EU hopes for talks with Azerbaijan within new agreement soon (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted at 12:11)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
The EU hopes for the negotiations with Azerbaijan within a new strategic partnership agreement soon, Malena Mard, head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan, told Trend Nov. 16.
"We are expecting the negotiations which will affect many areas, including economy, trade, environmental issues and others,” she said. “It is an ambitious project for us. But we hope that we will be able to start the negotiations as soon as possible, because we feel the both sides’ interest."
Mard added that Azerbaijan and the EU must discuss important issues as part of the negotiations on signing a strategic partnership agreement.
"Nevertheless, we need time to form the delegations, which will consist of good experts, because without them it is impossible to solve the issues of trade, economy, etc.," she added.
The ambassador stressed that the UK leaving the EU will not affect the negotiations with Azerbaijan.
"Such an issue was not even on the agenda,” Mard said. “The UK leaving the EU is irrelevant for negotiations on strategic partnership with Azerbaijan."
The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan Nov. 14.
The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today, said the message on the European council’s website.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighbourhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan, said the message.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.