President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Angel Moratinos.
Miguel Angel Moratinos said:
– You can’t even imagine how happy I am, how delighted I am to be here again and I was extremely glad to have an opportunity to see one of your great achievements yesterday. I think I had a very moving day.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, you are a witness to everything.
Miguel Angel Moratinos: In my statement in Aghdam, in my final statement, I said that I have some mixed feelings. First of all, I witnessed something I had never seen in my entire political and professional life. Nothing is left. Everything is completely ruined. How can one witness such a situation in the 21st century? Secondly, I think that my visit to Aghdam went well, because your special representative showed me the plan for the future. This is a great vision, Mr. President. It is a great pleasure to see the roads, the busy people and the positive dynamics.
Azerbaijan has always developed and this development will grow further. I have always considered myself a friend of Azerbaijan, and this time I am proud to be with you and to try to support your efforts, those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture in my new capacity as the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.
Thank you very much for receiving me and for the opportunity to review the work we can do together.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
– Thank you very much for visiting us and also for visiting the liberated territories. You have talked about your feelings. I think everybody have the same feelings. When I visited Aghdam for the first time after the war, I felt both sadness and sorrow, and at the same time the feeling of decisiveness but to rebuild the city. You have probably been informed that in less than a month, we already launched the process of reconstruction. As you saw, everything has been destroyed. At the same time, there are 97,000 mines only in Aghdam district. We managed to get minefield maps from Armenia only for Aghdam district. There are hundreds of thousands of mines in other districts. They are refusing to give us the maps, and we already had more than 100 casualties. After the war stopped, almost 30 people were killed, and more than 100 civilians were severely injured from land mines, anti-personnel mines and anti-tank mines, including two journalists who died in the beginning of this month.
As you know, they destroyed the cities not during the war, the first Karabakh war, but after it. They destroyed it systematically within almost 30 years after the first Karabakh war stopped, for several reasons. First, in order to take all these construction materials, because the houses were demolished and the stones were taken away. It was a kind of a robbery. And second, in order not to allow Azerbaijanis to return, because they thought that after this total devastation nobody would return. It is not only in the cities, but also in the villages. If you go in other directions, for example, to Jabrayil, Zangilan or Gubadli – you also visited Fuzuli, the situation is exactly the same. All villages, all cities are destroyed. We need to clear them of mines now and start reconstruction in parallel. We have already accumulated all our efforts and mobilized our resources. Big infrastructure projects have already started. Probably you have been informed about that. We will rebuild all our lands, and I think we will demonstrate a unique experience in the world – from this kind of devastation to development and decent living standards for people.
Thank you for visiting those areas. This is really a sign of your sympathy and support for the people who suffered from war and the long-lasting occupation.