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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent statements accusing Ankara of not taking any steps toward a resolution of the Cyprus problem were a serious disappointment for Turkey, Hurriyet cites Foreign Minister Davutoglu as saying. "Ms. Merkel's latest statements caused serious disappointment on our part. If Ms. Merkel and Germany exert efforts for peace on the Cyprus issue, we will always support this, but they should first adopt an

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The international airport of Krasnodar has reopened, RIA Novosti cites the press service of the Head of the Krasnodar Territory Airports Directorate as saying. The airport has stopped operations at 7.30 a.m. Moscow time due to bad weather.

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The Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan and Bosnia and Herzegovina signed today a cooperation protocol. The document was signed during Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj's visit to Baku on Wednesday, Trend cites the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry as saying. During the visit, Alkalaj met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. The sides discussed issues of bilateral and regional cooperation. Mammadyarov noted the high level of political relations

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A week before nuclear talks resume with outside powers, a senior Iranian official was quoted on Wednesday as saying time was running out for a proposal dating to 2009 for Tehran to send nuclear material abroad in return for enriched uranium to fuel a research reactor, New York Times reports.

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The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) and the National Iranian Gas Exporting Company (NIGEC) have signed a long-term contract in Baku on Wednesday.

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The World Bank has approved the package of financial support forArmenia worth $25 million, the head of the bank's office in Yerevan,Jean-Michel Happi, said, News Armenia reports.The loan is aimed at supporting low-income families, stimulation ofcapital, the improvement of the country's competitiveness and wasprovided within the Second Development Policy Operation (DPO) program.

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Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh says Tehran has always adopted an active policy on human rights issues in international and bilateral summits, Press TV reportsAkhundzadeh made the remarks in a meeting with Swiss Deputy Foreign Minister Peter Maurer in the fifth round of the mutual Iran-Switzerland annual talks in Tehran on Wednesday.

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A visa-free regime between Georgia and Iran will come into force onJanuary 26, 2011, News Georgia cites the press-service of the GeorgianMinistry of Foreign Affairs.The agreement allows Iranian citizens in Georgia and Georgian citizensin Iran to stay for 45 days. The citizens will also be allowed to usetransit crossing points.

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Russia and Armenia will establish 9 joint ventures in militaryindustry as part of a cooperation program between the two countries,Secretary of the National Security Council Artur Bagdasaryan said at aconference on Wednesday, News Armenia reports.Bagdasaryan noted that Armenia improved military-technical cooperationwithin the CSTO in 2010. He reminded that an agreement was signed withthe Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of Russia in2010. The document started cooperation in 11 aspects.

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Hezbolah and its allies threatened to withdraw from Lebanon’s government on Wednesday, a move that would force it to dissolve and deepen a crisis over a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the assassination of a former prime minister, New York Times reports.

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A committee for the protection of scientists has been established inIran, vice-president for technologies and science Nasrin Soltankhakhsaid, Trend cites ILNA.The committee will preserve knowledge and information of thescientists and provide physical protection.Two teachers were attacked in Iran on November 29. Their vehicles wereblown up in Tehran at 7.00-8.00 am. Medjid Shakhryari died at theShahid Bekhishti University, his wife and a passenger were injured.

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The 'First Informative Caucasus' channel will start broadcasting froma satellite on January 25 at 18.00. It is a Georgian channel inRussian. It is a successor of the 'First Caucasus' channel (The ThirdPublic Channel in Georgia), founded in autumn 2009, Georgia Onlinereports.Satellite and cable broadcasting started on January 15, 2010. Thechannel used the Eutelsat W4-W7 36.0°E satellite. But the Frenchoperator of the satellite Eutelsat stopped the broadcasting of thechannel.

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The choir of the Saint Echmiadzin Cathedral and the Serbian choir ofthe Saint Stefan Dechansky (from Novi-Sad) will perform in Moscow atthe Old New Year on January 14, RIA Novosti cites the foreign churchlinks department of the Moscow patriarchy.The first performances will be held within the first Christmasfestival of spiritual music at the Moscow International Music Center.

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Vice President of the US Biden on Tuesday pledged long-term American support for Afghanistan, offering a commitment to help the war-torn nation beyond the 2014 target both countries have set to have Afghans fully in charge of their own security, Washington Post reports.The day after he arrived in Kabul on an unannounced visit, Biden toured a training academy for Afghan soldiers, had lunch with President Hamid Karzai and said he was confident of the effectiveness of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy.

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The gas supplies to consumers at Khatain District in Baku will berestored in the evening, Trend cites 'Azerigaz'.An official from 'Azerigaz' Haver Nuru said that the problems with gassupplies started this morning. There were also problems withelectricity registered in some apartments.

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The Georgian Ministry of Education decided to have 130 pupils of theAkhalkalaki school N3 attending a modern school, Georgia Onlinereports.The Minister of Education Dmitry Shashkin visited Akhalkalaki andpresented the new school project with the local authorities and theAgency for Development of School and Science Infrastructure.School N3 is a Georgian language school. It was damaged in anearthquake of 1988.

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The monitoring of the Azerbaijani-Armenian contact line of forces atthe Terter-Agder road of the Terter District in Azerbaijan registeredno incidents.The monitoring was held by the OSCE on January 12, Trend cites thedeputy head of the press-service of Azerbaijani Defense MinistryTeymuraz Abdullayev.Monitoring from Azerbaijani side was held by the field assistants ofthe personal representative of the OSCE chairman Christo Christov andWilliam Pryor.

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Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natik Aliyev and IranianOil Minister Seid Masoud Mir Kazemi have met in Baku, Trend cites thehead of the press-service of the Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan, AbbasIskanderi.Iskanderi said that the sides discussed the expansion of cooperationin the oil and gas sphere and joint cooperation with other countries.They talked exchange operations on oil products and their transport tothe countries of the Persian Gulf.

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Talks next week between Iran and major powers concerned about its nuclear program could be the "last chance" for the West, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

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Russian Deputy Minister for Communication Dmitry Severov has resigned,RIA Novosti reports.Severov was appointed in August 2008. He was supervising the digitalTV and radio broadcasting project. Before his appointment at theministry, he was the vice-president of the 'Otkrytye Tekhnologii'(Open Technologies) IT-company. Severov also supervised the'Vympelcom' and 'Transneft' companies.Severov decided to resign in mid 2010.

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