(TEHRAN) War Games Report: Recently Iran held large-scale military exercises on its border with Azerbaijan. It was a way to threaten the Azeris, to remind them that its powerful military was right next door, and obliquely to signal their unhappiness with Azerbaijan for maintaining close ties to Israel #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.16: Most Americans couldn’t find Azerbaijan on a map. The former Soviet republic is located in between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, and has as its neighbors the republics of Georgia and Armenia – other former captives of the tsarist and Communist empires – as well as the southern reaches of the Russian Federation ruled by Russian President Vladimir Putin. To its south is Iran, a country that counts a third [actually, 30%] of its people as ethnic Azeris. All of which is to say that although this part of the world is largely unknown to Americans, it’s a fairly dangerous neighborhood.

#AceDailyNews says that according to a report by Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom, October 10, 2021: Iran’s reminds with their ‘War Games’ on their border about Azerbaijan’s alliance with Israel and why they should care…

So when Iran deployed a large portion of its army and conducted military exercises close to the Azeri border last month, the people of that much smaller country and its government, located in the ancient city of Baku, held their breath. For all of its obscurity and remoteness, the security of Azerbaijan is an issue that ought to concern more than the 10.2 million people who live there.

Understanding the complicated politics of the Caucasus region isn’t easy. Nor is all of what’s going on there directly connected to issues that concern the security of the Middle East, the West or the United States. But Azerbaijan’s current dilemma illustrates the ripple effect of actions taken elsewhere. That country’s conflicts with its neighbors in Armenia and Iran, as well as with Russia, cannot be viewed in isolation. More to the point, seemingly unrelated actions taken by other countries that do not, at least on the surface, have much to do with them, such as America’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan or the Biden administration’s stubborn determination to revive former President Barack Obama’s policies aimed at appeasing Iran, are actually having serious consequences on the ground that cannot be ignored.

The first thing to understand about the borders of the countries in the Caucasus is that, not atypically, they were often drawn with little concern for the loyalties of the local populations. Just as a huge chunk of Iran is populated by Azeris who are considered suspect by Tehran, a portion of Azerbaijan – a region called Nagorno-Karabakh – is heavily Armenian. The neighboring republic of Armenia has coveted the territory since the breakup of the Soviet Empire 30 years ago, and it has been the cause of intermittent and sometimes bloody fighting since then. In this conflict, Russia has been supportive of the Armenians while Turkey has backed the Azeris. The Azeris have defended their sovereign territory from what they consider to be a foreign invasion while Armenians talk about a long struggle that dates back more than a century to the genocide perpetrated against them by Turkish Ottomans.

Iran’s rulers are deeply concerned with the minorities that constitute more than 50% of the country’s population – the Kurds, the Arabs, the Balochis, and the Azeris – that have intermittently demonstrated their separatist desires. The three million Balochis, in the far east of Iran, are Sunnis, and for both sectarian and ethnic reasons bristle under Iranian dominance; they want, ideally, to join the nine million of their fellow Balochis in Pakistan, to create an independent Balochistan. This past January, the Iranians hung Javid Dehgan, a Balochi militant, for having killed Revolutionary Guard members. Other Balochis, members of the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl, have been responsible for several recent attacks on Iranian security forces in the province of Sistan-Balochistan.

Similarly, the Arabs in Khuzestan, on the Persian Gulf, where 85% of Iran’s oil and 60% of its natural gas are produced, have repeatedly rioted against the central government. The Iranians claim there are only two million Arabs in Khuzestan; the Arabs claim there are five million of them. Whatever their number, the Khuzestanian Arabs have long complained of discrimination by the Persians. In 2005, there were mass riots and mass arrests of 25,000 people in Khuzestan, and many Arabs were summarily executed. Arrests, torture, and executions have continued to imperfectly keep the peace. There were more riots in 2007, followed by more repression; in 2015, there were a wave of arrests made so as to head off any tenth-anniversary revolt; the rage remains. But if those Khuzestanian Arabs were supplied directly with arms, by the Saudis or the Emiratis, and with the money to buy additional arms and to outfit and pay Arab fighters from outside, they could cause a great deal of destruction to the oilfields and thus to the Iranian economy.

The Kurds in Iran are another worry for Tehran. After World War I, the Kurdish people in the Middle East were promised by the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) a large degree of autonomy, with the promise of future independence. But Ataturk managed to undo that promise in the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), and the Kurds — who number about 45 million people — were instead split among Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. There are about ten million Kurds in Iran, about 12% of the population. The rulers in Tehran remember with dread the last violent uprisings by Iranian Kurds, in 1979, which were ferociously crushed, with at least 30,000 Kurds killed. Iran has to keep large numbers of troops in the Kurdish areas, and must continually worry about the possible threat of peshmerga volunteers from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, who might make their way to help their fellow Kurds in Iran.

