The role of Armenian forces in Afghanistan is very important, NATO official says

 
November 14, 2016
 
 

James Appathurai, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, said that "the recent events in Mazar-e-Sharif [Afghanistan] showed just how important the role of Armenian forces is and can be”.

James Appathurai, who is also NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said this in his video message on the occasion of the “NATO Week” launch in Armenia on November 14.

“NATO and Armenia have a very reliable, steady, substantial partnership, which I don’t think Armenians or even people here at NATO know enough about or appreciate enough. We don’t always necessarily advertise everything that we do enough, but I can tell you from a policy point of view and from a practical point of view that the long-standing partnership that we have it is very reliable“, James Appathurai said.

“The most obvious element of that is the contribution that Armenia makes to our peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. The recent events in Mazar-e-Sharif showed just how important the role of Armenian forces is and can be. We are very grateful for that contribution, including during the recent incidents. I want to say thank you on behalf of NATO.

We actually do a lot more together. One of the things we do together is to enhance interoperability that comes through operations, but it also comes through something that we call the operational capabilities concept, which helps our troops work together, and now Armenia is moving to a high level of interoperability”, NATO official stressed.

“We do a lot in the non-military sphere or at least the non-operational sphere – defense education, programs to help fight corruption. This is a real priority for the Armenian government and particularly Defense Ministry. We just heard this from [First Armenian Deputy Defense Minister] Davit Tonoyan, who is absolutely committed to the fight against corruption, and the whole government takes this very seriously”, James Appathurai said.

“Armenia has a balanced foreign policy; some call it a multi-vector foreign policy. We respect that, we understand that, and we have no problem with that. We believe that the partnership that we have, NATO-Armenia, is in no way detrimental to Armenia’s other, bilateral or multilateral relationships. We are very satisfied with the relationship that we have and we look forward to deepening it”, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia said.


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