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On 7 February Azerbaijan commences visa-free regime talks with EU

Baku, Fineko/abc.az. Negotiations on improvement of Azerbaijan’s visa regime with the countries of Council of Europe are to start in Baku on 7 February.

Today in Baku EU ambassador to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia has said that if Azerbaijan has enough political will, then negotiations can be completed within 1/5 years, as well as with Georgia.

"Visa regime facilitation will simplify the procedure for obtaining visas and reduce administrative requirements for obtaining low-cost and long-term visas. Azerbaijan will also be able to use its territory as a transit country for third country nationals," he said.

According to Kobia, simplification of visa regime will not contribute to migration of Azerbaijanis to the EU countries as this process will be applied only towards legal migration.

"We believe that there will be no problems with the influx of Azerbaijanis into the EU, as the population of Azerbaijan is not such big, Azerbaijanis are happy in their own country," Kobia said.

Earlier Azerbaijan welcomed the proposal of European Commission’s president Jose Manuel Barroso to launch negotiations on visa regime facilitation.

Azerbaijan is still discussing the matter with the EU in different formats in the context of the general debate on political issues. However, the formal binding decisions will be made only following negotiations within the framework of the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative (EaP).

Azerbaijan provided for consideration of the EU additional information the latter requested and hoped to begin official dialogue on visa-free regime agreement before the end of 2010.

The Baku consultations of the EU and the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted on 17-18 June 2010 on issue of mobility did not allow to transfer to negotiations about visa-free regime agreement between the parties.

Previously John Kjaer, the director of the Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus & South Caucasus Department of the European Commission on Foreign Relations  claimed  about realization of the plans concerning mobility and simplification of visa regime by several stages, including assessment of the technical parameters of the visa system in Azerbaijan and promotion to its development with following visa regime simplification (reduction requirements and the time required to obtain visas) in order to reach an agreement on visa-free regime.

 

 


13.01.2012 13:05


   


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