USACC Hosts Reception and Dinner in Honor of the First Lady of Azerbaijan, H.E Mehriban Aliyeva

U.S. - Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC)
1212 Potomac Street, N.W. 
Washington , D.C. 20007 
Tel: (202) 333 8702 
Fax: (202) 333 8703

Washington, D.C. – December 15, 2006 – On December 6, 2006, the United States – Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) hosted a reception and banquet in honor of the First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Her Excellency Mehriban Aliyeva. The event took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and featured a Keynote Speech by Senator Richard Lugar, remarks by the First Lady, awarding ceremony, and a cultural performance by talented Azerbaijani children.

USACC presented the 2006 Goodwill Ambassador Award to H.E. Mehriban Aliyeva for her outstanding work in promotion of Azerbaijani culture around the world and her commitment to the education, health and social development of the people of Azerbaijan.

Senator Richard Lugar received the USACC Freedom Support Award for his contributions to the promotion of peace, democracy, and freedom in Eurasia , and closer cooperation between the United States and Azerbaijan.

The banquet began with introductory remarks by USACC Co-chairmen, Reza Vaziri and James A. Baker, IV, who welcomed the First Lady of Azerbaijan to the United States. Senator Lugar delivered a Keynote Speech and highlighted the progress made in Azerbaijan's economy, its energy and security sectors. He also pointed out new opportunities that emerged as a result of newly constructed energy pipelines in the region.

“We are celebrating [this evening] wealth, new possibilities, but also extraordinary new dreams of the President and the Parliament of the growing country that has so much to offer to the world and…to its own citizens,” stated Senator Lugar.

In her speech, the First Lady of Azerbaijan emphasized the growing ties between the United States and Azerbaijan and stressed the critical role that the U.S. played in the realization of regional energy projects. “We faced a lot of difficulties, but together we realized one of the biggest energy projects in the world, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline,” she said.

“I believe it is crucial that we continue to make our relationship closer. I hope that my visit to the United States, together with the members of our Parliament, will serve this aim,” remarked the First Lady.

“Closer cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States is essential for our mutual success. Through dialogue we can grow closer, understand each other better, and build a long-lasting relationship,” stated the First Lady.

On December 5, Mrs. Aliyeva also visited the USACC office in Georgetown and met with Azerbaijani artists, musicians and the members of Azerbaijan community living in the United States.

Source: USACC