By Vugar Khalilov
In 2022, Azerbaijan marks the 30th anniversary of establishing
diplomatic relations with the subjects of international relations -
both individual states and international organizations.
Azernews - the nation's first English language newspaper -
launched a new project, designed to cover the major aspects of the
30-year-long diplomatic ties between Azerbaijan and individual
On February 20, Germany and Azerbaijan marked the 30th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Germany is one of the nations with which Azerbaijan has been
developing strong ties as a trusted European partner. Official Baku
attaches special importance to German support in the process of
Euro-Atlantic integration and close cooperation with the European
Union. As a country that plays an important role in the world
economy and politics, the Federal Republic of Germany supports the
expansion of cooperation with Azerbaijan in all areas.
The relations between the two nations date back to the second
half of the nineteenth century, when Siemens Brothers, a German
business, developed massive smelting plants based on copper
resources in Azerbaijan's Gadabay region in 1863.
As a result of the increased activities of German industrialists
in Azerbaijani regions, German colonies were established in the
surrounding areas, especially in the present-day Goygol and Shamkir
regions of Azerbaijan. In western Azerbaijan (Goygol, Shamkir),
numerous historical buildings, including churches, are a reminder
that Swabian immigrants settled there from 1818 onwards.
Over the 30-year-long period of diplomatic relations, the two
countries have been able to build strong ties based on partnership
in the economic, cultural, and education spheres. For the
convenience of our readers, we are trying to shed light on specific
aspects of the relations in a Q&A format.
Q: When did Azerbaijan and Germany establish
A: Germany and Azerbaijan have enjoyed good bilateral
relations since 1992.
On January 12, 1992, Germany recognized Azerbaijan's
independence. Azerbaijan and Germany established diplomatic
relations on February 20, 1992. On September 2, 1992, Azerbaijan
opened its first embassy in Western Europe, in Germany, while on
September 22, 1992, Germany established its embassy in
Q: What are the common points between the two states
regarding the territorial integrity issue?
A: As a member of the OSCE Minsk Group (although the
group proved to be ineffective in the settlement of the conflict),
Germany has always supported Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and
advocated for a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict
between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The German parliament (Bundestag) repeatedly stated that
maintaining the previous status quo, namely, Armenia's occupation
of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized lands was inadmissible,
and urged for a lasting solution to the former conflict.
Q: What do we know about the two nations' bilateral
political ties and cooperation?
A: Germany is one of the most important political and
economic partners of Azerbaijan in Europe. It is also an active
supporter and promoter of the Eastern Partnership initiative,
initiated by Poland and Sweden, which envisages close cooperation
between the European Union and Eastern European countries. The high
level of political relations between the two countries is reflected
in mutual visits and intensive inter-parliamentary cooperation.
A working committee on Azerbaijani-German Inter-Parliamentary
Relations exists in the Azerbaijani Parliament with Nurlan Hasanov
as the group's chairman. The German Parliament (Bundestag) has the
German-South Caucasus Parliamentary Group with Dr. Barbara Hendrix
as the head.
The Azerbaijani-German relationships have expanded at high
levels in all areas. Political dialogue between the two countries
has continued through regular reciprocal visits at the highest
The results of the first official visit of Azerbaijani President
Ilham Aliyev to Germany in 2004, once again confirmed the greater
potential for cooperation between the two countries. Several
agreements, signed during the visit opened vast opportunities for
economic cooperation. In total, seventy-seven documents were signed
between Azerbaijan and Germany.
During his visits to Germany in 2007 and 2010, Aliyev and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed prospects for bilateral
relations as well as relations between Azerbaijan and the European
Union, and the successful implementation of economic reforms in
Azerbaijan, and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Germany, as an essential partner, has always indicated its
willingness to assist Azerbaijan in a variety of spheres.
The occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and the
peaceful settlement of the conflict were the main topics of the
discussion at the meetings held by the officials of the two
nations. Over the past years, Germany and Azerbaijan have
successfully cooperated in the field of defense, political
security, and the fight against terrorism.
President Ilham Aliyev paid several working visits to Germany to
participate in the Munich Security Conferences: February 3-5, 2012,
February 6-8, 2015, February 12-14, 2016, February 17-19, 2017, and
February 14, 2017, and February 16, 2020.
