Markarian Greek Official Discuss Furthering Ties

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia’s prime minister Andranik Markarian Tuesday met with a high level Greek military delegation–led by the chief of staff of Greek armed forces–General Manousos Paraioudakis.

According to the government information department–in underscoring the centuries-long friendship of the Armenian and Greek peoples–Markarian said that both countries remain strategic partners.

The two countries have common problems in the region–the resolution of which mostly depends on their close cooperation and joint efforts–added Markarian.

It was noted that business cooperation has been established in the military sector–particularly in training Armenian officers at military academies in Greece. Markarian noted that this cooperation may result in the strengthening of the military-industrial complex and bilateral relations.

Markarian highlighted that Greece’s membership in NATO–may have a positive effect on Armenia’s active participation within the framework of the Partnership for Peace program. The importance of activities in other international structures was also underlined.

Paraioudakis focused on the importance of bilateral visits and direct contacts. He said that the programs–which had been outlined by the defense ministries of the two countries–were being successfully realized.

The Greek official added that the time had come to outline new directions for cooperation–particularly emphasizing the importance of cooperation in the military-industrial sector–pointing out Armenia’s potential in this sector and the climate of trust and businesslike contacts established between the defense ministries of the two countries.

Paraioudakis arrived in Yerevan Monday on a three-day official visit to discuss ways for deepening military ties between the two countries–and assess the military-political situation in the region–as well as prospects for development of Armenian-Greek relations in general.

"The range of issues to be discussed during our visit in Armenia are of common interest. We will also specify the prospects for bilateral military cooperation," Paraioudakis told at Yerevan Zvartnots airport upon his arrival.

"Greece–as a member country of NATO–is open for cooperation with Armenia. We shall discuss Armenia’s participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace program," he said.

Armenian Army chief of staff–General Mikael Harutunian announced that Armenia has taken part in more than 30 projects. Dozens of Armenian officers have received training in Greek military academies in the past several years. Some 30 Armenian cadets are currently studying in Greece and ten others are due to join them this year. The Greek delegation also brought humanitarian aid to Armenia including medical equipment and medicine to be donated to the army.

The delegation visited the Dzidzernagabert Genocide Memorial in Yerevan and the headquarters of Armenian Church in Etchmiadzin.

On August 31–the delegation will be attending the opening ceremony of a Greek language teaching center at Yerevan’s largest military college.

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