For the small landlocked country of Armenia, it is critical to reassess the ways it has utilized its natural wealth. Whether it is for promoting commerce, the travel industry, or increasing the country's soft power, Armenia has much untapped potential. 

Khosrov State Reserve, Armenia

Syuzanna Petrosyan on Armenia's untapped potential as an eco-tourism destination.

Khashntur Vahagni, an ancient lamb dish named after the Armenian god of war, Vahagni, a pre-Christian deity, was the main dish cooked by award-winning Chef Grigori K. Antinyan at a dinner organized as part of the “food for diplomacy” project in Istanbul, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Where in the world is Armenia? It’s a question that the country’s President, Serzh Sargsyan, is hoping to get more people around the globe to answer correctly. He wants to mobilize the 10 million Armenians living abroad for a global internet publicity campaign to boost tourism and influence foreign investors. Referring to the “One Armenian, One Article” campaign, the BBC reminds that the idea is to get expatriates to write positive stories about the country.

Photo reprinted courtesy of Micke Jakobsson via Flickr
September 5, 2014

Soft power was all over the news this week in public diplomacy.

Six years ago tomorrow, the Hrazdan Stadium in the Armenian capital of Yerevan erupted into a wall of noise as two unlikely opponents lined out in the first World Cup meeting of Armenia and Turkey -- a match which became the first round of the so-called 'football diplomacy' between the two troubled neighbors. 

The main purpose of DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy program run by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the State Department, is to send American troupes abroad. Yet the program also benefits New Yorkers directly by having an American company bring back a foreign one for a free, collaborative performance here. These visits have proven illuminating, even if the arranged artistic alliances haven’t always gelled.

Whether through economic incentives, political pressure or international collaboration, there is no question that Moscow has the influence needed to maintain peace in the South Caucasus. With the myriad reasons for avoiding war on its southern periphery, Russia also has tangible motivations for keeping Armenia and Azerbaijan from returning to the battlefield.