Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 2 /Trend/
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today presided over a first sitting of the Organizing Committee of the inaugural European Games to take place in Baku in 2015.
The Head of State hailed the decision of the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees to organize the first European Games in Baku as a remarkable and historical event. The President said Azerbaijan`s strong international prestige played a crucial role in the making of this decision.
President Ilham Aliyev said the Organizing Committee of the event was set up on January 17.
The Head of State said Azerbaijan, which was a member of the UN Security Council, had achieved rapid economic development in the past eight years.
The President said leading international rating agencies increased the country`s credit rating last year. He added the World Economic Forum ranked Azerbaijan first among CIS countries and 46th in the world in terms of economic development.
The Head of State noted Azerbaijan enjoyed strong image among the world`s political and economic elite.
President Ilham Aliyev said the creation of strong sport infrastructure in Azerbaijan, work done to develop Baku and the country`s hosting high-profile international events were the factors that lay behind the decision of the European Olympic Committees.
"And most importantly the people of Azerbaijani supported the idea of holding the Games in Baku."
The President said: "Azerbaijan has already won fame as a sports country in the world, and the recent London Olympic Games were yet another evidence of this."
President Ilham Aliyev said he believed appropriate authorities would try their best to ensure excellent organization of the Games, with two years left to the start.
The Head of State praised the Eurovision song contest in Baku,
describing the event as the most perfectly organized in the history of the show.
The President expressed confidence that led by Mehriban Aliyeva, the Organizing Committee would justify hopes of the European Olympic Committees.
Chairperson of the Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva said the decision to hold the first European Games in Baku testified to the international community`s confidence in Azerbaijan.
"Apart from this, a large number of high-profile international events hosted by Azerbaijan, as well as the achievements of our athletes are among key factors which conditioned the decision of the European Olympic Committees."
Mehriban Aliyeva highlighted the preparatory work: "The European Games will take place in June-July of 2015. The event will bring together 5,000 athletes, and 1,000 official country delegates. Some 2,000 foreign media representatives will cover the Games."
The Organizing Committee chairperson said the European Games would feature 12 out of 28 Olympic sports and two non-Olympic sports.
"The venues where the Games will take place have already been defined. They include the Heydar Aliyev Sport and Concert Complex, Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium, Baku Crystal Hall, Hands Sport Palace, Serhedchi Sport Complex, and Baku Expo Center."
"By 2015 we plan to complete the construction of the 65,000-seat Olympic Stadium, and Gymnastics and Water Sports Complex. The grand opening and closing ceremonies of the European Games will take place at the Olympic Stadium," said Mehriban Aliyeva.
She noted a contest had already been announced to define the logo, motto, mascot and anthem of the Games.
"Medals are being made by the National Olympic Committee. We are working with appropriate authorities and companies on the issues of the accommodation of athletes, organization of working conditions for journalists, creation of the Games` website, publication of informative material, installation of banners and posters, as well as settlement of copyright issues."
Other speakers, Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov, Internal Minister Ramil Usubov, Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov, Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee Chingiz Huseynzade and Olympic champion Namig Abdullayev highlighted issues in the plan of action ahead of the European Games.
President Ilham Aliyev made closing remarks at the event to stress the importance of carrying out comprehensive work in preparation for the Games.
The Head of State instructed the appropriate authorities to ensure quality and timely execution of preparatory work.
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