Azerbaijan National Day
26 May 2016
Ambassador Elkhan Polukhov of Azerbaijan in South Africa hosted a National Day reception to mark the 98th Anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Among the guests that joined in the celebration were ambassadors, high commissioners, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Azerbaijani and Turkish communities and founders of the local NGO Friends of Azerbaijan.
Photo: Ambassador Elkhan Polukhov of Azerbaijan (l) cutting the celebration cake with Ambassador Ebrahim Saley of Dirco on the occasion of Azerbaijan’s National Day in Pretoria.
The first Embassy of Azerbaijan was set up five years ago and Ambassador Polukhov was happy to announce that this was the fifth year of him hosting the celebrations.
In his speech Ambassador Polukhov noted the growing relations between Azerbaijan and South Africa. He noted that Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo took her first working visit to Azerbaijan last month where she held a number of meetings.
The first book about Azerbaijan written by SA expert Dr. Sehlare Makgetlaneng, “Azerbaijan as a regional Economic Driver – Opportunities and Challenges” was published at the beginning of this year. This book is a joint product of the Centre of Strategic Researches, AISA and the Human Sciences Research Council.
In the cultural sphere Ambassador Polukhov announced that two ballet dancers from Azerbaijan visited Cape Town in February of this year and together with South African dancers performed during the International Ballet Competition. South African dancers together with the Azerbaijani folk group “Yurd” took part in numerous South African International Dance Competitions and they secured their participation in the final of the European Dance competition. The dancers were present on the day.
Bringing Azerbaijan closer to South Africa, journalists visited Azerbaijan last year and published a variety of articles about this beautiful country.
Speaking about international events Ambassador Polukhov proudly announced that for the first time this year a Formula One race will be hosted in his country. The capital city Baku will play host to what claims to be the fastest street circuit of the season, on a layout designed by renowned F1 track architect Hermann Tilke on 19 June.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad will also take place in Baku later this year.
Ambassador Polukhov said a special thank you to the Friends of Azerbaijan and in particular its founder, James Day.
Guests enjoyed Azerbaijani cuisine and drinks.