MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, April 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A senior AJC leadership delegation just concluded a two-day visit to Uruguay.
The 17-member group was led by AJC Executive Director David Harris, and included Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC's Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA), as well as AJC lay leaders from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, New York, Westchester, and El Salvador.
During the visit, the group met with Uruguayan Vice President Raúl Sendic, Deputy Foreign Minister José Luis Cancela, U.S. Charge D'affaires Brad Freden, and Israeli Ambassador Nina Ben-Ami. The mission also included a session with the leadership of the Jewish Central Committee of Uruguay.
Among the central topics discussed were: (i) U.S.-Uruguayan relations; (ii) Israeli-Uruguayan bilateral ties; (iii) South American security and economic challenges; and (iv) the UN and the Middle East. Moreover, the delegation discussed the Vazquez Administration's plans for Uruguay's term on the UN Security Council, which is expected to begin in 2016.
"We came to Uruguay, not for the first time, to express our support for this democratic nation," said Harris. "Uruguay has long been admired as a Latin American country that strongly defends the values of human rights and human dignity, while being a major contributor to UN peacekeeping operations around the world. Moreover, we shall never forget that Uruguay was an early and ardent supporter of Israel's rebirth in 1948. We arrived in Uruguay as long-time friends, and we depart as even stronger friends."
During the visit, Harris spoke about regional and global security concerns, among other topics, to faculty and students of international relations at the ORT University in Montevideo.
BILLA maintains close ties with Uruguayan officials through regular visits to Montevideo and discussions with diplomats across the U.S. and Europe. In addition, the current President of Uruguay addressed the AJC Global Forum in 2005, and a previous President spoke at the AJC Global Forum in 1998, when Uruguay was honored on the occasion of Israel's 50th anniversary for its key role in Israel's establishment.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee