By Aisha Jabbarova
President Ilham Aliyev has said that liberation of Azerbaijan’s Armenian-occupied lands in the recent war has opened up new opportunities for the regional countries and major projects in the field of transport and communications are being discussed for the region.
Aliyev made the remarks while receiving newly-appointed Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Nabiyev in a video format on January 26.
Aliyev said Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate in this field and is contributing to the regional cooperation.
“Major transport projects have been launched in the liberated areas, and the construction of the Fuzuli Airport has begun. As I mentioned, a second airport will be built in Kalbajar or Lachin. We have started the construction of the Fuzuli-Shusha highway. At the same time, major projects in the field of transport and communications are being discussed for this region. Here, of course, the Horadiz-Zangilan railway, then the Zangilan-Nakhchivan railway, the Nakhchivan-Turkey railway projects are a priority, and so are other projects,” Aliyev said.
The president added that he has commissioned the designing the Horadiz-Aghband railway, adding that state-of-the-art technologies must be applied in these projects to ensure Azerbaijan’s leadership in this area.
Aliyev said that Azerbaijan began the establishment of the road infrastructure in the liberated lands this year, adding that this work will be done in a planned manner.
“The new road from Fuzuli to Shusha shows that we can actually do this work in the shortest possible time.”
Railway, air transport
He further spoke about important projects implemented in the field of railway transport in the country, reminding that over the past 17 years, more than 17,000 kilometres of roads have been built, including highways, rural roads and intercity roads.
He reminded that the Davos World Economic Forum has placed Azerbaijan in 11th place in the world for the efficiency of railways, in the 12th place for the efficiency of air transport and in 24-27th places for the quality of roads.
Among important transport projects, Aliyev reminded the Baku Circular Road, new railway stations in various cities across the country as well as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway built upon Azerbaijan’s initiative of Azerbaijan. Aliyev said that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has created a new transport map in the region and in Eurasia as a whole and “our partners are currently using this route to deliver their products in different directions”.
“We have actually connected the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway with the Lapis-Lazuli road and, of course, the diversified transport infrastructure has played a role here.”
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s air transport potential, the president said that Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku is a five-star airport that has been number one in the CIS for several years.
“Seven airports have been built in recent years. Six of them have international status and can accept all types of aircraft, including the largest cargo aircraft. As you know, the construction of a new international airport has begun in Fuzuli, and a second international airport will be built on the liberated lands – either in Lachin or Kalbajar,” he added.
Internet users 80 pct
Furthermore, Aliyev said that the government has solved all the major issues in the field of communications within the country.
“The number of Internet users is above 80 percent. Everyone knows that the Internet in Azerbaijan is free – there is no censorship and there are no restrictions.”
Use of technology during war
Speaking about the six-week war with Armenia, Aliyev said that technology helped Azerbaijan’s victory. He said that Azerbaijan’s launch of satellites into orbit gave great advantage to the country Both during the war and in the post-war period.
“It gave us an additional advantage to watch the actions of the enemy online during the Patriotic War and prevent their provocations. It is no coincidence that military experts around the world have branded the Patriotic War and the operations Azerbaijan carried out as a war of the 21st century because it was an innovation in terms of technological development.”
The president stressed that satellites are also very important for the government’s reconstruction plans in liberated lands,
At the same time, satellite data on the future development of agriculture, forest resources, water resources and the environmental situation are of particular importance. We do not depend on any country in this area.
Commenting on the outgoing Minister of Transport, Communication, and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade, Aliyev said that he resolved many important issues and ensured the development of Azerbaijan in this field. Guluzade’s replacement had to do with reforms going on in the country.
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