State Dept. Hosts Diamond Industry Leaders

A disparate group of international diamond industry leaders met at the State Dept. last week to prepare for the United States’ new role as chair of the Kimberley Process in 2011.

While participants were prohibited from reporting what was discussed, one source called the meeting “warm and infrormal.”

“It was an excellent meeting,” the source said. “We all wanted to talk about ways to have a better KP. It was a very open and constructive dialogue.”

The source said there wasn’t much discussion about the Zimbabwe issue, with most regarding it as settled, although there was talk about the feasibility of an industry “chain of custody” for diamonds and other materials.

The meeting was arranged at the invitation of assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs Jose W. Fernandez. Also attending was a delegation from the European Union.

The industry delegation was headed by World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff, and included representatives from India, Dubai, and Antwerp, including Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, president, CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation; Avi Paz, president, World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Nishit Parikh, president, Antwerp World Diamond Centre; and journalist Chaim Even-Zohar, serving as an advisor to the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association.

Read the State Dept.’s official description of the meeting.

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