Foreign Minister Baerbock is travelling to Armenia and Azerbaijan from 3 to 4 November. After decades of conflicts, the focus is on tangible prospects for peace, so that Armenians and Azerbaijanis can live in peace and security within their state borders.
Foreign Minister Baerbock issued the following statement prior to her departure:
Not two months ago, more than 100,000 children, women and men from Nagorno-Karabakh were so afraid that they saw no other option than to leave their home in search of safety. Armenia has done a tremendous amount to welcome the refugees. This is just the most recent chapter in the long tale of suffering endured by the people of the region, Armenians and Azerbaijanis. More than 30 years of conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh have left enormous wounds on both sides. Wounds that are incredibly deep – but that can one day heal.
Foreign Minister Baerbock will begin her visit on Friday in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, where she will meet with her counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan. Her itinerary there also includes visits to the EU’s civilian monitoring mission EUMA and a reception centre for people fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Baerbock will travel onwards to the Azerbaijani capital Baku and meet with her counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov. She will also hold talks with representatives of Azerbaijani civil society as well as the UN Resident Coordinator.
This is her first trip to Armenia and Azerbaijan as Foreign Minister, and her second to the Southern Caucasus following a visit to Georgia early this year. For Azerbaijan, meanwhile, it is the first visit by a German Foreign Minister in seven years.
Germany is working to help bring about lasting peace in the Southern Caucasus, as well as political and economic progress and close, positive relations with Europe.
Foreign Minister Baerbock:
With peace as the foundation – something that we in Germany and Europe are very fortunate to enjoy – it is also possible to achieve prosperity for all. The Southern Caucasus offers enormous opportunities to do so. We Europeans are ready and willing to assist the region on this path by offering tangible forms of support. The planned undersea communications cable that will cross the Black Sea as part of the EU’s Global Gateway will bring Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to one another and also to us. The European Investment Bank is prepared to cover almost half of the total costs of 45 million euro. Together with the countries of the Southern Caucasus, we want to work towards a region that can break free of the shadows of the past and shape the future for the good of its people.
Confidence-building and reconciliation in the region are absolutely crucial for this. Germany therefore supports a swift return to trilateral talks mediated by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.