(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 28. President of the
Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Masim Mammadov due
to his appointment as Special Representative of the President in
Lachin district, which is included in East Zangezur economic
region, trend reports.
The head of state made a speech at the meeting.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev
- You are being appointed as special representative of the
President in Lachin district. Great trust is being placed in you. I
am sure you will live up to this trust.
Lachin district is one of the largest districts of our country.
The district has tremendous potential. Of course, former IDPs who
will return to Lachin district should live comfortably in Lachin,
and the state of Azerbaijan will make sure this is the case.
Lachin district was under occupation for 28 years, and during
this period, almost the entire infrastructure of the district was
destroyed by Armenia. Great damage was caused to the environment.
In general, as a result of illegal exploitation of our forest fund,
60,000 hectares of our forests were destroyed, cut, looted and sold
by the Armenians. A large part of that is made up of the forests of
During the occupation, Armenians conducted a policy of illegal
settlement in Lachin. Armenians were brought to the city of Lachin
and several villages from foreign countries and settled there. This
is considered a war crime according to all international
conventions. Unfortunately, the Armenian state has not yet been
brought to justice for this war crime.
Lachin district was occupied a few days after the occupation of
Shusha. It was a great tragedy for our country, it was a great
tragedy for the people of Lachin, and it was yet another act of
betrayal on the part of the PFPA-Musavat treacherous duo. The
PFPA-Musavat duo aspired to power, tried to seize it by all means,
and the transfer and sale of land to Armenia was actually an
opportunity for them to achieve this ugly goal of theirs. This is
how they evaluated it – they believed that if the people of
Azerbaijan were exposed to major suffering, this would provide them
with additional opportunities. Unfortunately, this is what
happened. The occupation of Shusha and then Lachin caused a very
serious political crisis in Azerbaijan. Taking advantage of this
opportunity, the PFPA-Musavat treacherous duo seized power
illegally one month after the occupation of Lachin, and this opened
the way for even greater tragedies. Less than a year later, in
April 1993, Kalbajar was occupied, and thus a geographical
connection was established between the territory of the former
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and the territory of Armenia.
This, of course, was the key contributor to the defeat in the first
We regained Lachin both on the battlefield and by political
means. During the Second Karabakh War, the liberation of Lachin
district from occupation was one of the priority tasks. We actually
liberated the southern part of Lachin district by fighting, on the
battlefield. Gulabird and a number of other villages were liberated
on the battlefield, and we accessed the Lachin-Khankendi road. This
operation, as well as the liberation of the city of Shusha from the
Armenian invaders, actually led to the capitulation of the Armenian
state. The Armenian leadership, which once said“Karabakh is
Armenia”, was forced to accept its defeat and sign an act of
capitulation on November 10, 2020. The other part of Lachin
district, the bigger part, was liberated by political means. This
is our great and historic victory.
I have to emphasize that during the many years of negotiations,
the mediators always showed a special approach to Lachin district.
On the whole, Armenia considered the return of Lachin district to
Azerbaijan to be unacceptable. They did not intend to vacate other
districts either. Now, two and a half years after the war, it has
become obvious to everyone. International mediators, the former
Minsk Group of the OSCE, actually tried to solidify this occupation
by conducting negotiations. Everything has become clear now –
France's unfair and prejudiced attitude towards Azerbaijan is not
accidental. They simply tried to cover it up to some extent during
the occupation. They simply wanted to misguide us. But notice the
ugly acts that have been committed against us in the two and a half
years since the war, since the Second Karabakh War. Notice the
baseless accusations that have been made against us. In other
words, all this is obvious, including a series of resolutions
adopted by the European Parliament against Azerbaijan, which are
still the products of the pro-Armenian, corrupt anti-Azerbaijani
group, and French deputies are playing the leading part here. Of
course, we felt this during the occupation too, but not to such an
obvious extent. We could not even imagine that countries can be so
hypocritical and deceitful. They can look into your eyes and say
one thing, but do the exact opposite behind your back.
So the whole world could see everything again over the past two
and a half years. At the same time, the anti-Azerbaijani forces
could see our unbending resolve. No-one can influence our resolve.
No-one can speak to us in the language of ultimatums. We proved
this to Armenia in the Second Karabakh War, and we also proved it
to Armenia's patrons during the two and a half years after the war.
We defeated them and showed the whole world again that we can and
we will achieve what we want.
