Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the Azerbaijan News Digest, you will find discussion of the importance of the recent Trans Adriatic Pipeline decision, US appreciation of Azerbaijan’s contributions to operations in Afghanistan and analysis of increased opportunities for trade with India. We hope you enjoy reading this issue, and invite you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
July 11, 2013
What impact will construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, have on political relations between Russia and Azerbaijan? During this edition of OnPoint, Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan's ambassador to the United States, discusses the pipeline's impact on competition in the natural gas sector and the region's economy.
SOCAR, BP and Total will get a 50 per cent stake broken down to 20, 20 and 10 percent respectively, in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline gas pipeline project (TAP), SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev told journalists recently. Abdullayev said that the partners for the Shah Deniz development will coordinate and sign all agreements and contracts for the export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe by late 2013 which will enable them to take a final financial decision on the second stage of the Shah Deniz field development project by the end of this year.
The United States appreciates Azerbaijan's contribution to peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas said at a recent meeting with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov. The sides discussed prospects of cooperation between the two countries, regional processes as well as Azerbaijan's relations with NATO, the Foreign Ministry said.
Speaking at an Independence Day celebration at the US Embassy in Baku, Ambassador Richard Morningstar said, “Azerbaijan has established itself as a truly independent state playing a significant regional and global role. Who imagined 25 years ago that a country named Azerbaijan would seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Azerbaijani soldiers would be standing shoulder to shoulder with ours in Afghanistan or that Azerbaijani oil and gas would be providing Europe with a more stable secure energy future.”
At the event was also the Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov, who on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan congratulated the people of the United States. The Minister noted that since the resumption of independence, Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations with the United States and continues to pay special attention to relations with the United States.
Azerbaijan’s unique and essential role in the world is based on five pillars: our tradition of tolerance; our strategic location; our economic performance; our understanding of regional security; and our quest for peace in our neighborhood and around the world.
At a time of turmoil, the world community can be introduced to how Azerbaijan – an ancient civilization whose current independence was declared in 1991 – serves as a bridge-builder and peacemaker between different countries and cultures.
Azerbaijan will invite observers of the OSCE to monitor upcoming presidential elections in October, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. Formal invitations are sent approximately two months before the elections. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara responded to the news, stating, “We welcome the intention of Azerbaijan as an OSCE member state, to invite observers of our organization to monitor elections.”
The American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham) in Baku hosted an 18th Annual Independence Day Picnic at the Ramada Hotel in Baku. Addressing the event, Ambassador of United States to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar praised the American Chamber Commerce in Azerbaijan for its work enhancing the level of cooperation between businesses in United States of America and Azerbaijan.
Speaking at a recent conference in Yerevan, Armenia, the Moldavian Ombudsman Aureli Grigoriu alleged that on 26 February, 1992, Armenian forces, backed-up by Soviet troops, attacked 7,000 residents of Khojaly in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the deaths of 613 residents. She also said that Armenia currently occupies 20% of Azerbaijan territory. Grigoriu was subsequently barricaded in her hotel room and prevented from leaving the country.
“I only wanted to draw the public attention to the violation of human rights in conflict zones. In my speech, I tackled the human rights issues not only in Nagorno-Karabakh, but also in Georgia and Transnistria,” she said. Despite the outrage caused by her comments in Armenia, she said that the information she presented “was nothing new,” and was based on facts gathered in a UN resolution.
The Azeri government has come to her defence. In a statement issued on 8 July, the commissioner for human rights, Elmira Suleymnova said that by facing “threats, accusations and insults,” and by being prevented from leaving the country, the rights of Aureli Grigoriu were “seriously violated.”
Read the full statement by the Azerbaijani Commissioner for Human Rights here.
Winners of youth essay competition visit Azerbaijan
Embassy of Azerbaijan
In April and May of 2013, the Embassy of Azerbaijan to the United Stated and the Washington-based Karabakh Foundation co-organized an essay competition to raise awareness and interest among high school and college students in the United States about Azerbaijan, its people and geography, history, culture as well as the nation’s standing in the international arena.
Ten winners representing different high schools and colleges have been rewarded with a trip to Azerbaijan to join similar groups of young talented leaders from Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Lithuania, Morocco and South Africa. They will visit historical and cultural sites in the capital city of Baku as well as other cultural centers of Azerbaijan, including Ganja, Shaki, Gabala and Ismayilli. This visit to the “Land of Fire”, located on the shore of the Caspian Sea will introduce participants to the sights, sounds, history and people of Azerbaijan.
Trade and Foreign Investment
Transport Corridor to Boost Trade with Azerbaijan
The Hindu Business Line
The early completion of the International North-South Transport Corridor will be crucial to improving bilateral trade between India and Azerbaijan. Both the countries should make joint efforts towards identifying issues and impediments in the smooth functioning of the corridor, said Rafeeque Ahmed, Vice-President, Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The corridor is the ship, rail and road route to move freight from South Asia to Europe through Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia. The route involves moving goods from India via ship to Iran. From Iran, the freight moves by ship across the Caspian Sea or by truck or rail to Southern Russia. From there, the goods are transported by truck or rail along the Volga River through Moscow to Northern Europe.
Oil- Rich Azerbaijan “Very Attractive” for Pharma
The oil-rich and rapidly-growing nation of Azerbaijan is presenting itself as a very attractive ground for global healthcare investors, and the nation's pharmaceutical market is particularly promising, according to new research. Continuing government reforms, coupled with a shortage of medical expertise, equipment and personnel, are driving transformation in the country's healthcare market, says the study, from Frost & Sullivan, which points out that the government has increased its healthcare budget more than 10 times in the past decade and built or remodeled over 500 healthcare facilities so far.
Responding to the positive results in Transparency International’s “Global Corruption Barometer 2013,” head of the Department for Law Enforcement Agencies, Fuad Alasgarov said, “The report once again showed a significant progress in a fight against corruption in Azerbaijan. Some 68 percent of respondents in Azerbaijan consider the measures taken to combat corruption in the country to be effective. This rate is three times higher than the average for the other countries, which is 22 percent.”
Azerbaijan ranked seventh among the happiest countries in the world in a survey conducted by Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and Gallup International Association (GIA). During the annual "Global Barometer of Hope and Despair" survey involving nearly 60,000 people from 54 countries, respondents were asked about their personal perceptions of happiness. Latin American states, Finland, Switzerland, and Azerbaijan, ranked in the top ten.
Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers has approved the rules of halting the movement across the customs border of goods containing units of intellectual property. According to the updated rules, if during the customs clearance and inspection signs of pirated or counterfeit origin of goods containing intellectual property are detected, the head of the customs authority or his deputy decide to suspend the passage of such goods through the border for a period of 10 working days.
The Foreign Minister and employees of the Ministry visited the grave of Heydar Aliyev in Alley of Honor and Alley of Martyrs on a recent professional holiday for those in the diplomatic services. The delegation led by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov paid tribute to Heydar Aliyev and laid a wreath at the grave. July 9 was declared a professional holiday for employees of the diplomatic services in Azerbaijan under the order of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in 2007.
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