Baku, Brussels open new page in relations

Baku, Brussels open new page in relations

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 25

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

A new page of the Baku-Brussels relations opened in 2016 after a number of important events which had a positive impact on the establishment of partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU.

Strategic partnership agreement

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 November 14.

This was one of the most important items on the agenda of the relations between Azerbaijan and Europe.

The signing of a new Azerbaijan-EU partnership agreement will raise the cooperation to a qualitatively new level.

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.

Therefore, Europe made the only right decision - the agreement on strategic partnership with Azerbaijan, which it has already had with Japan or, for example, Australia and South Korea.

The agreement on strategic partnership will affect many areas of the cooperation between Baku and the EU, as a whole and with some European countries, including economy, trade, environment and others.

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.

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.

An important area of cooperation with the West is Azerbaijan’s important role as one of the main suppliers of gas to the EU, which will be able to ensure energy security of Europe. Of course, the issues of transport corridors and Azerbaijan’s invaluable role in the fight against extremism and terrorism will be also reflected in the new agreement.

EU position on Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement

Azerbaijan expects from the EU a clear position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement which is one of the most important items of a new Azerbaijan-EU strategic partnership agreement.

Azerbaijan made it clear that the country intends to hold talks in this direction, because this issue is of particular importance for Baku.

Brussels is ready for such talks.

The Council of the European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers adopted a final document, following the negotiations on the Eastern partnership program.

The document states that the EU remains committed to supporting the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of all its partners.

Earlier, during the meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that the EU supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

Mogherini pointed out that the EU is interested in the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Mogherini realizes the threats posed by the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the consequences of Yerevan’s impunity. Mogherini presented the EU Global Strategy in mid. 2016. The postulate on the territorial integrity of the EU member-states has become a key element of the EU Global Strategy.

The document says that the key elements of European security are the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states, inviolability of borders and peaceful settlement of disputes.

"These principles are applicable to all countries, both inside and outside the EU," the document says.

According to the document, this is the most important postulate for Baku. It is one of the foundations of the modern world order - sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states. For many years it has been ignored by the international community.

Instead of exerting pressure on Armenia and the forced withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories, by keeping silence the world players encouraged separatist actions of the Armenian authorities. The silence and indifference led to numerous victims of military confrontation on the Azerbaijani territories.

Suppression of Armenian provocations on EU territory

A number of facts of suppressing Armenian provocations on the EU territory can testify to the EU fair approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

A concert aimed at propaganda of the illegal regime, which was to be held in Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts, was called off following the proactive measures of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Belgium and the Azerbaijani Parliament.

The embassy and the Azerbaijani parliament have implemented proactive measures to prevent events dedicated to promotion of the so-called regime in Brussels on Nov. 16-19, where the regime’s “head” Bako Sahakyan was expected to participate.

The pressure made by the European Armenian Federation and the representatives of the Armenian lobby in Europe did not help the Armenians.

A European Parliament (EP) meeting organized with the assistance of EP Deputy Frank Engel, who serves interests of Armenia and the Armenian lobby, has been cancelled.

A reception on the occasion of the “25th anniversary of independence of Nagorno-Karabakh" featuring Bako Sahakyan was also cancelled.

All this testifies to the strengthening of the Azerbaijan-EU ties and decreasing influence of the Armenian lobby on Brussels’s decisions, which ultimately gives hope for Europe’s assistance in the settlement of the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service

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