Robert Fico: Azerbaijan is exemplary in terms of sovereignty

'You (Azerbaijan - ed.) are a sovereign country, and when it comes to sovereignty, you are an exemplary nation,' Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico said in a joint press conference with President Ilham Aliyev. Stating that he always values such countries highly, the Prime Minister said: 'You stand up against injustice. I will try to apply the same approach in Slovakia so that Slovakia can also conduct a sovereign foreign policy.' Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

Prince Harry arrives in London with no plans to see King Charles III

Harry is in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will not see his father King Charles III while he is in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, ABC News has confirmed. A spokesperson for the duke told ABC News on Tuesday that Charles' schedule does not allow time for him to see his younger son, who now lives in the United States. "It unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty's full programme," the spokesperson said of a meeting between Harry and Charles. "The Duke of course is understanding of his father's diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon." The last time Harry and Charles saw each other was in February, when Harry flew to London to visit Charles after the palace publicly shared that Charles had been diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer. Harry reportedly met with Charles, who has since begun cancer treatment, for less than an hour on Feb. 6, and stayed overnight in a hotel before departing the next day from London's Heathrow Airport. In an interview with ABC News' Will Reeve just after his visit, Harry said he hoped to see Charles again soon, saying, "I've got other trips planned that will take me through the U.K., or back to the U.K., and so I'll stop in and see my family as much as I can.' While visiting with Charles, Harry did not see his older brother Prince William. It is not known whether the brothers, who have a strained relationship, will see each other while Harry is in London this week. A spokesperson for both Buckingham and Kensington Palaces declined to comment to ABC News. Prior to February, Harry had not seen his 75-year-old father since the king's coronation last May at Westminster Abbey. As he did in both February and May, Harry traveled to London this week solo, visiting his hometown without his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, or their two children Archie and Lilibet. Harry is scheduled to attend a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral on May 8 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style competition for wounded service members that he founded in 2014. Harry launched the first Invictus Games in 2014 in London as an international version of the Warrior Games, an annual event organized by the U.S. Department of Defense, which the prince attended in 2013. The games have since taken place in Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, Dsseldorf and The Hague. Following his visit to London, Harry will travel to Nigeria, where he will be joined by Meghan. The Sussexes are visiting the African country on invitation from the country's highest-ranking military official, its Chief of Defense Staff. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

Baku hosts Azerbaijan-Slovakia business forum

Co-organized by the Azerbaijan's Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AZPROMO) and SARIO, Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency, the Azerbaijan-Slovakia business forum has been held in capital Baku. Alongside the officials from both countries, the dignitaries present at the event included representatives of more than 90 companies operating in such sectors as defence industry, ICT, finance and logistics. At the business forum held with the participation of Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan`s Economy Minister, and Denisa Sakova, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic, the parties shared their views on enhancing joint activities aimed at increasing the efficiency of bilateral economic relations, and reinforcing partnership in the realms of trade, energy, industry, transport, and tourism. Discussions centered on evaluation of investment opportunities between Azerbaijan and Slovakia, promotion of cooperation and mutual investments between the business circles. The parties described the increasing the trade turnover and diversification of cooperation between the two countries as one of the key goals. They emphasized that business forums organized in this regard make a crucial contribution to trade and economic relations. Addressing the forum, Yusif Abdullayev, AZPROMO Executive Director and Robert Šimoncic, SARIO CEO, highlighted the investment and export prospects of the two countries. Furthermore, the forum featured a signing ceremony of documents between the institutions. Thus, "SEAK s.r.o." of Slovakia and "Itech Group" LLC, as well as Azerbaijan Investment Company OJSC - AIC and "Eximbank SR" inked memorandums. The documents envisage the evaluation of joint investment opportunities, as well as development of cooperation between the parties in areas such as business, communication and cyber security, smart technologies. The forum, then, continued with meetings in B2B format. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

Baku hosts 7th meeting of High-Level Working Group on Caspian Sea issues

The 7th meeting of the High-Level Working Group on the Caspian Sea issues was held in Baku on May 6-7. The meeting was attended by Samir Sharifov, head of the delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, A. Jahangiri, head of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Z. Amanjolova, head of the delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, M. Petrakov, head of the delegation of the Russian Federation, and M. Atajanov, head of the delegation of Turkmenistan. Head of the Azerbaijani delegation Samir Sharifov chaired the meeting. The discussions revolved around the drawing of the straight boundary lines in the Caspian Sea. The meeting also discussed cooperation regarding the Caspian Sea. The heads of the delegations expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan for excellent organization of the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on June 24-27 in Iran. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

FIFA President invited for COP29

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein Fuad Isgandarov met Tuesday with Secretary General of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Mattias Grafström in Zurich, Switzerland. During the meeting, Ambassador Isgandarov handed over an invitation letter from Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The invitation was for the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

