Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The next round of negotiations on a new strategic partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU is planned for the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2018, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency.
The foreign minister noted that the negotiations on the draft partnership agreement are held in a constructive manner and on the basis of mutual understanding.
There are no special obstacles in the process of preparing the document, Mammadyarov added.
“There are some differences in views regarding trade issues,” Mammadyarov noted. “Because Azerbaijan is not a member of the World Trade Organization, we also have some differences in views regarding tariffs and subsidies.”
He added that all elements of the agreement are equally important.
“We believe that this document will play an important role for the comprehensive development of relations between the EU and Azerbaijan,” he said. “The document envisages prospects of cooperation in the political, economic, trade, energy, transport and humanitarian spheres.”
The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan in November 2016.
The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.
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.