By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan and the European Union (EU) are negotiating the aspects of a new agreement, which will form the legal basis for bilateral relations, Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said on February 26.
Abdullayeva said that on February 25, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov held a phone conversation with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell to discuss the agreement.
"They also talked about holding the next meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council. Moreover, the parties discussed the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor, which plays an important role in Europe’s energy supply, its future expansion, as well as transport and connectivity issues."
“During the conversation, the sides exchanged views on the current situation in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Minister Elmar Mammadyarov delivered to the attention of the EU High Representative the principled position of Azerbaijan on resolving the conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law and particularly, within internationally recognized borders on the basis of respect for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as stated by the President Ilham Aliyev at the Munich Security Conference. Minister expressed gratitude for the EU’s position on the settlement of the conflict and its support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," she stated.
The EU High Representative Josep Borrell briefed the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister on preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in June and stressed the necessity of giving a new impetus to the Eastern Partnership policy. The parties said they were looking forward to the upcoming meeting of ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries and the June summit.
Borrell expressed his gratitude to minister Mammadyarov for his participation in the International Donors’ conference held for Albania after the earthquake and for the contribution made by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has donated $1m for earthquake relief efforts in Albania.
The officials discussed bilateral and regional issues.
Earlier, Presidential Aide, Head of the Presidential Administration’s Foreign Policy Affairs Department Hikmet Hajiyev said that negotiations were underway between EU and Azerbaijan: “There are certain fundamental areas, on which we have a little bit different views, but both sides with constructive engagement are working together to narrow this gap. Almost 90 percent of the text of the agreement has been finalized. But there are energy issues, also trade issues. We are looking for more engagement from the EU side”.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell during his visit to Brussels on February 19, 2020 where they discussed the collaboration between Azerbaijan and the European Union and negotiations on a new agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU.
EU relations with Azerbaijan date back to 1991 and are based on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (signed in 1996, entering into force in 1999), which provides for a wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economy, legislation and culture. Since then, the European Union has gradually expanded the scope of its assistance to and cooperation with Azerbaijan.
Since 2004, Azerbaijan has been included (as a southern Caucasus country) in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and also in the Eastern Partnership initiative since its inauguration in 2009.
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