The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, after a joint press conference that took place following her meeting with the Azerbaijani president, announced that:
We had discussions pertaining to the strengthening of our bilateral relations, the economic situation in Azerbaijan, as well as current oil and gas prices.”
Merkel stated that these discussions will be vital to economic reforms to come in Azerbaijan. “I hope that, soon, German foundations and organizations will begin their work again in Azerbaijan. We witnessed the violation of the cease-fire in April. We want to solve the conflict peacefully and by diplomatic means. I believe that both sides must sit firmly at the negotiating table. We support the activities of all the members of the Minsk Group in this affair.”
The German chancellor also noted that Russia has been and continues to play a key role in the solving of the Karabakh conflict.
“It is undeniable that Russia plays a defining role in this issue. In order to support the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group, we will do all we can to utilize our own resources, relationships and contacts to find a solution for this issue.”
Ilham Aliyev, in turn, said that “Russia and Azerbaijan enjoy warm and friendly relations, which are constructive and beneficial to both countries.”
Aliyev later added that Azerbaijan and Russia are highly cooperative in the fields of regional security, transportation and commerce: “We consider Russia a strategic partner. Russia considers Azerbaijan similarly. We are not touchy or ‘allergic’ to the sale of weapons to Armenia by Russia – however, this gives rise to great discomfort in our neighbor.
The Azerbaijani president noted that, unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan pays for the weapons that it receives:
“Azerbaijan buys weapons not only from Russia, but from Turkey, Israel, Belarus and Iran as well. This is because we would like to modernize our arsenal and armed forces. A government with occupied lands and that is in such a difficult military situation must do this. Russia is one of the co-chairman of the OSCE’s Minsk Group. We have in the past and continue today to assess Russia’s position in this organization as very positive. We hope that Russia, France and the United States will convince Armenia to release occupied lands under its control back to their rightful owner…”