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Cease-fire largely holding around Nagorno-Karabakh
6 April 2016 - A cease-fire largely held Wednesday around Nagorno-Karabakh after an outburst of fighting that raised fears of a new all-out war between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. Russia sought to assuage tensions by reaching out to both sides. Fighting that erupted around the region over the weekend marked the worst violence since a separatist war ended in 1994 and left Nagorno-Karabakh, officially a part of Azerbaijan, under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military. Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside the Karabakh region. (more)

Brazil, Azerbaijan discuss bilateral relations
3 October 2013 - Azerbaijan's ambassador to Brazil, Elnur Sultanov, has met the mayor of the city of Salvador, Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Neto, during his visit to the country's Bahia State. They discussed the establishment of intercity cooperation, exchange of experience, and stressed the importance of the reciprocal visits. The ambassador informed the mayor on the current state of Azerbaijan-Brazil relations, as well as on modern and rapid development of the regions of Azerbaijan. (more)

Azerbaijan aims to boost output of renewable energy
1 August 2013 - By 2020 the Azerbaijan government plans to increase its share of renewable energy sources to 9.7 per cent of its total energy consumption, which is three times higher than today's rates. This goal is part of its recently approved plan 'National Strategy for the Development of Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources in 2012-2020.' (more)

Bosnia and Herzegovina invites Azerbaijan to invest in power sector
22 October 2012 - Bosnia and Herzegovina has a significant potential for economic cooperation, and the country has created a favourable environment for investment in various areas of the industry, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic said during the Business Forum in Baku. 'One of the most promising sectors for investment is the electric power sector,' Izetbegovic said. 'In addition, we will soon be going to join NATO and the European Union, so this is a good period to invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.' Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev in turn said the visit of the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Azerbaijan -- a major step in the development of relations between the countries. (more)

Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva promotes her country's culture in France
20 October 2012 - Supported by Azerbaijan's embassy in Paris, the philanthropic Heydar Aliyev Foundation has launched a series of events aimed at promoting the Azerbaijani culture across France. A first event in the series took place in Reims on 19 October. Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who is also President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, attended the event. The exhibition displays ancient Azerbaijani historical and cultural exhibits, including carpets, national clothing, and national musical instruments. Speaking to the opening ceremony, the First Lady said the exhibition 'will contribute to friendship and mutual respect between our countries'. (more)

Through the eyes of young environmentalists
28 September 2012 - The spectacular images entered by children for a nature photography competition is proof positive that young people around the world share an awareness of the need to look after their environment -- and that sometimes, amateurs can do a job just as well as professionals. The 'Children's Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest 2012,' the first of what organizers hope will become an annual event, was initiated by the organization International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) in collaboration with Iranian-French photojournalist Reza Deghati. Its sponsors include the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the World Photography Organization, and National Geographic Kids Magazine in the United Kingdom. (more)

Pilgrims allowed back into Azerbaijan monastery
21 May 2012 - Pilgrims to one of former Soviet Georgia's most renowned monasteries, part of which lies in Azerbaijan, are again able to visit the entire complex after an agreement between two countries. The monastery, dating from the 6th century, is one of the Georgian Orthodox Church's most sacred sites. (more)

Azerbaijan to develop ecotourism, rural tourism
30 June 2011 - The new standards in the tourism industry of Azerbaijan will be developed within the framework of Action Plan 2011-15 on the State Programme of Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development 2008-15. (more)

Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia bring closer positions on key issues of Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
11 June 2011 - On Saturday, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, and Foreign Minister of Armenia Edvard Nalbandian had a working meeting in Moscow. The discussion managed to bring closer the sides' positions on key issues of the Basic Principles of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. The draft document will be considered at the next trilateral summit in late June. (more)

US Secretary of State makes fence-mending trip to Azerbaijan
4 July 2010 - Azerbaijan urged the United States on Sunday to help solve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed its authoritarian government on human rights. Hosting Clinton at his palatial summer residence on the Caspian Sea, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev made clear that his priority was Nagorno-Karabakh. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

AP Explains: The roots of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
3 April 2016 - Since 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces erupted Saturday, has existed in a tense limbo. AP explains what's behind the conflict: (more)

