1news.az reports citing the official website for the President of Azerbaijan that the opening ceremony was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
During the familiarization with the new quarter, the president was informed that this is the 78th consecutive settlement built for refugees and IDPs.
After becoming acquainted with the school, the head of state met here with the displaced persons and the builders.
Congratulating the participants of the ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev said:
"I warmly welcome you and congratulate you. Today we are celebrating the opening of a new quarter, which was built in the Masazir settlement for the displaced persons. This is a great event. Once again I congratulate you on this wonderful event.
The quarter is built on the highest standards, there are beautiful apartments, a great school, a kindergarten, a medical center. The entire infrastructure has been created here- electric, gas, water lines, heating lines have been laid here and roads have been built. That is, this quarter has all the comforts.
The opening of this campus once again demonstrates the policy of Azerbaijan. But our policy is that all should be for the citizens of Azerbaijan. The settlement of problems of internally displaced persons has been the focus at all times. The first settlement was built on the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev.77 settlements have been built since that time. This is the 78th. There are also many innovations. There are high-rise buildings here. I am confident that in the coming years, this policy will continue successfully, since the policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev continues in all directions in Azerbaijan. Issues with the living conditions and employment of IDPs are being settled as well. Executive orders have been signed and programs adopted. These are very precise programs. Most importantly, these programs are implemented in a timely manner.
20,000 displaced persons improved their living conditions last year. At least, 20,000 IDPs will also have their living conditions improved this year. This work will be held in the next years. The state successfully implements its policy in this direction. Nearly AZN 600m is envisaged this year from all sources for the resolution of problems of IDPs. Over AZN 300m of this amount will be used for construction of new settlements. We marked the opening of a similar quarter in Mushfigabad last year. And now we are here. New settlements will also be built in Mingechevir, Ganja and other cities.
Azerbaijani state is consistently settling all issues in this direction. As you know, our compatriots living in the hardest states, in tent campuses were certainly in the center of attention on the first stage. We managed to implement this program successfully. The last tent campus was eliminated in 2007. After that it was announced that the issues of IDPs living in Finnish settlements, students’ campuses, schools, kindergartens will be settled and main work in this direction has been done. Finnish settlements will be fully terminated this year and the process of movement of IDPs from students’ campuses to such settlements has been launched. The citizens placed in the students’ campus of the Baku state university, State Oil Academy, including you, are already moving to such wonderful settlements.
I want to repeat that this is the manifestation of state policy. Azerbaijan implements a very strong public policy and Azerbaijani citizens are the focus of this work. Displaced persons are people who suffered more than others. You have been living in very hard conditions for many years following the Armenian aggression. Some IDPs still live in hard conditions. We know this and are settling all these issues consistently. Certainly, we do it within the scope of our abilities.
In the first years of our financial opportunities were not all that great. But, despite this, the first transfers from the State Oil Fund as directed by the great leader Heydar Aliyev were used for solving the problems of internally displaced persons. At that time, at a time when our financial resources were limited, the first large funds were used for these purposes. Today, our economic and financial capabilities have increased dramatically. Therefore, volume of the work has also expanded. I have to repeat that over AZN 600m will be used for these purposes this year alone. This is a large amount.
20 000 persons will be provided with new apartments this year and nearly 3,500 displaced persons will live in this settlement. In fact, this is a small town.
All this work shows that the problems of displaced people are constantly in the spotlight. To this day, 140,000 internally displaced persons were resettled to new houses and apartments. That implies a huge work, just like construction of a new city. We also need to know that Azerbaijan is a country with the biggest number of refugees and displaced persons in the world. Azerbaijan's population is growing. But at the same time the number of internally displaced persons is increasing too. In 1992 their number was one million people, while now there are 1.1 million, and perhaps 1.2 million internally displaced persons.
Of course, this is an issue that requires more funds. Bu, I have to repeat that the social policy in Azerbaijan is very successful and huge funds are provided primarily to solve the problems of internally displaced persons. This policy will continue in the coming years. Perhaps, even greater amounts will be allocated in the coming years. But we also need to know that last year the State Oil Fund allocated the largest amount for all periods - AZN300m. In previous years AZN100 million, 200 million were allocated from the Oil Fund, last year the allocated funds made AZN300 million and then again AZN300 million. At the same time, in the early years the Reserve Fund of the President allocated AZN14 million for immediate action. It is possible that within a year the Reserve Fund will again allocate funds for these issues.
