Mard: Not rapid, but good result crucial in EU-Azerbaijan talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 5
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Good result is more important than a rapid result in the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Azerbaijan on a new strategic partnership agreement, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Malena Mard said during a networking event in Baku July 5.
“This is an important time in EU-Azerbaijan relations. As you know, we are negotiating a new framework between the EU and Azerbaijan,” she said. “Very intensive negotiations are ongoing on the broad agenda of EU-Azerbaijan relations on economic, security matters, provision of human rights, rule of law, good governance and cooperation on education.”
Both the EU and Azerbaijan are ambitious about moving forward swiftly, added Mard.
“We want to have an agreement that is important both for the EU and Azerbaijan,” she said. “We are in parallel also looking at partnership priorities between the EU and Azerbaijan for the years to come that will also guide our concrete cooperation. At the end of the day, this is about concrete cooperation on bringing the EU and Azerbaijan closely together.”
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.
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.
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