Ilham Aliyev: Karabakh Armenians Came to Our Military Positions in Shusha and Asked to Hire Them
‘We wasted no time and began to act as soon as the war ended. This showed the strength of our state, because money alone is not enough to do this kind of work. Resources, personnel, team, technical capabilities, qualifications are needed. We have mobilised all our strength. By the end of the year, we will complete the electrical works. The entire region will be supplied with electricity. The construction of roads is also continuing.’ President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said this in an interview to the Anadolu Agency, commenting on the implementation of projects to restore the liberated territories.
‘We are doing this primarily for our citizens, so that we can restore this region and allow the former displaced persons to return there in the near future. The first pilot project of smart village will be ready in Zangilan district by the end of the year or the beginning of the next one. The Armenians living in Karabakh also see this, because they watch our TV channels and listen to our radio. They see what work is being done there. It is no coincidence that representatives of the Armenian community came to our military positions in Shusha and asked to hire them. They are unemployed there. They are in conditions of unemployment, poverty and hopelessness. We approach this positively. But the legal side of this issue must be fully resolved.
‘We recognise the Armenians living there as our citizens. They live on Azerbaijani soil. Karabakh has always been the territory of Azerbaijan. This was the case in the Soviet period, and in the previous period, and during the occupation. We perceive them as citizens of Azerbaijan. They just need to accept it. They must get rid of this Armenian propaganda. We must ensure our own future, the future of our children. We are ready to give them the opportunity to participate in these works. Why not? We look to the future from a strategic point of view through a peaceful lens, because I want there to be no more war. If revanchist tendencies do not activate on the Armenian side, we will not start a new war. If we see any threat against us in Armenia, we must eliminate this threat. This is our legal right. But if there is no such threat, then we also have no other thoughts. 25 thousand Armenians living in Karabakh can also become a part of this process. At the same time, in the future, we will provide them with opportunities in the districts and villages where they live. Plans are being developed for Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur. The master plan of the city of Aghdam was approved. In the near future, master plans for the cities of Jabrayil and Fuzuli and the districts in general will be approved. This shows our strength, and we can do the same in the Karabakh villages where Armenians live.
After the victory, I made dozens of trips to these areas. I was amazed by the sight I encountered in some Armenian-populated villages. This is an inhuman situation. Some houses in these villages are being analysed. Ninety-five per cent of homes are unusable. That is, no one can live there. They must be completely rebuilt. People who have lived in such a deplorable situation for 30 years want a better, brighter life. The light will come only from Azerbaijan. You have to understand that it is not so easy for them either. The psychological situation should also be taken into account here. But we show goodwill and hope that they will understand that their happy and prosperous future is connected only with the Azerbaijani state,’ said the President.