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Project Interchange Hosts First-Ever Visit to Israel by a Caribbean Foreign Minister

September 3, 2011 – Jerusalem -- Today marks the beginning of the first visit by a Caribbean Foreign Minister to Israel, in a delegation that includes Grenada’s minister of foreign affairs and foreign service officer, and from St. Kitts & Nevis, the senior minister of international trade, industry, commerce, agriculture, marine resources and constituent empowerment, the high commissioner and the national security advisor, for a nearly weeklong visit to learn about Israel, explore areas of common ground and build a foundation for expanding bilateral Caribbean-Israeli relationships.

Participating in key portions of the visit will be Rep. Eliot L. Engel, ranking minority member on the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and a leading supporter of close relations with the Caribbean.  Also accompanying the group will be Israel’s ambassador to the Caribbean, Amiram Magid, and Ambassador Aaron Jacob, AJC's associate director of international affairs. 
The trip, inaugurated by official invitation by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman, is being implemented under the auspices of 

Project Interchange, an institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee), in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During their visit, the delegates will meet with Israeli leaders at the highest levels of government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman (with a lunch hosted by Minister Liberman in the delegation’s honor) and others.

In addition to discussing issues of global and strategic importance, the Caribbean leaders will have the opportunity to enhance the ties between the nations on a host of issues, including agriculture, public health, community policing and other areas of importance to the Caribbean nations 

In addition to official meetings and briefings with high level decision-makers, the delegation will meet with Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, visit Yad Vashem and meet with experts at Hadassah Hospital to discuss initiatives in public health and non-communicable diseases.  The Caribbean leaders will also tour Jerusalem, visit the town of Sderot, tour Christian sites throughout the country and meet directors of organizations promoting Arab-Jewish co-existence and youth leadership. 

“We are deeply honored that Project Interchange has the opportunity to host these distinguished and important Caribbean officials in Israel, bringing together nations with shared values and a number of similar challenges and opportunities,” noted Sam Witkin, executive director of Project Interchange.  Witkin continued, "We look forward to hosting many more delegations from the Caribbean region, each of which contributes to the expansion of bilateral ties along a full spectrum of concerns.”

Distribution channels: Religion