The Year in Review 2016

 Top Stories of 2016 – Highlights of the last 12 months.

The end of the year is the perfect time to see what some of our most popular articles and look back at the biggest stories and highlights of the last 12 months. 

 

Azerbaijani Leader Ilham Aliyev’s Participation in the 4th Nuclear Security Summit – U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to attend 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C

 

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Azerbaijani Musicologist Aida Huseynova’s New Book “Music of Azerbaijan” Published in America

The premiere of “Dance” by famous Azerbaijani composer Firangiz Alizade has been held in San Francisco

 

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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Vice President of the United States Joe Biden.

 

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Secretary Kerry Meets with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

 

President Ilham Aliyev attended a dinner reception hosted by US President

 

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The premiere of the long-awaited “Ali and Nino” film, based on a novel with the same name by an Azerbaijani writer was held in New York, California and Utah

 

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Baku 2015 Opening Ceremony claims to six Emmy Awards

 

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October 18 proclaimed Azerbaijani Independence Day in the U.S. State of Connecticut

 

 

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Silk Way West Airlines Launches Direct Flights to Chicago

Azerbaijan Cultural Day in Alberta

Azerbaijani composer Arzu Abbasova has won the 4th MuSE Young Composers Competition held in New York

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Baku street may appear in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has voiced intention to name one of the streets in the city after Baku, Trend reported.

 

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US citizens will be able to receive e-visas to Azerbaijan within 3 days

 

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SAPAR Contemporary Gallery in New York Featuring the Original Works of Azerbaijani Artist Faig Ahmed

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The US embassy in Azerbaijan launches Interview Waiver Program

America Days Festival in Baku

 

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Parliamentarians ratified an agreement on air traffic between the governments of Azerbaijan and the United States

 

Five new documentary films on Azerbaijan were produced in the U.S.

 


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President Aliyev receives delegation led by U.S. State Dept. official

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Amos Hochstein in Baku on December 15, Azertac reported.

The Azerbaijan-U.S. relations were hailed at the meeting. The sides noted that the bilateral ties were successfully developing, and expressed confidence that they will further expand. Prospects for energy cooperation were also discussed.

Energy cooperation between the countries is among the areas of top priority. The U.S. has repeatedly expressed its strong diplomatic and political support to the Southern Gas Corridor project, as economically strong and more energy-secure Europe is in the interest of the United States. The project represents an important contribution to global energy security which is critical to sustaining economic growth. The United States sees the importance of the project in this wider context.

The Azerbaijani President earlier hailed U.S. backing of the project during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, saying that it would have needed more time and effort to get the project going without strong U.S. support.

Hochstein earlier called the project a “long-standing priority for the U.S. government”, mentioning that the scalability of the project is one of its major features.

The project will provide Europe with a new source and route of supply for natural gas, which is one of Europe’s main sources of energy.

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev earlier noted the importance of the high-level representation of the United States at the 3rd consultative council of ministers on the SGC project, mentioning that the high level participation of the country will give a strong political support to the project.

After Azerbaijan gained independence in 1991, Washington established diplomatic relations with Baku in 1992. The two countries enjoy a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and interests. The U.S. is one of the largest investors in Azerbaijan.

The two countries are represented in a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Azerbaijan also is an observer to the Organization of American States and the World Trade Organization and a participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace program.

AzerNews

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a phone call to President-elect of the USA Donald Trump

nytrumpbuildingAzerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a phone call to President-elect of the USA Donald Trump on November 17, Azertac reported.

The head of state congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the presidential election, and wished him success in his high state activity.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States of America are developing successfully on various fronts, including political, economic, security, energy security and other areas, and stressed there is very big potential for strengthening the bilateral relations.

President-elect of the US Donald Trump thanked President  Aliyev for attention and congratulations. Donald Trump noted that he heard very good words about President Ilham Aliyev, and wished the head of state success in his activities.

Donald Trump asked President Ilham Aliyev to extend his greetings and best wishes to the people of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a phone call to President-elect of the USA Donald Trump on November 17, Azertac reported.

The head of state congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the presidential election, and wished him success in his high state activity.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States of America are developing successfully on various fronts, including political, economic, security, energy security and other areas, and stressed there is very big potential for strengthening the bilateral relations.

President-elect of the US Donald Trump thanked President  Aliyev for attention and congratulations. Donald Trump noted that he heard very good words about President Ilham Aliyev, and wished the head of state success in his activities.

Donald Trump asked President Ilham Aliyev to extend his greetings and best wishes to the people of Azerbaijan.

