Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov: “Small town established in the newly liberated territory of Aghdara is the second return” – INTERVIEW 25.12.2017
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov: “Small town established in the newly liberated territory of Aghdara is the second return” – INTERVIEW
APA’s interview with the Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees an IDPs

- Please tell us about the works performed in the field of solution of problems of the refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan....
- After returning to power, great leader Heydar Aliyev, first of all, began to deal with the problem of refugees and IDPs. Unfortunately, there were many problems during the previous government, and refugees and IDPs were settled in chaotically and disorderly. There were no one to lead the process and direct them, since the system was shattered and there was no governance. The situation of people was bad, livelihood was difficult. After the collapse of the USSR, our economy was in a zero state, and the government had no funds for the provision of those people. Heydar Aliyev, first of all, provided the arrival of international humanitarian organizations to Azerbaijan. If Heydar Aliyev didn’t ensure the arrival of humanitarian organizations to Azerbaijan, there would have been humanitarian crisis and disaster in the country, and that would have been inevitable. We saw the result of the foresight of the great leader at that time. International organizations were invited to Azerbaijan, and about 80 humanitarian organizations arrived in the country.
Within a year, international humanitarian organizations started to implement a 70-80 million USD program and provide aid to our 1 million refugees and IDPs. First of all, humanitarian organizations from the UN, USA, Europe, Turkey and Iran arrived in Azerbaijan. We should not forget that. We did not have funds then. Imagine, at that time, international humanitarian organizations spent 80 million USD on refugees and IDPs within a year, whereas the Azerbaijani government could hardly allocate 500 thousand USD. Because, the government of Azerbaijan did not have funds.
The greatest contribution of the great leader was prevention of humanitarian crisis, disaster. Thus, Heydar Aliyev prevented the collapse of the state. This is no joke. 1 million people were left without food and supplies. Heydar Aliyev started to build a mechanism for a systematic solution of the problems of refugees and IDPs. Today President Ilham Aliyev has improved that mechanism to show the world that Azerbaijan has a model in this area. Today, the world-wide management system, mechanism of refugees and IDPs is the Azerbaijani brand. During the last report of the government, the President of Azerbaijan mentioned this in his speech. It is true. Look, when there were 1 million refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan had a population of 7 million, one in every 7 people was a refugee. Now, the number of refugees and IDPs has reached 1 million 200 thousand by the natural increase and the country's population is 10 million. There is a history of 25 years of fleeing and internally displacement and I've been working in this field for 20 years fulfilling the President's assignments in this area. During 25 years, there has never been a massive problem of refugees in Azerbaijan, and there has been no mass dissatisfaction. I do not say that there has been no problem, but the problems have been settled by the mechanism established by National Leader Heydar Aliyev and the fact that President Ilham Aliyev transformed this mechanism into the Azerbaijani brand.
Problems have been settled through both negotiation and works.
- What amount of funds has been spent to solve the problems of refugees and IDPs over the past period?
- 6.6 billion manat spent on solving social problems of refugees and IDPS in the past period.
3.1 billion manat of these funds were allocated from the state budget to the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs, 2.1 billion manat from the State Oil Fund for the construction of IDP settlements and 1.4 billion manat were allocated by the international humanitarian organizations. So far, 97 modern settlements have been built. And a big town has recently been opened in Terter. 53 thousand families and 265 thousand people have been relocated to 97 settlements. 10 thousand of the people relocated to these settlements during initial period were refugees, and all others were IDPs. 53 thousand apartments, 157 schools, 60 cultural facilities, 59 medical institutions, 61 kindergartens and 2 Olympic Complexes were built in those towns. About 95 percent of these works and allocated funds fall to the last 14 years. These works have been carried out during President Ilham Aliyev’s 14-year activity . Thus, the Azerbaijani brand has been established to manage refugees and IDPs. You see what happens in Europe. 500 million Europeans have become helpless against 1 million migrants. The elderly, the women, the children are being expelled from here to there from morning till evening. But how Azerbaijan, the country which is smaller in terms of territory and population, has overcome this problem alone? This problem has been overcome by the mechanism established by the Great Leader and by the fact that the President Ilham Aliyev has upgraded that mechanism into the brand of Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has elected Azerbaijan a member of the Executive Committee. We participate in the annual meetings of the Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees with the right to vote. The current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has worked as High Commissioner in High Commissioner for Refugees for 10 years. In his speech at the annual session of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees attended by delegates from 150-160 countries he mentioned that, the activities performed by the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan for his refugees and IDPs is an example for the world. It’s not us who say that. People visiting Azerbaijan today are amazed, again it’s not us who say that. All these performed activities have not been so easy. These activities have been done thanks to a great deal of hard work, hardships, knowledge and skill, and large-scale academic predictions. Of course, the First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva also joined these activities. Being the first lady, Mehriban Aliyeva rose to the highest level among the first ladies of the world. Being a woman herself, Mehriban Aliyeva introduced Azerbaijani women to the world. Just as the President of Azerbaijan introduced the Azerbaijani state and people to the world, Mehriban Aliyeva introduced the Azerbaijani women to the world. It is true that, Azerbaijan has previously been introduced to the world, but not on this scale.

