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.