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In the News

A glimpse given to inaugural Baku 2015 in Paris

November 27, 2014

By Nigar Orujova

Paris was given a glimpse of the first European Games Baku 2015 last Wednesday by Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, in her capacity as chairwoman of the games’ organizing committee.

The event co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Azerbaijan’s embassy in France was attended by representatives of public and political circles in France.

As in Istanbul, Cannes, Berlin, and Athens, the guests of event in Paris visited an exhibition containing bronze statues by Azerbaijani sculptors devoted to “Baku-2015”.

Over 20 works on various types of sports by Azerbaijani sculptors were displayed at the exhibition called “We Together”. The guests were also presented various publications of the foundation about Azerbaijan, including booklets devoted to the first European Games.

Holding of the first European Games in Baku is a sign of international interest in Azerbaijan.

Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony. “No doubt, the European Games will open a new page in the history of European sports, and preparing the competition, receiving and holding the first European Games that will be inaugural in the history is a great honor and a great responsibility for Azerbaijan. European Olympic Committee's decision was met with great support from the people of Azerbaijan and I am expressing my deepest gratitude to the president of the European Olympic Committee and all its members,” she said.

The first lady spoke about the history of Azerbaijan as an independent state, its achievements and aims. “In recent years, Azerbaijan has become one of the world's most rapidly developing countries,” she stressed.

Speaking about Azerbaijani-French relations, the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation said: “We have established partnerships with international organizations in Europe and built our relations with the European countries based on mutual interest and respect. France is the leading country in Europe, and our country after regaining its independence has raised the French-Azerbaijan cooperation to an entirely new level. These relations cover political, economic and humanitarian spheres. The Inter-parliamentary relations are strengthening and I am very happy of being the head of the Azerbaijan-France friendship group in the Azerbaijani Parliament.”

Aliyeva also spoke about development of sport in Azerbaijan, achievements of the Azerbaijani sportsmen, and holding of the first European Games.

The first lady invited the guests to visit Azerbaijan and witness the Baku 2015 European Games in Baku closely.

French secretary of state for sports Thierry Braillard expressed his pleasure of the presentation.

“France shows great attention towards these games. Relations between our countries in the sphere of sport are extending as time goes on. France will join the games on the highest level,” he added.

Member of the French National Assembly, twice Olympic champion David Douillet said: “Holding of the European Games requires great efforts, and I believe the Organizing Committee will worthily accomplish this task.”

Douillet noted the European Games, which promote humanism and peace will improve Azerbaijan’s positive image in the world.

The ceremony finalized with a violin concerto by the State Chamber Orchestra of Azerbaijan named after Gara Garayev.

Baku will host the first European Games next summer from June 12 – 28, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history.

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