But of all the minorities, it is the 25 million Azeris — about 30% of the population – who most worry Tehran. There are, in fact, more than twice as many Azeris in Iran than in Azerbaijan itself. The Azeris in Iran have not been well treated. The Iranian government has banned the teaching of the Azeri language and literature in Iranian schools. When, in 2015, the Iranians broadcast programs that mocked the Azeri accent and language, this alone led Azeris, already on the edge, to demonstrate in many cities, shouting such slogans as “stop racism against Azeri Turks,” “long live Azerbaijan,” and “end the Persian racism,” in Tabriz, Urmia, Ardabil, and Zanjan, and even Tehran itself. Civil unrest among the Azeris is a given.

Jonathan Tobin continues:

Why is Jerusalem involved in this mess?

Simply put, the Jewish state is, as it has been throughout its modern existence, looking for allies with common interests. In this case, that means a common fear of Iran. The connection with Azerbaijan also gives Israel some leverage in its always complicated relationship with Russia and even with Turkey, whose authoritarian Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is deeply hostile to Israel, yet regards Iran as a more potent threat to its security.

For the Azeris, as with the Gulf state Arabs who have embraced Israel as part of the Abraham Accords, Israel is a vital ally against Iran and a useful source of military equipment and training. By helping the Azeris hold their own against more powerful foes, Israel has given the Islamist regime in Tehran, which continues to dream of regional hegemony and of perpetrating nuclear genocide against the Jewish state, a reason for caution. Indeed, Jerusalem has placed both a painful thorn in Iran’s side and undermined Russia’s influence. Though it has largely flown underneath the radar of the international press, the alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan has flourished.

This has created a balance of power in the Caucasus that has, despite occasional efforts by Armenia to overturn it, remained relatively stable. But like the ripples that emanate from a rock thrown in a body of water, the impact of other seemingly unrelated actions has the potential to overturn it all or at least encourage miscalculations that may lead to bloodshed.

While the Biden administration seems to believe that its retreat from Afghanistan is just a matter of bad optics, the implications of the collapse of an American ally are more than theoretical. Anything that weakens the United States and strengthens those pledged to continue waging war against the West – both figuratively and literally, as is the loss of a treasure trove of American military equipment to the Taliban – becomes noticed by those who share such goals.

So it was hardly surprising that in the aftermath of that disgraceful episode, Iran began flexing its muscles. Already emboldened by President Joe Biden’s feckless attempts to bribe them to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal in talks being conducted in Vienna, the Iranians decided to send a message to the Azeris. By mobilizing its forces on the border and conducting exercises, Iran was telling the Azeris that their good relations with Israel and the United States are no defense against Iran’s military might.

And in case the Azeris didn’t understand the implications of this gesture, Iran let it be known that the second phase of the effort was code-named Operation “Fatehan-e Khaybar” or “Conquerors of Khaybar.” The reference to Khaybar is telling; it’s the name of a battle that took place in 628 CE in which the early Muslim caliphate led by the Prophet Muhammad wiped out the Jewish tribes that lived in part of what is now Saudi Arabia.

Far from being intimidated, the Azeris think the Iranians are bluffing. In a gesture clearly intended to convey their confidence in their ability to defend themselves, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev paid a visit earlier this week to the city of Jabrayil, which was recaptured by his forces last year after it was occupied for a time by Armenian-backed separatists. To reinforce his point, the Azeris staged a photo opportunity in which Aliyev was pictured fondly patting an Israeli-made Harop drone, a weapon that had helped his army defeat the Armenians.

In the face of Iran’s threatening behavior – those military exercises on the border with Azerbaijan — Aliyev chose to flaunt his close military relations with Israel. The Azeris in Azerbaijan know how vital Israeli weapons and training were to their victory in the war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. And so do the Azeris inside Iran, which must make Tehran nervous about their loyalties in the ongoing conflict between Iran and Israel.

In response, Iran sent its foreign minister to Moscow to confer with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss their mutual displeasure with the Azeris.

This is the sort of saber-rattling that could lead to another war. But, thanks to the Israelis, the Azeris think that they are in a good position to stand up to Iran and remind Russia that their interference must be kept to a minimum. Aliyev understands that Iranian demands that he drop ties with Israel would leave his country defenseless. And despite its posturing, Iran knows it can’t afford to let animosity with Azerbaijan get out of hand since the rogue regime in Tehran is already up to its neck in risky terrorist conflicts elsewhere.

Israeli weapons were key not only to Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia, but continue to be essential to its survival. Without Israeli weapons, intelligence sharing, and military training, Azerbaijan would be easy prey for an aggressive Iran, determined to crush Azerbaijan, and in so doing, hoping to end its appeal for Azeri separatists inside Iran. Tobin thinks that Iran will not go to war with Azerbaijan, even if that country continues to maintain close ties to Israel, because it has too much on its plate already, supporting the terrorist groups Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia in Iraq. Iran doesn’t need another drain on its resources and attention, nor should it be providing a reason — an excuse — for Israel, coming to the aid of Azerbaijan, to make war on Iran and completely destroy its nuclear program. Furthermore, were Iran to go to war with Azerbaijan, the Azeris, who make up a third of the Iranian population, could well take the side of, and try to help, their fellow Azeris – a risk of subversion that Tehran wants to avoid.

