How will Azerbaijan restore the "Hiroshima of the Caucasus"?

Baku, November 30, AZERTAC

It was almost 30 years that the negotiations to resolve the Karabakh conflict did not achieve its purpose because of periodic Armenian provocations. In late September, however, with the successful military operations of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces, which resulted in Armenia's capitulation at the end, Azerbaijan was able to implement the UN Security Council Resolutions (822, 853, 874, 884) through liberating its territories under occupation. Undoubtedly, Azerbaijan's overwhelming military advantage induced the Armenian government to come to the negotiation table and finalize its illegal military presence within a neighboring sovereign state's boundary. So that on November 10, 2020, a major step has been taken towards the Karabakh conflict with the signing of a trilateral statement by Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. 

 While the senior officials of Armenia were publicly declaring their defeat, Azerbaijanis were celebrating the victory on the streets of the capital Baku. For the Azerbaijani side, the trilateral agreement was the continuation of the victory on the battlefield in diplomacy. Namely, the agreement comprised the unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the occupied territories within a definite schedule, the return of all refugees, and the deployment of the Russian peacekeepers in the several points of Karabakh. Furthermore, the cardinal element of the statement is that there was no word about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

 After the active phase of the operations, when the footages were released from the liberated territories, it became apparent that Armenians vandalized massive cities during the occupation. The Armenian barbarism in the residential areas was accompanied by the destruction of the Azykh and Taghlar caves, the "Qara kopek" and "Uzarlik" hill kurgans, the first human settlements in the occupied territories and they were used for military purposes. The current state of the demolished cities evoked the images from Hiroshima. According to the latest data, 63 out of 67 mosques in Karabakh were totally destroyed, and 4 of them are majorly damaged. As a result of the Armenian aggression, the city of Aghdam became a ghost town, which was home to 150.000 Azerbaijanis before the war. According to several organizations, in these years, the overall loss of the Azerbaijani economy is estimated as hundreds of billions of USD. 

The barbarism acts were continued even after the trilateral statement signed on November 10. Ahead of the handover, some Armenians leaving Kalbajar set their houses on fire. Besides, schools, cultural centers, and other civilian objects are being burned; consequently, the public infrastructure is significantly damaged. Similar incidents have been observed in many parts of Karabakh. Recently, President Ilham Aliyev stated that foreign experts will be invited for the up-to-date calculations of the total damage resulting from the occupation.

By the total destruction of the settlements, Armenians aimed to prevent Azerbaijanis from a possible return. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan defeated Armenia both on the battlefield and in the diplomatic arena. After the Armenian side's capitulation, President Ilham Aliyev clearly pointed out that Azerbaijan will mobilize its economic potential to rebuild and revive Karabakh soon. As the first step, it was reported that Azerbaijan Railways CJSC will be allocated AZN 5 million ($2.9M) from the state reserve fund for the design and construction of the Barda-Aghdam railway with a total length of 45 km. Afterwards , another major step was taken by the initiation of the construction of the new Fuzuli-Shusha highway. This highway will pass through liberated Fuzuli, Khojavand, and Khojaly districts, starting from the village of Ahmadbayli in Fuzuli district. Moreover, it will cover over 20 settlements in the regions, including Fuzuli and Shusha.

It will undoubtedly be a long path since the Armenians almost erased all the occupied Azerbaijani cities from the planet earth. However, the speed of the new projects is enabling the rapid development of other infrastructure. The suitability of the region to a plethora of economic activities will orient the capital flow. All these factors indicate that in the short run, as President Ilham Aliyev said, "Karabakh will be reborn. It will be revived and reinvigorated. It will become a real paradise."  

Nijat Muradzada

Bachelor student of Istanbul University

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