Azerbaijan News Digest

Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the News Digest, you will find stories about new hospitality and infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan, the importance of Azerbaijani-Israeli relations and the country's improvements in the ease of starting a business. To learn more about the Embassy's activities, please remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

From New York to Baku: Trump unveils plans for luxury hotel to open in Azerbaijan
Daily Mail

Donald Trump announced on November 6 plans for a new luxury hotel in Azerbaijan to open in June 2015. The towering 33-floor establishment, in the Nasimi District of Baku, will boast spectacular panoramic views of the Caspian Sea and across the city. Trump's daughter and executive vice president of development and acquisitions of The Trump Organization, Ivanka Trump, visited Azerbaijan last month, saying, "We are looking forward to bringing our unparalleled Trump services and amenities to Azerbaijan."

Azerbaijani culture celebrated at the US Department of State

On October 24, the Embassy of Azerbaijan and the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) co-hosted an event in the US Department of State's Dean Acheson Auditorium to showcase Azerbaijani history and culture. Please click here to view photos from the event.

OAS and ADA University of Azerbaijan sign cooperation agreement
Organization of American States

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) signed on November 4 an agreement with ADA University of Azerbaijan that seeks to strengthen education and human development in the Americas and in Azerbaijan through scholarship programs, the exchange of students and teachers between the ADA University and universities in the OAS member states, and participation in research projects, conferences and cultural programs. The OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Sherry Tross, welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with the university "to offer opportunities for students across the Americas to improve their lives and their environment."

Azerbaijan-Israel relationship is glimmer of hope, model for Muslim-Jewish peace
The Hill

Amid discontent in the Middle East, the relationship between Israel and the Muslim-majority country Azerbaijan offers a glimmer of hope. In mid-September, Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan, Rafi Harpaz, and Azerbaijani ambassador to the US, Elin Suleymanov, toured the Jewish East Coast, traveling together in New York, DC, Philadelphia and other locations. During the trip, the two discussed the close ties between the Jewish State and the Muslim country, and how both countries feel equally close and supportive of the US.

Why Azerbaijan is good for Israel and the international community

Azerbaijan has been home to a Jewish community for more than 2,000 years, based in Baku and the northern city of Guba. Today, this community numbers between 20,000 and 25,000, similar to the Jewish populations in Iran and Turkey. In addition, Israel has been among Azerbaijan's top five trade partners in recent years. Baku is Israel's top oil supplier, providing about 40 percent of its annual consumption, while Israel is the sixth-highest importer of Azerbaijani oil.

The Khazars and the Mountain Jews: Tales from Jewish Azerbaijan
Jewish Journal

Buried deep beneath Azerbaijan's bucolic landscape lie secrets behind the ancient Muslim-Jewish friendship that prevails in this largely Shiite country. The 8th-century leaders of the Khazar Empire famously converted from their shamanistic religion to Judaism. A semi-nomadic Turkic tribe, the Khazars originated to the north of and between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The circumstances surrounding both the Khazars' conversion to Judaism and their relationship to other Jews abound in mystery. Nonetheless, the story of the Khazars and their neighbors is more than a missing piece of the Jewish story: Khazar history holds clues to the Azerbaijani tolerance model.

Azerbaijan expects rise in natural gas production in 2016

Azerbaijan expects natural gas output to rise in 2016, when new wells are due to start production, with a further increase seen in 2018, thanks to greater production at its vast Shah Deniz gas field. Operated by BP and other partners, the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea holds estimated reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters.

Azerbaijan to build mega oil and gas plant
Worldbulletin News

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic's (SOCAR) new oil, gas processing and petrochemical complex (OGPC) will begin operations between 2020 and 2023. Nearing the completion of its project phase, the complex will cost a total of $8.5 billion with 70 percent of the total cost financed by private firms. SOCAR President Rovnak Abdullayev described the OGPC as a "mega project” and added that 15,000 people will work on the construction, which will be built 60 kilometers south of Baku on a 4,500-hectare area.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars: A perspective transport bridge for the TRACECA corridor
International Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia

The International Conference "Railway Line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars - New Opportunities for the Development of the Historic Silk Road” was held on October 16 in Baku. As the most advantageous transit route between the Caspian and Black Seas, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line will create another intersection bridging the West and the East, and linking several northern and southern nations. Conference attendees included ministers from countries throughout Europe and Asia, as well as leading representatives of international organizations and financial institutions.

Azerbaijan among top 20 countries for starting a business

In its 2015 Doing Business report, the World Bank has ranked Azerbaijan 12th out of 189 countries in terms of starting a business. Published annually, the report also ranks Azerbaijan among the top 10 countries in terms of the greatest number of reforms carried out in the country. "Azerbaijan has made the process of starting a business easier by reducing the time to obtain an electronic signature for online registration of the tax accounting," the report said.

Azerbaijan does not recognize Ukrainian elections without government's consent

Azerbaijan supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and therefore does not recognize any Ukrainian elections without its central authorities' consent, stated the head of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's press service, Hikmet Hajiyev. The self-proclaimed "people's republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine held elections on November 2, which are not recognized by Ukraine, other countries or international organizations.

Azerbaijani FM Mammadyarov: We will build peace and develop the region

On October 30, Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov commented on a recent meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Paris, saying, "We will build peace and develop the region. One of the significant outcomes of the meeting was French President Francois Hollande's appeal to the both sides of the conflict - Armenia and Azerbaijan - to start the work on a large peace agreement project. Azerbaijan has repeatedly expressed its readiness for this."

President Aliyev allocates $1 million to fight Ebola

Azerbaijan will assist the UN Global Fund's fight against the Ebola virus. President Ilham Aliyev has allocated $1 million to aid sick patients and to stem the virus's spread.

Azerbaijan to purchase two Boeing-787 Dreamliners

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) will purchase two new Boeing-787 Dreamliners, the first in November and the second in December of this year. Currently, the AZAL aircraft fleet consists of models including the Boeing 757-200, Boeing 767-300, Airbus 319, Airbus A320, Airbus A340-500, Embraer ERJ 170-100LR and Embraer ERJ 190-100.

Azerbaijan Airlines 787 makes first appearance under own power
Airways News

Azerbaijan Airlines' (AZAL) first Boeing 787 took to the runway on November 5 for a taxi test. It was the first time the jet has made an appearance since rolling out of the factory several weeks ago, and is likely to make its first flight in the coming days. Expected to be delivered by the end of the year, the jet is first of two of airplanes presently on order for the Baku-based carrier.

Will.I.Am promotes " Puls" smartband in Baku

To introduce new smartband " Puls," pop star Will.I.Am released a short video, "Untethered," that features Baku's Heydar Aliyev Center in the background. Please click here to watch the video.



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