Baku, Azerbaijan, April 15
Azerbaijan will enter a decisive stage of preparation for the first European Games this year, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
The president made the remarks in his closing speech at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of the socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and the further challenges.
"All work is going on schedule," the president said.
"The president of the European Olympic Committee and the representatives of the Steering Committee have recently been in Baku, and appreciated the ongoing preparatory work. The construction works are conducted at all sports facilities. The Olympic Stadium, the Water Sports Palace, the Gymnastics Arena, the Shooting Center are under construction. Other facilities are being repaired. The roads are being laid. One can say that the Olympic Village for athletes is almost ready. We continue conducting preparatory work."
"Azerbaijan intends to hold these Games at the level of Olympic Games," he added.
"Some are unaware that these games are very similar to the Olympic games both in terms of number of sport types, and the number of athletes. Nevertheless, in terms of preparations and construction, these games are larger-scaled than the Winter Olympic Games. The number of athletes that will compete in our country next year, is twice the number of athletes in the Winter Olympic Games," the president said.
"In particular, given that while the timeframe for preparations for the Summer Olympic Games is seven years, we have only two and a half years, it is a great test and a great challenge," he noted.
Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan is a strong state, and all the work is properly organized and carried out.
"We have strong political will, technical opportunities and mobilization has been ensured in our country. We will hold these games in the way that they would become a model for such future Olympic Games," he said.
The president went on to add that Azerbaijan will once again appear before the world as a modern, dynamically developing and strong state.
He noted that much remains to be done by the end of the year.
"I wish all of you success in implementation of this work," President Aliyev said.
The Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championship will be held in Baku from June 13 to June 15. About 33 countries have made bids for participation in the championship.
Some 258 gymnasts will compete for 9 sets of awards in Baku.
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