The first round of negotiations on an EU-Azerbaijan Common Aviation Area will be held in Baku on 24th and 25th January 2013. The European Commission officials from the Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility and the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as the representatives of the EU Member States will hold talks with the State Civil Aviation Administration and the representatives of other ministries, a press release of the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan says.
"The launch of the negotiations over the aviation agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan is a significant step in our bilateral relations not only in terms of strengthening the political ties but also with regard to economics, trade and people-to-people contacts. According to a prospective study, during the first five years following the agreement an additional 860,000 passengers would fly between the EU and Azerbaijan; economic benefits would be created as a result of the agreement. This is a concrete opportunity we should not miss. The EU has such agreements with several countries already, notably in the region, so I hope to see the same political will from Azerbaijan at the negotiation table, said Ambassador Roland Kobia, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The European Commission received a mandate from 27 EU Member States for negotiating the EU-Azerbaijan Common Aviation Area Agreement in October 2011. A visit of EU Vice-President Siim Kallas to Azerbaijan in November 2011 only reconfirmed EU's and Azerbaijan's commitment to enter into the negotiations. The EU has negotiated similar agreements with several neighbouring countries including the Western Balkan countries, Georgia, Moldova, Morocco, Jordan, Israel and is currently negotiating with Ukraine, Lebanon and Tunisia./Trend/