Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (2nd-R) meets with the visiting the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini (1st-L) in Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 29, 2016. (Xinhua/Tofik Babayev)
BAKU, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The European Union intends to extend dialogue and cooperation with Azerbaijan, said Christian Danielsson, Director General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission on Monday.
The director general made the remarks during his meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov here on Monday.
He said that the negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan strategic deal will be launched very soon, targeting to replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement,
"We are going to conduct effective negotiations. Our cooperation will be based on the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and will also cover new areas," he said.
"We cherish the hope that we can reach an agreement between the parties (EU and Azerbaijan) in the field of trade, which would facilitate trade and cover a range of sectors," Christian Danielsson emphasized.
The meeting also highlighted the current state of relations and prospects for cooperation between EU and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan's participation in the EU Eastern Partnership program and cooperation in various fields.
Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mammadyarov pointed out that Azerbaijan welcomes EU Board's endorsement of a mandate for launch of negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement and expressed confidence that this decision will have a positive impact on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.
On April 22, 1996, Baku and Brussels signed Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that became effective on June 22, 1999.
The deal created a framework for the political relations between the two sides, as well as for bilateral trade and social and scientific cooperation between Azerbaijan and the 28-nation bloc.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan's legislation and procedures with the EU' s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods' access to the EU markets.
The European Council in November 2016 adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.