The Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Meclis) has decided to restore its relations with the European Parliament. The decision was taken on Friday during the first meeting of a new session of the Parliament.
"Azerbaijan wants to build a relationship with the European Union at the highest level. However, mutual interests must be respected,". This was stated by Samed Sayedov, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Milli Meclis when he presented the resolution for the consideration of the Parliament.
Sayedov said that an official delegation from the European Parliament had travelled to Azerbaijan recently and had frank discussions with the country's leadership and parliament.
Relations between Azerbaijan and the European Parliament reached breaking point last year when the European Parliament on 10 September 2015 adopted a critical resolution on Azerbaijan which triggered a sharp reaction in Azerbaijan
A year later a 15-person delegation of the European Parliament visited Azerbaijan to discuss the issue of repairing relations.
Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "the decision to restore parliamentary relations between Azerbaijan and the EU is very welcome.The European Parliament is one of the key institutions of the European Union and relations between the EU and Azerbaijan cannot develop if parliamentary relations are non existent. There was a feeling among many MEPs that the resolution of September 2015, whilst saying a lot of things that needed to be said, was clumsily drafted, and gave a very distorted picture of reality. There remain many issues in the bilateral agenda between Azerbaijan and the EU, and concerns about different aspects of Azerbaijan's record on governance and human rights. But with restored parliamentary dialogue it is hoped that these issues can be addressed in an open and frank, but respectful dialogue. There will be those in Azerbaijan, especially among the opposition forces who do not agree with this approach, but they are wrong. What is needed is not less dialogue between Azerbaijan and the EU, but a much more intensified dialogue during which all issues need to be discussed frankly"
The meeting in Krakow between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan did not lead to a breakthrough, and none was expected. But there appears to be a change of gear in the negotiations, says Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday Commentary