Baku, Azerbaijan, April 4
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
More than 90 percent of the text of the EU-Azerbaijan deal is already agreed, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said, Trend reports.
He made the remarks at a press conference following the meeting of the Azerbaijan-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels.
“Azerbaijan considers the partnership agreement with EU as one of the very important, basic documents, which are opening opportunities for various issues,” he said. “We can proudly say that more than 90 percent of the text is already agreed upon, the other 5 percent is almost agreed on. We are looking forward that we will finalize the whole document and initialize it probably the next month.”
“Of course, it is not one way,” he noted. “It is not only that Azerbaijan will be flexible. There are some pending issues in this document, and we need to get the flexibility from the EU as well."
In turn, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said that Azerbaijan is a very important partner for the EU, and its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity is fully supported by the EU.
“We are currently in an important phase of negotiations, because we are hopefully, in the final, crucial phase of negotiating our new ambitious bilateral agreement, which I am sure will increase and deepen our relations,” she noted. “It will benefit all our citizens both in the EU and Azerbaijan. We share the ambition to conclude the negotiations rapidly.”
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.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.
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.
Creation of a common aviation area is an initiative of the European Commission and aims to open and integrate aviation markets. This will lead to new opportunities for consumers and operators, and, most importantly, to high standards in terms of flight safety as well as air traffic management.
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