Armenia Highlights TRACECA Importance

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan–RFE/RL)–In an announcement issued by the president’s office Thursday–the Armenian government outlined the importance of the TRACECA program to Armenia and confirmed that prime minister Armen Darbinian would head a delegation to Baku next month to attend a summit for that program.

"The government of Armenia attaches great importance to participating in regional programs that increase inter-state economic cooperation," the government statement said.

Yerevan has submitted eight different programs within the framework of the EU’s TRACECA project–it said. One of them calls for a thorough reconstruction of a highway linking Iran to Georgia via Armenia.

Kirk Kerkorian–an Armenian-American billionaire–has already donated a considerable part of the required funding–$85 million. Armenia earlier expressed hope that the EU will secure the rest of the money–which is planned to be spent on refurbishing roads in Armenia and Georgia.

According to Yerevan–if implemented the project will result in the shortest land connection between Black Sea and Persian Gulf.

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