Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited liberated from occupation Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts, as well as Fuzuli and Jabrayil cities
16 November 2020, 18:30
On November 16, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Victorious Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts, liberated from occupation, as well as Fuzuli and Jabrayil cities.
President Ilham Aliyev instructed to build a road from Fuzuli district to Shusha city. The construction of the road has already started. President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva inspected the progress of a project's implementation.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- It is a significant day in our country's life today - it is a historic day. The groundwork for the Fuzuli-Shusha highway is being laid today. I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion. This road is vital because this road leads us to Shusha – Karabakh's crown jewel.
Many roads have been built in our country in recent years. I can say that more than 16,000 kilometers of roads have been built since 2004, and these roads are of high quality. According to this indicator, Azerbaijan holds one of the leading positions in the world. But this road has a special significance. As I said, this road leads to Shusha. At the same time, this is the first project to be implemented in the liberated lands.
After Shusha's liberation, the enemy realized that there was completely no point in resisting us. One day after Shusha's liberation, the heroic Armed Forces of Azerbaijan liberated more than 70 settlements from the occupiers, which was the last blow to the enemy. It is no coincidence that on November 10, the enemy signed a capitulation act. November 8 is the day of our glorious Victory. The people of Azerbaijan will always celebrate this day from now on. Shusha's liberation showed our strength, our Army's professionalism, and our servicemen's courage and heroism. The capture of Shusha was an operation that required outstanding skills and valor. I am confident that this operation will have a special place in the world's military history books. Our heroic servicemen carried that operation themselves, having had to cross mountains, forests and paths, armed with light weapons only. The liberation of Shusha from occupation is our glorious Victory.
We have already started development work. Eight days after the Victory Day and six days after Armenia's capitulation, the construction of the Fuzuli-Shusha highway begins from here – from the settlement of Alkhanli. This road will be very comfortable and broad. This road will allow us the opportunity to get to Shusha and back quite effortlessly.
The Second Karabakh War is our glorious Victory. The occupied territories have been liberated from the occupiers. The damage caused by the enemy is being calculated and will be calculated accurately. All the affected people will return to their ancestral lands with state support. We will carry out this work in a planned way – the calculation of damage, accurate records, and then the reconstruction work.
As you know, the enemy has destroyed the entire infrastructure in the occupied and liberated lands. Our cities have been destroyed, and this once again shows the enemy's savagery. The whole world will see it now. The entire world will see what savage enemy we are facing.
We are currently at the phase of conflict's political settlement. At this stage, Azerbaijan is achieving and will achieve what it wants. The military phase of the conflict is over. The liberation of Shusha and the liberation of more than 70 settlements on November 9 had put an end to the conflict's military phase. I said at the outbreak of the conflict - of the Second Karabakh War, and I wish to repeat with great pride today that a military-political solution to the issue was available, and Azerbaijan proved that on the battlefield. We forced the enemy to sign an act of capitulation, and thus our occupied Aghdam, Lachin and Kalbajar districts will return to Azerbaijan in the coming days. But look at the atrocities committed by the despised enemy – they torch houses, burn schools, cut down trees, break power lines. The whole world can see that all the leading international television channels have shown that. They have no conscience, no shame, and no morality whatsoever. Therefore, the Victory in the Second Karabakh War is of tremendous historic significance. It is not just a matter of liberating Azerbaijan from its occupiers. At the same time, it shows the whole world and all the occupiers that this is how they end up. It is the end of invaders and occupiers.
This wonderful groundbreaking ceremony today has great symbolism. We are building a new road from the liberated city of Fuzuli, from the villages leading to Fuzuli and onwards, from Fuzuli to Shusha. This road has never existed. Azerbaijani citizens would know that in Soviet times the road to Shusha passed through the territory of Aghdam – the Aghdam-Khankandi-Shusha road. It is not yet possible to use that route now.
I once again sincerely congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this wonderful occasion. Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva then posed for photographs together with road construction workers.
The head of state and first lady arrived in the liberated Fuzuli city. President Ilham Aliyev raised the glorious Azerbaijani flag in the city of Fuzuli.
