Monthly Archives: December 2017

Message of congratulation from President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis VIDEO

– Dear fellow countrymen.

Year 2017 is drawing to a close. All the goals we set ourselves at the beginning of this year have been achieved. Stability has been established in Azerbaijan. The source of this stability is the unity between the people and the government. The unpleasant developments unfolding in the world, the bloody clashes, wars and conflicts show that there can be no development in the absence of stability. The people of Azerbaijan lived in the conditions of stability in 2017.

Our international relations have expanded further this year. A growing number of countries are interested in cooperating with us. Azerbaijan has asserted itself as a dignified and reliable partner in the world. Our relations with neighboring countries have risen to an even higher level. Such relations are important for any country. Our friendly relations with neighbors are based on mutual respect and contribute to regional stability.

Azerbaijan has taken an active part in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation this year and has made a valuable contribution to the development and strengthening of Islamic solidarity. As you know, 2017 was declared a Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan, and a number of important events have been held both in and outside the country this year. At the same time, our relations with the European Union have also advanced to a new level, as talks have started on a new agreement. As you know, last year was a Year of Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is playing a valuable role in the development of a dialog between religions and cultures, and I believe that our country has become one of the global centers in this area.

I have paid more than 20 visits to foreign countries this year. During these visits, I defended the national interests of Azerbaijan. I can say that our relations with foreign partners show once again that Azerbaijan has a very positive image and reputation on a global scale.

The key issue of our foreign policy is the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Although there are no results in this direction, I believe that 2017 has further reinforced our positions. First of all, let me say that the so-called “referendum” conducted by the separatist regime was not recognized by the world community. This trumped-up “referendum” was not recognized by neighboring countries, the European Union or any other country. This is further evidence that the entire world community recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan. And this is only natural. Nagorno-Karabakh is our historically native land. The people of Azerbaijan have lived, built and created on this land for centuries. Our insidious neighbors have simply destroyed our historical and religious monuments, and these lands have been under occupation for many years.

I think that the second most important issue is that Armenia has joined the negotiations without any preconditions, although it did put forward conditions. None of the preconditions put forward by Armenia after the April defeat was accepted. The negotiations were resumed without any preconditions. I do hope that we can achieve a settlement of the issue through negotiations. Of course, our strong economic and military potential further reinforce our position in the talks. Armenia has yet to recover from the April defeat. I think that this defeat should be a good lesson for them. It should demonstrate to the whole world again that Azerbaijan will never put up with this occupation.

Following our victory in April, the Azerbaijani flag flies on the lands in Agdara, Jabrayil and Fizuli Districts, which were once under occupation. There will come a time when our flag will fly on all of the currently occupied lands, including Shusha. This is underpinned by the unbreakable will of the Azerbaijani people and the policies of the Azerbaijani leadership.

After a long break, life has returned to the village of Jojug Marjanli this year. The development of Jojug Marjanli is a symbol of our unbending spirit. Residents of this settlement lived in other places for many years. But after the government of Azerbaijan built a settlement there, they returned to their native lands. The restoration of Jojug Marjanli is a source of pride for us. A beautiful settlement of 150 homes has been established there now. There is a school, a medical center, a kindergarten and the Shusha mosque – a mosque reminiscent of the Shusha mosque destroyed by our barbarous neighbors.

Let me also say that another important and even a historic event has taken place in the field of addressing the problems of internally displaced persons. A settlement for 1,170 families has been set up in Shikharkh settlement, which also used to be under occupation. On the one hand, this important event shows that the problems of internally displaced persons are always in our spotlight. On the other, this shows that Azerbaijan is building a new life in the lands liberated from occupation, establishing new buildings, public facilities and homes, and thousands of internally displaced persons are returning to these lands.

Our military potential has also been in the spotlight this year. We have provided the army with everything it needs. All international ratings show today that the Azerbaijani army is ranked among the strongest armies not only in the region but also in the world. The enemy knows and should know that. Everything will continue to be done for army building. New hardware, weaponry and the most sophisticated means of combat will continue to be purchased.

