September 19, 2016

Opening of the Village d’Azerbaijan in Paris

On September 19, 2016, official opening of the Village d’Azerbaijan took place on the Joffre Square, near the Eiffel Tower, Paris, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.


Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, head of the Working Group for Azerbaijan-France Interparliamentary Relations Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony:


- I welcome each of you from the bottom of my heart to the opening of the Village d’Azerbaijan at the Joffre Square near the Eiffel Tower, a symbol of Paris. I thank you for being with us this evening. It’s been three years that this project is successfully implemented in Paris, and serves to strengthening of the friendly relations between our countries and ensuring that our peoples get to know each-other more closely. After the 6th and 1st arrondissements of Paris, the Village d’Azerbaijan opens its doors to visitors in the 7th Arrondissement, one of the best districts of Paris.


I would like to thank every person who has contributed to the preparation of the village and its implementation, and, in particular, our dear friend Mrs Rashida Dati, the mayor of the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, and all its employees. I would also like to note that 5 years ago, when the Heydar Aliyev Foundation started its activities in France and held events related to Azerbaijan, it was Rashida Dati at whose initiative one of our first events – both exhibition and a concert – took place at the Town hall of the 7th Arrondissement of Paris. I thank Mrs Dati for this cooperation and I’m hopeful the Village d’Azerbaijan we are opening today will again be welcomed by visitors with great interest and become a good opportunity to receive information about our country.


Dear friends, this year Azerbaijan celebrates the 25th anniversary of regaining its independence. In the course of these years, Azerbaijan has reached a number of achievements. Today, Azerbaijan is the leading state of the region. All large-scale projects in the South Caucasus are implemented with Azerbaijan’s participation, and often at Azerbaijan’s initiative. Rapid development is seen in all spheres in Azerbaijan today. Relying on our natural resources, our capacity and, most importantly, on our people, we have reached these achievements and are moving forward.


For centuries, representatives of different religions, nations and cultures have lived in an environment of peace in Azerbaijan, as a single family. And these traditions have been preserved to date. Azerbaijan has been known as a place of tolerance. We, showing a great respect towards our history, religion and culture, approach the world culture’s diversity and other religions and cultures of the world with great respect. It is the principles of mutual respect, tolerance that the world should base on today to combat such terrible evils as xenophobia, discrimination, radicalism and terrorism facing the world.


Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my reverence towards the ceremony dedicated to the memories of the terror victims, which took place this morning with participation of the French President, and would like once more on behalf of myself and the people of Azerbaijan to express our condolences to the people of France and the relatives of the victims. Terrorism has neither religion, nor nation, and to eradicate this evil, we have to manifest a unity.


Dear Friends, our rapidly developing country attaches today a great importance to the cooperation between France and Azerbaijan. I am very happy the relations in all spheres between our countries are developing dynamically. Relations are built both between state and non-governmental entities and public organizations, and bilateral relations strengthen. For the last 5 years only, 13 brotherhood agreements have been signed between various cities and regions of France and Azerbaijan. As a result of this process, both cultural and economic links are built between regions. Over 50 French companies are operating in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan remains the biggest trade partner of France in the South Caucasus. France has been participating in the solution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Daghlyg Garabagh conflict, Azerbaijan’s gravest problem. The people of Azerbaijan highly appreciates this. I’m hopeful France will keep on making efforts towards solving the conflict within international legal norms, by means of peace and justice, and will continue supporting restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, and its sovereignty.


Dear Friends, I am very glad the cooperation between our countries in the humanitarian sphere has been lifted to a completely new level. Hundreds of Azerbaijani students studies in higher schools of France. The department of Azerbaijani language operates at the State University of Oriental Languages and Cultures of France. The Azerbaijani Studies Department named after Nizami Ganjavi was opened at the Upper Alsace University in the city of Mulhouse.


With the foundation laid by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and French President Francois Hollande, the French lyceum has become one of the most leading education establishments in Baku. I am very glad that the Azerbaijan-France University started to operate in Baku in September this year.


I am confident our relations in the humanitarian and cultural fields will make our peoples closer to each-other, make them get to know each other better, and serve to strengthening of the France-Azerbaijan cooperation and France-Azerbaijan relations. Just for this reason, we tried to implement these projects in France to promote our country. I would once more like to thank every person who has supported us in this job.


In conclusion, I would like to express a hope that the Azerbaijani environment that we have tried to create here will arouse pleasant feelings in your hearts and become another bridge between our countries.


Dear Friends, I wish sound health and happiness to you and your families, and peace to the state of France.


Thank you very much for your attention.

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