Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova took the floor at the 54th sitting in plenary of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States held in Samarkand on 28 October, the Press and Public Relations Department of Milli Majlis told APA.
Speaker Sahiba Gafarova welcomed the participants of the plenum on behalf of the Milli Majlis, recalled the celebration of the IPA’s 30th anniversary in Almaty in March this year and said that the linkage between the organisation members’ legislatures rested on mutual respect, mutual trust and good will. The joint activities within the Assembly foster bilateral and multilateral inter-parliamentary co-operation whilst they also help strengthen the overall bonds amongst our states, according to Mrs Gafarova.
As she was telling the audience of the current state of affairs in the region, the Chair of the Milli Majlis also mentioned the large-scale restoration and rebuilding work that Azerbaijan carries on in her lands freed from Armenian occupation. As President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan had said, Mrs Gafarova continued, restoration of Garabagh and Eastern Zangazur as well as the return of our former IDP to their native parts constitute our national idea and Azerbaijan is sparing no effort to make certain that this idea is fulfilled as soon as practicable. New towns and villages are built from scratch; large infrastructural projects are under way. The international airport of Zanghilan was commissioned a few days ago; it is the second of its kind in the de-occupied lands after the international airport of Fuzuli and had been built as rapidly. The numerous overseas visitors who went to Shusha, Agdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Zanghilan were able to eye-witness the scale of the destruction wreaked there during the former occupation period as well as the sweep of the restoration work current there, according to Mrs Gafarova.
Life is returning to those territories. The new village of Agali was created anew in Zanghilan and former IDPs went over to settle there in May this year as the first ever to make a come-back to the liberated lands. The first bell was rung at the village secondary school in September then after 29 years of forced silence.
The Chair of the Milli Majlis said as she continued with her speech that the mines planted by the Armenian side remained a big problem for the conduct of restoration. Mine explosions have either killed or maimed more than 260 Azerbaijani citizens in the two years since the end of the Garabagh War II. Armenia had been planting those mines both during the occupation period and in 2021, that is, after the war had been ended, Sahiba Gafarova emphasised. She also highlit yet another military provocation on Armenia’s part on 13 September this year when an attempt at mining the supply lines of the Azerbaijani Forces in the borderlands resulted in clashes on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and a heavy loss of life consequently.
Though it was Azerbaijan that had been a victim to occupation for thirty years, it was also Azerbaijan that offered Armenia a peace settlement, to be based on the five principles of the international law accepted universally, stressed the Chair of the Milli Majlis. The conversations held by the leaders and foreign ministers of the two states, the recent sittings of the border delimitation commission and the encounters planned for the nearest future give rise to certain optimism as to the peace process. It is time a peace accord was signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in light of the end to the Garabagh War II. According to Mrs Gafarova, she hopes that Armenia will demonstrate a political will, avoid delaying this process and will take tangible steps towards signing a peace treaty. Those steps include honouring all the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of November 2020 inclusive of allowing unhindered movements between mainland Azerbaijan and her Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic as well as a complete withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the Azerbaijani territory. Signing a peace treaty is setting foot on the sole way that leads to peace, stability and prosperity in the region, concluded Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova.