Member of Bundestag Albert Weiler (CDU) says Azerbaijan’s decision to deny him entry is “undemocratic.”
Mr. Weiler was expected to travel to the three South Caucasian countries – Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan – with Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, he will have to miss the trip to Baku, as the authorities in Azerbaijan ban him from entering the country for having visited Nagorno Karabakh twice in the past.
“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 MP 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.
According to him, “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, Mr. 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 ties, Albert Weiler sees a “positive trend.” He says the ties 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.”
Mr. Weiler expects bilateral ties to further strengthen after Chancellor Merke’s visit to Armenia. He does not exclude that German companies could enter the Armenia market, bringing new investments and creating jobs.