Azerbaijan, EU to end talks on strategic partnership deal by year-end
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 14
Azerbaijan and the EU plan to finish negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement before the EU summit, to be held by late 2017.
This was stated at the meeting of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Luc Devigne, director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and OSCE of the European External Action Service, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said June 14.
A delegation led by Devigne is now on a visit in Azerbaijan to attend the next round of negotiations on the agreement.
During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the constructive and intensive course of negotiations. At this stage, the talks are ongoing on cooperation in the political and trade spheres.
In the upcoming June 16 talks, various aspects of cooperation, in particular in transportation, trade, communications, etc. will be discussed. A delegation headed by EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Baku to participate in the negotiations.
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.