Baku, June 30, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with the OSCE Chairperson-in-office, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier who paid a working visit to Azerbaijan. The Ministers had a one-on-one meeting and continued the discussions with the participation of delegations.
Elmar Mammadyarov recalling four visits by H.E Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the reciprocal visits at the level of Foreign Ministers underlined that these mutual visits are indications of close political dialogue between our countries. He commended the regular political consultation mechanism and exchange of views on the agenda of bilateral cooperation and international issues between the Foreign Ministries. Noting the wide legal-treaty base regulating the different spheres of bilateral cooperation Minister Mammadyarov praised the cooperation and mutual support within the international and regional organizations between Germany and Azerbaijan.
The sides also underlined the favorable conditions for further promotion of economic and trade relations in line with the spirit of political ties. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Azerbaijan remains the major trade partner of Germany in the region.
Mentioning the sustainable efforts for diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy, the Ministers stressed the importance of closer involvement of German companies and investments into the economy of Azerbaijan.
Elmar Mammadyarov briefed about the role of Azerbaijan in implementation of East-West and North-South transport corridors and added that realization of “New Silk Road” which is also in the interest of Germany, serves for the benefits of both parties. He expressed his conviction that Azerbaijan’s contributions to this project will also bring benefits to the regional development and will stimulate increasing of trade turnover and people-to-people contacts between EU Member States and the countries of the region.
It was reflected that Azerbaijan is an important and reliable partner in energy security of Europe and currently implemented TANAP/TAP projects and Southern Gas Corridor as a whole, providing alternative source of energy, will make contributions to the energy security of Europe. Elmar Mammadyarov expressed his hope that such large scale transport and energy projects are being implemented with the initiative and participation of Azerbaijan will play an important role in connectivity of regions.
At the meeting the conference on Connectivity for Commerce and Investment hosted by Germany on May 18-19, 2016 in Berlin within the OSCE and participation of solid number of Azerbaijani delegates at this event was also addressed.
The Ministers also discussed the cultural and humanitarian dimensions of bilateral relations. It was noted that next year the 200th anniversary of the German settlement in the South Caucasus would be celebrated. Minister Mammadyarov noted the existence of well protected German heritage in Azerbaijan and added that this heritage has been included into the cultural monuments list of UNESCO through the initiative of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, he informed about the renovation of Germen monuments, including four churches in Azerbaijan.
Touching upon the relations with the European Union Mammadyarov stressed that Azerbaijan has always demonstrated a strong political will to develop the relationship with the EU based on principles of equal partnership and mutual benefit. Minister added that a year ago Azerbaijan introduced the draft Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) to the EU side on the margins of the Riga Summit. He said: “This agreement will lay the solid foundation for upgrading our bilateral relationship to qualitatively new level and for better securing our common interests”.
Mammadyarov also informed his counterpart about the intention of Azerbaijan’s civil aviation authorities on resumption of negotiations with the European Commission on Common Aviation Zone Treaty.
At the meeting Elmar Mammadyarov also briefed Frank-Walter Steinmeier about the negotiation process on resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. He said that Azerbaijan side commends German OSCE Chairmanship for identifying the protracted conflicts as its priorities and highly appreciates its efforts to achieve progress in the resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Mammadyarov shared the view of OSCE Chairman-in-Office on unsustainability of the current status quo. He stressed that for altering the status quo the fact of occupation has to be ceased and the Armenian armed forces have to be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Saying that Azerbaijan positively assesses the outcome of Vienna and Sankt-Petersburg meetings Minister Mammadyarov reiterated the readiness of Azerbaijan for continuation of substantive talks to achieve progress in the resolution of conflict.
After the meeting the ministers had a joint press conference.