BAKU: New German envoy favours Azerbaijan’s integration into Europe

New German envoy favours Azerbaijan’s integration into Europe

MPA news agency
23 Feb 05

Baku, 23 February: “In terms of humanity, the Xocali tragedy [massacre
of Azeris in Xocali during the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict in 1992] is
a terrible catastrophe. I regard its victims as victims of genocide,”
the new German ambassador, Detlef Lingemann, said at a press
conference today.

Speaking about the legal assessment of the tragedy, the ambassador
said that he has just assumed this position and is unable to say
anything specific. As for the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, Germany
remains an advocate of a peaceful solution to the problem, Lingemann

He said Germany welcomes Azerbaijan’s integration into the
Euro-Atlantic organizations and is ready to support this course of the
country. Germany attaches special significance to developing ties with
Azerbaijan and has provided it with aid worth more than 300m
euros. The development of Azerbaijan’s private sector, legal and
agricultural reforms, cooperation in the sphere of fuel and water
supplies remain priority areas for Germany.

In his opinion, Azerbaijan took the right step when it decided to join
the New Neighbourhood policy of the European Union and the Council of
Europe. This will not only guarantee a rapprochement with Europe and
diversify the economy, but will also expand investment.

An economic forum for German and Azerbaijani businessmen will be held
in the first half of 2005, Lingemann said. The ambassador met members
of the Azerbaijani government and representatives of the Ministry of
Economic Development in this regard. Germany wants to hold the forum
this spring and has proposed a specific date to the ministry.

The ambassador said that interest in learning German is increasing in
Azerbaijan and 40,000 schoolchildren are learning German in 300
schools of the country.

[Passage omitted: minor details]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress