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groong: Troops From 19 Nations Start Exercises In NATO Program

Associated Press

June 16, 2003

YEREVAN, Armenia — Troops from 19 nations began joint exercises
Monday in Armenia as part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.

The exercises, which are to last through June 27, are designed to
test the troops’ skills in situations that could arise during a
peacekeeping mission, officials said. Russia and Armenia, as well
as other former Soviet republics and former Eastern bloc countries,
are joining eight NATO countries for the exercises.

“Confrontation has given way to cooperation, and its nucleus is joint
exercises, which allow us to create a joint team that will meet modern
challenges,” Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian said at the
opening ceremony

An imitation town has been built at the Vazgen Sarkisian military
institute on the outskirts of the capital, Yerevan, as the backdrop
for the exercises.

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