A US Navy ship, the USS Fort McHenry, with embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, began its north-bound transit of the Dardanelles Strait, en route to the Black Sea, on January 6, 2019.
The ship is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship.
"USS Fort McHenry's transit into the Black Sea reaffirms our collective resolve to Black Sea security and enhances our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners in the region," the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet website quoted Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, the commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, as saying.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea consistent with international law, including the Montreux Convention.
photo: The USS Fort McHenry (picture courtesy of the US Navy)
Most of the festivities were this year held outside Yerevan, in the city of Gyumri. The main event saw 13 citizens being awarded the title "Hero of our times".
Ahead of a scheduled meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan later this month, Ahmad Alili looks at the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, and argues that public opinion now requires answers and clarifications