Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of Tartar Olympic Sports Complex

03 June 2020, 13:30
Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of Tartar Olympic Sports Complex

A modern Olympic sports center is opening in Tartar District today. I congratulate you on this occasion. When reviewing the center, I saw that all the work has been done at a very high level. There will now be great opportunities for doing sports in Tartar.

As you know, the construction of sports facilities in the regions of Azerbaijan has acquired large proportions. I believe that Azerbaijan is in one of the leading places on a global scale for this parameter. The number of Olympic centers built in the regions has reached 46. I must also say that the construction of Olympic sports centers continues in five more districts. After the completion of these projects in the districts, we will have 51 sports centers.

Of course, this will allow athletes from this district to enhance their professionalism. All the conditions are available here – a spacious indoor gym and a fitness area, wrestling and boxing halls, a swimming pool. There is even a hotel. Tartar never had a swimming pool. A large stadium has been built. There has never been a stadium here either. Here you can engage in futsal, volleyball – in other words, most sports. I am sure that athletes from Tartar will take advantage of these opportunities and show good results both in the country and in the international arena. Sport has always developed in Tartar. Given the current conditions, of course, we look forward to more.

In general, the sports infrastructure of our country allows us the opportunity to hold any international competitions. Two major international competitions have already been held in Baku. I can say that the European Games are in second place after the Summer Olympic Games for their magnitude. As you know, the European Games had never been held before. The first European Games were held in Azerbaijan. Many countries refused to host them because they were something new. Many countries doubted whether they could succeed in hosting the Games. We did that, and we did that at a high level. I must also say that the holding of both the European Games and the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan reinforced our sports potential and demonstrated Azerbaijan to the world as a developed sports nation. More than 10,000 athletes from more than 100 countries participated in the European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity, thousands visitors were here. I am sure that each of them left Azerbaijan with the most pleasant impressions. They got a complete picture of the history and development of our country, hospitality and the modern life of our people, because it is no secret that some circles are still circulating various fabrications and false information about Azerbaijan. Therefore, all visitors to Azerbaijan, unless they are prejudiced, see with their own eyes the development of our country, the quiet life of our people and the stability prevailing in the country. They see that the modern and independent state of Azerbaijan is at the highest peak today. I can say with full confidence: Azerbaijan has never before been as strong, independent and free as it is now.

The main goal of our sporting events is to secure people's health. Athletes are well aware that sport is one of the key contributors to human health. Therefore, I always emphasize at meetings with athletes and in speeches in front of other audiences that everyone should do sports. It is not about becoming an athlete but someone doing sports is healthy. Sport strengthens a person physically. At the same time, our athletes today set an example to others in everyday life. Thus, by popularizing sport, we will protect the health of our people and our youth, the young generation will be healthy both physically and spiritually. A physically strong person should usually use his strength only at a difficult moment. A strong man is confident. A physically strong person should not use force against someone who is weaker. They should only protect themselves, their loved ones, their land. Therefore, the development of sports is not just a means of achieving sports results. The development of sports is about the health of the nation, and the Azerbaijani people should be healthy.

Several years ago, I put forward the initiative that every person in Azerbaijan should undergo free medical examination once a year. To do this, of course, modern hospitals were needed in all cities, and we have already provided this. For several years now, more than 5 million people undergo free medical examination every year, learn about their physical condition and receive the necessary treatment when a disease is detected. Thus, as a result of these and other measures, life expectancy in Azerbaijan has increased. Today, the Azerbaijani people are healthier. Medical examination and sports – I think that these two factors play a major role in people's health. Of course, we must try to ensure that our children and teenagers exercise regularly. Athletes are well aware that only regular exercise leads to results. I do hope that these opportunities will benefit both athletes and other residents of the district. I believe that this Olympic sports center will become an excellent center of health and recreation for the district.

