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 Friday, February 23 2024 12:56
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia wants to acquire short-, medium- and long-range missiles,  France ready to provide them - Sebastien Lecornu

Armenia wants to acquire short-, medium- and long-range missiles,  France ready to provide them - Sebastien Lecornu

ArmInfo.Armenian-French military cooperation includes practically all spheres of life of the Armed Forces, RA Defense Minister Suren Papikyan stated on February 23 at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu.

The Armenian minister especially highlighted comprehensive  consultations in the field of reforms of the Armed Forces, military  education, training and modernization of the armed forces and defense  assets, and the process of developing military-technical cooperation.

"Bilateral cooperation has been put on a clear basis since this year  and is developing in more than a dozen areas," Papikyan noted,  pointing to Armenia's desire to create an armed forces capable of  withstanding modern challenges.

At the same time, he said that he and his French colleague discussed  issues of regional and international security, noted the need to  establish peace and stability in the region and the importance of the  development of Armenia as a free, independent and democratic state.

"We noted with satisfaction the progress of the implementation of  previously reached agreements and outlined a busy plan for further  actions. I will add that the documents signed minutes earlier form a  new basis for the development of this agenda," Papikyan emphasized.

In turn, Lecornu recalled the long path of friendly relations between  France and Armenia. He also touched upon the defense cooperation that  gained momentum between Armenia and France a year ago.

"We will continue to develop this cooperation. I arrived in Armenia  with a fairly representative delegation.  This once again  demonstrates the importance that France attaches to relations with  Armenia. My delegation also includes representatives of the  military-industrial industry - this demonstrates our capabilities in  this area," he said. 

At the same time, Lecornu named personnel retraining as an important  component of the development of the Armenian armed forces, about  which a corresponding document was signed. According to him, thanks  to this, Armenian cadets will be able to continue studying in the  French military about educational institutions, and officers will be  able to undergo retraining in the relevant French institutions.

He also stated France's readiness to cooperate with Armenia in the  field of air defense, and noted that cooperation will be intensified  starting in 2024.

Lecornu also pointed to the start of arms deliveries under contracts  signed last year. According to him, on February 22, the first batch  of certain protective equipment arrived in Yerevan, and the next  batch of Bastion armored personnel carriers and other equipment is  expected to be delivered in the future.

"I will not delve into the question of what means we are talking  about, but they are all of a defensive nature, since the priority in  this region is the protection of both borders and the population.  This is a priority, and no one can blame Armenia for seeking to  strengthen its defense and armed forces And these efforts will allow  you to best protect your own borders," the French minister noted.

Speaking about air defense, Lecornu emphasized that if Armenia wants  to acquire short-, medium- and long-range missiles, then France is  ready to provide them. "This is precisely where the reliability of a  partner and ally lies, especially when it comes to protecting  sovereignty," the minister concluded.

It should be noted that on the morning of February 23, a solemn  ceremony of welcoming Sebastian Licornu took place at the  administrative complex of the RA Ministry of Defense with the  participation of an honor guard and a military orchestra. The  national anthems of Armenia and France were played. Bilateral  negotiations then took place, followed by a signing ceremony of a  number of documents and a joint press conference between Papikyan and  Lecornu.

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