EU’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is of great importance – deputy FM
The recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by the European Union is of great importance for bilateral ties, said Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev.
He made the remarks at the 15th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in Baku on May 7, APA reports.
The deputy FM noted that cooperation with the EU is among Azerbaijan’s priorities.
According to Mammad-Guliyev, the existing mutually beneficial cooperation meets the interests of each side.
“The signing of an agreement on partnership and cooperation, facilitation of the visa regime, the adoption of a joint declaration on partnership in the field of mobility and other steps led to successful cooperation. At present, Azerbaijan is EU’s biggest trade partner is the South Caucasus,” the deputy minister said.
The agreement on mutual respect and common interests forms the strategic basis for partnership, said Mammad-Guliyev, underlining the importance of signing a new agreement.
He said that a strategic understanding in the field of energy was of great importance. “Azerbaijan demonstrated its position at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga,” the deputy minister added.
Mammad-Guliyev also spoke about the work done in 2016-2017 towards the signing of a new agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU on strategic partnership.
“It is about three directions. First, the main issue for Azerbaijan in the political sphere is reflection of mutual obligations in the agreement. This includes the recognition of internationally recognized borders. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is of great importance for Europe, as a whole for regional stability and development. EU’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is of great importance for bilateral ties,” he said.
The deputy minister went on to say that the parties have also reached an agreement on human rights and democracy issues.
According to the deputy minister, trade and investment issues are on the second place.
He noted that negotiations on these issues should be conducted in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“In the past, the EU has identified some flexible approaches which covered non-WTO members,” Mammad-Guliyev said, adding. “Sectoral issues – science, education and innovation, culture, youth, tourism – are on the third place. We have already reached an agreement on a number of issues, including energy cooperation. We have also agreed on the issue of civil society.”
The deputy minister said that it is possible to also achieve progress in issues related to economic development, expansion of trade, environment, rule of law and multiculturalism.
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