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SCO meeting starts in Tashkent

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO )members started a meeting inTashkent on Friday, ITAR-TASS reports.The participants will discuss issues of security and the situations inAfghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as development of economic andinvestment cooperation. At the end of the meeting the members willapprove a new scheme for accepting new members.

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey to establish free market zone

Syria,Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey declared on Thursday they wouldestablish a free market zone and visa-free transportation for theircitizens, RIA Novosti reports, citing the Syrian information agencySANA.The agreement was concluded by the four states' foreign ministers inIstanbul, within the framework of the Turkish-Arab forum. Relationsbetween Turkey and Arab countries have improved in the last years. Thepopularity of Turkey rose after the row over the Israeli attack on theTurkish aid ship heading to Gaza.

Azerbaijani foreign minister meets European Parliament delegation

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov welcomed a delegationheaded by the deputy chairman of the committee for foreign affairs ofthe European Parliament, Fiorello Provero, Trend reports, citing theministry's press-service.Provero noted that Azerbaijan has a great potential for developingties with European countries. The sides also exchanged views onenergy, trade, the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and other issues ofmutual interest.

Armenia calls for diplomatic solution to Iranian issue

Yerevan believes that all controversial issues over the Iraniannuclear program should be solved through negotiations, thepress-secretary of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Tigran Balayan,said, commenting on the new United Nation's Security Councilresolution on Iran, RIA Novosti reports.

Armenia and Austria plan to expand cooperation

The new Austrian ambassador to Armenia, Michael Postl, noted the importance of intensifying bilateral cooperation between the two countries at a meeting of the Council of National Security of Armenia, Arthur Bagdasaryan, News Armenia reports.The countries will cooperate in security, emergency situations, police, education and the economy. The sides exchanged views on the relations between Armenia and the EU and on regional development in the South Caucasus.

SCO Secretary General informed of schedule of Tashkent summit

The schedule of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit willaddress traditional issues, including problems of common security inSCO space and on neighbouring organizations, in particular the problemof Afghanistan, which is topical for all SCO members, Trend reports,citing the Secretary General of the SCO, Muratbek Imanaliyev.The summit will hold talks on Kyrgyzstan. The members will alsodiscuss the rules for accepting new members to the SCO.

Turkish president meets Iraqi vice-president

Iraqi vice-president Tariq Al-Hashimi has met Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Special attention was paid to the fact that the Iraqi population preferred to form a government from representatives of various social layers.After negotiations with Gul, Hashimi met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, TRT reports.

Sukhumi and Tskhinvali accuse participants of Geneva negotiations of ‘misunderstanding’

All Abkhaz and South Ossetian attempts to be understood in theirposition on the most topical issues concerning the vital interests oftheir peoples faced obstacles from Georgia and the US participants inthe Geneva discussions, as well as from the moderators (the UN, theOSCE and the EU), a joint declaration by Sukhumi and Tskhinvali says,News Georgia reports.

Russian and Armenian foreign ministers hold telephone conversation

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian had a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, News Armenia reports, citing the Russian ministry.They discussed Russian-Armenian relations and exchanged views on various regional issues.Nalbandian said that he sees no problems in relations between the two countries.

Armenian parliamentary speaker to participate in European conference of parliamentary chairpersons

The chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia, Ovik Abramyan, willvisit Cyprus on June 10th to participate in the European conference ofparliamentary speakers in Limassol, News Armenia reports, citing theassembly's PR agency.Gegam Garibjanyan, head of the parliamentary establishment, and DavidArutiunyan, chairman of the permanent parliamentary commission onstate-legal issues are included in the Armenian delegation.

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran meet

Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Istanbul on Tuesday, AzerTag reports.Ilkham Aliyev participated in the third summit of the Conference of Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICMA) that started in Istanbul on Tuesday. The presidents exchanged views on cooperation in political, economic and energy spheres. They expressed confidence that Azerbaijani and Iran will continue developing their relations.

CICMA summit ends

The 3rd summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICMA) has ended in Istanbul. President Gul, in his speech at the summit, spoke the Israeli attack, TRT reports.Gul focused on solving problems according to the norms of international law, without violence. He pointed out that this organization is the most effective of its kind in solving conflicts between countries, gathering together such countries as Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan.

Ilkham Aliyev expresses solidary with the Turkish people

Azerbaijani people are in solidary with the Turkish people due to the attack on the humanitarian ships in the Mediterranean Sea, leading to deaths of civilians, Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev said in Istanbul on Tuesday, AzerTag reports.

Turkish and Azerbaijani gas agreements will not affect ‘Blue Stream’ - Erdogan

The agreements between Turkey and Azerbaijan on gas supplies from‘Shakh-Deniz-2’ will have no effect on the amounts of Russian suppliesthrough the ‘Blue Stream’ pipeline project, Turkish Premier RecepTayyip Erdogan said at a meeting with Premier Vladimir Putin today,RIA Novosti reports.Turkey buys gas from Azerbaijan but most supplies come from Russia.Erdogan noted that Turkey lacks gas for industrial facilities. He saidthat Azerbaijani gas will partially cover gas demand.

Georgian signs tax agreement with Spain

Georgia and Spain have signed an agreement preventing double taxation. The Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, is currently on a visit to Madrid. According to his counterpart, Angel Moratinos, they discussed issues of bilateral relations improvement, Georgian cooperation with the EU, the basic trends of Euroatlantic integration of Georgia, the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the situation in the South Caucasus, Rosbalt reports.

Putin and Aliyev discuss economic cooperation

Russian Premier Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev discussed economic cooperation and the situation in the region, RIA Novosti reports.Putin noted that the Russian and Azerbaijani sides will use every meeting to make additional steps towards improving bilateral relations and normalizing the situation in the region.Aliyev noted that Russia and Azerbaijan are effectively cooperating in all directions and there is progress in all spheres of cooperation.

Ukraine activates relations with Turkey

Ukraineand Turkey will establish an intergovernmental bilateral strategic council, Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich said regarding the results of his meeting with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, RIA Novosti reports.Yanukovich noted that the council will be headed by the Turkish premier and the Ukrainian president.

CICMA gaining influence in Asia

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia(CICMA) is gradually transforming into a full-fledged organization forcooperation and security on the Asian continent, Kazakh PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev said, opening the third summit of the heads ofCICMA member-states, ITAR-TASS reports.He noted that he welcomes Vietnam’s and Iraq’s joining CICMA andBangladesh becoming an observer. The forum unites 22 countries,comprising over 90% of the Asian landmass and half the world’spopulation.

Lukashenko meets Azerbaijani Premier

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is on an official visit to Azerbaijan, where he met Premier Artur Rasi-zade, Azertag reports. Lukashenko expressed satisfaction with the work of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. He noted the annually rising trade turnover between Belarus and Azerbaijan.