French-Azerbaijani relations have excellent history – President

Fri 21 September 2012 04:52 GMT | 09:52 Local Time

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Ilham Aliyev

On 19 September Paris hosted a reception dedicated to the opening of the Cultural Centre, established with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Azerbaijani Embassy in France.

According to the official website of the Azerbaijani president, the reception was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva.

The event participants warmly welcomed the head of state and his wife.

The head of state addressed the reception.

Speaking at the event, President Aliyev said:

"Ladies and gentlemen! Today is a very significant day in the history of French-Azerbaijani relations. The Azerbaijani Cultural Centre is starting its activity in the centre of Paris. It is no accident that the first Cultural Centre of our country abroad is opened in the capital of France. French-Azerbaijani relations are developing successfully and rapidly.

This morning the flag of Azerbaijan gas been raised in the courtyard of this building. Today we are receiving our friends. The activity of this Cultural Centre will allow us to widely present French people rich culture, history and art of Azerbaijan. I am confident that this building will soon become home to French-Azerbaijani friendship.

French-Azerbaijani relations have excellent story, and I'm sure they have a bright future. My meeting with President of France, Mr. Francois Hollande held yesterday has once again confirmed the strategic nature of our relations. This morning the meeting in MEDEF with leading companies of France once again showed how great the mutual interest in the economic sphere is.

France is the second largest trade partner of Azerbaijan, and the volume of trade is increasing every year. Today, we meet in the cultural center of Azerbaijan, talk to our friends. I take this opportunity to emphasize activity of the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, head of the Inter-Parliamentary Azerbaijan-France Friendship Group, Mehriban Aliyeva in the cultural field of French-Azerbaijani relations. At her initiative, various projects were implemented in Strasbourg, Versailles, province of Normandy to preserve cultural heritage of France.

Initiated by her, France hosted concerts and exhibitions of artists of Azerbaijan. Last year, the foundation was laid for a French lyceum in Baku. Baku hosted grand exhibition "Plaisirs de France". Beginning of activity of this cultural center was made possible on the initiative of Mehriban. The French state very much appreciated her work and awarded Mehriban the Order "Legion of Honor".

This evening is indeed a night of French-Azerbaijani friendship. We have many friends in France. The doors of this building will always be open to our friends.

I once again welcome all the friends who have come to this reception to join us today to celebrate this joyful day. I wish all of our French friends success and health. Thank you."




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