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Huntsman funds 2 facilities in Armenia

GUMRI, Armenia -- Utah businessman Jon M. Huntsman and Armenian President Robert Kocharyan broke ground Wednesday for a new 400-unit apartment complex and school here in the Armenian city hardest hit by a 1988 earthquake.

Some 100,000 Armenians turned out to celebrate the event with traditional dances and ceremonial songs.Huntsman, chairman and chief executive officer of Salt Lake City-based Huntsman Corp., then dedicated a new roofing tile plant in the Armenian capital city of Yerevan.

Huntsman is funding both facilities, along with a nearby pre-stressed concrete plant, part of some $18 million in humanitarian aid he and his wife, Karen, have donated to Armenia since the devastating quake.

Kocharyan presented Huntsman with the St. Mesrob Mashdots Medal of Honor, the nation's highest civilian award, and made him an Armenian citizen.