Therefore, the history of Lachin district should certainly serve
as a lesson in many cases. From now on, ensuring the security of
Lachin district and returning the displaced people there as soon as
possible are priority tasks for us. All engineering and
fortification work in Lachin district along the border with Armenia
has almost been completed. Roads that never existed there have been
built. 100 kilometers of local roads in Lachin and Kalbajar
districts, as well as the roads leading to military positions, have
been built. So we have acquired very favorable positions in the
direction of the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, we are reinforcing
ourselves in these positions, and we will remain in these
positions. Of course, other steps and measures are being taken for
the security of Lachin district. These measures will allow our
returning compatriots the opportunity to live there comfortably and
Although the district came under our control when the Second
Karabakh War ended, the city of Lachin was not in our hands. There
were objective reasons for that. Because the road from Armenia to
Karabakh passed through the center of the city of Lachin. As a
result of many hours of phone conversations with the President of
Russia on November 9, 2020, we managed to incorporate the return of
the city of Lachin to Azerbaijan as a precondition. For this
purpose, the construction of an alternative road was included in
the final statement at my insistence and a deadline was indicated.
However, it was indicated in somewhat vague terms that discussions
on this issue would be held within three years. But as soon as the
Second Karabakh War ended, I immediately ordered that the route and
all technical parameters of the new road be determined. We quickly
started this work and finished it in a year and a half. So a new
road bypassing the city of Lachin was built and the road was ready
for operation at the beginning of August last year, or rather on
August 2. We sent a message to the command of the Russian
peacekeeping forces that they should move their posts from the
current route to a new one, and by August 5, we should be able to
enter the city of Lachin, the villages of Zabukh and Sus.
Representatives of Karabakh Armenians who were in contact with our
representatives at the time asked us to give them some time, said
that they would resolve those issues themselves by August 25, that
they would evict the illegally settled Armenians from the city of
Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus, and thus the issue would
be resolved comfortably. I didn't mind that. After all, 20 days
doesn't make that much of a difference. So all Armenians illegally
settled in the city of Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus
were removed from there by August 25. On August 26, we returned to
the villages of Zabukh, Sus and the city of Lachin. After that, I
visited the city of Lachin, raised the Azerbaijani flag in the
center of the city and declared that we would live in our native
Immediately after that, the instruction was issued to start the
process of rebuilding the city of Lachin without wasting any time.
It has been more than two years since the restoration of Lachin
district started. A lot of work has been done. As you know, an
international airport is being built in Lachin district. There has
never been an airport in that region before and we faced tremendous
difficulties in finding a location for the airport. Because it was
not possible to find a flat place for the construction of a runway
there. We are building an international airport in mountainous
areas, in places surrounded by mountains. We cut through mountains
and carry out extensive ground disturbance work. The airport will
probably be put into operation at the end of next year or at the
beginning of 2025.
The process of rebuilding the Kalbajar-Lachin road has started.
I personally drove from Kalbajar to Lachin, and although the
distance is not very large, the road is extremely difficult and
dangerous. It is almost impossible to use the current road. People
who lived in those regions during the Soviet era might remember
quite well that the road was very difficult. In many cases, it was
a winding road, and it was very dangerous. This is why we are
rebuilding this road. Many tunnels will be built. In general, most
of our tunnels are located in Kalbajar and Lachin districts, and
the length of the tunnel passing under Mount Murov will be about 12
kilometers. So we are opening a road from Goygol district to
Eastern Zangezur. At the same time, the construction of the
Gubadli-Lachin road is in full swing.
So as soon as the war ended, work on the reconstruction of
Lachin district started. But the reconstruction of the city of
Lachin has been underway since August 26 of last year. I want to
inform you and the people of Azerbaijan that about 500 private
houses are being built in the city of Lachin or the houses
destroyed by the Armenians are being rebuilt as part of the first
phase. Eight high-rise residential buildings are being rebuilt or
overhauled. More than 30 public buildings are under construction.
On my instruction, we should finish all this work by the end of
this year. This will only be the first phase. The number of these
houses shows that thousands of people will live in the city of
Lachin by the end of this year. The people of Lachin will return to
their homeland this year.
At the same time, a mosque will be built in the city of Lachin
by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. I personally laid the foundation
of the mosque while I was in Lachin, and our religious temple will
be built in a beautiful location in the near future.
In parallel with this, we have started the process of completely
rebuilding the villages of Zabukh and Sus. More than 1,000 people
will be settled in the village of Zabukh and more than 300 in the
village of Sus. The Armenians living abroad built a village and
houses in the village of Zabukh. This did that together with the
Armenian state, which committed that crime. Our military personnel
are now based in those houses. However, a completely new village is
being built for the residents of Zabukh village.
Along with this, I must state that I have approved the master
plan of Gulabird and Gorchu villages. At the first stage, 2,400
people will be settled in the village of Gulabird and 1,300 in
Gorchu village. So taking into account all these figures, everyone
can see that we will settle about 10,000 people, perhaps even more
former displaced people in Lachin district in the near future –
this year and in 2024.
