Johannes Hahn: Southern Gas Corridor is a strategic project for EU - INTERVIEW
Q. Negotiations on the new agreement are taking place between Azerbaijan and the EU. What do you think of the current level of the negotiations? Political discussions have already taken place. Are there any shared opinions or disagreements in this respect? When do you think these negotiations will be concluded?
A. Negotiations have been very constructive so far and allowed progress in many areas, though we should not underestimate the work that remains to be done. We are aiming at a swift conclusion but a good result is more important than a rapid one. For us it is important that we cover all the key areas of our cooperation, from economic and security matters to provisions on the respect of human rights, good governance and the rule of law, ensuring the agreement takes account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.
Q. The Eastern Partnership summit is to take place in Brussels in November. How are preparations for this summit going so far? What are the main priorities of the summit? Are there going to be discussions or decisions in respect of Azerbaijan? Do you think a new agreement will be signed?
A. The preparations of the Eastern Partnership summit are advancing very well and we expect to agree on very concrete measures for the coming years to advance on economic development, market opportunities, good governance, connectivity, energy efficiency, mobility and people to people contact. These are our common objectives agreed in Riga two years ago. We are also working with Azerbaijan on Partnership Priorities which cover a broad range of cooperation areas; on the new agreement, if we progress swiftly and without compromising on the ambitious content, we may have the negotiations finalized by the time of the summit.
Q. Azerbaijan initiated the Southern Gas Corridor project and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railways projects, which is important for the East-West initiative. How important are these energy and transportation projects for Europe? And what have they got to offer Europe?
A. The Southern Gas Corridor is a strategic project for the EU as it will allow us to improve our energy security by diversifying our sources of supply. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project's importance will very much depend on Azerbaijan's success in developing its position as a transport hub between East and West, which will depend on many factors, in this vein one can underline importance of WTO membership for the predictability and the international compatibility of the transport systems and regulations with the European ones and the ability of the business climate to attract foreign investors. Azerbaijan's efforts in fighting against corruption will certainly make a positive contribution towards an attractive business climate, as the respect for the rule of law is one of the determining factors in it.
Related news releases
- 17.02.2018Baku hosts event in support of Turkey’s Afrin op
- 16.02.2018Azerbaijani FM attends roundtable at Munich Security Conference
- 16.02.2018Azerbaijani MFA: Armenia's speaking of peace is a 'clear hypocrisy'
- 16.02.2018Baku reacts to Russian MFA spokesperson’s remarks
- 16.02.2018Azerbaijani FM to meet with OSCE chairman
- 16.02.2018Azerbaijan invites int’l observers to monitor upcoming presidential election – EU envoy
- 16.02.201854th Munich Security Conference to start today
- 15.02.2018Azerbaijani president: New agreement with EU to create a new co-op format
- 15.02.2018President Ilham Aliyev offers condolences to Donald Trump
- 15.02.2018Azerbaijani president meets with Italian deputy economic development minister
- 15.02.2018Azerbaijani FM to attend Munich Security Conference
- 15.02.2018Summit of Caspian states to take place in 2H18
- 14.02.2018Azerbaijani president sends congratulatory letter to Serbian counterpart
- 14.02.2018GUAM to send observation mission for upcoming presidential election in Azerbaijan
- 14.02.2018Another member of "Music for Peace" project off Azerbaijan’s ‘black list’
- 14.02.2018Azerbaijan excludes another Russian musician from “blacklist”
- 14.02.2018Ali Hasanov: Legal proceedings to be initiated against organizers, executors of anti-Azerbaijani campaign
- 14.02.2018Russian musician Vitaly Vatulya removed from Azerbaijan’s ‘blacklist’
- 14.02.2018FM: Co-op with EU does not affect Azerbaijan’s friendly ties with Russia
- 14.02.2018Council of Europe receives invitations from Azerbaijan to observe technical preparation meetings for presidential election
- 14.02.2018Azerbaijan one of most active members of PACE – CoE Baku Office
- 14.02.2018FM Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan, EU have some divergent views on issues of trade, tariffs and subsidies
- 14.02.2018FM: Azerbaijan attaches great importance to development of strategic partnership with Russia
- 14.02.2018President Ilham Aliyev receives British PM's trade envoy
- 14.02.2018Azerbaijan removes Argentinean musician from ‘blacklist’
- 14.02.2018President Ilham Aliyev receives US delegation
- 14.02.2018British PM's trade envoy arrives in Azerbaijan
- 13.02.2018Azerbaijan invites PACE to observe presidential election
- 13.02.2018Milan court acquits Luca Volontè accused of political corruption linked to Azerbaijan
- 13.02.2018CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly to observe presidential election in Azerbaijan
- 13.02.2018President Ilham Aliyev receives Formula 1 Group CEO
- 12.02.2018Azerbaijan sends invitation to ODIHR for observation of presidential election
- 12.02.2018Azerbaijani FM meets with delegation of Holy See
- 12.02.2018Azerbaijani president offers condolences to Russian counterpart
- 10.02.2018Azerbaijani president sends congratulatory letter to Iranian counterpart
- 10.02.2018President Ilham Aliyev receives delegation of Holy See - UPDATED
- 09.02.2018Azerbaijani Ambassador to Estonia met with Vice-Mayor of Tallinn
- 09.02.2018Azerbaijan, EU agree to create mechanism for dialogue on security and energy issues
- 09.02.2018EU’s Mogherini reiterates importance of respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights
- 09.02.2018Azerbaijan says 2017 proved to be productive for advancement of co-op with EU
- 16.06.2017Colombian FM in Azerbaijan for official visit
- 16.06.2017Azerbaijani President: Azerbaijan is ready to make efforts to expand the bilateral ties with the EU
- 16.06.2017EU says relations with Azerbaijan entered ‘a new stage’
- 15.06.2017President Ilham Aliyev receives IPU secretary general - UPDATED
- 14.06.2017Elmar Mammadyarov receives EU representatives
- 14.06.2017PACE co-rapporteur received at Ombudsman’s Office