By Amina Nazarli
As the previous year, 2017 also promises to be rich in calendar of interesting and significant events for Azerbaijan.
Islamic Solidarity Games
Spring will be the next significant sporting season for Azerbaijan, which is going to host the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games with a record number of the participants. As many as 57 countries have confirmed their participation!
A multinational and multi-sport event involving the elite athletes of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation will welcome over 5,000 athletes to compete in 20 sports disciplines during the 12-day competition.
Baku, which has turned into a circuit of legendary corners seeped in history with cars running through the capital's streets, is preparing to hold another exciting year with the Formula 1 European Grand Prix family.
Formula 1 Grand Prix, but this time Grand Prix of Azerbaijan (last year was Baku Grand Prix) will once again come to the country.
In 2016 Baku for the first time hosted the Formula 1, one of the world’s richest forms of motorsport. Along with Monaco and Singapore, Baku was the third street circuit on the calendar.
Another major sporting event of 2017 is the Women's European Volleyball Championship scheduled for September 20-October 1.
Welcoming 16 teams, the semifinals and finals will take place in Baku. Along with Azerbaijan, it will also reach Georgia. Only one group matches and 1/4 final matches will be held in Georgia, while other two groups will compete in Goygol, Ganja and another group in Baku.
This year Azerbaijan will be among the host countries of the International Army Games 2017 along with China, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
International Army Games have become the modern form of military training. Last year, Azerbaijan successfully performed in the Games held in Russia.
Participating in the contests "Tank biathlon" and "Caspian Sea Cup" of the international military competition, representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces become the winners of the various stages in both categories and represented the country at the highest level.
International Symposium on Azerbaijani Carpets
Azerbaijani carpets, admiring with their unusual beauty and colorfulness, increasingly became to attract attention.
In October 2017, the country will hold the 5th International Symposium on Azerbaijani Carpets in Baku. The event is important in promoting Azerbaijan’s ancient art of carpet-making to the world.
Beauty and quality of the national carpets has praised them since ancient times. Hand-made oriental silk and wool Azerbaijani carpets were exported to many countries and still decorate many famous museums and private collections throughout the world.
Commission of BTK
The implementation of the long anticipated Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project is on track and the railway will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017.
Being constructed under a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement, BTK is expected to expand multi-modal transportation opportunities, ensure the growth of passenger and freight transportation and boost the transit potential of the regional countries.
World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue
Baku will host the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in April 2017, which is held biannually since 2011 within the so-called Baku Process.
The World Forums on Intercultural Dialogue became an international platform to enable and encourage people, countries and organizations around the globe take concrete actions to support diversity, dialogue and mutual understanding among nations by raising awareness on the importance of intercultural dialogue worldwide.
Azerbaijan in Heart of Asia
This year Azerbaijan will co-chair Heart of Asia meetings and host its ministerial conference. Azerbaijan assumed the co-chairmanship of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul process for 2017 in early December 2016.
The Heart of Asia Conference is an intergovernmental organization founded in November 2011 by Istanbul, Turkey. The aim is to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.
This region-led dialogue was launched to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism.