Official opening of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games

On May 12, official opening of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games took place in Baku.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady, Chairperson of the “Baku-2017” 4th Islamic Solidarity Games’ Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva, Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization Yusif Al-Othaimeen and other officials attended the ceremony.

Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony:

- President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Ilham Aliyev.

Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, His Excellency Doctor Yusif Al-Othaimeen.

Esteemed members of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation.

Your Excellences.

Sportsmen of the Islamic world.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Respected guests.

Welcome to Azerbaijan!

Welcome to the “Baku-2017” Islamic Solidarity Games!

Dear fellow citizens, this evening, we are receiving, with the feeling of joy, the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games - celebration of unity and sport. It is an honour for us to host these Games. Today, Azerbaijanis are receiving the whole Islamic world. I want to warmly welcome thousands of sportsmen and guests of our capital coming from around the world and say them “Welcome”! I congratulate every citizen of our beautiful Homeland on all achievements, and express my gratitude. May God protect Azerbaijan!

Dear friends, representatives of over 50 countries are this evening celebrating the opening of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku. We have been honoured by your visit. Our brothers and sisters, Azerbaijan is welcoming you with an open heart. I would like to thank the Islamic Solidarity Games Federation for entrusting Baku with holding the 4th Games.

The “Baku-2017” Islamic Solidarity Games are a bright page in Azerbaijan’s dynamic development and a historical event for the international sports society. The great investment we have made into sport has secured the great heritage for the future, by mastering capabilities on the world level, creating facilities and infrastructure.

This evening, we brought the Islamic world together. Azerbaijan is taking pride in undertaking this high mission. We are an ancient land with the culture covering millennia, and strong Islamic traditions. At the same time, we are a young, modern and dynamically developing state. Last year, we marked the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s regain of its independence. Our country’s multicultural history has been the lofty part of our open and tolerant society. We take pride in being a part of the Islamic history and heritage, and sharing the Islamic values.

The creative elements of these Games - from the medals that the winning athletes will be awarded to the grandiose opening and closing ceremonies - will personify our rich culture. Azerbaijan - a land of fire - is also a country of crystal waters. Our matchless lakes and rivers, waterfalls and springs, the Caspian Sea have for centuries been a source of life in this country. With its main place in the common Islamic heritage and being a source of life, this element forms the essential part of our country’s natural beauty and uniqueness, from the Caucasian Mountains to the Caspian Sea. Water, the symbol of the “Baku-2017” Islamic Solidarity Games, has been on a long travel for the last five weeks. It showed Azerbaijan’s matchless nature to the world, bringing the message of peace and friendship to everybody, and filled people with enthusiasm.

Dear friends, I would like to welcome all our beautiful young volunteers. We are proud of you. Your selflessness, benevolence and determination made these Games possible. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sportsmen of the Islamic world, it is very rejoicing to see you here as our guests. The whole Azerbaijan is with you and wishes you great achievements. These are your Games. The following ten days our country will be your home.

This evening, I am speaking with the feeling of great pride for all the achievements of our country. Our people’s connectedness to progress inspires me. We can all take pride in the achievements we have reached together. Two years earlier, Azerbaijan, having brought the whole continent of Europe together, in the framework of the first European Games, made a history. And now, we brought together people of the Islamic world from four continents in Baku – at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.

The year 2017 is declared the year of “Islamic solidarity” in Azerbaijan. The “Baku-2017” Islamic Solidarity Games and the might of sport have brought our peoples together, under the spirit of friendship, peace, tolerance and kindness. Our strength is in our solidarity! Our Games will send this inspiring message far beyond the boundaries of Azerbaijan.

Athletes of the Islamic world, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends.

Welcome to the “Baku-2017” Islamic Solidarity Games!

Welcome to Azerbaijan !