Kocharian Hails Strides in Combatting Terrorism

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–President of Armenia Robert Kocharian met with a Russian delegation led by Minister of Interior Vladimir Rushailo.

Attaching great importance to the joint work of the law-enforcement agencies of Armenia and Russia–Kocharian voiced confidence that combined efforts in the struggle against crime will be more efficient.

Rushailo briefly presented the structure and tasks of the ministry led by him. According to the participants of the meeting–the documen’s signed during the meeting determine priorities of bilateral cooperation and will boost cooperation and make relations between the two ministries more dynamic. Both sides stressed the importance of data and knowledge exchange–training of personnel and joint struggle against terrorism–racketeering and organized crime. Terrorism is the greatest evil and the struggle against it bears particular importance for any country–Kocharian said.

The sides noted with satisfaction that Armenia and Russia cooperate efficiently under the umbrella of the CIS Council of Interior Ministers.

Vladimir Rushailo also briefed president Kocharian on the situation in the North Caucasus.

Kocharian also met Thursday with Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Sergey Ivanov who arrived in Yerevan at the invitation of Secretary of the Presidential Security Council Serge Sargssian.

The sides discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation in the national security sphere.

Expressing satisfaction with the development of the bilateral cooperation under the CIS Collective Security Treaty–Ivanov stressed Russia’s intention to strengthen its strategic partnership with Armenia. Ivanov said that the establishment of close cooperation between the two countries’ Security Councils will promote stability in the region as well.

Ivanov informed the Armenian president about the realization of a plan of establishing a permanent body of the secretaries of the security councils of the signatories to the CIS Collective Security Treaty.

The first meeting of the joint board of the interior ministries of the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation held on February 3 discussed joint efforts to combat terrorism–illegal arms and ammunition trafficking as well as personnel training.

At a press conference following the meeting Armenia’s Interior Minister Hayk Haroutiunian expressed satisfaction with the work done.

"We have a common space to combat crime; the similarity of our methods and forms of struggle make us combine efforts to oppose this evil," he said–adding that the meeting of the joint board had been held in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and constructivism and that all issues of the agenda had been approved unanimously.

Rushailo described the creation of the joint board as a new stage of cooperation. At the same time he emphasized the importance of informal contacts. According to the minister–a number of events are scheduled to be held on the margins of the board meetings–such as the establishment of joint groups–exchange of information and activities that will promote stronger cooperation between the two ministries.

Rushailo said there is a large Armenian Diaspora in Russia and some ethnic Armenia’s commit offenses.

There is operative information about separate individuals who act both in Armenia and Russia and the two departmen’s keep exchanging information.

As to joint combat against terrorism–Rushailo said it is still in the beginning stages. "There is a certain circle of people who are of mutual interest to both departmen’s," he said–adding that exchange of operative information should also be accompanied by joint operative and investigative action.

It is also planned that Russian higher schools will train and re-train personnel for Armenia’s interior system.

The opening of an office of Russian law-enforcement agencies in Armenia is under consideration now–but it requires proper financing and the terms have not yet been specified.

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