Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 19
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Energy makes the basis of cooperation between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan, said Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova in her interview with Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.
Azerbaijan sees Bulgaria not only as a country buying Azerbaijani gas, but also as a transit state in the European area, noted Gurbanova.
Bulgaria is the gateway of Azerbaijan to Europe, and Azerbaijan, for its part, acts as a bridge to ensure Bulgaria’s access to the dynamically developing markets of Asia, she added.
The diplomat said that Bulgaria is one of the countries, with which Azerbaijan signed an agreement on strategic partnership in March 2015. The two countries also signed an agreement on gas import from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria in 2013 that will meet one third of the country’s demand in energy consumption, added the ambassador.
Gurbanova noted that this year Bulgaria and Azerbaijan mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Over the past years, great success has been achieved in the development of bilateral relations, she noted.
Azerbaijan sees Bulgaria as its strategic partner among countries of the European Union, said the diplomat.
The ambassador added that Azerbaijan will soon start negotiations on new agreement with the EU on strategic partnership and hopes for the support of its Bulgarian partners during the discussions on the agreement with the EU.
The presidency of the Council of the EU will pass to Bulgaria in 2018.
Negotiations on new EU-Azerbaijan agreement will start in the coming two weeks in Brussels, Belgium.
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 in November 2016.
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 offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.
s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.