By Aynur Karimova
European Council President Donald Tusk’s visit to Baku has been praised in Azerbaijan as a very important event both for the country and its relations with Europe.
Novruz Mammadov, the deputy head of Azerbaijani presidential administration and chief of the administration’s foreign relations department, told journalists on July 24 that this was one of Tusk’s first visits, and perhaps his first foreign visit outside the European Union.
"It once again demonstrates how the EU attaches great importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan," he said.
Mammadov also noted that Tusk openly said that Azerbaijan is a truly reliable and strategic partner for the EU.
“It is very important that during the talks there was an extensive exchange of views on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Mammadov said. “And the unacceptability of keeping the status quo was underscored, and the European Council’s president openly stated that the EU supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.”
“We have come a long way to get such a legal assessment,” said Mammadov. “This shows how great importance the European Council attaches to cooperation with Azerbaijan.”
Mammadov noted that initially, there was a certain agreement on the timing of this visit. "Indeed, Tusk was supposed to pay this visit during the European Games."
"The European Council President intended to take part in these Games, but the developments in Greece in June created a very serious situation," he said, adding that therefore an unexpected meeting of the European Council was called. “The situation was critical. Therefore, Tusk apologized and notified us that he won’t be able to come and cancels the visit."
Azerbaijani political analyst Fikret Sadikhov also positively assessed Tusk’s visit in terms of contributing to the bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.
He told Trend earlier that Tusk's visit was aimed at hearing Baku, discussing some key topical issues of regional security, and outlining the actions that would contribute to the improvement of relations with the EU.
“Judging by the results of the visit, Tusk was doing everything necessary to restore the warm bilateral partnership. But Azerbaijan has reiterated that it does not intend to sign any agreements on associated partnership, as they contain a lot of demands and unreasonable conditions that do not meet the interests of the country. But we will cooperate on the basis of partnership,” Sadikhov said.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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