Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 26
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
The First European Games held June 12-28, 2015 in Baku was an exceptional success, the merit of great intelligence and great ambition due to the unwavering commitment and unanimously recognized personality of Azerbaijan's First Lady and Chairperson of the first European Games Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva, mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris, MEP Rachida Dati told Trend.
These games were the first of its kind and were unanimously recognized as a major sporting success with over 6,000 athletes competing in 20 different sports, Dati said.
"Your country did not disappoint, far from it!" she said. "It offered Europe and the rest of the world a unique and memorable experience with great competitions and stunning opening and closing ceremonies. These games will now inspire all other major international competitions!"
As is recognized by all, the personal involvement of Mehriban Aliyeva was essential to this success, Dati said.
As chairperson of the first European Games Organizing Committee, Mehriban Aliyeva worked with determination to welcome participants in the best conditions by being personally involved, said the MEP.
"Her leadership only served to confirm that Azerbaijan knows how to organize major international events with success and excellence," Dati said.
Mehriban Aliyeva is personally committed and involved in ambitious humanitarian and cultural heritage projects in France, such as the restoration of churches or other religious buildings, according to Dati.
"The events organized in France testify of the excellence of our relations and of the strategic importance of our cooperation," she said. "France needs Azerbaijan, as we should not forget its geo-strategic position with countries bordering yours, such as Iran."
Azerbaijan's first lady has majorly contributed to strengthening the ties between France and Azerbaijan, as the head of the Azerbaijan-France interparliamentary friendship group, Dati said.
She constantly reaffirms her affection and her friendship for France, the MEP said.
"During each of her visits to France, Mehriban Aliyeva is invited to meet the French government, politicians of different parties, artists, members of civil society, etc.," according to Dati. "She is well known for her humility and her openness. She also gives the opportunity to French people to know more about Azerbaijan by organizing many events everywhere in France."
Dati pointed out that Azerbaijan maintains open and serene relations with the various cultures and religions represented in the country's society.
"While many countries are divided by such issues, your model deserves to be better known," Dati said. "The work undertaken by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, led by its President Mehriban Aliyeva, brings an essential contribution to this."
"I know that Mehriban Aliyeva, as well as President Ilham Aliyev, are particularly committed to intercultural dialogue, as the very successful annual World Forum on the Intercultural Dialogue held in Baku, attests," she said.
"More generally, the work of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has led Azerbaijan, its history, culture and values, to be better known in the world," the MEP said.
Dati also pointed out that the relations between France and Azerbaijan are moving forward very positively, and the visit of President François Hollande to Baku in April 2014 proves that.
"Our countries cooperate in many fields, regarding the economy, education, culture, etc.," she said.