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Azerbaijani first lady Mehriban Aliyeva interviewed by Russia 24

Azerbaijan`s first lady Mehriban Aliyeva has been interviewed by Russia 24 channel as she is visiting Moscow.

In the interview, the first lady highlighted cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia in humanitarian area, preparations for the Baku 2015 Games, tolerance in Azerbaijan, and activity of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

“The relations between two states have been built on the strong historical fundaments. Within decades humanitarian, cultural relations enclosed our relations.  These relations have established favourable climate for the development of bilateral political and economic relations. Today’s Russian-Azerbaijani relations are a good example for the friendly and neighbor states, established on the basis of mutual respect. Our cooperation covers all the fields of the public life - economic, political and humanitarian fields.”

Asked about the first European Games to be held in Baku this year, Mehriban Aliyeva said they would open a new page in the history of European sport.

“For Azerbaijan, it is a great honour to host these Games. It is also a great responsibility. However, this is an indicator of the European public's confidence in our country. Despite the fact that we had very little time, just 2 an a half years, we have met the deadline and complied with all the challenges facing us. Now, just about two months before the Games, the final preparations are ongoing and the whole team is focused on the details. But today we can say that Baku is ready to welcome Europe, and I hope that the first European Games will be held in an atmosphere of friendship, solidarity and unity,”said Mehriban Aliyeva.

“Baku-2015 European Games will open a new page in the history of European sport. In the games 6,000 athletes will participate and they will compete in 20 sports. It is a great honor and responsibility to conduct the first European games. Baku-2015 will set the standard for all future European games. I am sure the European Games will be held at the same level with the summer Olympic Games.Now, 2 months before the European games our entire team is focused on the final preparations. But today I can say that Azerbaijan is ready to receive the whole of Europe.  I'm sure that the first European Games will be held in a spirit of solidarity, unity, and fair competition. On this occasion, dear friends, I want to invite all of you to come to Baku and support athletes."

According to the First Lady of Azerbaijan, events of this scale are always unpredictable, and one must be ready for anything.

“We are trying to consider everything. But I believe that the Games should be a celebration for the athletes. We are expecting a large number of guests and preparing a large cultural program. We want to show the world our Azerbaijan, which has a rich history and culture. I hope that our guests will be satisfied,” she said. The idea of the Olympic Movement is in unity, equality and justice, noted Mehriban Aliyeva.

“Unfortunately, lack of these concepts in the modern world is at the heart of many conflicts and hotbeds of tension. Therefore, a sporting event of this magnitude carries a task of uniting individuals and peoples of different countries,” said the First Lady.

Regarding activities in Russia of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva noted that the Foundation has a lot of cultural projects.

“These are concerts, exhibitions, forums and seminars. We have a cooperation agreement with Russian libraries. In this respect, the scope of our activities is very broad. We always feel respect for and interest in the Azerbaijani culture in Russia,” said Mehriban Aliyeva.