(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 7. While delivering a
speech at the Azerbaijan National Urban Forum in Aghdam, President
Ilham Aliyev underscored the Armenian vandalism against
Azerbaijan's Karabakh during the occupation period, the scale of
destructions in Aghdam and other Azerbaijani cities, rebuilding
activities carried out in liberated territories, as well as talked
about the international organizations turning a blind eye to the
atrocities committed by Armenia, its landmine terror against
Azerbaijan, the future of the Armenian population living in
Karabakh, and about the regional peace, reports.
The head of state outlined the humanitarian crisis faced by
Azerbaijanis during the First Karabakh War.
“Our nation suffered a serious humanitarian crisis. Because as a
result of Armenian aggression and occupation more than one million
Azerbaijanis were totally ethnically cleansed from their native
land in Karabakh, in Zangazur and also in today's Armenia. And when
it happened the population of Azerbaijan was less than eight
million people and, can you imagine, one million became refugees
and IDPs,” said the head of state.
President Aliyev pointed out the mosques destroyed during the
Armenian occupation. He noted that a total of 65 out of 67 mosques
that existed on the liberated territories were totally destroyed.
The only half-destroyed building was a building of Juma Mosque,
since Armenians used it for observation. The Armenians kept pigs
and cows in the Juma Mosque.
“What you see here in Aghdam you can see in every single village
of Karabakh area,” the head of state added.
Thus, removing Azerbaijani cities from the map, as well as other
brutalities committed by Armenia were directly carried out on
behalf of the Armenian leadership itself. Despite the end of the
war, Armenia's policy of terror against Azerbaijan continued at the
Furthermore, President Ilham Aliyev highlighted landmine
contamination in Karabakh, noting that Armenians have planted more
than one million mines during the times of occupation. And this
policy of terror against Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijanis continues.
Azerbaijan is facing a tremendous challenge to return as soon as
possible former refugees and IDPs to their homeland.
“Since the war ended two years ago, almost two years ago, we
have almost 250 Azerbaijanis who have been killed or seriously
injured as a result of landmine explosions. Unfortunately, the
figure is growing every week. Just last week we had two killed and
three seriously injured,' the president stressed.
The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) has so
far released data on the existence of nearly 390,709 anti-tank and
anti-personnel landmines, as well as other explosive devices on
liberated lands. Roughly 147,988 hectares are considered high
mining sites, while 675,570 hectares are considered low mining
sites. The first stage, scheduled for 2022-2026, envisages the
de-mining of 83 settlements in the Aghdam, Fuzuli, Gubadli,
Jabrayil, Kalbajar, Khojavand, Lachin, Shusha and Zangilan
Azerbaijan keeps conducting landmine clearance activities in its
As part of the visit to Aghdam, President Ilham Aliyev attended
the groundbreaking ceremonies of the internal road and
communication network of the city, the 470- apartment residential
block to be built for the former internally displaced persons, the
railway and bus station complex, the establishment of Kangarli,
Sarijali and Khidirli villages, viewed the work to be done in
Panahali Khan's Palace and Imarat Complex, as well as the work
underway on the newly-built Barda-Aghdam highway and the
inauguration of Khurshidbanu Natavan's monument.
The president also emphasized the construction of highways and
village roads in the liberated territories.
“According to the investment plan which has been already
approved in the liberated territories of Karabakh and Eastern
Zangazur there will be 33 tunnels with the total lengths of more
than 50 kilometres. There will be 84 bridges with the length of 12
km. These are only part of what we are now doing,' the head of
Azerbaijani cities were not devastated during the First Karabakh
War but were subjected to systematic destruction during the period
of occupation. President Ilham Aliyev said that Aghdam was
destroyed during the years of occupation, when it was demolished
stone by stone for 30 years and when all the buildings were ruined
and dismantled. Stones have been stolen and sold out.
