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Cablegate: National Assembly Approves Goam Non-Combat

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

271357Z Dec 04

UNCLAS YEREVAN 002787

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CACEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS IZ AM
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES GOAM NON-COMBAT
CONTINGENT TO IRAQ

REF: YEREVAN 2166

(U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) On December 24, the Armenian National Assembly
voted to authorize sending a non-combat contingent to
Iraq. This clears the way for deployment of the
approximately 50-man GOAM contingent of drivers,
sappers, and medics to Iraq in early to mid-January.
The resolution ratifies an agreement signed by
President Kocharian on September 6, committing Armenian
personnel to work with the Polish contingent already in
Iraq (reftel). Opposition parties who boycotted the
National Assembly during most of 2004 returned and
largely voted against the deployment. Most of the pro-
government coalition (with the exception of the
Dashnaks) and non-aligned members, however, voted for
the resolution, and it easily cleared the National
Assembly by a vote of 91 for to 23 against, with one
abstention.

2. (SBU) The National Assembly did not reveal details
of the eight-hour debate, but sources told us that the
Defense Minister Serzh Sargsian took the floor four
times to urge passage of the resolution. After the
vote, Sargsian told the press that sending Armenians to
Iraq is necessary for national security, implying that
the favor of the West is crucial to that security.

3. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.
EVANS

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