NUSACC Ambassadors Forum and the Annual NGA Meetings
July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
As Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States, a large portion of my job requires me to pay attention to what’s happening in Washington, D.C. Since I arrived almost four years ago, I have always relished the opportunity to travel across the country to interact with the American people and their elected representatives outside the capital. Last Friday, I traveled to Norfolk to participate in the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce’s (NUSACC) Ambassador’s Forum and to Williamsburg to participate in the annual meetings of the National Governor’s Association.
Like the NUSACC event I attended in Boston two years ago, this past weekend provided a great opportunity to update attendees about the current state of affairs in Bahrain. During my speech at the Ambassador’s Forum, I discussed Bahrain’s progressive history and outlined the steps the government is currently undertaking to implement meaningful reform in the wake of last year’s unrest. As I told the attendees, the past year has been challenging, but Bahrain’s government is committed to making the changes necessary to achieve the legitimate aspiration of its people.
Speaking in Norfolk was a particular pleasure because Bahrain feels a special kinship with it as a city. Bahrain has always been proud to host the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and many of the sailors who have served in Bahrain have also served in Norfolk. Events like these are important to continue building ties between our two countries.
Later in the weekend, I participated in the annual meetings of the National Governors Association. Over the course of several days I was able to meet with a number of governors to discuss deepening commercial ties between their states and Bahrain. Our Free Trade Agreement with the United States offers American businesses with a variety of opportunities to access the $1 trillion common Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market and serves as a job-creator for export-oriented American businesses. I look forward to continuing these discussions in the months and years ahead