"Veterans and families of martyrs always at center of Azerbaijan's attention"
Assistance to families of martyrs, who died defending the country's territorial integrity, and war veterans is the focus of attention of the Azerbaijani state, being the priority sphere of President Ilham Aliyev's internal policy, the representatives of veterans' organizations of the republic said, speaking with the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza.
Last week, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on additional measures to improve the social and living conditions of persons who became disabled while protecting the territorial integrity of the country. A total of 20 million manat (more than $11.7 million) were allocated from the Azerbaijani President's Reserve Fund for this purpose to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population. On August 1, a ceremony was held in Lokbatan settlement, Garadagh district of Baku, to give out apartments and cars to veterans of the Karabakh and Great wars, the Chernobyl disabled and families of martyrs. The ceremony was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva.
The chairman of the Public Union of Karabakh Disabled War Veterans and Martyr Families, Mehdi Mehdiyev, stressed that the government created all conditions for the disabled and veterans. "We have a very serious legislative base in the sphere of social security of the population. I am sure that no other country has a stronger social legislation than Azerbaijan," he said.
Mehdi Mehdiyev recalled that in April, Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on additional measures to strengthen the social protection of family members of servicemen who died for the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as those who were recognized as missing. According to the document, the heirs of the martyrs will receive a one-off allowance in the amount of 11,000 manat. "This is the first order after Ilham Aliyev was elected president of the country this year," the interlocutor of the agency pointed out.
The chairman of the public union noted that mass assistance to veterans and families of martyrs was made possible after 1997. "Since Azerbaijan strengthened, families of martyrs and Karabakh disabled were always at center of the country's attention. The president celebrated his birthday with the families of martyrs and Karabakh disabled, then he handed them keys to apartments and cars. The issue of their access to government health insurance is being discussed," Mehdi Mehdiyev said.
Deputy Chairman of the Republican Veterans' Organization Jalil Khalilov spoke about the priorities of the state in the matter of veteran assistance. "Veterans are a very sensitive segment of the population, so they are always under the close scrutiny of the country's leadership. The annual provision of cars and apartments for people with disabilities is an example of such care. As well as medical assistance to veterans of the Karabakh and Great Patriotic wars, the Chernobyl disabled and families of martyrs, they regularly receive increased benefits and pensions. In addition, much is being done to employ disabled war veterans," he said.
"Being a Deputy Chairman of the Republican Veterans' Organization and a member of the presidium of the CIS Coordination Council of veterans, I often travel abroad and hear a lot of good words about our president's activities in the matter of helping veterans," Jalil Khalilov pointed out.
Head of Education for Youth by Demobilized Military Public Association Emin Hasanli said that the list of those helped by the state regularly increases. "The war is not over yet, people continue to die or get injured, protecting the territorial integrity of the country. So their families automatically receive state support," he said.
Emin Hasanli stressed that Azerbaijan can be a record holder for social provision of veterans and families of martyrs. "In addition to apartments and cars, many people are given a presidential scholarship.Their children receive free education even in private universities and spend their holidays in summer camps free of charge. Every year disabled war veterans are treated in local or foreign clinics. Families of martyrs and veterans have many state privileges, and the society also actively helps them," the head of Education for Youth by Demobilized Military Public Association said.
He also noted that Azerbaijan wants to end the war by peaceful means. "We want a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, since we do not want the parties to suffer human losses. Unfortunately, Armenia does not want to hear our appeals for peace and continues its terrorist, occupation policy. We want the war to be over, and four UN resolutions demanding the complete withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were executed," Emin Hasanli concluded.