Georgia Eager to Welcome German Reps, Baku Touchy about Nagorno-Karabakh

In the framework of her tour of the South Caucasus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid an official visit to Georgia on August 23. August 24 and 25 will see similar visits to neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Georgia, Merkel will hold talks with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and President Giorgi Margvelashvili. In addition, a protocol visit to Heroes' Square in Tbilisi is expected, where the Chancellor of Germany will lay flowers on the memorial of Georgian soldiers who fell for the “territorial integrity of the country.”

Commenting on the visit of the Head of Germany, the Prime Minister of Georgia noted that the occasion “confirms that Georgia is a reliable partner of the EU.”

“This is the first official visit of the Chancellor to Georgia. A high-level visit underscores the quality of close relations between Germany and Georgia ... A high-ranking official from a leading European country is once again confirming that Georgia is really a reliable partner for Europe,” Bakhtadze said.

On the eve of the Chancellor's visit, the Bild drew the attention of its readers to the relatively small but still ongoing diplomatic conflict between Berlin and Baku which resulted in one of the deputies of the German Parliament, Christian Democratic Union member Albert Weiler, being declared “persona non grata” in Azerbaijan. According to Bild, his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh in 2014 and 2016 served as an excuse for adding the parliamentarian to the black list, though his visits to the region were made as part of the parliamentary group for cooperation with the countries of the Caucasus.

As of Wednesday, the German Foreign Ministry was in contact with the Azerbaijani Embassy in Berlin, trying to resolve the situation with the Weiler visa.

By Dimitri Dolaberidze

23 August 2018 19:04