Official opening of the “Azerbaijani Village” organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation took place on famous Palais Royal Square before the Louvre Museum, Paris, September 3, 2015.
Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, head of the working team for Azerbaijan-France Interparliamentary Relations Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony:
- Dear Mister Mayor.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends.
I sincerely welcome you to the opening of the “Azerbaijani Village” on Palais Royal Square, near the world-renowned Louvre Museum, one of the cultural centres of Paris, and am very glad to see each of you here.
Until September 9, this square will become a place reflecting Azerbaijan’s culture, history, art, music, cuisine, traditions, and its past and present. Both the Parisians and guests of your capital and tourists will have a chance to receive comprehensive information about Azerbaijan.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who have made their contribution to creation of this village, especially to mayor of the 1st Arrondissement of Paris Jean Francois Legaret and all employees of the town hall.
I would like to note that recent years we have held cultural events related to Azerbaijan not only in Paris, but also other cities of France. These events are welcomed in each city, each region with great interest. I would like to sincerely thank both the state entities of France and its people for the support they have provided to us.
Azerbaijan attaches great importance to bilateral relations with France. It is a rejoicing fact that recent years these relations have become of mutual strategic partnership nature. Our countries have built successful cooperation in all spheres, political cooperation is on the highest level, economic cooperation is extending, and a number of French companies are operating in Azerbaijan. We have built cooperation in a number of spheres – town-building, transportation, space industry, high technologies, wine-making, light industry etc., and this cooperation is extending.
Certainly, the humanitarian sphere is of great importance in terms of making nations and people closer. The France-Azerbaijan relations have been lifted to a completely new level in this sphere recent years. Regular days of Azerbaijani culture, weeks of culture are held not only in Paris, but also in the regions and cities of France. For example, the project “Cultural Treasures of Azerbaijan – the Pearl of the Caucasus” has been successfully implemented in over 20 cities of France. Today, the Azerbaijani language, history and literature are taught at higher schools of France. The Azerbaijani language department operates at the France State Oriental Languages and Culture University. A French lyceum has been opened in Baku, and a Letter of Understanding was signed in April this year, with participation of Azerbaijani and French presidents, on establishing of an Azerbaijani-French University. A working team has been already created in our countries to implement this project, and this means that a French University will start operating in Azerbaijan in the near future.
This is for the third time that Days of Azerbaijani Culture are held in the city of Cannes, and this has become a nice tradition. Creation of the “Azerbaijani Village” too has become a tradition. Last year we created such a village on Saint Sulpice Square of the 6th Arrondissement of Paris, and it was welcomed with great interest. And this year, such a village opens its doors in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris. The objective of holding all these projects is to bring our peoples closer, strengthen friendly relations, and deliver true facts about Azerbaijan to the French society.
Here I would like to welcome President of the Friends of Azerbaijan Association in France Mister Mansell, and its members. Your activities are highly appreciated in Azerbaijan. I’m glad the number of the members of this association is growing year-by-year. Of course, the number of people showing interest and respect towards Azerbaijan is also growing.
Dear Friends, I’m hopeful you will feel an Azerbaijani environment here, in this small village. Taking this opportunity, I invite each of you to visit Azerbaijan. I would like to once more deeply thank everyone who have supported us in creation of this village. Have a nice evening. Thank you very much.