BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 13
“As for the use of airspace, I should also note that we used this corridor without permission from Armenia. Everyone should know that we did not seek their permission. This is our right and this is an international corridor. There are rules in the world of aviation, i.e. an existing corridor can be used. We decided to use this to implement the air version of the Zangazur corridor. Planes flying to Nakhchivan save both time and fuel. But the main thing, of course, is not this. The main task was to open this corridor,” Azerbaijani president said.
“As you know, the Armenian side is very jealous of the Zangazur corridor expression. I don’t know why. But I can say that I am the author of this expression, even if this might not be very modest to say that. Why did I call it Zangazur? Because, first of all, this is Zangazur, it’s a historical name of it. It is a place name in Azerbaijan, just as Zangilan, Zangazur, the Zangi river, which the Armenians now call the Razdan. These are Azerbaijani toponyms. Secondly, we do not look at this corridor simply as a railway because both the railway and the highway will pass through this corridor. We plan to build power lines from there to Nakhchivan in the future. Because we have ambitious plans to export electricity. I have mentioned that the foundation of a 240-megawatt wind power plant will be laid tomorrow. Foreign investors have already officially applied to us for the construction of a new 240-megawatt solar power plant in Jabrayil district. In Khudafarin, in “Giz Galasi”, we can get 140 megawatts of electricity. In Kalbajar and Lachin, there is potential for about 10,000 megawatts, and we also have the opportunity to buy wind and energy. This is why we also intend to build power lines there. Then it is possible that gas pipelines will pass through there. One line can pass through Gafan and another through Mehri. A line can pass through Garakilsa, which they call Sisyan. Therefore, the Zangazur corridor should cover the entire Zangazur region. As you know, the Armenian side initially objected to this statement and to this as a whole. Even today, there are opinions in the Armenian political space that this corridor is unfavorable for Armenia,” the head of state said.
“We have consistently worked to resolve this issue. As you know, there is a working group at the level of Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. This is his main task. The working group visited the territory of Armenia and examined the possible routes of the highway. Because at the initial stage, the Armenian side was claiming that it was impossible to build a road there. However, we know that it is possible, and there was such a project in Soviet times. In Soviet times, Armenia objected to the project, saying that it was impossible. At that time, Heydar Aliyev was a member of the Politburo in Moscow and First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet government. It was on his instruction and insistence that the then leadership of Armenia, the first secretary and the head of the government, was forced to approve the project. How did they allow it? At that time, the State Planning Committee and other relevant agencies got acquainted with the project on the spot and made plans regarding it. The construction of a highway had already begun. You see, even then the Armenians did not want an automobile connection to be established between Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Even then, they protested under various pretexts. So there are opportunities. This working group has also confirmed this now. At the initial stage, Armenia seems to have agreed to the railway, but then they agreed to the construction of the highway. This has already been confirmed. Currently, the issue of the highway route is being discussed – where exactly it will pass. Our main condition is to have the shortest route and to be able to use this route in all seasons of the year. Because the weather in some places there is unfavorable, as well as the natural terrain. So this is the situation with the corridor,” President Ilham Aliyev said.
“I should also note that as a result of our efforts, this expression has already been included in the international lexicon. As you mentioned, even when foreign journalists ask me questions, they refer to the Zangazur corridor. Every time I hear it, I am very pleased. And every time this happens, I imagine the Armenian side hitting its head against the wall again. Because it has already been included in the international lexicon and, of course, will be implemented,” Azerbaijani president said.
“As you know, within the 3+3 format – although the first meeting was mainly of the nature of introduction and I am sure that there will be more substantive discussions at the second meeting, first of all, on the opening of communications. It is obvious that every country will benefit. Armenia simply has to give up its anti-Azerbaijani, Islamophobic and anti-Turkic qualities. Armenia can also benefit from this, of course,” the head of state said.