AzerNews

President Ilham Aliyev congratulates President-elect Donald Trump on his election

His Excellency Mr. Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States of America

Dear Mr. Trump,

I cordially congratulate you on your election as President of the United States of America. Your victory in the election testifies to the friendly American people`s confidence in and support for you.

I hope that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. will continue to develop successfully. The history of relations between our countries spans 25 years. Over this time our ties of friendship and cooperation have reached a high level. We are actively cooperating in political, economic, energy, security areas, including global anti-terror war and NATO`s peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.

For many years, Azerbaijan has suffered from the aggressive policy of Armenia. Twenty per cent of our territories are under the occupation, and more than one million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced.

Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity was recognized by the entire world community and international organizations. Armenia ignores the UN Security Council`s four resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan. Our firm position is that the UN Security Council`s four resolutions as well as decisions and resolutions of the UN General Assembly, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO, European Parliament, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and other international organizations must be implemented. The conflict must be solved in compliance with international law and within Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity.

It is my hope that under your leadership the U.S., as co-chair of the Minsk Group, will contribute to a fair settlement of this conflict in accordance with the norms of international law, and within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Once again, I extend my sincere congratulations to you, and wish you good health, happiness and success in your activities for the prosperity of the people of the U.S.

Sincerely,

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

http://en.president.az

 

 

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev received the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev received the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Bridget Brink, in Baku on June 23, Azertac reported.

Stressing the successful development of Azerbaijan-U.S. relations, the president recalled his recent visit to the U.S. and participation in the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

President Aliyev said that the adherence to strengthening the partnership relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. was again reaffirmed as part of his visit to the U.S., where very fruitful and important discussions were held with U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

President Aliyev expressed gratitude to President Barack Obama for the letter addressed to the participants of the 23rd International Caspian Oil and Gas Conference held in Baku and for the positive words in the letter, reflecting the true essence of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Recalling Brink’s visit to Azerbaijan in 2015, President Aliyev stressed its significance in terms of the positive dynamics in the development of Azerbaijan-U.S. relations.

President Aliyev said that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S. covers very broad areas of the agenda, noting that Azerbaijan and the US jointly cooperate in such areas as security, energy and regional development.

Stressing very good current relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S., the president expressed confidence that Brink’s visit to Azerbaijan will contribute to the successful development of Azerbaijan-U.S. relations.

Brink, in her turn, expressed gratification with her another visit to Azerbaijan as part of the regional tour. Brink stressed that the visit is aimed at further strengthening of partnership relations in all spheres between the two countries.

While speaking about President Aliyev’s successful visit to Washington and the conducted meetings, Brink also recalled her last year’s visit to Azerbaijan.

Brink said that she would make every effort to further improve the sustainable cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S.. She also congratulated President Aliyev on the successful completion of the F1 Grand Prix of Europe in Baku.

AzerNews

Parliamentarians ratified an agreement on Air traffic between the governments of Azerbaijan and the United States

IMG_0414The Azerbaijani parliament considered several amendments during its regular plenary session on May 17.

Parliamentarians ratified an agreement on Air traffic between the governments of Azerbaijan and the United States. Ziyad Samedzade, chairman of the parliamentary commission on economic policy, industry and entrepreneurship mentioned that the agreement will simplify air traffic procedures between the countries, expand opportunities in this sphere and create healthy competition between airlines. The agreement envisages removal of state interference into commercial decisions taken by airlines and associated with rendering of more acceptable services in the sphere of passenger and cargo transportation.

MPs also adopted an amendment to the law on the List of items that may belong to certain parties of civil turnover and stay in turnover is allowed by special permission (with limited civil turnover). The amendment envisages entitlement to the use of pilotless vehicles on the basis of special permission. The permission is available by submitting the required documents to the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies. In accordance with the amendment the list also includes drones. The parliament adopted the amendment with a majority of votes.

Parliamentarians also proposed several amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences which were discussed during the meeting of parliamentary committee on the economic policy, industry and entrepreneurship. The amendment specifies coverage broadening of penalties for violation of rules on deal making by legal individuals with related parties as well as for the failure to provide information on such deals. In accordance with the current code banks are imposed by sanctions at the extent of from 2,000 to 2,500 ($ 1,327- 1,659) for officials and from 15,000 to 20,000 manats ($9,958-13,277) for legal individuals should they violate the rules on conducting operations with the related parties. The amendment also defines a notion of “conduct of operations with related parties”. The amendment proposes substituting the term by “violation of rules on deal making” and “failure to provide information on deals”. The fining for such violations will also be imposed on the non-bank credit agencies, stock companies and other legal entities.

