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Azerbaijan Association Agreement

Since the beginning of the talks, Baku has mainly focused on the quality of this framework agreement with Europe and not on its speedy conclusion. But it has also led to uncertainty about the timing. European and Azerbaijani sources were waiting for the date on which the strategic partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the European Union would be concluded in early April and then in mid-May. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported that the parties were every hour on the eve of the conclusion of their discussions on the agreement, with more than 90 per cent of the issues in question having already been decided. Responding to a pertinent question, Federica Mogherini, the EU`s representative for foreign affairs, said: “Whenever there is strong political will, things become realistic, that is, inshallah, we could get there.” In any case, it is obvious that the document will be signed after the installation of the new European authorities. In order to formalise the framework for relations, the ongoing negotiations on the Partnership Agreement started in February 2017 and are progressing well. With the new agreement, which will replace the old 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Azerbaijan will bring certain legislation into line with EU standards and norms. This agreement is very similar to the agreements it has signed with the countries of the European Union`s Eastern Partnership Programme; It is assumed that the document covers political, economic, commercial, regional and energy security. Meanwhile, for the first time, the European Union is preparing an agreement with a country that is not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In other words, the parties must fill the void and find mechanisms until Azerbaijan joins the WTO and it is necessary to negotiate all issues related to trade and the economy. One of the reasons why Azerbaijan did not sign an association agreement with the European Union, apart from the fact that we believe it was not an agreement, it was a list of unilateral instructions for us, but the main reason was not that.

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