12th meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council
''I am happy to see that Azerbaijan and the European Union move closer to each other. Our cooperation is bearing fruit and goes beyond energy. Energy sphere obviously remains an important feature of our relations: talks have been launched with the participation of Turkmenistan on the construction of the Trans Caspian pipeline, paving the path for the energy South Corridor. Our negotiations on the Association Agreement are also progressing in a satisfactory way even though we would like to accelerate the pace on certain issues. We hope to be able to start negotiations on Agreements on Visa Facilitation and Readmission at the beginning of next year. We understand the importance of those two agreements for the citizens of Azerbaijan and we will support the Polish and Danish EU Presidencies in their efforts to deliver on these agreements. This will enable us to boost people to people contacts, an important element of our cooperation", stated Commissioner Štefan Füle on 25 October 2011.
Fundamental freedoms are a key element of our relationship with Azerbaijan in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Therefore, today’s meeting as well as the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Subcommittee on Justice, Home Affairs and Human Rights taking place at a separate venue in Brussels today, served as platforms for exchange of information.
We reiterated our readiness to support Azerbaijan in its efforts to pursue reforms and we agreed to energise work on Partnership for Modernisation so that we can identify ways how to best assist Azerbaijan with its domestic reforms.
Last but not least. Let me congratulate Azerbaijan for winning the Eurovision song contest this year, which will allow Baku to host the contest in 2012. Let me also congratulate Azerbaijan for its election as a non permanent member of the UN Security Council. I think that both developments bring media attention to Azerbaijan, which am sure will boost Azerbaijan’s international image.''
The EU was represented by Mr Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, State Secretary for European Affairs of Poland, acting on behalf of the High Representative Ashton and Mr Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. The Azerbaijani delegation was led by Mr Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, acting as Chair of the Cooperation Council meeting.