Azerbaijan, Baku, July 5 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
An EU delegation, which will arrive in Baku in mid-July to discuss the association agreement with Azerbaijan, will be headed by Director of the EU Department for South Caucasus countries John Kjaer, the EU Baku office told Trend.
The Azerbaijani government's negotiations with the European Commission to conclude the association agreement will begin July 16.
The negotiations will be held in connection with the provision of mandate to negotiate with the three South Caucasus countries by the EU Council May 10, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said earlier. According to him, the talks will last a year or so.
The department headed by Kjaer operates under the European Neighborhood Policy, and covers the countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, particularly Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.
So far, Azerbaijan has been cooperating with the EU on the basis of a partnership agreement and cooperation. Signing of such an agreement with Europe will become for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia means of establishing free trade and movement of people.
According to the requirements of the European Union, the pretender country must be a member of the WTO for participation in the zone. Azerbaijan still has observer status in the organization, he said.
Foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia participated in the annual session of the European Council for Cooperation with South Caucasus countries in Brussels Sept.30, 2009. A decision was made about a prospect of the association membership of the Caucasus countries into the EU. It is the most effective stimulus for conflict resolution and internal reforms in these countries.
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