‘Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European Union, whose independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity fully supported by the EU,’ stated High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, while making remarks following the EU – Azerbaijan Cooperation Council meeting.
Mogherini’s statement on Azerbaijan can be considered unprecedented if one looks at the diplomatic lexicon used by her. The fact is that she used word ‘fully.’ Statements in support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan have repeatedly sounded since 2015 in the speeches of the President of the Council of the European Union, Donald Tusk, and Mogerini herself.
However, the word ‘fully’ was used in the official statement of the European Union for the first time. Mogherini’s statement became a logical continuation of a qualitatively new trend in the approach of the European Union to the problem of preserving the territorial integrity of the partner countries, and in particular Azerbaijan.
The start of this process was given at last year’s Brussels Summit of the Eastern Partnership, where, largely thanks to Azerbaijan’s intransigent position, support for the territorial integrity of all participants of the EU Eastern Partnership was stated in the Final Declaration. Mogherini, by her statement of February 9, defined this process with regard to supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
It is also noteworthy that Mogherini’s statement was made the day after the program speech of President Ilham Aliyev, delivered on February 8 at the congress of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party. Recall, it was at this congress that the leader of the party, Ilham Aliyev, was nominated as a candidate for the Presidency of Azerbaijan. In his keynote address, President Aliyev praised progress in relations with the European Union and stressed the clear position of all EU institutions on the issue of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.