Azerbaijan will bid for hosting the summer Olympic Games in 2016, President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday, according to reports reaching here.
"We would have not thought of hosting Olympics several years ago. However, thanks to the booming economy and enhanced sports potential in recent years, dream can come true," Aliyev, also chairman of the country's Olympic committee, told an opening ceremony of a sport complex.
Azerbaijan has presented its application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bid for the Game to be hosted in its capital Baku, also an oil industry hub and the largest port city in the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan, the oil-rich Caucasus country by the Caspian Sea, has never hosted a major world championship since the Soviet Union break-up at the end of 1991.
The United States, Italy, India, Japan, Brazil, Spain and the Czech Republic have also expressed an interest in staging the Summer Games in 2016, with the IOC planning to choose the host city in 2009.