EU: Negotiations on visa facilitation between Azerbaijan and Europe continue
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 28 / Trend H.Valiyev /
Negotiations on visa facilitation between Azerbaijan and Europe are continuing, head of the EU mission to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia told journalists on Monday.
"It is also not easy for European citizens to come to Azerbaijan, therefore I believe the issue of visa facilitation should be solved jointly," Kobia said.
He said this question cannot be considered insoluble.
"From this point of view there is an example of the countries of region such as Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, whose governments have already completed a political dialogue on the visa question," Kobia said.
He said that in general the issue of new visa facilitation depends on the presence of political will.
Agreement on the simplification of visa entry for citizens of Azerbaijan provides for a reduction of the list of documents submitted along with the application for a visa, the ability to issue multiple-entry visas with longer period of validity thus reducing the cost of visas for particular categories and to establish time limits for processing an application.
Relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are being carried out under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999. In 2009, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the EU Commission issued a mandate to start negotiations on the conclusion of bilateral association agreements of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia with the EU. These agreements will be a new practical instrument to replace the bilateral action plans.
The Eastern Partnership is aimed at the political and economic rapprochement of six post-Soviet states; Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus and the EU. The programme does not provide opportunities for EU membership, but involves facilitating visa application, energy cooperation and the introduction of free trade zones.