Azerbaijan, EU to mull trade, sectoral chapters of SPA in Brussels
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21
By Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:
Trade and sectoral chapters of the new EU-Azerbaijan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) will be discussed in late September in Brussels, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev told reporters in Baku Sept. 21.
Trade, investment policy, security and other issues will be discussed, he said.
“We will try to discuss a number of issues,” the deputy FM said. “Priorities of new cooperation will also be discussed in Brussels. This is a new step. We submitted our proposals; the EU considered them and expressed its opinion. Based on that, we prepared and submitted our proposal which will be discussed Sept. 29.”
He noted that on Sept. 27, Brussels will host a meeting of the subcommittee for trade between the EU and Azerbaijan.
“Investments and trade will be discussed at the meeting,” the deputy FM said.
Mammad-Guliyev added that meetings of subcommittees for security, human rights, and democracy will be held in the second half of October.
“The date of the energy subcommittee’s meeting is still unknown, because preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit should be held,” the deputy FM noted. “I don’t think the subcommittee meeting will be held before the summit. Subcommittee meetings are currently being held in Brussels, so we consider their proposals and express our opinion.”
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.