Of course, a strong economy is required to meet all our objectives. We have worked very hard in this direction this year. 2017 will go down in history as a year of deep, profound and effective economic reforms. Even though the oil price is still at a low level and oil production in Azerbaijan is reducing, Azerbaijan has managed to come out of this difficult situation with dignity. This is also acknowledged by reputed international organizations. According to the calculations of the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan is ranked in 35th place in the world in terms of economic competitiveness. This, first of all, shows that the very serious reforms under way in our country are producing excellent results. This year, the non-oil sector of the economy has increased by more than 2 per cent, the non-oil industry by more than 3 per cent and agriculture by over 4 per cent. I believe that this is a very good results under the current circumstances. I am sure that these figures will be even higher in 2018. At the same time, we are also using our currency reserves very effectively. Although the oil price has dropped, we have managed to increase our foreign exchange reserves, and by a lot – our foreign exchange reserves have increased by more than 4.5 billion dollars. These are our strategic reserves. This is one of the factors providing and strengthening our both economic and political independence.

The regions of Azerbaijan have developed fast this year. I have visited more than 30 districts this year. The development and landscaping work under way everywhere is pleasing to the eye.

Some historic events have also taken place in the oil and gas sector this year. The issue of extending the life of the “Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli” field has been resolved. The contract will remain in effect until 2050 and fetch billions of dollars in profit to our country. The bonus paid to Azerbaijan alone exceeds 3 billion dollars. It is possible to say that the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor has entered its final stages. The opening of the TANAP project is expected next year. This is also a historic event. Azerbaijan is turning into a very important partner in ensuring the energy security of Europe.

There was another historic event this year – the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was opened in a ceremony in Baku. This railway project links continents. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will be the shortest and the most reliable link between Asia and Europe. Azerbaijan will derive both economic and political decades from this for decades to come. Azerbaijan is turning into an important transit country. If we also look at the North-South transport corridor, we can see that Azerbaijan is becoming a strategic transport hub of global proportions, even though we do not have access to the world ocean.

Our athletes have delighted us with great victories this year. Azerbaijani athletes finished in first place at the Fourth Games of Islamic Solidarity held at the highest level in Baku. It is a great historic achievement to finish first in the Muslim world. If we also recall the 2015 European Games, the Azerbaijani team also finished in second place there. In other words, it shows again that Azerbaijan is a strong sporting nation.

This year was a Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan. As always, Azerbaijan contributes to the cause of Islamic solidarity in every issue. This year has been no exception.

In short, 2017 has been a successful year for our country. I am sure that next will also be successful. It is the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis today. I want to take this opportunity to wish all Azerbaijanis of the world happy holidays.

Dear fellow countrymen, I sincerely congratulate you again. On the occasion of the New Year and the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis, I wish you good health and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

AZERTAG.AZ :Message of congratulation from President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis VIDEO

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Azerbaijan`s first epidemiologist Ismayil Akhundov: from banks of the River Elbe back to Motherland

Baku, December 31, AZERTAC

At the end of the 19th century, in close proximity to Juma mosque in the Azerbaijani city of Shamakhi there was a house with garden full of fruit trees and medicinal plants. The house was owned by Mashadi Abdulkhalig (those who make the pilgrimage to Mashhad, an important pilgrimage site in Iran, are known as Mashadi). Abdulkhalig, a pharmacist by profession, was treating various deceases using plants he was growing in his garden.

Abdulkhalig and his wife Sitara had seven children – four boys and three girls. The eldest was Aga and the youngest was Ismayil. When Ismayil was born his father had already died. Neither Aldulkhalig nor his wife could hardly imagine their children rising to prominence one day – their daughter Sona becoming one of the first women ophthalmologists of Azerbaijan, Rahim one of the first agronomists, Agha the first Azerbaijani electrical engineer and the youngest son Ismayil the first epidemiologist…

AZERTAC dedicates this article to Azerbaijan`s first epidemiologist Ismayil Akhundov.

