New Hopes for Next Round of Visa talks?

New Hopes for Next Round of Visa talks?

“The third round of visa talks between Azerbaijan and the European Union will be taken place in Baku on November, 6-7”; CESD sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The visa facilitation and readmission negotiations follow the political commitment taken at the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit in May 2009 regarding the improvement of people-to-people contacts.

The Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements Negotiations were conducted between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by Elzamin Asgarov, Head of Human Rights,  Democratization and Humanitarian Issues Department and chief negotiator and Parviz Musayev, deputy chief of the State Migration Service and the EU mission co-chaired by Rob Rozenburg, Deputy Head of International Affairs Unit and Diederik Paalman, Deputy Head of Visa Policy Unit (both from EU Commission Directorate for Home Affairs).

According to the EC statement, the Visa Facilitation agreement is aimed at the facilitation of personal interaction between the EU and Azerbaijan’s people. The two agreements discussed include reduced visa fees for all citizens; issuance of visas for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days, fee waivers for certain categories of people; a maximum processing time of 10 calendar days; simplified supporting document requirements; wider issuance of multiple-entry visas for certain categories; and enhanced mobility in a secured and well-managed environment. The Readmission Agreement will stipulate mechanisms for the return of nationals staying without authorization on the territories of the EU or Azerbaijan.

Experts do not expect concrete results for the third round of visa negotiations between EU and Azerbaijan.

Relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are being carried out under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999.

It should be reminded here the EU Ministerial Council issued a mandate for holding negotiations on visa facilitation with Azerbaijan on December last week. Visa facilitation considers not canceling this regime as a whole, but decreasing the visa fees, reducing the number of documents required of decreasing the visa fees, as well as easing visa issue for persons of some categories.

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