Today.Az » Politics » Baku, Brussels hope to finalize draft of partnership agreement by late 2017
15 June 2017 [11:11] - Today.Az
By Laman Ismayilova
A delegation led by Luc Devigne, the director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and OSCE at the European External Action Service (EEAS) is visiting Azerbaijan within next round of negotiations on Azerbaijan-European Union partnership agreement.
In Baku, the EU delegation was received by Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Azertac reported.
The sides expressed their satisfaction with the constructive and intensive pace of negotiations on the draft partnership agreement. They noted that at this round of negotiations main focus of discussion was political and trade issues.
They expressed their hope that as a result of the talks conducted in an atmosphere of mutual understanding the draft of partnership agreement will be finalized by the Summit Meeting of the European Union Eastern Partnership countries to be held at the end of this year.
The sides also exchanged views on the current status of relations and prospective development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU. It was noted that recently held Azerbaijan – EU Business Forum provided new opportunities for further development of mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment cooperation.
The sides expressed confidence that during the visit of Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations on June 16, fruitful discussions will be held on various aspects of Azerbaijan-EU cooperation with a particular focus on transport, trade, connectivity issues.
During the meeting, regional issues were also discussed. Touching upon the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Minister Mammadyarov stressed the importance of a unified approach by EU with respect to the resolution of protracted conflicts based on the principles of respecting to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states within internationally recognized borders, as it is enshrined in the Global Strategy of EU.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.
The Union has repeatedly voiced support to Azerbaijan in its reform efforts, and aims at increasing networking and contacts between companies that will increase trade and economic activity even further.
The EU has 28 Member States with a total population of more than 500 million people and is hence, after China and India, the most populous region in the world.