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October 21
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YEREVAN. – Armenia and Lebanon will exchange intelligence. Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said this at his joint press briefing Friday with Elias Bou Saab, the visiting Lebanese Minister of National Defense.

In Tonoyan’s words, Armenian-Lebanese defense cooperation is based on many years of friendship and readiness to assist, common approaches, and it has good prospects. The minister noted that the two parties are at the phase of ratification of a new agreement on cooperation, and which is intended to extend the respective agreement that was signed in 2001.

Tonoyan said that he had presented to his Lebanese colleague the objectives and challenges of Armenia’s mission in Syria.

At the same time, he noted that the Armenian division in Lebanon within the UN contingent is a unique debt of repayment to Lebanon’s efforts to establish peace.

As per the Armenian defense minister, the two parties also noted the high level of political dialogue and confirmed their shared approaches to regional and international matters, and referred to the processes along the periphery of the two countries.

In his turn, the Lebanese defense minister noted that the invitation to visit Armenia was the first for him in this capacity, though he has visited Armenia before. This time, however, the minister came with his Armenian wife, and noted that kinship links his family to Armenia.

Saab noted that Armenia and Lebanon have the opportunity of cooperation, especially in exchanging intelligence.

He added that the parties discussed the possibility of setting up a commission to expand cooperation.

The Lebanese minister noted that he had toured downtown Yerevan Thursday and noticed a big difference as compared with his last visit.

“You have a bright future, a brilliant youth who will work to strengthen the army and the country,” he said. “I believe our cooperation will develop because it comes from the heart, not from political considerations.”

Also, he lauded Armenia’s participation in the UN mission.

Elias Bou Saab stated that Armenia’s mission in Syria is a humanitarian one aimed at restoring peace and security.

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