“On the question of Syrian fighters in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; we are aware of the reports that Syrian fighters are being used in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We must also note that this is not the only conflict in which Syrian fighters appear to be playing a role at the moment; we already know this from the civil war in Libya,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the PACE session on Tuesday, responding to the question of head of the Armenian delegation to the PACE Ruben Rubinyan regarding the use of Syrian mercenaries in the Karabakh conflict.
“With regard to Nagorno-Karabakh, based on current intelligence, we have to assume that a certain number of these Syrian fighters are indeed still in the crisis area. There are many international efforts to clarify how they are being used there, how large their numbers are, and who is responsible for this. However, this has not been conclusively achieved so far,” the top German official said.
Maas addressed the PACE and answered the delegates’ questions as Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
“We have already made it clear to the Turkish Government in talks that Turkey can use this influence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to make a responsible contribution to securing and increasing stability in the region,” he said.
Maas stressed the need for “amicable and lasting” solution to the Karabakh conflict, adding Germany is also prepared to make a contribution, in particular, in order to resolve this difficult conflict, which has been going on for a long time, which could not be resolved and has now ended in a military confrontation.
“Here we think that the OSCE Minsk Group is still the right forum and the right platform to make this contribution, linked with our EU partners in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. This is another way in which we can work to ensure that the two countries get on as we would all like them to. Both countries – and this too must be said – face major challenges following the end of the armed conflicts that took place there. These challenges and how they are overcome will also depend on the will of both countries to engage in dialogue and cooperation. We want to promote this dialogue in the interests of the stability of both countries although we must, of course, be aware that stability affects the whole region there,” Maas said.