Posted on 21.09.2011 in Azerbaijan, News

EU Proposes talks on visa facilitation with Azerbaijan

According to the press release issued on September 18, the European Commission proposes to open negotiations on agreements to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas as well as on the readmission of irregular migrants between the European Union and Azerbaijan.

Baku, photo by David Davidson
Baku, photo by David Davidson

The agreements, which can only enter into force simultaneously will be based on the principle of reciprocity. The list of visa facilitations proposed for the citizens of Azerbaijan include reducing the number of documents submitted alongside visa application and reducing or waiving fees for certain categories of travellers, the possibility of issuing multiple-entry visas with a long period of validity and set deadlines for processing visa applications. Exemption from the visa obligation for holders of diplomatic passports is also possible.

“The human dimension of the Eastern Partnership is one of its most important ones. Fostering mobility and people-to-people contacts through visa facilitation is fundamental in order to promote social and economic development and mutual understanding between the people. The proposals to open negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Azerbaijan are an important step in this direction.” said Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy.

According to Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev, however, the European Commission had not yet provided a mandate for visa negotiations. “The question is being considered, but there are neither concrete decisions nor terms,”  Mammadguliyev said.

Source: CESD, ENPI