By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that Hadrut settlement and Khojavand region liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020 will turn into a very popular tourist center.
He made the remarks at a meeting held with members of Khojavand region's public as part of his visit to the region on October 9.
“It will be a very popular tourist center. Because the tourism potential of Khojavand region is fairly large. It is a very rich place in terms of nature – it has mountains, forests, rivers – a place like a paradise. Historical sites, bridges, as well as the famous Azikh cave and the Taghlar cave – these, are located here,” the president said.
The president invited Azerbaijani and foreign investors to build tourist centers and hotels in these places.
“I would like to invite Azerbaijani and foreign investors to build tourist centers and hotels in these places, which are so rich in historical sites. Because there are only a handful of such beautiful places in the world as Khojavand and Hadrut settlement. Pristine nature is almost intact here,” he added.
Aliyev noted that the main direction of the development of Hadrut settlement and Khojavand region will be agriculture- crop production, animal husbandry, and viticulture. He added that there are very conducive conditions for viticulture there.
Speaking about the restoration of the settlement, the president briefed on the master plan of Hadrut.
“The master plan of Hadrut, its initial version has been submitted to me. I had many objections, so I did not bring that plan today. It needs to be elaborated further. But I believe that our architects and builders will prepare a new plan in the next month. It will be submitted and we will approve it,” he said.
Aliyev stressed that the restoration of Hadrut has begun, and the foundation of the highway has been laid already. He noted that the four-lane Hadrut-Jabrayil and Hadrut-Fuzuli highways, as well as the Hadrut substation, will be built.
The president described as a historic event the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of a mosque in Hadrut.
“I have laid the foundation of the mosque too, and I think it is a historic event. Because in Soviet time, most of the people living in Hadrut were Armenians. They, of course, would not allow the construction of a mosque here. We all know that it was impossible to build a mosque in the Soviet era as a whole-in the era of atheism,” he stated.
Noting that other infrastructure projects will be implemented in the settlement, the president noted that “we are determined to turn Hadrut into an international center of culture and tourism”.
Speaking about the operation to liberate Hadrut from Armenia's occupation, Aliyev underlined that it was one of the most important ones during the Second Karabakh War.
“This operation was of great importance both from a military and strategic point of view. The successful completion of this operation allowed us the opportunity to achieve our goal of liberating Karabakh,” Aliyev emphasized.
He noted that Hadrut’s location in this region is of special importance from a strategic point of view, adding that its liberation opened up new opportunities for future plans.
“The significance of the Hadrut operation is that the Armenian leadership and the Armenian army did not expect that we would go to Hadrut after Jabrayil. They thought that we would go in the direction of Fuzuli. … From a military point of view, the liberation of Hadrut required a lot of self-sacrifice and professionalism. By conducting this operation, we once again showed our strength to Armenia and the whole world,” the president added.
The president recalled that there was a lot of false information in the Armenian media about the Hadrut operation.
“The Armenian leadership and the Armenian Defence Ministry were stating that Hadrut was still in the hands of the Armenians. They claimed that they had allegedly resorted to another tactical retreat and had already returned to Hadrut by removing Azerbaijani soldiers from Hadrut,” he said.
The president noted that he ordered the Azerbaijani flag to be raised in Hadrut to put an end to these Armenian lies.
“After that, after Azerbaijani soldiers and officers had raised our state flag in Hadrut and reported to me, the Armenian official propaganda admitted that Hadrut was under the control of the Azerbaijani army,” Aliyev stated.
Aliyev underlined that all these shows that the Armenian propaganda was based on lies during the occupation, during the war and in the post-war period. He underlined that Armenians of the world have created the false impression that the Armenian people have allegedly lived on these lands for centuries.
“The Armenians were resettled to Hadrut from Iran in the 19th century. Everyone knows that. There were no Armenians here prior to that. They have falsified history and are still falsifying the present-day realities,” the president said.
On October 9, the president has visited the Hadrut settlement and Khojavand region's Tugh village.
He laid a foundation stone for a new mosque in Hadrut settlement and for the Hadrut junction substation. The president also viewed the progress of construction work on the Hadrut-Jabrayil-Shukurbayli, the Tugh-Hadrut, and the Fuzuli-Hadrut highways. He was also informed of the Fuzuli-Hadrut highway project.
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