Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with representatives of the general public in Aghjabadi

28 november 2017, 15:00

 A beautiful, grand and magnificent Olympic sports center is opening in Aghjabadi today. I sincerely congratulate you on this occasion.

It is a remarkable event and a wonderful center. There are all conditions to do sports here. Both athletes and residents of the district will be able to engage in practically all sports here. There are great gyms, a swimming pool, a large stadium, outdoor playgrounds and an indoor gym for 1,000 spectators. So it is a wonderful sports facility. I am very glad that such a wonderful sports center has been created in Aghjabadi.

Sport is a state policy in Azerbaijan. As you know, our athletes represent us at international competitions with great dignity. We have world, European and Olympic champions. The flag of Azerbaijan flies at practically all prestigious international competitions. In addition, we have successfully hosted major sporting events in Azerbaijan. This year, the Games of Islamic Solidarity were held at the highest level. Two years earlier, we hosted the European Games.

I can say that the European Games were held at the level of Summer Olympic Games. The European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity brought together more than 100 countries of Europe and the Muslim world. This once again asserted Azerbaijan in the world as a center of intercultural dialogue. It is a historic achievement because the European Games and Islamic Solidarity Games were held in one country and one city at a high level over the course of two years. The entire sports community of the world watched these games with interest. Our athletes showed the highest results in these games, finished in second place in European Games and first in the Games of Islamic Solidarity among all Muslim countries. This once again showcases Azerbaijan in the world as a major sports nation. It once again shows that Azerbaijani athletes are strong and deserve to represent our country in any competitions.

Of course, to achieve these successes, we had to consistently build our work related to these issues, and we did. All sports-related organizations in Azerbaijan are very active, teenage and children's sports are developing, the younger generation is growing up. The key contributors to our victories today are the sports infrastructure, the training camps and the international competitions held in Azerbaijan. All these factors are available in Azerbaijan, and it is no coincidence that we are also registering good results in Summer Olympic Games.

Azerbaijan hosted the European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity. It is usually said that at home even the walls help the athletes. But the fact that we climbed to 14th place for the number of medals at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio confirms that the victories at the European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity were not accidental. These victories were the logical result of our work.

Of course, sport requires the presence of certain conditions. Such wonderful conditions are being created. A grand Olympic Sports Center is opening in Aghjabadi. This is the 43rd center to be opened in the regions. We can say that there are wonderful Olympic sports centers in all our regions. The goal is to create such complexes in all our cities. Work in this direction will be continued in the coming years.

Sport means a healthy way of life. Sport educates young people in a spirit of patriotism. Sport popularizes countries on a global scale. If we look at the list of countries that have shown high results in the Olympic Games, we can see that the vast majority of them are developed countries. So sport can develop faster in developed countries. Azerbaijan is a developing country. The establishment of such a center in Aghjabadi shows that we are investing in the social sphere and in sports even in economically challenging years.

Sport is an integral part of our public life. It is a manifestation of our social policy. The number of such facilities in Aghjabadi District is gradually increasing. One of the largest hospitals in Azerbaijan, the Aghjabadi central district hospital, was once built and put into use here. I enquired about it today – the hospital operates very successfully, free checkups are conducted here every year and residents of the district use such opportunities. Also in Aghjabadi we have opened a Youth Center, a Chess School, the Karabakh Mugham Center and other facilities. We have built 28 schools and overhauled 11 more. All of this work requires funds. Azerbaijan has a strong economy today and we do not have any financial problems. Therefore, additional measures will be taken in the field of social and economic infrastructure this year and in the coming years.

In the coming years, the construction of rural roads will be continued in Aghjabadi. Several rural road projects have already been implemented. They are also scheduled for next year. Also on the agenda is the refurbishment of multi-apartment residential buildings. Additional funds will be allocated for landscaping work. In a word, I am confident that the socioeconomic development of the district will be successfully ensured in the future.

We see good results related to agriculture here. Agricultural parks and large grain farms are being set up. As you know, a few years ago, a decision was made on my initiative to create farms, and the first such farm, “Karabakh Takhil”, was established in Aghjabadi. I have been familiarized with the work of this enterprise. It is expanding its operations. There are ample opportunities in the field of livestock breeding and crop production. Aghjabadi is one of the traditional centers in the field of animal husbandry. As for crop production, Aghjabadi is about to restore its former glory in the field of cotton-growing. In Soviet years, Aghjabadi was one of the major cotton-growing districts. Today we are trying to revitalize that. This year the results are also good and the people of Aghjabadi have achieved the goal. I am sure that as a result of additional measures to be taken in the coming years, including land reclamation, yields should increase. In the coming years, we should first of all pay attention to yields. To do this, it is necessary to take all the necessary measures in time to increase the yields.

In Aghjabadi District, we see the successful socioeconomic development of our country. Results in the social, cultural, educational spheres, sports, agriculture and the processing sector, and we are been successfully completing year 2017. All the issues planned for this year have been resolved. We have made great strides in the economic, foreign political and military spheres. At the end of the year, we are also celebrating the opening of such an excellent sports center. Athletes are attending this ceremony today, and first of all I would like to congratulate them and recommend that everyone should be engaged in sports. I congratulate you again!