Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with representatives of the general public in Tartar03 december 2016, 10:45
Greetings! I am very glad to be in Tartar again. It is a very significant day the life of Tartar District today. The problem of water supply and sewage in the city of Tartar is being resolved. It is a wonderful and large-scale project. I am aware that the water problem was of great concern in previous years. This issue has already been resolved. Residents of the city of Tartar will be supplied with clean drinking water. At the same time, sewage lines are fully ready for operation. Our next step will be to supply drinking water to adjoining villages.
This is a major infrastructure and social project. To implement this project, we used foreign loans. At the same time, the Azerbaijani government allocated budget funds because the implementation of water projects requires major resources. The return of these funds to the budget takes years. In other words, this project is purely social in nature. It aims to supply good-quality water to Tartar, so that people are provided with clean drinking water. Water is the main factor for human health.
The successful development of Tartar District makes me very happy. The landscaping of the city, the implementation of infrastructure projects in the city and district suggest that all regions of Azerbaijan are developing successfully. The program on socioeconomic development of regions we have adopted is being implemented. In recent years, we have seen this in the example of Tartar District. Tartar has become a well-maintained city. It has become nicer. I first visited Tartar District as President 10 years ago and met with the local people at this very place. The appearance of Tartar was quite different at the time. Tartar today is a modern and comfortable city. The district is developing and people live better. Major infrastructure projects related to the construction of trunk and rural roads and gasification are under way. Gasification in Tartar District exceeds 90 per cent. It is expected to reach 100 per cent. There are no problems with electricity. The issue of drinking water is about to be resolved. These are key infrastructure issues. This is the work that had to be done in the first phase.
At the same time, great attention has been paid to the socioeconomic development of the district. Many schools, kindergartens and social facilities have been built here. The government has allocated a lot of funds for the economy and social development of the district. At the next stage, we will take additional measures to create jobs. In particular, we have great plans related to the development of agriculture. These stands show the work done in Tartar on our latest initiatives related to agriculture.
Silk and cotton-growing develop as well. Next year we plan to sow cotton on 3,000 hectares. Thousands of people will be engaged in this work. Sericulture is of great benefit to both the state and the people. People earn good money in a short period of time, in 30-40 days. It should be noted that the state supports this sector. We currently import seedlings from abroad and provide them to farms.
Other measures are being taken to facilitate a more dynamic development of agriculture. You are well aware that subsidies are provided for fuel and fertilizer. Equipment is provided on concessional terms. The state has undertaken to do this to create better conditions for people. Farmers are exempt from all taxes except for the land tax. I believe that Azerbaijan is a model country in this area. I do not know of another country that would pay so much attention to farmers. This is why agriculture in Azerbaijan develops despite the fact that the world and our region are dominated by a crisis. There is growth this year and it will be maintained next year. In other words, further steps will be taken at the next stage to develop entrepreneurship and attract investment.
Work in Tartar District is arranged properly. I have repeatedly visited the district. In particular, I am very pleased with the landscaping and improvement work carried out here in recent times. I am sure it pleases you as well. We last met in May. That time I visited the destroyed homes and was further convinced of the heroism of the people of Tartar. Here in a combat zone, they firmly stand face to face with the enemy. The shells that landed in their homes did nothing to break their will.
In general, the April battles are a glorious page of our history. Both the Azerbaijani army and the people of Azerbaijan have displayed true heroism. In response to an enemy onslaught, our army won a military victory. After launching a counter-offensive operation from an unfavorable position, our army liberated a vast territory from occupiers both in this direction and on the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region – the current Agdara district and towards Jabrayil and Fuzuli. The myth that Armenians had been spreading about their army for years was completely dispelled. Azerbaijani soldiers and officers have shown what they are capable of doing. The Armenians abandoned their favorable positions from fear and fled. The number of people living in their villages is gradually declining. Not a single person has moved away from Tartar and Aghdam. This is great heroism. This demonstrates the greatness of our people once again. In particular, such behavior and such actions of the people of Tartar should serve as an example for every citizen. Not only do you live, create and build here on the frontline face to face with the enemy, but you are also confident that the state of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani army provide for your security.
I want to say again that the April battles are a historic event. In those battles, Azerbaijan not only demonstrated its strength but also proved to the enemy and the whole world again that we will never put up with the current situation. Nagorno-Karabakh is our historical land. Shusha, Khankandi and all the other lands remain under occupation. Our historical geography was very extensive. Historians have recently written fundamental scientific researches and books about that. I should also note that these issues are being resolved on my recommendation. For example, a large treatise on the Erivan khanate has been developed. This research has been translated into several languages, so that the people of Azerbaijan and the world could see once again that Erivan is our historical land. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Azerbaijanis accounted for 70 per cent of the population of Erivan. Geycha and Zangezur are our historical lands.
This is evidenced by the history of the 20th century. Perhaps the first resolution of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic – unfortunately, such a resolution was issued – was to transfer Erivan to Armenia. It was a huge mistake and a great crime. You know that the existence of the Democratic Republic is a huge source of pride for us. A democratic republic was established for the first time in the Muslim world. Many good things were done. But all of us should know history for what it was. The transfer of Erivan to Armenia was a historical crime because they gave away our native land.
Today, we do not have claims to the lands of the Republic of Armenia. We do not intend to return Erivan, Meghri or Goris by military means. But I am sure that there will come a time when we, the Azerbaijanis, will return to all our historical lands. We will do this by conducting a coherent policy and peacefully. All the objective reasons show that this day will come. Each one of us should bring that day closer. How? We should become even stronger. In today's world, the concept of international law has actually failed. The main factor now is force. This is true. We live in a real world. So we have to become even stronger and create an even more powerful army. The economy should become stronger and development should go faster. Note that even in the years of crisis the country's population is gradually growing and will continue to grow. After a few years, the population of Azerbaijan will reach 10 million people. This trend continues. No matter how our population may grow today, this growth will be even greater in the coming years.
Armenia's population is shrinking. This happens due to natural causes, because of migration and as a result of hopelessness, despair and arbitrariness. The current fascist regime in Armenia has actually created unbearable conditions in the country. Therefore, Armenia’s population will continue to decline and leave the country, as is the case today. We will return to our lands. This requires a well-planned strategy and concept. These are available. Our strategic policy has been defined, and we will take tactical steps every year. First of all, it is a historical issue. Secondly, it is an issue of justice. We stand for justice and must restore our territorial integrity. We can never allow a second Armenian state to be created on our soil. On the contrary, we must try and will try to increase the power of our country, strengthen it and achieve this goal.
There is unity and solidarity on this and all other issues in our society. Our successful development is a reality. We are achieving this development even in the years of crisis. Our development depends on the development of the regions. We see this development in Tartar District. I congratulate you on the excellent results and wish you continued success. Thank you!