YEREVAN—A send-off ceremony was held Thursday for Armenia’s Interior Police officers who have been deployed to guard the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Armenia’s National Police Chief Valery Osipyan in attendance.
Several months ago a decision was made to dispatch the interior police force officers, who are mainly deployed during national emergencies, to the Armenian border to effectively guard the border as part of the Armenian military.
“Today the [interior] police troops are assuming a very important mission, and that mission is to provide support to the Armenian Army, the Armed Forces while defending the state borders of the Republic of Armenia,” said Pashinyan during his remarks at the ceremony.
He took the opportunity to urge the public to treat police officers as comrades, in an effort to diminish the hostility and mistrust that existed between the police and citizens. This has been a rallying cry for Pashinyan, who also made reference to this approach last week during a rally where he summed the activities of the his government during the last 100 days.
“Our main objective is to ensure that Armenia’s citizens perceive the police and the police officers as protectors of their security, Armenian statehood and the constitution,” he said, urging citizens to treat the police as their “relatives.”
“I am confident that the police officers will fulfill their responsible duty at a high level, will return to their families with pride after each tour,” added Pashinyan.