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Thursday, 31 August 2017 17:30

Azerbaijan, EU extending strategic cooperation Featured

“Azerbaijan is the leading state in implementation of SGC, the continent’s biggest infrastructure and energy project on export of natural gas to the markets of Europe, which is estimated at 45-50 bln dollars”, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated while addressing the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Visegrad group and Eastern Partnership countries, Caspian Energy News ( reports with reference to the press service of MFA of Azerbaijan. 

He said that Azerbaijan is interested in completing the work over the agreement about strategic partnership with EU via negotiations, and in developing bilateral cooperation on basis of this agreement.

Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the European Union and the number of its strategic partners is increasing among the members of the organization.

“Since the official commencement of negotiations in February of the last year we had a fruitful and constructive dialogue on different items of the draft agreement. Azerbaijan is also interested in establishment of contacts with the EU on basis of the mutually agreed priorities”, the Minister noted.

Elmar Mammadyarov added that stimulation of mobility and contacts between people is an important line of cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.

“We are confident that successful implementation of the agreement on readmission and simplification of the visa regime will pave the way for the startup of the dialogue on introduction of the visa-free regime between EU and Azerbaijan. Along with this, the updated European neighborhood policy finds stability as the most pressing problem in many parts of the European neighborhood. It is impossible to imagine a real stability without settlement of conflicts which last for a long period and cause threat for stability and cooperation in the area of the Eastern Partnership”, the minister said. 

It bears reminding that on November 14, 2016 the European Commission and the EU’s Foreign Service got a mandate to start negotiations with Azerbaijan about the details of the new agreement on partnership and cooperation.

The new document will help to replace an agreement on partnership and cooperation dated 1996 and is meant to better reflect the common objectives and tasks facing EU and Azerbaijan today, the European Commission’s statement said. 

The document will reflect the principles approved in 2015 within the framework of the European neighborhood policy, and provide a new basis for a political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan.

The agreement about modernized strategic partnership should become an alternative for an associate agreement which the EU planned to sign with all member states of the Eastern partnership. However, geopolitical changes in the world made some countries of the Eastern Partnership, including Azerbaijan, to refuse the association with the EU.

MFA of Azerbaijan welcomed the mandate for the startup of negotiations with Azerbaijan on preparation of the agreement on comprehensive cooperation with the EU.

Earlier, the agreement was under discussion for about two years. The EU representatives have repeatedly explained the reason of delay with the necessity of reaching a consensus between all 28 member states of the EU.

This year Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammadguliyev noted that Azerbaijan established a precedent when EU’s partner country initiates a new format of the agreement on cooperation.

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Person in charge of the newsline: Fidan Isayeva

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