The European Council wants to play a more active role in the solution of the conflict in the South Caucasus, Secretary General of the organization Turbjoern Jagland announced, RIA Novosti reports. He said human rights and the rule of law in the region are the main things which interest him. He added that representatives of the European Council would like to be present in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "The question of the status of these territories is not a priority for us" - he said.
The Israeli military are denying that the Irish ship "Rachel Corrie" has been captured, RIA Novosti reports. A representative of the Israeli command said that no boarding operation has been carried out. Neither did he confirm that the ship was stopped 55km from the Palestinian coast.Earlier it had been announced in Tel-Aviv that the "Rachel Corrie" would not be allowed through the blockade.
Israeli naval troops have stopped and boarded the Irish cargo ship "Rachel Corrie", which was trying to break the sea blockade of Gaza, Israeli radio reports. The ship was stopped 35 miles (65 km) from Gaza at 05:45, local time. There are no reports of any resistance, according to Interfax.
Vice-premier and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said thatorganizers of the humanitarian convoy "Freedom Flotilla" have tieswith Chechen separatists, reports Rossiya-24."It is obvious that their aim was conflict and bloodshed,"- he said.He also noted that the Israeli and Turkish sides maintained closecontacts through official and alternative channels. "We have offeredvarious alternatives for transporting this so-called humanitarian aid.But all our offers were refused." - Lieberman said.
The president of Belarus calls on Azerbaijan and Armenia to start a dialogue on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, reports Interfax. "No intermediaries can resolve this problem. The solution is direct dialogue between the Azerbaijani and Armenian authorities," - he said. In addition, Lukashenko said that Belarus can implement projects amounting to $1 billion in Azerbaijan.
The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Alieve expressed condolences to thepresident of Bangladesh in connection with the fire, which took thelives of dozens of people, Trend reports."I'm stunned by the news of multiple casualties of the fire, whichoccurred in the capital city of your country - Dacca. We share yourgrief and express condolences to the families who have lost their loveones. We wish all those who have suffered in this fire an earlyrecovery."
The member-states of the Non-Aligned Movement have supported thetrilateral agreement on uranium exchange, signed in Tehran by Iran,Turkey and Brazil, the permanent representative of Iran to the IAEA,Ali Asghar Soltani, announced on Friday reports Iran.ru, citing IRNA.He also noted that, during the session, representatives of themember-states passed a resolution saying that 119 states recognizeIran's right to enrich uranium, and added that the IAEA should monitorIran's nuclear program.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Alexander Lukashenko ofBelarus took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Belarusianembassy in Baku, reports AzerTag.The Presidents checked out the project of the building and were madeacquainted with the construction process. Presidents Ilham Aliyev andAlexander Lukashenko put a time capsule into the facility`s foundationand covered it with liquid concrete.The presidents then familiarized themselves with various devicesproduced by the Gandja automobile plant.
"Paralyzing" economic sanctions have been excluded from the project of the UN Security Council resolution and the amendments of the non-permanent members of the Security Council have been taken into consideration.
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.
The Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz,made a speech at a conference on rational use of energy, organized bythe energy structures of the US and the Turkish-American council. Hesaid that there will be no joint projects until normalization ofrelations with Israel, 6news reports.This includes humanitarian issues, gas projects and other projectsrelated to water resources. There will be no gas transport using ‘BlueStream – 2’.
President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich declared that Ukraine willnever recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.According to ITAR-TASS, the president noted that, based oninternational laws and norms, any violations of a country’s unity areforbidden.
The European Commission has approved the Georgian plan of actions for2010, and Tbilisi will receive 37 million euros, Georgia Onlinereports.According to the commission, the sum will be used for regionaldevelopment, the economic integration of Georgia into the EU, therealization of social protection programs and public financemanagement reforms.
The 35th plenary session of the General Assembly of BSEC (Black SeaEconomic Cooperation) in the Serbian capital of Belgrade has ended. Atthe assembly Turkey was represented by the Turkish vice-speaker of theGrand National Assembly of Turkey Nevzat Padkil, 6news reports.
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to make concessions to theblockade of the Gaza Strip. According to Israel's 'Channel-2',Tel-Aviv is ready to allow international inspectors into Gaza to checkhumanitarian ships, Netanyahu told the Middle East peace envoy TonyBlair.
Putin has "de-facto" established control over the activity of Kokoyta
The head of northern Iraq's regional Kurdish administration hasarrived in Turkey at the invitation of Turkish Foreign Minister AhmedDavutoglu, 6news reports.Masud Barzani said that he supported Turkey's policies. He also metwith Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss terrorism. Barzaniexpressed a readiness to assist Turkey in the fight against terrorism.He also expressed his condolences over the terrorist attack on thenaval base of Iskenderun.
The situation around the "Flotilla" worsened US-Turkish relations
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan signed a decree recalling Armenia'sextraordinary and authorized envoy to the UK, Vaghe Gabriyelyan, NewsArmenia reports, citing the press-service of Armenian president.Gabriyelyan was appointed in 2003.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of StateHillary Clinton have spoken on the situation around the Iraniannuclear program and the prospects of realizing the scheme of Tehran'sfuel exchange for the research reactor, ITAR-TASS reports.