World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Rumsfeld/Armenian Defence Minister Joint Presser

Secretary Rumsfeld Joint Press Conference with Armenian Defense Minister

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Saturday, December 15, 2001

(Joint press conference with Armenian Defense Minister Serge Sargsyan at the Presidential Palace, Yerevan, Armenia)

Sargsyan: Good afternoon. We have had a round of discussions with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The main topic of our discussions with the secretary, as it has already been announced, was Armenia's involvement in the struggle against terrorism and military cooperation between the two country's ministries of defense. We have expressed our readiness to support the anti-terrorism activities and have agreed with the secretary of Defense that after the passage of the decision by U.S. Congress [referring to the waiver of Section 907] we will discuss concrete issues of cooperation in the military sphere.

Rumsfeld: Thank you very much. Good afternoon, Mr. Minister. We have indeed had very good discussions with the minister first, and then with the foreign minister and also the president. We have discussed our respective roles and responsibilities with respect to the war on terrorism and, indeed, we also talked about the fact that we are both partners in the NATO "Partnership for Peace" program and we'll be seeing each other next week at the NATO Ministerial Meetings. As the minister said, we are expecting that Congress will act on the waiver of Section 907 some time this week or next and that our two countries will be able to proceed with a military-to-military relationship, which will be of benefit to both of our nations. I am looking at my calendar and it tells me that the meeting was supposed to end ten minutes ago but we will take a question or two.

Q: What kind of military assistance are you expecting to receive from the United States?

Sargsyan: We would like to continue the programs that we are currently implementing. First of all, it is a program related to officer training and secondly, completion of the work on the de-mining center. We attach great importance to both programs and we would like to get serious assistance in the modernization of our means of communication.

Q: A question to both ministers. What are the main areas where you see prospects for military cooperation between the two countries?

Rumsfeld: I would agree with the minister's comments earlier.

Q: (Mediamax Armenian news agency) Secretary Rumsfeld, Turkey is a key partner of the United States in this region and is playing a very important role in the campaign against terror and Armenia also participates in this program. Don't you think that now the United States has to call upon Turkey to stop the blockade of Armenia and establish diplomatic relations with it to make this region more stable and predictable?

Rumsfeld: I had a trouble understanding the last portion of the question. But the United States and Turkey, of course, are partners in NATO and certainly the United States and Armenia and Turkey are all partners in the Partnership for Peace in NATO and have worked together on a variety of things.

Q: (Inaudible) [would you please comment on the last 24 hours' operations in Afghanistan, the last two days the US was bombing 10 times a day, there were also land operations, could you give us an update on what is happening now in Afghanistan?]

Rumsfeld: The situation in Afghanistan is essentially calm in areas such as Mazar-e Sharif and Herat and Kabul. The situation in Kandahar is still somewhat unsettled but the airport now is under the control of the U.S. Marines and is being prepared for use. The situation east of Kabul towards Jalalabad and towards the border continues to be an area where there is conflict. It is estimated that there are hundreds of al Qaeda and possibly Taliban forces filled up in the caves and tunnels and Afghan opposition forces and U.S. forces are pursuing them. The last report I received indicated that opposition forces are making good progress. And I can leave the minister of Defense here to answer questions all evening but I have to leave after one more question.

Q: (Russian media) There are people who say that the fact of the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will lead to another arms race. Is that true?

Rumsfeld: It is true that there are people who say that. They are wrong. They are not just a little wrong, they are very wrong. The whole history of your adult life proves they are wrong. Since the beginning of Arms Control in the 1960s and 70s the numbers of weapons were going up and up and up. That was an arms race during the era of arms control. President Putin and President Bush have announced they are going to have the weapons go down and down and down from thousands down to 1700 to 2200. Any suggestion by anybody, attributed or unattributed that some change in the ABM treaty is going to lead to an arms race is just flap -- not so. In fact, the next five years will prove what I've just said to be the case. Thank you very much, nice to see you all.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news