Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the News Digest, you will find stories about traveling to Baku, the Euro 2020 football tournament and Azerbaijan's relations with the UK, Israel and Mexico. To learn more about the Embassy’s activities, please remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Baku offers one gem after another
Through the narrow, maze-like alleys of Baku’s Old Town, one finds a mysterious mosque half-hidden here, a slim minaret looming there. The medieval houses appear in different shades of ocher, with early-evening shadows sneaking up their exteriors. Rough brick walls still radiate the heat of the day, as the sun’s last rays add a glow of warm orange light to the setting.
Amb. Rafael Harpaz highlights Azerbaijan as a critical partner
On a recent visit to the United States, Rafael Harpaz, Israel’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, underlined the importance of Azerbaijan in the religiously diverse Caucasus region, praising the country as a “top model for tolerance.” Harpaz used his unique visit to the US to emphasize the strong bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Israel.
Azerbaijan's peacekeepers seen off to Afghanistan
A seeing-off ceremony was held in Baku on October 8 for a group of Azerbaijani peacekeepers bound for Afghanistan. Approximately 23 people from Azerbaijan will join the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on a rotational basis. 94 Azerbaijani soldiers, two military doctors and two engineering officers also participate in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.
Baku's hosting UEFA Euro 2020 shows deep European integration
Baku has been selected as one of the thirteen cities that will host the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship games, or Euro 2020. Competition will be held at Baku Olympic Stadium, and the selection of Baku shows Azerbaijan’s growing integration with Europe.
Joint Press Statement by the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan
During the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends, held during the High-level segment of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, the membership of the Group of Friends endorsed by consensus the offer by the Government of Azerbaijan to host the Alliance 7th Global Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016. The UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser expressed his appreciation to the Government of Azerbaijan for its commitment and support for the mission and objectives of the Alliance.
TAP's Hoffman touts pipeline's role in European energy security
Natural Gas Europe
Michael Hoffman, External Affairs Director of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), discusses TAP and regional energy markets in an interview with Natural Gas Europe. TAP, a strategically important gas value chain passing through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Albania, linking Caspian Gas to Europe, helps to increase EU energy security. In the interview, Hoffman speaks to the benefits of TAP and the progress of the project.
The guardian of Azerbaijan's oil riches
Shahmar Movsumov is the chief executive of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Sofaz), the sovereign wealth fund of the energy-rich Caspian country, and his main job is to keep the balance between expenditure and management of the surplus reserves built up over the years. Since the cash began to flow 15 years ago, Sofaz has received some US$110 billion worth of energy revenue and spent most of it. “Invested in future generations,” Mr. Movsumov says, but nearly $40 billion is still in the bank.
Economic reforms encourage Azerbaijani "Silicon Valley"
Wide-ranging economic reforms implemented by Azerbaijan during the past five years have resulted in notable progress to improve regulatory efficiency and encourage domestic economic diversification, especially in the areas of agriculture, tourism and information and communications technology. Azerbaijani “Silicon Valley” is one of the ambitious plans that serves as the very reason to bring Azerbaijan onto the global high-tech scene.
USACC promotes business ties to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey
On October 7, the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) organized a session dedicated to business prospects in the Southern Caucasus and Turkey, sponsored by Nobel Oil. The session was organized in partnership with America's two leading trade institutions, the World Trade Center Institute and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Those in attendance included US government officials, diplomats and private sector representatives.
Baku to host 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue
Baku will host the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on May 21-22, 2015. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Forum will be held in partnership with the UN Alliance of Civilizations, World Tourism Organization, Council of Europe, Heydar Aliyev Foundation, North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, ISESCO and the Heydar Aliyev Center.
Mexico opens diplomatic representation in Baku
A Mexican embassy has been established in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs received Charge d'Affaires of Mexico in Azerbaijan, Francisco Ernesto Romero Bock, on October 1. The two countries discussed expanding cooperation in the areas of economic, cultural, tourism, humanitarian and energy. Azerbaijan’s embassy in Mexico opened in 2006.
Baku, London praise bilateral cooperation
Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov met British Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy, House of Lords member Lord Risby on October 8 in Baku. Asadov praised political and economic relations between Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom, while Lord Risby lauded Azerbaijan’s economic development. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov also met with Lord Risby.