By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov has said the non-use of resources of the Azerbaijani territories under Armenian occupation impedes the overall development of Azerbaijan's economy. He also said that the expulsion of around one million Azerbaijanis from their homes due to the occupation presents a social burden to the country.
Ahmadov made the remarks at a conference on identifying priority areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UN for the next five years on January 16.
"A significant part of the resources of the country is directed towards meeting the needs of internally displaced persons. The Azerbaijani government is carrying out important work to this end, spending major amounts of funds on it," the official said.
Ahmadov added that in the context of ongoing injustice against Azerbaijan, international organizations must demonstrate a tougher position against Armenia’s policy of aggression.
Industries located in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding seven districts played an important role in the overall economy of the country prior to the war in the early 1990s. The food, construction and light industry which were highly developed in this region, were positively influenced by the availability of agriculture, raw materials and natural resources.
The agriculture sector in Nagorno-Karabakh accounted for 14,3 percent of grain, 31,5 percent of grapevine, 14,5 percent of meat, 17,1 percent of milk, 19,3 percent of wool and 17 percent of silkworm farms produced in Azerbaijan prior to the war in the early 1990s.
Dairy, wine making and light industry were the most developed industrial sectors in the occupied territories and played an important role in providing the local population with food supplies. In terms of industry and development rates, Nagorno-Karabakh ranked fourth among the other economic hubs of Azerbaijan.
The industrial potential of the occupied territories had been concentrated mainly in the above mentioned region. Over 100 of the industrial and construction sites were located there.
Some 25,000 km of paved and country roads, 160 bridges with a total length of 3,984 m, electric lines with a total length of 14,500 km, 2,500 electrical transformers, 2,300 km of water pipes, 2,000 km of gas pipes, 240 km of sewage lines, 160 water basins, more than 34 gas distribution stations and phone stations for 35,000 numbers were destroyed in the area.
Presently, there are four airports, two railway systems and one gas pipeline located in the now occupied territories.
Over 300 agricultural plants, collective grapevine and wine farms equipped with up-to-date technology, the Aghdam horse collective farm breeding the well-known Karabakh pedigree horses, hundreds of collective farms, over 7,000 hydraulic pumps, 40 pumping stations, 30 irrigation systems, 1,200 km of inter-economic irrigation channels were destroyed in the occupied territories and over 127.7 thousand hectares fertile lands still remain there.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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