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Liana Sayadyan

Armenia Signs Arms Deal With France

Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan and the French Thales Group today, in Paris, signed a contract that will deliver three GM (Grand Master) 200 radar units to Armenia.

In addition, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Papikyan signed a “letter of intent” on the future delivery of Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles to Armenia.

France also promised to improve Armenia’s air defenses, train Armenian military personnel, and help the country reform its armed forces.

The two ministers gave no details of the deals during a joint news conference held after their talks in Paris. Lecornu stressed the defensive character of the first-ever Western-manufactured major weapons supplied to Armenia.

"Even if we are not part of the same military and political alliances, these defense relations are based on the simple principle that you must be able to protect yourself and your civilian population," Lecornu said at the press conference.

Photo (from left): Sebastien Lecornu, Suren Papikyan

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