To the extent that Americans pay any attention to these events, the sheer complexity of these entangling alliances may cause them to regard the whole issue as one they should ignore. The United States, whose security is a function of continents and oceans, has often preferred to regard foreign affairs as a problem that others should worry about. But the obvious conclusions to be drawn from recent events are significant.

The strength demonstrated by Israel and Azerbaijan should be enough to keep the situation from escalating. Still, the reason why things threatened to get out of hand in the first place was the perception of American weakness and the encouragement that perception gave to Iran and other Islamists. “Leading from behind,” as Obama and Biden seem to think is wise, is actually the most dangerous kind of defense and foreign policy that can be imagined, both for Americans and for those who look to them for leadership.

The Americans, despite their much-ballyhooed pivot from the Middle East toward China as the next great foreign threat, should not forget Iran’s continuing regional aggression, through its system of proxies and allies – the Houthis in Yemen, the Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now, too, Hamas in Gaza. The Bidenites have demonstrated weakness both in their confused rush to the exits in Afghanistan, and in their concessions made to Iran at the negotiations in Vienna, in a vain attempt to persuade Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has pocketed these concessions and asked for still more. Tehran has now demanded that the U.S. should release at least $10 billion of frozen Iranian funds if it wants Iran to resume nuclear talks. The perceived weakness of the Bidenites has also led Iran to hold military exercises on its border with Azerbaijan, meant to intimidate the Azeris and warn them not to become too close to Israel. Fortunately, Azerbaijan, with the most powerful military in the region on its side – the IDF – has refused to be rattled. In the face of Iranian threats, the Israel-Azerbaijan alliance will only be strengthened.

Iran is particularly worried about two things: First, a strong Azerbaijan would naturally encourage Azeri separatists inside Iran to work toward an enlarged Azeri state, with Azeri-populated areas of Iran becoming part of Azerbaijan. Second, Iran fears that Azerbaijan could allow the IDF to establish bases in the country, making it much easier for Israel to launch air and missile strikes at Iran’s nuclear facilities from bases 1200 kilometers closer to the Islamic Republic than are those in Israel. The recent military exercises by Iran did have an effect, but it was the very opposite of what the Iranians had expected. Instead of scaring Azerbaijan into dropping its alliance with Israel, that military alliance has remained solid. Azerbaijan views Iran, correctly, as keeping in thrall 25 million of the Azeri people; Iran is thus the permanent enemy of Azerbaijan, just as it is of Israel. And there is nothing Iran can do, including those recent military exercises, to weaken the alliance between the two.

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Published: Oct.16: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#azerbaijan, #iran, #israel, #tehran, #war-games

(TEHRAN) War Games Report: Iran started military exercises near its border with Azerbaijan on Friday as tensions between the two neighbours rose over issues including Baku’s relations with Tehran’s arch-enemy Israel.

#AceNewsReport – Oct.04: Iran has long criticised Azerbaijan’s military ties with Israel, which include purchases of Israeli arms. Tehran has also been wary over nationalists in Turkey and Azerbaijan fanning secessionist tendencies among its Azeri minority.

#AceDailyNews says that according to Reuters Iran has held border war games amid tense relations with Azerbaijan: Iranian state media said the exercises involved armoured and artillery units, as well as drones and helicopters. They kicked off near the Poldasht and Jolfa border crossings with Azerbaijan.

After Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev reportedly voiced “surprise” over the planned exercises, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday that holding military exercises by a state within its territory was part of its national sovereignty, Iranian state media said.

Referring to an Israeli presence along Iran’s borders, Amirabdollahian told the new Azeri ambassador: “Iran does not tolerate the Zionist regime’s activity against its national security and will take whatever action is necessary,” state media reported.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank, Israel provided Azerbaijan with some $825 million in weapons between 2006 and 2019.

Separately, Iran on Friday denounced a visit by Israel’s foreign minister to Bahrain to mark the establishment of relations, saying the trip left a stain on the Gulf Arab state’s rulers that “will not be erased”.

Reuters: Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Oct.04: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#azerbaijan, #iran, #israel, #tehran

(AZERBAIJAN) JUST IN: Using gravestones from Armenian cemeteries as building material, to eradicate all traces of Christian heritage #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.27: 05/22/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Artsakh, David Babayan. Azerbaijan continues to deface and destroy Armenian Christian heritage sites, including cemeteries and churches, as they seek to eradicate evidence of their culture and identity.

Azerbaijan Uses Armenian Gravestones To Build Roads,” International Christian Concern, May 22, 2021: Azerbaijan destroying all traces of Christian heritage, using Armenian gravestones to build roads:

Cemeteries in Hadrut have been destroyed, as seen by satellite images. Reports now indicate that those gravestones are being used as building material in areas of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) and particularly for the building of new roads.

Babayan commented saying, “This is another manifestation of cultural genocide; barbarism with a political purpose…

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.27: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#armenian, #azerbaijan, #christian

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.

 

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