Today, within the framework of his working visit to the Kingdom of Belgium, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan met with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters.

Serzh Sargsyan and Jens Stoltenberg held a joint press conference summarizing the outcomes of the talks.


The remarks of the President of the Republic of Armenia at the joint press conference with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Thank you, Mr. Secretary General,

It’s a great honour for me to visit the NATO Headquarters again and meet with you to discuss the issues of mutual interest.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance. It was a quarter of a century ago, in 1992, when the newly-independent Armenia joined to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, laying the foundation for establishing partnership relations with the NATO. And today I am glad to emphasize that during that quarter of a century our partnership has grown and has been completed with new content, thus becoming one of the components of Armenia’s multilayer security system.

The Armenia-NATO relations have a quite broad agenda based on clearly understood common interests and needs. It includes both political dialogue at the highest level and numerous examples of practical cooperation.

Together with the Secretary General we highlighted the importance to maintain the current level of political dialogue and continue regular contacts, and discussed issues related to the further development and expansion of our partnership with the NATO.

We acknowledged that four Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plans have been successfully implemented and currently the fifth plan for 2017-2019 is in the stage of approval. We emphasized the importance of the upcoming launch of the activities of the NATO Trust Fund in Armenia. And I invited Mr. Secretary General to visit Armenia, which will provide a very good opportunity to sum up what have been done over these 25 years and to outline our future activities.

Armenia continues its important contribution to the collective efforts aimed at establishing international peace and stability, thereby turning from a security consumer into a security provider. While facing serious security threats, Armenia makes its input to the security and stability in various parts of the world by realizing full well to which extend the world is interconnected today and that there are no longer security challenges of individual states. They challenge both the individual countries and everyone. I would like to commend that by developing its peacekeeping capacities as a result of the Armenia-NATO cooperation, during the recent years Armenia has extended the geography of its engagement. Along with our involvement in Kosovo and Afghanistan today our servicemen also participate in the missions in Lebanon and Mali being carried out under the aegis of the UN. I am glad to note that Armenia is assessed by the Alliance and its member states as an “active partner of the NATO”.

I am also proud that our servicemen are assessed as well prepared, disciplined and responsible participants of these missions. I am convinced that our servicemen will use the international experience and capacities acquired within the framework of peacekeeping missions for our army-building.

Indeed, we touched upon the most explosive security challenge of our region – the recent developments on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. In this context I attached great importance to the support of the NATO and Mr. Stoltenberg personally to the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I am thankful to you, Mr. Secretary General, for supporting us, I mean the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

The April war, followed by continuous regular shootings with the use of heavy artillery and military equipment demonstrate that this conflict is an “active” one and today more than ever it is essential that the international community unite around a civilized settlement by supporting the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs countries towards the peaceful settlement. We noted that according to “Partnership for Peace” program’s framework document, “The protection and strengthening of fundamental freedoms and human rights, ensuring freedom and justice, and establishment of peace through democracy are key common values for the partnership”.

In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm the commitment of the Republic of Armenia to continue to set an active positive agenda with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member states for the further consolidation of international peace and security. I also hope that my next meeting with the NATO leaders will take place in Yerevan.

Thank you.

The remarks of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press conference with the President of the Republic of Armenia

So President,

Warm welcome to NATO Headquarters. It’s a pleasure to meet you again. We last met at NATO Summit in Warsaw in July last year.

And I also welcome our very constructive and interesting discussions we just had in our meeting. And I also welcome the partnership that we have developed, between NATO and Armenia, over many years. That is good for Armenia, and it’s good for NATO. And I also welcome that in our meeting we discussed how we can take that partnership further and continue to strengthen the cooperation between Armenia and NATO.

We have developed our partnership over many years; in fact, this year is the 25th anniversary of you joining the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. It was a crucial time following the end of the Cold War. It proved to be the foundation of our partnership and we have built on that partnership over many years. You attended the Warsaw Summit because of your country’s important contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Thank you very much for Armenia’s presence and contributions to NATO’s military presence in Afghanistan fighting terrorism.

Armenia also contributes forces to our KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, helping keep the Western Balkans stable. Armenian troops are helping to bring stability to those countries and we are very grateful for your contributions, helping to make EuroAtlantic area safer and more secure.

The NATO Alliance is committed to working with you, as well as other partners, because cooperation between NATO and Armenia is in both our interest. Together, we are developing a new, individual Partnership Action Plan, tailored to your needs and requirements and I see opportunities for us to cooperate more closely on interoperability, defense reform and defense education. NATO and our Allies have considerable expertise in defense and security sector reforms. Armenia can draw upon these resources.

I also want to congratulate you on your participation in the Building Integrity program to counter corruption in the armed forces and your progress on implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women peace and security. These are important steps for all of us.

We also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I am concerned about the continuing violence along the line of contact, including this weekend. It is important to avoid escalation, because there is no military solution to this conflict and its persistence is holding back the region. So we encourage both Armenia and Azerbaijan to return to the negotiating table and to work towards a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. NATO fully supports the Minsk Group process to that end.

So thank you once again, for coming here today and thank you so much for our close partnership, which, I think, is good for Armenia and good for NATO.

Thank you so much! 

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