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Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan Discusses Nagorno-Karabakh with Angela Merkel In Berlin

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Armenia’s President visits Berlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Merkel calls for a solution for Nagorno-Karabakh

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a peaceful solution to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire are of the “utmost urgency”, Angela Merkel said during the visit of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. They also discussed Armenia’s economic situation.

Recent developments in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh are “very worrying” said Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin during the visit of Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan. Germany is endeavouring to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Chancellor pointed to Germany’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In its capacity as a member of the OSCE’s Minsk Group, Germany is supporting the Co-Chairs (France, the USA and Russia) in their efforts to achieve a negotiated solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Angela Merkel announced that Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier would be playing a constructive part. Efforts to achieve an “acceptable and lasting ceasefire” are of “utmost urgency” stressed the Chancellor.

 

Efforts to achieve a peaceful solution have been ongoing for years

When Germany assumed the Chairmanship of the OSCE in January this year, the Federal Foreign Minister presented the detailed programme of the 57 participating states for this period in Vienna. Part of the programme is to support the OSCE’s existing negotiating format for the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (known as the Minsk process).

The current Co-Chairs of what is known as the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been endeavouring for years to bring about a peaceful and consensual solution to the conflict in talks with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Angela Merkel said that it is of utmost importance that conflicts be resolved. A country with Armenia’s geographical location in particular would find it significantly easier to push ahead with development if it had better relations with its neighbouring states, she said. Germany would like to provide “constructive assistance” in order to resolve conflicts. She realises, however, “that a conflict that has been ongoing for 23 years cannot be resolved by one visit or by relaunching efforts to achieve a solution,” said Angela Merkel.

Many lives have been lost on both sides in fighting between troops from Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who spoke by telephone last Saturday with the ministers of foreign affairs of the two parties to the conflict, called for a de-escalation and an immediate end to the fighting. On Tuesday Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a cessation of hostilities.

Armenia joins the Eurasian Economic Union

During the Armenian President’s visit to Berlin, the country’s economic situation and international politics were also discussed. Angela Merkel said the President had underlined the fact that the Iranian nuclear agreement was an important step in the view of Armenia. She commented on Armenia’s decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union. Germany, she said, respects Armenia’s decision. “We do not want an either-or situation.” What she sees as important is to have good relations within the European Union and between the European Union and Armenia.

The Eurasian Economic Union is a single market and customs union that brings together five states in north-eastern Eurasia.

Germany has followed the political reform process in Armenia with interest, and has provided support. It is a question of making economic and political processes more transparent, reported the Chancellor. This is a correct step in an important direction, she added.

They also discussed Armenia’s relations with Turkey. In view of the ongoing conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, it is not an auspicious moment for new initiatives, said Angela Merkel. Finally, she underlined the fact that Germany would like to be a reliable partner for Armenia.

When Armenia became independent in 1991 the Federal Republic of Germany was one of the first countries to officially recognise the fledgling state. Diplomatic relations were established on 31 January 1992.

{Source: Government of the Federal Republic of Germany}

[photo credits-featured image:  Presidential palace, NKR, Stepanakert – By Govorkov – https://www.flickr.com/photos/81399520@N00/22384715260/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44599716]

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