EU: Visa-free regime with Azerbaijan possible (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 21
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
A visa-free regime between Azerbaijan and the EU is possible, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Herbert Salber, who visited Azerbaijan, told Trend Apr. 21.
Before a visa-free regime is gained between the EU and Azerbaijan, a number of procedures and technical issues should be discussed, he said.
“It is hard to say now when it will happen, but we are now at the very early stage of this consideration,” he added.
Earlier, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev said that abolition of visas for Azerbaijani citizens is one of the topics of discussions between Baku and Brussels.
“New agreement between the two sides will be comprehensive,” Salber further said of the new Azerbaijan-EU agreement. “It will include not only political issues, but also trade, energy, some other specific issues.”
“We are glad that the negotiations have been launched and we hope they could be concluded within this year,” he said, adding this will build a solid basis for future cooperation between two sides.
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 in November 2016.
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.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.