Ilham Aliyev visited Fuzuli and Khojavand districts
15 March 2021, 21:50
As reported earlier, on March 15, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva visited Fuzuli and Khojavand districts.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
I am revisiting liberated territories. Today I will lay the groundwork for the Fuzuli-Hadrut highway. The construction of this road is of great importance for the restoration of the liberated areas. It is not the first project. Several road projects are already underway. The restoration of liberated lands has begun. The road from Fuzuli to Shusha is under construction – the Victory road is being built. At the same time, the construction of the Barda-Aghdam road will be completed soon. Another road will be built from Horadiz to Zangilan. In short, even though only four months have passed since the war, extensive redevelopment work has begun.
Once again, when we see these ruins in the liberated lands, we realize yet again that the loathsome enemy had destroyed all our settlements and wanted to erase our historical heritage. But they failed. We have returned to these lands. We have returned as a heroic people, as a victorious state. We drove the enemy out of our native lands.
Driving through the liberated lands today, we passed through the village of Garakhanbayli. Garakhanbayli village was liberated on the first day of the war – on September 27. It was from here, from that direction, that we commenced our glorious mission and drove the enemy out of our lands. We are now busy with redevelopment. A new period begins in our lives – a period of creation, development and restoration of our lands.
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As part of the visit, President Ilham Aliyev laid the groundwork for the Fuzuli-Hadrut highway.
This road originates from Victory highway and connects to the new Hadrut-Jabrayil-Shukurbayli highway. The 13-kilometer highway will have four lanes. Bridges will be built along the route.
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President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva left for Khojavand district.
President Ilham Aliyev: We are in the liberated lands again. We are going from Fuzuli to the Khojavand district. We are traveling to the liberated Khojavand district. We are once again witnessing the destruction of all settlements along the road. All villages and cities are completely devastated. This destruction was caused after the war. During the war, the first Karabakh war, there was not and could not be so much destruction. It was during the occupation that the hated enemy brought our cities to this state.
This is the city of Fuzuli. But there are no traces of a city - only ruins. The Armenians have destroyed it. They came and demolished our buildings during the occupation, took away the stones and roofs of the buildings like thieves, like robbers. These are the remains of Fuzuli. Let foreign circles defending Armenia open their eyes to their savagery. Whom are they protecting?
The contemptible enemy occupied our lands for 30 years and did not leave a single stone intact. Notice what roads are like now. These roads have not seen asphalt for 30 years. All their propaganda is false, and so is their history. They called themselves a state. The so-called "Artsakh state" went to hell. If it was a "state", then why didn't they leave a single stone intact? Because they knew that this land was not theirs. This land belongs to the Azerbaijanis.
This is the liberated Khojavand district.
We are in Edilli village of Khojavand district. This is Aghbulag village. Azerbaijan's heroic Army liberated our ancient lands from the occupiers. There were battles here. We fought and drove the enemy out of our native lands.
This is the village of Dudukchu in the former Hadrut district, which was liberated from occupation. Notice how beautiful the landscape is.
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President of Azerbaijan, Victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, raised the state flag in Hadrut settlement and delivered remarks.
Remarks by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Hadrut settlement was liberated on October 9. The liberation of Hadrut was a result of a very successful military operation. First, the surrounding heights were captured. After the heights around Hadrut were captured by Azerbaijan's Army, we seized control over the town, and the liberation of Hadrut was already imminent. I should also note that the Armenian civilian population living here was evacuated due to a military operation. I can say that throughout the entire 44-day war, the losses among Armenian civilians were relatively insignificant because Azerbaijan's Army has never waged war against the civilian population. Unlike the Armenians, we fought only against military units during the war, defeated them, and drove them out of our lands. As for the civilian population, according to Armenian statistics, about 40 civilians were killed during the war. The vast majority of them were civilians involved in military operations.
The liberation of Hadrut was a very significant operation. The liberation of Hadrut after Jabrayil district and the city of Jabrayil was a milestone having a crucial impact on the continuation of our military operations.
I should add that the city of Fuzuli was liberated after Hadrut – on October 17. The Armenian Army was expected us elsewhere. However, following the rules of war and proper strategic planning, we liberated Hadrut after Jabrayil and then came Fuzuli.
