Azerbaijan, EU to begin negotiations on new partnership agreement
Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. Azerbaijan and the European Union will launch negotiations on a new partnership agreement, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev told APA on November 15.
On November 14, the European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan, the message on the council’s website said.
The deputy FM noted that there is no information about the exact date of negotiations.
“The mandate was issued on November 14. It’s too early to speak of this issue. We will try to begin the negotiations in the near future,” he said.
He mentioned that what’s important is not the length, but the quality of the negotiations.
Mammad-Guliyev said he thinks the document proposed by Azerbaijan did not cause a serious backlash of the EU.
"I think that if the mandate is approved, then a serious objection to it [the document] was not. If there is no agreement, then the mandate would not be issued,” added the deputy FM. “Of course, the EU will put forward its proposals. The Azerbaijani side will also make new proposals during the negotiations.”
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn at the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga in May 2015.
Mammadyarov delivered a draft agreement on strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU to Hahn and expressed the intention of the Azerbaijani side to develop cooperation with EU in that area.
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, said the message on the European Council’s website.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighbourhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, said the message.
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