ASTRAKHAN: ‘ Heads of State Meet at Start of Caspian Sea Summit ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 01 – ASTRAKHAN, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The Heads of State of all the five Caspian countries have gathered for the 4th Caspian Summit which has begun in Astrakhan.

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, Russian leader Vladimir Putin as Head of State of the hosting country held an official ceremony to welcome his counterparts. Then, after a photo session, they proceeded to the conference hall where a meeting in a narrow format began.

'Vladimir Putin greets Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov '

‘Vladimir Putin greets Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ‘© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

At a narrow-format meeting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said the leaders of the Caspian Five intend to reach mutually acceptable agreements that will promote a further step-up of economic cooperation and enhance security in the region.

'Vladimir Putin greets President of Iran Hassan Rouhani' © ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

‘Vladimir Putin greets President of Iran Hassan Rouhani’
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

The Russian leader pointed out that as a result of Monday’s meeting it is planned to adopt a political statement which must become “the cornerstone of a future basic document a Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea”

'Vladimir Putin greets his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev ' © ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

‘Vladimir Putin greets his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev ‘
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

“I am convinced that a further step-up of cooperation among our five states will contribute to strengthening regional stability and raising effectiveness in the fight against terrorism, extremism, the trafficking in narcotics, and other challenges and threats, as well as give an additional impetus to the economic development of our states, and raise their competitiveness on the world markets,” Putin said.

Vladimir Putin proposed that the five Caspian littoral countries – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan could conduct joint exercises on emergency prevention in the Caspian region in 2016.

“We propose to hold full-scale five-party exercises of emergency response services in 2016 that will allow us to practise the warning procedure and coordination between rescue units,” Putin said.

On Monday the five countries will sign an agreement on warning and liquidating emergencies in the Caspian Sea, Putin said. “It is necessary to continue the work on improving the legal base and further efforts aimed at elaborating common norms and standards of the activity on the Caspian Sea,” he said.

“It is necessary to complete the ratification of protocols on oil spill response, on the protection of the Caspian Sea from pollution and on preserving biological diversity as soon as possible. They were adopted to concretise the Tehran Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment in 2003,” Putin said.

Among the priorities he named the expansion of cooperation in the weather forecast, the climate and the environment of the Caspian Sea. “We hope that the signing of a five-party agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology will increase security and predictability of navigation and development of hydrocarbon shelf deposits,” he added.

“Wellbeing in the Caspian Sea is our common responsibility. We should do everything possible to strengthen stability and security in the region and speed up the economic development of all Caspian states,” Putin said.

'Vladimir Putin and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Summit ' © ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

‘Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Summit ‘
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

Caspian Summit agenda

Talks are then to be held in a broader format, after which joint documents are due to be signed and statements for the press will be made. An informal part of the program has also been plannned out. In particular, the leaders of the Caspian countries will take a stroll along the Volga River embankment where a symbolic release of sturgeon fry into the river will be effected.
Apart from attending the summit proceeding, Putin will hold separate meetings with the Presidents of Iran, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. Putin will resume conversations with Kazakhstan’s President on Tuesday during a forum of border regions in Kazakhstani Atyrau.

The Caspian Sea status issue

The Russian leadership hopes that the Caspian summit will help make headway in a long process of negotiations on the status and delimitation of water areas of the Caspian Sea. A joint political statement to be made by the presidents of the five Caspian states will be a cornerstone of the future Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian sea is a unique water area in terms of its bio and ecological resource, which includes more than 500 kinds of sea plants and 854 kinds of fish species, including the Caspian sturgeon which accounts for 90% of the world stock of sturgeon fish.

A predicted amount of Caspian hydrocarbon resources has been estimated at around 18 billion tons, with the proved reserves put at four billion tons, which brings the Caspian Sea to second position after the Persian Gulf in the rating of the world biggest oil and gas reserves.

