YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia on Thursday officially committed itself to participating in UN-led peace-keeping operations across the world–the foreign ministry announced the next day. Under a communiqu signed in New York by Deputy Foreign Minister Tatul Markarian and UN Deputy Secretary General Michael Sheehan–an Armenian army unit will join the UN multinational peace-keeping force later this year.
"With the signing of that communiqu Armenia becomes the 35th state directly involved in UN peace-keeping operations and officially states its readiness to commit up to 116 soldiers and officers for peace-keeping operations initiated by the UN Security Council," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The final decision on the participation of Armenian peace-keepers in those operations will rest with the government of Armenia," it said.
Officials in Yerevan have said before that a Greek-trained peace-keeping battalion of the Armenian armed forces will be ready for action before the end of this year. More than 50 Armenian officers have already undergone training in Greece.
The foreign ministry said the involvement of Armenian troops in operations abroad may "considerably raise the country’s international standing" and bring them into conformity with "international standards."