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ArmenPress: NATO Conference Kicks off in Yerevan

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 12, ARMENPRESS: Some 65 representatives from 17 countries and senior members from the NATO command have arrived in Yerevan for a special conference that opened today in the Armenian capital to address the planning of NATO- supported multi-national military Cooperative Best Efforts exercises to be held next summer in Armenia by NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program.

Speaking to reporters General Mikael Melkonian, head of foreign relations department at the Armenian defense ministry, said the conference aims to develop co-ordination between the light infantry in peace operations and promote mutual understanding between the NATO partner states.

He said the exercises would be very useful for Armenian defense forces as the scenario will evolve similar to one already tested in the Balkans and Caucasian regions.

Seventeen countries from NATO and members of a NATO- supported Partnership for Peace Program will send their troops to Armenia, including Russia and Georgia.

Pointing out that Azerbaijan did not send a representative to Yerevan the General said it was probably not going to participate. Commenting on Russia’s willingness to allow its troops to participate in Armenian drills, the General said Moscow’s decision was supported by its allied relationship with Armenia. Russia did not participate in similar exercises held last year in Georgia.

The budget of the exercises is to supported by NATO.

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