United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) has successfully concluded its annual conference with a high-level formal reception organized in partnership with Embassy of Azerbaijan at the historic Willard InterContinental hotel. The reception was dedicated to the celebration of 25th anniversary of United States-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations.
The high-level reception was very well-attended and featured over 220 distinguished guests, including 17 ambassadors. Some attendees from the American side included Congressman Steve Cohen, Congressman Henry Cuellar, U.S. Ambassador Robert Cekuta, high-ranking officials from the White House and the National Security Council, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Energy, ExIm Bank, OPIC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other government officials, top business executives, heads of international organizations and diplomatic corps. Azerbaijani side was represented by Ambassador Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan Ministry of Economy, SOCAR,SOFAZ, Center for Analyses of Economic Reforms and Communications, State Committee for Property Issue and other delegates.
The reception formally started with remarks from Amb. Elin Suleymanov, who recognized the myriad of high-level guests in attendance. He touched upon Azerbaijan’s willingness in moving cooperation forward and the importance of maintaining bilateral relations based on mutual interest and respect. Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of State Bridget Brink acknowledged that Azerbaijan was amongst the first countries to support the United States immediately after 9/11 attack. She then stressed the importance of energy security and reiterated the support of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for Southern Gas Corridor. Ambassador Robert Cekuta also congratulated the guests and highlighted the importance of expanding bilateral relations in all spheres, including trade and business.
Other keynote speakers of the evening were Governor John Sununu and Congressman Steve Cohen.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of ten USACC Appreciation Awards to dignitaries, politicians and companies for their continuous contribution to the United States – Azerbaijan diplomatic, trade and business relations over the past 25 years. Recipients were:
1) Congressman Steve Cohen for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations
2) Ambassador Robert Cekuta for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations
3) Ambassador Elin Suleymanov for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations
4) Amos Hochstein for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations
5) Governnor John Sununu for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations
6) Boeing for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Business and Trade
7) BP for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Business and Trade
8) Chevron for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Business and Trade
9) PASHA Bank for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Business and Trade
10) SOCAR for contribution to U.S.-Azerbaijan Business and Trade
Awardees also received newly minted Azerbaijani stamps for the occasion of 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations, especially prepared and delivered by the Azerbaijan Ministry of Transportation, Communications and High Technologies.