These moments are one of the most glorious pages in Azerbaijan's modern history. The Victorious Commander-in-Chief raised Azerbaijan's tricolor flag on the historical land liberated by the heroic Azerbaijani Army.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
-The city of Fuzuli has been liberated from the occupiers. The Azerbaijani flag has been raised in Fuzuli. We have returned to Fuzuli. But it hurts to see the destroyed villages and the city of Fizuli along the road. Look what these savages have done to our city! They have destroyed everything; they have demolished houses and destroyed the entire infrastructure. There is not a single building standing. The whole world should see what the Armenian savagery means, and we will show it to the entire world, not only Fizuli but also Agdam and other cities. It was as if a savage tribe had devastated these lands. They wanted to destroy and plunder everything, to erase our cultural, historical and religious heritage, but they could not achieve what they wanted. Because we had to come back, we had to return. We have come back, we have returned. We have driven the enemy out of our lands and raised the State Flag of Azerbaijan here. From now on, we will live on this land, as we have done for centuries; our people have lived here for centuries.
The despised enemy had also changed the name of Fuzuli, gave it some ugly name. Fuzuli is named after our genius, our great poet Mahammad Fuzuli. We have restored this name. The destroyed city of Fuzuli is a living witness to Armenian fascism. The whole world must see this and not remain silent, as it has been silent and indifferent for 30 years. That indifference reinforced the Armenian occupation. We were urged to put up with this situation and to resolve the issue peacefully. We have heard the same words year after year for 30 years – there is no military solution to the conflict; this issue must be resolved peacefully. But we have proved that there is a solution to the conflict, including a military solution. Thanks to our heroic servicemen's courage and bravery and at the cost of our martyrs' lives. We have proved this to the whole world. There is a military solution to the conflict, and we have achieved it. If it had not been for this military solution, the enemy would not have signed an act of capitulation.
From the first days of the war, I said that the Armenian leadership, Armenia's Commander-in-Chief – if such a title can at all be attributed to him – should declare; provide a timetable when they vacate each district. Then we would have stopped. Otherwise, I said, we would go to the end, and we did. Fuzuli, Hadrut, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, Shusha, and more than 70 villages were liberated one day after Shusha's liberation. A total of more than 300 settlements were liberated, the enemy's back was broken, and the enemy knelt and was forced to surrender on November 10 by signing an act of capitulation precisely due to our strength. We forced the enemy to do so, we showed the enemy where it belongs, and we showed the Azerbaijani people's greatness.
For 30 years, the Armenian leadership, their patrons, pro-Armenian and Azerbaijanophobic forces had been inventing myths about Armenia's strong Army, the Armenian people being combative, and the Azerbaijani people incapable of fighting. We have destroyed this fabrication; we have shown who are combative people. We have shown who victorious people are. Those who led Azerbaijan in the early 1990s simply did not pay attention to army building and dragged our country into chaos and anarchy. In those years, when our lands were occupied, the then government started a civil war. The PFPA-Musavat tandem took their own soldiers prisoner and bombed Gandja. That was why the lands were lost. The Armenian people are going through what the Azerbaijani people went through in 1992.
The people of Azerbaijan overthrew that loathed government a year later. After Heydar Aliyev came to power, all the positive trends began to develop. Our Army is one of the strongest armies in the world today. We have shown the whole world that the Azerbaijani people are invincible, and it was the Azerbaijani Army that was victorious. We have destroyed the Armenian myth. We have shattered the Armenian fabrications. We have put them in their place, we put them on their knees, and they will live with this mark, they will live with this mark of humiliation. For our part, we will live on with a sense of pride – as victorious people and a powerful state, with an invincible army and a strong will.
