Baku, Azerbaijan, June 12
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
Cancellation of the visa regime between Azerbaijan and the European Union (EU) is a matter of future, Azerbaijan's deputy foreign minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev told reporters June 12.
"Currently, we are at the stage of visa facilitation. Cancellation of the visa regime is a matter of future. First of all, we should implement the new agreement on strategic partnership and get its positive results. Then an action plan should be worked out between the EU and Azerbaijan with the purpose of establishing a visa-free regime," he added.
He noted that a meeting of the Steering Committee will be held next month on visa facilitation and readmission agreements between the EU and Azerbaijan. It is possible to achieve some progress in this meeting and then to discuss the visa cancellation issue, according to Mammad-Guliyev.
Regarding the new strategic partnership agreement, the deputy foreign minister said he doesn't believe that the talks on this agreement will be completed by November this year.
“There can be some difficulties on agreeing on such matters as trade and policy. We will try to overcome these difficulties,” he added.
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.
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