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Azerbaijani president congratulates servicemen on Victory Day

Addressing servicemen in Shusha, Karabakh, Ilham Aliyev says Azerbaijani people 'united like a fist,’ stood behind army

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 09.11.2021
Azerbaijani president congratulates servicemen on Victory Day

ANKARA

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the Armed Forces and the entire nation Monday on the occasion of Victory Day, the first anniversary of the liberation of territories in the Karabakh region from nearly three decades of Armenian occupation.

Following a minute of silence on the Jidir Duzu plain in Shusha, the pearl of Karabakh, Aliyev wished Allah's mercy upon the souls of all "martyrs."

"All of Azerbaijan celebrates this glorious holiday. Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity and restored historical justice. We have fulfilled our historic mission by driving the enemy out of our native lands," he said.

He underlined that during the 44-day war, Azerbaijan won a "historic victory" by destroying all the fortifications and military positions Armenia had built in 30 years.

"This glorious holiday was presented to our people by you and tens of thousands of other servicemen like you," he added.

Aliyev emphasized that the Second Karabakh War is a "bright page" in the "glorious history" of the country, noting that the Azerbaijani nation had mobilized all its resources and fulfilled the mission.

He stressed that many years of peace talks and negotiations did not yield any results.

"The result was zero. On the contrary, the enemy became completely presumptuous. Whereas the Azerbaijani people and myself still had some hope for negotiations in the first years of occupation, those hopes were completely dashed in recent years."

Aliyev also asserted that Armenia and its supporters wanted to "perpetuate" the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands.

"They believed that if they were able to occupy our lands for about 30 years, they would continue to occupy them forever. But they made a mistake," he said.

Noting that his country created a strong military and technical capacity over the past 30 years, Aliyev said the most modern weapons, ammunition and equipment were brought to Azerbaijan, and this equipment was "used properly" by the military.

"The Second Karabakh war is a clear proof of this. The combat capability of our army has greatly increased. Regular military exercises were held, and the equipment, morale and combat capability of our army were greatly enhanced," he said, adding Azerbaijan also strengthened the economy and secured economic independence.

- World community

Aliyev said they have managed to convey the "realities" of Karabakh and "Armenian atrocities" related to the occupation to the world community.

"Soon after the first Karabakh War, we could not achieve this. Therefore, there was a distorted perception of the war in the world and of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a whole. We have eliminated it."

The president highlighted that they strived very hard to inform the world community and worked successfully in leading international organizations and to have decisions and resolutions adopted that would support Azerbaijan and "reflect the truth."

"All this work formed the legal basis for today's reality. Because today, after we have driven the enemy out of our lands, no one can criticize us. We have conducted a successful operation on our own lands. We have not violated international law. We have not violated the rules of warfare. We fought a just war and defeated the enemy on the battlefield," he said.

He went on to say that the upbringing of the younger generation was among the key factors behind the success of last year's war.

"We have brought up young people in the spirit of patriotism, paying great attention to educational work. We did not allow the history of the occupation to be forgotten. We have not forgotten Karabakh...Growing up in the spirit of patriotism, young people were able to sacrifice their lives and take our sacred lands from the enemy at the cost of their own lives. The combination of all these factors conditioned our victory," he said.

Aliyev said that despite all the international pressure and threats, the Azerbaijani people "united like a fist” and stood behind the army, enabling the country to fulfill the "historic and glorious" mission.

"Victory Day is our holiday. It is the holiday of victory. It is the holiday of courage. It is the holiday of justice. It is the holiday of national pride. It is the holiday of national dignity. We have restored our dignity. From now on, we will live forever as a victorious country and a victorious nation. From now on, we will live forever in Karabakh and Zangazur."

Azerbaijan-Armenia relations

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27 last year, with the Armenian army attacking civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day military conflict, also known as the Patriotic War, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.

The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

The cease-fire was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.

Prior to this, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory was under illegal occupation.

On Jan. 11 this year, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.

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