Discussions on Azerbaijan held at influential meeting of American Jewish community

Discussions on Azerbaijan held at influential meeting of American Jewish community
# 04 March 2013 09:04 (UTC +04:00)

APA’s Washington correspondent reports that Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov made a speech at the annual policy conference entitled “Forming future together” of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The discussions entitled “Israel’s relations with the South Caucasus countries” held within the conference was also attended by Svante Cornell, Research Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program and Brenda Shaffer, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa.

Giving information about Azerbaijan-US relations, Elin Suleymanov said that both countries are closely cooperating in energy sphere and counterterrorism and underlined the importance of the US support for implementation of energy projects that will accelerate the regional development and integration.

The ambassador noted that the Jewish community has never been exposed to any religious discrimination in Azerbaijan, where most of the population is Muslim. He also stressed that the Azerbaijani people will never forget the fact that during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the Jewish community representatives fought heroically together with Azerbaijanis and died.

Noting that currently, 40 percent of Israel’s energy demand is supplied by Azerbaijan, the diplomat underlined the importance of high-level official meetings for further expansion of relations and mentioned the visits of the Israeli President and Prime Minister to Azerbaijan.

Addressing the meeting, Cornell estimated the South Caucasus as a “vital corridor” between West and East and underlined the particular importance of the commitment of Azerbaijan, the only state that has borders with Russia and Iran, to strategic cooperation with Israel under the existing realities and vulnerable neighborhood policy.

The annual policy Conference of the American Jewish community is attended by more than 13,000 representatives from all the states. Major speakers of the conference are US Prime Minister Joe Biden, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barack and Foreign Minister of Canada John Baird.

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