22:00 ~U 27.02.13

An Armenian MP affiliated with the opposition Heritage party asked
the defense minister at a Wednesday parliament hearing about the
government's current steps designed to instill the idea of transparency
in the military.

"It is no secret, and we have seen that the army is often used for
political purposes, as for example, during elections. What guarantees
can you give for preventing the army from any interference in the
country's domestic life, and what are we all supposed to do to distance
the army from all this?" Tevan Pohghosyan asked the National Assembly's
question and answer session.

Minister Seyran Ohanyan said that his agency has been always committed
to, and will keep on strengthening the army-society ties, refraining
from special steps aimed at raising the army's image.

Addressing the remark about the military's involvement in politics,
the minister stressed the importance of keeping the Armed Forces
neutral in political processes.

"The Armed Forces must be neutral in general politics. And we ban
all sorts of political movements; the Army is never made to serve
political ambitions. Servicemen in the army have no right to attend
political gatherings, but the army is given the opportunity to be
internally aware of legal developments," he said.

Seyranyan noted that soldiers in the military maintain contacts
with their families who often give them guidance on their political
behavior. "I find, nonetheless, that it is right to guard the army
against political processes," he added.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress