Azerbaijani, Turkish presidents made joint press statements in Jabrayil city
20 October 2022, 17:50
Following the one-on-one meeting in the city of Jabrayil, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made joint press statements.
The President of Azerbaijan made the statement first.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- My dear brother, distinguished Mr. President.
It is a very significant day in the life of our country today. It is a great privilege for me to welcome my dear brother to Jabrayil and Zangilan. Today we celebrated the opening of Zangilan Airport together. A year ago, with the participation of my dear brother, we also opened Fuzuli Airport together, and today we opened Zangilan Airport. This shows that we are side by side on all our good days.
It is a very important day for Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur today. It is also the second anniversary of the liberation of Zangilan city from occupation. Exactly two years ago, the Armenian occupation ended. The Azerbaijan Army liberated the city of Zangilan, and the presence of the President of Turkiye in Azerbaijan, in Zangilan and Jabrayl, is of particular importance on such a day.
A few days after the liberation of Zangilan, Gubadli was freed from the Armenian occupation. One group of the Azerbaijan Army started to advance in the direction of Lachin, while another went in the direction of Shusha. Shusha, considered an impregnable fortress, was liberated from Armenian occupation on 8 November. The Azerbaijani flag was raised there and after that Armenia surrendered.
All this glorious history is our common history. Because from the first hours of the second Karabakh war, my dear brother, President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his support for Azerbaijan. He said that Azerbaijan was not alone and that Turkiye stood by Azerbaijan. This political and moral support continued until the last day of the war. This gave us additional strength and prevented some forces from interfering in this matter. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity has triumphed once again. Today, we are witnessing Turkish-Azerbaijani unity in Karabakh and Zangazur being restored. Large-scale restoration and construction work is underway. Today, together with my dear brother, we got acquainted with the construction of the railway and celebrated the opening of the “Dost Agropark” together. This is the first private investment in this region, and the name of this agricultural park, “Dost Agropark”, says it all. Turkish companies work with us in building and road construction projects. We are grateful to Turkish companies for doing great things in such a short period of time. The construction of roads – some of the roads are ready now – railways and 33 tunnels is on the agenda. Several of them are already fully operational. The total length of the tunnels is more than 50 kilometers. A total of 84 bridges will be built, some of them have already been completed. The total length of the bridges is 12 kilometers. This is only the work that has been done and will be done as part of the first stage. Greater work will be done to fully restore Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur, and we will do it.
Today, our official ceremony was held in Jabrayil. In fact, there is no city of Jabrayil per se because right where we are sitting, there were buildings, people lived and worked. But during the Armenian occupation, Armenians destroyed all our cities and villages. These destroyed buildings are what is left of the city of Jabrayil. This destruction was not caused in the first Karabakh war, but by the Armenians during the years of occupation. They have so much hatred for the people of Azerbaijan that they razed all our buildings to the ground. The main goal behind this was that Azerbaijanis should never return to these lands. There would be no place to return. However, we have returned, we have returned by shedding blood, we have returned by fighting our way. And today, life is returning to this region, and we see this in the example of Aghali village. I was in Aghali village yesterday and visited a school there. Seventy children are going to that school. None of those kids had ever seen this place before. In fact, even the parents of many of them were born during the years of occupation, many of them were children when the occupation took place. But they are back. Because the land draws people to itself, the Motherland draws them, and we will all return. All former IDPs will return. We are doing our best for their return, working day and night, and our Turkish brothers are with us in this restoration and construction work.
It is yet another celebration of Turkiye-Azerbaijan unity and brotherhood today. A powerful country such as Turkiye is our brother, and it is an immense happiness for us. The second Karabakh war and the period after the war have strengthened this unity even more. Last year, we signed the Shusha Declaration in Shusha, and Turkiye and Azerbaijan officially became allies. We became allies in all areas, and this is a huge celebration for our people. At the same time, it is a serious message to the region and the world. Because Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is a very important factor in the region. It is a factor of peace and stability. But, at the same time, if someone still wants to act unfairly against us, of course, they should seriously consider this factor.
Thanks to the leadership of my dear brother, Turkiye has made great strides in recent years, becoming a global powerhouse. Stability and development in Turkiye are obvious. Today, there is a crisis in many countries of the world, countries are becoming ungovernable, economic difficulties and hardships are causing people's legitimate protest. Turkiye, on the other hand, is moving forward with confidence, implementing huge projects, having a say in the region, and acting as an important powerhouse on a global scale. Everyone should reckon with this and everyone should know that the cause of these successes is my brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There is great respect and love for Tayyib Bey in Azerbaijan, and every person who comes to Azerbaijan can see this.
After the second Karabakh war, Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and unity rose to an even higher level. You probably also see that the flags of Azerbaijan and Turkiye are flying together everywhere. These feelings come from the heart, this is the legacy of our ancestors, their legacy, and this is the demand of our time. The fact that my dear brother is here today with a large delegation and government representatives shows again that we are together, as always, and we will be together. Work in the region will, of course, continue to be carried out with the active participation and approval of Turkiye and Azerbaijan – be it political, economic, energy or transport initiatives. Our cooperation in all these fields has already gone beyond the regional framework and reached the international level.
My dear brother, I want to thank you once again for being here with us on this significant day. I want to wish happiness and peace to the people of fraternal Turkiye. Long live Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and brotherhood!
