BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 26. On 26 June, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Istisu sanatorium in Kalbajar district.
Head of the President’s Administrative Services Department Ramin Guluzade informed the President of the work to be done at the sanatorium.
The “Istisu” Recreation and Treatment Complex, to be built on an area of 34 hectares, would be able to receive 300 people a day. Along with the health center, there are plans to build 10 cottages in the complex.
A sanatorium of the same name had been established around the “Istisu” spring, a famous mineral spring in the Istisu village of Kalbajar, back in 1928. The sanatorium, which was made unusable during the years of occupation, will be completely restored to its former glory.
President Ilham Aliyev has laid the foundation of the “Istisu” sanatorium.
The head of state then addressed the ceremony.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev: My visit to Kalbajar and Lachin districts is coming to an end. Like last year, this year ends here in Istisu settlement. Specific steps are already being taken to develop the Istisu settlement. First of all, there are plans to build a new water factory here. I laid the foundation of this water factory today. The famous Istisu water will be produced here again. It will be consumed in and exported from Azerbaijan. At the same time, what you see behind me is the ruins of the “Istisu” sanatorium. Last year, I reviewed these ruins here and ordered to build a new hotel and a treatment center here in the settlement of Istisu. Because during the Soviet era, thousands of people would come here to rest, restore their health and enjoy this beautiful nature.
These destructions are a manifestation of Armenian fascism. They have destroyed our buildings, mosques, schools, towns and villages. They have also destroyed this sanatorium. But after a while, a new beautiful hotel and treatment center will be established here. I think that this is very important because the “Istisu” sanatorium and the “Istisu” water were the symbol of this region and the natural wealth of Kalbajar. We, the owners of these lands, have regained the wealth that was once taken from us. We are rebuilding and will rebuild all our cities and villages from scratch, including those in Kalbajar and Lachin districts.
However, the main reason for my visit to these regions on 26 June is to be with the military today, on Armed Forces Day. Today, I celebrated Army Day in Kalbajar with the military, alongside the newly-established commando forces. I think it has a great symbolic meaning. From the point of view of military service, this region – the Kalbajar-Lachin region – is perhaps the most difficult region in terms of climate, natural terrain and nature. Therefore, as always, I had to be here with our Victorious Army today.
At the same time, I took this opportunity to get acquainted with the work done here over the past year. I saw how my instructions are being implemented and, in general, what additional steps should be taken for the development of Kalbajar and Lachin districts. Because the restoration of these districts is more difficult than other liberated regions. Because we have to cross the Murov pass to get here. It is difficult to get around during the winter months. The airport is not yet ready to send cargo by air. Therefore, work is underway to develop this region, these two districts. Of course, these natural conditions do not allow us the opportunity to expand this work. Nevertheless, all infrastructure projects are being successfully implemented. Four hydropower plants were commissioned last year. Five more hydropower plants will be commissioned this year. Those four are already operating and increasing our total energy capacity, thus serving to increase the volume of renewable energy.
Roads are under construction. More than 10 tunnels are being built in Kalbajar and Lachin districts. Just imagine – more than 10 tunnels. The length of the largest tunnel among them is about 12 kilometers. We are building this tunnel under Mount Murov so that it is easy to get here. This is necessary for both the civilian population and the military, as well as from a defense point of view. In total, more than 10 tunnels are being built, and the number of these tunnels may increase in the future. There are mountains and forests everywhere. In Karabakh district, more than 10 tunnels, nine viaducts and dozens of bridges are being built. Look at the large-scale work being done in Zangazur and Karabakh, and this work is only related to the road sector. These electricity and roads are of paramount importance. Without them, there can be no development.
I have also been informed about the implementation of other infrastructure projects. I think that the implementation of this large-scale work in such a short period of time, in a matter of a year and a half after the war, shows our strength, intentions and determination. It shows again the greatness of our people. We are doing it alone and this will continue to be the case.
The master plan of Kalbajar was submitted to me today. The company that developed this master plan also prepared the master plan of Zangilan. I said at the time that the city of Zangilan should be integrated into the surrounding nature. It should be a park city, and the same applies to Kalbajar. Kalbajar also has its own fascinating nature. The approval of the master plan of the city of Kalbajar, of course, includes this natural beauty. Detailed design will be carried out by the end of the year, and after that residential buildings, schools and hospitals will be built. Military units and public places are already in operation. I have ordered that an ashiq center and other necessary facilities be built in Kalbajar. This is only the master plan of Kalbajar. As for the development of Kalbajar district, we have a concept ready. Our concept of rural reconstruction is ready and we will implement it.
A new airport is under construction in Lachin district. The most difficult aspect of the construction of this airport is the lack of flat land in Lachin and Kalbajar districts. This is why we are cutting through the mountains to create suitable conditions for a runway. Therefore, earthworks will be continued next year. I do hope that an international airport will be opened in Lachin in 2024, after which travel will be more comfortable. I am sure that this region will be a tourist destination because the natural beauty available here isn’t available anywhere else. Natural beauty – rivers, springs, forests – we were deprived of all this wealth, the Armenians deprived our people. For 30 years, they had exploited our natural resources, cut down our trees, destroyed 60,000 hectares of trees and forests, poisoned our rivers, demolished our buildings and illegally exploited our gold deposits. They did everything illegally. Today, there is a lot of information about Armenian atrocities in the world, and we will expand this information.
Also today, we laid the foundation of the Museums of Occupation and Victory in Kalbajar. The Museums of Occupation and Victory must be built in all liberated cities on my instructions. Designs have already been approved for several cities. Today, this design was approved in Kalbajar and the foundation stone was laid.
In other words, we are doing a comprehensive job – infrastructure work, hospitals, schools, residential buildings, cultural facilities, the restoration of our mosques, museums, airports, railways, and tunnels. It is impossible to list all the work we have done in just a year and a half. This shows that we are the owners of these lands. These lands were in the hands of Armenians for 30 years. What did they leave behind? Ruins, cities and villages razed to the ground! I have said many times that every time I see these ruins, I say: It looks as if a savage tribe lived here. They have only done ugly things here – destroy, dismantle, burn. Where does all this hatred, all these inhumane actions come from? It is up to psychologists or psychiatrists to tell us that. Because a normal person does not engage in actions of this nature.
We, in turn, are a creative nation. We have come here and are building a new life in a completely destroyed 10,000 square kilometers. Manifestations of a new life are already visible. Extensive construction work is already underway in our liberated cities and villages. For example, I am told that now more than a thousand people live in Shusha and are engaged in construction and service work there. An industrial park is already being established in Aghdam. In Zangilan, in Aghali village, the first “smart village” project has been launched. So we are doing that, we are the owners of these lands. But everyone should know that this is very large-scale work.
At the same time, new positions and new posts are being established along the entire border with Armenia. Many roads leading to the Armenian border, which have never existed before, are being built so that we can reach our positions more easily.
The volume of all this work once again shows the greatness of our people I want to say again – it shows that we own these lands, we have returned here and we will live here forever. Karabakh is Azerbaijan!