OSCE mediators to visit region after meeting with Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs

Official sources report that OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs plan to visit the region after the meeting with foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We are likely to continue our regular visits to the region in order to continue discussion on the settlement of the conflict, after the foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris,” said French co-chair Jacques Faure.
What concerns the format of the meeting, the co-chair noted that it will probably be a meeting of ministers with the co-chairs, adding that the ministers are to decide.
Recall that the meeting will take place in Paris in late January.

Azerbaijan and Indonesia to sign agreement on military cooperation

Official sources report that today Azerbaijani Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiyev has received Secretary General of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence Air Marshal Eris Herryanto.

According to the information, the main topic of the meeting was the establishment and development of inter-state military cooperation.

Abiyev represented the military-political situation in the region and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the the guest.
Herryanto emphasized that Indonesia supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
During the meeting it was decided to sign an agreement on military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Indonesia in the near future.
The meeting was attended by Indonesian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Raden Prayono Atiyanto.

It has become very fashionable to berate me. Saakashvili

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili believes that it has become very fashionable in the country to reprimand him and the “United National Movement” party.

“Today it is very fashionable to berate me and the “National Movement”, but I want to say one thing. Today there is light, people do not take bribes, there are no thieves, 80% of Georgian families can have more than bread and potatoes for living. When was the last time when you stood in line from morning till evening for bread? Probably not even once during the last 9 years. This is what I have done together with the “National Movement”, and I am proud of it. This is the truth and reality,” said Saakashvili at the meeting with students in Akaki Tsereteli State University.

Iran ready to assist Azerbaijan in studying general history

Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast announced on Tuesday that Iran is ready to assist the countries of the former Soviet Union in studying their history. This was a reposonse to journalists’ questions about the country’s position on studying general history of Azerbaijan and Iran.

Mehmanparast said that a large part of the history of these countries which gained independence, was present in documents in Farsi and Iranian specialists are ready to help in studying this general history.
According to him, the history should be studied based on reliable documents and sources which are in Iran.

We will continue our visits to the region after the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris. Jacques Faure

As Azerbaijani APA news agency reports, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are planning to visit the region again after the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in Paris late January. The statement was made by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair Jacques Faure.

“We are likely to visit regularly the region in order to continue discussion on the settlement of the conflict, after the foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris.”

Talking about the format of the meeting, Faure said it will probably be a meeting of ministers with the co-chairs: “It must be decided by the ministers”.

The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet in Paris on January 28.

OSCE new Chairperson-in-Office to express his priorities

The OSCE new Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara, will outline the priorities of the structure of the OSCE Parliamentary Council, reports the organization’s website.
It will take place on January 17 in Vienna, at the meeting with representatives of 57 member countries and 11 partner countries.
Among the priorities are – finding a solution to the protracted conflicts, including Transdniester regulation, progress in arms control, confidence-building steps, development of activities related to energy and environmental aspects, fight against trafficking.

Georgian President’s administration reveals list of ambassadors requested to be dismissed

Official sources report that Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze urged the president with a letter to dismiss the heads of a number of diplomatic missions in accordance with the submitted list.

According to the Presidential Administration, the minister requires recall of the following Ambassadors: Temur Yakobashvili – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the United States, Alexander Lomaia – Permanent Representative of Georgia to the UN, Salome Samadashvili – Permanent Representative of Georgia to the European Union and Ambassador to Belgium, Mamuka Zhgenti – Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe, Georgi Badridze – Georgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Georgia to the International Maritime Organization; Gabriela Habsburg-Lorraine – Georgia’s Ambassador to Germany, Levan Metreveli – Georgian Ambassador to Bulgaria, Georgi Kerdikoshvili – Georgian Ambassador to Lithuania; Teimuraz Sharashenidze – Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, David Mumladze – Georgian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zurab Pataradze – Georgian Ambassador to Turkey, Mamuka Gamkrelidze – Georgian Ambassador to China.

“New candidates for the heads of these diplomatic missions will be presented as soon as the request is granted,” Maia Panjikidze’s letter said.

Georgian Foreign Minister holds meetings with President and Chairman of Latvian Saeima

Official sources report that Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze met with the President of Latvia Andris Benzins during her visit.
According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation between Georgia and Latvia, as well as the prospects of Georgia’s integration into the EU and NATO.
Maya Panjikidze also met with the Chairman of the Saeima of Latvia (Parliament) Solvita Aboltina.

“The visit to Latvia is of great importance. As it is known, the Baltic republics help Georgia and support our integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Establishment of direct contacts with our Latvian friends and informing them on the main directions of our foreign and domestic policy was very important”, Panjikidze told the Georgian journalists in Riga.

The source informs that on Monday, the Georgian Foreign Minister will also meet with her Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, will take part in a meeting organized by the Council of Latvian Transatlantic Organization and the Baltic-Black Sea Alliance.
From Riga, the Georgian foreign minister will leave for the Czech Republic to hold official meetings on January 15.

Field tax audits bring over 780 million dollar to Azerbaijani state budget in 2012

Official sources report that Azerbaijani Ministry of Taxes has implemented field tax audits of 11,150 taxpayers, including 7075 legal entities and 4075 individuals, which is 15.9 percent less than in 2011.

In 2011, the field audit covered 6.2 percent of actual taxpayers, while in 2012 this figure stood at 4.8 per cent. Some 74.1 percent of the checks were regular with the rest being extraordinary audits.
An additional 612.9 million manat was transferred to the state budget on the basis of field audits of which 51.2 percent accounts for additionally assessed taxes (annual growth of 24.5 percent), and 48.8 percent – financial sanctions and interests (annual growth of 10.1 per cent).

Overall, in 2012 the revenues on their account increased by 17 percent compared with 2011. Some 40.7 percent of this amount fell to the share of withholding taxes, 27.9 percent – VAT, 9.5 percent income tax, 4.2 percent withholding taxes in connection with employment and 17.7 percent other taxes.

Nothing can stop good relations between Iran and Turkey: Ambassador

Iran’s Ambassador to Turkey Bahman Hosseinpour said on Monday that nothing, even the US-generated sanctions against Tehran, can stop Iran and Turkey’s good relation.
Hosseinpour urged to adopt new approaches to deepen the two countries’ economic ties.

“This year, the value of trade between Iran and Turkey will surpass $21 billion,” he said.

Hosseinpour added that the trade volume between Tehran and Ankara can potentially increase fivefold to as high as 100 billion dollar a year and vast investment opportunities await Turkish investors in Iran.

The sources notes that, according to Turkey’s statistics center, the value of trade between Iran and Turkey surpassed 20.8 billion dollar in the first 11 months of 2012, showing around 40 percent rise compared to the same period in 2011.

Turkey’s exports to Iran amounted to 7 billion dollar in the mentioned period, mainly due to the exports of gold to Iran.