out with beautiful hair styling. She is always exquisitely dressed," Allure said. The magazine, published in the United States since 1991, is one of the most authoritative sources on fashion, style and makeup.

Azerbaijani Interior Ministry starts issuing biometric passports to citizens
APA

Production and submission of biometric passports to the citizens have started at Baku Regional Centre of General Passport, Registration and Migration Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry's press service told APA that the Interior Minister, Colonel General Ramil Usubov, also attended the event.

Cargo Transportation Through Azerbaijan's Territory Increased Jan-July
AviationPros

Some 23.33 million tons of cargo was transported through Azerbaijan's territory in January-July 2013, according to a recent report from the State Border Service of Azerbaijan. This is 2.37 percent higher than in the same period last year.

President Ilham Aliyev congratulates Jewish community of Azerbaijan on Rosh Hashanah
APA

Production and submission of biometric passports to the citizens have started at Baku Regional Centre of General Passport, Registration and Migration Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry's press service told APA that the Interior Minister, Colonel General Ramil Usubov, also attended the event.

Energy

UNESCO aids renewable energy development in Azerbaijan
AzerNews

UNESCO is involved in the development of solar and wind energy in Azerbaijan, according to the Presidium of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS). Under the research, which will be carried out until the end of 2014, experts will assess the optical characteristics of the atmosphere, as well as compile a mathematical model of solar radiation. Moreover, a mathematical model of the effect of mountain topography on the amount of solar radiation and a wind map are under development.


 


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