“Being involved in the international community’s fight against terrorism, on Bin Laden’s extermination we share the feelings of the Americans and all those who fight against terrorism,” Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said in written comments to the official Armenpress news agency.
“Those feelings are particularly close to us, because people linked with this terrorist organization were in the past involved in the aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh,” Balayan said, alluding to the reported participation of Afghan and other Islamist militants in the 1991-1994 Armenian-Azerbaijani war on Azerbaijan’s side.
Armenia -- Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian inspects Armenian troops in Afghanistan, 24July 2010.
Armenia has backed U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Washington’s broader campaign against Al-Qaeda over the past decade. Shortly after the September 2011 terrorist attacks in the United States, it granted overflight and landing rights to U.S. military aircraft involved in the effort.
Yerevan also sent a 40-strong Armenian army unit in Afghanistan last year. It was deployed near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz.
In addition, the Armenian authorities have enacted in recent years laws aimed at preventing terrorism financing and money laundering.
The U.S. State Department has praised these contributions in its annual reports on international terrorism. The most recent report released last August also noted the South Caucasus state’s “measured progress in implementing border security and combating trafficking in persons, drugs, and [weapons of mass destruction] materials.”
“Widespread corruption, however, continued to hamper full implementation and enforcement of laws that would improve Armenia’s counterterrorism posture and response capability,” cautioned the State Department.