The European Union and Azerbaijan will sign an agreement on visa regime simplification at the Eastern Summit in Vilnius in November. Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mamad-Guliyev told Trend News Agency on Monday that the next step can be the visa regime's complete abolition.
The simplified visa regime will be applied immediately after signing the agreement and its entry into the force, Mammadguliyev said.
"The signing will be followed by ratification procedures, including in the Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan and in the European Parliament. Additionally, it is necessary to sign bilateral agreements with the countries that are included into the Schengen area, but are not the EU members (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). Alongside with this, there is no need to sign separate agreements with the EU Member States," Mamad-Guliyev said.
According to the Deputy Minister, Azerbaijan and the EU have agreed on the categories of persons to be covered by this agreement.
"The agreement will cover quite an extensive list of individuals: first of all it is the citizens leaving the country for education and business. In principle, the document covers a wide range of citizens. If the agreement's implementation between Azerbaijan and the European Union is performed properly, it will be followed by the full liberalization of our visa relations, that is, the second phase will be the abolition of the visa regime," Mamad-Guliyev said.
The agreement on visa regime simplification for citizens of Azerbaijan implies the reduction of the list of documents to be submitted during the application for a visa, the possibility of issuing multiple-entry long-term visas, reducing the cost of visas for specific categories of people and setting deadlines for processing the visa applications.
The readmission agreement, in turn, will allow developing a mechanism of return to homeland for the persons residing in the territory of the EU and Azerbaijan without corresponding permission.
source: commonspace.eu with Trend News Agency
photo: The Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mamed-Guliev (photo courtesy of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs).