Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. S.Agayeva / Azerbaijan and Switzerland are planning to simplify their visa system. The issue was discussed by the two countries during meetings which began in Geneva on 27 November, as reported by Elchin Amirbayov, the Azerbaijani ambassador to Switzerland. The Ministries of both countries may sign an agreement in the near future.
Simplification of the visa process with Switzerland, which is a member of the Schengen zone, will make travel to Europe for Azerbaijanis less restrictive.
The Schengen zone includes fifteen European countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Finland and Switzerland. Beginning in December 2007, the Schengen zone will be expanded, with ten more countries joining the zone, these being Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Malta and Switzerland.
Energy delivery from Azerbaijan to Europe, security in the region, and the integration of Azerbaijan into Europe were among the topics discussed during the consultations, which were held under the chairmanship of the Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister, Khalaf Khalafov, and the Deputy Secretary of Switzerland, Anton Talman.