European Commission ex-president: Stability in South Caucasus is vital
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 26 / Trend M. Aliyev /
The stability in the South Caucasus is very important for the EU, ex-president of the European Commission, Luxembourg's former State Minister Jacques Santer said at the international conference 'Bridge laying' in Baku today.
However cooperation on democracy, human rights and freedom is important, he said.
"Azerbaijan and the EU closely cooperate in education, environment, defence and other issues," he added.
He stressed that the role of civil society in cooperation is very important.
He added that Azerbaijan is a tolerant country, open to the world. It has become an important centre of energy and infrastructure.
Santer supports the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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 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.