BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign ministers have given the green light to draw up a new "comprehensive agreement" on closer ties with Azerbaijan.
Meeting in Brussels on November 14, the ministers adopted a mandate for the European Commission and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini to negotiate the deal.
The new agreement would replace the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that has regulated the political relationship between Brussels and the oil- and gas-rich country to date.
The deal will be less detailed than the Association Agreements the EU has signed with three other Eastern Partnership countries -- Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Fundamental rights, trade issues, and energy cooperation are likely to feature in the talks that are expected to last more than two years.
Armenia started negotiations with the EU on a new political agreement with the EU in December 2015.