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 Tuesday, February 7 2023 17:59
Marianna Mkrtchyan

German Foreign Minister calls on Azerbaijan to unblock Lachin  corridor

German Foreign Minister calls on Azerbaijan to unblock Lachin  corridor

ArmInfo.The situation in the South Caucasus was on the agenda of the talks between the heads of the foreign ministries of Armenia and Germany. German Foreign  Minister Annalena Charlotte Alma Baerbock stated on February 7 at a  joint press conference with RA Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

Emphasizing the importance of ensuring the territorial integrity and  inviolability of the border, the diplomat noted that the declaration  of independence by the two states in 1991 was an important event for  the region.

The minister stated that the 30-year-long conflict over  Nagorno-Karabakh caused numerous casualties.  "The wounds are deep.  We are not naive and we know that they will not heal soon. But steps  have been taken lately," Baerbock said.

At the same time, she recalled that since mid-December, the only  corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia has been closed. "In  Nagorno-Karabakh, there is a shortage of medicines and food, families  are separated, students cannot attend schools due to lack of heating,  there is no energy supply. It is important to immediately stop  blocking the Lachin corridor. Russia and Azerbaijan must fulfill  their obligations," Baerbock said.

The German Foreign Minister recalled that the EU had decided to send  a long-term monitoring mission to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and  the German representatives would take an active part in the work of  the mission.

"I want to emphasize - as a representative of the EU, we are neutral  observers. Peace can only be achieved through negotiations," Baerbock  said, welcoming the mediation efforts of the EU.

At the same time, she stated that the parties are asking the question  whether the peace agreement will be respected if it is signed,  whether the rights of minorities will be respected. In this vein, she  pointed out four important points on the path to peace.

"The first one is the search for bodies and their return to  relatives, the process is carried out by the ICRC.  The second point  is that the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is  not delimited and this provokes skirmishes. It will be very difficult  to achieve peace without clearly-defined boundary. Germany is ready  to assist in delimiting the border. The third point is demining,  Germany is already helping in this matter. "Fourth, how to help  countries build peace. Our involvement in the South Caucasus is based  on common European interests. If the environment around us is not  safe, we will not be safe. Lasting peace will create economic  benefits. We want to link the South Caucasus with Europe and improve  ties between the South Caucasus and Central Asia," the minister said.

Referring to the EU's energy engagement with Azerbaijan, the German  Minister noted that dependence on gas has taught them what it means  to be dependent. "This can have dangerous consequences. Now that we  have got rid of dependence on Russian gas, we are looking for new  partners and trying to make up for energy losses and eliminate the  crisis. Germany and other EU countries are looking for ways to  develop a recovering energy. But this does not mean that we are  ignoring human rights and the principles of the rule of law," the  head of the German Foreign Ministry summed up. 

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