Let me also note that when Hadrut was already in our hands, the Armenian leadership, officials and, at the same time, some foreign journalists who brought grist to the Armenian mill were claiming that Hadrut was under Armenians' control. I cannot understand to this day why the Armenian leadership was deceiving its people. We knew for sure that Hadrut was ours. We knew exactly that the Armenian army had been completely crushed here, and the surviving Armenian soldiers cowardly fled into hiding in the mountains. Hadrut was entirely under our control. However, some foreign journalists were saying that Hadrut was allegedly in the hands of Armenians.
After the liberation of Hadrut, we headed for Shusha. It was crucial to liberate Hadrut for the Shusha operation to succeed. Again, we approached Shusha from a direction the enemy was not expecting us. We liberated Shusha from the invaders by crossing mountains, valleys, cliffs, by climbing those cliffs. Therefore, the Hadrut operation will have a special place in the world's military books.
In general, our glorious 44-day war, our Victory, is studied in the world's leading universities these days. Military experts, specialists, and even politicians from many countries talked about our war and said that it was a war of the 21st century. Azerbaijan won the war, expelled the enemy from our ancient lands and restored historical justice. Hadrut settlement was considered the center of the Hadrut district of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. After abolishing the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, Martuni and Hadrut districts of the former autonomous region were merged, and the Khojavand district was established. The ancient historical name of this place, Khojavand, was returned. During the war, more than 50 percent of the Martuni district of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and 100 percent of the territory of Hadrut district of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region were liberated from the occupiers. Commenting on the war's outcome, some say that Azerbaijan has liberated seven districts, which is not the case. We have liberated seven districts, Shusha city, Sugovushan settlement of Aghdara district, Talish settlement, former Hadrut district, most of the former Martuni district, thus restoring historical justice. Therefore, Azerbaijan has made historic achievements in restoring its territorial integrity.
We have written a new history of our people, a glorious history of heroism, and great construction work is underway in the liberated lands today. Major infrastructure projects are being implemented. Today, coming from Baku and driving through the destroyed city of Fuzuli, I saw again the havoc wreaked by the Armenian savages. Let the foreign circles defending them and standing behind them today open their eyes and see what Armenian savagery has done to our cities. All our cities have been devastated, all our villages, historical sites, mosques, and cemeteries have been destroyed. Unprecedented vandalism and barbarism have been perpetrated.
We, for our part, have liberated our lands. Armenians from Armenia proper and foreign countries were illegally brought and resettled in this town. But this town is intact; not a single building was destroyed or burned down. These are the tactics of Azerbaijan's Army, its moral code. What did the Armenians do? They destroyed all our buildings, our mosques. They kept animals in our mosques. They have desecrated our sacred shrines. The houses built by the Azerbaijanis, where the Armenians then lived there illegally – were burned and destroyed. They cut down forests from November 10 to December 1. They destroyed hydroelectric power plants. That is the difference between us. Azerbaijani soldiers have high moral qualities, and the instructions given to soldiers and all servicemen have been fulfilled. I said that we have never fought against civilians, and everyone can see that now. I stated that the Armenian leadership should give us a timetable of when it would leave our lands and that we were ready to stop the war, and we did it.
Today we have returned here as rightful owners of these lands. Azerbaijan's flag is flying across all the liberated lands today. Today, as the Commander-in-Chief of our Victorious Army, I raised our national flag in Hadrut settlement. This flag will fly here forever. We Azerbaijanis will live in our ancestral lands forever. We will rebuild all the destroyed cities and villages, life will return here, people will return here, and we will again show the world the greatness of our people. Khojavand is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
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President Ilham Aliyev then laid the groundwork for the Hadrut-Jabrayil-Shukurbayli highway. The four-lane highway is 43 km in length.
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President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva visited the former Hadrut District Party Committee building.
The head of state said:
- This is the building of the former Hadrut District Party Committee. The illegal regime established an administration here. This building was constructed at the expense of Azerbaijan, and we have returned it. Hadrut is ours!
These words are written in the old script: "For the permanent benefit of collective farmlands". It was written before 1939. In 1939, our alphabet was changed. It is a document of historical essence.
