March 10, 2016

NATO and Armenia committed to partnership


On March 9, Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Ambassadors of 28 NATO member-states, NATO high-level officials and heads of the military structure participated in the session of the North Atlantic Council in 28+1 format which took place at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

During the session, chaired by the NATO Secretary General, Armenia’s Foreign and Defense Ministers delivered speeches.

In his speech Minister Nalbandian touched upon Armenia-NATO cooperation in different areas, priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy, latest developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, fight against terrorism, Armenia’s participation in peace keeping operations, implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal, Syrian crisis and issues emanating from it, Armenia’s stance on pressing issues on international agenda.

Reflecting on Armenia-NATO relations, Edward Nalbandian positively assessed the effective partnership established in the frameworks of Individual Partnership Action Plan. Minister Nalbandian mentioned that Armenia-NATO IPAP for 2014-2016 (which is the 4th in a row) is effectively translated into life, and stressed that the process of drafting of IPAP for 2017-2018 would kick off soon between corresponding agencies.

Edward Nalbandian presented to the members of the North Atlantic Council the results of referendum on constitutional reforms held in Armenia and the reform process arising from that.

In his remarks, Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan referred to the process of reforms undertaken in the defense system, expansion of capabilities in the field of military education and highlighted the importance of Armenia-NATO partnership in this context.

In their speeches during the session of the North Atlantic Council, NATO SG, representatives of about a dozen member-states positively assessed effective cooperation between Armenia and the Alliance and the results achieved.

Speakers commended the results of implementation of Individual Partnership Action Plan, the process of reforms in Armenia, Armenia’s participation in the peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Afterwards, Ministers Nalbandian and Ohanyan answered numerous questions raised by NATO member-states’ Ambassadors concerning Armenia’s foreign policy, regional developments, efforts exerted by Armenia and the international community towards peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, reforms in the defense and security areas of Armenia.

Prior to the session of North Atlantic Council, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan had a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

During the meeting, the sides touched upon Armenia-NATO cooperation in the frameworks of different programmes, exchanged thoughts on the regional issues.

The Secretary General thanked Armenia for its contributions to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Mr. Stoltenberg also highlighted Armenia’s sustained cooperation with NATO in the areas of defence reform, enhanced interoperability, defence education reform and civil emergency planning. Armenia has been a NATO partner for over 20 years, developing political dialogue with Allies and cooperating on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms.