Azeri parliament names Novruz Mamedov prime minister

BAKU (Reuters) - The Azeri parliament appointed Novruz Mamedov as the country’s new prime minister on Saturday.

Mamedov has been a foreign policy assistant to Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, since last year. He had previously worked as deputy head of presidential administration.

Aliyev won a fourth term as president of Azerbaijan last week in an election boycotted by major opposition parties and described by election monitors as undemocratic.

The former Soviet republic’s huge energy reserves and strategic location on the Caspian Sea make it an important alternative for Europe to Russian oil and gas.

Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Alexander Smith, William Maclean