Paris 2024: Olympic flame set for France arrival

The Olympic flame is scheduled to arrive in the French port of Marseille on Wednesday 8 May, and is expected to be greeted by a crowd of up to 150,000 spectators, marking the inaugural significant trial of the extensive plans for the Paris Games, according to InsideTheGames. Transition of the flame from the 19th-century tall ship to land will signify the commencement of a 12,000-kilometre (7,500-mile) torch relay spanning mainland France and its remote overseas territories. Organisers are optimistic that this initial public spectacle of their highly anticipated "iconic" Olympics, just 79 days away, will contribute to fostering excitement following a contentious dispute over ticket prices and persistent security concerns. Chief organiser Tony Estanguet told reporters on Monday, "It's something we've been waiting for for a very long time. It's here. One hundred years after the last Games, the Games are coming home." When the Paris opening ceremony commences on 26 July, it will mark the city's return as host after a century-long hiatus, with previous editions held in 1924 and 1900. France considers itself central to the modern Olympic movement, credited to the efforts of French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin, who revitalised the ancient Greek Games practiced until the 4th century BC. Following the pandemic-impacted edition in Tokyo in 2021 and the corruption scandals surrounding the Rio de Janeiro version in 2016, the Paris Olympics are perceived as a pivotal moment for the integrity and significance of the sporting extravaganza overall. A demonstration of public excitement is expected as the flame is transferred on Wednesday evening from the Belem, a French merchant vessel that has completed a 12-day journey from Greece. More than 1,000 additional boats will join in as the flame approaches the harbour, with organisers anticipating approximately 150,000 spectators to witness the transfer at the newly renovated marina of Marseille, where the sailing events will take place during the Olympics. Following on from the announcement of the cauldron, the spectacle will culminate with fireworks and a complimentary concert, all of which will be broadcast live on French television. In the background, approximately 6,000 security personnel are anticipated to be on duty, representing a significant trial of the extensive security measures implemented during a period when the country is under its highest terrorism alert level. The privilege of being the inaugural torchbearer will be bestowed upon four-time Olympic medalist swimmer Florent Manadou. Other notable figures slated to participate in the procession, extending into Thursday, include NBA champion basketball player Tony Parker, footballer Didier Drogba, as well as personalities from the realms of charity and entertainment. One beach-cleaning charity has opted to boycott the event in protest against Olympics sponsor Coca-Cola, while notably absent from the scheduled lineup is Marseille's iconic sporting figure, football legend Zinedine Zidane. Stringent security measure s will remain a constant presence as the torch makes its way through over 450 towns and cities across France, passing by numerous tourist destinations such as Mont Saint Michel. Approximately 200 security personnel, including an anti-terror team and operatives trained to counter drones, will be deployed to ensure the torch's safety throughout its journey. Without the looming threat of a significant security incident, the opening ceremony will unfold aboard boats on the Seine River, marking a departure from the traditional approach of inaugurating the Games within the main stadium. All essential infrastructure has been finalised, with just two new permanent sporting facilities constructed, reflecting efforts to mitigate the financial expenditure and carbon footprint associated with the global event. The Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August, followed by the Paralympics from 28 August to 8 September. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

® Moody’s International Rating Agency announces rating assessment of Kapital Bank

The Moody's International Rating Agency has confirmed Kapital Bank's rating as one of the high performers among the country's banks. The agency has maintained the bank's long-term deposit rating in local and foreign currency at the 'Ba2' level, and the Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of payment capability at the 'Ba3' level, unchanged. The outlook for Kapital Bank's rating remains 'stable'. According to the agency's report, this indicator reflects the expected improvement in the quality of the bank's credit portfolio over the next 12-18 months. The determination of Kapital Bank's BCA rating at the 'Ba3' level and the long-term deposit rating in local and foreign currency at the 'Ba2' level indicates the strong credit portfolio of the bank, including high profitability and capital adequacy. As of the end of 2023, the share of problem loans in the total loan portfolio was only 2%. With a TCE/RWA ratio of 13%-14% at the end of 2023, strong capitalization and high profitability enable the bank to mitigate pot ential losses and continue to pay dividends on time as in previous years," the report notes. The rating agency also expects the bank's liquidity to remain at a high level over the next 12-18 months. Kapital Bank, the country's first bank, is part of PASHA Holding. Kapital Bank has the largest service network in Azerbaijan with 118 branches and 53 departments all over the country. For more detailed information about the bank's products and services, please refer to website, 196 Call Centre or the bank's various social network pages. To apply for a consumer loan visit, for a Birbank installment card visit Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency

UAE Council for Climate Action discusses climate ambition for COP29

The UAE Council for Climate Action has assessed national efforts to elevate climate ambitions in preparation for the upcoming COP29, taking place in Azerbaijan later this year, according to dubaieye103.8. Discussions centered on strategies to strengthen the country's climate action locally and globally. The Council addressed progress in implementing initiatives geared towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. Efforts to raise awareness about the environment, in order for a sustainable future economy, were discussed during the second meeting of the UAE Council for Climate Action in 2024. The meeting was chaired by Her Excellency Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) who expressed her gratitude to Council members and the teams from various authorities involved in climate work for their coordination and collaborative efforts towards fostering a sustainable future in the UAE. Her Excellency said: 'Climate change is a reality with significant repercussions for us and e very nation worldwide. We acknowledge the major impact climate change has on crucial sectors, which has led us to intensify efforts to mitigate its negative effects. We need to expedite innovation and implement solutions to combat and adapt to climate change. This aligns with our commitment to achieving Net Zero in the UAE by 2050.' Dr. Al Dahak added: "Our leadership entrusts us with the responsibility to establish a distinguished Emirati model that addresses climate change while keeping up with fast-paced development. Achieving this goal will enhance cooperation and coordination among all relevant stakeholders, including government entities, private sector, and all sections of society. "The outcomes of COP28 underscored the UAE's prominent position in global climate action, and has inspired us to strengthen our position even more as we prepare for our participation in the upcoming COP29 to take place in the Republic of Azerbaijan later this year. In the meantime, we will continue to advance our local and global projects and initiatives as part of our endeavour to mitigate climate change." The meeting of the UAE Council for Climate Action addressed various topics related to the implementation of national climate initiatives, including the UAE's Net Zero 2050 strategy. Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency