Azerbaijani progress in migration is best way to reach liberalization of visa regime with EU: European Commissioner Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijani progress in migration is best way to reach liberalization of visa regime with EU: European Commissioner Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 26 / Trend E. Ostapenko /

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner spoke in an exclusive interview with Trend European Desk on the eve of her abdication.

Trend : Is the European Union ready to compromise to six member countries of Eastern Partnership program, including Azerbaijan, in such matters as the simplification of visa program and the establishment of a free trade area? What recommendations could the EU offer to the Government of Azerbaijan in term of simplifying the visa program?

Benita Ferrero-Waldner: The Eastern Partnership is an initiative which strives at developing the EU's ties with the six partner countries at bilateral level and at fostering contacts and cooperation between the partner countries through the multilateral platforms.

A central aspect of broadening and deepening our bilateral relationship with partner countries is the prospect of Association Agreements, provided that partner countries meet a number of political and economic criteria.

I am aware that the possibility of making travel to the European Union easier for citizens in our partner countries is a key issue for the governments of the partner countries. Therefore, the Eastern Partnership foresees the prospect for negotiation of visa facilitation/re-admission agreements and on full visa liberalisation as a long term goal for individual partner countries on a case-by-case basis provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place. Visa facilitation is related to a number of other issues such as migration, readmission issues and security and reliability of travel documents. Therefore, the best way forward for Azerbaijan will be to make overall progress on migration issues.

Q.: Could the establishment of the position of EU Minister of Foreign Affairs increase the EU role in resolving conflicts, including the territorial conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh?

A.: First of all, the EU has welcomed the progress achieved this year within the OSCE Minsk Group and we of course call upon all partners at the table to continue working for finding a solution which would bring an end to this conflict. It has unfortunately cost too many lives and brought misery to too many innocent people.

The EU has always offered to contribute to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict through confidence building measures and hopes that these can be accepted by both sides. It is too soon to say whether the EU might play a more prominent role in the future in resolving regional conflicts.

Q.: The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister stated that the Armenian side was holding unconstructive position in the negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, drawing back to the issues that had been discussed and coordinated. Do you think such Armenia's unconstructive position could be linked with the ongoing closing in Turkish-Armenian relations?

A.: It is clear that there can only be a negotiated solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and it is the responsibility of the two sides to make serious efforts to resolving the outstanding issues. We certainly hope that the rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia will have a beneficial effect on political developments in the whole region.

Q.: What is the significance of the Southern Corridor project for Europe? What is the role of the Caspian region, and in particular Azerbaijan, in diversification of energy supplies to Europe?

A.: The Southern Corridor is one of the priority energy projects of the European Union to diversify its energy sources in the context of a growing demand for imported energy. Diversification for us includes not only diversification of transport routes but also of the sources of energy and kinds of energy.

Therefore efforts are being made to link up with resources in Central Asia, the Middle East and Iraq in particular. We hope that Azerbaijan will seize this opportunity to play an important double role- both as a producer and a transit country and to our mutual benefit.

 Q.: Establishment of the European Army has become topical recently. How realistic are these plans? Is the EU prepared to assign its human resources for the security matters beyond Europe?

A.: There are no plans to create an army of the European Union. However, crisis prevention and crisis management have become an important aspect of European Foreign and Security Policy.

Over the past years the European Union has strengthened its capacities to activate both military and civilian forces from EU Member States for crisis situations. Civilian missions in the area of police, monitoring and rule of law missions have become an integral part of the EU's Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).

The 27 Member States have to decide on every new ESDP mission - be it military or civilian. The geographic range of deployment is always outside the European Union and the majority of the current thirteen ESDP missions are outside Europe, like for instance Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Guinea-Bissau and occupied Palestinian Territory or off the coast of Somalia.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at [email protected]

Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
AzTV releases video on April 2016 battles: "We honor the April victory with pride!"
AzTV releases video on April 2016 battles: "We honor the April victory with pride!"
Loading Bars
Support to Eastern Partnership states - key pillar for European Council, Charles Michel says
Azerbaijan joins initiative of single roaming space between Eastern Partnership countries
Turkish Airlines receives permission to operate flights to number of Uzbek cities
Kazakhstan’s KMK Munay decides against paying out dividends for 2020
Kazakhstan's revenues from maritime cargo transport surge
High freight rates significantly raise global prices of commercial ships
Central Bank of Iran allocates funds for import of vaccines
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 21
Geostat reveals Producer Price Indices for services in Georgia
Turkmenistan boosts imports of Turkish-made chemicals
Uzbekistan, France agree on deepening interaction in textile industry
Boeing CFO Smith to retire in July
Georgia increase tea import from Azerbaijan
Czech Development Agency talks projects in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in Export Price Index
Domestic Producer Price Index for Industrial Products up in Georgia
Number of oil, gas wells drilled in Iran revealed
Kazakhstan's exports to Bulgaria plummet
Iran's Esfarayen Industrial Complex to increase exports
Azerbaijani payment system to offer instant digital banking cards
Russian iron and steel works company reveals supplies of metal production to Uzbekistan
Baku Higher Oil School organized a webinar on the topic 'Higher Education and Research in the Post-COVID Period' (PHOTO)
PACE can offer support for establishment of lasting peace in South Caucasus - SecGen
Israel's government debt jumped to nearly NIS 1t in 2020
TAP’s gas deliveries for Q1 2021 disclosed
Swiss investments in Azerbaijan concentrated in non-oil sector – Swiss ministry
Azerbaijan names number of vaccinated citizens
Iran to receive vaccine through COVAX
Iran increases salaries for army personnel
Producer Price Index for Industrial Products up in Georgia
Iranian private sector to import 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Iran to implement extensive and maximum vaccination plan - President Rouhani
Budget provides continued support to Georgian economy - IMF mission
Azerbaijan confirms 2,197 more COVID-19 cases, 1,946 recoveries
Georgia sees decrease in external debt
Pakistan always supports Azerbaijan's just position - Pakistani Admiral
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Chairman of Iran Tea Organization talks about tea growing
Russia ready to help Kazakhstan in construction of nuclear power plant
Israeli journalists visit roadside inn in Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli, turned into barn by Armenians during occupation (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan taking additional measures to develop karakul sheep breeding
US company to build cannabis farm in Uzbekistan
France’s Orano to develop new mining sector in Kazakhstan
National Bank of Georgia remains focused on achieving its inflation target
Azerbaijan's International Bank discloses 1Q2021 net profit
Turkmenistan joins WIPO Patent Law Treaty
Armenia outraged by Russian PACE delegates refusal to discuss so-called "issue of POWs”
Electricity generation of Iran's hydroelectric power plants to decline
Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 polyethylene production slightly down
Russian Railways to build high-speed railway entries to Moscow, St. Petersburg by 2024
UAE central bank extends some stimulus measures until mid-2022
President Aliyev interviewed by Azerbaijan Television (PHOTO)
Important to observe int’l law to avoid such conflicts as Karabakh one in future - Chancellor of Germany
UK eases post-Brexit controls on vehicles taking goods to the EU
PayPal's Venmo launches crypto buying and selling
Iran's shares data on sale of public assets
President Ilham Aliyev attends inauguration of Azersun Shamakhi Agropark in Hajigabul (PHOTO)
Iran expects revival of JCPOA in short term
Liabilities of International Bank of Azerbaijan increase
Sinovac supplied 260 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses globally
Azerbaijan names number of foreign visitors in 1Q2021
Elbit Systems awarded $41m US Marines night vision deal
Price of wheat purchased from farmers in Iran increases
President Ilham Aliyev launches 110/35/10 Kv “Garasu” substation in Hajiqabul (PHOTO)
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan’s oil transportation to Turkey down y-o-y
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy pipes
SOCAR sums up Kulevi oil terminal’s Q1 2020 performance
Total assets of International Bank of Azerbaijan increase
Iran declares value of exports from cooperative enterprises in Razavi Khorasan Province
Uzbekistan plans introducing charter flights to popular destinations
Companies from Russia’s Smolensk begin to export products to Azerbaijan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 20
Amount of registered Iranian companies in Turkey down
Khazar Consortium in Turkmenistan opens tender for equipment purchase
Azerbaijani banks' foreign currency demand disclosed
Border checkpoint between Iran, Pakistan to be opened
SOCAR’s petrochemical complex to significantly increase sales – Yapi Kredi
French EDF eyes building pumped-storage power plant in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan's Turkmenhimiya extends tender for turnkey plant construction
Major Iranian companies boost iron ore pellets production
India hopeful US will soon end curbs on Covid vaccine raw materials export
BRO upgrades crucial 110 feet long bridge on India's Leh-Sarchu Road in 8 days
73,600 Covid vaccination centres operational in India on Monday, highest till date
J&J Seeks India's Permission For Phase 3 Trial Of 1-Shot Vaccine: Report
IAF chief RKS Bhadauria visits France as Rafale deliveries gain pace
Covid-19 vaccines for all adults in India from May 1, says Centre
Solar panel stations launched in Iran
Azerbaijan sees surge in 1Q2021 manufacturing of tobacco products
Kazakhstan boosts trade turnover volume with Austria
Yapi Kredi reveals forecasts for SOCAR’s Petkim
EAM Jaishankar speaks to US Secretary of State, exchanges views on Covid, UNSC agenda
Iran sees increase in car manufacturing
Azerbaijan issues data on 1Q2021 oil exports to India
President Ilham Aliyev attends presentation of agropark owned by Agro Dairy LLC in Hajigabul (PHOTO)
Israel logs Indian COVID-19 variant, sees some vaccine efficacy against it
Turkey discloses info on cargo movement via Cesme port for 2M2021
President Ilham Aliyev watches sowing process in farmer Elshan Khalilov’s cotton field
Germany raises import of Turkish-made furniture
Several facilities put into operation in Iran’s Parand New City
President Ilham Aliyev opens Hajigabul-Mughan highway after renovation (PHOTO)
All news