President Ilham Aliyev’s recent visit to Brussels is of great importance and will promote Azerbaijan-EU ties, said Novruz Mammadov, deputy head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, chief of the administration's foreign relations department.
He noted that this visit took place at the EU president’s invitation.
“Azerbaijan began cooperating with the EU after gaining its independence. This cooperation has a rich history,” Mammadov said.
“Over the past years, Azerbaijan has closely cooperated with various EU institutions and signed strategic statements and declarations with nine member countries,” he said.
Mammadov said Azerbaijan-EU ties covers almost all areas (security, economics, politics), particularly the field of energy.
“In recent years there has been a lot of work on the development of relations in the sphere of transport,” he added.
According to the official, the association agreement which was once presented by the EU was declined by Azerbaijan.
“We noted that some issues reflected in the agreement did not correspond to national interests of Azerbaijan. We proposed other forms of cooperation. The EU analyzed the specific issues and gave a positive response,” Mammadov said.
As for the draft agreement submitted by Azerbaijan to the EU on strategic partnership, the official said the European Council has already issued a mandate for the start of negotiations on this agreement.
He went on to say that the Azerbaijani president had productive talks with all senior EU officials in Brussels.
“It is important to maintain Azerbaijan-EU ties, develop and deepen them in all areas. The meetings held in Brussels expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. This visit is of great importance and will contribute to the expansion of cooperation,” Mammadov said.