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U.S., Armenia to Sign Biosecurity Pact

The United States and Armenia are preparing to sign an agreement aimed at boosting the former Soviet state's defenses against potential acts of bioterrorism, Public Radio of Armenia reported today (see GSN, July, 15, 2008).

The U.S. Defense Department and the Armenian Emergency Situations Ministry would collaborate to strengthen Yerevan's biosecurity and biosafety measures, centralize and defend disease material and associated research, and increase the nation's capability to track, identify, report and address biological threats.

The effort would be carried out through the U.S. Biological Threat Reduction Program under the terms of a U.S.-Armenian WMD counterproliferation pact signed in 2000 (see GSN, Nov. 23, 2005).

Biological Threat Reduction Program activities are already under way in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan (Public Radio of Armenia, Feb. 5).

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