Daily Archives: December 1, 2017

Fuad Isgandarov: There are many positive messages for Azerbaijan in Eastern Partnership Summit Joint Declaration

Brussels, December 1, AZERTAC

EurActiv news portal has interviewed the Eastern Partnership member states’ ambassadors accredited in Brussels, including Azerbaijan`s Fuad Isgandarov who highlighted results of the European Union Eastern Partnership Summit held in Brussels last week.

AZERTAC presents the interview:

Was it a good summit?

– I am here in this town for five years and participated in three of Eastern Partnership Summits. From my experience I can say it was a best summit I have ever seen and participated. It was very constructive, future oriented, based on “real politics”, united the people, united the countries, brought them closer to each other.

What is the most important message for Azerbaijan from the Eastern Partnership summit Joint Declaration?

-There are many positive elements for Azerbaijan in Joint Declaration. Let’s start from the very obvious one. It is position of the EU countries in case of supporting independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all EP countries. In case of conflict resolution, it wasn’t any dividing approach that one problem should be solved in one case, another in other one. No, in case of conflict resolution, position of the EU and neighborhood countries was absolutely clear: they have general approach, based on the norms and principles of the international law, based on sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. It is crucially important for four out of six countries. Four countries unfortunately have been involved in conflicts, and we know the main reasons, but if we go to the details it will be disaster. Because in this case EU could become the battlefield for confrontation. But the position of EU countries and its EP partners were absolutely unified. We have general approach, and based on it, used this platform of Eastern Partnership for more development, more independence, and more sovereignty.

For Azerbaijan territorial integrity relates to Nagorno Karabakh, for Ukraine it’s Crimea and Donbass, for Moldova it’s Transnistria, and for Georgia it’s Abkhazia and South Osetia. Do you think the summit message was clear?

-Definitely yes. Because, you can call these conflicts by other names, one is going in one country, another in other one, but we see them as infection. You have it now in neighbourhood, but tomorrow it could be in your own house. We see the processes, which are going in the region, which are going even inside of EU and it’s the very serious threat to the European security and its internal and foreign policy. I am very happy it is appropriately reflected in Global Strategy of EU on the foreign and security policy. It was also mentioned in Joint Declaration. That is the main core of Joint Declaration. That is the position of EU based on Global Strategy. We need to protect our unity from such kind of artificial moves led by other players in such kind of conflicts.

What else would you like to highlight from the summit’s Joint Declaration?

– Joint Declaration and generally all the statements, which have been made by head of delegation, were much wider than just sovereignty, independence, etc. So many things have been highlighted. First of all, connectivity. Connectivity between countries, connectivity between people and transportation routes. Our Southern Gas Corridor was specially highlighted there. Negotiations on the Azerbaijan-EU new agreement was specially mentioned there. An ongoing EU-Azerbaijan negotiation on Free Aviation Agreement is also mentioned in document. It was specially highlighted that Azerbaijan should be ready for launching visa liberalization agreement. It’s also a new approach. We also had an Annex, called 2020 deliverables. It’s absolutely pragmatic approach, future oriented, with strategic content. Azerbaijajani FM Elmar Mammadyarov and Madam Mogherini signed very serious and important document on TEN-T, expansion of transportation routes, connecting Europe and Asia on the territory of Azerbaijan. It creates absolutely new opportunities for us, after the launch of the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. After the launch of such transportation hub Azerbaijan, together with our neighbours, is becoming the main hub between the Europe and Asia. This document is crucially important for us. So, if you ask me generally, this is mostly about future, real policy, pragmatic, future oriented and tailor made Joint Declaration.

What is the next on your EU agenda?

-Of course, continuation of our negotiations on new agreement between Azerbaijan and EU. It started immediately after the summit, on Monday. We had a new round of political and security elements of new agreement. This process will continue. I hope we will synchronize this process with implementation of all our projects and both of them, in parallel, will give us exceptional opportunity, to have something, which we have never had before. Dialogue in all segments of the political sphere, including in human rights, democracy, culture, education, multiculturalism should be based on strong economic and commercial cooperation. The creation of the Southern Gas Corridor transport hub is the target we want to reach.

This is what we would like to have. In this case the Azerbaijan-EU relations will not be a new headache and problematic issue for the EU neighbourhood policy but a new achievement because the EU can engage the new countries, neighbours of neighbours and, in this particular case, Azerbaijan, with its very serious neighbourhood, you know in which part of the world we are located, will be one the best and most predictable partners of European Union.

