Remarks at George C. Marshall Center Alumni Event

Thank you all for joining us tonight.  It is my pleasure to join with this extraordinary group of professionals working to contribute to Armenia’s strength, resilience, and sovereignty and participate in a unique discussion on “Corruption as a National Security Threat.”

As we all know, the George C. Marshall Center is a special German-American partnership program.

The Center’s cooperation with Armenia began in 1995, and Armenian participation throughout the years in various Marshall Center programs has had a meaningful impact not only on the Caucasus region, but also on wider, Euro-Atlantic issues and security.  Armenia has over 240 Marshall Center alumni – the most of any country in the world! – who represent the full gamut of Armenian government ministries, institutions, and agencies.  These individuals traveled to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, eager to address contemporary challenges and threats affecting this region and the globe today.

As graduates of the Marshall Center, this prestigious group of Alumni has forged strong partnerships and lasting friendships throughout the years, and they have taken home new ideas and put them to work in Armenia.  They have also collectively contributed to a better and more robust understanding in Washington and many European capitals of the unique security and defense challenges facing Armenia and the Caucasus region.

This evening, two impressive young Marshall Center alumni will present their insights from different perspectives on a topic very much of interest to Armenian society and to me personally – “Corruption as a National Security Threat.”The intersection of corruption and national security is an issue of critical importance in Armenia and around the world, and I am pleased to see these two professionals, and the distinguished alumni and guests who have gathered here today, address this subject with such seriousness. I look forward to the presentation and ensuing discussion.

Thank you all for coming tonight, and for the valuable contributions that each and every one of you make to Armenian-American relations.  The United States has proudly stood alongside Armenia as a friend and partner since the early days of Armenian independence 25 years ago, and we value the deep and abiding relationship that exists between our two nations.

Thank you.