The parliament also made several changes to the law on science after discussions at the second reading. Isa Habibbeyli, parliamentary committee chairman on the issues of science and education, said that the clause on the conduct of master’s degree program in two directions (specialized master course and research master course) has been excluded from the bill. “The clause is more significant and appropriate for the law on education,” Habibeyli said. The clause envisaging delay from military service for full-time students of master’s and doctor’s degree courses has also been excluded from the bill. “It is inappropriate to allow for postponing military service while the country is under war conditions and peace agreement is not signed,” Habibeyli said.

The law in effect specifies that bachelors are eligible to continue their education under these programs after military service. The bill also includes the issue of education crediting and repayment of debts after the start of labor activity. Currently the bill is envisaged for students of doctor’s degree courses, it may be applied to the students of Master’s degree programs in the future. The bill was put to a vote and adopted.

AzerNews

Azerbaijan, U.S. have ‘good’ opportunities for developing cooperation

AZERBAILANUSA Flags“There are good opportunities for developing cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States,” said chairman of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov as he met with speaker of Nevada Assembly John Hambrick.

He said Azerbaijan is interested in developing relations with the U.S. and its states. Speaker Asadov expressed his confidence that Hambrick`s visit would give impetus to deepening cooperation with the state of Nevada. He hailed the fact that the U.S. had made more than $10 bln investments in Azerbaijan so far.

“In 2015, trade between Azerbaijan and the U.S. reached one billion dollars,” Asadov added.

Hambrick said Nevada was interested in trade and economic partnership with Azerbaijan. He expressed his confidence that the bilateral ties would continue developing.

AzerTAc

President Ilham Aliyev attended a dinner reception hosted by US President

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President Ilham Aliyev attended a dinner reception hosted by US President for heads of state and government.

A dinner reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the United States of America Barack Obama in the White House for the heads of state and government attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the reception.

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Secretary Kerry Meets with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan (Video)

 

Remarks With Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I’m really pleased to welcome somebody I’ve had a chance to meet with a number of times elsewhere, but I’m happy to welcome the president of Azerbaijan, President Aliyev. We have a lot of mutual interests that we are currently working on. We’re very grateful to Azerbaijan’s contributions to peacekeeping, their efforts in Afghanistan. Obviously, Azerbaijan is located in a complex region right now and I think President Aliyev has been very studious and thoughtful about how to respond to some of those needs, particularly with his leadership on the Southern Gas Corridor. This is a very important step with respect to Europe’s long-term strategic interests, and frankly, to try to diversify the sourcing of energy, which is important.

We obviously share other interests in counterterrorism. We want to see an ultimate resolution of the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh that needs to be a negotiated settlement and something that has to be worked on over time.

But right now, I want to thank the president for his presence here for the Nuclear Security Summit and for the many courtesies that he has shown recently as he moves to adjust the economic opportunity for Azerbaijan as well as the security relationship with the region. And delighted to have you here. Thank you.

PRESIDENT ALIYEV: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, first of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to President Obama for inviting me to attend the nuclear summit. We consider it as a sign of friendship and partnership. We highly value our bilateral relations. U.S.-Azerbaijan relations have already a long history of 25 years, and these relations always were very close, cordial, and now they are relations of strategic importance.

We have very active political dialogue. As Mr. Secretary already said, we met many times before but first time here in Washington. We have economic cooperation, which is developing. U.S. companies invested more than $10 billion to our economy, which is also a good sign of economic cooperation and good sign of economic development of our country. We jointly implemented such important projects as construction of oil pipelines connecting Caspian and Mediterranean Seas for the first time with the strong support of United States.

And now, as Mr. Secretary mentioned, we are working jointly on Southern Gas Corridor, and the project of energy security, energy diversification, and the long-term benefit to all the participants – producers, (inaudible), consumers. And we are very grateful to the Government of United States for its strong support in implementation of this project. Frankly speaking, without that support, it may have taken much more time and effort to implement the project. We are on track, we’ll be on time, and in two, three years, the Southern Gas Corridor will be in operation.

We are grateful to the U.S. Government for their efforts in finding ways to resolve long-lasting conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We think that the conflict must be resolved based on United Nations Security Council resolution, which demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from our territories. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, all the conflicts in post-Soviet area and in the world, must be resolved based on territorial integrity of the countries.

