Azerbaijan starts negotiations with EU on associative membership
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 30 / Trend I.Khalilova /
The Azerbaijani government's negotiations with the European Commission to conclude the association agreement will begin July 16, which is possible in connection with the provision of mandate to negotiate with the three South Caucasus countries by the EU Council May 10, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said today.
"The talks will be held in Baku and now we wait for the list of questions that will be included in the agenda of discussions at the initial stage of negotiations," Mammadguliyev said.
High-level delegation of the EU will arrive in Baku for the negotiation.
So far, Azerbaijan has been cooperating with the EU on the basis of a partnership agreement and cooperation.
Signing of such an agreement with Europe will become for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia means of establishing free trade and movement of people.
"It will raise cooperation with EU countries to a new level and will allow Azerbaijan to create a unified free trade zone with the European countries," Mammadguliyev said earlier.
According to the requirements of the European Union, the pretender country must be a member of the WTO for participation in the zone. Azerbaijan still has observer status in the organization.
The deepening of EU cooperation with countries interested in signing an agreement on free trade and visa simplification, which is part of the associative agreement will give an opportunity for free access to European markets.
Foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia participated in the annual session of the European Council for Cooperation with South Caucasus countries in Brussels September 30, 2009. A decision was made about a prospect of the association membership of the Caucasus countries into the EU. It is the most effective stimulus for conflict resolution and internal reforms in these countries.
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