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Encouraging Azerbaijan to look towards Europe

Azerbaijan is Germany’s most important trading partner in the Caucasus. The economic exchange will now be supported by a new German Chamber of Commerce Abroad. Minister of State Cornelia Pieper travelled to Baku for its opening ceremony.

On 12 November, Minister of State Pieper opened the new German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce in Baku. It is only the second institution of its kind that Germany is supporting in the region, one in Moscow having been opened previously. “There is an attractive symbolism to opening the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Baku in the year that sees the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Azerbaijan,” said Minister of State Pieper in her speech at the opening ceremony. The German Chamber of Commerce Abroad is to build bridges and serve as a catalyst by reaching out in both directions. It should help make even better use of the great existing economic potential.

Minister of State Pieper with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.

Minister of State Pieper with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.
© AA/Froehly

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Minister of State Pieper with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.

Minister of State Pieper with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.

Minister of State Pieper with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov.

Located at the intersection between Europe, Central Asia and Russia, the region still faces great geopolitical challenges.These challenges as well as current bilateral issues were the focus of Minister of State Pieper’s talks with President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. The Minister of State underlined that the dialogue between Germany and Azerbaijan on the political level was characterized by an atmosphere of trust, adding: “It is all the more essential that Azerbaijan hold fast to the fundamental decision it made many years ago to continue to look towards Europe.”

Dialogue with civil society

Her exchange with civil society representatives took place against this backdrop. Early Tuesday morning, Minister of State Pieper met with journalists and representatives from NGOs in the Germany Embassy. She spoke with Rasul Jafarov, famous for the campaign “Sing for Democracy”, an initiative in which human rights organizations used the Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku in May 2012 to demand improvements in the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. There was much international press coverage of the campaign. Minister of State Pieper also exchanged opinions with Khadija Ismayilova and Eynulla Fatullayev, journalists critical of the regime.


Last updated 14.11.2012