11 Jul 2018 16:47

EU, Azerbaijan agree on partnership priorities

BAKU. July 11 (Interfax) - Azerbaijan and the European Union have signed a document on the priorities of bilateral partnership in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Commission said on its website.

The document was signed by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and President of the European Council Donald Tusk were present at the signature ceremony.

The document stipulates that the parties recognize territorial integrity, sovereignty, and inviolability of internationally recognized borders, the Azerbaijani presidential website said.

The EU would provide support to Azerbaijan in pursuing economic reforms aimed at the diversification of its economy, it said.

"The document also mentions Azerbaijan's contribution to the development of the East-West and North-South transport corridors and the implementation of energy projects. It attaches priority to the Southern Gas Corridor project and highlights the importance of its soonest possible completion for beginning deliveries of Azerbaijani gas to Europe," it said.

The document also includes clauses concerning dialogue on cancelling visas between Azerbaijan and the EU.

It was reported earlier that the Council of the EU on November 14, 2016 endorsed the issuance of a mandate to the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to hold negotiations on a new agreement with Azerbaijan, which should replace the cooperation and partnership agreement effective since 1999.

The negotiations on a new agreement began on February 7, 2017.

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger had said earlier Brussels and Baku expected to sign a new strategic partnership agreement in 2019.