EU can simplify visa regime with Azerbaijan by November

Business Materials 6 March 2013 20:40 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 6 / Trend, A. Akhundov /

The European Union (EU) hopes to conclude the negotiations on visa regime facilitation and readmission with Azerbaijan in November this year, head of the EU representative office in the country Roland Kobia told media today.

"We hope to complete the negotiations on the eve of the summit, which will take place in November with the participation of presidents within the EU program "Eastern Partnership", Kobia said.

He added that the parties have accelerated the discussions. The next round of negotiations on visa regime facilitation between Azerbaijan and the European Union will be held in Brussels on March 11-12.

The agreement on the simplification of entry procedures for citizens of Azerbaijan provides a reduction of the list of documents submitted along with the application for a visa, the ability to issue multiple-entry visas with longer periods of validity, hence a reduction of the cost of visas for particular categories and the establishment of time limits for processing applications.

Relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are being managed by a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999. In 2009, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the EU Commission issued a mandate to start negotiations on the conclusion of bilateral association agreements of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia with the EU. These agreements will be a new practical instrument to replace the bilateral action plans.

The Eastern Partnership is aimed at the political and economic rapprochement of six post-Soviet states: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus with the EU. The program does not provide opportunities for EU membership, but involves facilitating visa applications, energy cooperation and the introduction of free trade zones.