Student years in Germany: from surgery to epidemiology

At a time when Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) was founded Ismayil graduated from the men’s gymnasium No 2 in Baku and was working at a provincial health department. As the new government was facing an acute shortage of qualified specialists one of its first decisions was the establishment of Azerbaijan State University, which initially had four faculties. In order to tackle a specialist shortage, in November 1919, the ADR government made a decision to send 100 students to study abroad. The name of Ismayil Akhundov was in the list of those 100 students published in ‘Azerbaycan’ newspaper`s 24 December 1919 issue. He was sent to study at the Faculty of Medicine at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. As a third year student Ismayil received a job offer to teach German language grammar to foreign students.

After the establishment of the Communist state 45 students studying abroad returned back to Azerbaijan due to a lack of funding. Those who decided to continue their studies had to do it at their own expense – some worked as night watchmen, some as sellers, others as servants and laboratory assistants. On the advice of outstanding Azerbaijani surgeon, academician Mustafa Topchubashov, Ismayil Akhundov who had a great aspiration for surgery retrained as an epidemiologist. Academician Topchubashov`s advice was well grounded because if there was a handful of surgeons in Azerbaijan at that time, there were no specialists in the sphere of communicable diseases. Having graduated with honors, Ismayil Akhundov was immediately offered employment by Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Later he worked under supervision of famous epidemiologist, professor Erich Martini at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Diseases in Hamburg. During these years, he was dispatched to fight epidemics on the African continent – in Congo, Algeria, Tunisia and Nigeria, where communicable diseases were raging at that time. Ismayil Akhundov defended a thesis at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Diseases to become the first Azerbaijani epidemiologist. Given his success in Africa and his great potential in parasitology, universities in Japan and Italy made job offers to Ismayil Akhundov.

Return to Azerbaijan: a new front of struggle

Despite job offers from abroad, Ismayil Akhundov accepted the invitation from Azerbaijan. He left his work at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Diseases and his apartment in Hamburg, and returned to Azerbaijan on the advice of Mustafa Topchubashov. Ismayil Akhundov was offered a job as head of the Department of Entomology at the Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. In 1920-1930s, the epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan was as dire as at the beginning of the century. There were no qualified doctors, no experienced or skilled specialists to fight malaria, which was then dubbed “number one killer” in the country`s remote regions. Ismayil Akhundov started his work in such complex conditions. Mosquito-borne malaria was wide-spread all over the country. The mosquito population was spiralling rapidly, and even aerial spraying was ineffective because most of the insects lived in drains and waterways. Ismayil Akhundov decided to tackle the root cause of malaria’s spread. He selected the most skilled of his students and medical personnel in districts of Azerbaijan to train them as qualified epidemiologists. The main principle of his fight against malaria was to eliminate the sources of the disease – dry out ditches and waterways where mosquitoes were breeding, and carry out hygiene awareness campaigns among population. One of the most effective ways of fighting the mosquito menace used by Ismayil Akhundov was the release of mosquitofish (Gambusia) into the environment. Because this fish eats mosquito larvae it became possible to eliminate the malaria sources.

The young scientist also teamed up with academician Yusif Mammadaliyev to work out a new biological method of battling malaria. That method later became wide-spread all over the world and was applied in many countries.

In accordance with the then education system, Ismayil Akhundov had to defend his doctoral thesis, which he did in Germany, in Baku. After returning to his Motherland he dedicated all his knowledge, skills and experience to fighting malaria. He held a number of important positions, including at the Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, associate professor at the Department of Pathology at Azerbaijan Medical Institute, director of Baku Tropical Station, department chair at the Institute of Doctors Training, and chief of Anti-malaria Department at the Ministry of Health. Like his elder brother professor Aga Akhundov, who was arrested and exiled to Siberia as a “foreign state agent”, Ismayil Akhundov also was at risk of persecution. But the Soviet state did not want to lose such a skilled, highly-qualified specialist.

