As reported earlier, on March 16, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva visited the city of Shusha.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- We left Azykh and came to Shusha yesterday. The roads are still in a poor condition, almost non-existent. We came here along the Victory road. For the time being it is unpaved because the weather is cold and it is impossible to lay asphalt. It was muddy and there was a heavy fog. That is why we made it from Azykh to Shusha in 1 hour and 45 minutes. We stayed in Shusha overnight. We left at 9 a.m. and are going to attend several events. The weather is clear, but there are still clouds above the city.
We last came here in January. We returned the busts of Natavan, Uzeyir Hajibayli and Bulbul to Shusha. It is a great pleasure to return to Shusha today. On the left, there are snowy and foggy mountains of Shusha.
Restoration of Vagif's mausoleum will begin soon. The former appearance of the mausoleum will be restored. Restoration work will begin today.
Relevant instructions have already been given to restore the mosques. Preliminary studies have begun and the project will be presented in the near future.
Shusha is beautiful in every season.
We will also restore the springs. For 30 years, Armenians dried up all our springs. Notice what the city is like now, what the enemy has done to Shusha.
We are approaching Vagif's mausoleum. Work has already begun. I have viewed the project. Here are the photos. National leader Heydar Aliyev attended both the opening and Vagif Poetry Day. We are restoring history. This project will be implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation at its own expense, with the taste typical of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and under the supervision of Mehriban khanum.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva visited the museum complex of Mollah Panah Vagif in Shusha.
Assistant to the President Anar Alakbarov briefed the President and the First Lady on the project to restore the complex. This project will be implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. During the project, special attention will be paid to the restoration of the mausoleum. When the Armenians occupied Shusha in 1992, they also violently destroyed this monument.
President Ilham Aliyev: I have found these photos in the archive. Vagif Poetry Days were held in the summer of 1982. National leader Heydar Aliyev is in front of the mausoleum in the summer of 1982. People also took part in this event here. Last time I was here, I noticed this place and asked to find pictures of what happened here in the archives, and this picture has been found. You see, Vagif's image was on this wall. The hated enemy dismantled it and the marble. This was a tombstone. Armenian vandals demolished it too. We will restore it. I found a few more photos of the National leader visiting Shusha at the time, and I am also there. This picture was taken on Jidir Duzu. I showed it once, in front of the Natavan spring. There is another picture here and I have to show it too. There was also a bust of Vagif here. Last time I was in Shusha, I showed that the Armenians had dismantled the bust and built a shop. Here it is. The bust of Vagif and the National leader looking at it. We will restore this bust as well.
The President, the First Lady and Leyla Aliyeva then reviewed the remains of Panahali khan's palace. This building is located in the historical center of Shusha and was the residency of Panahali khan, the founder of the Karabakh khanate. Armenian vandals also destroyed this historic building during the occupation.
President Ilham Aliyev: This was the palace of Panahali khan. Panahali khan, who built and established Shusha, built a palace for himself here. Notice what the Armenians have done to this palace. It was a historical site. The despicable enemy came here, seized our lands, expelled our people, destroyed our historical sites, demolished, vandalized and barbarized everything around them.
Let all international organizations come and see this. Let the circles defending and supporting the Armenians, those who always support them, come and see what these savages have done.
The liberated lands are a witness to Armenian atrocities. There has never been such an atrocity in the history of the world. They came here, lived on someone else's land and then took the opportunity to drive out the locals, kill them, burn them and commit genocide. Then they also took advantage of the hospitality of the people who embraced them, accepted them, allowed them to live here. And this is how they repaid for the hospitality - brought our historical sites to this condition. Savagery! That is exactly what I mean when I say that a savage tribe had passed through these places.
Then President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva arrived at the future site of Molla Panah Vagif’s bust.
The project to restore the bust of Mollah Panah Vagif will also be implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
President Ilham Aliyev: This is the pedestal of the bust. The Armenians have destroyed it but we will restore it.
During the occupation, Armenian vandals also destroyed the 19th century Caravanserai historical and architectural complex located in the central square of Shusha.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva visited the Caravanserai historical and architectural complex.
The head of state was informed about the work to be done here.
One of the buildings subjected to Armenian savagery is the building of the Shusha State Art Gallery.
The gallery was established in 1982 and operated until the occupation in 1992.
President Ilham Aliyev: This was an art gallery of Shusha. The Azerbaijani government organized a gallery here. During the occupation, the enemy used it for its own needs. It will now be completely rebuilt and operate as an art gallery again.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva then viewed the repairs to be carried out at the “Garabagh” Hotel. The hotel was built in the early 1980s. The building has fallen into disrepair due to neglect. Thanks to the work to be done here, the hotel will be brought up to a modern level and all amenities will be created for the comfort of visitors to Shusha.
