Ilham Aliyev addresses people of Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijani army is conducting military operations on its territory recognized by the international community, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in his address to the people of the country.
"Dear fellow compatriots. The victorious Azerbaijani Army is gaining new victories on the battlefield. These victories make every Azerbaijani citizen happy. The enemy, which has been occupying our lands for almost 30 years, sees the strength of the Azerbaijani Army on the battlefield. We are fighting on our own land, defending our own land, and we will continue to drive the invaders out of our lands. Our people are looking forward to more news from the battlefield and the frontline. I am very happy. I am a very lucky person to be able to convey this good news to the people of Azerbaijan. The liberation of every village, every city and every strategic height from the occupiers requires great professionalism, courage, bravery and heroism. Our servicemen are becoming martyrs. May Allah rest the souls of all our martyrs in peace! Our martyrs will always live in our hearts," he said.
He noted that the Armenian military forces are constantly firing on Azerbaijani settlements. "Every day, our cities and villages along the frontline come under fire from the hated enemy. Tartar district is particularly exposed to cowardly fire. At the same time, the enemy fires on Aghdam, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Barda, other cities and districts. As a result of the cowardly shelling of the city of Ganja, civilians were killed – children, women, the elderly. But it does not matter to the enemy. There is no difference for them. They are defeated on the battlefield, they are unable to stand in front of the Azerbaijani Army and commit crimes against the civilian population in front of the whole world in order to stop us and strike at us. The whole world sees what an ugly and savage enemy Azerbaijan is liberating its native lands from,"
"For 30 years, they sat on our lands and tried to challenge us. For 30 years, they exploited our lands, exploited our natural resources. Theft and looting are their trademarks. Suffice it to look at the destroyed villages and cities to see what savages we are facing. There is not a single safe building in the occupied and already liberated lands. All buildings have been demolished and looted. Our historical sites, mosques and graves have been destroyed, looted and desecrated. They thought that the Azerbaijani people would put up with this situation. They thought that these lands would be occupied forever. They changed the names of our cities, changed the borders of our districts, changed the names of our villages, wanted to Armenianize our lands but could not achieve this. They could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people," the president of Azerbaijan stressed.
He expressed confidence that the citizens of Azerbaijan will return to all the lands liberated from the occupiers and will live in those lands again and build there in peace and tranquility. "We are on the threshold of the Great Return, and the Azerbaijani state will do its best to ensure that citizens of Azerbaijan return to the occupied and liberated lands and live there in peace and tranquility. Life will be revived in these lands," Ilham Aliyev said.
"Our IDPs have lived all these years with a dream although many of them have wonderful conditions. As you know, this year alone we plan to provide 7,000 apartments to the IDPs. More than 300,000 IDPs have been provided with houses and apartments. They are grateful to us for this care, they have expressed their gratitude in our numerous meetings. But at the same time, I knew myself and they asked me to return them to their land. They understood that this was a difficult issue, they were perfectly aware that this required certain geopolitical conditions. They believed in me, and I told them that we would return them to those lands. I told them that I knew what to do, when and how. The trust people placed in me allowed us the opportunity to resolve this issue. I declare again that I keep all the promises I make. I am true to all the promises I make. The main goal of my activity as President is the return of Azerbaijani lands, the restoration of territorial integrity, and we are doing it on the battlefield today," the Azerbaijani leader said.
He also noted that the negotiations did not yield any results for almost 30 years. "The fortifications Armenia built in the occupied territories show that they did not intend to give up these lands. They simply deceived us and international mediators. They were simply biding time, while at the same time conducting illegal settlement of the occupied territories. They settled thousands of people in the city of Lachin, thousands more in Kalbajar. They lived in our villages we have liberated today – in Fuzuli, Jabrayil and other districts. Most of those villages are destroyed, but in some houses they lived on our lands. Having carried out ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijanis, having committed genocide against the Azerbaijanis and having expelled our citizens from their native lands, they held a “referendum”, which is completely contrary to human morality, laws and international law," the Azerbaijani president added.
