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July 25
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The US-Armenia Local Democracy Forum has started in Yerevan, reports the press service of the US State Department.

This event, opened by Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan and US Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma, is the first of its kind to bring together US and Armenian mayors and regional, state, and provincial leaders for a two-day exchange about what it means to be a local leader in a democracy.

In the opening session of the Forum, local leaders announced their intention to form new city and regional partnerships between the city of Helena, Montana, and Stepanavan community; the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Armavir community; and the state of Michigan and Tavush Province of Armenia.

Following the opening session of the Forum, participants will discuss democracy building at the local level through cooperation with civil society and free media, transparency and accountability, election integrity, constituent engagement, and other areas.

On the second day of the Forum on Tuesday, delegates will travel to Gyumri, meet with municipal officials, visit the Gyumri Technology Center, and hold in-depth discussions on topics such as IT development, fostering public-private partnerships, responding to climate change, and promoting tourism.

Participants will also hold meetings in their sister city and state pairs to share ideas for deepening their dialogue and cooperation over the coming months, with the intent to build robust partnerships that enhance mutual understanding, good governance, economic development, and peace and prosperity for the people of Armenia and the United States.

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