Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan and answers to the journalists’ questions at a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany

03 November, 2023

Dear Madam Minister,

Dear colleague, 

I welcome your visit to Armenia. This is a good opportunity to continue our discussions, the last of which was in September, in New York.

In general, this year was full of mutual visits and discussions. At the beginning of the year I had the honour to visit you in Berlin and now I have the honour to host you here in Yerevan. We had phone conversations and meetings on different international platforms. Prime Minister Pashinyan and Chancellor Scholz had a meeting, the President of Armenia’s National Assembly visited Germany. We note with satisfaction that such frequent intensive mutual visits take place, and they truly present a good opportunity to develop our bilateral agenda. 

Dear colleagues,

Today we thoroughly touched upon a number of issues of bilateral agenda. We have commended the deepening cooperation and prospects in economy, science, education, healthcare and other fields.

It is worth recalling that Germany is Armenia's first trading partner in the European Union, and we expect that the active cooperation of the business circles of the two countries will allow us to set a new, far more ambitious benchmark in terms of trade turnover. We attach great importance to the activities of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Reconstruction Credit Institute (KfW) in Armenia. We value and appreciate Armenia's inclusion within the framework of Germany’s BMZ 2030 reform strategy, aimed at promoting the stable continuation of current reforms and programs in Armenia.

Taking the opportunity, I briefed my counterpart on the steps directed at implementing Armenia's extensive agenda of reforms aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, fighting corruption, protecting the rights of women and vulnerable groups. 

We emphasised the importance of the continuous support of the EU and its member States to these reforms. Of course, in the agenda of the meeting we touched upon other issues of the Armenia-EU partnership, in particular, the activities of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia and the importance of Armenia's sustainable involvement in the economy, including regional programs with the assistance of the EU. I briefed my colleague on the willingness of the Armenian side to contribute to the energy security of Europe, which will be possible if Armenia participates in the Black Sea electric cable regional program.

We also touched upon the issues of cooperation between our two countries and our representatives within the framework of international organisations.

Dear attendees,

Having said all this, I would like to emphasise that for the effective promotion of issues of bilateral agenda and regional programs the atmosphere and environment in our neighbourhood are also important. I know that Minister Baerbock's visit also aims to contribute to their improvement. In this context, I would like to emphasise that we attach great importance to Germany's efforts aimed at establishing stability and peace in the region, both through  expressing the principled position by representatives of the legislative and executive bodies of Germany, and involvement in the region, as well as in the format of the meetings held within the European Political Community in Chișinău and recently in Granada.

Madam Minister, 

More than 100,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh, including children, elderly and women, were forcibly displaced from their homeland after being under inhumane blockade by Azerbaijan for months and due to reasonable fear of possible atrocities. In parallel, the occupation of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia has not disappeared, there are humanitarian problems, Armenian prisoners of war and illegally captured civilians are kept in prison in Baku.

I would like to quote from your reaction regarding the developments in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19: "Baku's promise to refrain from military actions was broken." Yes, unfortunately, that was the case. Only genuine and effective efforts to reject this practice can truly contribute to the establishment of stability in the region. I want to emphasise that despite all these difficulties and challenges, the Republic of Armenia has the political will to pursue peace in the region. We consider it possible and our principles are largely expressed in the statements adopted after our quadrilateral meeting in Granada. These principles are very clear: the mutual recognition of the territorial integrity based on the Alma-Ata Declaration; the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border based on the most recent maps of the Soviet Union, as well as the unblocking of communications under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of two states, based on the principles of equality and reciprocity. Especially regarding the last point I want to note that this is what we call the “Crossroads of Peace”. We are confident that our territory can become the mentioned crossroads, and that it will bring economic benefits not only to our immediate region or to our neighbours, but also to the whole world, and that it will become a unique guarantee for peace. 

Madam Minister,

Summing up, I would like to thank the Government of Germany for humanitarian assistance aimed at meeting the primary needs of forcibly displaced Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh and for the promise you made today.

And of course, I thank you for today’s substantive discussions.


Question DW:  Mr. Minister, your relations with Russia have deteriorated, and there are many unfriendly countries in your neighbourhood, there is also Iran. Do you think that today Armenia is under pressure, do you want Europe and Germany to give you more support?

Answer (Ararat Mirzoyan): Thank you for your question. I have just noted that a few weeks ago we witnessed the military actions of Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and, as a result, the forcible displacement of more than 100 thousand refugees, in fact, the displacement to the Republic of Armenia to save their lives. Over the past three years, we have seen several cases, the largest of which was on September 13, last year, before that in May 2021, and other cases when there were invasions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and today, unfortunately, we still have serious concerns that among neighbouring countries, particularly, on the part of Azerbaijan, there are still claims, in one form or another, there are territorial claims to the Republic of Armenia or certain ambitions over the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia, particularly, when it comes, for example, to regional infrastructure. So these concerns persist today. We have 4 neighbours, with two of which we have closed borders, although the normalization process is going on with the same Azerbaijan, as well as with Turkey.  Sometimes it seems that we are close to a settlement, sometimes we see that new obstacles appear. I say this both politically and in terms of security, as we have seen that the security mechanisms that Armenia had, have not actually been effective, so in terms of political dialogue, in terms of security and economic interconnection, including in terms of energy interconnection, and in general, in terms of values, I think Armenia is really interested in deepening its ties, relations with the European Union, its member states, with Germany, and, we also see the awareness of this both on the Armenian side and on the part of many European countries, on the part of the European Union, and, as you can see, this visit, this conversation is a confirmation of willingness to achieve closer relations. We are going in this direction.

Question “ZDF”: I would like to talk about the Middle East. Just a few minutes ago the head of Hezbollah said that the fight will continue, he welcomed the latest actions of Hamas. How do you assess this? Will this conflict expand, what will Hezbollah do, or will there be a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza?

Answer (Ararat Mirzoyan): Unfortunately, we see again and again the escalation of old conflicts in different parts of the world, we see wars, the suffering of the civilian population, women, children, ordinary families. This is a very sensitive issue for us, because, as you can imagine, just a few weeks ago we witnessed a situation where civilians suffered resulting from political interests or military action. In all cases and in all possible conflicts, we call on the parties not to target at least the civilian population and, of course, to make every possible effort, and we welcome all possible efforts by the international community to put an end to hostilities as soon as possible and to ensure the safety of the civilian population as soon as possible.

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