“Competence and experience” in the South Caucasus; Interview of former Ambassador of Germany to Armenia, Mr Hans-Jochen Schmidt

Here is a short interview given by Hans-Jochen Schmidt, member of EuFoA’s Europe Armenia Advisory Council (EAAC) and former Ambassador of Germany to Armenia. Mr Schmidt comments on the appointment of Ambassador Salbert as the new EUSR for the South Caucasus.
Ambassador Herbert Salber has been nominated following a proposal by Catherine Ashton and after the EU Member States have given him their political endorsement. Please click here to learn more about Ambassador Herber Salber’s previous posts and his recent nomination.

Mr Schmidt’s comments follow:


As a previous director of the OSCE-Conflict Prevention Centre, Mr Salber gained a lot of competence and experience in conflict resolution matters.

He is familiar with the South Caucasus political scene, thanks to his time in Moscow and with the OSCE.

He will make the voice of the EU heard in the region, and, in the framework of the EU possibilities, he will balance the EU’s interests regarding a Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution and the improvement of Armenia-Turkey relations.

It is laudable that the EU – an important political and economic partner for the South Caucasus States – nominated an excellent German diplomat, who is familiar with the situation in the South Caucasus. With that, they underline the importance that the EU plays in the region in regard to politics, security, economy and energy.

“I hope that Armenia will see in the newly assigned EU-Plenipotentiary for the South Caucasus the main EU-partner, who – in his hands – combines the political position and expertise of the EU and its Member-States with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh, targets him as “the” EU-person to transmit the Armenian attitude towards the politically tangled Nagorno-Karabakh-conflict-situation and its solution with divergent views on how to leave the seemingly vicious circle and bring peace and stability to the South-Caucasus into the EU.I am looking forward to an intensified cooperative and constructive, as well as result-oriented cooperation between Armenia and the new EUSR.

Such an approach would help to overcome the former misunderstandings and often voiced disenchantment about the role and function of the EU and its Plenipotentiary in promoting the politically necessary dialogue between the EU and the Nagorno-Karabakh-conflict-partners.”

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August 2022