We’re also close partners on issues related to security in the region. Azerbaijan provides its support, logistical support, in operations in Afghanistan, overflights, land transportation. Also we have almost 100 servicemen serving shoulder to shoulder with NATO servicemen in Afghanistan.

So the agenda of our relations is very broad. Today, of course, we’ll cover these issues as well as regional problematic, and I’m sure the meeting will play important role in further development of our friendly ties. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: No questions. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

 

President Aliyev’s Washington visit assumes great interest amid warming relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan

 

Washington, DC

While preventing spread of nuclear weapons remain a top agenda of global security, the world leaders will gather in Washington on March 31 through April 1 to discuss the main challenges for international security.

The 4th Nuclear Security Summit will convene on a difficult time when multiple risks undermine the global security. Pyongyang’s nuclear and rocket programs, terrorist attacks on Turkey, Belgium and Pakistan, as well as security problems in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have put the world leaders under a pressure to find a solution to such global security problems.

In the aftermath of the horrific terror attacks in Brussels, world leaders at a special session during the Nuclear Security Summit next week will discuss threats posed by groups like ISIS to urban areas across the globe and seek solutions to counter such assaults.

“Next week, dozens of world leaders will come here to Washington for a summit focused on nuclear security,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio and web address to the nation. “We’ll use that opportunity to also review our joint efforts against ISIL and to make sure the world remains united in this effort to protect our people.”

Obama invited Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to attend the Summit which will bring together 56 delegation from the globe.

The world leaders will discuss these threats and highlight steps that can be taken together to minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium, secure vulnerable materials, counter nuclear smuggling and deter, detect, and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism.

The visit of President Aliyev to Washington is of particular importance, Novruz Mammadov believes.

The deputy head of Azerbaijani presidential administration, chief of the administration’s foreign relations department said in an interview with local TV channel that during the Summit, President Aliyev will talk about the work carried out in Azerbaijan on nuclear safety and on the challenges that are still to be implemented.

“Another importance of this summit is that it will hold different meetings, contacts and discussions,” he said, noting that such meetings make important steps to uphold bilateral relations,” he noted.

Today, Azerbaijan, located between East and West, North and South, on the border of Islamic and Christian worlds, plays a specific role in the world security system. Being a reliable partner, Azerbaijan also plays a crucial role in ensuring the energy security of the European continent. In this context, Azerbaijan’s security and stability assumes a particular importance urging the partner nations to take necessary steps to restore Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

Azerbaijan, located in the heart of South Caucasus, suffers Armenian aggression for over 20 years. Armenian keeps under control over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory and poses a real threat to the regional security of South Caucasus.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly urged the international community to take decisive steps against outdated nuclear power plant constructed in Armenia almost 40 years ago.

Addressing the 2014 Hague Summit, President Aliyev spoke about the dangers posed by this obsolete nuclear power plant. He said that this power plant is a big threat to the entire region and the nearby neighbors.

“The consequences of any accident will be tragic. Instead of eliminating international concern and closing the power plant, Armenia made a decision to continue operating the nuclear power plant until 2026,” the president said voicing a concern that the facility is located in a highly-seismic zone and is based on an outdated and extremely dangerous technology.

The Nuclear Security Summit is an important tribune to discuss challenging international problems and to hold bilateral meetings. This year, President Aliyev is expected to hold bilateral meetings with top officials of participating countries.

No official information is available about President Aliyev’s visit to Washington, but experts believe that the protocol of the visit will include bilateral meetings. Despite the Armenian media’s reports about the possible meeting of presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the sidelines of the Summit, this information was denied by James Warlick, the OSCE Minsk Group US co-chair.

President Aliyev’s Washington visit assumes great interest amid warming relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. Experts believe the visit may open a new page in Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the West.

Azerbaijan remains playing an important part in international security system.

Firstly, Azerbaijan plays a crucial role in ensuring the energy security of Europe by its giant Southern Gas Corridor project. Secondly, Azerbaijan is located on the crossroads of significant international transport projects running from East to West and from North to South. Thirdly, Azerbaijan enjoys good relations with Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel and the Arab countries thanks to its wise and farsighted policy pursued by the government.

Since regaining its independence, Azerbaijan has been actively involved in combat against cyber crimes, and showing big efforts in fight against nuclear terrorism. Also, Azerbaijan strongly supports the UN’s efforts aimed at strengthening the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

One can expect that Azerbaijani president’s participation at the 4th Nuclear Security Summit will lead to further proximity between Washington and Baku, and pave the way for achieving mutual understanding on many issues.

AzerNews