By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan marks on October 20 the liberation of its Zangilan region from Armenia's occupation in the 44-day war in 2020.
In a tweet posted on this occasion, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said: "On October 20, 2020, under the leadership of President, victorious Commander-in-Chief Mr Ilham Aliyev, the valiant Azerbaijani army raised our tricolor flag in Zangilan."
In late September in an interview with Russia's Natsionalnaya Oborona magazine, President Ilham Aliyev said that IDPs from Zangilan will be able to return to their native lands by late 2021 and 2022.
Azerbaijan has already presented the first pilot “smart village” project to be created on the liberated territories, as part of the National Action Plan for 2020-2022. Thus, the first project covers Zangilan’s Aghali I, II, III villages.
The project will be implemented mainly upon five components. These are the housing sector, production, social services, smart agriculture and alternative energy. First of all, 200 houses are planned to be built on the territory by using innovative building materials.
Engineering communications, heating systems in houses will also be based on smart technologies. The modern schools, kindergartens, polyclinics and e-government centers are planned to be built and the tourism infrastructure is planned to be created in these villages.
All residential buildings, social facilities, administrative buildings and public catering facilities, facilities processing and producing agricultural products will be provided with alternative energy sources.
The construction of an international airport is also underway in Zangilan.
On July 3, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan regions.
Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed the second war after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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