BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 5
It is a welcome step that EU revised its Neighborhood Policy by abandoning the “one-size fits all” approach, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
Mammadyarov made the remark in Stockholm at High-Level Ministerial Seminar on “A New Political vision for Eastern Partnership”, Trend reports on Nov. 5.
“The EU tried to add the concept of differentiation and tailored-made partnership, which should be based on the needs and aspirations of countries,” the minister added. “Their own choices. Not the choice of the EU. Now Azerbaijan expects EU to pursue multiple tracks of differentiation in order to realize its own distinguished and differentiated agenda with the EU. This is how we see the future process of EaP.”
“Each partner may have different development strategies and visions which are influenced by their resources for economic growth, geostrategic locations and regional challenges,” Mammadyarov said.
“For example, Azerbaijan is the biggest investor in the EU amongst EaP partners but it has never claimed the status of “front-runner” in EaP,” the minister said.
“Universal values that we cherish will definitely remain on our agenda,” Mammadyarov said. “A country can’t call itself democratic when it occupies 20 percent of territories of other country and more than 1 million people become refugees and IDPs.”
“EaP structured dialogue is a timely exercise,” the minister said. “But here, EU must better listen to partner countries if it wants EaP process to be attractive and alive.”
“Security cooperation will be likely a prominent dimension in our mutual dialogue with the EU,” Mammadyarov said. “Azerbaijan is a gateway for Europe to wider Caspian Sea and Central Asia for identifying and scaling up its efforts in addressing security challenges arising from hybrid threats, such as cybersecurity, the security of energy infrastructure, as well as preventing and countering radicalization, unresolved conflicts, violent extremism and terrorism.”