On 27 November the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) was officially launched in the House of Lords. MPs, diplomats, representatives of international organizations, public figures, businessmen and activists from the Azerbaijani community in the UK attended the event.
Opening the ceremony, TEAS Chairman Tale Heydarov explained the importance of the society´s work and outlined its aims and plans. TEAS is established on the basis of the London Azerbaijan Society, which was founded in 2004 in the UK, and intends to expand its sphere of activity. Tale Heydarov said that TEAS would capitalize on the rich experience of the London Azerbaijan Society and the significant projects it had carried out and would promote Azerbaijan in the European arena. "The primary aim of TEAS is promoting Azerbaijan, which has a rich culture and huge economic potential, in Europe," Tale Heydarov said. "This will include promoting Azerbaijan´s international relations in the European mass media and political and cultural circles and raising awareness about the truth of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Karabakh, thereby attracting the attention of Western countries to the conflict. The society will involve Azerbaijanis living and studying in Europe in achieving these aims."
Tale Heydarov spoke about the various activities of the society and underlined the importance of printed material in raising Azerbaijan´s profile. He said that the society published the
Tale Heydarov spoke about British producer Nick Tyron´s documentary film My Surreal Duty which the society has produced: "This documentary, produced on TEAS´s initiative and in close cooperation with American Jeffrey Werbock, a professional performer on Azerbaijani national musical instruments, is about the plight of Karabakh refugees. Work on the film is expected to be completed in late January."
The chairman of the Anglo-Azerbaijan Society, Lord Fraser, said that
Azerbaijan´s ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the UK, Fakhraddin Qurbanov, said that the embassy would always support TEAS. He said that the embassy and society had already jointly organized a concert to mark 90 years since the birth of Azerbaijan´s great composer Qara Qarayev. Azerbaijani violinist Sabina Rakchiyeva, who is studying for a doctorate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, performed some of the composer´s work. Mr Qurbanov said it was fascinating how the society´s documentary, My Surreal Duty, brought together the plight of Azerbaijani refugees from Armenian aggression and their enormous musical heritage. He thanked Lord Fraser for his positive attitude towards Azerbaijan and said that this was the second event relating to Azerbaijan held in the House of Lords in November.
The evening ended with a showing of part of Nick Tyron´s film. Guests were able to take away the newsletters Business Bulletin, Azerbaijan’s Role in the Caucasus and International Policy and Mountainous Karabakh and the book Azerbaijan: 100 Questions Answered.