BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 23
We managed to get minefield maps from Armenia only for Aghdam district, there are hundreds of thousands of mines in other districts, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said receiving High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Angel Moratinos, Trend reports.
“When I visited Aghdam for the first time after the war, I felt both sadness and sorrow, and at the same time the feeling of decisiveness but to rebuild the city. You have probably been informed that in less than a month, we already launched the process of reconstruction. As you saw, everything has been destroyed. At the same time, there are 97,000 mines only in Aghdam district. We managed to get minefield maps from Armenia only for Aghdam district. There are hundreds of thousands of mines in other districts. They are refusing to give us the maps, and we already had more than 100 casualties," he said.
"After the war stopped, almost 30 people were killed, and more than 100 civilians were severely injured from land mines, anti-personnel mines and anti-tank mines, including two journalists who died in the beginning of this month,” the head of state said.
“As you know, they destroyed the cities not during the war, the first Karabakh war, but after it. They destroyed them systematically within almost 30 years after the first Karabakh war stopped, for several reasons. First, in order to take all these construction materials, because the houses were demolished and the stones were taken away. It was a kind of a robbery. And second, in order not to allow Azerbaijanis to return, because they thought that after this total devastation nobody would return. It is not only in the cities, but also in the villages. If you go in other directions, for example, to Jabrayil, Zangilan or Gubadli – you also visited Fuzuli, the situation is exactly the same. All villages, all cities are destroyed. We need to clear them of mines now and start reconstruction," the president said.
"We have already accumulated all our efforts and mobilized our resources. Big infrastructure projects have already started. Probably you have been informed about that. We will rebuild all our lands, and I think we will demonstrate a unique experience in the world – from this kind of devastation to development and decent living standards for people,” Azerbaijani president said.
“Thank you for visiting those areas. This is really a sign of your sympathy and support for the people who suffered from war and the long-lasting occupation,” the head of state said.