By Sabina Mammadli
Azerbaijani and Iranian delegations have visited territories liberated from Armenian occupation during the 44-day war in 2020, the Digital Development and Transport Ministry has reported.
Members of the delegations familiarized themselves with transportation and other infrastructure projects being implemented in the liberated lands on President Ilham Aliyev's orders.
The Iranian delegation was led by Roads and Urban Planning Minister Rostam Ghasemi, while the Azerbaijani delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev.
To recap, Ghasemi is also a co-chairman of the Iranian-Azerbaijani intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.
According to the ministry, the Iranian delegation was informed about Fuzuli International Airport, where the plane landed on a direct flight from Tehran, and the fact that the airport was built in just nine months.
Furthermore, the delegations learned about the work being done in liberated Zangilan region within the Horadiz-Aghband railway project, which is part of the international transport route. The significance of Iran's involvement in this project was emphasized.
The delegations were also given presentations on the construction of the Zangilan International Airport, road tunnels along the Zangazur corridor, and the railway project in the Jojug Marjanli settlement.
During the trip to Azerbaijan's liberated territories, information on the cities and villages destroyed by Armenia during the 30-year occupation was provided. Finally, the parties became acquainted with the city of Fuzuli, where the trip participants witnessed the total destruction of all residential and infrastructure facilities, including mosques.
Azerbaijan regained control of a 132-km stretch of the Azerbaijan-Iran border after liberating its lands from Armenian occupation in the 44-day war in 2020. The re-establishment of state border control opened up new prospects for deeper cooperation between the two countries.
It should be noted that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran in 2020 was $339.1 million. This figure was $390.4 million in the first 11 months of 2021.
Efforts are currently being made to restore Azerbaijan's liberated territories. In four stages, Azerbaijan will rebuild its recently liberated territories. The first stage entails resolving issues of governance and security, as well as infrastructure, while the subsequent stages entail resolving issues of social services, reconstruction, and infrastructure development.
In 2021, Azerbaijan allocated $1.5 billion for the reconstruction of liberated territories. These funds will be used primarily to restore infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, and so on) as well as cultural and historical monuments.
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