EU considering opportunity of direct participation in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution: EU Commissar (INTERVIEW)

EU considering opportunity of direct participation in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution: EU Commissar (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr. 8 / Trend corr. E.Ostapenko/

Trend European Desk exclusive interview with Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, on the eve of his first visit to Azerbaijan on Apr. 9 in line with his current mandate

Question: What are the main EU priorities and aims of cooperation with Azerbaijan within the new program of European Neighbourhood Policy - Eastern Partnership - for 2011 - 2013? Is it possible to expect the financing to be extended for Azerbaijan within Eastern Partnership?

Answer: The Eastern Partnership builds on the experiences of the European Neighbourhood Policy and offers a number of additional opportunities for closer ties between the EU and Eastern partners, including Azerbaijan.

We should seek to further deepen and widen our cooperation in all areas, ranging from trade and energy to political relations and also education and youth exchanges. Our new commitment to the strengthening of bilateral relations will be reflected in a new contractual relationship, the EU Azerbaijan Association Agreement. As regards trade, we want this agreement to lay the foundation for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Azerbaijan. This Free Trade Area will give our trade relations a fresh push, it will help to generate economic growth and jobs in Azerbaijan and provide access to the EU market of 500 million consumers. It should also help Azerbaijan to further diversify its economy away from gas and oil.

For negotiations on an EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement to be able to start, we will wish to see that all relevant conditions are taken into account. One of the key conditions for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area is membership in WTO. I would therefore urge Azerbaijan to speed up the negotiations for WTO membership in order to meet this criterion.

Turning to your second question, let me say that the Commission will continue to support Azerbaijan through financial and technical assistance. Under the Eastern Partnership there is a global increase of € 350 million for all EaP partners. This amount will be distributed over a number of priorities both focusing on bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In the upcoming period of 2011-2013 the allocation for Azerbaijan will amount to € 122.5 million.

Q: Do you see progress in the facilitation of visa regime between European Union and Azerbaijan within the Eastern Partnership? What results do you wish to achieve in this regard, and in what terms?

A: We have not yet started the negotiations of visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Azerbaijan but important preparatory work is ongoing.
The Eastern Partnership has set the long term goal of making visa free travel possible between Azerbaijan and the EU. This is an ambitious prospect, to which citizens from both the EU and Azerbaijan pay a lot of attention. We will work with your country to make sure the necessary steps are taken so that one day the citizens of Azerbaijan could enjoy free travel to Europe.

Q: What is your estimation of economic situation in Azerbaijan? How resistible has Azerbaijan proved to be in the terms in world economic crisis?

A: Azerbaijan has not been affected as severely by the crisis as other countries have, primarily thanks to Azerbaijan's energy resources. It seems that the crisis affected mainly exports because energy demand has decreased as a result of the crisis. While long-term energy contracts have cushioned the negative impact, Azerbaijan in my view would benefit from a diversification of its economic activities, beyond the energy sector.

Q: Do you believe that the establishment of the position of EU Foreign Minister could increase the EU role in resolving conflicts, including the territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh? And what is your perception of the recent developments in the peace process?

A: I welcome the efforts made by all sides and in particular the personal commitments by the Presidents of Azerbaijan and of Armenia in trying to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The intensified schedule of meetings within the OSCE Minsk Group is a clear signal that the parties are trying hard to find a solution. The EU stands firmly behind all these efforts.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has a clearer and more unified voice in the external relations field. Unresolved conflicts in the European Neighbourhood continue to be a major concern for us. I therefore do not exclude that we will consider getting more directly involved in settlement efforts. In this respect, the view of the parties concerned will be very important. At this stage, we are about to launch a programme supporting civil society efforts to enhance people-to-people contacts and increased understanding between communities. This programme focuses on youth, media and conflict affected groups.