He pointed out that no-one recognizes the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh republic”, and the Armenian authorities are trying to get countries of the world to "recognize the so-called criminal entity." "They are trying to restore the status quo now. I have said there is no status quo. We have destroyed the status quo and we have done what is right. We have been waiting for about 30 years. Ten years ago, at the level of the Minsk Group co-chairs and their presidents, a statement was made that the status quo was unacceptable. We also supported it, we liked it, we had high hopes, and then some progress at the negotiating table raised our hopes. But the hated enemy simply deceived us and the international community. This is disrespect for international mediators," Ilham Aliyev explained.
"We changed the status quo by showing strength on the battlefield. I said this before these clashes, I have said this several times. Unfortunately, international law does not work in international relations. If it did, four UN Security Council resolutions would have been implemented long ago. We waited for 20 years for these resolutions to be implemented. They simply remained on paper. Why? Because there was no political will, there was no mechanism for the implementation of these resolutions. The hated enemy thought that they could continue to ignore them, that they would continue to flout international law, that they can continue to commit their ugly deeds on our lands. We have forced them. Our fist is there not only to smash the enemy’s head. Our fist is a fist of unity, the unity of our people, a fist of focused activities, the adoption of decisions and resolutions at the international level that benefit us and reflect justice," the head of state said.
"In some cases, I saw before these events that Azerbaijani citizens, including the IDPs, believed that although such diplomatic successes were certainly important, they did not provide a solution. I always explained to them that this was an issue that should be resolved within the framework of international law. Therefore, we must work with all leading international organizations to expand the legal framework for resolving this conflict. UN Security Council resolutions did not work. We have made great efforts, the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other organizations have adopted resolutions. The document we have initialed with the European Union also supports the inviolability of our borders, our sovereignty and the territorial integrity of our country. That is the basis for resolving this conflict," the Azerbaijani leader recalled.
"In short, our superiority on the battlefield is no longer a secret. We are on the right path. Ours is the cause of justice. We are fighting on our own land, giving martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity. These steps will be continue to be taken. Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop," the Azerbaijani leader explained.
"Staying true to this beautiful tradition, I would like to share new information with the people of Azerbaijan. I will share with my dear nation information about the enemy's destroyed equipment and booty. Thus, 241 enemy tanks have been destroyed, 39 tanks have been taken as military booty – so a total of 280 tanks," he stressed.
"Fifty infantry fighting vehicles have been destroyed, 17 self-propelled artillery pieces have been destroyed, 198 artillery pieces have been destroyed, 58 mortars have been destroyed, 12 mortars have been taken as booty, 25 grenade-launchers have been seized as military booty, 53 anti-tank vehicles have been destroyed, 70 Grad installations have been destroyed, two “Hurricane” and two “YARS” have been destroyed, one “TOS” has been destroyed, four “S-300” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Last time I shared this information with the Azerbaijani public, we had destroyed two “S-300” anti-aircraft missile systems. To date, we have destroyed four complexes. Three “TOR” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. About 40 “OSA” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Five “KUB” and “KRUG” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Six unmanned aerial vehicles, two operational-tactical missile systems Elbrus, one ballistic missile, one Tochka-U missile, eight radio-electronic means of combat have been destroyed, 198 trucks have been destroyed, including 15 full of ammunition, 102 trucks have been seized as military booty. We will continue to destroy the military equipment of the enemy. Whatever they have left will also be destroyed," the Azerbaijani president said.
He also announced the number of liberated settlements. "Fuzuli district – names of liberated villages: Dordchinar, Kurdlar, Yukhari Abdurrahmanli, Garghabazar, Ashaghi Veysalli, Yukhari Aybasanli. Jabrayil district - liberated villages: Safarsha, Hasangaydi, Fughanli, Imambaghi, Dash Veysalli, Aghtapa, Yarahmadli. Khojavand district – the list of liberated settlements: Aghjakand, Mulkudara, Dashbashi, Gunashli (former name of Gunashli village was Norashen), Vang. I am giving this village a new Azerbaijani name. From now on, Vang village should be called Chinarli village. Blessed be the name! Zangilan district. The glorious Azerbaijani Army has also entered the territory of Zangilan district and liberated settlements. The liberated settlements in the territory of Zangilan district: Havali village, Zarnali village, Mammadbayli village, Hakari village, Sharifan village, Mughanli village and Zangilan city!" concluded Ilham Aliyev.