The Vice President of the Regional Government of the Azores, Artur Lima, is on an official visit to the United States, between July 23 through July 30, where he will participate in the 45th Permanent Bilateral Commission in Washington (DC) and will visit California to contact the Portuguese American community and contact various entities and politicians.
In California, Artur Lima will meet the Consul General in San Francisco and various local entities and associations, namely the California Portuguese-American Coalition (CPAC), the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States ( PALCUS), the Portuguese Fraternal Society of America (PFSA) and Hilmar’s Casa dos Açores.
The government official will also meet with the Honorary Consul of Portugal in Tulare, Diniz Borges, and with the Rector of the University of California State University Fresno, Saúl Jimenez-Sandoval.
Vice President Lima has also planned meetings with politicians and businessmen of Azorean descent, in order to deepen political and economic relations between the Autonomous Region of the Azores and its diaspora.
On July 28, he will participate in the 45th Permanent Bilateral Commission, which takes place in Washington, DC. The agenda includes issues relating to the US military Lajes Air Base, on Terceira Island, namely environmental, labor and infrastructure issues, as well the cooperation with the Azores in the areas such as Education and Health.
Artur Lima will be accompanied by the Regional Director for European Affairs and External Cooperation, Carlos Amaral, as an effective member of the Regional Government of the Azores in the Technical Commission.
The Permanent Bilateral Commission is a body established by the Agreement on Cooperation and Defense between Portugal and the United States in 1995, with the goal to promoting cooperation between the two countries.
For the past 70 years, The US military Lajes Air Base has been one of seven main operating military bases under US Air Forces in Europe providing refueling and other support to US military, NATO aircraft and crew members transiting over the Atlantic.
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Source: Press release
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.