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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04YEREVAN684 2004-03-23 03:01:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Yerevan
Cable title:  

MOD BACKTRACKS ON PROPOSED CBE COMPROMISE

Tags:   MARR PARM PGOV PREL AM AJ 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L YEREVAN 000684 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN; RPM ESHULTZ
SECDEF FOR PWATSON
USNATO FOR BROGERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2014
TAGS: MARR PARM PGOV PREL AM AJ
SUBJECT: MOD BACKTRACKS ON PROPOSED CBE COMPROMISE

REF: YEREVAN 615

Classified By: Charge Vivian Walker for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) informed DAO
March 22 that Armenia intends to send 12 participants to the
NATO PfP exercise Cooperative Best Effort 04 (CBE 04) in
Baku. The decision comes after a previous MOD pledge to send
only 3 officers to the exercise in a compromise to the CBE 04
impasse with Azerbaijan. The decision to back out of the
compromise seems to have been made by Minister of Defense
Serzh Sargsyan. End Summary.



2. (C) The MOD told DAO March 19, and confirmed March 22,
that Armenia would send 12 participants to CBE 04 in Baku.
The decision backtracks from a previous pledge by Deputy
Defense Minister Artur Aghabekian (see reftel) to send only
three officers to the exercise. The MOD asserted that under
PfP rules Armenia is entitled to determine at which level it
will participate in any given event.



3. (C) We stressed to GOAM officials the importance of
reaching a compromise with Azerbaijan, and that if the
exercise were canceled Armenia would not escape blame.
Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Melkonian told DAO March 19
that he understood U.S. concerns, and that they would be
taken into full consideration. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Head of the NATO Department, Hrachia Tashchian, told
us he was surprised by the MOD decision, and that the MFA had
not been consulted. (Note: In a subsequent conversation with
Charge, Deputy Foreign Minister Tatoul Margarian confirmed
that the MFA "had known nothing about this decision." End
Note.)



4. (C) Comment. The decision to renege on the CBE 04
compromise seems to have been made at the highest level of
the MOD, despite Deputy Defense Minister Aghabekian's
expressed commitment to reach a compromise on exercise
participation. Judging from Deputy Foreign Minster
Margarian's reaction to the MOD decision, there appears to be
very little desire within the GOAM to make any compromises
with Azerbaijan in the aftermath of the murder in Budapest.
End Comment.
WALKER