German envoy: Status quo in Karabakh conflict unacceptable
The status quo in the Armenia-Azerbaijan NagornoKarabakh conflict is unacceptable, German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Michael Kindsgrab told reporters in Baku on October 4.
The status quo in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unacceptable, German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Michael Kindsgrab told reporters in Baku on October 4.
He was addressing a reception dedicated to the Day of German Unity.
Germany has always been a supporter of resolving the conflict peacefully, the ambassador noted, adding that Germany welcomes every step in this direction.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised this issue during her visit to Azerbaijan, and there were many discussions, he said.
Merkel noted that opportunities are being considered about how Germany can support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Kindsgrab noted, adding that a new format is not the case and Germany can support the existing one.
Kindsgrab further noted that the relations between Baku and Berlin are developing in the political, economic and cultural spheres.
Azerbaijan and Germany cooperate at the level of parliaments and governments, he said.
The ambassador went on to say that Germany supports the Southern Gas Corridor project, and noted that there is the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce.
Economic ties are growing, strengthening, and the German investments in Azerbaijan are growing, he added.
In addition, interest in the German language is growing in Azerbaijan, and the Goethe Cultural Center began operating not only in Baku, but also in the districts last year, the ambassador said.
Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, speaking at the event, noted that Baku is ready to strengthen and expand relations with Berlin in all spheres.
“Azerbaijani-German relations are developing in many directions. This is an indicator of trust between our countries. Baku and Berlin work closely together, both bilaterally and on international platforms. We can also see growth in bilateral trade. German companies participate in many projects in Azerbaijan. We hope that the meetings held between representatives of the two countries’ business circles during the visit [on August 25, 2018] of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to Azerbaijan will serve to further strengthening bilateral economic relations,” he said.
There are over 200 companies with German capital in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Germany exceeded $1.05 billion in January-August 2018, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. Exports of Azerbaijani products for the period to Germany exceeded $619.5 million.
Germany is the fourth biggest foreign trade partner of Azerbaijan.
The deputy minister also expressed hope that Europe and Germany will contribute to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan NagornoKarabakh conflict on the basis of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Until now, Armenia controls fifth part of Azerbaijan’s territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from NagornoKarabakh and surrounding regions.