|Marcello Rizzi and Samvel Balasanyan|
by Gayane Simonyan
Samvel Balasanyan, the mayor of the second largest city in
Armenia, Gyumri, hosted several officials from
the Italian city Nardò ( )
on Wednesday. Puglia
The Italian delegation from Nardò city is headed by Mayor Marcello Rizzi. Mr. Balasanyan greeted the delegation and shortly discussed the Armenian-Italian cooperation, relations and issues concerning the two cities. He expressed his great hope that the bilateral visits and a memorandum to be signed later would contribute to the reinforcement of economic and cultural ties between the two sister cities.
In his turn, the Nardò mayor pointed the importance of the bilateral spiritual relationships stressing that Gregory the Illuminator, a religious leader confided to converting
from Paganism to
Christianity in 301, is the angel-guard of their city, and this appends to the
warmth and fever of the bilateral relationships. Armenia
Mr. Rizzi expressed his great excitement and admire over
as towards his Armenian colleagues’ self-determination of developing and
improving the future cooperation. Armenia
At the end of the meeting the memorandum was signed between
second largest city and Nardò. This memorandum consists of 6 points that cover
cooperation in architecture, tourism, urban development, restoration
construction, IT sector and some other fields of cooperation. Armenia
Exchange of experience and possibilities of investments are the key points in all these spheres.
Gyumri and Nardò were proclaimed as sister cities.
After the signing ceremony, the two mayors held a joint news conference.
During his speech Samvel Balasanyan mentioned that according to the co-mayor of Gyumri, Ruben Sanoyan, Italian city Nardò is very similar to Armenian city Gyumri: Nardò is also a historical city with nearly the same number of population as Gyumri has.
Mr. Balasanyan also stressed that Nardò has a rather big Armenian community there and Armenians play quite an important role in the development of that city. As for Gregory the Illuminator, these people have a very interesting story which creates spiritual connections between Gyumri and Nardò cities.
“I have been in
for several times and I can say that Italians are similar to Armenians with
their character, the way of speaking and the energy we both have”, Mr.
Balasanyan said. Italy
According to him, tourism will surely develop between these two cities as Gyumri airport has been restored, the roads reconstructed, so the direct connection between these two cities are becoming quite realistic.
“We can organize youth events, youth forums concerning art, painting and so on. And if they consider that they can produce paints for stones here, we can provide some place in our city. This is my idea and I will try to implement it”, Mr. Balasanyan said.
In contrast, Mr. Rizzi mentioned that after the proclamation of Gyumri and Nardò as sister cities, their expectations are really high, though he was sorry to say that he had got to know this city only during the disastrous earthquake of 1988.
According to Mr. Rizzi
is the country that is worth supporting. He can see cooperation opportunities in such
fields as tourism and agriculture although entrepreneurial activities can also
be developed. Armenia