A delegation of top leaders of the American Jewish community, under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will visit Azerbaijan from February 9th to 13th for meetings in Baku with President Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister Mammadyarov, and other top governmental, business, and civic leaders of Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
These sessions will provide an important opportunity for dialogue with the top leadership of Azerbaijan, a country of significant strategic, political and economic importance as a major oil exporter, neighbor of Iran, and for its role in confronting extremist Islamic movements. Azerbaijan has been a voice of moderation in a turbulent region and we look forward to further improving the good relations between the US and Azerbaijan and Israel and Azerbaijan through these dialogues. Moreover, Azerbaijan has a substantial and historic Jewish community with which we want to show our solidarity, said Harold Tanner, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Each year we select a country or region of vital significance. Azerbaijan is certainly in the forefront of many of the major concerns on our agenda, they noted.
Carolyn Greene, deputy director of the Conference of Presidents and coordinator of both programs said that this is an annual highlight of the Conferences very full schedule.
The American Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Reno Harnish III, also will address the group regarding Americas political, economic and other relations with Azerbaijan as well as key U.S. concerns vis-Г -vis the Caucasus and Caspian region, including the implications of Islamist extremism in the region. An exchange and reception with Israels Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Arthur Lenk, also is planned.
In addition to extensive exchanges with the Jewish community in Baku, the delegation will also visit Kuba, home to a historic community of Mountain Jews, for discussions with leaders of that ancient community and to learn about their history and communal institutions. In both Baku and Kuba, Conference leaders will engage in dialogue with Muslim leaders to discuss utilizing Azerbaijans positive relations with Israel as a model for other Muslim countries around the world, and encouraging voices of moderation in religious communities, schools and institutions of higher learning. Jewish leaders from Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Mongolia and other countries will participate.
From Baku, the American leaders will fly to Jerusalem. They will be joined there by additional American Jewish leaders for the annual Conference of Presidents Israel Leadership Mission from February 14th to February 18th.