Iran’s Shazand Oil Refining Company supplies fuel to IRISL Group
Iran’s Shazand Oil Refining Company supplies fuel to IRISL Group
Iranian government eyes to attract investors for Markan coast development
Iranian government eyes to attract investors for Markan coast development
Iran to submit budget plan for new year
Iran to submit budget plan for new year
Loading Bars
Latest
Bryansk Machine-Building Plant ready to increase locomotives supply to Turkmenistan
Iran’s Shazand Oil Refining Company supplies fuel to IRISL Group
Armenia is like Trojan horse inside CSTO - Turkish government
Russia's Bryansk Machine-Building Plant, Turkmenistan discuss terms of locomotives delivery
Cherries, grapes top list of fruits and vegetable products exported from Uzbekistan
Total volume of non-bank deposits in Georgian banking sector up
Azerbaijani MFA calls on int'l organizations to investigate breach of children rights by Armenia
Singapore ready to share with Uzbekistan experience in forming digital gov’t
France's import of defense industry goods from Turkey decline
Info on death of defense minister of illegal regime in Nagorno Karabakh issued
Assistant to Azerbaijani President Hikmat Hajiyev interviewed by Al Jazeera TV channel (VIDEO)
Armenia established corridor to bring PKK into Azerbaijan’s occupied territories - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Blast at Pakistan religious school kills at least seven, including children
Uzbekistan to introduce Chinese standards into automotive industry
EBRD, EU provide another support to small, medium-sized businesses in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan strongly condemns shelling of Euronews' crew by Armenia - president's aide (VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for October 27
Tractors with telepathic system used to cotton planting in Turkmenistan’s Lebap region
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for October 27
“Jewish Journal” publishes an article on Armenian protest in Los Angeles equating Israel to Nazi Germany
Armenia didn't respond to Azerbaijan's requests for release of war prisoners - Commission
Iranian government eyes to attract investors for Markan coast development
Iran to submit budget plan for new year
Armenia confirms liberation of Gubadli city by Azerbaijan
Iran`s return to FATF blacklist restricts its exports
Destroyed military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces - LIST
Chief of staff of Armenian Army motorized rifle division killed
Latest situation at front line on Oct. 27
Chinese mainland reports 16 new imported COVID-19 cases
Brazil's COVID-19 cases surpass 5.4 mln
U.S. Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court pick Barrett in nearly party-line vote
5.2-magnitude earthquake hits central Iran, no casualties
Czech Republic to introduce night curfew from Wednesday
61 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
Footage from liberated from occupation Padar village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan neutralizes one of 3 missiles shot by Armenian troops at Azerbaijan's Tartar
Azerbaijan's Bank Association denies lies spread by Armenian side
Effective co-op in field of border security established between Azerbaijan, Iran
Armenian Armed Forces shell Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using 'Smerch' missiles
Armenia indiscriminately targets civilians - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijanis hold rally in California, condemning Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani compatriots living in Minnesota hold protest rally (PHOTO)
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan's Tartar city, villages
Armenian armed forces shelling Tartar city with artillery, missiles in gross breach of humanitarian ceasefire
Iran's powder detergent production grows
Azerbaijanis in Denmark hold protest rally against Armenian terror (PHOTO)
Turkish embassy in Georgia talks joint energy projects of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Protest rally against Armenian attack on Ganja held in Bielefeld, Germany (PHOTO)
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 27
Armenian Armed Forces’ quadrocopter destroyed by Azerbaijani troops
Al Jazeera posts article covering aftermath of Armenian missile attack on Ganja
Baku's secondary housing prices show monthly decline
Investments in Iran's capital market increase
Uzbek Reconstruction and Development Fund to support creation of Export Support Fund
Turkey's export of defense products to Morocco plunges
Nagorno-Karabakh region to be liberated sooner or later: press secretary of Turkish president
USD falls against Uzbek soum for the first time in three months
Work connected with laying of gas pipelines on freed Azerbaijani territories kicked off (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Volume of maritime cargo shipment via Turkey from Spain disclosed
Turkmenistan significantly increases import of wheat flour from EAEU countries
Azerbaijani railway operator admitted to consortium of Trans-Caspian Transport Route
Georgia reveals results of 18 foreign exchange auctions conducted by National Bank
Iran Khodro reveals amount of funds saved thanks to domestic manufacturing
Export of Turkish-made defense products to China slumps
Armenian Armed Forces fire at school in Aghdam (PHOTO)
Assistant to Azerbaijani president comments on photo of Armenia's defense minister together with Armenian soldiers
Macron's anti-Islamic statements point to extreme misunderstanding of religion - Arab analyst
Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya tops list of regions implementing foreign investments
Heritage Foundation's Foreign Policy Studies Center Director comments on photo showing Russian field camp set up near Armenian Tegh
Georgia sees increase in hazelnuts export
Georgia reveals volume of exported apples
U.S. regrets EU move on tariffs, seeks deal on Boeing-Airbus row
Russia seeking to be stabilizer in South Caucasus, says Russian expert
Uzbekistan discusses strengthening multilateral co-op with China and S. Korea
President Aliyev congratulates commanders of joint military corps who distinguished themselves in liberation of Gubadli city, villages of Gubadli district from occupiers
Review of statistics of people registered within state program 'Remotely from Georgia'
Volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia’s Perm Krai revealed
Azerbaijani army does not fire at civilians - Defense Ministry
President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel (PHOTO)
Iran launches new water treatment facility in Tehran
Iran studies Famotidine as Coronavirus treatment
Industrial production in Karabakh to increase in post-conflict period - CAERC head
Turkish president urges to boycott French goods
Work on power supply to strategic facilities in freed Azerbaijani territories underway (PHOTO)
Bank of Georgia suffers loss
S&P Global Ratings expects Azerbaijan's export to grow in next years
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling
Wildfire breaks out in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan district from Armenian attacks (VIDEO)
SOCAR considering new investments in Turkey
Romania's import of Azerbaijani products for 9M2020 revealed
Armenian Armed Forces fire at Azerbaijan’s Tartar district
Price of most Georgian companies’ shares up on London Stock Exchange
UK armed forces take control of ship in English Channel, seven people detained
Mobile phones and smartphones import down in Georgia
Azerbaijan confirms 131 more COVID-19 recoveries
All news