14th April 2008

Baku 2016 delegation returns from IOC Conference in Beijing

A high-ranking delegation from Baku, capital city of Azerbaijan, one of the seven Applicant Cities, attended the XVI ANOC General Assembly and the IOC Executive Board Meeting hosted from the 5th to 11th April in Beijing. Led by the Chairman of the Bidding Committee of the 2016 Bid, the Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov and the Minister for Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov, the delegation used this opportunity to demonstrate their country’s willingness and ability to host the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and the XV Paralympic Games 2016.

On this occasion the Deputy Prime Minister had several meetings with IOC members, after which he reported to the international media: “The Azerbaijan Government is very confident and optimistic. We have received many positive and encouraging statements from the IOC. We, the government, and the whole Azeri people believe and trust in the wisdom of the IOC. The results from the Evaluation Board and the IOC Executive Board must be respected by all seven applicants.”At a news conference Minister Azad Rahimov added: ”What we have experienced and learned from the reports presented by the BOCOG (Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) and London, host of the next Summer Olympic Games, was simply that Baku’s concept of focusing on a compact Olympic Park with world-class sports venues and short distances, is absolutely competitive. Baku has a big potential and is truly the pearl of the Caspian Sea. Our planning goes far beyond this Olympic Bid. We are committed to our youth and society in general and we have responsibility for our future. Our environmental studies and urban development plan show clearly that Azerbaijan is willing and ready to invest in sustainable concepts which will convince the International Olympic Committee to accept our bid to host the Games.”

For the remaining weeks until the IOC releases the short list of cities to receive the status of Candidate Cities, the Minister announced a massive public campaign and the relaunch of the Baku 2016 website by the end of April.