“Azerbaijan makes important contribution to energy security of Europe, including Germany”, Herbert Quelle


In his exclusive interview to AzerTAc correspondent, ambassador of Germany to Azerbaijan Herbert Quelle spoke of the Azerbaijan-Germany relations in the outgoing year, the most important relations of the two countries and plans for the coming period.
- Mr. Ambassador, the year is ending. The Azerbaijani-German relations in recent years have been successfully developing. As an experienced diplomat, how will you assess the current state of the Azerbaijani-German relations?
- The relations between our countries are good, they are built on confidence. During the period of the first half of the "Eurovision-2012" song contest without any negative effects we have overcome the period significant for both countries. This was possible thanks to our good relations, proved throughout history. Both countries are now better able to assess the reaction of one another on sensitive topics. But the most significant development was the establishment in early November of this year in Baku of the Azerbaijani-German Chamber of Commerce. This will make an important contribution to the further development of relations between our countries.
-How do you think - what area of ​​cooperation between Azerbaijan and Germany, Azerbaijan and the countries of Europe as a whole needs much work?
- I would like to see in the negotiations between the European Union and Azerbaijan certain progress. Germany assists Azerbaijan to diversify its economy. This includes the development of tourism. I think that the early introduction by the Azerbaijani side of visa-free regime for citizens of the European Union will only benefit your country. Being an Islamic country, Azerbaijan is an example of tolerance for other states. That's why the Germans are showing great interest in Azerbaijan.
- How do you assess Azerbaijan's role in European energy security, the security of the continent as a whole?
- Today, Azerbaijan is making a significant contribution to the energy security of Europe, including Germany. Azerbaijan is an important country for us, the sixth country where we import oil. The importance of Azerbaijan in the energy security of Europe will further increase the supply of natural gas for the Southern Corridor, which is essential for Europe's energy security. It is important here to adopt operational political decisions related to the peak of oil production and development of new gas fields.
- President of Azerbaijan has always stressed the important principle of cooperation in the energy sector - the cooperation of producers and consumers equally. What can you say in this regard?
- Of course, there should be between the producers and purchaser a stable, balanced relationship. No risk, no income should be allocated unilaterally. I fully support the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on this question.
- As you know, Azerbaijan is at war with neighboring Armenia. The conflict has been going on for over 20 years, and the negotiations did not yield any results. What is the German position on the conflict, and how can your country help to settle this conflict?
- The conflict should be resolved on the basis of two principles of international law - territorial integrity and self-determination. These principles should be applied together. As a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, Germany is actively involved in the negotiations. Unfortunately, we have not achieved in these negotiations the expected progress. I understand the increase of impatience caused by delay of solution of the conflict. However, it is clear that the resumption of the war will bring to people further suffering. So I'm optimistic about the continuation of the negotiation process.
We, the Germans waited 40 years of reunification. This reunion began in the 70's and the Helsinki process was largely peaceful as a result of regional social revolution. The farsighted German Chancellor Willy Brandt played a decisive role in the formation of the new Eastern policy. As far as it concerns the history of Germany, I would like to tell that you have to be patient and always look for new solutions.
- What are the major questions on the agenda of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the coming year? As an experienced diplomat, development of what directions will you prefer?
-We are in talks with the Ministry of Culture for funding for cultural activities in the German-Azerbaijani Cultural Center “Kapellhaus.” Celebration in 2019 of the 200th anniversary of the resettlement of Germans in Azerbaijan and creation of the settlement of Helenendorf (now Goygol) we want to create necessary conditions for long-term survival of German culture in Azerbaijan. A German-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce creates new opportunities for the development of economic ties.
- My last question is not directly related to bilateral relations, but is relevant in terms of our relations. It would be interesting to know how do you assess the activities of the German specialist Berti Vogts as coach of the national team of Azerbaijan in football?
- I think Berti Vogts does a lot and will do much for Azerbaijani football.
- Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for the interview.


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