Heavy fighting erupts between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over Nagorno-Karabakh
3 April 2016 - Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry announced a unilateral cease-fire Sunday against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but rebel forces in the area said that they continued to come under fire from Azerbaijani forces. Fighting in what was a dormant conflict for two decades flared up over the weekend with a boy and at least 30 troops killed on both sides. Each side blamed the other for Saturday's escalation, the worst since the end of a full-scale war in 1994. (more)

European human rights body says concerned about abuses in Azerbaijan
23 April 2014 - - Human rights are deteriorating in Azerbaijan, a European watchdog said on Wednesday, calling on the authorities to uphold regional standards and expressing concerns over what it says is a 'worrying pattern' of abuse. Azerbaijan, a mainly Muslim former Soviet republic, has been governed by President Ilham Aliyev since he succeeded his father in 2003. It has been courted by the West because of its role as an alternative to Russia in supplying oil and gas to Europe. Rights groups accuse Azerbaijan of muzzling dissent and jailing opponents, charges the government denies. Nils Muiznieks, human rights commissioner at the 47-nation non-executive Council of Europe, said he had seen no progress towards greater freedom of expression since he published his previous report in August 2013. 'Freedom of expression, assembly, and association are deteriorating in Azerbaijan,' he said in Wednesday's report. (more)

Azerbaijan lacks media freedom, draws criticism
19 April 2012 - An attack on a group of journalists in Azerbaijan at a demolition site has drawn widespread international condemnation and is serving as a bitter reminder of the bleak conditions for media in this former Soviet nation. Colleagues of award-winning reporter Idrak Abbasov say he was savagely beaten Wednesday by a large group of police officers and security guards for the state energy company while he was filming the controversial wrecking of houses near oil deposits. Other journalists were also reportedly attacked at the site. The incident is casting a dark shadow over the government's hopes of showcasing the oil-rich country when it hosts the glitzy Eurovision song contest next month. Abbasov, who last month won the journalism award from the Index on Censorship, is only the latest journalist to fall foul of intimidation and physical aggression in Azerbaijan, where dissent against the overbearing rule of President Ilkham Aliyev is not tolerated. (more)

Azerbaijan leader warns of army buildup
26 June 2011 - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaking during the biggest military parade in Baku since the fall of the Soviet Union, promised to boost army spending and gain control of the territories disputed with Armenia. Azerbaijan and Armenia, who fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh that killed about 30,000 on both sides, concluded a ceasefire in 1994. Attempts by the United States, Russia, and France to reconcile the two post-Soviet foes have fallen short. Aliyev said that his country will boost military spending to $3.3 billion this year, up from $2.15 a year ago, and $160 million in 2003. (more)

Factbox: Nagorno-Karabakh - disputed by Azerbaijan, Armenia
24 June 2011 - The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan met along with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday (24 June) to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Mediators Russia, the United States, and France have urged the leaders to endorse a framework document that would pave the way for talks to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenians threw off Azeri rule in the early 1990s. The following is a profile of the region and the conflict. (more)

Azerbaijan announces 53 per cent rise in army spending
15 April 2008 - Ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, in an armed standoff with neighbour Armenia, is to increase military spending by 53 per cent this year, state media quoted President Ilham Aliyev as saying on Tuesday. Azerbaijan fought a war in the 1990s with Armenia over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The two countries have never signed a peace treaty and Azerbaijan has not ruled out using force to restore its control over Nagorno-Karabakh. (more)

Little progress for Armenia, Azerbaijan in negotiations over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh
12 February 2006 - The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan failed to reach agreement Saturday after two days of talks on how to end the bloody conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. International observers said Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev made little progress during their one-on-one, closed-door negotiations. (more)

Riot police break up Azerbaijan protest
26 November 2005 - Truncheon-wielding police in riot gear beat opposition protesters who gathered in Azerbaijan's capital. Some 15,000 opposition activists rallied in Baku to protest the outcome of the 6 November parliamentary elections, which they claimed were rigged. 'They used force against a peaceful rally without any prior notice,' said one opposition leader. (more)

Azerbaijani protesters want election rerun
13 November 2005 - More than 20,000 opposition supporters packed a square in Azerbaijan's capital Sunday in the second mass protest in recent days, demanding a rerun of disputed parliamentary elections in this oil-rich Caspian Sea nation. The opposition fears that the US interest in Azerbaijan's energy riches will trump its stated commitment to expanding democracy around the world. (more)


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