The first Caspian summit was held in Ashgabat in 2002; the second one five years later in Tehran, and a third one in Baku in November 2010. After Astrakhan, the baton of Caspian summits will pass on to Kazakhstan. 

#ANS2014

#russia, #astrakhan, #azerbaijan, #caspian-sea-summit, #kazakhstan, #turkmenistan

‘ Rouhani Flies to Astrakhan’s Caspian Sea Summit ‘

#AceWorldNews – ASTRAKHAN – September 28 – Iran President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday flew to Astrakhan, in Russia, where he will participate in the 4th Caspian Sea Summit.

' 4th Caspian Sea Summit. '

‘ 4th Caspian Sea Summit. ‘

Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea, which acquired special geopolitical significance following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the emergence of newly independent countries.

Rouhani flew to Russia following a trip to New York, where he attended the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.

RT 

#ANS2014

#russia, #astrakhan, #azerbaijan, #iran, #kazakstan, #president-hassan-rouhani, #tehran, #turkmenistan

NATO: ‘ Countries Start Military Exercise for Peacekeeping Though Kiev States Shipping Arms ‘

#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15  Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.

' Troops Depart for Rapid Trident 2014 '

‘ Troops Depart for Rapid Trident 2014 ‘

The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.

According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.

It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.

It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.

' Operation Maple Arch '

‘ Operation Maple Arch ‘

Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.

' Partnership for Peace Programme '

‘ Partnership for Peace Programme ‘

Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.

#ANS2014

#azerbaijan, #bulgaria, #canada, #georgia, #germany, #kiev, #latvia, #lithuania, #moldova, #norway, #poland, #romania, #soviet, #spain, #uk, #ukraine, #us, #yavoriv

` Azerbijian President has arrived in `Tehran ‘ for talks over Bi-lateral ties and International Development ‘

#AceWorldNews – TEHRAN – April 09 – (PTV) – Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran to hold talks on a range of issues, including bilateral ties.

Aliyev arrived at Mehrabad International Airport on Wednesday and was welcomed by Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi.

The Azeri president’s visit to Iran comes at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.

During his visit to Iran, Aliyev is scheduled to hold talks with President Rouhani on bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments.

The two presidents are also set to sign some documents of cooperation.

The administration of Rouhani has been seeking to improve ties with Iran’s neighbours, including Azerbaijan Republic.

#ANS2014

#azerbaijan, #iranian, #president-hassan-rouhani, #tehran

` British Troops will participate in `Military Drills ‘ in Ukraine under Rapid Trident 2014 ‘

#AceWorldNews – British troops would participate in military drills in Ukraine in July, the British newspaper Guardian said on Thursday.

The personnel would be part of a group of about 1,300 troops, mostly American, to participate in the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise, the newspaper said.

Rapid Trident 2014 is to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US forces in Europe website.

In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

#ANS2014

#american, #armenia, #azerbaijan, #british, #bulgaria, #canada, #europe, #georgia, #germany, #guardian, #moldova, #nato, #poland, #rapid-trident-2014, #romania, #ukraine

“Turkish Newspaper has reported `Expulsion of Journalist’s’ from the Country for Criticising Prime Minster Erdogan on Twitter”

#AceWorldNews says a Turkish newspaper has reported the expulsion of one of its journalists from the country after criticizing Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter.

The move comes a day after the country passed strict laws governing internet controls, allowing websites to be blocked without a court ruling first being sought. Mahir Zeynalov, 27, from Azerbaijan, was herded onto a plane in Istanbul by police after writing a tweet that allegedly constituted a “blunt assault on Erdogan’s honour and reputation and his personal rights,” according to Erdogan’s lawyers.

