Attendees initially viewed a photographic exhibition entitled Azerbaijan – Land of Fire, depicting the culture, landscape and nature of the country. Following this, Eliza Pieter, Head of TEAS Paris, outlined TEAS’ activities and the objectives of the Paris office to the audience, stressing that TEAS wished to bring Azerbaijan closer to the hearts of the French people. She also made a reference to the common principles of secularism, rule of law and democracy shared by France and Azerbaijan.
Tale Heydarov, Chairman and Founder, TEAS, continued by reminding the audience about the links uniting France and Azerbaijan, making a reference to the visit by the author Alexandre Dumas to Nagorno-Karabakh during his journey through the Caucasus in the mid-19th century. He highlighted the fact that, if he were travelling today, Dumas would be unable to visit and experience the heritage of that region as it remains under Armenian occupation.
Jean-Louis Dumont, French Deputy, Chairman, France–Azerbaijan Friendship Group, French National Assembly, outlined the importance of TEAS’ activities in France. He commented that it would help to further strengthen social and political ties between the two countries. Mr Dumont recalled that France is a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group that has been tasked with negotiating peace in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, and that it was important to attract understanding and support from all elements of French society.
Following this, Saida Zulfugarova, the leading Azerbaijani classical pianist, resident in Paris, together with percussionist Nicolas Vrancken, accompanied mezzo-soprano Djamila Babayeva in a programme of Azerbaijani and Western classical compositions.
The evening concluded with a lively networking session.