The development of Tartar District is always in the spotlight. Tartar District has a special place on the map of Azerbaijan. It is located in a frontline area and, naturally, a lot of attention has always been paid to this district. It is no coincidence that a lot of work has been done for the socioeconomic development of Tartar District in recent years. This is my sixth visit to the district, and every time I come here, I participate in opening ceremonies, get acquainted with the state of affairs and give relevant instructions to expedite the work. I can say that the development of the district’s infrastructure has been going very fast in recent years. The new substation that is opening today will play an important role in the supply of electricity to Tartar, although major changes are observed in this area as a result of the measures taken so far. Residents of Tartar are well aware that there used to be major problems with electricity, that it was supplied intermittently and its supply was often interrupted. This is already in the past. Breakdowns do occur sometimes, but in general, there is stable energy supply. The substation opening today will create additional opportunities for both Tartar and neighboring districts.

Gasification in Tartar has reached 98 percent. About 10 years ago, there was no talk of gasification at all. There was no gas not only in the villages, but also in the city. Now gas lines have been extended to most villages, and a figure of 98 percent, of course, indicates that special attention is being paid to this work.

The road infrastructure is being fully updated. Today we celebrated the opening of a new road. We were shown its previous condition on the stands. There was not even asphalt there; in autumn and winter it was an impassable dirt road. Currently, a lot of work is being done in Tartar District in the area of building and repairing roads. Eighty percent of the roads have been renovated, and after the implementation of another project this figure will be 100 percent.

Thus, the key infrastructure projects – issues related to electricity, gas and roads – have been resolved. Social infrastructure, a beautiful Olympic center have been, the central district hospital was overhauled and provided with the most modern equipment a few years ago. The water and sewage project in Tartar was completed four years ago and I attended its opening ceremony. Currently, the implementation of drinking water and irrigation projects is ongoing.

As a result of the drilling of sub-artesian wells alone the provision of the district with water has significantly improved. To date, 72 sub-artesian wells have been drilled. According to a new order, which will be signed, there are plans to drill an additional 21 sub-artesian wells. Thus, the problems of Tartar District related to irrigation will be resolved, which, of course, will serve the development of agriculture.

Grain production and cotton growing are traditional sectors of agriculture for Tartar. As for cotton growing, the yields in Tartar are higher than the national average. From each hectare, 34 quintals of cotton have been harvested. This indicator is also at a good level across the country – 29 quintals, but Tartar is in one of the leading positions here. It should be noted that our notorious neighbors had been blocking the flow of water to Tartar for many years, the water the Azerbaijan Republic did a huge amount of work to collect in the 1970s. The construction of the Sarsang water reservoir was carried out by the Azerbaijan Republic at its own expense. And now the notorious have neighbors blocked the passage of water. This is environmental terror.

It is no secret that Armenia is a terrorist state, and it has repeatedly demonstrated that. They have committed terror even against their own leaders. Twenty years ago, many members of the Armenian leadership were killed in the parliament of this country, and this crime was never solved although its masterminds are known to everyone. But they are concealing this because their terrorist essence is still alive. To block someone's water is a crime. This is a manifestation of fascism, and it is no coincidence that monuments to fascists are erected in Armenia. Creative and improvement work is carried out in Azerbaijan, social facilities are built in every city, such beautiful Olympic centers, hospitals, schools, roads are built, gasification is carried out. People in the poverty-stricken Armenia live by begging and can barely make a living, but they erect 6-meter monuments to the Nazis, to someone whose cooperation with Hitler has been documented, to someone who said during the war, “Whoever dies for Germany, dies for Armenia”, to someone who was arrested by relevant bodies of the Soviet Union, sentenced to 25 years, died in prison and was never rehabilitated. A 6-meter monument is erected to such a person, and today's leadership of Armenia portrays him as a hero. What does this suggest? It shows that the government of Armenia may change, but the terrorist and fascist essence of this country remains unchanged, and everyone should know this. The whole world must know this.

The position international organizations are demonstrating today in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reflects truth and justice. As a result of our efforts, all leading international organizations have issued relevant statements on the settlement of the conflict within the framework of the territorial integrity of our country. The declarations on strategic partnership we have signed with many countries in a bilateral format express support for the territorial integrity of our country and speak of the need to resolve the conflict on the basis of precisely these principles.

