YEREVAN — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume peace talks mediated by the European Union when she visited Yerevan on Friday.
“Germany supports the territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and this must be the basis for all peace negotiations,” Baerbock said after meeting with her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan.
“I believe that European Council President Charles Michel’s efforts could serve as a bridge for establishing peace between the two countries. Therefore, the start of a new round of negotiations is important,” she told a joint news conference.
At the press conference Baerbock said: the “territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan is the basis for any negotiations for peace.”
“We want to accompany you on this path to a good future in the South Caucasus,” she said, urging both sides to “use this window for a negotiated peace.”
Baerbock also pledged an additional 9.3 million euros in aid to help Armenia deal with a refugee crisis sparked by the latest hostilities in Karabakh.
“Unfortunately, we still have serious concerns that … Azerbaijan still has, in one way or another, territorial claims to Armenia,” Mirzoyan said during the press conference with Baerbock.
There are lingering fears in Yerevan that Azerbaijan could invade Armenia to open a land corridor to its Nakhichevan exclave. Baerbock, who was due to proceed to Azerbaijan on Saturday, declined to say whether Germany would support a freeze on imports of Azerbaijani gas and oil or other EU sanctions against Baku in the event of such invasion. She spoke out against any further “escalation in this region.”
During the press conference, Mirzoyan said that Armenia is interested in joining economic projects implemented in the region by the European Union.
“At the meeting with our German counterpart we discussed the importance of consistent assistance of the EU and its member states in promoting democratic reforms in Armenia. Other issues of the Armenia-EU partnership were discussed as well, particularly the expansion of the EU civilian monitoring mission in Armenia and Armenia’s involvement in the EU regional projects, including economic ones,” Mirzoyan said.
Mirzoyan also emphasized the importance of the development of bilateral Armenian-German interaction.
“The atmosphere in the neighboring countries is extremely important for the effective promotion of bilateral and regional programs,” Mirzoyan said, stressing that Yerevan highly appreciates Berlin’s efforts to establish peace and stability in the region.