President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
Azerbaijan offered outstanding hospitality to First World Forum of MGIMO graduates, said Alexei Torkunov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Rector of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) of the Russian Foreign Ministry– who is also the President of the RAMI Association for International Studies.
“Our graduates were heartily and lovingly greeted in Baku. This is in no small part due to the fact that the President of Azerbaijan is himself a MGIMO graduate” said Dr Torkunov. “There is a considerable diaspora of MGIMO alumni in Azerbaijan who graduated from our institute during the Soviet era”, the Rector added.
Dr Torkunov said that many of the graduates had gone on to work in the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs – but after Azerbaijan gained its independence as a sovereign country, many chose to remain there, and today they are frequently met in many contexts, such as State-owned concerns, and in the fields of science and education. They brought exceptional administrative skills, warmth, friendliness and hospitality to the forum, the Rector mentioned.
“This was a specially-organised event – a reunion of graduates from all over the world is really something remarkable. In fact we’ve only just added up the number of graduates who attended. Many of them came on their own initiative, because they’d seen announcements on our website, or on the website of Azerbaijani Association of MGIMO alumni. In all more than 550 attendees came, from thirty-four different countries” said Dr Torkunov.
The First World Forum of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute for International Relations) graduates was held in Baku on the 12th of April. Among the forum participants were Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and his wife Mekhriban Aliyeva.
The idea of the MGIMO graduate reunion prompted interest amongst the institute’s alumni from every corner of the globe. The forum was attended by governmental officials, representatives of major international organisations, businesspeople and financiers from Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Cuba, South Korea, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and other countries.