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Ambassador: WikiLeaks proves EU's transparency

Politics Materials 12 May 2011 18:46 (UTC +04:00)
The diplomatic telegrams disclosed by WikiLeaks show the EU's transparency in its relations its partner countries, head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said.
Ambassador: WikiLeaks proves EU's transparency

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 12 / Trend E. Ostapenko /

The diplomatic telegrams disclosed by WikiLeaks show the EU's transparency in its relations its partner countries, head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Roland Kobia said.

"Despite all the negative consequences of WikiLeaks for international relations, one of the positive conclusions for the EU was that disclosing of those documents showed that we adhere to the single principles both at the official level and at the level of personal contacts," he said.

The secret diplomatic telegrams have been published by WikiLeaks website since late 2010.

He said the EU has no hidden agenda. The EU truly wants to support and develop universal values.

"I think the incident with WikiLeaks became an important signal for political leaders worldwide, as they made sure that the EU is a partner one can trust," he said.

One cannot agree on some issues with the EU. One can criticize it for making decisions slowly. But there is no reason to doubt the EU openness and intentions as a partner, he said.

The long process of decision-making within the EU is connected with the fact that decisions are coordinated with all EU member countries.
"Undoubtedly, this complicates the process. However, it increases the guarantees," he said. "If time was spent on making a decision, the best decisions were likely to be made."

"The EU proved itself as a reliable partner that gives long-term liabilities and fulfills them," he said. If Azerbaijan has an agreement on gas supplies with the EU, Azerbaijan can be sure of the implementation of the agreement on all aspects."

May 2011 was marked by several major dates in the relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. First and foremost, 15 years have passed since launching the formal cooperation - signing of the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 1996. Two years have passed since launching the Eastern Partnership program on May 9.

Speaking about the achievements of bilateral cooperation over the last years, Kobia stressed the high level of partnership in many sectors - from traditional energy, trade cooperation and cultural ties to the level of rich political agenda.

"People often say that the EU is only interested in energy resources of Azerbaijan," he said. "The fact that the EU is present in Azerbaijan since early 1990's, when the EU had not felt anxiety about its energy security, says that it is not true."

The EU entered Azerbaijan as a partner iIn early 1990s. First, Azerbaijan got the most necessary humanitarian aid. The refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh were provided with food and assistance.

Over time, various mechanisms, such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership, etc., significantly diversified and intensified the cooperation with Azerbaijan, he said.

The first round of negotiations on the EU Association Agreement with the three South Caucasus countries - Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia was held in mid-July last year. The agreements are based on joint commitment to develop common values. They cover a wide range of areas including a political dialogue, justice, freedom and security, as well as the issues of trade and cooperation.

In May, the EU also marks Europe Day. Its origin was laid in 1950 by the so-called "Schuman Declaration". In 1950, the head of French diplomacy Robert Schuman proposed Germany to combine production of coal and steel - the products used in military industry. A year later, in 1951, six countries established the European Coal and Steel Community - the very first model of the European Community, which now includes 27 countries.

He said that despite the fact that the first step toward unification was economic convergence, Schuman's goal was to create a strong political union. The EU phased integration approach is now used in many other countries.

Only this regional approach promotes peace and prosperity, he said.
"History shows that the countries that at some stage of their development decided to withdraw within their borders, eventually collapsed," he said. "A striking example is the Chinese empire, the largest and the most powerful empire of 13-14 centuries."

The integration of the countries within the EU on the basis of democratic principles may not be the ideal system. However, quoting the famous British politician Winston Churchill, the ambassador said that despite the fact that democracy is not a perfect system, it is the best thing we achieved today, he said.

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