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Azerbaijan takes lead in changing S Caucasus into world's safest region [ANALYSIS]

11 May 2024 17:33 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan takes lead in changing S Caucasus into world's safest region [ANALYSIS]
Fatima Latifova
Fatima Latifova
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The end of the Garabagh conflict was a real turning point for the entire Caucasus region. The start of the Great Return to the liberated territories already indicates great confidence and prospects for the future.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva participated in the inauguration of the first residential complex in Shusha and met the first residents who moved to the city.

Note that, at one time Shusha and other Garabagh regions were once under Armenian occupation. As a result of the greatest challenge of the glorious Azerbaijani army and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, residents of Shusha are returning to their homeland today.

In 2020, the foundation of a new era was laid in the history of Azerbaijan. Addressing the Azerbaijani nation on November 8 of the same year, President Ilham Aliyev said that Shusha would revive again, and regain its former beauty and grandeur. Today, restoration and repair works are being carried out in Shusha, roads are being built, and many infrastructure projects are being implemented. It should be noted that 2.2 billion manats were allocated for these purposes in the 2021 state budget.

Undoubtedly, Azerbaijanis who have been separated from their homeland for many years are also happy to return to Garabagh and express their gratitude to the president and Azerbaijanəs triumphant army.

It should be noted that the works carried out in Garabagh are not only related to restoration and construction. The ancient lands of Azerbaijan attract the interest of many countries, where many projects in the fields of green energy, education, agriculture, and culture are presented and implemented.

Thus, to create electric power infrastructure in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan in 2021, a supply agreement in the field of mutual cooperation was signed between "Azerenerji" OJSC and the Italian company "Ansaldo Energia". According to the contract, the Italian company will provide equipment for four 110 kilovolt substations to be built in Agdam, Fuzuli, Kalbajar and Gubadli regions.

According to the memorandum of "Cultural and Scientific Cooperation" signed between the "GOSB" technology park, which supports 130 technology companies operating in Turkiye, and the Azerbaijan Innovation Agency, a High Technologies Park is being created in Garabagh.

The support shown by Western countries, especially Great Britain, to the demining issue in Garabagh is also undeniable.

As a result of nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan is facing huge challenges such as mines and explosive remnants of war. Azerbaijan is among the countries most polluted by mines in the world. There are 1.5 million mines and explosive remnants in the country. It covers 12 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan. This poses a serious risk to civilians and hinders socio-economic development.

It should be noted that from the end of the war in 2020 to April 27 of this year, 212 cases of mine explosions occurred, as a result of which 356 people, including children and women, became victims of these explosions. These incidents show that there is an urgent need to clear the areas of mines and provide assistance to the victims. In total, the number of mine victims in Azerbaijan during the last 30 years is 3435.

The hard work and effort of Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) employees in this field are very important. It should be remembered that last year, ANAMA, the European Union, and UNDP launched a demining project to help save lives and enable internally displaced persons to return home. The project covered 20 villages and had 33,604 families as direct beneficiaries. The project also established the first female teams in Azerbaijan to carry out demining operations, which is traditionally considered a male occupation.

Eighteen wholehearted and strong Azerbaijani female deminers received their accreditation certificates successfully. Through the theoretical and practical training, the teams of female deminers acquired the foundational knowledge, necessary skills, and the required code of conduct to recognize, detect, and mark mines and unexplosive ordnance, and to provide first aid.

The training series was conducted by the international experts of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) non-governmental organization.

All these processes show that Garabagh is the center of attention of the countries of the world in addition to Azerbaijan.

The processes listed above are a very small part of the steps towards reconstruction and development. Undoubtedly, today Azerbaijan takes a leading position in the South Caucasus with its peace-oriented steps, projects, and global cooperation.

Baku also strives to completely end the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, as well as to promote the peace process that only promises the safest future for the South Caucasus.

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