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In a video recorded in a car on the way to Kalbajar, President Ilham Aliyev says: Mehriban khanim is capturing the spectacular views of Kalbajar as we admire the beautiful nature of Azerbaijan along the way. I am sure that this will be very interesting for those watching this footage. The forests of Kalbajar are already visible. As we know, Kalbajar has a very charming nature - mountains, valleys, forests.
Look at these ruins. The Armenians destroyed these places when leaving. They have destroyed all the buildings, hydroelectric power stations. These destructions are further evidence of Armenian savagery.
Houses destroyed by Armenians. This is the territory of Zallar village.
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President Ilham Aliyev said: The road we are standing on is the Basarkechar-Kalbajar road built by Armenians. They built a second path to connect Armenia with Karabakh – in addition to the Lachin corridor. So they built this road to conducting settlement in Kalbajar and other areas and make their movement more comfortable. This road goes directly to Basarkechar district. Basarkechar district is called Vardenis in Armenia, but the real name of this district is Basarkechar, Goycha region, ancient Azerbaijani land. Basarkechar district was established in the territory of Armenia in 1930. The absolute majority of those living there were Azerbaijanis. Residents of Zod village were also Azerbaijanis. They were deported from Armenia. Only in June 1969, Armenia renamed Basarkechar district to Vardenis. I request that the name Basarkechar, not Vardenis, be restored to our general lexicon when reports are prepared from this region of Azerbaijan. All other ancient Azerbaijani settlements located in the territory of present-day Armenia should be called by their real names. For example, I have been following the media coverage of the tensions on the Nakhchivan-Armenian border. Our media write about what is happening in and around the Armenian village of Yeraskh. The name of this village is Arazdayan, and Azerbaijanis used to live there prior to deportation. Therefore, all ancient, i.e. historical names must be restored. These names are also available in various books. Therefore, I request that both journalists and the general public use real names of these places – not Vardenis but Basarkechar district, Basarkechar city.
We are using this road now. The Armenians also wanted to build a third road, a road to Jabrayil. I repeatedly expressed my views on this during the war. So the wanted to link Armenia with East Zangezur and Karabakh by three roads. The sole purpose of this was to pursue a policy of illegal settlement, which is a war crime. Unfortunately, international organizations dealing with this issue, first of all, the OSCE Minsk Group, remained indifferent to it, did not criticize Armenia, did not try to deter it from doing so, but simply acted as observers. They even visited here, saw it and did not object to the construction of a road to Jabrayil District. When this road was being built at the time, we expressed our objection. We raised our voice, we said that this should not be allowed and that illegal activities cannot be carried out in Azerbaijan. But no-one heard us. However, I have come here today. I am standing on this road. We will stand on this road forever. We will live in this region forever.
And these are beautiful Kalbajar mountains. There are mountains, rivers, forests on all sides – it is a paradise. And it will also become a paradise.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Gamishli village. We have created our energy infrastructure here. And these high-voltage lines were installed recently.
This asphalt road was also built by the Armenians from Basarkechar. They built an alternative route to the Lachin corridor to go to Kalbajar. And it is a great road. We are using this road now. When this road was under construction, the Azerbaijani side expressed a vehement protest. We were saying that this should not be allowed. This is a part of Armenians' settlement policy. But no-one listened to us. As a result, we have come here and raised our flag. We drove the enemy out of our lands and are using this road now. Armenians have been deprived of this road. So this road can also be considered military booty.
They wanted to build a third road across Jabrayil. And it was also left unfinished. Their dreams remained unfulfilled.
These are our houses, the houses of the Azerbaijanis destroyed by the Armenians. For 30 years, the Armenians had only exploited our lands, plundered natural resources, destroyed and demolished houses. And then he claimed that this is Armenian land. There has never been Armenian land here, and there never will be. This is the land of Azerbaijan. We, the Azerbaijanis, the owners of these lands, have returned. We have driven the enemy out of our lands, crushed the enemy army and returned here by showing heroism and self-sacrifice.
We have arrived at the site of the “Kalbajar-1” Hydroelectric Power Station.