US not intend to deploy military bases in South Caucasus – general

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 26, 2004 Monday

US not intend to deploy military bases in South Caucasus – general

By Tigran Liloyan


General Charles F. Wald, deputy commander of the U.S. European
Command, said the U.S. does not intend to deploy its military bases
in the South Caucasus.

After his talks with Armenia’s military leaders on Monday, General
Wald said the U.S. intends to have its partners in order to fight
terrorism, which continues to grow.

The U.S. intends to maintain cooperation with Armenia, Russia and
Azerbaijan in fighting terrorism, ensuring stability and other fields
of mutual interest, the general stressed. The U.S. is a witness of a
new world and it is ready to maintain partnership in this changing
world for new purposes, General Wald said.

The U.S. European Command is planning to conduct joint exercises with
all countries of the region, he said. The general noted Armenia’s
active participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme.

First Deputy Defence Minister Colonel-General Mikhail Arutyunyan,
chief of Armenia’s General Staff, said, “The consultations on the
army reform in Armenia will be an important part of the talks.”

General Wald discussed prospects for cooperation between Armenia and
the state of Kansas in carrying out peacekeeping and medical
programmes and conducting joint exercises.

The consultations also focused on training of Armenian officers in
U.S. military schools, modernising the Armenian Armed Forces’
communication system and developing cooperation as part of NATO’s
Partnership for Peace programme.

Earlier in the day, Armenia’s Armed Forces and the U.S. European
Command signed an agreement on purchases and supplies. The agreement
will make it possible to provide logistical support to each other
during different exercises with the following compensation on a
mutual basis.

All obligations “are of mutual nature and allow the armies of the two
countries to establish ally relationship,” the Armenian general said.

General Wald said the agreement is very important both for the U.S.
and Armenia. The agreement envisions fuelling up of American military
planes at Armenia’s airfields. Armenian aircraft will be fuelled up
at U.S. military bases in Europe.