During these 44 days, there was steady pressure, threats, orders, messages and signals from different sources and places. I said that no-one could stand in front of us; we will go to the end. The loathed enemy must accept our conditions, provide an exact date, and ultimately, they were forced to do so. That is why the people of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis worldwide are celebrating our brilliant Victory with great pride these days. This Victory befits our people, befits our brave sons, befits our state, and this Victory has shown our strength. It showed that Azerbaijan would never put up with this situation. For the 17 years, I have been President and Commander-in-Chief, I have repeatedly spoken about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I said that we would never allow for the establishment of a second Armenian state on Azerbaijan's historical land. I said that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan had never been and never would be negotiable. I said that Azerbaijan would restore its territorial integrity. I said that if it was impossible to do so peacefully, we would restore it by military means. My speeches are available. They have been published. I said these words, and I did what I said. We have restored our territorial integrity, expelled the occupiers from the occupied territories, prevented the establishment of a second Armenian state, and there can be no talk of any status. There is a single state - Azerbaijan. There is a multiethnic, multi-confessional and progressive state of Azerbaijan. All Azerbaijani citizens, representatives of all peoples and religions, live normally, in peace and harmony. The Armenian people will live like this too. We have nothing against the Armenian people. In numerous interviews over the past 44 days, I have said that they are our citizens, and they will see that they are better off under Azerbaijan, that they must get rid of the criminal and cowardly junta. The separatist leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh are cowards. Their cowardice was witnessed by the Armenians living there and by the Armenians living in Armenia. So many people fled! The head of their junta was hiding in a bunker and couldn't even stick out his nose. Where are your courage and bravery?
We have defeated the Armenian Army and, at the same time, taught a lesson to the criminals who led Armenia for years. Pashinyan has destroyed his country in the last two years, and now he is only preoccupied with how to save himself from the wrath of the Armenian people. We have destroyed the Kocharyan-Sargsyan Army. They are the ones that have destroyed our lands. This time these cowards could not even stick their noses into the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Where is your heroism? The fake "hero" medals you have put on your chests – get rid of that metal scrap and throw them into the trashcan - we have defeated you. Pashinyan is nobody. Kocharyan and Sargsyan, the Azerbaijani people's executioners, the slaughterers of Khojaly, we have defeated you, we have destroyed your Army. If Armenia had not signed the act of capitulation, they know how this war would have ended. This is our strength. This is our unity. The iron fist crushed your head, and from now on, no-one will speak to us in the language of ultimatums. In particular, the humiliated Pashinyan, the one that put forward seven conditions. We hit him on the head with those conditions. Where are those conditions now? I had one condition – get out, get lost, and that condition was met. Thanks to our strength, thanks to our unity, thanks to our heroes, thanks to our martyrs. Here, in the liberated city of Fuzuli, I once again pray for Allah's mercy on all our martyrs, wish patience to their relatives and thank their parents for raising such heroes for our state and our people. Their memory will live forever in our hearts. I wish Allah's healing to all our wounded servicemen. I am sure that they will soon return to everyday life and always be at the center of our attention.
All our servicemen, the residents of Fuzuli and other liberated lands should know that we will restore all these places. I said earlier that we could not find a single building in Fuzuli to raise the Azerbaijani flag. But we will restore them all. Relevant instructions have been given, we will do everything in a planned manner, we have invited international experts, and they will come. We will assess all the damage together. After that, we will invite urban planning specialists – both Azerbaijani and foreign. They will come here, and a new urban plan will be introduced. Restoration of villages, cities, infrastructure, and environmental measures – all these plans are there. We will do it all, Inshallah, everything! Allah willing, we shall do it all. Just as we returned our lands, destroyed the enemy and raised our tricolor flag, we will solve all other issues. Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
While driving, the head of state saw people gathered along the road and stopped the car to meet with them.
President Ilham Aliyev, who drove the vehicle to Jabrayil, said:
- Jabrayil district. We are heading for the Khudafarin Bridge. The Khudafarin Bridge is ahead.
These are the houses of Azerbaijani citizens destroyed by the savage enemy.
There are the Araz River and the Azerbaijan-Iran border - border of friendship.
As we drive, we see villages destroyed by the enemy, and we see yet again what kind of savage enemy we are facing. After seeing this, people are further convinced that we have restored our territorial integrity and destroyed the predatory enemy. There have been many wars in the world, and some are still going on. The occupation continues in some places, but I do not believe anyone has ever faced such a ruthless and callous enemy.
Our historic Victory is the one over Armenian fascism. Our Victory is the restoration of truth and justice. Today, November 16, will be a special date in my life because, in a few minutes, we will approach the Khudafarin Bridge, our ancient architectural site.
These mountains are ours. They have always been ours. But for about 30 years, the enemy sat in these mountains, these lands - lands of our ancestors and challenged us.
We will restore all the houses destroyed by the savage enemy.
