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Cablegate: Iraq Deployment Gets Constitutional Court Ok

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS YEREVAN 002648

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN
DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISP/EURASIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL PARM PGOV IZ AM
SUBJECT: IRAQ DEPLOYMENT GETS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OK

REF: Yerevan 2018

Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Armenia's Constitutional Court ruled December 8
that the agreement signed between Poland and Armenia
regarding the dispatch of Armenian non-combat troops to Iraq
does not run counter to the Armenian Constitution. The
court's decision paves the way for a parliamentary hearing
and vote on the issue. Sources indicate that the National
Assembly will include the issue during planned extraordinary
sessions in mid-December or in early January. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- ----
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF DEPLOYMENT
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) Armenia's Constitutional Court ruled December 8
that the agreement signed between Poland and Armenia
regarding the dispatch of Armenian non-combat troops to Iraq
does not run counter to the Armenian Constitution. Under
the September 6 memorandum of understanding, Armenia
committed to send a contingent of 50 military doctors,
demining specialists and drivers. Defense Minister Serzh
Sargsyan represented the GOAM during the court hearings and
said that the Armenian military personnel would take part in
humanitarian and defensive activities only. Speaking in
front of the panel of nine judges, Sargsyan strongly
defended the GOAM's decision to deploy troops and argued
that Armenia should not stay isolated from regional
developments such as those taking place in Iraq.

--------------------------------------------- ----
MID-DECEMBER OR EARLY JANUARY DEBATE DATES LIKELY
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. (SBU) The court ruling paved the way for parliamentary
hearings on the issue. Despite optimistic announcements by
GOAM ministers regarding eventual deployment, the outcome of
parliamentary debates still remains unclear. Some MPs,
including opposition figures, have raised doubts about the
decision, citing concerns about the security of the
estimated 25-30 thousand Iraqi-Armenians (reftel). Although
the current National Assembly session has technically ended,
the legislature will likely convene two extraordinary
sessions on other issues in mid-December and could, under
its by-laws, include the deployment issue for discussion.
Sources at the National Assembly told us they expected the
GOAM to submit the issue of Iraq deployment for
parliamentary debate before the end of year. Ministry of
Defense sources, however, said they expected a slightly
different timetable that would put parliamentary discussion
and voting in the early part of January 2005.

4. (U) Minimize considered - Baghdad.

EVANS

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