by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the joint press conference with the President of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan
My visit to Armenia shows that NATO is and will remain committed to the South Caucasus region. And we highly value the relationship we have developed with Armenia over the years.
We appreciate your constant support for our mission in Afghanistan. Last year, you have more than doubled your contribution to ISAF. And recently you have once again joined our operation in Kosovo. Your troops and your trainers are doing a great job, and you can be proud of their professionalism.
Your country’s contributions to NATO-led operations mean that Armenian personnel have received valuable training and peacekeeping experience. This is important in developing your own peacekeeping capabilities, an effort in which NATO is providing significant support.
An important priority in our partnership has been civil defence and disaster response.
We have also established good cooperation and dialogue on defence reform, and we encourage you to stay the course. NATO is ready to continue to assist.
NATO and Armenia share many political priorities and security interests. We have achieved a great deal together, in Afghanistan and in Kosovo. This is the time to build on our success. To deepen the practical experience that our military forces have gained in the years of cooperation. And to explore what more we can do together to face the security challenges of the 21st century.
So 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.