Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the News Digest, you will find stories about Azerbaijan’s expanding ICT industry, how the country can be a model for Afghanistan and Azerbaijan’s involvement with the United Nations Environment Programme. To learn more about the Embassy’s activities, please remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Vice President Biden: BTC is an important energy project
US Vice President Joe Biden hailed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline as a very important energy project while speaking at an energy summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Vice President Biden said that few believed that such a project would be implemented, but Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey succeeded in accomplishing their goal. The total length of the BТС spans 1,768 kilometers, including 443 km running through Azerbaijan, 249 km in Georgia and 1,076 km in Turkey.
ITU again ranks Azerbaijan among most dynamic countries in ICT development
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ranked Azerbaijan 64th of 166 countries in the information and communication technologies (ICT) Development Index in its annual “Measuring the Information Society” report. The rankings correspond with the countries’ ICT access, use and skill levels. First published in 2009, ITU’s IDI is widely recognized by governments, UN agencies and industry leaders as the most accurate and impartial measure of overall national ICT development.
ICT women's club, "Femmes Digitales" established in Azerbaijan
“Femmes Digitales,” a club for women in the information and communication technologies (ICT) industry, has been created in Azerbaijan. The country’s first professional organization that brings together women in ICT, Femmes Digitales aims to impact both the public and private sectors and to increase Azerbaijani women’s and girls’ desire to pursue a career in ICT. The club’s official opening ceremony was held at the Baku Expo Center on December 3.
Greenberg and Levin: Muslim Azerbaijan: Bucking the anti-Semitic trend in Europe
Around the world, anti-Semitic incidents are increasing alarmingly, not only in Eastern Europe but also in France, Germany, Belgium and even Scandinavian countries. In Azerbaijan, however, one finds a remarkable exception to the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the secular, moderate and Muslim-majority nation. Having lived in Azerbaijan for 2,500 years without persecution and numbering some 35,000, the country’s Jewish community enjoys full dignity, respect and religious freedom. Azerbaijan’s tradition of peaceful coexistence among Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as its role as a bridge-builder between East and West, exemplify its unique and essential role on the international stage.
Opinion: Azerbaijan is a symbol of regional tolerance for Jews and Muslims
Azerbaijan is fast developing, investing in innovative IT infrastructure and social entrepreneurship, and its infrastructure is one of the best in the region. Similarly, its people are some of the most tolerant in the world and the country has always been a gateway for new ideas, communities and religions. In a region where ethnic and religious tensions often escalate, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has provided clear direction to ensure that all communities have a space in Azerbaijani society.
FM Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan can be model for Afghanistan
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited Azerbaijan and met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on December 1 to discuss opportunities for economic cooperation, trade and bilateral development. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov remarked that, “my country faced war 20 years ago, but we were able to pass through all these challenges and achieved big progress. Therefore, Azerbaijan sees the needs of and can be a model for Afghanistan.”
Southern Gas Corridor important for economy of southeast Europe
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, speaking at the 25th Energy Charter Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, said that the Southern Gas Corridor plays an important role in the economic development of southeast Europe. “The success of the Southern Gas Corridor gives us an opportunity to continue with our political and economic cooperation related to energy security not only with the countries of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea regions, but also with the Mediterranean Sea states,” he added.
UNEP, IDEA to implement joint projects in Azerbaijan
Leyla Aliyeva, vice president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and founder and head of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA), met with Jan Dusik, Director of the Regional Office for Europe within the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Aliyeva suggested implementing joint IDEA-UNEP projects aimed at overcoming environmental problems, and Dusik added that UNEP is ready and willing to support IDEA and continue UNEP-IDEA collaboration.
Top athletes to perform in Baku 2015 European Games
Simon Clegg, COO of the inaugural Baku 2015 European Games, confirmed that preparations for the games are on schedule and that he and Azerbaijan plan to deliver a spectacular event. The former chief executive of the British Olympic Association, Clegg also said that broadcasting rights have been sold to a number of European TV channels, as well as 21 states in North Africa, the Middle East and Japan. "It's way beyond my expectations," Clegg added. "There are still deals in the pipeline in North America with Canada and the United States and the whole of Latin America." The Baku 2015 games will take place June 12-28, 2015.
Former Croatia midfielder Robert Prosinecki appointed as Azerbaijan coach
Azerbaijan has named former Croatia midfielder Robert Prosinecki as head coach of its men’s national soccer team. The former head coach of Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade and Turkey’s Kayserispor, Prosinecki will replace Azerbaijan’s head coach Bertie Vogts. “I am an optimist and I believe this team has potential. We have to keep on working,” said Prosinecki.
Traveling the Caucasus: Azerbaijan
One of three countries at a crossroads between Western Asia and Eastern Europe and up in the Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan is a place of stunning beauty, history and culture. Azerbaijan joins with Russia to the north, the Caspian Sea to the east, Iran to the south, with fellow Transcaucasian country Armenia on its western border. Most of Azerbaijan, with the exception of its northern region, is located in the Caucasus Mountains. The country offers much in the way of history and culture and is, in fact the first Muslim-majority country to offer to the public modern universities, theaters and operas.