Baku, Azerbaijan, May 14
Azerbaijan attaches special importance to relations with the European Union, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov during a meeting with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry told Trend May 14.
Mammadyarov touched upon issues of cooperation in energy, trade and other areas of mutual interest.
The sides noted the constructive continuation of the negotiations on the agreement on cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan and expressed confidence that this agreement will give impetus to raising ties to a qualitatively new level and their comprehensive development.
In November 2016, the EU Council issued a mandate to 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.
The new agreement should replace the partnership and cooperation agreement of 1996, which would make it possible to take greater account of the common goals and challenges facing the EU and Azerbaijan today.
The agreement will comply with the principles approved in 2015 in the document of the European Neighborhood Policy and will offer an updated basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
The new agreement provides for the approximation of Azerbaijan's legislation and procedures to the most important international and trade norms and standards of the EU, which should lead to improved access of Azerbaijani products to the EU markets.
During the meeting Mammadyarov spoke about the process of the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and added that he will meet in Paris on May 15 with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The Minister highly appreciated the EU's position on supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
The meeting exchanged views on regional issues and issues on the international agenda.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.