Germany's ruling party accuses Armenia of occupying Azerbaijani territories
A symposium titled 'Stability and Security in the South Caucasus: Prospects for the German-Azerbaijani Partnership', timed to the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy, was held in Berlin yesterday. The event was organized by the German-Azerbaijani Forum, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Germany and the German Atlantic Society with the support of SOCAR.
According to the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, one of the participants of the event, the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the Bundestag, Johann Wadephul, stressed that Azerbaijan is Germany's most important trading partner in the South Caucasus. "The level of German-Azerbaijani relations is high. We appreciate Azerbaijan as a reliable partner in matters of energy supply and energy diversification - that's already a lot, but, in my opinion, our relations can be further enhanced, beyond trade and energy. Speaking of bilateral economic relations between the EU (in this regard - Germany) and Azerbaijan, I want to note that their potential is far from being exhausted," he said in the first place.
"We warmly welcome the initiative of the Azerbaijani government to diversify the economy, particularly in the areas of agriculture, transport and tourism. In this context, it is also important that conditions for European companies' activities in Azerbaijan are improving. It is pleasant that European companies operating in Azerbaijan report improvements in the work of the customs authorities, the provision of public services and economic prospects in the republic in general. The elimination of monopolies, a successful fight against corruption and legal security will open up even greater prospects and new opportunities for economic cooperation between Europe and Azerbaijan," Johann Wadephul said, welcoming the recent positive trends in human rights protection and development of civil society in Azerbaijan.
At the same time, the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction drew attention to the need to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to ensure a stable future for both Azerbaijan and the entire South Caucasus as a whole. "This conflict continues to pose the greatest threat to the stability and security of the region. It concerns not only the region's population, but also European energy interests, which will only increase in the future. One thing is clear: the territory of Azerbaijan is illegally occupied by Armenia. The conflict can be settled through negotiations on the basis of compromises. As far as we, the Germans, have a clear position in the conflict under international law, it is just as important for us that compromises be found," the German politician stressed.
"We welcome the fact that the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia last September agreed to continue the negotiation process and take steps to reduce tensions on the front line. It is also important that both sides expressed the need to prepare their peoples for peace. It is a useful activity supporting the efforts to overcome serious differences and contradictions in solving the conflict," Johann Wadephul concluded.
The symposium was also attended by head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev, chairman of the German-Azerbaijani Forum Hanns Eberhard Schleyer, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Germany Ramin Hasanov, director for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Germany Michael Seibert, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Thomas Bareiß, spokesman of the Social Democratic Party bloc for Foreign Affairs in the Bundestag Nils Schmid, Publicist Richard Kessler and Honorary Consul of Azerbaijan in Stuttgart Otto Hauser.