Azerbaijani President: I think we will will be able to return people to Shusha within a year, a maximum of one and a half years

Ilham Aliyev, Mehriban Aliyeva

© APA | Ilham Aliyev, Mehriban Aliyeva

# 24 September 2021 14:59 (UTC +04:00)

"We are moving forward at a rapid pace, and the main goal is to return the former refugees and displaced persons as soon as possible. They have waited too long. I have already spoken about this, but I want to say again that our main obstacle, our main rival is time," said President Ilham Aliyev in his interview to editor-in-chief of Russian influential “Natsionalnaya oborona” magazine, well-known military expert Igor Korotchenko, APA reports.

"Physically, we simply cannot do it all in one year or in a year and a half. Because, as you saw yourself, there is nothing there. Everywhere. I drove hundreds of kilometers from Baku to Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli and Lachin – everything is in ruins. Hundreds of kilometers in the other direction – from the direction of Kalbajar and Lachin – everything lies in ruins. And the scale of the destruction is such that it is simply amazing. It is a territory equal in size to that of Lebanon. Just imagine – we will have to build, equip an area equal to the territory of a country that is not the smallest in the world – Lebanon. This is just to give you an idea. And there is nothing there – no roads, no light, no gas, no water. Nothing. Absolutely nothing! Everything is destroyed, and it wasn’t destroyed during the first war, it was destroyed during the occupation. They took dismantled all buildings brick by brick with one goal – we should never go back. Another goal was that they used it, these stones to sell them. They even sold tombstones. They erased the inscriptions on the graves of Azerbaijanis and sold them in Armenia. They made tombstones from them for their own dead. The scale of such vandalism is simply off scale. If they also dug up the dead, pulled out their gold teeth, melted down and sold them. Who would ever think of that? This is who we were faced with and who we defeated. I said: we have not only restored territorial integrity, we have defeated a huge evil. I do hope that this evil never raises its head again. In any case, we will not allow this to its head.

Therefore, large-scale work is currently under way, primarily electrification. By the end of the year, we will fully provide all the liberated territories with energy. Hydroelectric power stations with a capacity of 20 megawatts have already been restored in Lachin, Kalbajar and Sugovushan. They are already providing energy. Several substations have already been built. Roads are being built in all directions. Victory Road to Shusha, then the second main highway Fuzuli-Shusha, which will be shorter. Roads to the Armenian border in Zangilan, Gubadli, the tunnel from Goygol to Kalbajar. I was there recently and inspected the progress of work. Plus the road from Fuzuli to Aghdam, from Fuzuli to Hadrut, to Jabrayil. In other words, there is a connection between these cities. We have allocated $1.3 billion this year for the program on the restoration of the liberated territories alone, of which, I would say, that about $400 million has not been allocated yet, because we comply with all the bidding, planning and design procedures. The city of Agdam has already started to be rebuilt, the master plan has been approved. Shusha city – the master plan has been approved. In Shusha, I recently laid a new housing complex for 25 houses. I think they will be built within a year, a maximum of one and a half years, and we will already be able to return people to Shusha," the head of the state noted.