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The Azerbaijani Minister for Taxes, Fazil Mamedov, and the head the State Tax Inspection of the Lithuanian Finance Ministry, Modest Kasiliauskas, have signed a deal on technical cooperation in Baku on Thursday, Trend reports.

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The police failed to blockade a 10-strong militant group in the Urus-Martanovsky District of Chechnya that they have been pursuing for the last few days, RIA Novosti cites the police as saying.

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The police of Chechnya discovered a group of 15 militants in the village of Shalazhi in Chechnya. Three servicemen of the interior forces were injured, a police source told RIA Novosti.

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was attacked while campaigning for the June 12 parliamentary elections, RIA Novosti reports.A police officer guarding his cortege died, another one was injured, Erdogan said. The attack happened in Kastamonu Province at 17.15 (local time). Grenades were thrown and fire opened on the cortege from a forest. A police car was set on fire. The assailants escaped.

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South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity will not run for a third term in the autumn, he announced today, ITAR-TASS reports.Deputy Defense Minister General Ibragim Gasseyev proposed a referendum on prolongation of Kokoity's terms of office. Elections will be held in November.

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Georgian Vice-Speaker of Parliament Rusudan Kervalishvili told a session of the committee for human rights protection and civil integration that he had presented a plan for gender equality, Georgia Online reports. MP Kakha Andzhaparidze presented a copyright law. Technical products that undergo copyright registration will add symbols of municipalities and autonomies.The committee considered amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations. They will provide protection and parking spaces for the disabled.

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has approved the program for socio-economic development for 2011-2013. The program emphasises stability, dynamic development of the economy and improvement of living standards, the president's website says. The program realizes measures of other socio-economic programs, for 2006-2007 and 2009-2013, and other related programs for Baku. They plan to improve the quantity and quality of social services.

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Azerbaijani Vice-Premier Abid Sharifov commented on the water level of the River Kura, saying that there will be no flood threat to the country this year, APA reports. The water flow was 1700-1900 cubic meters per second last year. It is currently flowing at 650-750 cubic meters per second.The vice-premier said that the water level in the Mingyachevir water reservoir was 79.6 meters. This year it is 4 meters lower. The reservoir can hold several million cubic meters of water.

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The Armenian Ambassador to Qatar, Vaagn Melikyan, has handed his credentials to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. They also discussed bilateral relations, News Armenia reports. They stressed the importance of mutual visits. Melikyan noted the role of the joint inter-governmental commission of Armenia and Qatar in improving trade-economic cooperation.Melikyan sent the regards of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to the emir.

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