EU, Azer­bai­jan mull new part­ner­ship agree­ment

Azer News - - Nation - By Le­man Mam­madova

Ne­go­ti­a­tions on a new bi­lat­eral agree­ment have been held be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Euro­pean Union (EU).

The EU del­e­ga­tion at the talks in Baku is headed by the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion for Trade, Petros Sourmelis.

Speak­ing at the meet­ing with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Azer­bai­jani and EU of­fi­cials at the Baku Busi­ness Cen­ter, Min­is­ter of Econ­omy Shahin Mustafayev un­der­lined that Azer­bai­jan-EU re­la­tions are de­vel­op­ing, im­por­tant doc­u­ments such as Part­ner­ship and Co­op­er­a­tion, Visa and Read­mis­sion Agree­ments, Ac­tion Plan un­der the Euro­pean Neigh­bor­hood Pol­icy and the Eastern Part­ner­ship Ini­tia­tive have been signed.

It was noted that Azer­bai­jan and the EU suc­cess­fully co­op­er­ate in var­i­ous fields, in­clud­ing in the en­ergy sec­tor. Azer­bai­jan, as the ini­tia­tor and ac­tive par­tic­i­pant of such large projects as Baku-Tbil­isi-Cey­han and the South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor, is a re­li­able en­ergy part­ner of the Euro­pean Union.

The main place in the for­eign trade turnover of Azer­bai­jan is oc­cu­pied by the coun­tries of the Euro­pean Union.

Stress­ing that Azer­bai­jan is in­ter­ested in con­tin­u­ally ex­pand­ing its co­op­er­a­tion with the Euro­pean Union, Mustafayev re­called that the new agree­ment was an­nounced by the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan and the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Union in 2017, not­ing that ne­go­ti­a­tions on the agree­ment are be­ing con­tin­ued, meet­ings and video con­fer­ences are be­ing or­ga­nized.

The min­is­ter noted that the new bi­lat­eral Agree­ment be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Euro­pean Union will be im­por­tant for the devel­op­ment of re­la­tions.

Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor for Europe and Cen­tral Asia of the Euro­pean Union’s Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions Ser­vice Euro­pean Union, Luke Devin shared his views on the ex­pan­sion of re­la­tions and the new draft bi­lat­eral agree­ment, stressed that the doc­u­ment would con­trib­ute to the devel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the EU and Azer­bai­jan.

The new agree­ment should re­place the 1996 part­ner­ship and co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment and should bet­ter take ac­count of the shared ob­jec­tives and chal­lenges the EU and Azer­bai­jan face to­day. The agree­ment will fol­low the prin­ci­ples en­dorsed in the 2015 re­view of the Euro­pean Neigh­bor­hood Pol­icy and will of­fer a re­newed ba­sis for po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the EU and Azer­bai­jan.

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