By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan and the European Union will sign an agreement on strategic partnership.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov presented the draft agreement to EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, the Foreign Ministry reported.
At the meeting in Riga during the summit of Eastern Partnership it was noted that Azerbaijan has strategic partnerships with a number of EU member states and this agreement will provide new opportunities for the development of these ties.
Mammadyarov also drew the European Commissioner's attention toward the negotiation process within the parameter of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stressing on the importance to express an unambiguous and clear position on the issue.
The draft agreement was also presented to Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini.
Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. This led to a brutal war in the early 1990s that resulted in the killing of over 20,000 Azerbaijanis. 4,866 people went missing and over 100,000 were wounded, while 50,000 were made disabled.
Long-standing efforts by U.S, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far. Armenia continues the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions, all calling for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal.
In 2013, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which confirmed that Armenian troops have indeed occupied Azerbaijani territories. It urged all parties to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and the L'Aquila statement of the mediating countries' leaders in 2009.
According to changes to the resolution, the European Parliament recalled its position that the occupation of territory of an Eastern Partnership member by another member state violates the fundamental principles and objectives of the EU program.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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