This is the Khudafarin water reservoir.
Below us is the Araz River. Now we are entering a tunnel. The neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran is over there.
The President and the First Lady arrived at the Khudafarin Bridge. These moments will be enshrined with golden letters on our history pages.
President Ilham Aliyev hoisted the glorious Azerbaijani flag on the Khudafarin Bridge. It is a source of pride for the Azerbaijani people that the President raised our flag on the historic Khudafarin Bridge. Khudafarin, a place that has left a deep mark on our people's spirituality and history, is also a national pride matter.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva then walked along the Araz River banks and took photos in front of the Khudafarin Bridge.
Then the President and the First Lady left for Jabrayil.
The road to Jabrayil is in the same condition. This is the ugly face of Armenian occupiers. This reveals the true nature of Armenian vandals, displays their true colors.
President Ilham Aliyev: We are entering the city of Jabrayil. The enemy has created military bases for themselves here. There is nothing in the town but military facilities.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva arrived in the city of Jabrayil liberated on October 4.
We are living the moments our people have longed for over many years. The President and Commander-in-Chief also raised our tricolor flag in the city of Jabrayil.
President Ilham Aliyev: The city of Jabrayil has been liberated from occupation, and the state flag of Azerbaijan has been raised. I congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan. Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
Let's now check out some buildings.
This was the enemy's police station. Now the Azerbaijani police are standing here.
Notice what the despised enemy has done to the city of Jabrayil. The whole world should see this. Let them see and know what vile of an enemy we are facing. All buildings have been destroyed and looted. Their goal was to prevent Azerbaijanis from living here again. We will live here! We will live here forever! We will restore all these buildings, all of them. Notice what is left of them. Has any international organization raised this issue in 30 years? Has any monitoring been carried out here? The whole world will see now what they have done to the city of Jabrayil.
This is the center of Jabrayil. There is not a single safe building. They did not leave behind a single safe building. Only there they build a military base for themselves. The enemy has demolished entire infrastructure, houses, buildings, schools, and public facilities.
They will be held accountable for this. They will answer in international courts. I have said before, but I want to say again that international organizations and experts will come here, and all the damage will be assessed. The damage inflicted in over 30 years will be calculated. The enemy who is destroying Kalbajar these days, cutting down forests, setting residential buildings and schools ablaze will be held to account.
They thought that the people of Azerbaijan would never return here after this destruction. They have destroyed it for that purpose. But they were wrong. We are back. Look, we are standing here, on our native land, in the city of Jabrayil. We will restore all these places.
A new master plan will be drawn up. Relevant instructions have been given to develop a master plan for each city. All office buildings, public buildings, schools and medical centers will be established here. The entire infrastructure will be put in place. Streets, parks and alleys will be built. Victory monuments will be erected in all the cities, and life will return here.
The people of Azerbaijan will live, build and create here again. But today's history will never be erased. These destroyed houses are witnesses to Armenian savagery. Azerbaijani people used to live in these houses. The hated enemy came here and drove them out of their lands, destroyed their buildings, appropriated and plundered their property. The enemy is a thief, an immoral and dishonest enemy. Again, I want to say that our brilliant Victory is not only about the restoration of our country's territorial integrity. It is also about a struggle between good and evil. The forces of evil have been defeated, and we have won because we are here to create and build. The Armenians have only devastated everything.
We will restore all this, restore everything. The people of Azerbaijan will show their greatness yet again. We will prove to the whole world that we are a great nation. We are back; we have returned by fighting. No-one has handed these lands to us. No international organization has put pressure on the aggressor. No-one demanded that they implement UN Security Council resolutions. Their goal was simply to keep the conflict in a neither-war-nor-peace status, to keep everything in a frozen state, to perpetuate the occupation, to erase the historical heritage in our lands, to Armenianize our lands, to give our cities and villages their ugly Armenian names and erase this issue from the memory of the Azerbaijani people. But they were wrong. I have repeatedly said that we will never put up with this occupation. Every resident of Jabrayil lived with a desire to return to their ancestors' lands.
Justice has prevailed. The victorious Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have prevailed. The enemy's back is broken. The enemy has been driven out of our lands. The Azerbaijani flag has been raised in the liberated lands and will fly high there forever.