Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel: Germany and Azerbaijan maintain strong relations

Baku, July 29, AZERTAC

Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor of Germany and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, has been interviewed by Azerbaijan's state television channel. AZERTAC presents the interview.

Mr Vice Chancellor, how do you rate the current state of relations between Azerbaijan and Germany?

- Germany and Azerbaijan maintain strong relations. This was confirmed by the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Germany in January, 2015.  This year in July I was going to visit Azerbaijan. However due to the situation in Greece, I was forced to stay in Berlin and postpone my visit. I am very sorry about this and I look forward to paying a visit to Azerbaijan soon.

Business forums are organized both in Germany and in Azerbaijan with the aim of strengthening bilateral economic relations. What do you expect from a forthcoming visit due in Baku?

- We are interested in developing economic relations with Azerbaijan. The interest of German companies in cooperating with Azerbaijan is growing very fast. I believe that dialogue only at the government level is not enough. The exchanges between the two companiesas well as dialogue in the social and cultural spheres are also very important.

Mr Vice Chancellor, as you know, the First European Games involving 50 European countries were recently organized in Azerbaijan. German athletes achieved good results at the Games. However, on the eve and during the Games, the German media as well as some Bundestag members made biased critical judgments against our country. What do you think of this?

- The European Games have been widely covered by German media. Of course, while covering such a major international event, journalists highlight sports issues and at the same time, they focus on daily life of a host country. Sporting events can make an important contribution to promoting understanding between peoples. As for your question, I must say that I cannot comment on the views of individual parliamentarians or media. However, I believe that discussing complex issues based on mutual respect testifies to good relations. 

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