EU ambassador: European commissioner's visit to Azerbaijan in beginning of his mandate is important signal
Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 April /Trend, E.Ostapenko/
Commissioner Štefan Füle's visit to Azerbaijan in the beginning of his mandate is an important political signal, indicating the degree of Azerbaijan's importance as a partner for the European Union, said EU Ambassador Roland Kobia.
"Azerbaijan is one of the first countries where Commissioner Füle visits," Kobia said to a press conference on April 6.
European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle will arrive in Azerbaijan in the morning of April 9 within the South Caucasus tour. This will be his first visit to the country as a European commissioner for enlargement.
The South Caucasus countries assume an interest for the EU as a region, and each of them separately," said Kobia. EU aims to strengthen relations with each country separately.
According to the ambassador, Füle is supposed to meet with Azerbaijani President, foreign minister, minister of economic development, representatives of the oil and gas sector, civil society, representatives of political parties.
As an important point of the visit, the ambassador called Füle's plans to meet with internally displaced persons living in Binagadi district of Baku.
"This is an important political message, as well as an important humanitarian message showing the concern of the European Union over the status of refugees, the existing territorial conflicts, as well as saying that the EU is always ready to help," said Kobia.
According to him, within the visit will also be discussed the prospects of Eastern Partnership which includes political and economic rapprochement of six post-Soviet countries - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus with the EU.
"Eastern Partnership is a new era in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. The two main goals that we set for ourselves are to strengthen political dialogue and economic integration," he said.
According to Kobia, as part of the Eastern Partnership, there are plans to sign an association agreement between the EU and all countries of the program.
"This agreement will much more brought closer the EU and Azerbaijan than the previous partnership and cooperation agreement [on the basis of which the current relations between the EU and Azerbaijan develop]," he said.
As part of the project, EU obliged to provide 600 million euros to these countries by 2013, which is intended to strengthen state institutions, control of borders and help small businesses.