EU’s Tusk discusses partnership agreement in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and President of the European Council Donald Tusk have discussed the ongoing negotiations over the new partnership agreement between the European Commission and Azerbaijan.
The two leaders came together in the capital city of Baku on July 9.
Cooperation with the European Union as well as the energy security of the continent, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been discussed in the talks.
Speaking at a joint press conference, President Aliyev stated the ties and cooperation with the commission are developing successfully, the state news agency Azertaj reported.
“It covers many areas and we managed to elevate our partnership to a new level," Aliyev was quoted as saying by Azertaj.
Tusk, for his part, has said the EU and Azerbaijan are getting closer to each other every year.
“In 2018 we adopted priorities for our partnership, and our negotiations on a Common Aviation Area Agreement, as well as on the new EU-Azerbaijan agreement, are close to completion. Our economies will profit from them, and our political, business and cultural relations will deepen," the EU leader said.
According to RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service, President Aliyev has said about the new agreement between the European Commission and Azerbaijan that, “a great deal of issues have already been settled” and that the sides are “discussing the remaining parts."
Respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms have reportedly been among the essential issues discussed during the bilateral talks with Aliyev.
“The EU believes that a truly open society is the best guarantee of long-term stability and a good life for all citizens,” Tusk was quoted as saying.
The EU leader also met activists in Azerbaijan. Mehman Aliyev, head of the Turan Information Agency spoke about the issue of media freedom, freedom of the courts, civil society, the human rights situation, as well as the ongoing pressure on lawyers during the meeting.
Tusk reportedly said the European Union is aware of the situation in Azerbaijan and that the bloc is trying to solve these problems.
Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, is also visiting Baku. On July 9, she met with human rights defenders, lawyers and former political prisoners in the capital city. Mijatovic promised she would raise these issues to the Azerbaijani government.
A year ago on July 11, 2018, the EU and Azerbaijan agreed on their new partnership priorities, which marked an important step forward in EU-Azerbaijan relations.
Azerbaijan is a strategic energy partner for the EU and plays a vital role in bringing Caspian energy resources to the EU market.
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