Strong army guarantees peace in region – Armenian leader

Strong army guarantees peace in region – Armenian leader

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
16 Mar 04

[Presenter] The commander-in-chief of the Armenian armed forces,
President Robert Kocharyan, visited the Vazgen Sarkisyan Military
School today.

[Correspondent over video of meeting] The director of the institute,
Maj-Gen Stepan Mirzoyan, greeted Robert Kocharyan. Early in the
morning today, the cadets of the Vazgen Sarkisyan Military Institute
met the commander-in-chief of the Armenian armed forces, Robert
Kocharyan, and marched in front of the president. The institute, which
was formed 10 years ago, accepts 250 young men every year. The defence
minister noted that the role of the institute is inestimable as it
trains officers for the army.

[Defence Minister Serzh Sarkisyan] People who come and see the
institute say it is unbelievable that such an institute has existed
for 10 years. We also know that we have various tasks and problems –
starting from military personnel to technical facilities. There are
the best conditions in this institute.

[Correspondent] The commander-in-chief was shown around the
institute. Robert Kocharyan stated that he was visiting the institute
to see the results of work carried out in the last three
years. Armenia was the only country that did not have such a military
structure in the region before. This gap has been filled in today and
the commander-in-chief is pleased with the activities of the military

[President Robert Kocharyan] I am sure that it was very important to
establish this military institute. Such military institutes are not
formed in one or two years, this is a long and laborious process that
requires a technical base and traditions, and it is impossible to
establish it even in one generation. I think that we have filled in
this gap and now we have to work more actively every year to improve
its quality.

The recent meeting with the students of Yerevan State University
prompted me to visit the military institute. The students put forward
many proposals on the recent law on alternative military service, on
visiting a military unit once a week and spending several hours there
in order to receive the rank of officer. If I had suggested studying
law or economics, it would not have been taken so seriously. It is
impossible to prepare any specialist in this way, especially here, as
it requires a deep and comprehensive education.

If we think about our security and our role in this region, then our
army must have serious officers who are being educated in the military

[Correspondent] Robert Kocharyan noted that despite the law on
military service, his sons, who already have sufficient physical
training, will serve in the army too.

[Robert Kocharyan] My sons will not have physical problems. Yes, they
will serve.

[Correspondent] Then Robert Kocharyan visited the cadets’ canteen,
library, museum and familiarized himself with the living conditions of
the cadets. The commander-in-chief of the Armenian armed forces stated
once again today that an organized and competitive army is needed for
secure, stable and peaceful life in the region.

Lilit Setrakyan, Aylur.

[Presenter] The Armenian president also spoke about the situation in
Georgia during his visit to the Vazgen Sarkisyan Military
Institute. Robert Kocharyan expressed the hope that the Tbilisi-Batumi
conflict will be settled peacefully.

[Robert Kocharyan] I think that they will resolve this problem at a
negotiating table. This is our wish as Georgia at large and the Black
Sea ports of that country are of extremely special importance to

[Serzh Sarkisyan] Stability in Georgia is very important to us. We
want stability in Georgia. I do not want to share the thoughts that a
new war will start in the region. We hope that there will be stability
in Georgia.