YEREVAN, DECEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS: The Armenian parliament decided on December 5 to prolong the presence of a small peace-keeping Armenian platoon in Iraq for another 12 months. The 46-member Armenian platoon was sent to Iraq in 2005 January 18. It comprises sappers, truck drivers and doctors and is placed under the command of the Polish contingent.
Addressing the parliament yesterday defense minister Serzh Sarkisian said despite the arguments of many political forces in Armenia twelve months ago that presence of Armenian peace-keepers in Iraq would jeopardize the Iraqi Armenian community and Armenia’s relations with the Arab world, the experience of the 12 months has shown that it was a right decision.
“It is obvious that Armenia that has chosen the path of integration could not remain isolated from international developments, especially that other two South Caucasian nations of Georgia and Azerbaijan have their contingents in Iraq,” he said. Sarkisian also argued that the presence of Armenian servicemen in Iraq has promoted the rise of Armenian armed forces’ image.