Today Azerbaijan's economy is developing so fast that we do not have big financial problems. But we solve the problems facing the country. Of course, among them the issue of improving the living conditions of IDPs deserves the biggest attention. But there are other issues - infrastructure projects, landscaping, creative work, reconstruction. Our state budget is growing, but so are costs. We have still much to do to successfully address these issues.
But today, while visiting one apartment, I noted, and I want to say it again that this is a temporary place of residence. After the liberation of our lands from the occupiers, we will construct buildings and houses that will be more beautiful than these ones. In particular, we will create even better conditions in Zangilan and other regions that became the victims of aggression. The process of placement and resettlement of internally displaced persons shows that we have these opportunities. If we were able to accommodate 140,000 people and 20,000 persons per year are provided with new apartments, it means that after the liberation of our lands from occupation in the near future we will restore all the cities and villages, build houses, create the conditions. I'm sure of it and I have no doubt about that. The growing financial and economic power of Azerbaijan will make it possible.
As for the resolution of the main issue - the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan's position is unambiguous. This position is based both on historical justice and international law. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored unconditionally.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a native Azerbaijani land. All occupied lands are our historical lands. Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. There are many factors that give reason to say that. Among them are the legal, political, historical, and economic factors.
All international organizations recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. No country recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent entity. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored. This is indicated in all resolutions of international organizations. That is, these are the main legal and political conditions for the solution.
At the same time, the balance of power in the region has changed in our favor. Today, Azerbaijan is the fastest growing country in the world. Armenia experiences decline every year. Our population is growing – there are already 9.3 million people in Azerbaijan. And the population of Armenia, even according to official statistics, drops by almost 100,000 people a year. So when I say that I have every confidence that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity, I rely on these factors. But at the same time, I and all of us really want the issue to be resolved quickly. We really want an immediate action to be taken to put an end to occupation. Unfortunately, the double standards and double approach existing in the world do not allow solving the problem.
In the first phase of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we can say there was a parity in military and economic spheres. But we were able to change the parity. Today the gap is very big. And with our might growing, new messages are coming from the international organizations and countries involved in this issue which say that the problem must be resolved by peaceful means, and no other way is possible.
Armenia occupied our land by military means. Then, to eliminate the effects of the occupation the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions. None of them has ever been fulfilled. How come that they adopt a resolution on any other issue and start its immediate execution in a day and when it comes to us, the issue has not been settled for already 20 years and we just hear that the issue must be settled peacefully. Why? Because there are double standards. We have the full right and international law recognizes our ability to restore our territorial integrity by all means. The UN Charter has provisions that any country has the right to use every opportunity to defend itself. The Helsinki Final Act puts the principle of territorial integrity above any other principle, including the principle of self-determination of peoples. However, injustice, double standards, the Armenian lobby and its supporters in the world, as well as passive intermediaries do not create the necessary conditions for a solution. But, despite this, we'll continue our political and diplomatic efforts in this direction. We will further strengthen our activities in international organizations. At the same time, more serious steps will be taken in army building. We will use every opportunity to keep Armenia in the current isolation in economic and regional issues. I am confident that as a result of these complex measures and with the growing power of the country, we will restore our territorial integrity.
Once again I want to say that I have no doubt that we will return to our native land, including Zangilan, Karabakh, Shusha, and the flag of Azerbaijan will fly over all our cities. I do not doubt it. Simply, we want to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and will soon bring you back to your native land, construct wonderful buildings, houses and lay towns and cities for you there.
Dear friends, once again I congratulate you on this wonderful event. At the same time an office building for the executive power of Zangilan region has been built here. Ali Hasanov told me that the executive power did not have a separate administrative building. Though temporary, but single center has been created here. All structures of the region will also be seated here. It will be possible to live well here.
Congratulations once again”.