First of all, Mehriban Aliyeva was born and grew up in the great intellectual family, has taken intelligence from there, but she has obtained great political skills and ability from the family of Heydar Aliyev, as well. Today Mehriban Aliyeva is engaged not only in solving the problems of refugees and IDPs, but also in the spheres of culture, education, medicine, sports and arts. Appointment of Mehriban Aliyeva as the first vice-president has been highly appreciated and approved by the Azerbaijani people and the entire world, and it has been emphasized that this appointment was very appropriate and right. Mehriban Aliyeva dedicated her first meeting to the relocation of IDPs residing in dangerous buildings. At that meeting, a task was given to relocate 4 thousand IDP families from dangerous buildings within a year. 5-6 months have passed since that process and 900 families have already been relocated from dangerous buildings.
Hopefully, by August of the next year, Mehriban Aliyeva’s assignment will be definitely provided, and the relocation of 4 thousand families will be completed. Of course, these works are under the direction of the president, since he also gives his instructions in this direction.
President Ilham Aliyev personally participated in the opening ceremony of the 33 of 97 settlements. Recently, a big town of 1170 families was commissioned in Tartar. Here's an interesting point.

- What is the point?
- Over the past 200 years, the Azerbaijani lands have been gradually occupied by Armenians. 20 percent of our lands have been occupied including Goycha, Zangazur and Karabakh (1988-1993). Even one square meter of the lands occupied by Armenians during 200 years had not been returned back. I'm telling you an interesting point for the first time. Part of the lands occupied over 200 years for the first time was returned by the efforts of the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev in the Horadiz operation, in December 1993. Many occupied villages of Fizuli region, thousands of hectares of land, including Jojug Marjanli village of Jabrayil region were liberated from occupation. For the first time, the process of returning the occupied territories of Azerbaijan started. This process was initiated by Heydar Aliyev, and the President Ilham Aliyev continued it in the April war in 2016;Lala tapa, Talysh heights were liberated. With Talysh heights 10 thousand hectares of lands were liberated. Liberation of Lala Tapa high hill facilitated restoration of the Jojug Marjanli village. Urgent orders were given for the restoration of the village; construction of 50 houses and schools along with construction of a mosque similar to Shusha was initiated. The village was rehabilitated by the President's order within two months. On the other hand, under the instruction of the President, visits by the ambassadors of all foreign countries and accredited media representatives in Azerbaijan to the village had previously been organized. Condition in which the Armenians left the village of Jojug Marjanli which they had captured for four months was demonstrated to the whole world within a day.
I would like to touch upon the issue of building a small town for 1170 families in Tartar. In fact, the new town was established in the liberated land of Aghdara. Formerly Armenians had renamed several villages in Aghdara and their historical names were restored. This town was built by the President's order in that territory of Aghdara. This is the second restoration facility, the second return; I am disclosing it for the first time. We said that the beginning of the Great Return is Jojug Marjanli. This return continues. A new town was built on the liberated lands of Aghdara. Armenians look at that town every day and their eyes are scattered.
