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Azerbaijan: Remarks by High Representative Federica Mogherini on her visit to the country

March 1, 2016

During her visit to Azerbaijan on 29 February 2016, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with the country’s President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. She also attended the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory meeting and met with representatives of civil society. While in Baku, Mogherini announced the start of the EU-Azerbaijan discussion towards signing new bilateral agreement, highlighting that Eastern Partnership remains the policy framework for relationship between the two.

 

At the press conference held jointly with the Foreign Minister, Mogherini praised the open discussion with the country’s leadership, highlighting that EU and Azerbaijan consider upgrading their relations through new bilateral agreement. “I can announce that consultations for such an agreement have started with a view to the upcoming discussions with the EU Member States on a mandate for such agreement,” said Mogherini.

 

Acknowledging Azerbaijan’s key role in the region from both a security as well as cultural perspective, Mogherini noted that the country also has potential to become one of the EU's major commercial partners in the region. The European Union is already Azerbaijan's main trading partner and one of the most important investors, she added.

 

“In particular, Azerbaijan is a strategic partner with regard to European energy security. The Southern Gas Corridor plays a key role in the EU's strategy to diversify our energy supply sources and transportation routes; Azerbaijan is crucial for the development of this project”, stated the High Representative.

 

She also added that the European Union attaches high importance to the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression and association. “In our discussion today, I invited the authorities to establish a new relationship of trust between the government and civil society at large, and in this context I also referred to a number of individuals presently in jail,” said Mogherini.

 

Mogherini ended her speech by inviting the country’s Foreign Minister to Brussels. As recently reported by the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre, the EU High Representative is on her tour of the Eastern Partnership countries that started at the end of last year with visits to Ukraine and Georgia. On 1 March 2016, she is to visit Armenia. (EU Neighbourhood Info)

  

Read more

 

Remarks by the High Representative in Azerbaijan

 

Link to the video on the visit

 

Remarks by the High Representative at the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Meeting

 

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre page on Azerbaijan

 

EU-Azerbaijan relations

 

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