German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok’s diplomatic mission centers on Azerbaijan for South Caucasus peace efforts

Annalena Berbok. Photo: Alexandros Michailidis/shutterstock

German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok is set to embark on a diplomatic mission, with her itinerary encompassing visits to both Armenia and Azerbaijan this week.

The purpose of her visit, as revealed by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 2, is to extend support to the peace negotiations between Yerevan and Baku.

Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Sebastian Fischer, disclosed that on November 3, Minister Berbok will head to Armenia for discussions with her counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan. During her visit to Armenia, the minister will also pay a visit to the European Union monitoring mission in the country, as well as the camps where Armenian refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh are being sheltered.

Subsequently, on November 4, Annalena Berbok is scheduled to visit Baku for talks with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov. Fischer emphasized Germany’s commitment to achieving a lasting peace, emphasizing the significance of building trust and reconciliation within the region.

Sebastian Fischer stated, “The goal is a comprehensive peace solution through negotiations so that Armenians and Azerbaijanis can live in peace and tranquility on their national borders.” This diplomatic effort comes on the heels of German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok accusing Azerbaijan of breaching its commitment to refrain from military operations in Karabakh during a meeting of the UN Security Council on September 22.

Furthermore, just days before, Michael Roth, Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Bundestag, urged the German government to send a strong message to the leadership of Azerbaijan, calling for an end to the military operations in Karabakh. In light of Berbok’s second visit to Baku, Marcel Viëtor, the head of the press department at the German embassy in Azerbaijan, confirmed that the minister would meet with her Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov.

Viëtor emphasized Germany’s pursuit of lasting peace, political and economic diversification of the region, and close relations with the European Union, underlining the necessity of trust and reconciliation. He reiterated the overarching objective of achieving a comprehensive peace settlement through negotiations to enable Armenians and Azerbaijanis to live peacefully and securely within their national boundaries. Chairman of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, shared a similar perspective.

Political commentator Ahmet Alili pointed out that the evolving relationship between Germany and Azerbaijan has a rational foundation, emphasizing Berlin’s distinctive role in European politics.

He discussed how Germany’s response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its strategy of bringing Russia closer to Western markets had led to a shift in the dynamics, potentially affecting Berlin’s influence in the region. However, he predicted that this was a temporary shift and that Berlin would eventually return to its traditional role.

In related developments, on October 30, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan articulated three key principles aimed at fostering peace and regulating relations between Baku and Yerevan. These principles encompass mutual recognition of territorial integrity, a political foundation for border delimitation and demarcation, and the opening of regional communications, all predicated on principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, jurisdiction, and legislation.

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