North South Highway Portion Opens in Karabakh

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Two sections of the North-South highway–which connects the north and south regions of Karabakh with each other–opened on Sunday.

The highway is being built with the money raised from the telethons–held in Los Angeles in 1999 and 2000 within the framework of Hayastan pan-Armenian fund.

$3.3 million was spent on building the 30 km section of the road–however–the entire road requires $25 million according to the preliminary estimates.

At the opening ceremony–president of Karabakh Arkady Ghukassian–expressed gratitude to the Diaspora-Armenia’s on behalf of all the people of Karabakh. "This road is of exceptional importance for the development of economy in Karabakh and its defense potential. In this context the importance of the highway connecting Armenia and Karabakh–built in 1995-1999 should be underlined as well–as Karabakh would not have made any economic progress without it," said Ghukassian.

The executive director of the Hayastan pan-Armenian fund Vahan Ter-Ghevondian said that the fund will hold three new tenders for the construction of other three sections of the road.

The deputy head of the Board of Trustees of the fund Gagik Harutunian underlined the fact that about 200,000 Armenia’s brought their contribution to the construction of Goris-Stepanakert and expressed hope that this number will double during the construction of the North-South highway.

Besides the opening ceremony of the highway–the people of Karabakh prepared another surprise as well. Hrair Hovnanian was awarded the Gregory the Illuminator medal and another benefactor–Savey Tufenkian–was awarded the Vachagan Barepasht medal.

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