During the Great Patriotic War he was appointed as Chief Epidemiologist of the South Caucasus front. In 942, he was recalled from the front and instructed to establish a department of epidemiology at Azerbaijan Medical Institute. Professor Akhundov managed to cope with this assignment, heading the department until his death.

Half-realized dreams

By carrying out new researches and using his vast experience, Ismayil Akhundov wanted to eradicate the sources of communicable diseases throughout the country. He was publishing new books, scholarly articles and monographs, addressing research conferences, and preparing highly-qualified local specialists in epidemiology. “Malaria and culicidae in Azerbaijan” book, which is one of his most notable works, is nowadays used by specialists in this area.

By a strange twist of fate, the eldest and youngest sons of this family did not live long. Aga died in exile in Krasnoyarsk. Tragically, Ismayil Akhundov was killed in a fire that happened at the Institute of Tropical Diseases in Moscow in 1955 where the 55-year-old first epidemiologist of Azerbaijan arrived to address an international research conference.

Tribute to grandfather

Many years later grandson of Ismayil Akhundov, Kamal Juvarlinski, collected documents and created an archive in order to honor his prominent grandfather. In 2012, Kamal spent a month in the city of Hamburg, Germany, where he studied archive materials and documents. He visited the institute where his grandfather worked, and was walking around the Bernhard Nocht Street every morning. He held meetings with veteran employees of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine who paid tribute to Azerbaijan`s first epidemiologist. They said the Assembly Hall of the institute was open for any event and jubilee ceremony commemorating professor Ismayil Akhundov. During a meeting with Kamal, former director of the Institute of Tropical Diseases and presently member of its supervisory board Bernhard Fleischer expressed his desire to come to Azerbaijan and revealed his plans to embark on cooperation with the country`s medical institutions.

Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University has recently instituted Professor Aga Akhundov scholarship for two of its top performing students at the Faculty of Energy. Similarly, instituting Professor Ismayil Akhundov scholarship for epidemiology students at Azerbaijan State Medical University and starting negotiations with the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in order to set up a similar scholarship at the German institute would be appropriate.

Presently Azerbaijan State Medical University is preparing to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of outstanding epidemiologist Ismayil Akhundov. The methods proposed by the prominent scientist and professor who was a pioneer of epidemiology in Azerbaijan are still relevant today in fighting malaria.

Although many years have passed…

AZERTAG.AZ :Azerbaijan`s first epidemiologist Ismayil Akhundov: from banks of the River Elbe back to Motherland

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Azerbaijan’s Harchegani wins bronze at World Taekwondo Grand Slam

Baku, December 31, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan`s Milad Beigi Harchegani has claimed a bronze medal at Wuxi 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series in China.

Harchegani secured the medal in the men’s 80kg weight category with a 17-7 win over Russian Anton Kotkov.

AZERTAG.AZ :Azerbaijan’s Harchegani wins bronze at World Taekwondo Grand Slam

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Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Armenian armed units violated ceasefire 140 times

Baku, December 31, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. “The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire from large-caliber machine guns 140 times throughout the day,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Azerbaijani army’s positions came under fire from Armenian villages, including Paravakar in Ijevan district, Mosesgekh and Chinari in Berd district, and unnamed hills in Krasnoselsk district,” the ministry said.

“The army’s positions also came under fire from the Armenian-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Ghoyarkh, Chilaburt villages in Shiklar, Bash Garvand, Javahirli, Garagashli, Yusifjanli and Marzili villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashaghi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagharda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Gorgan, Kurdlar, Horadiz villages in Fuzuli, Nuzgar, Mehdili villages in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam and Khojavand districts,” the ministry added.

AZERTAG.AZ :Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Armenian armed units violated ceasefire 140 times

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