International organizations should immediately reflect on the
relevant statements. Did they have a question about why Kangarli,
Sarijali and Khidirli villages, which existed before 1993, are
being re-established? Why did the international organizations
remain silent while Armenia was committing barbaric acts against
the Azerbaijani people for 30 years?
Underlining the relevant issue, President Ilham Aliyev added,
despite the fact that the leading international organizations such
as the United Nations, the OSCE and others adopted resolutions,
decisions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of
Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories, particularly four UN
Security Council resolutions which remained on paper for almost 30
“The most regrettable is that the structure which had a mandate
from the OSCE, the so-called Minsk Group and its co-chairs visited
occupied territories many times, witnessed the brutal devastation
of all the cities and villages, witnessed illegal settlement of
Armenians on our lands, but did not condemn Armenia,” said the
What can these agencies offer now, when Azerbaijan independently
resolved the Karabakh conflict? Why should Baku cooperate with the
OSCE Minsk Group in the peace process, which has not fulfilled its
obligations as a mediator in the conflict settlement for almost 30
Speaking of the attempts to revive the Minsk Group, President
Ilham Aliyev said that it had done nothing to fulfill its
“Now when we see some efforts to revitalize this Minsk Group,
we, of course, cannot be supportive to that. Because they did
nothing to implement their mandate. The only thing they did
actually to a certain degree, they tried to legitimize the Armenian
aggression. They tried to create a balance between aggressor and
the victim of aggression,” said the head of state.
International organizations aren't supposed to create a balance,
but to take a fair position, sanction the aggressor and force him
to peace. However, over the past period, the only thing the
Azerbaijani public heard from the Minsk Group was 'there is no
military solution to the conflict' and 'the conflict should be
resolved only within the Minsk Group.'.
Despite the anti-Azerbaijani propaganda conducted by Armenia's
military-political leadership among the Armenians living in Armenia
and Karabakh, official Baku remains committed to the peace process
in the face of these unconstructive actions of Yerevan. President
Ilham Aliyev pointed out issues related to both the Armenian
population living in Karabakh and Armenia's peace proposal, as well
as reiterated Azerbaijan's position on the future of the region to
some international actors.
“With respect to Armenian population who still lives in Karabakh
region of Azerbaijan, are our citizens and we are not going to
discuss how we are going to organize their life on our territory
with any international player. Karabakh is Azerbaijan. The Second
Karabakh War proved it on the ground,” the head of state said.
Speaking of the peace process with Armenia, the head of state
underscored Azerbaijan's unwavering position.
'Despite all what you see in Aghdam and what anyone can see in
the territory of more than 10.000 square kms totally destroyed by
Armenians, despite the human sufferings of our people we proposed
peace to Armenia. We announced publicly five basic principles of
international law which should be the basis for peace agreement,
particularly mutual recognition of territorial integrity of
countries, refrain from territorial claims in the future, refrain
from use of force or threat of use of force, delimitation of state
border and opening of communications,' the head of state
Along with the peace message, the president also warned
'We have certain optimism with respect to the peace process,
because just recently several days ago the meeting of foreign
ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, first meeting of that kind,
particularly with agenda of preparation of draft of peace
agreement. We hope that it will not take long time. We know the
tactics which Armenians usually use when they don't want to come to
an agreement like negotiations on Karabakh conflict for 28 years.
If that continues then we will have no peace. If this is a choice
of Armenia that means that they will make another serious mistake.
They underestimated us, they underestimated our will, the will of
people of Azerbaijan, the potential of Azerbaijan. They had to pay
the price for that,' president noted.
Official Baku won't retreat from its peace-loving position and
will continue restoring the region and ensuring the coexistence of
the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples in the region. Despite all the
atrocities of Armenia, Azerbaijan sticks to its humanistic position
and offers peace to Armenia. Official Yerevan shouldn't ignore
Baku's calls for peace and make every effort to establish
sustainable peace in the South Caucasus.