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Azerbaijani-American Community leaders join the 2010 JCRS-NY congressional breakfast - PHOTOS

08 February 2010 [16:15] - TODAY.AZ
On February 7, 2009, for the third time, the representatives of Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC), Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA), the U.S. Azeris Network (USAN), Turkish-American organizations and New York's Jewish-Azerbaijani Community joined the 31st Annual Congressional Breakfast of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY), an affiliate of the UJA Federation of New York.

Organized at the UJA headquarters in Manhattan, this year's JCRC event attracted over 300 guests, including the representatives of New York's diverse ethnic communities, featured federal and state legislators from New York and adjacent districts. Leaders of Azerbaijani community organizations were specially acknowledged at the event by Michael Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of JCRC-NY.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Congressmen Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Edolphus Towns (D-NY) were in attendance, speaking at the event.

In separate meetings, U.S. legislators were briefed about the strategic importance of Azerbaijan for the United States and the ongoing regional partnership between Israel and Azerbaijan. Senator Schumer expressed his satisfaction with traditional attendance of Azerbaijani-Americans at the JCRC event, specifically highlighting the significance of Azerbaijanis in the context of challenging U.S. relations with Iran.

Speaking at the event, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), who is also a Chairwoman of State and Foreign Appropriations Subcommittee in the House Appropriations Committee,  cited  difficulties in the ongoing U.S. aid to Israel due to budget limitations and economic recession. Indeed, it is the opinion of Azerbaijani-Americans, that the allocation of direct U.S. aid of $8 million to Nagorno-Karabakh by U.S. Congress runs counter to this logic.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an unrecognized and illegal entity, established in the aftermath of occupation of 16% of Azerbaijani territory by Armenian forces and ethnic cleansing of region's entire Azerbaijani population. By allocating direct aid to  Nagorno-Karabakh, especially in the times of economic recession, the U.S. legislators are sending taxpayer's money against U.S. interests, needlessly alienating Azerbaijan, the U.S. regional ally and a friend of Israel.

In their meetings with congressmen, Azerbaijani community representatives also spoke about the ongoing intercultural dialog between Azerbaijani-, Turkish- and Jewish-American communities, specifically highlighting the "Jewish Identity in Turkic World" Symposium organized with participation of AAC and ASA in November 2009 at the Center for Jewish History in New York. We look forward to continuing cooperation with all U.S. community groups to further mutual understanding and interests of Azerbaijani-Americans.


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