President Ilham Aliyev met athletes who will represent Azerbaijan in the first European Games VIDEO

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Baku, June 9, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijan`s first lady, chairperson of the Baku 2015 first European Games Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva and family members have visited the Athletes Village.

The head of state met athletes who will represent Azerbaijan in the first European Games.

Greeting the sportsmen, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:

- Dear sportsmen, dear friends.

I cordially greet all of you and wish you success in the upcoming Baku European Games.

This historic event begins in three days. Azerbaijan is ready to embrace Europe. I am sure that we will conduct the world's best games despite the fact that we had only two a half years to prepare for the Games. But our people and our government have shown their strength. In such a short period of time we have prepared world-class games at the level of Olympic Games and will successfully conduct them.

Azerbaijan will field a large team in the Games. I remember attending all Olympic Games from 2000 to the present day. I usually met with our athletes. We officially dispatched the athletes to the Games. This time athletes from European countries are coming to Azerbaijan. I can say that from 2000 to the present time I have visited all Olympic villages. The conditions created in Baku were not available anywhere else. This athletes village is a work of architecture and our team is based here. Foreign visitors emphasize that the creation of such excellent conditions in a short period of time is, of course, a historic achievement.

There is a media village nearby as well. Media villages have not been created in any of the Summer Olympic Games. We are the first to apply this. In short, we are setting the standards of European Games in Azerbaijan, and these are the highest standards. We usually hear a lot about European standards. Of course, these are high standards. But we are already applying Azerbaijani standards. These games will show the strength of our state, the talent of our people and the professionalism of our athletes. I am confident that our athletes will delight us with their victories. Our team consists of the strongest athletes of the country. In general, all foreign teams include top athletes.

Azerbaijan is a sporting nation. We have made great progress and achieved victories. I am sure that these Games will bring us many victories and that you will delight our people.

The European Games have become a nationwide cause in Azerbaijan. The torch lit in our ancient temple of Ateshgah has traveled all over the country and returned to Baku. About two million people in all our districts, including Baku, welcomed the torch and celebrated this holiday. It really is a great holiday and a historic event for our country. It is a historic event for Europe. Such Games are to be held for the first time. I am sure that they will be held at the highest level.

I want to say again that our team is very strong. It is one of the strongest. We are proud of our athletes. We expect new victories from them. Of course, you will receive more attention in your home country. I am sure that the results will be very good.

So I cordially welcome all of you once again. I wish you victory. You know that the Azerbaijani people love and support you. This support will give you extra strength. My congratulations again! We will meet at the new Olympic Stadium again in three days.

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