#azerbaijan, #erdogans, #journalists, #newspaper, #turkish, #tweet, #twitter

Armenia: ” Activist’s Protest Against New Pension Plan That They Have Dubbed a Racket”

#AceWorldNews says some 6,000 opposition activists protested in Yerevan on Saturday against a controversial new obligatory pension scheme.
The new plan, which took effect on January 1, essentially forces all people born after 1974 to pay five percent of their wages into private pension funds.
“A government racket has come into force that allows the authorities to put their hands into people’s pockets,” said Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker of the opposition Prosperous Armenia party.
Unemployment is a major concern in the ex-Soviet state, and protesters said the new law may force them to look for work abroad.
“People’s wages are their own private property and no one has the right to tell them what to do with them,” computer programmer Artur Garibyan told AFP at the rally in central Yerevan.
“This law should not be obligatory,” said Garibyan, 34.
The controversial new pension scheme has drawn ire from across society against the government of President Serzh Sarkisian.
A landlocked country of 3.2 million that was badly affected by the global downturn, Armenia is economically isolated because its borders with two neighbours Turkey and Azerbaijan have long been closed owing to political disputes.
Nevertheless officials have forecast that the country’s gross domestic product will grow by 5.2 percent this year.
On the downside, inflation is projected at about 4.0 percent.

#activists, #afp, #armenia, #azerbaijan, #pension, #plan, #prosperous-armenia-party, #racket, #turkey

UN:Security Council Recognised and Encouraged Active Contribution of Organisation of Islamic Co-operation

Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic ...

Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Security Council today recognized and encouraged the active contribution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the work of the United Nations in the fields of peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peace building.

Reading out a statement, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, which holds this month’s rotating presidency of the Council, said the 15-member body “recognizes and further encourages” the active contribution of the OIC in the work that aims to realize the purposes and principles embodied in the UN Charter.

“The Council notes the commitment of both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, and calls for enhanced cooperation to promote better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations,” according to the statement.

During the meeting which preceded the statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7233“>urged the OIC and all leaders to “do everything possible to repair rifts and rebuild confidence between Muslim communities as well as stem the influence of radical armed groups and violent extremists.”

The UN chief urged partnerships to be strengthened between the UN and OIC which “could be uniquely placed” to launch a major initiative with partners to help end the “profoundly worrying” heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia communities in Syria and other parts of the world.

“This upheaval that has caused the loss of so many civilian lives and represents such a threat to wider security,” Mr. Ban stressed in his remarks to the 15-member Council.

The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been “making progress” in dismantling and destroying the Syrian chemical weapons programme, said Mr. Ban, while urging continued efforts to reach a comprehensive political agreement “which reflects the will of the Syrian people.”

150 px

150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Highlighting other regions where the OIC would play a positive role, the top UN official highlighted that organization’s potential role to help break the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory and forge a way forward in the Middle East peace process within the agreed frame.

He also cited the OIC’s plans to visit Myanmar and welcomed the delegation’s “constructive engagement” to reduce tensions.

Mr. Ban also highlighted the OIC’s efforts in Afghanistan and Sudan, and urged further partnerships in Mali, following the milestone presidential election there.

Noting that the OIC and its member States have made significant efforts to mitigate the terrorist threat, the UN chief stressed the importance of addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of extremism and terrorism, including by strengthening efforts to peacefully resolve conflict, promote the rule of law, protect human rights and ensure good governance.

“Terrorism is not associated with any particular religion, culture or people’s,” he said. “However, in recent years, terrorist violence has disproportionately affected countries that are members of OIC, from the Sahel and North Africa to the Middle East and South Asia.”

He noted that the importance of intercultural dialogue between and within faiths “is more important than ever” and urged continued efforts to foster a culture of peace and co-existence through efforts such as the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2005, an initiative of Spain and Turkey created the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a forum where civil society, governments and the private sector could learn from each other and stand up for tolerance and inclusively and against extremism and polarization.

 

#agshin-mehdiyev, #azerbaijan, #ban-ki-moon, #islam, #middle-east, #new-york, #oic, #organisation-of-islamic-cooperation, #united-nations, #united-nations-security-council