TODAY.AZ / Politics

FM:Azerbaijan, Estonia enjoy great potential to deepen relations

12 June 2017 [16:35] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli  

Azerbaijan and Estonia have a great potential to deepen relations, especially in education and IT sectors.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser made the statement while addressing a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku on June 12.

“We believe we should work to expand cooperation in these areas,” he said. “I hope that Azerbaijan and the EU will sign an agreement on strategic cooperation. The content of the agreement is very important for us. It will also have a positive impact on Baku-Tallinn relations.”

All these issues will be vital not only during the Estonian presidency of the EU, but also within the European Union in general, according to him.

“We have an ambitious agenda for the time of the EU presidency, in particular on the withdrawal of Britain from the EU [Brexit]. All issues are important from the point of view of ensuring security in Europe,” Mikser said.

Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Estonia’s FM noted that there is no military solution to the conflict.

“Peaceful conflict resolution serves the interests of the involved parties. I believe that there is no other format but the OSCE, which will be able to make every effort to resolve the conflict.”

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Speaking at the event, Mammadyarov noted that he and Mikser discussed the Azerbaijan-EU cooperation adding that the next round of negotiations as part of the strategic partnership agreement will be held on June 13 and 14, he said.

He said that EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Baku on June 15 to take part in the negotiations on a new strategic partnership agreement.

 “We believe that we are on the right path to accelerate the process of negotiations with the EU, and we hope for success,” added the Azerbaijani FM.

Mammadyarov said that meetings with the Estonian minister were held in two formats – one-on-one and with participation of delegations, where the sides discussed a number of bilateral issues and exchanged views.

Azerbaijan and Estonia have been conducting an intensive dialogue since April, since holding the meeting of the Azerbaijan-Estonia intergovernmental commission, added Mammadyarov.

Currently about 10 Estonian companies are actively operating in Azerbaijan – in the spheres of construction and IT, according to the FM.

Mammadyarov also thanked his Estonian counterpart for the invitation to visit Tallinn.


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