No Conflict in Armenia’s Work with NATO and CSTO Membership, Says NATO Representative

Participants of the "NATO-Armenia Cooperation: New Objectives and Perspectives,” conference at a meeting with reporters in Yerevan (Source: Public Radio of Armenia)
Participants of the "NATO-Armenia Cooperation: New Objectives and Perspectives,” conference at a meeting with reporters in Yerevan (Source: Public Radio of Armenia)

Participants of the “NATO-Armenia Cooperation: New Objectives and Perspectives,” conference at a meeting with reporters in Yerevan (Source: Public Radio of Armenia)

YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia)—A representative of NATO’s International Staff, Steffen Elgersma, said at an international conference in Yerevan on “NATO-Armenia Cooperation: New Objectives and Perspectives,” that there is no inconsistency between Armenia’s membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and its cooperation with NATO.

The event was organized by the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) with support from the German Embassy in Armenia, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

“We have good cooperation with Armenia and welcome Armenia’s participation in NATO missions both in Afghanistan and Kosovo. We have also launched a successful dialogue in the field of security,” Steffen Elgersma said.

Speaking about Turkey’s aspiration to play a greater role in the South Caucasus, he said that “it’s natural for NATO member Turkey to be interested in the South Caucasus, as it is situated closest to the region.”

“We do hope that the relations between Armenia and Turkey will improve over time,” he added.

According to Koryun Nahapetyan, the Head of Armenia’s delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, relations between Armenia and NATO are developing dynamically.

The Armenian Defense Ministry finds that there is a necessity for targeted policy on the part of NATO in the South Caucasus, said Deputy Chief of the Department of Defense Policy of Armenia Defense Ministry, SCS 2nd Degree State Advisor Ara Mesropyan.

He noted that though Armenia-NATO cooperation was at a high level, there was still potential for its development in a changing security environment, adding that suggestions in that regard could create a basis for the expansion of further cooperation. Armenpress reports that according to Mesropyan, NATO-Armenia cooperation has led to security reforms and to the strengthening of Armenia’s defensibility.

“However, NATO’s constructive role met serious obstacles in terms of regional security and transparency beginning in 2012. All the regional projects funded by NATO failed, except development program of Armenian-Georgian defense cooperation. This happened especially due to Azerbaijani militaristic policy and propaganda of isolation, lies and hatred that the authorities of the country have made for about 10 years,” Mesropyan noted.

Mesropyan hopes that a NATO summit taking place in Warsaw next year will clarify NATO’S policy in the South Caucasus region, and that a declaration adopted there will not include “generalized” and “meaningless” formulations of the past 10 years in regards to independence, territorial integrity and frozen conflicts in the region.

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