AJC Delegation Meets Azerbaijan President, Foreign Minister In Baku

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 4, 2014 at 7:51 a.m.



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO FOREIGN, NATIONAL, AND RELIGION EDITORS:

AJC Delegation Meets Azerbaijan President, Foreign Minister In Baku

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An AJC

delegation concluded a three-day visit to Baku, Azerbaijan. This was

the global Jewish agency's fourth visit to the nation since 2008 and

fifth meeting with President Ilham Aliyev.

In addition to the 75 minute-long meeting with the President, the

delegation was also received by Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov;

Chair of the State Committee on Diaspora Affairs Nazim Ibrahimov;

Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz; U.S. Ambassador Richard

Morningstar; German Ambassador Heidrun Tempel; Military Adviser to the

President Vahid Aliyev; and a top official of the State Oil Company of

Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

The main topics of discussion included Azerbaijani-U.S. and

Azerbaijani-Israeli relations, as well as recent developments in the

region, including the current situation in Ukraine.

The ten-person AJC delegation also met with leaders of the local

Jewish community during visits to three synagogues in Baku. Azerbaijan

is a predominately Shiite Muslim country that is staunchly secular and

pluralistic in its identity. The Jewish community of Azerbaijan is an

integral part of the nation's cultural fabric and has lived largely

free of anti-Semitism.

Azerbaijan is also a critical geopolitical partner of the United

States and enjoys warm relations with the State of Israel.

"Unless and until you visit Azerbaijan and see the country first-hand,

you cannot imagine the dynamism and strategic importance of this

nation -- to the U.S., to Europe, and yes, to the State of Israel,"

explained AJC Executive Director David Harris.

"Sandwiched throughout much of its history among the Persian, Ottoman,

and Russian empires, the independence, development, and potential we

witnessed in Baku is truly something to behold," said Harris. "We

shall eagerly look forward to our next visit."

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

-0- 03/04/2014

/CONTACT: Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, 212.891.6771, bandlerk@ajc.org

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO

PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.ajc.org

CO: American Jewish Committee

ST: Azerbaijan

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The Associated Press

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