November 13, AZERTAC
“Discover Azerbaijan: Baku-2015 Edition” book has been launched at Four Seasons Hotel Baku. The project manager of the book is member of the House of Lords, UK, representative of the Labour Party, founder of Senate Consulting Ltd Lord David Charles Evans.
Among those in attendance at the launch ceremony were the Azerbaijani President`s Aide for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov, youth and sports minister Azad Rahimov, president of Azerbaijan`s state oil firm (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev, deputy chairperson of the Milli Majlis Bahar Muradova, as well as state and government officials, parliamentarians, representatives of the diplomatic corps, and Azerbaijani athletes who shined at Baku-2015 first European Games.
Opening the event, SOCAR vice-president, project manager Rafiga Huseynzade highlighted Azerbaijan`s development in the past few years. She said the country is successfully hosting high-profile international events, including sport tournaments. “The first European Games is the most important among these tournaments. These Games went down in the history of not only Azerbaijan, but also the European continent.” She hailed the role of chair of the organizing committee of the Games, Azerbaijani first lady Mehriban Aliyeva in ensuring excellent organization of the Games. “These Games allowed Azerbaijan to show its rich culture, hospitality and dynamic development to the world.”
Ms Huseynzade provided an insight into the book, saying that apart from competitions in the first European Games, it highlights ancient history, rich national cuisine, music and culture of Azerbaijan.
Participants of the conference then watched a video on Baku-2015 first European Games.
Minister of youth and sports Azad Rahimov stressed the importance of Eurovision song contest and the first European Games in terms of promoting Azerbaijan`s accomplishments.
SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said that through the first European Games Azerbaijan proved itself as a sporting nation on the global scale. He said SOCAR was the main sponsor of the Games, highlighting the company`s contribution to the construction of sports facilities and redevelopment work in Baku.
BP Regional President, Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Gordon Birrell said the first European Games were another opportunity for Azerbaijan to present its rich history and oust standing cultural heritage to the world.
Lord Evans hailed UK-Azerbaijani relations. He said the book provides an insight into the first European Games and Azerbaijan`s accomplishments.
On behalf of the Presidential Administration, the President`s Aide for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov thanked “those who contributed to the publication of this book”. He said the book features an interview with President Ilham Aliyev: “In his interview, the head of state highlights a number of issues, including diversification of economy, development of the non-oil sector, business environment, civil society building, protection and promotion of the national and cultural heritage, and the role of the first European Games in developing sports in Azerbaijan and Europe.”
Mr Hasanov provided an insight into Azerbaijan`s accomplishments in the last decade. “The economy has grown more than three-fold, unemployment and poverty has been reduced to five percent, social and economic infrastructure has been completely renewed, people`s living standard has dramatically bettered. In the past few years the non-oil sector has accounted for more than 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Last year, it reached 70 percent. This clearly shows that Azerbaijan`s economy has been diversified and its dependence on the oil factor has reduced. All these facts are featured in the book.”
Mr Hasanov said the book also praises Azerbaijan`s role as the regional logistics and transportation hub, and the country`s international standing. “The book also says that representatives of all religions and ethnicities live in peace in Azerbaijan as a single family, contributing to the country`s development. It underlines that Azerbaijan has gained world fame as a land of ethnical and religious tolerance.”
The Presidential Aide expressed confidence that the book will contribute to the promotion of Azerbaijan globally.
The book will also be presented in the UK on March 10 next year.
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