July 17, 2017 17:17
Azerbaijan has signed strategic partnership documents with 11 EU members - Aliyev
BAKU/RIGA. July 17 (Interfax) - By signing bilateral strategic partnership documents with European Union member states, Azerbaijan demonstrates the strategic nature of its cooperation with Brussels, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
"The EU-Azerbaijan relationship is developing successfully. I made a successful visit to the European Commission at the start of this year [in February]. A day after the visit, work was begun on a new agreement between Azerbaijan and the European Commission," Aliyev said at a joint news briefing with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis in Riga on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Aliyev and Vejonis signed a strategic partnership declaration.
The declaration "provides a good foundation for a document to be signed between Azerbaijan and the EU," Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan has signed strategic partnership documents with 11 EU members, Aliyev said. "This truly reflects our strategic partnership," he said.
Azerbaijan's cooperation with the EU focuses primarily on energy matters, Aliyev said. He said he was sure that the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor will be completed in 2018 and the second in 2020. "Thus we will bring our relations with Europe to a higher level," he said.
Latvia plays a positive role in relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, Aliyev said. "We also feel Latvia's support in successful development of relations between Azerbaijan and NATO," he said.
It was reported earlier that the Council of the EU on November 14, 2016 endorsed the granting of a mandate to the European Commission and the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to conduct negotiations on a new agreement with Azerbaijan, which should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement.
Azerbaijan and the EU started negotiations on a new agreement on February 7, 2017. The parties expect to complete them before an Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for November 21, 2017 in Brussels.
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