U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus Visits Armenia

Karen Ghazaryan

Armenian Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan received today U.S. Secretary of the Navy . The two discussed regional and global security issues and opportunities for greater cooperation. The meeting was followed by a joint press conference.

“The military cooperation between Armenia and the United States is developing dynamically. The relations between Armenian and American defense agencies have been special in 2011-2012; there have been a number of reciprocal visits and consultations,” Minister Ohanyan told reporters.

“The current visit evidences that the relations between the two countries in the field of defense are in a high level and tend to develop,” the Minister said.

Seyran Ohanyan presented the directions of cooperation discussed with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “The parties will exchange experience in the field of military production,” he said.

The US Navy has played a great role in the Armenian-American military cooperation. About 200 Armenian peacekeepers have trained in the US only this year.

Ray Mabus said, in turn, that the US attaches great importance to the relations with Armenia and appreciated the contribution of the Armenian forces to the missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The US Navy has worked with the Armenian Defense Ministry on issues of military planning and organization of joint trainings, he said.

Mabus also discussed the importance of defense reform, peacekeeping operations and training, as well as the professionalization of the non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps.  Mabus discussed cooperation with U.S. Marine Forces Europe through the Black Sea Rotational Forces.

“I am grateful for the warm and gracious hospitality of the Armenian people,” said Mabus.  “We value our engagement with Armenia and my visit here underscores the importance of the South Caucasus region.”

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