Baku, August 13, AZERTAC
Popular American radio program “The John Batchelor Show” dedicated a series of programs to Azerbaijan. John Batchelor, the host of the program, interviewed Azerbaijan`s ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov who spoke about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and prosperity of Azerbaijan. The interview took place in Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan.
John Batchelor briefed the audience on Ganja, saying that once upon a time, all the caravans heading East or West passed through Ganja and stopped here. “Now, the new caravans, caravans of rail beds and pipelines and communication links, will pass through Ganja under construction, under imagination, through the Greater and Lesser Caucasus for the Black Sea or South Turkey, for the Mediterranean.”
Highlighting the history of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ambassador Elin Suleymanov said: “Unfortunately, more than two and a half decades by now we have Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which resulted in the occupation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories, some 20 percent of it, and displacement of about one million IDPs and refugees, internally displaced persons.”
The Ambassador highlighted how Azerbaijan tries to address the needs of its internally displaced population by providing all kinds of support and building housing.
“In fact, President Ilham Aliyev’s approach has been to provide for the all vulnerable population in Azerbaijan to make sure that their need is addressed so they do not feel separated,” the diplomat said.
In responses to John Batchelor`s remark that “everybody is getting richer, but Armenia”, Ambassador Elin Suleymanov said that “by having engaged in the stubborn policy of occupation Armenia has unfortunately been isolated from what otherwise would have been a very positive development.”
John Batchelor mentioned his conversation with Head of Terter District Executive Authority Mustagim Mammadov on the development of agriculture, needs of farmers and a farming community.
Touching upon the fact that Armenia cuts the water supply from the Sarsang Water Reservoir in summer and creates floods in winter, John Batchelor said: “The soil is very rich. However, they need water. Water for everything, especially for growing seeds. We saw fields that were parched. There were artesian wells, because the Armenian foes have made an environmental war of this. They’ve cut the water supply to the region.”
Commenting on this fact, Elin Suleymanov mentioned that Azerbaijani then Soviet Azerbaijani government built this water reservoir across Sarsang up in the mountains, which is supposed to supply water both to the villages populated by Armenians and Azerbaijanis. “In fact, by now the capacity of it should have been three hundred thousand hectares. But hundred eighty thousand hectares of Azerbaijani side of the line of the contact cannot be watered because the Armenian side would not let the water go to the river. And then, they flooded it in winters…”
John Batchelor described this fact as a terror and provocation. He said that the continuation of Armenia's aggressive policy not only damages regional peace and stability, but also isolates Armenia from the projects implemented in the region and damages the future of the Armenian people.
John Batchelor visited Azerbaijan from July 29 to August 4.
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