Ilham Aliyev received delegation of heads of European Olympic Committees, international sports organizations and foreign National Olympic committees
29 september 2017, 10:25
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation of the heads of European Olympic Committees, international sports organizations and foreign National Olympic committees, who arrived in Azerbaijan to attend an event marking the 25th jubilee of Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee, meeting of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees and a regional forum of the National Olympic Committees of the CIS, Baltic states and Georgia.
Addressing the meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
- I’m glad to see such a big delegation from the European Olympic Family coming to Azerbaijan to celebrate together with us the 25th anniversary of our Olympic Committee. And also, as far as I know, you have your own meetings today, and I am also glad that the Executive Committee is gathering again in Baku. I remember many years ago we hosted a meeting of the European Olympic Committees` Executive Committee. It was almost twenty years ago. This shows that Azerbaijan is committed to its active participation in European sports events and as you probably know these days we are hosting an important competition – European women`s volleyball championship.
More European events are to come. We are very proud that Baku will be a host city for UEFA Europa League final in two years. And of course, the European Games, which we all celebrated together, was a big challenge for us, big responsibility. That was also important for development of the European Olympic movement because it was the first time the Games were organized, and I think that they were organized on a high level.
As far as our sporting achievements are concerned we are glad that sport develops in Azerbaijan. We have good results. Just this year two of our athletes became three time world champions. So, young generation also is more active and has more enthusiasm in doing sports. Being a sportsman in Azerbaijan is now a very prestigious profession. Of course, events like what we have these days and your visit to our country stimulates development of sports.
President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Janez Kocijančič said:
- Thank you very much, Mr President, for your nice words. You are probably the head of the state who does the most for the European Olympic movement and at the same time the most diligent President of the National Olympic Committee. We know it and we appreciate it highly. We feel ourselves at home in Azerbaijan. As the organizer of the first European Games, which are a huge success, your people are excellent. The First Vice President, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva did a great job as the President of the Organizing Committee. So, we really appreciate the effort of your nation. We are extremely glad that you are highly successful in achieving sport results and I am also very much interested how the results of the volleyball championships will be. Thank you very much. Thank you from our heart.
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President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you very much. Once again I would like to express my gratitude for making a decision to have the European Games in Baku. That was a very important decision for our country, for the European Olympic movement and it gave us a chance to demonstrate what we can do. It was important for a relatively young, independent country to organize such a large-scale event. I know that there was a common opinion that the Games were very successful. And after that, you know, that was already kind of a test for us. This year we organized Islamic Solidarity Games. With a little bit less athletes, but also, with big participation. They also were organized at a very good level because we already have that experience. We used most of our potential, volunteers, and of course, we didn’t build any new sporting facilities because everything was ready.
Of course, organizing European events in Azerbaijan is also very important for us. For instance, the volleyball championship is held in Baku and in other city Goygol, which is a small city, but with good sporting facilities. It also helps develop sport in the regions because we built many sporting halls, Olympic centers in the regions in order to allow sportsmen and children and young people from the regions to demonstrate their potential.
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President of the European Volleyball Confederation Aleksandar Boričić said:
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the European Volleyball Confederation, first of all, I’d like to thank you personally for your support. Last year we met and you promised to support European volleyball championship. And it was excellent.
You made a good investment for the future because so many young girls can start to play volleyball. We would like to invest in a school project together with you. You organized the European Games on the level of Olympic Games. The volleyball championship held in your country is very important. I would like to thank you, your government, Ministry of Youth and Sport, National Olympic Committee and Azerbaijan Volleyball Federation. There is a good future for volleyball in your country. Thank you very much.
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President Ilham Aliyev said:
We will definitely host more events in Azerbaijan. As I said the European Champions League is really a very big responsibility and very big support to our football. Also in 2020 we will host European football championship quarter finals. Baku was selected one of the 13 European cities. And, of course, for the first time our football team Qarabag qualified for the Champions League group stage.
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Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus George Katulin said:
Dear Ilham Heydar oghlu, let me fulfill this honorary mission and congratulate you on behalf of the head of state Alexander Lukashenko on this solemn event, and thank you for helping us with holding the second European Games. I think that we would be able to follow the example that you set. I believe that although we would not be able to do it as excellently as you did, we will try to do it with enthusiasm so that your help is not in vain. Thank you very much. Let me extend the President’s gratitude to you.