Kocharian Says Military Accord With Greece Not Directed to Third Party

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On August 30–President Robert Kocharian received a Greek delegation led by Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Greece–General Manusos Parayudakis. During the meeting–Kocharian emphasized that Armenia considered Greece to be a friendly country and a strategic partner. He was pleased to mention that there were no political problems between Armenia and Greece–which created favorable conditions for developing and deepening bilateral relations. The Armenian president noted the dynamic pace of development of economic cooperation between the two states over recent time and thanked the Greek side for its assistance. Kocharian also stressed that the military cooperation between the two nations was not aimed against any third country.

General Manusos Parayudakis described his meetings in Armenia–held within the framework of a two-day official visit–as successful and effective. He attached high importance to the upcoming visit of President Robert Kocharian to Greece–stressing that the visit would give a new quality to Armenian-Greek relations. In General Parayudakis’ estimation–the defense ministries of the two countries have managed to establish good ties and all the planned programs are being successfully carried out.

The Greek Language Teaching Center opened Thursday at Yerevan Military Institute–the country’s chief military education institution. The opening ceremony was attended by Armenia’s chief of staff–General-Lieutenant Michael Harutunian and visiting chief of staff of the armed forces of Greece–General Manousos Paraioudakis.

Equipped with modern teaching facilities–donated by the armed forces of Greece–the Center will have 30 freshmen each year. The tuition will last four years.

Both high ranking officials emphasized the importance of Greek teaching at the Institute–noting that it will essentially ease the retraining courses for Armenian officers at the military academies of Greece. This will also strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Greece is Armenia’s second largest military partner next to Russia–Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Defense–Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia–Lieutenant-General Mikael Haroutiunian said at a press conference on August 31. The press conference covered the results of the four-day official visit of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Greece–General Manusos Parayudakis to Armenia.

At the joint press conference the sides stressed that Armenian-Greek military cooperation has good prospects of development. General Parayudakis said the visit of the Greek delegation was a high-profile one. During the meetings the sides discussed issues of military cooperation–including issues of developing projects of cooperation in the military-industrial sphere–training of officers–and establishing an Armenian peace-keeping battalion. According to Parayudakis–the meetings also considered avenues for developing more effective cooperation within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program and preserving peace in the region. It is noteworthy that Greece is continuing to deliver humanitarian supplies to Armenia.

Regarding cooperation with the countries of the region–the sides emphasized that there is no agreement on trilateral military cooperation between Armenia–Greece and Russia–and that Armenia cooperates with these countries separately.

The trilateral agreement between Armenia–Greece and Iran concerns economic cooperation only. In particular–the countries cooperate in the areas of telecommunications and transport.

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