A member of the German Parliament—Bundestag–Albert Weiler said that Baku’s decision to deny him entry is “undemocratic.” Weiler, who was to join German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her visit to Baku on Saturday was denied a visa, because of his past travels to Artsakh.
“I have repeatedly expressed willingness to go there and discuss issues, particularly those related to Nagorno Karabakh. But when they respond by barring a democratically elected member of parliament from entering the country and even threaten to detain him if he’s on board, it’s not only anti-democratic, but also distorts the diplomatic relations,” Weiler told Public Radio of Armenia in an exclusive interview.
“it’s not the right way to solve conflicts. I’ve always tried to take steps to ensure that people don’t die on the border any more. I’m not planning a new visit to Nagorno Karabakh at this point. I have a broad agenda of meetings in Armenia and time is scarce, but I will work in that direction,” the lawmaker said.
Speaking about the Karabakh issue, Weiler said: “The question here is not about big politics. The question is about ensuring peace for people living there. People should not be constantly under the threat of being shot at from the other side of the border. These are things that are not acceptable in the 21st century.”
As for Armenian-German relations, Weiler has observed a “positive trend.” He says the relations have deepened over the past years.
“There was a positive vote in the Bundestag on the Armenian Genocide. Discussions on economic issues are also positive. Today we have direct flights, other agreements are being called to life.”
Weiler expects bilateral ties to further strengthen after Chancellor Merke’s visit to Armenia. He did not rule out that German companies would enter the Armenia market, bringing new investments and creating jobs.
The Artsakh Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a statement condemning Baku’s decision to deny Weiler entry to Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry՛s blacklisting of foreign citizens visiting Artsakh is a gross violation of the peoples’ rights to free movement and to getting reliable information and is an attempt to impose its one-sided and distorted viewpoint on the international community,” Artsakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“We consider such actions of Azerbaijan unacceptable and believe that if they remain without the due assessment by the international community, it will be increasingly difficult to return Baku to a constructive track. The time has come to establish international mechanisms to deter Azerbaijan from destructive steps,” the statement reads.
“In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh Masis Mayilian has invited Albert Weiler to visit Artsakh again at his convenience to discuss the issues of cooperation with the Germany-South Caucasus Parliamentary Group of the German Bundestag. We are convinced that the visits of MPs and other officials to Artsakh, regardless of Baku՛s ‘black lis,’ will become an important signal on the inadmissibility of using confrontation and isolation as a means for solving regional problems,” the Ministry said.