As you know, the so-called presidential election was recently held in the self-styled “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. A fictitious president has allegedly been elected. Today, power in Nagorno-Karabakh has been seized by a regime of junta, which represents the garbage of the previous regime. The current leadership of Armenia has disclosed and presented to the public all the facts about the negative acts of the previous Armenian regime. Their generals are thieves, their so-called heroes are criminals, their leaders are bribe-takers. So many representatives of the previous regime have been arrested, so many have been put on the wanted list. What does this mean? This means that until 2018, Armenia was ruled by criminals for 20 years. One of them is currently in prison, another is still at large, but he is prohibited from leaving the country. In other words, the country's independence is not even 30 years old, and for 20 years the country was in the hands of these criminals. Of course, the criminal gang gave rise to a criminal regime that oppressed all ethnic minorities. There is not a single ethnic minority there. There is not a single Azerbaijani left on ancient Azerbaijani lands. Our historical monuments and mosques have been destroyed. The historical heritage of the Azerbaijani people has been erased. There are no representatives not only of the Azerbaijanis, but also of any other ethnicity. Notice that various peoples live in most countries of the world. In this sense, Azerbaijan is an example. The whole world recognizes that the inter-ethnic relations existing in Azerbaijan, the inter-religious dialogue are an example for the whole planet. In Armenia, Armenians make up 99.9 percent of the population. This criminal regime has expelled all people of a different nationality by various ways. Now the regime of junta rules in Nagorno-Karabakh too. Of course, the fake election held by the junta are a kind of show, clownery. All leading countries have condemned this “election” and said that they did not recognize it. They have even adopted statements. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – America, France and Russia – have said that they do not recognize the election. The European Union said it does not recognize the election. The European Parliament, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, other organizations, all leading international organizations have condemned this election – everyone except for the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe remained tight-lipped. Why? It is known too well. One of the main goals of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is to tarnish Azerbaijan, undermine the credibility of our country, circulate speculations about it, encourage the adoption of fictitious reports, and support the “fifth column”, the traitors in Azerbaijan and in connection with the conflict – the Armenian side. Therefore, the Council of Europe did not utter a word in connection with this fictitious election. What objectivity, what justice can we talk about in this case?!

This is exactly what I had in mind when I said that the documents adopted by the Council of Europe in relation to Azerbaijan are nothing more than a scrap of paper for me. The whole public in Azerbaijan saw that the Council of Europe takes an anti-Azerbaijani position, that anti-Azerbaijani tendencies, a phobia of Azerbaijan are pervasive in this organization, and the phobia of Azerbaijan is at the heart of all the accusations made against us. We return them all these accusations with a vengeance. Let them make a statement on what is happening in some countries of the world today. Police violence, use of force against demonstrators, their killing, gouging of their eyes, mass arrests, beating, arrests of journalists – where is all this happening? In western countries Let them open their eyes, look and be ashamed of their silence. Why? Because they are afraid of strong states. They believe that this issue is not related to the protection of human rights. Therefore, the hypocritical essence of this organization is no secret to anyone, and we are not at all interested in whether they recognize this fictitious election or not. The main thing is that the influential and respectable organizations of the world did not recognize and condemned the fictitious election held in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Therefore, of course, the position of these international organizations and many countries reinforces our standing. From a political and legal points of view, our position is impeccable and the position of Armenia is erroneous. We are much stronger than Armenia in the economic and military spheres and have demonstrated this, including on the battlefield. They attacked us and we fought back and put them in their place. We liberated parts of Aghdara, Fuzuli, Jabrayil districts. What did they do? They bombed our villages here in Tartar. After the April fighting, I came here and saw these bombs and shells when I visited houses. They bombed the city of Tartar, the villages of Tartar and Agdam. If this is not fascism, then what is it? You cannot fight against civilians. They were powerless when faced with our army, fled and abandoned their positions. What did they do? They used force against civilians. They thought that this would affect the people of Tartar and Agdam. Not a single person budged, no-one! They were further convinced that the Azerbaijani people are a great people. Coming here after the April fighting, I once again saw the courage of the people of Tartar. I was convinced that they would never leave their lands and would not go anywhere. I realized that despite all the threats, they stand firmly on their land. The April fighting was to serve a lesson to our woeful neighbors. Following this, in 2018, there was the Nakhchivan operation. There, too, thousands of hectares of land passed under our control. We liberated the occupied lands. The Azerbaijani army showed its power. The source of our strength is the Azerbaijani people. The source of the Armenian army is foreign donations. They openly admit that this country will disappear without external support and it has no future. Because they lay claim to the territory of all neighbors: openly to the territory of Azerbaijan and Turkey, and covertly to the territory of another neighboring country. Despite the fact that they live on our historical land. This history should be known to everyone, especially young people, the way it is. The territory of the present Republic of Armenia is ancient Azerbaijani land. This is a fact, a historical fact. There is no need to go too far. Just look at the maps published by tsarist Russia in the early 20th century. Everyone will see that the vast majority of place names throughout the territory of present-day Armenia are of Azerbaijani origin. I ask our scientists to publish this so that everyone can see. Let them release a small brochure.

