Addressing students at Armenia’s French University in Yerevan today, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson said Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are front-line states in facing the threats of terrorism. The French University of Armenia awarded NATO chief an honorary doctorate decree.
“Today the Caucasus region is seen as an area of crucial importance to our common security,” Robertson said during his speech at Armenia’s French University. Robertson called for closer cooperation between South Caucasus states. He expressed hope that despite existing problems, the Caucasus countries will move towards creating an area of common security.
NATO chief declined to comment on the question of the Armenian genocide, saying that he would not go into discussions on the issue, although he was aware that Armenians have firm believes. Lord Robertson also told students that Armenian Defense Minister reassured him that he will send peace-keeping troops to Kosovo to support NATO’s peacekeeping operations. According to Robertson, the Armenian peacekeeping unit will operate jointly with Greek troops.
Speaking to reporters yesterday in Yerevan, after meeting with President Robert Kocharian, NATO Secretary General George Robertson said the Armenian leader reassured that his country would play more active role in the Partnership for Peace program. “Armenia plays a significant role in the Partnership for Peace program”, Robertson told reporters.
NATO Secretary General commented also on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when arrived in Azerbaijani capital Baku later today. Addressing the Azeri parliament, NATO chief urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to reach compromise and start working together. Robertson said that Northern alliance has no plans of involvement in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenia maintains close military ties with Russia and unlike its neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan doesn’t want to become a member of NATO.