Malena Mard: work on an agreement on strategic partnership continues
The work on the draft agreement on strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and the European Union continues, said in an interview with reporters the head of the EU representation in Baku Malena Mard. The strategic partnership is a lengthy process and consultations are ongoing, she added. "There is a need for a broad discussion on this topic. There is legal basic partnership since 1996. However, Azerbaijan and the EU understand that today our relations are different from the level of the 1990s. The EU is the largest and good trading partner of Azerbaijan.
In our country there is extensive cooperation, including agriculture and tourism. Agreements on visa facilitation and readmission have been signed. Both sides are interested in developing a legal framework, which will open new opportunities for cooperation," said Mard.
Asking the question about the number of people returned to Azerbaijan in the framework of readmission agreements, she said she did not have precise figures. "However, in this question Azerbaijan is not a disturbing country for us. We want to have a lot of mutual tourist trips. In reality, for this is a good opportunity, because simplification of the visa process helps it," said Mard. Azerbaijan rejected the Association Agreement proposed by the EU for the eastern partners, and preferred to conclude a specific agreement on strategic partnership.
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