Armenia committed to contributing to peacekeeping undertakings - Defense Minister
Armenia, as a country that has felt the price of international security and stability in practice, has accumulated considerable experience in the field of peacekeeping over the past 15 years, Armenian defense Minister David Tonoyan said at the Moscow Conference on International Security. He noted that Armenia, peacekeepers started their mission in Kosovo and Iraq, and are currently represented in four international missions.
The Defense Minister noted that when participating in international peacekeeping missions, the international community should strictly adhere to two fundamental UN principles:
1. An international mission should be conducted at least with the consent of the legal authorities of the host country.
2. Peacekeeping forces perform tasks for their intended purpose without prejudice and are completely impartial.
He added that the peacekeeping forces should have a rationalized mandate and composition and be prepared for any development of events, acting solely within the international humanitarian law and the tasks and obligations assigned to them.
Armenia, he said, being in an unstable and unpredictable security situation, when the concepts of “war and peace” are very shaky, has been moving forward with the consistent development of defense capabilities and developing national capabilities for maintaining peace and international security.
“Armenia, as a country that has felt the price of international security and stability in practice, has accumulated considerable experience in the field of peacekeeping over the past 15 years, the acquisition of which began in Kosovo and Iraq. Currently, Armenian peacekeeping forces are represented in four international missions,” he said.
“We also demonstrated a consistent commitment to helping to ensure positive changes in the regions affected by the full-blown crisis, which was reflected in our recently launched National Humanitarian Mission in Syria, the decision on which was taken in accordance with the official request of the host country - the Syrian government, and the request by the Armenian community of Aleppo and their religious leaders, with the assistance of the Russian Ministry of Defence, for which we are very grateful to the Russian Government,” the Defense Minister added.
He stressed that the deployment of the Armenian humanitarian contingent in this region is justified by the historical factor of the Armenian presence in the Middle East from time immemorial and the desire to preserve our roots in the Middle East, taking into account the bitter experience of the past ten years of instability, resulting in a massive exodus of Armenians from Iraq.
“The humanitarian mission comprises medical personnel and demining specialists who, in cooperation with their Russian colleagues, provide assistance to the population of the Syrian Arab Republic affected by a long-lasting war,” David Tonoyan stated.
He emphasized that the Republic of Armenia intends to continue to make its feasible contribution to the UN-sanctioned peacekeeping undertakings of various formats, carried out in various geographic, climatic, ethnic and confessional operational environments. To this end, we are ready to use all the potential that we have, and above all, the field hospital and specialists in the fight against improvised explosive devices.
He assured that Armenia is a champion of the equivalent application of the norms of international law and the right to free choice, reasonable globalization and international security architecture based on abstaining from the policy of “force” and maximalist approaches, hate speech and belligerent statements.