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President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva then viewed the Albanian temple in the Hunarli village.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- This is an ancient Albanian temple, an Albanian church. It is located in the village of Hunarli. The Armenians wanted to Armenianize this church and wrote inscriptions in Armenian here, but they failed. If this were an Armenian church, would they leave it in such a state? It looks like a stable or as if it were a garbage dump. It is our ancient historical site, a temple of our Udi brothers. They will come here too. Just as the Armenians desecrated our mosques, they have also desecrated this ancient Albanian temple. But we will restore. All these inscriptions are fake – they were written later. They have created a false history for themselves in our ancient lands. But they failed because we exposed them. The fact that this church – the Albanian temple – is in this condition again shows Armenian fraud. If it were an Armenian church, they would have renovated it. Some criticize us for not taking good care of Christian sites. It is Armenians who brought it to this condition.
Let them come and see how Christian sites are protected in different parts of Azerbaijan. They will see this ancient Albanian church renovated after a while. Temples belonging to all religions in Azerbaijan are protected by the state, built by the state, and the whole world knows that. The world should know and see Armenians savagery in our mosques. There were 67 mosques in the liberated lands, only two standing in a semi-demolished state. They used them for various purposes. The Albanian church has also been brought to this condition. They may have kept animals here too, they may have kept metal scrap here, and some of that scrap is still there. Therefore, everyone should see and know this. Anyone who chooses to make any groundless accusations against us will get a befitting response, as always.
Look here, if it were an Armenian church, would they have written this? Would they have written this - Kamo, Artur, what else Marta? Would they have desecrated their churches like that? All these stones are fake. It is an Armenian forgery. Inside too, come on in here. If it were an Armenian church, would they have written this – "Igor", "Asha"? They destroyed it, ruined it and even burned the door.
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President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva then arrived in Tugh village.
President Ilham Aliyev: We have arrived in Tugh village. Tugh is an ancient Azerbaijani village.
First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva: Is this the school building?
President Ilham Aliyev: A school in Tugh village destroyed by Armenians. Notice what condition it is in. And yet, they say that Tugh is an Armenian village. If it were an Armenian village, would they have destroyed it? It is the land of ancient Azerbaijan. Tugh village has always been and will continue to be an Azerbaijani village.
Here are the Azerbaijanis' houses destroyed by Armenians in Tugh village. All the ruins are visible from here.
Of course, the residents of Tugh village will recognize their homes. I am sure that the residents of Tugh will return to their native village soon. Notice how beautiful Azerbaijan is. Notice how beautiful Karabakh is. We will restore all the destroyed villages and cities.
The head of state and his wife visited the Albanian temple in Tugh.
President Ilham Aliyev: This is yet another Armenian falsification. These stones were brought here later. They have nothing to do with the temple.
Here is an ancient Albanian temple. This temple will also be returned to our Udi brothers. Armenians wanted to Armenianize it as well, but they did not and will not succeed. After that, Azerbaijan as a state will protect this Albanian temple.
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President Ilham Aliyev, First lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva then headed to Azykh village.
The head of state: We are leaving Tugh village and are now heading for Azykh village. Azykh is also an ancient Azerbaijani village, an ancient settlement. The nature of these places is also beautiful.
We are approaching Azykh village. What a spectacular view of Karabakh. This is the territory of Azykh village.
We are going to the Azykh Cave. There is still a long way to go.
We are at the entrance to the Azykh Cave. We climbed about 800 steps. It was a good exercise and showed our fitness. We will now enter the Azykh Cave. Azerbaijani archeologist Mammadali Huseynov discovered this cave in 1960. Exploration was conducted here after that. It is one of the ancient human settlements in the world, belongs to the history of Azerbaijan. It is our historical asset. Armenia illegally carried out work in this cave, illegally brought scientists here from abroad. They have inflicted extensive damage on this cave and our historical heritage. They will compensate us fully for all this damage. We will make them.
An Azerbaijani scientist discovered the Azykh Cave. The Azykh Cave is located in the territory of Azerbaijan. From now on, it will be Azerbaijani scientists and foreign ones invited by them who will undertake exploration here legally.
What a gorgeous view! Azykh village is over there. You can take a few good shots from here. We have reached this summit. We will conquer all the heights. There is no pinnacle beyond our reach. Let's say together: "Azykh is Azerbaijan!", "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!"