Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 15 / Trend S. Agayeva /
I was very keen to come to Azerbaijan to develop further the bilateral relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said at a news conference in Baku today.
She explained the importance of making sure that the EU-Azerbaijani relationships are templated to the needs of support.
"I also know what an important member of the Security Council of the United Nations Azerbaijan is going to be," said Ashton.
According to Ashton, Azerbaijan is an important partner of EU in terms of energy.
"Azerbaijan is an increasingly important player in this region and close now in the United Nations," she said.
According to Ashton, the Eastern Partnership is an important way which will demonstrate the closeness of EU-Azerbaijan relationships.
"I hope my visit to Azerbaijan today will be an opportunity to demonstrate the values of replace on these relationships," she said.
Regarding the EU role in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Ashton said the EU has a different role to the OSCE Minsk Group.
"But I have appointed a special representative to offer our support in some of the ways that the EU can support the process," Ashton said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.