President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have met with athletes representing the country at the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games in the city of Konya, Turkiye.
Addressing the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear athletes, dear friends.
I just landed in Konya and immediately came here from the airport to meet with you. It is a tradition. Every time on the eve of prestigious international competitions, I meet with athletes and have a conversation with them. This time is no exception.
This time you will represent Azerbaijan at the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games. I am sure that you will represent our country with dignity because our athletes have already confirmed their strength in all international competitions. Today, Azerbaijan is recognized as a strong sports nation in the world, and our victories in the Olympic Games, as well as in world and European championships, have already become commonplace. Azerbaijani fans have got somewhat accustomed to that. I am sure that our athletes will show good results this time as well. We already have our first gold medal. I want to congratulate the team on this occasion. The official opening ceremony of the Games is today, but the Games are already underway. I am sure that this great result will provide a great incentive for the rest of other athletes.
This time, after Baku, these Games are being held in Konya, in a fraternal country for us. I am sure you feel at home here. Of course, the fact that these Games are being held in Turkiye creates additional opportunities for us. Of course, we are very glad that these Games are being held in brotherly Turkiye. I am sure that these Games will be remembered both as a celebration of sports and a holiday of Islamic solidarity. In the Islamic Solidarity Games held in Baku five years ago, our team showed a very good result and finished first in team standings. At the same time, the Games in Baku gave an impetus to the strengthening of Islamic solidarity because athletes from Muslim countries were close contact with each other for some time. I am sure that you will make new friends here as well. These Games are both a sports competition and a factor that strengthens unity, solidarity and friendship among Muslim countries.
I should also mention that for the first time Azerbaijani athletes will be representing a victorious country at the Islamic Solidarity Games. It is a matter of great pride for all of us. After all, we will take part in these Games as representatives of a victorious people and a victorious country. Victory achieved on the battlefields will be reflected in sports competitions.
In conclusion, dear athletes, I salute you from the bottom of my heart and wish you the best of luck. I am sure that, as always, you will hold the sports flag of Azerbaijan and our sports glory high and return to the Motherland with victory and success. Congratulations!
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Minister of Youth and Sports Farid Gayibov said:
- Dear Mr. President.
Dear Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva.
On behalf of the delegation, let me welcome you to the Athletes' Village. We would like to thank you for your continued support. By your order, all conditions have been created for the athletes and our team is ready. As you mentioned, we have already won our first medal. Hanna Skydan won gold yesterday.
Wrestler Rafig Huseynov: Dear Mr. President, dear Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. Let me greet you on behalf of my teammates and on my own behalf. Thank you very much for your valuable time and interest in us. I am sure that meeting with you will give us additional motivation and have a very positive impact on our performance. I am glad that Mr. President is personally interested in us. Thank you.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.
Shooter Rigina Meftahatdinova: Mr. President and Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, hello. I grew up in a family of athletes. I am the daughter of Olympic champion Zemfira Meftahatdinova. I am also in this sport. I am very proud that you always pay attention to us. Thank you very much.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. I wish you the best of luck.
Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva: Hanna Skydan won a gold medal.
President Ilham Aliyev: Gold medal, congratulations!
Hanna Skydan: Thank you!
Mehriban Aliyeva: Congratulations, we are proud of you!
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A picture was taken.
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Cyclist Elchin Asadov: Mr. President, I am Elchin Asadov. I am the winner of the international cycling competition in Shusha. I am very proud. We are proud of the “iron fist”. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much.
Paralympian: Thank God, all conditions have been created for us. As a former war veteran, we will raise our flag here Inshallah.
President Ilham Aliyev: Inshallah. Our Paralympians also showed good results in the Paralympic Games.