https://www.turan.az-Baku/10.02.21/Turan: The recent hostilities in Karabakh became an important reason that Germany was involved in the conflict, as it is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group.
During the war in September-October, Germany called on both sides to resolve the conflict on the basis of international principles – territorial integrity and the right to self-determination. The German Ambassador to Azerbaijan,Wolfgang Maning, stated this in an interview with the Turan news agency.
The diplomat emphasized: “Germany is against the solution of political conflicts by force. Therefore, we condemned the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by force in the early 90s, calling on both sides to negotiate and to find a peaceful solution,”the Ambassador said.
The diplomat also recalled Berlin’s calls for the parties to observe the humanitarian truce in accordance with international humanitarian law. These provisions are reflected in the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, providing for the solution of humanitarian issues in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“In this regard, we welcome the agreements reached in November 2020, which can help to resolve these issues and lay the foundation for reconciliation of the parties to the conflict,” the diplomat said.
Do the German authorities have any specific proposals or ideas that could help to achieve a settlement or reconciliation of the parties?
Answering this question, the Ambassador said that initially the CSCE, and then the OSCE, or rather the OSCE Minsk Group, dealt with the settlement issues. The Minsk Group co-chairs have tried for many years to achieve a breakthrough in the settlement, but have not achieved success.
“Nevertheless, we believe that it is necessary to resume the efforts of the Minsk Group again to ensure the implementation of the agreements concluded between the parties. Germany, as a member of the Minsk Group, still believes that the efforts of the OSCE, as theregional organization for security in the Northern hemisphere, are necessary to overcome existing differences and find ways to resolve them,”the diplomat said.
Germany has allocated 2 million euros to the Red Cross to address humanitarian issues in the conflict zone. Do you intend to continue efforts in this direction, as well as participate in the restoration of the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from occupation?
To this, the Ambassador said that the need for humanitarian assistance for the populations affected by the conflict had been obvious. Given the severity of the problem, the German government decided to immediately support the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The allocated funds concern not only one region (Karabakh), but the entire zone where civilians have suffered.
“As for the second question about the participation of German companies in the restoration of territories, in principle, we are ready. We would like to see all countries of the South Caucasus to become a common zone of peace and prosperity, countries that are economically close connected with other European countries. We want not only strengthen economic cooperation, but also the political understanding among the countries of the region. In this regard, we expect that international organisations will gain access to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.At the appropriate moment, we are ready to discuss with the government the possibility of access to the region for German companies. The German government, however, cannot force German companies to be active in the reconquered territories, but we can invite them by presenting the opportunities. In addition, participation in the restoration of the territories with the objection of offering economic benefits for Azerbaijan and Armenia is possible within the framework of the European UnionEastern Partnership program, of which both Armenia and Azerbaijan are members.
This is a matter for the future, for now we want to concentrate on humanitarian issues and ensuring the observation of international law. In this regard, we are holding consultations how to support the problem of mine clearance, also with the participation of German companies,”the diplomat said.
Tensions remain high in the societies of Armenia and Azerbaijan due to the recent war. The topic of reconciliation by both sides is taken hard. What advice could you give, given your experience of reconciliation with France and Russia after World War II?
Answering this question, the Ambassador noted that it is important to be able to overcome hostility, which is difficult to do right away. This takes time. However, in any case, the parties must abandon militant and defamatory rhetoric. Both societies should urge their governments to abandon this.
“In this regard, we sincerely welcome the statements of the Azerbaijani authorities that Baku is ready for economic cooperation with Yerevan and that the Armenians living in Karabakh are highly estimated citizens of Azerbaijan,” the Ambassador stressed.
However, such efforts must be made not only by governments, but also be reflected by citizens of both countries.
The mass media of the two countries play a special role in this process. It is possible that officials in both countries, influenced by local factors, use defamatory rhetoric that is not conducive to reconciliation. However, if societies want reconciliation, they must understand that this will not bring peace closer. The media of the two countries play a huge role in this process.
“We walked this path in the 50-60s together with France, when we were looking for ways of reconciliation and looking for common interests rather than differences. The main task is not to demonize the opposite side and to realize the need for communication. Bringing these thoughts to ordinary citizens is an important task for the press,”the Ambassador stressed. -02I-