Armenia Ready to Send Doctors & Sappers to Iraq

YEREVAN (ITAR-TASS)–Armenia’s first Deputy Defense Minister and Armenian Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Mikhail Arutyunyan said Thursday that three Armenian military doctors and ten experienced sappers (de-mining experts) are ready to leave for Iraq to participate in its postwar restoration.

The Armenian government still needs to discuss questions regarding the delivery of the Armenian servicemen to their destination–such as the route and security guarantees–with the American and Kuwaiti authorities. The initiative will then have to pass through Parliament–Arutyunyan added. He explained that parliamentary approval was absolutely essential because–under the Armenian Constitution–the use of the national armed forces outside of Armenia was the prerogative of Parliament.

"The need for the participation of the servicemen in the postwar restoration of Iraq stems from Armenia’s interests because the stabilization of Iraq will have a positive influence on the situation in the region," the general emphasized. He added that Armenia’s concern for the fate of the 30,000 Armenia’s in Iraq had also played a vital role in the decision.

The Armenian experts will work in such civilian sectors as construction–medicine and humanitarian aid–said Armenian Foreign Ministry press secretary Dzyunik Agadzhanyan. He noted that Armenia was undertaking the aforementioned steps in compliance with its principle of participation in UN peacekeeping operations.


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