Parvana Garayeva

Special Correspondent

AZERTAG.AZ :Fuad Isgandarov: There are many positive messages for Azerbaijan in Eastern Partnership Summit Joint Declaration

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Fire burns east China logistics park

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC 

A fire broke out Friday in a logistics park in east China’s Shandong Province and lasted for at least six hours. No casualties have been reported, Xinhua reports.

The fire started at about 4:25 p.m. in a rubber warehouse at Huajun Logistics Park in Jimo District, Qingdao City, according to the local government. People were promptly evacuated as the fire spread.

The flames were still seen as of 10:15 p.m.

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32 finalists learn group pairings as 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw ends in Kremlin

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC 

The 32 teams, which qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, have just discovered who they will face during the group stage of the tournament to be held in Russia next summer, according to TASS.

Team Russia was drawn to Group A as the hosts of the tournament. It will face Saudi Arabia in the World Cup’s opening match at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on June 14.

Groups defined for 2018 FIFA World Cup teams are the following:

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan.

AZERTAG.AZ :32 finalists learn group pairings as 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw ends in Kremlin

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Ambassador Tersman: Sweden and Azerbaijan enjoy good relations

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC 

Sweden`s ambassador in Baku Ingrid Tersman has hailed her country`s relations with Azerbaijan.

In an exclusive interview with AZERTAC`s correspondent, the ambassador said the two countries enjoy good relations.

“We have had an embassy here since 2014 which is strengthening the bilateral relations on our part. We have regular exchange at the ministerial level. We have had annual business delegations coming from Sweden to Baku. There was one just two weeks ago in energy and transport, which was led by one of our state secretaries. In addition to political dialogue, the possible business ties, the companies that are already here, I think, we have possibilities to further strengthen our relationship.”

The ambassador noted the necessity of boosting the bilateral trade. “Azerbaijan is of course a market in which Swedish companies have an interest.” “ICT is of course an area where Sweden is very good, and I know that Azerbaijan would like to diversify its economy. We have expertise, we are happy to share that.”

Ambassador Tersman pointed out energy and transport issues. “Azerbaijan is on the crossroads between Europe and Central Asia and Caucasus and Turkey.” “Such companies in Sweden that are working in the wider transport area have an interest in that. We have also companies that can provide advanced solutions to complex challenges also in the energy sector.”

She hailed the inauguration of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, describing it as “another step in the pattern of connectivity that we are seeing in the Caucasus and also, of course, in Central Asia”. The ambassador said the project will strengthen the links between Azerbaijan and Europe.

Ambassador Tersman also spoke of the Southern Gas Corridor and TAP projects, which she said “are strongly supported by the European Union that seeks a stronger relationship with Azerbaijan in the energy issues”. “Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European Union in the energy sector. It`s another issue of connectivity, where Azerbaijan becomes a stronger partner, a stronger country in the region and also a stronger partner for Europe.”

On cooperation in educational sector, she highlighted scholarships offered by Swedish universities. “Students that are interested can look at the embassy`s website or the embassy`s Facebook page – “Swedish embassy in Baku”. Regularly we post the scholarships that are open for application. We have a program called the Visby Programme Scholarships for master’s and PhD levels in different universities. So now is the application period. For those who want to search for scholarships we also have an institute called the Swedish Institute. On their web page the applicants can search for the way that various universities offer scholarship. The webpage is www.si.se.”

Ambassador Tersman also commended Azerbaijan for its efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism.

“Azerbaijan is very well known for the way that it works on interfaith dialogue and the issues of multiculturalism which is in a sense a trademark for Azerbaijan.” “We want to come here to share the way we work on the issues of interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism in Sweden and also establish the contacts for possible further cooperation,” the Swedish ambassador said.

She also commented on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: “Our stand has long been that, of course, there is no military solution possible. It has to be solved by the political means. Sweden was one of those countries that were founding fathers of the OSCE Minsk Group in the mid-1990s. We have been a member of the group and still are. This is the negotiation format that exists and we support that. I am glad to see that there have been renewed contacts over the last few weeks leading up to the OSCE ministerial meeting. I trust and I hope that all parts involved will be able to take progressive steps towards the settlement,” ambassador Tersman added.

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