Thank you for that warm welcome. Minister Tonoyan, Brigadier General Deskins, and distinguished guests, I am delighted to join you here today as the U.S. government honors the dedication and sacrifice of Armenian first responders and rescue personnel by presenting a gift of life-saving equipment to the Ministry and to the people of Armenia.
First responders, like firemen, selflessly work to protect and serve others. All of us trust them with our lives, knowing they will risk theirs by rushing into danger to help us.
Through the U.S. European Military Command’s Humanitarian Assistance program, we have secured $400,000 worth of new equipment for four fire stations – in Masis, Meghri, Sisian, and Artashat. This equipment will enhance the capabilities of these fire stations by helping rescue crews more effectively respond to a variety of emergencies, and will also help safeguard the lives of Armenian firefighters as they go about their important, life-saving work.
This gift, and the many other humanitarian programs offered by the U.S. military over the years, is just one component of the strong and continued cooperation between the U.S. military and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. As we celebrate 25 years of U.S.-Armenian diplomatic relations this year, it is deeply satisfying for me to look back on the many ways we have worked together to improve the safety and well-being of the Armenian people, including, for example, military, medical, and English training, as well as the renovation of fire stations, orphanages, schools, and hospitals. We have been strong partners 5 years and we look forward to future cooperation
I want to emphasize that this project would not have been possible were it not for our very effective partnership with the Government of Armenia. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Emergency Situations for our strong cooperative partnership, as well as our contractor KVG for their care in ensuring the equipment was delivered. And of course, I would like to publicly thank the U.S. European Military Command and the Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation for their generous support for this, and other humanitarian assistance programs in Armenia.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, I am very proud of the strong friendship between our two countries. Working together in partnership with the Armenian government and people, the United States is committed to helping Armenia continue on the path towards the secure, democratic, and prosperous nation its people deserve.