The German government is cautiously optimistic about the conflict in the Caucasus – soldiers from both countries died on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in July. “Since 2018 and until July 2020, there have been only a few ceasefire violations, with the use of heavy and large-scale weapons becoming increasingly rare. The number of dead and wounded has also fallen,” the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs writes. Miguel Berger, in an answer. at the request of the left parliamentary group, which is at the disposal of the Tagesspiegel. Until the fighting in July, the ‘relaxation process that had become noticeable and characterized by a greater willingness to talk’ continued.
“Germany could combine development aid with incentives”
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The region belongs to Azerbaijan under international law, but is controlled by Armenians. In July 2020, Armenians and Azerbaijans shot each other north of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the federal government, five Armenian and 12 Azerbaijani soldiers and a civilian on each side were killed between July 12 and 15, 2020.
Germany is one of the main producing countries in Armenia; since 1992, the Federal Republic has paid more than € 750 million in development aid. For Armenia – with a population of three million – this is the second highest aid per capita after the US. “The federal government remains far below its capabilities when it comes to the peace process,” said Heiko Langner, the specialist author working for the Left Group in the South Caucasus. “Germany could more vigorously determine the allocation of its development funds to Armenia with incentives for peace policy.”
Armenians from Lebanon to Nagorno-Karabakh?
The warring factions should apply the Madrid basic principles agreed in 2007: Armenia should withdraw from the cities around Nagorno-Karabakh so that Azerbaijani displaced persons can return. Interim status and a referendum are planned for the Nagorno-Karabakh core area itself.
The announced settlement of Armenians from Lebanon is also considered a provocation among Azerbaijans. According to local media, after the explosion in Beirut, Armenian officials had taken the Armenians living there to occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Speaker Langner spoke of a “violation of international law which, according to all previous experience, should also provoke troubled reactions from Azerbaijan”.
There are Armenian minorities all over the region – especially in Lebanon, but also in Syria, Iraq, Georgia and Russia. After the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, hundreds of thousands, many of them fled to the United States. Turkey is seen as Azerbaijan’s protective power, Russia as Armenia’s helper.