The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games are a bright new chapter in Azerbaijan’s dynamic development, said Mehriban Aliyeva, First Vice President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Chair of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games Organising Committee.
She was addressing the Opening Ceremony of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku May 12.
"Tonight we are proud hosts of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, a celebration of unity and sport. We are very honored to host the Games,” said Mehriban Aliyeva. "Today, Azerbaijan welcomes the entire Islamic world! I sincerely greet thousands of athletes from across four continents as well as guests to our capital, and extend my welcome to them all.”
"For this new success, I congratulate and thank each and every citizen across our beautiful land,” she added. "May Almighty God bless Azerbaijan!”
"Representatives of more than 50 countries are celebrating tonight in Baku the Opening Ceremony of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games. Having you here is a privilege. Azerbaijan sincerely welcomes you, our brothers and sisters!”
"I would like to thank the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation for entrusting Baku to host the fourth Games. The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games are a bright new chapter in Azerbaijan’s dynamic development, and another landmark event for the international sporting community,” said Mehriban Aliyeva.
"Our deep investment in sport has secured a lasting legacy of world-class skills, facilities and infrastructure. Tonight we bring the Islamic world together! Azerbaijan is proud to undertake this noble mission! We are an ancient nation, rooted in millennia of culture and strong Islamic traditions,” she added.
"We are also a young, modern and rapidly-developing country. Last year, Azerbaijan celebrated the 25th anniversary of the restoration of its independence. Our nation’s multicultural history is a cherished part of our open, tolerant society. We are proud to be a part of Islamic history and heritage, to share Islamic values.”
"The creative elements of these Games – from the medals our victorious athletes will win to the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies – are inspired by our rich culture,” noted Mehriban Aliyeva.
"Azerbaijan, the Land of Fire, is also a land of crystal waters. Our unique lakes and rivers, waterfalls and springs, our Caspian Sea have for centuries been the source of our life. From the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea, this life-giving element – so central to our shared Islamic heritage – forms a celebrated part of our country’s natural beauty and identity.”
"Over the last five weeks, water – the symbol of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games – went on a great Journey from the Caspian. It demonstrated Azerbaijan’s extraordinary landscapes to the world and inspired everyone it touched with a message of peace and friendship,” she said.
"I would like to greet all our wonderful young volunteers. We are proud of you! Your enthusiasm and dedication, your generosity and spirit make these Games possible. And I thank you with all my heart!,” Mehriban Aliyeva said.
"Athletes of the Islamic world, what a pleasure it is to have you here as our guests. All Azerbaijan stands with you and wishes you great success. These are your Games. And for the next ten days, our land is your home. I stand before you tonight filled with pride for all we have achieved as a nation.”
"I am moved by the dedication of our people to progress,” she noted. "We can all be proud of what we have accomplished together. Azerbaijan made history two years ago, bringing together an entire continent for the first ever European Games. Now we unite the world’s Islamic community from four continents in Baku at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.”
"2017 is declared as the Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan,” Mehriban Aliyeva reminded, adding, "Baku 2017 and the power of sport have brought our nations together in the Islamic spirit of friendship, peace, tolerance and mercy. Our Games will send an inspirational message out far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan: solidarity is our strength.”
"Athletes of the Islamic world, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, welcome to the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games! Welcome to Azerbaijan!” Mehriban Aliyeva said in conclusion.