Ilham Aliyev: liberation of Aghdam is historic event

Ilham Aliyev: liberation of Aghdam is historic event

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has addressed the nation today to congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on the liberation of Aghdam district from occupation.

"Dear fellow countrymen, I sincerely congratulate you on the liberation of Aghdam district. I heartily congratulate all the people of Aghdam. Dear people of Aghdam, you are no longer IDPs. You will return to your ancestral land," he said.

The Azerbaijani leader stressed that the liberation of Aghdam district is the result of a trilateral statement signed on November 9. "I have repeatedly said that the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is possible both politically and militarily. We have been trying to resolve this issue politically for many years. However, the whole world saw that this issue was not resolved due to the position of Armenia, and it was our legal right to resolve the issue by military means. This right is recognized by international norms and principles. This right is given to us by the UN Charter. Every country can defend itself, and we have defended ourselves," he noted.

"The liberation of Aghdam district is a historic event. I can say that Aghdam is the largest of the occupied districts in terms of population. Before the occupation, 143,000 people lived in Aghdam district. At present, the population of Aghdam district is 204,000 people. 73% of the district was occupied, and in the remaining areas, the areas under our control, we have carried out major construction and landscaping work in recent years ... 18 IDP camps have been built in the part of Aghdam district that was under our control on my instructions in recent years, and we have been able to accommodate 93,000 IDPs in Aghdam district. Due to the work done and major investments made, 45% of the population of Aghdam district lives in the territory of Aghdam district today," Ilham Aliyev said.

A new era begins for Aghdam now. "We have major plans. Everything in the occupied territories is destroyed. My visits to Fuzuli and Jabrayil were covered in the media, and everyone, the whole world could see what a savage enemy we are facing. There is not a single sound building left in Jabrayil or Fuzuli, only some military units and buildings belonging to the military units. All the remaining infrastructure, all buildings, houses, historical monuments, religious sites have been destroyed by the savage enemy. I addressed the people of Azerbaijan from those ruins and said that we would restore these lands, these cities and these villages," the Azerbaijani president noted, adding that the occupants believed that the Azerbaijani people would never return to these lands after this devastation, but they were wrong. 

"They do not know that native lands live and will live forever in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people, in the heart of all our people. All our refugees lived with a desire to return to their native lands and build a new life for themselves with the support and assistance of the state. We will also restore the city of Aghdam. Of course, we must do everything in a comprehensive manner. A master plan will be prepared, specialists will be involved, infrastructure projects will be implemented in a planned manner, office buildings, social facilities, roads and other necessary work will be carried out. The state will help citizens to return there. Therefore, the restoration of Aghdam district will have a special place in our future plans," he said.

Ilham Aliyev said that the liberation of Aghdam was possible as a result of the glorious military victory. "If Azerbaijan had not defeated Armenia on the battlefield, Armenia would not have left our lands of its own free will. There are many reasons for this. First of all, because of the fortifications they had built in those regions, in the occupied territories. A lot of money was invested there. Those fortifications were intended to prevent the Azerbaijani Army from passing through them. But they were wrong again... Therefore, by building these fortifications and taking other steps, they pursued the goal of perpetuating this occupation. Otherwise, they would not have changed the names of our historical cities and villages. Aghdam was given an ugly name, Fuzuli was given another ugly name. They drew up new maps, in which the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” covered not only the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region but also all the occupied territories, and they presented this to the international community," the Azerbaijani leader recalled.

"The occupiers vacating Kalbajar district are destroying all houses, buildings, schools, and showing their savagery yet again. All leading international media outlets have filmed this and spread these images around the world, embarrassing them. They are putting themselves to disgrace. They cowardly ran away from us. They could not stand in front of us. Those who call themselves an invincible army, a warlike people – what happened to your warlike army? Where is it? It has been crushed, we have crushed it, we have destroyed it. There is no Armenian army. We have destroyed it. Our victory on the battlefield also preconditioned our political victory. Aghdam district returns to us without firing a single shot or killing a single person. This is our great political success. But this would not have been possible without the military victory," he noted.

The Azerbaijani leader also paid a tribute of respect to all the martyrs who died in Aghdam in 1990s. He expressed his gratitude for raising such brave warriors and wished wounded soldiers and officers a speedy recovery.