President Ilham Aliyev: "Azerbaijan has started this restoration work on its own"
- 04 February 2021
"After the war ended, I ordered the Ministry of Defense to set up additional sapper battalions, and they have been created. I am regularly updated about the demining work on the liberated lands, and so far about 80-90 percent of the work has been done by the sappers of the Ministry of Defense. From now on, however, the agency you lead will have to take over most of the work," said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev as he received in a video format Vugar Suleymanov due to his appointment as Chairman of the Board of the Agency for Mine Action of the Republic of Azerbaijan, APA reports.
"Of course, the sappers of the Ministry of Defense will continue to do their work because the scope of work is quite large. However, the Mine Action Agency must be able to make a significant contribution to our overall work. The technical capacity of the previous agency was very poor and the number of personnel was low. If we had left this task to them, no-one knows how many years it would take. We don't have time. We must return the former IDPs to their native lands as soon as possible. But everyone should know that the first priority is demining. Damage assessment, implementation of infrastructure projects, construction of houses, creation of jobs – if this is not done, how can people go and live in those lands? There must be housing, conditions, water, electricity, roads, schools, hospitals there. This is large-scale work. The loathsome enemy has destroyed everything in the occupied and liberated lands. As a matter of fact, they even destroyed and burned the houses they lived in, cut down trees, especially in Kalbajar and Lachin districts. They loaded some of the trees onto trucks and took them to Armenia for sale. The rest of the trees were simply cut down so that they do not get to us. They set fire to the houses they had not built – the houses inhabited by the Azerbaijanis that they had occupied – removed the roofs, window frames and toilets. These disgraceful images have been extensively covered in foreign media. See what they have taken along! Toilets. Even the air conditioners and radiators in the former district authority building in Shusha, where the disgusting junta had set up an office, were taken away in this turmoil. We know exactly how they escaped. They probably broke running records in doing so. But despite this turmoil, they probably tied a radiator or an air conditioner to their backs and fled to Armenia. In other words, all our infrastructure and buildings have been destroyed. Therefore, everyone must understand the scale of this work, and Azerbaijan has started this restoration work on its own. We started it without waiting for help from anyone, and everything is going according to plan. Therefore, you must work closely with the Ministry of Defense, schedule the work to be done together with them, which areas need to be cleared first. In other words, there is a methodology, there is international methodology, there are satellite images," noted the head of state.