Wien, 7. September 2005 Press release

Plassnik: “Azerbaijan and Austria – a dynamic European partnership“

07.09.2005

Foreign Minister meets for talks with Azerbaijani counterpart.

Vienna, 7 September 2005 - Today, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik met for talks with her Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. Important topics were bilateral relations, the cooperation within OSCE, the Council of Europe and the UN, the most recent efforts to find a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, the Action Plan for Azerbaijan, which is currently under negotiation within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and the assessment of the situation in the region.

"It is of great interest to Austria that the Action Plan should lead to progress and practical results as far as relations with Azerbaijan are concerned", said Plassnik. Closer cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan would have positive effects for all sides, not to mention the economic sector. The Foreign Minister described action plans as important instruments within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy to facilitate tailor-made solutions in cooperation with the partners in the larger European family. They will also play an important role during the Austrian Presidency.

Plassnik paid tribute to the efforts aimed at finding a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and encouraged her Azerbaijani counterpart to continue the dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments. Austria supported any peaceful solution that would be accepted by both parties to the conflict, said the Foreign Minister. "We will, of course, continue to make available our experience and knowledge in the field of conflict management", added Plassnik, stressing that Austria was always prepared to serve as a venue for talks.