Following the seizures of significant quantities of heroin at the Armenian-Iranian and Georgian-Azerbaijani borders earlier this year, the United States – in cooperation with Armenia and Georgia – organized two regional conferences on drug trafficking. The first conference took place in Yerevan on September 11-12 and the second in Tbilisi, on September 15-16. The purpose of these conferences was to support and enhance international efforts to combat international drug-trafficking organizations by developing the capabilities of investigators, prosecutors, and judges to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate cases involving these organizations.
The Armenia conference enjoyed high-level participation from within the Armenian government, reflecting the seriousness with which Armenia approaches this issue. John Heffern, United States Ambassador to Armenia; Vigen A. Sargsyan, Chief of Staff of the President’s Office; Davit Avetisyan, Chairman of the Criminal Chamber of the Cassation Court; and Aghvan Hovsepyan, chairman of the RA Investigative Committee, opened the conference. In addition, Mr. Hovspeyan delivered the conference’s keynote address. Other high-level representatives attended from the Armenian judiciary, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice, and the Investigative Committee.