Crowley to visit South Asia

Submitted by ub on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 18:30

US Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) announced he will travel to Burma Jan. 12-13, making him the first member of the House of Representatives to officially travel to Burma in over 12 years. Crowley, who serves as co-chair of the House Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, will also visit India between Jan. 7 and Jan. 14 as part of a congressional delegation.

While in Burma, Crowley is expected to meet with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic minority leaders, as well as government leaders.

“I am visiting the country to assess the situation on the ground, as well as to encourage the government to continue on the path of reform. While the government has taken some steps in the direction of reform, there is more that needs to be done,” said Crowley. “I am also very much looking forward to my meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi, a leader I have admired for years.”

Crowley has been a leader on Burma in the House – spearheading the effort to strengthen sanctions on Burma’s military leaders through the Block Burmese JADE Act, authoring legislation to renew the ban on all imports from Burma contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, and leading the successful effort to award Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal.

Crowley will visit India as part of a congressional delegation led by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (VA). The delegation will meet with top government and business leaders in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, exploring opportunities to expand business, trade, defense and cultural relationships between the two countries.

“India is one of America’s strongest and most important partners, from both economic and diplomatic perspectives, and it is important that we focus on our relations with India, as well as the Indian-American community here in the U.S.,” said Crowley.

New York’s 7th Congressional District is home to a strong Indian-American community. Crowley met with the local Indian-American community and business leaders ahead of his travel and plans to meet with them upon his return to discuss his trip.

“I represent a very diverse district, which includes a large and vibrant Indian-American community, and U.S.-India relations are important to many residents of the 7th district of New York. I look forward to updating them on my visit when I return and continuing to work them on a myriad of issues,” continued Crowley.

Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves as chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.