USA not to deploy troops in Azerbaijan - US general tells Armenians

Mediamax news agency
31 Mar 04

YEREVAN

"The United States is proud that Armenia is our friend in the fight
against terrorism," Director of Plans and Policy, Headquarters US
European Command, Maj-Gen Jeffrey B. Kohler said in Yerevan today.

Gen Kohler said that he expressed his gratitude to the leadership of
the Armenian armed forces for taking part in the peacekeeping
operation in Kosovo, our Mediamax correspondent reports.

The US EUCOM representative noted that Armenian servicemen would also
take part in the restoration of Iraq in the near future. He said in
particular that "at present we are discussing the stationing of
Armenian sappers in Iraq".

Jeffrey Kohler said that he discussed bilateral Armenian-American
military cooperation with the Armenian defence minister and with the
chief of the general staff of the Armenian armed forces.

"We need some time to better understand the opportunities and
requirements of the Armenian armed forces," the American general said.

Director of Plans and Policy, Headquarters US European Command,
Maj-Gen Jeffrey B. Kohler gave a high assessment of the actions of the
Armenian peacekeepers in Kosovo.

The American general pointed out that the Armenian servicemen showed
their worth during the recent outburst of violence in Kosovo.

"The Armenian people can be proud of their peacekeepers," Jeffrey
Kohler said.

The US EUCOM representative recalled that the United States had taken
part in the training of the Armenian peacekeeping battalion. He said
in particular that the American side had organized courses for the
Armenian peacekeepers and provided them with equipment.

Gen Kohler also said that he discussed with the Armenian military
leadership the prospects for US assistance to the Armenian
peacekeeping battalion.

Jeffrey B. Kohler added that "the United States is not going station
its troops in Azerbaijan".

The American general pointed out that "we do not have plans and needs
to station troops in Azerbaijan," Mediamax reports.