Baku, June 23, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of a revolver-type grenade launcher ammunition plant in the city of Shirvan. The plant of “Sharg” Production Union of the Ministry of Defense Industry will produce different types of ammunition for 40x46 mm MSGL 40 revolver-type grenade launcher.
Minister of Defense Industry Yavar Jamalov informed the head of state about the plant.
President Ilham Aliyev pressed the button to launch the plant, which has seven production units.
The annual production capacity of the plant in a single shift mode is 15,000 units of ammunition. After viewing the plant, the head of state met with a group of employees of the Ministry of Defense Industry and servicemen of the Ministry of Defense.
President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the meeting.
Speech of President, Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev
- Dear servicemen,
I would like to congratulate you and all the people of Azerbaijan on the upcoming Day of the Armed Forces and wish the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan continued success and victories.
On the eve of this wonderful holiday, we are gathered for the opening of new defense industry plants in the city of Shirvan. This is a momentous event. As you know, the Ministry of Defense Industry was established by my Order in December 2005 and has covered a great and successful road over these years. The establishment of this ministry at that time allowed us the opportunity to provide ourselves with a significant portion of military equipment, weaponry and ammunition, because we did not have particular opportunities in those years and had to rely on foreign producers. Sometimes we could acquire certain weapons and sometimes we couldn’t. This is why the main goal of establishing the Ministry of Defense Industry was to reduce our dependence on imports, create new jobs and provide the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan with modern technology and weapons. Today's achievements and realities show that we have managed to achieve our goal.
I should also note that we did not have major funds at that time. The bulk of the revenues started flowing into the state budget of Azerbaijan after 2006, when the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was commissioned. In 2005 our financial situation was somewhat limited. Despite this, fairly large funds were allocated for this purpose from the state budget, including the formation of this ministry, and the results are evident today. About 30 military plants operate in Azerbaijan, and the needs of our Armed Forces are largely met by military products manufactured in our country. Over these years, we have launched the production of more than 1,200 military items. It is safe to say that Azerbaijan has secured a worthy place on a global scale in this area. A powerful military industrial complex has been created in Azerbaijan and several military plants operate in the city of Shirvan. Some 1,200 people are provided with jobs at Shirvan enterprises alone.
The creation of a military industrial complex in any country involves several important factors. First of all, it requires funds. Then come new technologies. To acquire new technologies, international cooperation should also be at a high level. Personnel training is particularly important. In recent years, we have carried out consistent work in this direction, and Azerbaijan is already among the world's leading countries possessing their own military industrial complexes. This is confirmed by two international military exhibitions held in our country. Azerbaijan also exhibits its products in all leading international military shows. As a result, not only do we largely provide ourselves, we also have a wonderful export potential. In 2005, we could only think about this. We could not even imagine that Azerbaijan would be exporting military products. This is already a reality. Jobs are opened, the dependence on imports is reducing, new technologies are imported, industrial potential is strengthening, and our Armed Forces are provided with domestic products.
In the South Caucasus region, the city of Shirvan is second only to Baku from the point of view of the military industrial complex. This is a great support for the development of Shirvan. In recent years, we have taken very important steps related to the development of the city. We have resolved socioeconomic and infrastructure issues. Several years ago, a large power station Janub began operating in Shirvan. Its capacity is almost 800 megawatts. A large hospital, an Olympic center, schools, a culture center, other social and industrial facilities are now functioning in Shirvan. Work in this direction continues. Gasification in Shirvan is at the level of 100 per cent. Issues of drinking water are also being addressed. Thus, the creation of a military industrial complex in Shirvan is also another gift to the city.
On the eve of the Armed Forces Day, we can say with full confidence that the Azerbaijani army is among the strongest armies today. We are saying this and the Azerbaijani public knows and sees that. This is also confirmed by leading rating agencies. The Azerbaijani army is among top 50 strongest armies. Army building is always in the spotlight. Military expenditure constitutes the biggest item of our budget. This is natural because we live in a state of war. In recent years, we have done a great job to strengthen the material and technical infrastructure of our army. Today, we are at the highest level from the point of view of provision with both local and imported military equipment. The latest weapons, equipment, combat vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, drones, artillery systems, armored vehicles, tanks, guns, the most modern anti-aircraft installations – all this has greatly increased our military capacity. Consistent work will be carried out in this direction in the following years too. Our military budget is quite large. This is a priority issue for us because, I want to say again, we live in a state of war. If there were no war, we would probably not spend so much on that. However, the war is not over – only the first stage of it is. We must always be ready to liberate the occupied lands by military force.
