Mehriban Aliyeva: Azerbaijan is recognized as a place of multiculturalism and tolerance in the world
The Azerbaijani Village project has already been successfully implemented in Paris for three years, and it has contributed to the strengthening of friendly relations between the two countries and their peoples' better knowledge of each other. After the first and sixth arrondissements of Paris, the Azerbaijani Village opens in one of the most beautiful districts of the capital of France – the seventh arrondissement, the first lady of Azerbaijan, president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mehriban Aliyeva, said during the official opening ceremony of the Azerbaijani Village, organized with the support of the Foundation in Paris.
Mehriban Aliyeva warmly welcomed the event's participants and thanked them for their participation in the opening of the Azerbaijani Village. "I express my gratitude to everyone who worked to prepare and create this place, in particular the Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris Rachida Dati and all employees of the Mayor's Office. I would also like to note that five years ago, back in 2011, when the Heydar Aliyev Foundation began its activities in France and held events related to Azerbaijan on the initiative of Rachida Dati, one of our first events, an exhibition and concert, took place at the Mayor's Office of the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Madam Dati, I express my gratitude for this cooperation and hope that the Azerbaijani Village, which opened today, will once again be very interesting for guests who come here and will be a great opportunity to obtain information about our country," she noted.
The first lady noted that Azerbaijan, whose independence history has now spanned 25 years, has made great strides over this period.
"Today, Azerbaijan is the regional leader. All large-scale projects which are carried out in the South Caucasus involve, and in most cases are initiated by Azerbaijan. Today Azerbaijan is developing at an accelerated pace in many areas. We achieve this and move forward with the help of our natural resources, capabilities, and, most importantly, our people," Mehriban Aliyeva said.
She also hailed multiculturalism and tolerance in Azerbaijan, saying representatives of different religions, nationalities and cultures have always lived in peace and as one family in the country.
"These traditions still exist today. Azerbaijan is recognized as a place of multiculturalism and tolerance in the world. We have great respect for our history, religion, culture, and we have great respect for the world's cultural diversity and other religions and cultures of the world. By relying on the principles of mutual respect and tolerance, humanity can deal with such terrible things as xenophobia, discrimination, radicalism, which it faces today. Using this opportunity, I express my respects to the ceremony dedicated to the memory of victims of terror, which was held this morning with the participation of French President. On my behalf and on behalf of every Azerbaijani I once again express my deep condolences to the French people and relatives of terror victims. Terrorism has no religion or nation, and we must show unity in order to eliminate this disaster from our lives," she said.
She also noted that rapidly developing Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the cooperation with France.
"I'm very glad that the relations between our countries in all areas are developing dynamically. Ties are being established, bilateral relations between state and non-state structures, public organizations are becoming stronger. Over the past five years different cities and regions of France and Azerbaijan have signed 13 twinning agreements. As a result of this process, regions have established both cultural and economic ties between each other. More than 50 French companies are operating in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is the largest trade partner of France in the South Caucasus. France also actively participates in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is the most difficult problem of Azerbaijan today. The people of Azerbaijan really appreciates this. I hope that in the future France will continue to make efforts to resolve the conflict within the framework of the international law, through peaceful and just way, and will also continue to support the restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan," Mehriban Aliyeva stressed.
According to her, humanitarian сooperation between Azerbaijan and France has reached a new level.
"Hundreds of Azerbaijani students are studying in higher educational institutions of France. Azerbaijani language faculty operates in the French State University of Oriental Languages and Cultures. Department of Azerbaijan studies named after Nizami Ganjavi has opened at the University of Upper Alsace. French lycée, the founding stone of which was laid by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of France Francois Hollande, has now become one of the leading educational institutions in Baku. I'm very glad that the Azerbaijani-French University began its work in Baku this September. I'm sure that our relations in the humanitarian sphere and cultural sphere are getting even closer, just like our nations, which helps to strengthen the French-Azerbaijani cooperation, French-Azerbaijani relations. That is why we are trying to carry out such projects in France - to promote our country. Once again, I express my gratitude to everyone who helped us in this matter. In conclusion, I express hope you will enjoy the Azerbaijani environment that we have created here and that it will be another bridge between our countries. Dear friends, I wish you and your families good health, happiness, I wish the French state peace and tranquility. Thank you very much for your attention," she concluded.