Posted on 17.04.2012 in Azerbaijan, News

Lithuania will support Azerbaijan’s rapprochement with EU

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis recently paid a working visit to Baku. The aim of the visit is to meet Azerbaijani leadership and ensure Lithuania’s support to Azerbaijan’s rapprochement with the EU through the Eastern partnership initiative, news agencies reported.

The EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative envisage specific measures for strengthening the EU’s relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, including free trade agreements and liberalisation of the visa regime.

The Lithuanian guest met with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov. During the meetings, Lithuanian foreign minister stressed Lithuania’s support to Azerbaijan’s aim to intensify the dialogue with the EU and congratulated the country’s leaders on launching visa facilitation and readmission negotiations with Brussels. He stressed that the development of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative will be among key priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2013. He urged the authorities of Azerbaijan to actively continue the negotiations on Association Agreement with the EU, which could be wrapped up during Lithuania’s Presidency. It was learnt from the meetings that bilateral relations between Lithuania and Azerbaijan have advanced with high level visits and intensive academic exchanges.Business forums are organised and enterprises take part in exhibitions in Azerbaijan to advance bilateral economic relations.

Lithuanian foreign minister said that Lithuanian enterprises successfully gained a strong foothold in the market of Azerbaijan but the potential of economic cooperation has not been exhausted yet. He outlined information technology, construction, ecology, tourism as sectors which offer opportunities for developing cooperation between the two countries. It was reported that the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania and Special Investigation Service (STT), in cooperation with corresponding Azerbaijani institutions, have successfully implemented the EU Twinning projects aimed to help Azerbaijan reach European standards.