Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Brussels, 19 July 2022

The eighteenth Cooperation Council meeting between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan was held in Brussels on 19 July 2022. The aim of the meeting was to review the overall state of EU-Azerbaijan relations and to discuss mutual interest for future cooperation.

Azerbaijan is an important partner of the European Union and a strategic energy partner, providing natural gas and oil to Europe, and hence contributing to EU’s efforts to diversify its energy resources. Energy was therefore an important topic in our discussions, building on the new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy that was signed yesterday between the EU and Azerbaijan.

The EU is interested in further enhancing the cooperation with Azerbaijan also with the conclusion of the new comprehensive EU-Azerbaijan agreement and of a Common Aviation Area Agreement. These agreements will bring benefit to all our citizens, both in the European Union and in Azerbaijan. The EU remains committed to successfully conclude the negotiations.

The Council also discussed the human rights situation, democracy and the rule of law. These are at the core of EU-Azerbaijan relations, as both sides jointly stated in the 2019 Partnership Priorities that have been extended until 2024. The EU emphasised the importance of an enabling environment for an active civil society as well as the respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law in line with international standards and commitments undertaken.

The EU reconfirmed its firm engagement in promoting a secure, stable and prosperous South Caucasus. The EU emphasised its commitment to support the sides in progressing towards a comprehensive peace settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Moreover, the EU stressed the importance to prepare populations for long-term sustainable peace with positive and constructive public rhetoric. The EU also highlighted its support to addressing the consequences of conflict, including by providing assistance to demining and other outstanding humanitarian issues.

The Council also exchanged on the cooperation within the Eastern Partnership framework, in particular in view of rolling out the Economic and Investment Plan which will deliver tangible benefits for the people of Azerbaijan and EU’s support to the country’s economic diversification, green and digital transition.

Finally, the Council exchanged views on major international developments relevant to the EU and Azerbaijan. The EU reiterated its strong condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Ahead of the Cooperation Council, on 15 July, the EU issued the Cooperation Implementation report for Azerbaijan on developments in Azerbaijan and EU-Azerbaijan relations since the previous Cooperation Council in December 2020.

The Cooperation Council was chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs J. Bayramov. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Josep Borrell, led the EU delegation. EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi participated in the meeting.

Source – EU Council