NATO Secretary General commends strong partnership with Armenia
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Alliance wants to forge an even closer partnership with Armenia during his first visit to the country on Thursday.
After talks with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan, the Secretary General thanked Armenia for its strong contribution to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, which strengthen the country's own peace-keeping capabilities. He also highlighted NATO's support for Armenia's defence reforms, civil defence and disaster relief efforts, stressing that NATO and Armenia have already achieved a lot: “Armenia is a valuable partner for NATO and NATO is a valuable partner for Armenia. We now have an opportunity to build an even stronger partnership for the future. It’s an opportunity we must seize because we all have to gain and so does the region as a whole.”
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said his visit reflected NATO’s commitment to security and stability in the South Caucasus region. In a speech delivered to students at Yerevan State University, the Secretary General said old barriers of mistrust in the region should be broken down and new bridges of reconciliation buit: “There must be no return to conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tensions must be reduced and concrete steps must be taken to promote regional cooperation and reconciliation."