Armenia Makes Sixth Rotation Of Peacekeepers In Kosovo

ARMENIA MAKES SIXTH ROTATION OF PEACEKEEPERS IN KOSOVO
By Ruben Meloyan

Radio Liberty, Czech Rep
Nov 15 2006

Armenia has made a sixth rotation of its peacekeepers in Kosovo as
a 34-member platoon left on a six-month mission to the Balkans to
serve as part of a Greek battalion on Tuesday.

Addressing the soldiers leaving for Kosovo, Armenia’s Deputy Defense
Minister Artur Aghabekian stressed that Armenia once again proves
its readiness to make its contribution to international peacekeeping
missions.

According to the deputy minister, despite the lack of experience,
Armenian peacekeepers have gained an image of a reliable partner due to
the last two years’ service, professional training and responsibility,
which, he said, lays the foundations for establishing Armenia’s
peacekeeping forces. According to Aghabekian, the peacekeeping
battalion will become a basis for Armenia’s professional army.

"We expect this battalion to turn into a brigade in the future," the
deputy minister said. "In 2007, we plan to begin the establishment
of the second battalion. And gradually we should remove the word
‘peacekeeper’, this should be an infantry battalion, manned with
professional servicemen and must be one of the main combat-efficient
subdivisions of Armenia’s armed forces: today performing peacekeeping
missions and tomorrow, if necessary, doing their duty on Armenia’s
borders."

Armenian servicemen have been part of the peacekeeping mission in
Kosovo since early 2004.

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