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Then the President of Turkiye made a statement.
Statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
- Dear Mr. President, my dear brother.
I am greeting you with the most sincere feelings and love.
First of all, I want to once again congratulate Azerbaijan on the Day of Restoration of Independence marked two days ago.
Over the course of one year, a second airport is being opened on the ancient Azerbaijani lands liberated from occupation. The opening of a second airport, which is indeed one of the most modern airports in the world, is something that not every country is capable of doing after such a difficult period. I look around and see the state Jabrayil has been brought to during the years of occupation. I asked my brother whether the OSCE or the European Union come here to see all this. No, they don't. Why don't they come? Because they will understand their guilt, they will see what the West has done. They will see the state of Jabrayil and other regions of Karabakh during the years of occupation they supported. Of course, they don't want to see that. In fact, they know perfectly well what they've done here.
But after we saw this – and we have talked about it – we must definitely sue and demand compensation. We must demand compensation, thus driving them into a corner. The world needs to get to know the West better. We all need to know.
These regions razed to the ground are now being revived under the leadership of my brother Ilham Aliyev with great efforts, an incredible desire for development that is rarely seen elsewhere in the world. A new Azerbaijan is being built with bridges, railways, roads and highways. We see and experience all this today. We talk about it firsthand and see it with our own eyes. Thanks to the joint actions taken here by the whole team, of course, led by my brother Ilham Aliyev, thanks to the work being done, Azerbaijan, as they say, is rising from the ashes in such a short time.
The international airport, the opening of which we celebrated in Zangilan today, is an indicator that Azerbaijan, which wrote the chronicle of heroism, is now writing the chronicle of the development of Karabakh. And the fact that Turkish companies are participating in this important project is a source of special pride for us.
We are also extremely pleased with the beginning of the return of our Azerbaijani brothers to the liberated lands. Inshallah, we see that the settlement of our Azerbaijani brothers as part of the Great Return process in the village of Aghali, which has been built in accordance with the Smart Village concept, has put an end to their longing for the Motherland. We have seen the village of Aghali and can no longer call it a village. Aghali is already developing as a modern city.
We saw the “Dost Agropark” right next to it. Very important steps have been taken in the field of agriculture, including livestock breeding. A year ago, when we participated in the groundbreaking ceremony, it was a completely different territory. Today we see how this territory is being revived thanks to very hard work in the field of agriculture. Almost 3,000 head of thoroughbred cattle are raised here. Work in this direction means the implementation of the Great Return project.
On the way here, my esteemed brother clarified some issues for me. For example, the most important problem here is water. As for water, thanks to the construction of a reservoir here, this problem will be eliminated in a short time. Thus, thanks to the development of agriculture in these fields, serious results will be achieved. We really see and believe in that.
We have seen that serious results can be achieved here in the field of agriculture in a short time as well. Harvested bundles of hay are evidence of that. We watched the event sitting on these bundles. Congratulations on this occasion as well. So they have already replaced the mines.
People here are trying to completely eliminate problems with the infrastructure. I think that in a year from now, we will see the road to Jabrayil in a completely different state, because serious steps are also being taken related to infrastructure issues. Steps have been taken here thanks to the joint work of “Cengiz” and “Kalyon” companies. A year after the previous visit, we saw that roads are being asphalted here, bridges are being built, steps are being taken related to the railway the foundation of which we laid today. The construction of the railway here is really of great importance in terms of demonstrating how fast the development is going on.
Turkiye is ready to be alongside Azerbaijan within the framework of the Karabakh development plan in all projects, including agriculture, green energy and smart cities. We have already taken steps based on solidarity. We are ready to implement more important and gigantic projects together by developing these projects.
Naturally, other important steps include the “Azerbaijani-Turkish International Forestry Training Center”, the “Smart Nursery” and the “Forest of Friendship” complex, the foundation of which we have laid in Jabrayil. It is also a symbol of our solidarity.
Dear media representatives, I believe that the fear and anxiety existing in some circles related to the Zangazur corridor, which will connect Nakhchivan with the western regions of Azerbaijan, are wide of the mark. In other words, after all these steps related to Karabakh such fear is irrelevant. Azerbaijan continues marching along its path with confident steps. Contributing to the cause of peace, tranquility and stability, this road will open trade and investment opportunities for all countries located along the East-West and Middle Corridor routes that run through the Caspian.
During the 44-day Patriotic War, Azerbaijan liberated its lands from occupation and regained its rights which had been violated for 30 years. Azerbaijan, taking sincere steps and making positive proposals in the negotiations with Armenia, stated that it sees its main goal in achieving a lasting peace, prosperity and stability. I always say that there are no losers in the cause of peace. Our only goal is to build a prosperous future for the region.
The processes of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turkiye and Armenia are moving forward, complementing each other. It is necessary to use the opened window of opportunity correctly.
Dear representatives of the media, we are glad that 2023, a year in which we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Republic, has been declared a “Year of Heydar Aliyev” in Azerbaijan. Together we will continue to keep the bright memory of our national leader Heydar Aliyev in our hearts.
Concluding my statement with these words, I want to express a special gratitude on behalf of my people for the hospitality shown to me personally and to my delegation.
I hope our unity will be eternal! Long live the Azerbaijani-Turkish brotherhood!