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In strategic gateway city of Lachin, Azerbaijani president spurns Armenian claims

23 September 2022 09:59 (UTC+04:00)
In strategic gateway city of Lachin, Azerbaijani president spurns Armenian claims

By Fuad Muxtar-Aqbabali

  • Azerbaijani president visits strategic gateway city of Lachin
  • Azerbaijani tricolor flag again flies in liberated city
  • New infrastructure projects kicked off in Lachin
  • No one can accuse Azerbaijan without border delimitation
  • Azerbaijan in control of large swathes of land stretching from Murov Mountain to the Araz River

Ahead of the upcoming second anniversary of the start of the Second Karabakh War, President Ilham Aliyev traveled to the strategic gateway city of Lachin on the border with Armenia to raise the nation’s tricolor flag and once again demonstrate his staunch belief and determination to rebuild and reconstruct the destroyed Karabakh.

The city and two remaining villages around it came under Baku’s control on August 25, 2022, after a brand new road linking Xankandi to Armenia was commissioned.

The trip to the geo-strategically and geo-politically critical city on the heels of the September 12-13 clashes with the Armenian army is a testimony to the sweeping objectives of the Azerbaijani leader.

Clad in military fatigues and standing under the gently flying tricolor flag, Ilham Aliyev repudiated as groundless Armenia’s accusations that the Azerbaijani troops advanced into its territory during the recent cross-border clashes.

“After the second Karabakh war ended, we have accessed our borders. If Armenia wants to accuse us of entering their territory, there is no basis for it. First, if the border was where they said it was, they should have established the border, built border lines there, established communications and carried out engineering work. They were under the impression that all of Karabakh and Zangazur would remain for them, which is why they did not do anything on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief said in a sharp and decisive way.

Ilham Aliyev’s serrated and momentous response reverberated in the ears of both the Armenian leadership and those who rushed from overseas to show solidarity with the Pashinyan team.

“However, if the enemy commits provocations against us, we will give it a fitting rebuff. Armenia should think carefully today. No one can speak to us in the language of ultimatums. They should not count on anyone. I want to say again that no one and nothing can stop us. We are protecting and have restored our territorial integrity. We have been able to show the whole world what we are capable of doing. We have liberated our land by force, and we are proud of that. All the people of Azerbaijan, all Azerbaijanis of the world are proud of this. We are proud of our martyrs, our Army, and our soldiers, and our tricolor flag flying here today is a symbol of our Victory.”

On September 13, the Azerbaijani army responded and put the enemy back in place yet again. No one's call, no statements or initiatives can stop us. We are on our own land and we are protecting our own land, the president said.

Our positions along the border allow us the opportunity to anticipate any Armenian provocation and take necessary measures. We are in favorable positions on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border all the way from Mount Murov to the Araz River. These positions give us both a military advantage and the possibility of visual control over a large area, including control over important communication lines, and we are already based in these areas, Ilham Aliyev added.

Armenia and its supporters clearly heard these messages as they were a wake-up call for Yerevan that the triumphant army with absolute control of the archenemy’s strategic roads is and will unhesitatingly deal a heavy blow to complete the mission.

The Azerbaijani leader also rapped Armenia for delaying the border delimitation process and for not fulfilling some items of the November 10, 2020 peace statement. Armenia had not even proposed a route of a transport corridor that would link mainland Azerbaijan with Naxcivan, the president said, bashing at official Yerevan for dragging out time again.

Azerbaijan has proposed five principles for the signing of a peace treaty with Armenia and they accepted them, “but we do not see it in practice,” Ilham Aliyev said, censuring it for “a stalling tactic”.

In conformity with the act of capitulation, signed by Armenia on November 10, 2020, the Armenian armed forces should have withdrawn from Karabakh. They have not fully withdrawn yet. Armenia was supposed to provide a corridor that would ensure a connection between mainland Azerbaijan and Naxcivan.

“So far not only have they failed to provide the corridor, but also the route of the corridor has not been communicated to us. No specific work has been done. We have now built the railway to Zangilan. We built the highway to Zangilan. At the end of next year, we will bring both the railway and the highway to the border with Armenia. However, nothing is being done on the territory of Armenia, and it seems they are unwilling to do anything. They are still delaying time,” the president said.

On his way to Lachin city, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev familiarized himself with the construction of a 2,400-meter-long entrance tunnel to the Lachin International Airport on the 35th kilometer of the Kalbajar-Lachin highway.

Loyal to the strategy of rebuilding the destroyed Karabakh and providing residents with all cutting-edge infrastructure, the president laid the foundation of the 110/35/10 kV Lachin junction substation to be built by Azerenergy company.

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