By Sara Israfilbayova
Azerbaijan and the European Union have discussed the next stage of Partnership Agreement negotiations as Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with newly appointed head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas on September 11.
The sides expressed satisfaction that the negotiations are carried out in an constructive manner and in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, Azertac reported.
Jankauskas said that he would spare no efforts to enhance partnership between Azerbaijan and European Union during his diplomatic mission.
The sides also exchanged views on energy, transport, civil aviation and humanitarian cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
Mammadyarov briefed Kestutis Jankauskas about the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that this conflict and Armenia's continued policy of occupation against Azerbaijan remains the main threat to the entire region.
Azerbaijan is currently part of the European Neighborhood Policy, Eastern Partnership and the Council of Europe, and is a large recipient of aid and infrastructure investment from the EU.
Formal relations with the EU began in 1996 when the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) were signed. This agreement entered into force in 1999.This agreement marked the beginning of a mainly positive relationship between Azerbaijan and the EU, with both sides benefitting from the relationship.
In February 2017 the EU and Azerbaijan launched negotiations on a new agreement that will replace the old one.
The EU is Azerbaijan's first trading partner representing 51 percent of Azerbaijan's total trade. The EU is Azerbaijan’s biggest export and import market.
The EU's exports to Azerbaijan consist primarily of machinery and transport equipment whereas EU imports from Azerbaijan cover mainly oil and gas (98 percent of total imports).
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