YEREVAN (Armradio)–The initial planning conference for NATO’s Cooperative Longbow/Lancer 2008 military exercises to be held in Armenia kicked off in Yerevan on Tuesday.
The exercises, which will take place in the fall, are being organized under the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program. The conference features 110 specialists from 20 countries including Turkey. Azerbaijan will not be participating although it has received an invitation.
"The military exercises to be held in September will be the most extensive among the exercises NATO has ever conducted in the South Caucasus," noted Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Colonel General Seyran Ohanyan.
"Armenia highly appreciates NATO’s role in ensuring security in Europe and the efforts of the alliance to guarantee stability in the South Caucasian region," Ohanyan declared in his speech during the planning conference.
More than 1,000 servicemen will be participating in the military exercises, said the chief of Staff of the Heidelberg United Land Forces of NATO Brigadier General Claudio Ernesto Vercellotti. These exercises, he added, are among the most important arrangemen’s NATO intends to organize in 2008.