Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.3
Azerbaijan is awaiting the mandate of the European Union to start the talks on signing a new strategic partnership agreement with this organization, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev told reporters Dec.3.
Earlier, Azerbaijan presented the new draft agreement to the EU. It envisages establishment of strategic partnership relations between the two sides.
"The EU position is somehow different and it is planned to hold several meetings and general discussions in the organization," he said. "After receiving the mandate, it will be possible to start talks on the agreement."
Mammadguliyev noted that the relations between the two sides are somehow cold and Europe hasn't expressed its clear position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict so far.
"During the Riga summit, it was noted that the EU supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Eastern Partnership countries. But the final communiqué didn't include a paragraph on the possible settlement of the conflict," said the deputy minister.
He pointed out that the EU expressed support to the territorial integrity of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.
"When it comes to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Europe says that the OSCE Minsk Group should deal with this issue," said Mammadguliyev. "But they don't say on which principles this conflict should be resolved."
Meanwhile, Europe always talks about Azerbaijan's importance in energy security, combating terrorism and so on, he added.
The deputy minister said that Europe is very important for Azerbaijan in terms of economy.
"We can learn much from Europe," he said. "Meanwhile, we will demand from Europe to hold a position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict close to that of Azerbaijan."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by SI