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China and Russia vowed to boost military cooperation

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The 10 most important things you need to know on Caspian Sea Region for Tuesday, May 26:

1At the 11th round of China-Russia strategic security consultation, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev reached consensus on a wide range of issues, including maintaining the momentum of high-level interactions. They agreed that China will fully support Russia’s efforts to hold the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan, in July. And both sides will prepare for the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of China’ s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti- Facists War. China and Russia vowed to boost military cooperation, calling for the security idea featuring collective and comprehensive principles as well as cooperation and sustainability. [CHINA DAILY]

2Azerbaijani-Russian business meeting in Baku on May 26.“Azerbaijan and Russia signed more than 170 contracts, of which 45 – in the economic sphere, the work on new agreements is underway” Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Niyazi Safarov said. Russia has invested more than $ 1.8 billion in Azerbaijan’s economy, Azerbaijan has invested over $1 billion of investments in the Russian economy. The business meeting was organized by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), supported by the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan. Some 40 Azerbaijani businessmen attended the meeting.

3Southern Gas Corridor project: no gas from Azerbaijan means no project, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.”This would be the biggest project discussed by the European Commission,” he said. The ‘Southern Gas Corridor’ envisages the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.The gas to be produced as part of the second stage of the field’s development will be exported to Turkey and European markets through the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

4Turkmenistan’s parliament, the Majlis, reviewed and approved a draft decree on ratification of the agreement of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan on Caspian Sea’s delimitation between the two countries, Turkmen government said May 26. The parties, in line with international and national environmental norms, requirements and standards, exercise sovereign rights within their sections of the bottom for the purpose of exploration, development and use of the resources of the bottom and subsoil of the Caspian Sea. They also exercise sovereign rights for the laying of cables and pipelines under the Caspian Sea, the creation of artificial islands, berms, dams, piers, platforms and other engineering structures, as well as for carrying out other legitimate economic activities on the bottom.

5Delivery of Russian S-300 missiles to Iran should take place soon, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said after meeting his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow. “It will be done at the soonest opportunity possible.” The Russian foreign ministry did not confirm his statement. Tehran previously expected delivery of the sophisticated surface-to-air missiles by the end of the year. Russia insists that progress in the nuclear talks cleared the way for the sale.

6Iran and Indonesia have agreed to build 48 small-scale hydroelectric power plants. The two countries seeking to improve ties harmed by sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program. The power plants will be constructed in Indonesia by Iranian companies in the next five years, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said after a conference with Indonesian economy minister Sofyan Djalil, Press TV reported Monday.

7“The United States unleashed the Islamic State on the region to create a new Middle East by fueling “uncertainty in the resistance front and the nations’ awakening, [destroying] culture and civilization and resources of the regional countries’ progress and [weakening] the Muslims in all fields with the help and alliance of the regional hirelings, the Sunni group, notorious for its brutality, is the product of the thoughts and acts of the US state-sponsored terrorism,” said Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri, the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, as quoted by the Fars news agency. [SPUTNIKNEWS]

8Syrian talks have kicked off in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. Negotiations will last until May 27. “Kazakhstan supports the UN-led effort of all the involved parties inside and outside of Syria to end the violence and bloodshed, overcome the humanitarian disaster and determine the political future of this country through dialogue and reconciliation,” Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry declared. The Foreign Ministry sent out invitations to all the Syrian opposition groups without exception and civil society groups, too. The participants of the meeting are discussing delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria and development of an action plan to settle the conflict. [TENGRI NEWS]

9Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation plans to negotiate the sale of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100) passenger planes with Egypt Air officials, RIA Novosti reported. Two SSJ-100 planes have arrived in Egypt, according to a source in the Russian delegation to Cairo.

10The forgotten land of colours: a trip through Iran’s Persian Gulf. Colourful mountains in shades of pink, red, purple and yellow overlook shorelines where turtles and flamingos roam or sunbathe.This is Hormuz island in the Persian Gulf, the mostly forgotten land of colours in the Strait of Hormuz, 5km from the mainland, and southeast of Bandar Abbas, major port and capital of the province of Hormuzgan. The island was visited among others by Marco Polo. Ibn Battuta who came twice between 1330 and 1340, wrote that the island’s city was “fine” and “large…with magnificent bazaars.” [The Guardian]

Journalist, specialized in Middle East, Russia & FSU, Terrorism and Security issues. Founder and Editor-in-chief of the Modern Diplomacy magazine.

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China-Eurasia Council condemns aggression of Azerbaijan

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China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research strongly condemns Azerbaijani aggression which Baku started on July 12, 2020.  Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense is a threat for the entire World as it is speaking about its aims to strike Metsamor Nuclear Plant, which is located in Armenia. Baku must understand that this is a crime against humanity, and it is equal to nuclear strike.The destruction of Metsamor Nuclear plant will be a disaster not only for Armenia, but also for Iran, Georgia and Azerbaijan, it will harm World’s environment and stand a real problem for several generations of the World. It is worth mentioning, that this time Baku attacked the Northern borders of Armenia, which are sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia according to International law. Azerbaijan violated the principle of territorial integrity of a sovereign state, which is one of the important pillars of International law.

