EU delegation head: European Council President to discuss Nagorno Karabakh during visit to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 1 / Trend /
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy is coming to Azerbaijan on the presidential visit, head of the EU office in Baku Roland Kobia told journalists on Friday.
"Rompuy is coming to Baku on July 5 in the framework of regional visit also," Kobia said.
He said that it will be the first visit of Rompuy to the region and Azerbaijan.
"And this I think is a concrete sign of continuous willingness of Europe to engage with Azerbaijan," Kobia added.
He said Rompuy will discuss all important issues, in particular Nagorno Karabakh.
"As you know, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton have said the EU is ready to give support to the process and help the Minsk Group," Kobia said.
He also expressed his confidence that Rompuy will give the same message.
"We have very wide agenda with Azerbaijan, so, President Rompuy will deal with all issues of our cooperation," he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the US - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
The relations between Azerbaijan and the EU are based on the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation signed in Luxembourg in 1996. It entered into force in 1999.
In 2009, Foreign Ministers of the EU countries provided the EU Commission with a mandate to start negotiations to conclude the EU bilateral association agreements with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. These agreements will be a new practical instrument which will replace the bilateral action plans.