I should also note that the entire infrastructure of the city of
Lachin is being rebuilt – water lines, sewage lines, electricity
lines, roads, all internal roads of the city of Lachin are being
rebuilt. The length of internal roads is more than 50 kilometers.
The architectural style of the city of Lachin is also pleasing to
the eye. So it will become one of the most beautiful cities not
only in Azerbaijan but also in the world. Considering that Lachin
has a very charming nature, forests, mountains and rivers, it will
be a paradise. So we are doing this work, and this is just a part
of the major work being done. We are now carrying out large-scale
construction work on all the liberated lands. We are doing it and
will continue to do this work at our own expense.
As my special representative, should start work immediately. You
should take charge of all these activities. Infrastructure projects
are, of course, being implemented by central executive bodies. At
the same time, you should make additional proposals regarding the
future development of Lachin district, the creation of jobs and
comfortable living standards for local residents. Because we are
trying to work in parallel in all our liberated regions. Therefore,
for example, three to four villages are to be built in each
district in the first stage. At the same time, of course, cities
also need to be built. However, if we are talking about Lachin
district, the names of all the villages to be established in Lachin
district at the first stage have been confirmed. We will
concentrate the residents of several villages in some places in the
first stage. Because this would be more convenient for the people
and, at the same time, from the point of view of logistics. As a
whole, villages were located far from each other in mountainous
regions not only of Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur, but also other
districts, and this was often inconvenient for people. This is how
traditional placement of villages was done in the past. Of course,
every village on our liberated lands will be restored – now and in
the future, but the state of Azerbaijan sees its responsibility in
gathering the residents of nearby villages to one place and
creating good conditions for them. We will build urban-type
villages, and I have approved master plans of all the villages to
be built. At the same time, the external appearance of the villages
has been confirmed. Let me say again that they will be beautiful –
both from comfort and architecture perspectives.
Of course, environmental protection should be top priority in
Lachin district from now on. We will return the former displaced
people, we will create infrastructure and there will be jobs. Great
opportunities will be created. However, you as my representative
and every former IDP who will return to our lands should know that
we must protect the environment. Because in some parts of our
country, great damage is being caused to the environment. Illegal
work is carried out, lands are occupied, trees are cut down, houses
are built instead, facilities unrelated to agriculture are built.
So you as my representative and all our citizens should know that
there are rules and regulations. No-one can do anything on their
own. Whatever the rules say, whatever the laws require, everyone
must follow. There should be no encroachment of land, destruction
of forests and other unpleasant situations. There should be zero
tolerance to such situations. I am sure that all the former IDPs
who will return to their ancestral lands will live in accordance
with that. State bodies should help them and exercise control so
that everything is settled and regulated according to the law.
We will create a large energy capacity using the water resources
of Lachin and Kalbajar districts. Now the construction of
hydropower plants is going fast in Lachin, Kalbajar, Zangilan and
several other districts. We are receiving more than 50 megawatts of
energy. The first station was built in the village of Gulabird.
This project has been implemented. On the whole, the goal has been
set that the hydropower plants in the liberated areas should
provide a capacity of 200 megawatts by the end of this year. It
should reach 500 megawatts in the future. Lachin and Kalbajar
districts have immense wind energy potential.
So all this work will be done. Let me say again that the state
is doing its job. It is possible to say that after this
appointment, my special representatives will be working in most of
the liberated districts. One hasn't been appointed for Kalbajar
district yet, but this will also be done. At the same time, a new
governance method should and is already being applied to these
territories. In the future, this new governance model should be
applied to all other parts of our country. So this is both major
construction work and a new governance method. I am sure that this
will greatly contribute to the comprehensive development not only
of the liberated areas, but also of our country as a whole. So
these are my instructions and you should justify my trust.
x x x
Special Representative of the President in Lachin district Masim Mammadov said: Honorable Mr. President, let
me express my gratitude for the high confidence being placed in me.
I would like to note that, going to the liberated territories and
seeing the great devastation caused by Armenian barbarians, one
cannot help but be deeply shaken as an Azerbaijani. Nevertheless, I
witnessed the extensive construction work under way in that region.
I also saw that there was great determination. Under your
leadership, the people of Azerbaijan are determined to quickly
restore these territories, move there and develop them again.
I want to assure you that I will spare no effort and strength to
carry out all the tasks set before me with determination and on
time. The main thing is that it is a great honor for me to serve
the state of Azerbaijan and you, Mr. President, honestly and
conscientiously. Thank you.