In August 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited
Azerbaijan. During the meeting with the participation of
delegations, Merkel stated that Azerbaijan was Germany's largest
trading partner in the region. She added that Germany had the
potential to expand economic and cultural ties with Azerbaijan.
Q: What type of economic ties do the two countries
A: Germany is one of Azerbaijan's most important
economic partners in Europe, while Azerbaijan is the most important
economic partner of Germany in the South Caucasus.
The Azerbaijani-German economic and trade relations are one of
the dynamically developing areas of cooperation. Azerbaijan is
Germany's most important economic and trade partner in the South
According to the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy,
Azerbaijan's share in Germany's trade turnover with the countries
of the South Caucasus was about 65 percent in 2020. At the same
time, according to the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs
and Export Control, Azerbaijan was the ninth largest supplier of
oil to Germany in 2020. In 2020, about 2.5 million tons of crude
oil were exported from Azerbaijan to Germany.
The reciprocal visits between the two countries at the highest
level, as well as business forums held in Germany to promote
Azerbaijan's business opportunities and the 'Made in Azerbaijan'
brand, make a special contribution to the further expansion of
bilateral economic and trade relations and raise bilateral economic
relations to a new level.
The German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, which was opened in
Baku on the 12th of November 2012, is the second foreign trade
chamber of Germany (after the one in Moscow) in the CIS countries.
The German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan), as the
official representative of the German economy in Azerbaijan,
provides information services and supports companies in their
market and business research. The AHK was founded by the
German-Azerbaijan Business Association (DAWF), which has been
operating in Azerbaijan since 1999. With 200 member companies on
both sides (as of April 2020), the AHK Azerbaijan is the most
powerful European economic association in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is one of Germany's ten most important suppliers of
crude oil. The key exports are machinery, motor vehicles and
components, iron and steel products, and production facilities.
According to the Azerbaijani Customs Committee, the trade
turnover between Azerbaijan and Germany amounted to $1.2 billion in
2021. In addition, trade turnover between the two countries
amounted to $377.5 million from January to April 2022.
Q: What is the extent of cultural
cooperation between the two countries?
A: The Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the
Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the
Federal Republic of Germany, dated December 22, 1995, provides the
legal basis in this area. By this agreement, the Azerbaijani-German
Joint Commission was established.
In 2008, Azerbaijan held its first year of cultural exchange in
Germany. A 120-member delegation led by Azerbaijan's Culture and
Tourism Minister visited Germany for this purpose. In Berlin, the
cultural festival lasted a week. Azerbaijani culture was promoted
throughout the year in Munich, Hamburg, Mainz, Stuttgart, and other
important German cities. From June 12 to July 15, 2008, the Dresden
Gallery hosted an 'Azerbaijani Exhibition of Contemporary Art' as
part of the Year of Azerbaijan. Paintings by well-known Azerbaijani
artists were on display during the show.
On August 30, 2016, in line with the presidential order, the
200th anniversary of the construction of German settlements in the
South Caucasus region was widely celebrated in Azerbaijan and
Germany, and numerous events dedicated to this historic event were
organized in Baku, Berlin, and other cities.
An important part of the cultural sphere, the German-Azerbaijani
Cultural Association is located in the Kapellhaus (formerly the
music hall of the Protestant Church). Numerous cultural events are
organized here every year. The Goethe Center has also been
operating in Baku since December 2017.
The Berlin-Baku Gallery, which regularly holds exhibitions of
paintings, photographs, and sculptures by Azerbaijani and German
artists in Berlin, also operates in Germany.
Close cooperation is being established with leading German
universities and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the
implementation of the State Program on Education of Azerbaijani
Youth Abroad. DAAD, which has been operating in Azerbaijan since
1997, provides scholarships to Azerbaijani students wishing to
study in Germany and encourages the exchange of scientists.
There is also cooperation between German and Azerbaijani
universities and research institutes. The DAAD office is helping to
improve the quality of German language teaching in Azerbaijan. The
Azerbaijani State University of Oil and Industry has a DAAD -
Information Center. So far, 23 scientific and academic cooperation
documents have been signed between German and Azerbaijani
universities and research institutes.
Along with Russian and English, German is taught in many
secondary and higher schools in Azerbaijan. The Department of
History of Azerbaijan operates at Humboldt University in Berlin.
There are partnerships between several Azerbaijan and German
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