As you may know, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, my close friend Pavlo Klimkin is on an official visit to Azerbaijan.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Ukraine is of strategic nature. So far, eight visits have been realized between Azerbaijan and Ukraine at the level of Heads of State, to Azerbaijan and Ukraine respectively.
We had extensive discussions on the relations between Azerbaijan and Ukraine at the meetings held in one-on-one and broad formats. First, we exchanged views on bilateral political issues on the agenda. Touching upon the successful cooperation of Azerbaijan and Ukraine in the multilateral format, we reiterated the importance of supporting the principle of territorial integrity in the settlement of conflicts.
We also reviewed the current level of bilateral economic relations and discussed number of projects of mutual interest. At the same time, we had preliminary consent on holding the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Joint Commission in 2018. In particular, we emphasized the importance of evaluating existing cooperation opportunities in the field of transport. Azerbaijan and Ukraine can benefit from projects in the field of transportation.
Regarding cooperation in the humanitarian field, it is planned to hold the 75th anniversary of Muslim Magomayev, the world-famous singer of Azerbaijan in Ukraine and the opening of his statue in Kyiv in 2018.
We especially underlined the role played by various diaspora organizations operating in Ukraine in expanding people-to-people contacts between Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
In conclusion, I would like to note that the visit of Mr. Klimkin will not only reaffirm the high level of strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Ukraine, but will also contribute to the further advancement of the relations.
Question: Malahat Najafova, APA. My first question is for both Ministers. The 20th anniversary of GUAM will be held in the coming days. There are various opinions about the organization and its effectiveness. What do you think about the prospects of cooperation within the organization? The second question regarding Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is to Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov. What can you say about the exact visit date of the Co-chairs of the Minsk Group? Also, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia are expected to meet by the end of 2017. Are Ministerial meetings planned after meeting of Presidents? Would you please share your thoughts on the meeting of the Presidents and the preparation process?
Elmar Mammadyarov: I would like to start with the second question. Yes, the Minsk Group co-chairs will visit the region. They will visit Yerevan on October 6, 2017 and the next day they arrive to Baku. During the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, we agreed that we will report to the heads of state on the meeting. The main purpose of the co-chairs' visit to the region is to determine the issues which Presidents are interested to discuss during the possible meeting. The position raised by the co-chairs in New York is based on the timely progress of the negotiation process, on substantive and result-oriented negotiations. In this regard, meetings in New York were very important.
In connection with the 20th anniversary of the organization, I would like to say that the event will be held in Tbilisi on October 8, 2017. GUAM is an efficient and interesting institution for the discussion of various projects. From the geographical point of view, the transport corridor passes through GUAM member states. Discussions are held and decisions are made within the framework of the Ministries of Transport, Border Services, Railway bodies and other relevant structures. From a political point of view, GUAM member states suffer from the conflict. Therefore, GUAM has unanimous position regarding the principle of territorial integrity in the settlement of the conflict at the international organizations.
Question: Victoria Pirieva, CBC. Mr. Minister, would you share your views on the negotiation process on the new strategic partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the European Union.
Elmar Mammadyarov: Cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union is steadily growing up. We are currently negotiating second chapter of strategic partnership agreement, which we introduced, by the way, the first time in the history of the EU that any country introduces the draft document to Member States. We negotiate with the EU Commission chapter II, which is devoted to trade. Initially, there was an idea to finish it before November of this year, before Eastern Partnership-European Union Summit in Brussels. I hope this month a new round of negotiations is going to be very intensive and fruitful. There is also second document under consideration is Open Sky Agreement. I think we need one more round to finalize this negotiation and October meeting will be the final one. So, in two words, cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union is going quite well. Azerbaijan established strategic partnership level of cooperation with 10 members of the European Union. There are few countries with which we are almost finalizing and initializing the documents of strategic partnership. So logically, I do not see the problems in finalizing the draft document with the EU Commission.
Full video of the joint press conference can be obtained from the following link.