Azerbaijani names, names of cities and villages in the territory of the present-day Armenia have been changed. What year were they changed? Therefore, when we say today that the present-day Armenia was established on historically Azerbaijani lands, we are telling the absolute truth. We are well aware that the Armenians were relocated to our lands, including the territory of the present-day Armenia, at the beginning of the 19th century, after the Russo-Persian war. The people of Tartar know this very well, the Azerbaijani people know this perfectly well too, that in 1978 a monument was erected in one of the villages in the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, marking the 150th anniversary of the resettlement of Armenians to this region. We can subtract 150 from 1978, which means they were resettled here in 1828. As soon as the war began, the monument was destroyed, but its fragments remain and anyone can go and see them today. It is necessary to show its photographs. They, the newcomers, were resettled to our lands from Eastern Anatolia and Iran. This process was going on from the beginning of the 19th century and subsequently gained even wider scope. When I say that Irevan is our ancient land, I am telling the absolute truth. Everyone knows that. Otherwise, why did the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic decide to transfer, to gift Irevan to Armenia? And when? A day after declaring independence. Independence was proclaimed on 28 May 1918 and on 29 May 1918, the decision was made, and not unanimously. There were opponents of this decision, but their opinion was not taken into account. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic decided to transfer, to gift Irevan to Armenia. This must not be forgotten. This cannot be forgiven. Let everyone know this. After that, Armenia would allegedly abandon other claims to Azerbaijan. Did it? No! Our ancient land of Zangezur was also transferred to Armenia. With the transfer of Zangezur, a geographical division of the great Turkic world occurred and the main part of Azerbaijan was deprived of the border with Turkey. Our border with Turkey is located only in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Did the Armenians abandon their claims after Irevan was passed to them?

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Claims to our lands again. Did they abandon them? Who can justify the transfer of Irevan, our ancient city built by the Azerbaijanis, to Armenia? Who can justify this? Who! Let him stand up and say: I believe that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic has done the right thing. Let him say it. Therefore, you know, it is the last thing to fall under the influence of mythology. You, the young people, all youth must know history the way it is. I must also say that this event took place in 1918, but the question related to this historical fact was raised by me. No-one had raised it before me. In our historical books, you will hardly ever find this – as if there was no such fact. I raised this question. I raised it from various platforms, including abroad, and said that this is our city, our land. Everyone should know their history.

As for the conflict, there is only one way to resolve it – the restoration of the territorial integrity of our country. There is no other option. Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. I said recently that we are gaining strength, we must and will become even stronger. At the same time, the geopolitical situation must be such that all our steps are crowned with success. I have said that Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and I want to repeat: Karabakh and Nagorno-Karabakh, which is its integral part, is Azerbaijan, exclamation mark! The entire Azerbaijani public, our people support this position, support the policy I am pursuing, including the policy on this issue.

I want to once again congratulate you on this wonderful event. The opening of the Olympic center in Tartar is of great importance. Young people gathering strength here will contribute to the successful development of our country. I am sure of that. Congratulations again!