The President and the First Lady were informed about the work done to restore historical and religious sites in Shusha.
President Ilham Aliyev: The rooms of the hotel will be like this. During the occupation, the hotel was almost destroyed and only one floor was used. It was in a deplorable state. Now it has been quickly prepared as a show room. All rooms of the hotel will be in this style.
We have got acquainted with the ongoing reconstruction work at the Karabakh Hotel. During the occupation, the hotel practically did not operate. Only one or two floors did. This hotel was also built during the Soviet era at the expense of Azerbaijan and was named Garabagh. Then the contemptible enemy changed the name of the hotel to “Shushi palace”. There is no city called Shushi, it has never been and never will be the case.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva also visited the Shusha Carpet Museum. This museum, established to study and preserve the traditions of Karabakh carpet weaving, was also severely damaged during the occupation.
The President, the First Lady and Leyla Aliyeva also viewed the building where the Park Hotel will be located in Shusha. After the reconstruction, the hotel will accommodate guests, offering modern-level service.
President Ilham Aliyev: This was a former sanatorium building. During the occupation, it was used as a small hotel, but in a very primitive way. The conditions were pretty embarrassing. It is now being restored. This is also a show room; the rooms of the hotel will be like this. The hotel will be commissioned this year.
Special Representative of the President in Shusha Aydin Karimov reported to the President on the projects to be implemented.
President Ilham Aliyev gave instructions on the work to be done in Shusha.
President Ilham Aliyev: We have also visited the Shusha sanatorium. Many buildings there were destroyed by Armenians. But it will be possible to use some buildings. There are also plans to create small hotels here. We must take into account that there will be a huge influx of tourists to Shusha, so there should be five-, four- and three-star hotels here.
This is a beautiful view of the city and the mountains around it. But we see again that the Armenians did not build a single building here. They may have built this one, an ugly looking edifice. However, they used the buildings built by Azerbaijan in Soviet times and settled in the houses of Azerbaijanis. All these houses are Soviet-era houses, Khrushchev-era houses. They have long used up their service life. We now need to pay attention to the condition of these buildings.
About 2,000 people lived in Shusha during the occupation, most of them servicemen and their families. Therefore, most of these buildings are empty. Look, is there a single decent building around?
The Armenians try to present Shusha as an Armenian city. However, it was Panahali khan who laid the foundation of Shusha and Azerbaijanis have always lived here. If it was an Armenian city, why didn't they look after it? It is barbaric to bring a city with the landscape and nature of Shusha to this condition. They have destroyed the homes of Azerbaijanis and believed that this occupation would last forever. We have put an end to the occupation.
I have said that Shusha will become not only one of the most gorgeous cities in Azerbaijan, but also in the world, and we will achieve this – 100 percent. This is the ruined building of the Realniy School. Notice what the Armenians have done to it. According to my information, there was a boarding school on the left. It is also demolished, only a part of the facade remains.
We are departing Shusha, but we do not want to leave again. Shusha attracts people so much that those who come here do not want to leave. But we must return to Baku. We will stop on the way at Dashalti village. We will also look at the village. Then we will head for Baku.
First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva: The weather is sunny and clear, the sky is blue.
President Ilham Aliyev: We are saying “so long” to Shusha. The Azerbaijani flag is waving at the entrance to Shusha and will fly high forever. Down below is the Lachin corridor. The weather favors us again. The sun shines down our path. This is the building of the Shusha substation. This building was constructed in a short time and will provide Shusha with sustainable energy. Last time we came to Shusha in January, the air was clear and the sun greeted us as we approached Shusha.
The rocks of Shusha look beautiful from here as well. We are on the path of truth and ours is the cause of truth. Nature also greets us because this is Azerbaijan’s nature.
This is Dashalti village. We will also get acquainted with Dashalti village.
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their daughter Leyla Aliyeva arrived at Dashalti village of Shusha district.
Aydin Karimov: This is the Great Kirs Mountain. One of Shusha's water sources comes from its foothills.
First Lady: Is this considered New Dashalti?
Aydin Karimov: Yes.
First Lady: And that is Old Dashalti.
President Ilham Aliyev: Our servicemen came from there.
This is a beautiful view of Dashalti village both on the right and on the left. Dashalti village was also liberated from the occupiers. Our victorious army rose from Dashalti, crossed the steep cliffs and entered Shusha. Ahead of us is Great Kirs Mountain. The beautiful nature of Azerbaijan is right before us. Whichever way you look, there is beauty and greenery. This is the land of Azerbaijan, the land of Karabakh. From now on, the people of Azerbaijan will live here forever.
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The village of Dashalti, occupied by Armenian invaders in 1992 was also subjected to all-round terror. President Ilham Aliyev gave instructions on restoring the village.