Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.23
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Germany is looking forward to the results of the upcoming meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Paris in late October, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a briefing in Baku on Oct.23.
The minister said he held meetings with the leaders and representatives of Azerbaijan's civil society and discussed the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Germany is extremely concerned about the tension on the contact line of the armies and closely watches the situation, wishing the speedy settlement of the conflict," Steinmeier added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries 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 districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Steinmeier said that Azerbaijan holds an important place in Germany's foreign policy concept, as it also ensures Europe's energy independence.
"The purpose of my visit to Azerbaijan is to promote the development of bilateral relations," Steinmeier added.
German foreign minister said that today the trade relations between the two countries are at a high level, adding that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Germany was near $3 billion in 2013.
"We welcome Azerbaijan's mission as a chairing country of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and have special expectations from Azerbaijan within this mission," Steinmeier said.
Edited by SI