The Armenians always say that they have been living in Nagorno-Karabakh for 5-6 centuries spreading this all over the world. And we say that Armenians are lying. Last year, under the instruction of the President, place of a famous monument was found. The monument was found in the village of Shikharkh named Margushavan by them. Armenians were moved from Maragha village of Iran to that village in 1828 on the basis of the Treaty of Turkmenchay. In 1978, those Armenians celebrated the 150th anniversary of their relocation from Maragha, and raised the monument "Maragha-150" in Shikharkh. In 1988, Armenians destroyed that monument. However, a part of the destroyed monument remained there. Last year it was accidentally discovered and reported to the President. The President instructed that, serious work should be performed in this direction, that, place should be renovated and should be shown to all foreign organizations visiting the country. With the instruction of the President, I sent a group to St. Petersburg; the former USSR archive is maintained there. The Treaty of Turkmenchay with more than 200 pages written in the Persian language was found in the archive. We translated that treaty into Azerbaijani, Russian and English. At the same time, we found the orders of the Tsar on the relocation of Armenians from Maragha to Shikharkh. The Tsar had issued 5-6 orders on that. We found Tsar's assignments to Griboyedov and Griboyedov's reports to Tsar. By Tsar's assignment, at that time, a Russian artist called Mashko was sent there and drew portraits describing the migration process from Maragha to Shikharkh. We copied those portraits. The president ordered to build all of these in Shikharkh. We renovated the surroundings of that monument and built stands. The visits of the ambassadors of foreign countries, foreign mass media accredited in Azerbaijan, and local media were organized to there. All diplomats personally witnessed the Armenian lie once again. We said: here you are, , Armenians say that they have been living in these lands for 5-6 centuries, however it was them who have erected this monument in connection with their relocation to Karabakh. Even in the archives of St. Petersburg, we found the inscription of a well-known Armenian historian. This Armenian historian wrote in 1930 that, Nagorno-Karabakh had originally been an ancient Azerbaijani land and Armenians had nothing to do with Nagorno-Karabakh. We also copied that inscription as an archive material. That was also shown to the ambassadors. Armenians are in panic. They have been lying for 25 years and this monument has once again proved that they are genetically diseased. Lying and coveting someone else’s lands are genetic diseases of Armenians. Since the era of the Great Leader, and then by President Ilham Aliyev, the occupied territories have been liberated. There is no doubt that, little time is left to go to Shusha and Khankandi. Armenia is collapsing, there is no people left in this country and the remaining are kept by force of arms. They bring Armenians from Syria and settle them in Nagorno-Karabakh but they will not stay there too and they will escape. These are what the Sarkisian regime gave to its people. We are pretty sure that those lands will gradually be liberated, regional centers, cities, towns 10 times, 20 times more beautiful than the previous ones will be built. Even 100 houses have been built in two liberated territories by the President’s order, relocation of the people to those houses is starting in few days. There are already 150 houses in Jojug Marjanli. It is very interesting that, along with the local population, residents of other regions also apply to the President to move to Jojug Marjanli. This is the attitude of a citizen of Azerbaijan to his/her native land, birthplace, Homeland. But international organizations asked us whether IDPs would return back or not?! Let them see. This is the attitude of the citizen of Azerbaijan to his/her land, state, and these are Armenians. Hopefully, those lands will be liberated and those people will return to those lands with dignity. I have spoken very little, only 1 percent of the activities performed by the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev over the past 25 years. It's possible to talk about activities performed by them for days.
- The New Year is coming soon. We would like to know your wishes...
- As a result of Mr. Ilham Aliyev’s and First Vice President Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva’s daily activity, 2017 is also being completed very successfully. Although there is a critical financial crisis in the world, we have already left this problem behind. Like in previous years, this year, the works done in the direction of both economic development and agriculture, solution of political conflicts, as well as Armenian-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are enough.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, for all of these efforts, for their hard works for the people, the nation, the state and the well-being of the Azerbaijani people, for introducing the country to the whole world in a short period of time, for providing Azerbaijan's full integration to the world, on behalf of more than a million refugees and IDPs, I sincerely congratulate President Ilham Aliyev and the First Vice President of the country Mehriban Aliyeva on the occasion of the New Year and the World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day, wish them good health, and success in their future work. At the same time, I congratulate our refugees and IDPs on the occasion of these holidays and wish them good health. They should be sure that the country's President and the First Vice President who brought the country to this state in a short time will soon release our occupied lands, will create a beauty built more beautifully than these settlements in those places and you, dignified refugees and IDPs, will return to your homeland with dignity.
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