YEREVAN (Arka)—Germany has provided 54.4 million euros to Armenia in 2016 within the framework of financial cooperation, Germany’s Ambassador to Armenia Matthias Kiesler said on November 22.
He said Germany, along with the European Union and the United States, is a major financial donor of Armenia.
“Apart from the 54.4 million euro assistance, Germany has provided 22 million euros in the framework of technical cooperation for the implementation of regional programs,” said Kiesler.
He added that Germany is Armenia’s third largest economic and trade partner after Russia and China. However, according to Kiesler, some German businessmen prefer to invest in politically stable countries with bigger markets.
“Unfortunately, the headlines about Armenia in the German media do not indicate stability in the region. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reduces the interest of entrepreneurs in the Armenian market,” said Kiesler.
“Our task is to provide objective information about Armenia, [and] tell what there is that may interest German entrepreneurs. We tell them about Armenia’s investment environment, since one can not only trade with Armenia but also establish production of goods,” he added.
According to the ambassador, Armenia’s IT industry as well as its membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and good relations with Iran may interest foreign investors.
Kiesler thinks it would be good to make another attempt of reconciliation of Armenian-Turkish relations. In a meeting with reporters, the Ambassador noted that practical steps are necessary for the reconciliation of the two peoples and states.
“The existing difficult situation should not hamper seeking new solutions for the normalization of the relations. There were talks about opening of the border last time. Today I cannot say how realistic it is, but the border can be partially open for some particular groups, for example, international tourists,” the German Ambassador said, adding that the German side creates opportunities for civil societies of the two countries to interact with each other.
Kiesler referred to the issue of including the Armenian Genocide in German school text books. He mentioned that educational and cultural policy in Germany is implemented on the level of federal states. Therefore, the ministries of the federal states are responsible for school subjects.]
“As you may know Saxony-Anhalt state has published a handbook for pedagogues on how to teach the Armenian Genocide theme in the sidelines of history subject. This means that one state has already done that. We should wait for the response of other states,” Kiesler added.
Turkey closed the border with Armenia unilaterally in 1993. Armenia has announced many times about its readiness to normalize relations without preconditions.