Rumsfeld Meets Armenian Defense Minister

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)–Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian met U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon on Wednesday to discuss a wide range of military issues.

A Pentagon spokesman told our correspondent the talks centered on bilateral security issues–including strengthening the two countries’ military partnership. The spokesman’said there is a new era of cooperation between the U.S. and Armenia.

He said Rumsfeld expressed appreciation for Armenia’s support of the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Rumsfeld visited Armenia last December. The Pentagon spokesman’said a joint news conference by Sarkisyan and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was canceled earlier today because of a scheduling conflict by the U.S. official.

Serzh Sarkisian will hold separate meetings on Friday with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Stephen Hadley–deputy director of the National Security Council. He is also scheduled to visit the National Defense University in Washington.

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