Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Center Farid Shafiyev said that the Visegrad Group is a very important platform which is distinguished by its unique position in the EU. Recalling the seminar on the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership held by the Center for International Relations Analysis (AIR Center) last month jointly with UN Office in Baku, Farid Shafiyev added: “Azerbaijan's approach to its relations with the EU builds on expanding and deepening of the equitable cooperation. At the same time, Azerbaijan has no intention of becoming a member of the EU. At present, Azerbaijan and the EU are working on a new agreement and developing relations in various areas.”
Chairman also noted that there are specific priorities for cooperation with each of the Eastern Partnership countries.
Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic David Konecký took the floor and stated that the Visegrad Group is not an international organization. He added that last time the delegation had visited the region 4 years ago, and they have already visited Armenia and Georgia. David Konecký said that the main goal of the visit was to get acquainted with the challenges of the region and to study the priorities of the countries as well as to exchange ideas on the future of the Eastern Partnership Program.
Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary István Balogh noted that Azerbaijan is a country of strategic importance for the EU. According to him, the Eastern Partnership initiative had been announced 10 years ago and there was a strong consensus within the EU on continuation of this initiative. Political director of the Polish Foreign Ministry Kiril Kozacevsky called Azerbaijan one of the important members of the Eastern Partnership Program. According to him, financial allocations under the program are currently being discussed and the key priority is to demonstrate an equal approach. He added that among the important issues currently under discussion in the EU there are the communication and transport issues and Azerbaijan plays an important role in these areas.
Further, Director of General Foreign and Security Policy of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs Matúš Bušovsky noted that his country attached much significance to the relations with Azerbaijan both within the EU and in the context of bilateral cooperation, and the opening of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Azerbaijan today was an indicator of this.