Zovko: Best practices are to be considered and a dialogue of peace and reconciliation encouraged between the cultural and religious leaders in order to reduce tensions in conflict areas
Bruxelles, 16 May 2018 – MEP Željana Zovko’s amendments to the Report on the Recommendation to the European Council, European Commission and European External Action Service on negotiations about the comprehensive agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan have been adopted at today’s AFET session. As the standing EPP rapporteur for Azerbaijan, MEP Zovko was involved in preparation of the Report on the new comprehensive agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan, which will replace the 1999 agreement on partnership and cooperation between the European communities and their member-countries and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Zovko’s amendments stress the importance of Azerbaijan as an EU partner, particularly in energy cooperation. However, they point out that the EU interests in the region should be given priority in the comprehensive agreement and that the EU interests and values, such as protection of fundamental human rights, right to peaceful gathering, freedom of speech and thought and freedom of media should be advocated.
The amendments furthermore state that the political prisoners and prisoners of consciousness should be acquitted before conclusion of the new agreement, as announced by the Azerbaijan authorities. They call for protection of the most vulnerable communities in the country and progress in implementation of the measures of securing competitive and transparent elections and referendum.
The amendments also call for support to be provided to Azerbaijan for participation in missions and operations of joint security and defence policy of EU and for fighting terrorism, extremism and cybercrime.
When it comes to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Zovko believes that the best practices are to be considered, learnt in the recent conflicts in South-Eastern Europe and a dialogue of peace and reconciliation encouraged between the cultural and religious leaders in order to reduce tensions in conflict areas.