YEREVAN (Arka)—On Friday, Armenia joined the EU-funded Black Sea Silk Road Corridor (BSSRC) project, which fosters tourism development, cross-border cooperation and economic development in 173 communities across Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Greece.
BSSRC is a tourism path stretching for 3,000 kilometer from Thessalonica, Greece, to Meghri, Armenia with a trail of 150 cultural sites marked throughout the region. A special internet portal and a smartphone application have been developed for it.
The project is implemented by the Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) and is financed by the European Union. In Armenia, the program is co-financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Honorary Consulate of Italy in Gyumri, and Arminco Telecom Company. Of 1.284 million euros, released for the project, some 325,500 are meant for Armenia.
Speaking at a special ceremony in Yerevan, deputy Armenian minister of culture Arev Samuelyan commended AMAP for installing 400 information panels and 382 pointers at 175 sites in Armenia between 2008 and 2014.
US ambassador to Armenia John Heffern also stressed the regional importance of this project saying it is designed to connect people. He called on all airlines in the region to take advantage of Armenia’s “open skies” and organize flights to and from Armenia.
The head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, said this initiative is a perfect example of what countries can do by combining their efforts “if there is political will and a little money.”
“Such programs once again prove that the EU is really trying to help in establishing cooperation beyond its borders, particularly in the Black Sea basin. Today we have a goal to increase the budget of the project,” he added.
Greek Ambassador to Armenia Ioannis Tagis, in turn, stressed that for many centuries the Silk Road united people, helping them to meet new cultures.