Germany, Berlin, July 13 / Trend O.Sattarov /
The European integration and the implementation of European legal standards into domestic law are the main area, in which it is particularly important cooperation between the Azerbaijani- German parliaments and sharing experiences could help here, Germany - South Caucasus Parliamentary Friendship Group member, MP Manfred Grund said.
"To date, there are a number of contacts between parties and parliaments of our countries. I intend to visit Azerbaijan within the parliamentary delegation in October-November to hold consultations with the Azerbaijani parliamentarians," Grund told Trend.
He said the foreign policy experts in the Bundestag will closely monitor the elections in Azerbaijan. OSCE, for sure, will send its observers - members of various European countries, including Germany, Grund said.
Assessing the chances of success of European integration of the three South Caucasus republics, Grund said that the European Union has made proposals to the region on integration within the European Neighborhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership Program. "EU is not able to promise these countries the prospect of membership in an organization now," Grund said. "It all depends on the countries themselves to what extent they will accept the European standards and implement them in their own, thus come closer to EU."
EU will support the South Caucasian countries in implementing these reforms, Grund said. A more extensive use of European standards will promote the political, social and economic development of countries in the region, regardless of whether they are EU members or not. Meanwhile, the South Caucasus countries will be able to create the preconditions for a possible entry into EU in the future, Grund noted.
Enlargement of EU, apparently will happen in the future other than in the recent past, he said.
"One will not speak about the prospects of joining the Union at the beginning of the reform process, but only when the criteria for membership are mostly made," Grund said.
Regarding the issue of unresolved conflicts in the region, Grund said Germany is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group and on this basis, the government supports the steps taken within this framework to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
"The European Parliament clearly supports the basic principles for resolving the conflict," Grund said. "Accordingly, the European Parliament demanded the withdrawal of Armenian forces in conjunction with other prerequisites."
One of these prerequisites, he said, is the replacement of the Armenian armed forces by the international peacekeeping contingent, which could ensure the safety of people in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Furthermore, under the Madrid principles, a mutual understanding should be achieved, at least on a temporary status of the Nagorno-Karabakh," Grund said. "This decision will be based on a compromise between the principle of territorial integrity and right to self-determination."
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