Sarkisian Pushes Closer Ties With Germany

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian heaped praise on Germany and called for the expansion of its relations with Armenia after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on an official visit to Berlin on Tuesday.

The two leaders said their talks touched upon a broad range of issues, including bilateral relations, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenia’s stalled rapprochement with Turkey. Merkel said they also discussed issues related to Armenia’s “democratization.”

“Armenia’s desire to expand relations with Germany in both bilateral and multilateral formats stems from Germany’s balanced policy towards our region and its growing interest in our region,” Sarkisian told a joint news conference.

Sarkisian said closer ties with Germany are also “an important component” of his administration’s efforts to deepen Armenia’s integration into the European Union. “We agreed that the EU’s Eastern Partnership program opens broad opportunities in this area,” he said.

The two leaders also discussed ways of boosting commercial ties between their countries, with Merkel proposing a dual taxation agreement between Armenia and Germany. Sarkisian likewise stressed the need for “complementing” the legislative framework regulating those ties.

Germany is already one of Armenia’s leading trading partners and its number one export market in the EU. According to Armenian government data, the total volume of German-Armenian trade stood at $292 million in 2009, accounting for 7.3 percent of the South Caucasus state’s overall external commerce.

Germany has also been Armenia’s second-largest foreign donor after the United States, having allocated 220 million euros ($275 million) in loans and grants between 1995 and 2009. It has also been the single largest contributor to the EU’s separate multimillion-dollar assistance to Yerevan.

The German government announced last March plans provide up to 100 million euros in fresh loans to Armenia in the next few years. The promised funding is to be channeled into rural infrastructure projects, the reconstruction of the country’s largest hydro-electric station and the development of the local mortgage market.

Sarkisian thanked Berlin for the aid, saying that it has been “essential” for the success of economic reforms carried out by successive Armenian governments.

The unresolved Karabakh conflict was also on the agenda, with Merkel reaffirming her government’s support for the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiating process mediated by the U.S., Russia and France. She offered Germany’s assistance to the peace efforts.

“In those areas where we can be helpful, we want to be helpful,” Merkel told journalists, adding her hope that resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would also help ease Armenia’s tensions with Turkey.

“We greatly welcomed the fact that there was some movement in relations between Armenia and Turkey some time ago,” the chancellor said, according to the DPA news agency. “Unfortunately the whole thing has lost its momentum.”

Sarkisian sounded pessimistic about prospects for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, saying that Ankara lacks the “will” to honor the Western-backed agreements with Yerevan signed last October. “Turkey’s current policies are not conducive towards engaging in relations,” he said.

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7 Comments

  1. berlin said:

    I was in the past to critical about Serzh Sarkisian. After I listened to President Serzh Sarkisian speech in Konorad Adenau Stiftung in Berlin I would say he is well prepared! He is indeed a good politician!

    • Zareh said:

      berlin, Armenians, especially well versed Armenians, are very good talkers, words just slide out eloquently, which is great. However, In the “deed” department Sarkisian fails miserably. It looks like the Armenian diplomacy is in a permanent “vacation”, miserably lacking proactive political strikes against the enemy, lacklustre (not to say lazy) response to Turkish and Azeri anti-Armenian propaganda. Therefore losing precious opportunities to have a positive say in OSCE, Council of Europe assemblies. We are losing there. Talking is good, I’d rather prefer to see action instead.

      Did I mention how active the internal politics are? The Armenian government is not only very awake, forceful and very proactive in quashing internal dissent. How can you not admire the entire Armenian government 100% efforts and top priority in…….opening foreign-language schools in Armenia. How can you not admire such administration.

  2. john papazian said:

    Ties with Germany are good.Armenia has lots of ties but in the end no real economic,political,or military support from a western world torn between oil and Isreal.

  3. Antranig Pasha said:

    There are too many turks in Germany, and Germany has too many existing ties with Turkey for any real ambitions for Hayastan there.

  4. berlin said:

    Germany? Ex German parliamentarian, Eduard Lintner, has become more racist as the criminals in Baku are. The regime in Baku is financing his office in Berlin and Mr Eduard Lintner is conducting openly propaganda on behalf of Baku and accusing Armenians of committing Genocide against Jews…Unfortunately, I would say official Germany is supporting (silent) the work of ant- Armenian forces/people like E. Lintner… Of course Mr Eduard Lintner had to act as unofficial Azerbaijani ambassador and had to ask president Sarkisan some “questions” about “occupied” NK

    German parliamentarian (CSU) is sepaking and “mourning” about ” mass kiliing of Jews by Armenians in 1918/1919″

    http://www.infranken.de/nc/nachrichten/lokales/artikelansicht/article/berlin-aserbeidschan-die-welt-ist-sein-buero-43689.html

  5. Antranig Pasha said:

    Yes, because Armenians had nothing better to do in 1918-1919. What an idiot.

  6. F.Munoz CL said:

    It is quite obvious that E. Lintner is working for Turkey and Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Lintner is inventing that ”novel” because he wants to ”re-approach” the turks the jewish communities -and Israel, using the armenians as the ‘scapegoats’. In other words, L. is lobbing that fantasy because he wants to avoid a recognize of the armenian genocide by the Knesset, or it’s support by the jewish lobby in USA. Maybe Turkey (world’s well-known tale-tellers, inventors of turkish history, and ”wipe out-ers” of the history of other original ethnic groups of Anatolia and Caucasus) is behind that tale, to ease the jewish anger with Turkey.
    Before demanding the armenians to recognize any genocide (”Khojali” and that new ‘genocide theory’), Lintner MUST demand the same from Turkey (genocides in Anatolia and south caucasus) and Azerbaijan (massacres of Baku, Sumqayit, and other eastern Az. cities), in order to get THE FACE to talk about humanity and genocidies.
    Remember Lintner (and other western supporters), don’t let the ‘ottoman imperialists’ to strangle your necks, and don’t believe any ‘taqiya’ coming from the ‘Turk-Imperium’, just to get oil. Remember that one peoples lives are not more important than another for the reason of oil!

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