Baku, 12 February 2017 – Newtimes.az
"Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s recent visit to Brussels in terms of cooperation with the European Union is of vital importance. The head of state visited Brussels at an official invitation of the European Union senior officials. As a matter of fact heads of state of other countries also visit Brussels frequently. However, President Ilham Aliyev’s visit is very different,'' said deputy head of the Azerbaijani presidential administration, chief of the administration's foreign relations department Novruz Mammadov.
Novruz Mammadov noted that Azerbaijan-EU cooperation started since the country’s gaining its independence. "This successful cooperation has a rich history. During the last years, Azerbaijan had a very close cooperation with EU’s various institutions, member countries. Azerbaijan signed and adopted documents on strategic partnership with nine member countries of the EU. This is an indicator itself of high level partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU,'' the deputy head of the Azerbaijani presidential administration said.
''Our cooperation with the EU almost covers all the areas. Our cooperation in politics, economy, defense and energy areas has a unique place. During the last years many significant projects in those areas were realized. We can mention the progress of cooperation especially in the transport,'' Mammadov added.
Novruz Mammadov said although sometimes in some issues there can be disagreements we can call Azerbaijan-EU cooperation exemplary. "This is due to the fact that President Ilham Aliyev makes Azerbaijan’s national and statehood interests as a priority in all the processes, and cooperation issues. That is why some time ago Azerbaijan denied association agreement proposed by the European Union. We did not agreed with that same agreement because it didn’t answer Azerbaijani national and state interests. Instead, we proposed a different format of Azerbaijan-EU cooperation. We proposed to the EU a draft Agreement on strategic partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and European Union. This proposal was analyzed with the EU and received a positive response. Council of the European Union already gave a mandate to Azerbaijan for starting the official negotiations on the given draft project with Azerbaijan. This was the reason of Azerbaijani President’s Brussels visit.''
Mammadov said the head of state had very fruitful meetings with the EU officials.
''There is a successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU. It is essential to continue this cooperation further. This was the objective of those meetings. At the same time, during those meetings Azerbaijan’s political issue was especially underlined. This was the issue of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Considering all these we can say that the visit was highly successful,'' said Novruz Mammadov.