The flag of Azerbaijan. Photo: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

19 April 2019, 22:48

Opposition calls on EU to put forward tough conditions to Azerbaijani authorities

The preconditions for signing a new partnership agreement of Azerbaijan with the European Union (EU) should be the absence of political prisoners in the country and the respect for human rights, the opposition has stated. The agreement with the EU is ready by 90%, the head of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 16, 2018, the Committee for External Relations of the European Parliament adopted recommendations on negotiations on the EU-Azerbaijan agreement, according to which the new agreement should contribute to the fight against corruption and be aimed at progress on fundamental freedoms in the country. Experts said that the EU, when signing the agreement, should not ignore human rights topics in Azerbaijan.

The new agreement should not be below the EU's minimum standards, Gyultekin Gadjibeili, a former member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE, has stated. "We believe that the EU should not sign agreements with a country that has political prisoners, where there is no free media, and the freedom of assembly is prohibited," she said.

Prior to signing an agreement with the Azerbaijani authorities, "the EU should demand the release of political prisoners, the cessation of torture and the ensuring of the conditions for democratic elections," Djamil Gasanli, the head of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), has stated.

According to Togrul Djuvarly, a member of the Azerbaijani National Public Committee for European Integration (ANPCEI), it is beneficial for the authorities of the country to sign a new agreement with the EU in order to ease international criticism in connection with corruption scandals.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 19, 2019 at 05:57 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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