Along with this, we have addressed the housing problem of our servicemen in recent years. In recent years, numerous military bases and towns have been put into operation, and the conditions of military service have significantly improved. Living conditions have improved as well. Following the decisions made, the state currently provides free housing to servicemen who have served impeccably for 20 years. I believe this is a very rare practice on a global scale. On the one hand, it reflects the social policy of the Azerbaijani state and, on the other, shows our attention to servicemen.
The fighting capacity and the patriotic spirit of our army are at a high level. This is clearly confirmed by the situation on the line of contact. Today we have the full advantage on the line of contact. We have achieved this advantage and are building it up. There have been many events reflecting our fighting capacity. Among them, I should highlight the battles in April last year. As a result of those battles, our servicemen repelled an act of military aggression on the part of Armenia, displayed great heroism and liberated a part of three districts from the invaders. The Azerbaijani flag flies in these places and on these lands today. As a result of the April battles, we are seeing our IDPs off to their native village today. The village of Jojug Marjanli was restored in just two months. The first stage of its restoration has been completed. Additional funds have been allocated to complete the second stage of reconstruction.
The April fighting is a glorious victory and a great success for us. It shows again that the Azerbaijani army is among the strongest armies today. It shows yet again that the Azerbaijani people will never reconcile themselves with the occupation. The return of the residents of Jojug Marjanli to this village shows that all our IDPs live with the dream of returning to their native towns and villages. Today, Jojug Marjanli is a symbol of our rebirth and victory. The Azerbaijani flag flies on the lands liberated from occupation in April last year. All patriotic citizens of Azerbaijan are happy about this. We have enough strength to give a worthy response to all Armenian provocations. A week ago, another armed provocation was carried out against us. The Azerbaijani army gave a worthy response to the enemy.
As for the ways to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the position of the Azerbaijani state is known to the public. We have repeatedly expressed this position. This conflict must be resolved within the territorial integrity of our country and on the basis of norms and principles of international law. There can be no other way. Nagorno-Karabakh is our historical land. Our people have lived on these lands for centuries. All place names and all historical monuments reflect the history of Azerbaijan.
At the same time, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized by the world community as an integral part of Azerbaijan. All leading international organizations have adopted resolutions on this issue, demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied lands. However, Armenia ignores and does not observe them. Unfortunately, no serious measures are being taken against Armenia. It is high time international sanctions were adopted against Armenia, because this country keeps the territory of another country under occupation in the 21st century, has committed genocide against another people, and has destroyed all historical monuments. A vivid example of that is the panorama of the ruined village of Jojug Marjanli. Such is the situation in all our occupied lands.
As for international law, it fully strengthens our position, as is the case with historical justice. The recent far-fetched "referendum" held in Nagorno-Karabakh was yet another collapse, yet another disgrace of separatists and invaders because this "referendum" was not recognized by any international organization, neighboring states, the European Union or countries co-chairing the Minsk Group. In other words, by not recognizing this far-fetched "referendum", all countries and international organizations confirmed once again that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijani land. The world community does not recognize and will not recognize this contrived separatist regime of the junta. Therefore, historical justice, international law and, of course, our political weight is immeasurably higher in comparison with Armenia. Our economic strength is many times greater than that of Armenia. So all these factors strengthen our position. Of course, the Azerbaijani state should further strengthen and is strengthening its position of principle. I want to say again: we live in a state of war. Our people will never accept this situation. We will never allow for the creation of a second fictitious Armenian state on our historical lands. We will restore our territorial integrity. Recent events and the strengthening of our country increase our opportunities of achieving this goal.
Of course, we should become even stronger to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, the force factor plays a leading role in the current world. Of course, international law is also important, as it creates a legal framework for resolving the conflict, but the force factor plays the key role. We see that international law is being violated in various parts of the world, it is being trampled on, everyone interprets it the way they want, and it is possible to change the real situation using the factor of force. This is not our choice, but we also live in real life and in a real world. In order to achieve the set goals, we must become even stronger, and work in this direction is ongoing.
This year Azerbaijan demonstrates an excellent pace of economic development. The results of the first five months are very positive. Our non-oil sector has increased by more than 2 per cent, our non-oil industry by almost 4 per cent, and exports have increased by more than 40 per cent. I am confident that next year's performance will be even more positive. We work on the basis of sound policies. Our domestic and foreign policies, initiatives related to the economic and social spheres are receiving approval and support both in the international arena and among our people. This is the main reason for the calm and stability in our country.
Today, on the eve of the Day of the Armed Forces, we celebrate an important event related to the development of our Armed Forces. The two industrial enterprises we have opened today will multiply our military power and Azerbaijan will successfully follow the path of creation and development.
I sincerely congratulate you again and wish all the servicemen of our Armed Forces continued success and victories.
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