China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research condemns Azerbaijan for using force against civilian population of Armenia and calls for peaceful negotiations. Baku must show solidarity and join global ceasefire initiated by the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and must not try to escalate the situation on the border to deflect public attention from the situation concerning the outbreak of Covid-19 in Azerbaijan. We call official Baku to take care of Azerbaijani people in the hard times of Coronavirus and not send its soldiers to real death.  Being multinational Council, for us It’s terrible to hear about lossfrom both sides and we express our sincere condolences. Hopefully peace will come to South Caucasus, which is an important crossroad in Eurasian mainland and it can stand a very important link for Belt and Road Initiative, if all problems solved in a peaceful way.

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Condemnation Of Armenian Aggression By Friends Of Azerbaijan (FoA)

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Friends of Azerbaijan (FoA) strongly condemns the coward act of Armenians aggression in the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan that is a sheer violation of international borders and law. The act is an attempt of Armenia to drive global attention from the peaceful dialogue and negotiation process on Nagorno Karabakh.

In an online meeting of the delegates of the Friends of Azerbaijan (FoA), a joint declaration of condemnation has been issued by the honorable members of Friends of Azerbaijan (FoA). 

According to this declaration, Armenian aggression can jeopardize the whole South Caucasus region. The incident on July 12, 2020, is being considered as a direct attack on Azerbaijan and the repercussions of this incident can result in massive catastrophe in the entire region.


The delegates of Friends of Azerbaijan (FoA) stressed the global powers to come forward and take serious action on Armenian intervention by violating the international border of Azerbaijan. The act of Armenia is an open challenge to the sovereignty of Azerbaijan.

Malik Ayub Sumbal founder of Friends of Azerbaijan (FoA) termed that Armenia is losing its legal and moral position on Nagorno Karabakh and there is mounting pressure on Armenia by the international community for the peaceful solution of Nagorno Karabakh according to the UN Resolutions. At this time to get rid of such kind of diplomatic moves, Armenia has launched another major front in Tovuz. 

When the whole world is busy against the Covid19 Armenian Prime Minister has chosen a very dangerous path that can take the whole region into war and bloodshed. 

Friends of Azerbijan (FoA) is firmly standing with shoulder by shoulder to the people of Azerbaijan and martyr’s families at this hour.

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Kyrgyz Republic to Enhance Quality of Education with World Bank Financing

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The Kyrgyz Republic will receive World Bank financing for the Learning for the Future Project in the amount of $50 million, on highly concessional terms. $25 million is allocated in the form of a grant, which requires no repayment, while the other $25 million is credit with a 0.75% interest rate, with repayments eased over 38 years, and a six-year grace period.

“The Learning for the Future Project aims to help raise the Kyrgyz Republic’s human capital through enhancing school readiness and teacher effectiveness,” says Bolormaa Amgaabazar, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic. “The project puts special emphasis on distance and online learning, increasing digital literacy and building teacher capacity for best teaching-learning practice. Such support will help the country’s education system better respond to learning from home during the current school closures and recovery period from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the long run, this approach will help better prepare children for learning and adapting to a fast-changing future economy.”

The project has four main areas of support: expanding school readiness for underserved children; increasing effectiveness in teaching practice; enhancing technology-enabled support for learning; and enhancing measurement of learning. In the coming five years, the project will specifically help:

  • Establish 500 fully equipped community-based kindergartens in rehabilitated premises, thus enabling a successful transition to school for 20,000 children aged 3-5 years, in poor communities countrywide; 
  • Build teacher competencies for more effective teaching of reading, mathematics and sciences in primary and secondary schools, through training in effective pedagogy and assessment, provision of digital learning content, resources and materials in 1,200 schools (53 percent of the total number of schools in the country);
  • Provide digital literacy training for 36,000 teachers to enhance their capacities to use digital technologies for professional development and effective teaching;
  • Equip 1,200 schools with an IT platform to support technology-enabled teaching and learning. The Republican Institute of In-Service Teacher Training will assist in developing digital content for teaching and learning;
  • Introduce a new criteria-based assessment instrument and methodology, develop and introduce standardized tests aligned with new learning standards, conduct the National Learning Assessment in 2023 for grades 4 and 8, and participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2024.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic during 2020-2025, using its existing institutional structures and in compliance with relevant World Bank procedures and standards.

The project supports the World Bank’s 2019-2022 Country Partnership Framework for the Kyrgyz Republic and is closely aligned with the National Education Sector Strategy-2040 of the Ministry of Education and Science, which is now under development. The project was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on March 31, 2020 and was ratified by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic on June 11, 2020.

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