Armenian defence minister praises army’s role

Armenian defence minister praises army’s role

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
15 May 04

[Armenian Defence Minister Serzh Sarkisyan] The cease-fire proposal
made on 12 May 1994 was acceptable to us. Although there are opinions
that if the cease-fire had not been thrust upon us and if we had not
concluded the cease-fire agreement, we could have achieved greater
successes.

Over the last 10 years, I have asked myself more than 10 times. If we
had the opportunity not to sign the cease-fire and to continue the
hostilities, we could have achieved success that would have forced
the enemy to ask for peace and solve our problem once and for all. I
have always drawn the conclusion that we had no such opportunities.

Possibly, if we had continued the hostilities, we could have
achieved some success, but to this end, we needed a greater amount
of weapons first of all, and we also had to answer the question of
whether our achievements would justify our losses. Apart from this,
the Azerbaijani army was entirely defeated, but unfortunately our
losses were increasing.

What did these 10 years of neither war nor peace give us? We managed
to complete the build-up of the army and now we are implementing this
work according to schedule. We managed to get a sufficient number of
weapons for our army, increase army discipline, educate our officers
and train young professional officers. We managed to bring our army
into combat readiness. We must admit that this is not only our own
assessment of our army’s combat readiness.

What the army needs to do today is to defend and improve the current
situation. Of course, financing is needed. But the most important
thing is the national attitude to the army. The Armenian army is the
army of the Armenian people and we must support it.

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