Mikael Harutyunyan

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Mikael Harutyunyan (born February 10, 1946) is the 7th Defence Minister of Armenia since April 4, 2007. Harutyunyan was born and grew up in the village of Sagiyan in central Azerbaijan. In 1994 he was promoted to the rank of Major General and was assigned as the Chief of General Staff of Armenian Armed Forces - First Deputy Minister of Defence. In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and in 2002 to the rank of Colonel General by the decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia. On March 26, 2007, Serzh Sargsyan, who was the Defence Minister, was appointed Prime Minister of Armenia after the sudden death of Andranik Margaryan. The post was vacant until April 4, 2007 when Colonel-General Mikael Harutyunyan was appointed to the post of Defence Minister.

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  • In comparison with 2006, the death rate has decreased by two times, and it is the lowest since the formation of the army. But we can not say this is a good result, because even one death is a loss for us.
  • English language training is one of the primary preconditions and instruments to provide the implementation of Armenia's Armed Forces reforms. Therefore we highly value the role of English language classrooms within Armenian Armed Forces. Furthermore, the increasing number of English classrooms within Armenian Armed Forces is the brilliant example of Armenian-British effective defence cooperation. In the end, I wish to express my word of appreciation to the Ambassador of the UK to Armenia Anthony Cantor and to the entire personnel of the Peacekeeping English Project in the person of the project coordinator in Armenia Mr. Tony Crocker. I am convinced that cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of RA and the British Council will enhance and develop in the upcoming future.
  • Artsakh cannot be a part of Azerbaijan...if like in 1997 they want to become a friend of Azerbaijan on the price of Nagorno-Karabakh, I do not agree with that. In that case, what answer can we give to the families of victims of the Karabakh movement and to those who have become disabled. Why did their sons fight? And about Turkey, we cannot leave the word genocide out of our vocabulary and forget about the 1.5 million victims.
    • Quoted in "MINISTER: ARTSAKH CANNOT BE PART OF AZERBAIJAN" Panorama.am - [February 15, 2008]
  • NATO plays a significant role in ensuring international security and stability. This fact is proved by the presence of peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Cooperation with the Alliance is a priority for Armenia. The IPAP initial 2-year stage is completed. The outcomes will be discussed at the 26+1 NATO session in April. Strategic reconsideration of the security system will start this year.
    • Quoted in article Kosovo "will boost Karabakh recognition drive." - freerepublic.com, [February 7, 2008]
  • No one will involve the army in political processes!
    • Quoted in article "Mikael Harutyunyan: no one will involve army in political processes." panarmenian.net [February 23, 2008]
  • The hearsay that lieutenant general Manvel Grigoryan and lieutenant general Gagik Melkonyan support Levon Ter-Petrosyan does not correspond to the truth. These statements are absolutely false. All Deputies to the Defense Minister are performing their duties. The army doesn't deal with politics. We obey the orders of the Supreme Commander. Dreams of the opposition will never come true.
    • Quoted in article "Mikael Harutyunyan: no one will involve army in political processes." panarmenian.net [February 23, 2008]
  • The information about an Azeri military airplane entering the territory of the Armenian air border does not correspond with reality. The Armenian anti air defense system would not allow any country to enter the border line of the RA without permission. Armenia has one of the most modern technologies when it comes to the air military aspect in the region, and Azeri airplanes became more active in recent days due to general military exercises carried out by the Azeri side. They do not violate our border but are conducting maneuvers. Azerbaijan is aware that Armenia possesses the best anti-aircraft system in the region. No one can violate our border. Our military will perfectly perform the task they are charged with.
    • Quoted in article "Azeri jet didn’t violate Armenian border." panarmenian.net [February 15, 2008]
  • I would like to congratulate everybody with the commencement of the "Combined Endeavour 2007" military exercises. This exercise is running simultaneously in Armenia and Germany. We have about 130 participants from 6 countries, this being evidence of importance and actuality of the event. It is notable that the cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of Armenia and the US European Command is developing and implementing a number of projects, and the vivid evidence of this cooperation is this military exercise. This is not the first military exercise in Armenia. Since 2003, we have hosted a number of military exercises organized with the NATO/PfP and the US European Command. It is important that the running of military exercises in Armenia is growing into a good tradition. Especially since, we already have an arrangement of hosting "Cooperative Longbow/Lancer" military exercises in Armenia for 2008. I would also like to mention with appreciation that the planning conference and working meetings before the military exercise would be held in a constructive atmosphere. We have effectively managed to run all preparation activities with joint efforts of the US European Command, the MOD of Armenia and other partners. The communication field is that chain which has fundamental importance for realizing multinational activities. The effectiveness and successes of our cooperation is related to that. This military exercise not only supports the testing of capabilities of participating units and experts, but also an opportunity for developing effective mechanisms for ensuring an interoperability and carrying out the tasks jointly. It is not accidental that Armenia has always expressed its readiness to host such kinds of events, and all participants have been trying to create appropriate conditions for their work. Taking this opportunity, one more time, I would like to thank all participants for their presence here and the US European command for their assistance in organizational matters. I am sure that due to our joint activities, the military exercise would be on a high professional and organizational level. I also hope that while you are in Armenia, you have a chance to make yourselves familiar with our history, culture and will have wonderful impressions. I am sure that on the 10th of May, after the completion of the military exercise, we will ascertain one more time that another multinational military exercise was held with success and fulfilled its tasks. I would like to wish all participants fruitful work and further success. I allow the commencement of the opening of the "Combined Endeavour 2007" military exercise.

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