Mammadguliyev made the remarks in Baku on Dec. 14 at the 39th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) member-states.
"If there is mutual understanding between us and compromises are reached, then I think that we will agree on the text of the agreement till March 2019,” he told reporters. “The main thing for us is to prepare and initial the agreement, and then ratify it."
The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan in November 2016.
The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.