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    Elmar Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan and EU will launch intensive negotiation in 2017

    'Currently, delegations for the negotiations are under the formation'

    Baku. 27 December. REPORT.AZ/ Azerbaijan and EU will launch intensive negatiation from the beginning of 2017. 

    Report informs, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told AZERTAC, commenting on the current status of cooperation and future prospects between Azerbaijan and European Union.

    "Legal basis of the relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union constitutes the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed on April 22, 1996 and entered into force on July 1, 1999. Within this agreement large-scale cooperation in the fields of political dialogue, human rights, trade, investment, economy, legislation, cultural and other spheres are envisaged. During the last 20 years since the signing of the agreement Azerbaijan has established close and fruitful cooperation with the EU in many areas of mutual interest. Energy dialogue is one of the main directions of cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union. On November 7, 2006 in the framework of the visit of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Brussels a “Memorandum of Understanding on the strategic partnership in energy field between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan” was signed. This document provided the favourable opportunities for further expansion of cooperation in energy field between Azerbaijan and the EU and made substantial contributions to strengthening of the strategic partnership between parties.

    There are ample prospects for the development of cooperation in energy security area as in all other fields between Azerbaijan and the EU. On 13 January, 2011, Joint Declaration on Southern Gas Corridor between Azerbaijan and the EU was signed as a result of implementation of Memorandum of Understanding. Azerbaijan will be able to provide Europe with 10 billion cubic meters gas after 2018, 25-30 billion cubic meters gas per year from 2030 by starting this important project which will transport natural gas to European markets. It means that Azerbaijan will contribute to the diversification of Europe's energy supply sources and energy security of Europe for the long term period. Therefore the result oriented actions for the development of the strategic partnership in energy field, which constitute the fundamental basis of Azerbaijan – EU sectoral cooperation was continued. The second meeting of Advisory Board on implementation of Southern Gas Corridor was held on February 29, in Baku. President Ilham Aliyev, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Maros Sefsovic, Vice-President for Energy Union, as well as ministers of energy of the countries participating in the project and other high-level officials attended this event. As an outcome of the meeting Joint Declaration reflecting support to the implementation of Southern Gas Corridor and expansion of the project in the Balkan region (Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector pipeline) was signed."

    "Azerbaijan is a part of Eastern Partnership initiative of the EU since since 2009. Azerbaijan enjoys close economic and trade relations with the EU. Azerbaijan also remains a main trade partner of the EU in the South Caucasus region and the EU member states are major trade partners of us. They are also among the major investors in Azerbaijan. The strategic partnership ties were established between Azerbaijan and the nine EU member states. Azerbaijan remains interested in the further development of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU. For that reason submitted to the EU a draft Agreement on strategic partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and European Union in the margins of Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, May 21-22, 2015. Council of European Union has already given a mandate to the EU Commission to launch negotiations with the Republic of Azerbaijan on strategic partnership agreement. We consider that this new document will provide a legal framework to raise the level of bilateral relations to the strategic partnership and ensure comprehensive development of cooperation with the EU. Currently, the delegations for the negotiations are under the formation. From the beginning of 2017 the intensive negotiation will be launched.

    In 2015 during his visit to Azerbaijan, Donald Tusk, the President of European Union reiterated EU’s position on supporting the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Azerbaijan. We highly appreciate public statement of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the support of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan in the joint press conference during her visit to our country in January. In a newly adopted Global Strategy European Union has also identified that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states, the inviolability of borders are key elements of the European security order. These principles apply to all states, both within and beyond the EU’s borders." 

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