The Lehendakari and the Governor of Idaho agree to work together in the cultural and economic arenas
During the first day of his official trip to Boise, Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier, met with the Governor of the State of Idaho, C.L. . “Butch” Otter. It was an opportunity to discuss the areas of cooperation between Idaho and the Basque Country, which are the economic and business spheres, on the one hand, and cultural aspects, on the other hand. After the meeting, the Lehendakari expressed his desire to showcase the new Basque Country that remains proud of its roots and which continues to grow thanks to its own strategy for sustainable growth and human development.
Lehendakari Urkullu recalled that the internationalization of Basque companies is one of the cornerstones of his Government. Both leaders agreed on the need to open up a channel for cooperation in this area, taking into consideration the opportunities that the State of Idaho offers, particularly in sectors such as renewable sources of energies, without overlooking new technologies or the farming sector.. In this regard, the Lehendakari will hold a working meeting with representatives of over 20 Idaho companies after he meets with Mayor Bieter.
On the other hand, and given that nearly 16,000 people of Basque origin live in the State of Idaho, Urkullu stressed that the cultural sphere is another area to work together- "Boise is the city outside the Basque Country where the Basque presence and influence is most greatly felt both in the cultural and political arenas," explained the Lehendakari. In his opinion,cultural affinity, knowledge about and respect for the Basques in Boise make it a magnificent calling card for the Basque Country in the United States.
On the other hand, Governor Otter pointed out that “the cultural heritage of the Basques in Idaho is a fundamental part of who we are as a State”. He therefore considered it “an honour” to welcome the Lehendakari and the Basque delegation and added that they will seek ways “to improve and foster shared economic interests”. The Government also formally proclaimed the celebration of the Basque culture.
The Lieutenant Governor, Brad Little, Celia Gould from the Department of Agriculture and Ben Ysursa, the former Secretary of State of Idaho were representing the State of Idaho at the meeting between the Lehendakari and the Governor. The Basque Government was represented by its Minister for Education, Linguistic Policy and Culture, Cristina Uriarte, the Secretary General for External Action, Marian Elorza, and the Delegate of the Basque Government in the United States, Ander Caballero.