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Azerbaijan, EU To Discuss New Partnership Agreement

BAKU -- Officials from Azerbaijan and the European Union will discuss a draft of the new Baku-EU partnership agreement on September 29, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadquliyev has told reporters in Baku.

Talks on the partnership will also be held in October and possibly in November, he said on September 21, adding that the new agreement would include "such issues as Azerbaijan's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and border security."

Mammadquliyev said he did not believe the new Azerbaijani-EU partnership agreement will be signed by the end of 2017 as there are differences in many aspects of the document.

The EU's Eastern Partnership Program, launched in 2009, covers six former Soviet republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine have taken a step beyond partnership agreements and signed Association Agreements with the EU.

But Azerbaijani officials scrapped a similar agreement with the EU in 2016, saying they preferred to cooperate separately with the EU and its member states.

In July 2016, the existing EU-Azerbaijani partnership agreement was adopted. The talks on a new agreement started in February.

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