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arminfo: Armenian peace-keepers fly to Kosovo

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 12, ARMENPRESS: A platoon of 34 Armenian
servicemen stepped today morning aboard a C-130 Hercules aircraft of
the Greek armed forces heading to the former Yugoslav republic of
Macedonia and from the to the region of Kosovo in the first-ever
Armenian peace-keeping mission abroad. The platoon serving on a
contractual basis is part of a special Armenian peace-keeping
battalion that has been trained, equipped and financed by Greece. It
will be placed under the command of a Greek army battalion deployed
in Kosovo.

Armenian servicemen have had intensive English language courses
and are provided with advanced communication means, including also
satellite ones. Under the agreement the Greek side will also take
care of their insurance problems.

Armenian defense minister Serzh Sarkisian and Greece’s ambassador
to Armenia Mr. Antonios Vlavianos were at Yerevan Zvartnots airport
to see off the peace-keepers.

The agreement on sending Armenian troops to Kosovo was signed last
September during a visit to Armenia by General Georgios
Antonakopoulos, the chief of Greece’s armed forces and was ratified
by Armenian parliament on December 13, 2003.

Deputy defense minister Arthur Aghabekian told reporters today
that Armenian authorities are negotiating with US counterparts on
sending a platoon of Armenian doctors, drivers and sappers to Iraq.
He said the platoon may be dispatched to Iraq in 4-5 months.

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