By Orkhan Amashov
Presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has said that the grand reconstruction, which Azerbaijan has launched on its territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in last year's war, is peculiarly unique in several respects.
He made the remarks as part of his visit to Tartar region's liberated Talish and Sugovushan villages along with foreign ambassador and local reporters on October 16.
The grand reconstruction which Azerbaijan has launched is peculiarly unique in several respects. No country around the globe has made an attempt to carry out such a post-conflict reconstruction process over the past 25-30 years, he said.
Members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Baku and local journalists visited Talish and Sugovushan under Hajiyev's leadership.
The trip which was the seventh in less than a year did highlight some of the most pressing issues pertaining to the fate of Azerbaijan's newly liberated territories.
“During the first trips to the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, we saw the destruction inflicted on them by Armenia during the almost 30-year occupation; now we view the restoration work carried out by Azerbaijan within a short time,” Hajiyev said.
The scale of destruction and plundering is incredibly massive, as everything humanly conceivable was razed to the ground; therefore, there is a gargantuan task ahead in terms of revitalizing the shattered region, the presidential aide stressed.
The sheer massiveness of the mission could hardly be overestimated. The government has so far allocated $1.5 billion for rebuilding Karabakh in 2021, and the core part of the money will be used for the restoration of basic infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, etc), as well as cultural and historical monuments. It is also noteworthy that Azerbaijan aims to employ only local financial, administrative and management resources.
The grand vision is set out in four stages. Initially, governance and security issues must be settled, and then basic fundamentals of infrastructure are to be laid down. These steps will be followed by the solution of the issues related to social services as well as economic rebuilding and development.
The grand reconstruction is not merely impressive by virtue of its scale, but also due to the application of the most advanced technologies. Azerbaijan’s vision of Karabakh entails building smart cities and green infrastructure.
Commenting on this, Turkish ambassador Jahit (Cahit) Bagchi, who was amongst the visitors, paid special attention to the high-tech aspect of the process.
"In the near future, Karabakh will also be famous for its smart cities and agricultural products. Mulberry trees grow in the region. The silk of the highest quality in the world will be produced here," he added.
As for the normalization of Azerbaijani-Armenian relations, Hikmat Hajiyev said that the Azerbaijani president’s stance on the issue, as stated in the recent meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State, is abundantly clear.
Azerbaijan is ready for a comprehensive peace treaty, the delimitation and demarcation of borders and the solution of other problems, provided Armenia takes positive steps and both nations recognize each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.
The presidential aide that the opening of routes of communications in line with the trilateral statement, signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan on 10 November 2020, is currently discussed at the level of prime ministers of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia.
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