Azerbaijan intends to hold first European Games at level of Summer Olympic Games (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3 Trend:

The 3rd session of the Coordination Committee of the Baku 2015 European Games took place in the Azerbaijani capital on April 3.

Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the Games Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event.

The session was preceded by a meeting of Mehriban Aliyeva with President of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey. They discussed a wide range of issues, including bilateral cooperation and preparations for the Baku 2015 European Games.

Speaking at the session of the Coordination Committee, Mehriban Aliyeva praised cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Olympic Committees.

"Our cooperation with the European Olympic Committees is built on strong foundation," she said.

Mehriban Aliyeva said Azerbaijan has hosted a number of international events, noting the importance of the recommendations of the European Olympic Committees related to the organization of the inaugural European Games in the Azerbaijani capital.

"Ensuring excellent organization of the first European Games is our primary and common goal. Azerbaijan is determined to hold these Games in compliance with the Summer Olympic Games standards. Sporting infrastructure of our country will allow us to excellently organize the Games," Aliyeva said.

She also highlighted the preparations for the Games.

"The preparations will wrap up in time, which is evidenced by the speed of construction work at Water Sports Palace, National Gymnastics Arena, Baku Shooting Center, Baku Olympic Stadium and other facilities, and reconstruction of the existing sport infrastructure."

Mehriban Aliyeva said that the National Gymnastics Arena is almost ready, and Azerbaijan plans to host European Gymnastics Championship there this June.

"The government of Azerbaijan attaches special emphasis to preparations for the first European Games. The city residents and the entire sport community of the country are following the course of the preparatory work with interest. I believe this support will help us. We will try our best to use the Baku 2015 European Games to set a benchmark," she said.

Patrick Hickey praised the preparations for the inaugural Baku European games. He said a lot of work had been done since the second session of the Coordination Committee last October.

Hickey said the Baku 2015 European Games are a qualifying event for the Summer Olympic Games that will be hosted by Brazil in 2016.

Chairman of the Coordination Committee, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, said Azerbaijan has achieved huge success in a short period of time in terms of the preparations for the first European Games.

Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov said Baku will organize several international tournaments before hosting the European Games, adding "this will be essential in terms of testing the infrastructure".

Chief Operating Officer of the Baku 2015 European Games Jim Scherr lauded the Azerbaijani government's assistance to ensuring perfect organization of the Baku 2015 Games.

Director of Sport of the Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee Pierce O'Callaghan said inclusion of eight Olympic qualifying sports in the program of the Baku Games was what increased the event`s importance.

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