Baku-Brussels Agreement: Contradictions Remain

Baku / 09/21/17 / Turan: New partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the European Union will not be signed before the end of this year. This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammadguliyev to the press today. He even found it difficult to say "at what stage" the draft agreement is at the present time.

The main thing in the first place is the "quality of the document," the diplomat noted.
"We are not in a hurry. The parties have their positions. We must agree on them. It
is a legal document. Let it be late, but a high-quality document. The document also discusses political questions. It reflects the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan," Mammadguliyev said.

He refuted the suggestions of several experts on the possibility of signing
agreement before the end of the year. "Before the end of this year, the agreement will not be signed. This is only possible in the event that we accept all that they (EU) say. But that would be wrong," Mammadguliyev said. According to him, there are differences in the positions of the parties on trade issues, security, investments, etc.

On September 29 in Brussels, there will be discussions between the EU and Azerbaijan on the draft of the new agreement. "The meeting will discuss various issues, except for trade and investment policy and security. Exchange of opinions will be held on new partnership priorities," the diplomat said.

In addition, the subcommittee of the EU and Azerbaijan for trade issues will meet in Brussels on September 27. And in the second half of October, the subcommittees
for security, human rights and democracy will hold meetings. The date of the next meeting of the subcommittee on energy has not yet been determined.

In November, the EU Eastern Partnership Summit will also take place. According to him, the Azerbaijani side will seek that the situation of the Riga summit two years ago is not repeated. Thus, the final document of that summit expressed a single position on three conflicts in the post-Soviet space, while in connection with the Karabakh conflict the position was different. "Now the EU has a new global strategy. It clearly states that territorial integrity and security of all partner countries must be supported," Mammadguliyev said.

In his opinion, within the framework of the summit an agreement can be signed between Azerbaijan and the EU in the field of aviation, if by this time it will be possible to finish work on the document.

Mammadguliyev also acknowledged the lack of progress in the negotiations on
Azerbaijan's accession to the WTO. -03B06--

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