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Minister of National Defence Nikos Dendias Visits Armenia – Defea
6-8 MAY 2025 | METROPOLITAN EXPO - ATHENS, GREECE
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Mar 05
2024

Minister of National Defence Nikos Dendias Visits Armenia

Οn Monday, 4 March 2024, the Minister of National Defence, Nikos Dendias, made an official visit to Armenia, where he met with the Armenian Minister of Defence, Suren Papikyan.

During the bilateral meeting, as well as during the meeting of the delegations, they discussed matters related to the further enhancement of the defence cooperation between Greece and Armenia, the latest developments in the security situation in our broader region, as well as Armenia’s participation in the Greek defence innovation ecosystem.

After the meeting, Mr. Dendias and Mr. Papikyan symbolically planted firs outside the Ministry of Defence of Armenia.

During the common statements with the Armenian Minister of Defence, the Greek Minister stated the following:

“Dear Minister, my dear friend Suren,

I’m so happy to be here today in my first visit to Yerevan as Minister of National Defence and, of course, as you were kind enough to mention, this meeting follows up on your recent visit to Athens in December and also the discussions and the meeting between Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Prime Minister Pashinyan just a few days ago.

Let me be frank, history combines us, we share similar tragic experiences of persecutions and genocides, our peoples have suffered together and this has forged very strong links between the Armenians and the Greeks, our two countries, but also our two peoples. And later today, of course, I will pay a visit to the Genocide Memorial, a site for praying and a site for reflecting on our common past.

Our relations are fuelled, among other factors, by the existence of a very important and prosperous Armenian community in Greece and a Greek community, rather smaller, but I hope it will get larger, to Armenia.

We’re witnessing a very fragile environment, as you were kind enough to mention, revisionism, expansionism have re-emerged by forces that disregard International Law, international treaties, values, principles of the United Nations Charter, and the world community has to create a common front against these challenges and we must demonstrate that we are ready to prevent the escalation of conflicts and try to return to a peaceful environment. Also, of course, all this has to be done in accordance with International Law.

Today, during our discussions, we have again agreed to practical ways to enhance our bilateral defence relations after we have signed together, as again you were kind enough to mention, the bilateral agreement on military technical cooperation. And, following that, we have signed in this year the military cooperation programmes, which will bring the Armed Forces of our two countries much closer in the field of training, also which has produced even in the past important results.

Many officers from the Armenian Armed Forces have been trained in Greek Schools. And we’re looking to host many more. But also, we can forge a successful cooperation in innovation in defence. I was lucky to have the opportunity to brief you in the new legislation for establishing a new Centre for Defence Research and Innovation in Greece and we would be happy if Armenian companies and Armenian interests participate in this ecosystem of us.

Also, we have established a successful trilateral scheme of defence cooperation between our countries and Cyprus, but also other trilaterals can exist, or quadrilaterals, with France and with India. Important countries, important powers, very big powers that are common friends of Armenia and Greece.

On a more general issue, I’d like to repeat that Greece firmly believes that differences should be settled by peaceful means. We categorically, I repeat, categorically oppose any unilateral military actions in this region. And we support achieving a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but in the framework of International Law.

Also, I would like to say that I will have the opportunity during our lunch, that you are kind enough to host, to brief you on Operation “ASPIDES”, the biggest military operation of the European Union, which is now headed by Greece, and has to do with a fleet in the Red Sea, which will safeguard the security of navigation.

Also, I will brief the Minister on the latest developments between Greece and Turkey, but also the overall security situation in the Southeast Mediterranean, Gaza, North Africa, and the Sahel.

I have to say, as a last remark, that I’m always touched by the generosity and the warmth of the hospitality I receive when I come to Yerevan. I don’t think there is any other place where you feel so much at home as when we are here together. And, I have to say, I’m looking very much forward to achieve more things together and come even closer, although we are so close that this will be a very huge task.

Again, dear Suren, thank you so much for your warm hospitality. It is greatly appreciated.”
Mr. Dendias then visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial, where he laid a wreath.

In his statement after the visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial, the Minister of National Defence stated the following:

“This is my third visit as a Minister to Armenia, the first as Minister of National Defence.

It’s a fact that Armenia has historically been a friend of Greece and that there are close feelings between the Greek and Armenian peoples. However, my visit has a much more practical purpose, to deepen the cooperation between the two Ministries of Defence and the two countries’ Armed Forces.

I would like to remind that the Armenian Army and the Armenian defence system have been attacked by an army that uses drones, particularly the Bayraktar drone.

Thus, the close relations between the two countries’ Armed Forces are particularly useful for us, they can provide defence know-how transfer against an existing system which we would like to know sufficiently.

On the other hand, there is great potential for cooperation on the defence industry ecosystem, which I introduced to the Cabinet a few days ago and will be brought for voting to the Parliament.

In general, the Armenian side has shown great interest in the reform in the Hellenic Armed Forces. The reform which the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has characterised the greatest reform since the establishment of the Hellenic State.

So, within this framework and a few days after the visit of Prime Minister Pashinyan to Athens, my visit aims at deepening Greek-Armenian relations and creating a framework for close cooperation between the two countries on the matters that concern us.”

Following that, the Greek Minister was received by the country’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan. The meeting confirmed the common strong will for further enhancement of the cooperation between Greece and Armenia in the area of Security and Defence,
Mr. Dendias also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, with whom he discussed the enhancement of bilateral defence cooperation, within the framework of the traditionally friendly relations between the two countries, as well as the security situation in the broader region.

source: www.mod.mil.gr