President Ilham Aliyev has reviewed the Nushaba Park in Barda.
It was noted that Barda has a rich history and is considered one of the oldest regions of the country. It has played an important part in Azerbaijan’s political and cultural life. Barda is mentioned in the works of great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi. A statue of the main character of Nizami Ganjavi’s poem “Iskendername”, the ruler of Barda Nushaba, has been erected in her native town and a park named after her established in the Heydar Aliyev Avenue. The statue of female ruler Nushaba, who played a major part in the history of Barda and Azerbaijan as a whole, imparts special beauty to the territory.
It was indicated that the park used to be in poor condition before. After the renovation carried out by the Barda District Executive Authority, the area has changed beyond recognition. The park with a total area of 0.7 hectares has all the conditions for recreation. The Nushaba Park combines ancient and modern times. In the center of the park there is a statue of Nushaba. There are seven boards describing scenes from Nizami Ganjavi’s “Iskendername”. The boards depict Nushaba’s meeting with Iskender, her conversation with the elders, Iskender’s meeting with scholars, etc. The park has been landscaped, two springs built and a green area set up. There will also be a tea-house here. The park is equipped with a modern lighting system. Benches are made from materials resistant to all weather conditions. Archaeological materials found in Barda are also on display.
After reviewing the park, the President met with representatives of the Barda District Executive Authority.
Meeting with representatives of the district public after reviewing the park, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- My greetings to all of you. Hello. I am very glad to come to Barda again. I last came to Barda three years ago. I am here now and I can see many changes. I am very pleased. I am sure you are also happy.
Barda is becoming even more beautiful, is transforming into a flowerbed. Beautiful buildings, parks, recreation areas are constructed and repaired, green areas established. I am glad that things are going very well. The work is done with great love, taste and for people to live normally.
I have just visited the Park of Heroes. It covers a large area. There are further proposals for its extension. The Head of the Executive Authority has made proposals for new recreation areas to be set up and showed them on a tablet. I am very glad that Barda is undergoing such a rapid development, creation and landscaping.
And you are both witnessing and participating in these events.
Early last year we appointed a new Head of the Executive Authority to Barda. And you can see that extensive work began immediately. Of course, there is public policy, the state program on the socioeconomic development of districts. Everything goes in line with the program. But a lot also depends on local representatives. Where there is a business atmosphere, activity and love for the people, there is work.
Barda is one of the fastest growing districts in the country now. I am very happy because a lot is and will be done for the development of Barda. Barda is our historic and ancient city. It is present on ancient maps. This is a reality. Of course, we do our best for the development of each district. But special programs should be prepared for cities, districts and places that have a special place in the history of Azerbaijan.
On return to Baku, I will sign a new order on the socioeconomic development of Barda. It will highlight the historical significance of Barda and provide additional funds for a further development of the district.
There is development throughout Azerbaijan, in almost every district. In some places it is more rapid, in others it is slower, but there is development everywhere. I am happy that districts are in competition with each other. Of course, it is a sound and healthy competition. There are no losers in it. Everyone can only benefit. Each district will only benefit from that. People’s well-being is improving. Azerbaijan is a model country from both political and economic standpoints. We have to maintain this positive trend to resolve the current problems in the coming years.
Work on improving, landscaping and restoring the historical appearance of cities goes very fast. We can see this in Barda. At the same time, we must and we do implement all the infrastructure projects. Today I attended the opening of the Yevlakh-Barda highway. The construction of the Barda-Tartar highway is under way. The first phase has been completed. There is a better link with Baku now. The trunk road is being built and expanded. I gave the instructions for the entire road from Baku to the Georgian border to be four-lane. Initially it was two-lane, now we have expanded some parts of it. The four-lane road will be more comfortable. People can move safely.
Other infrastructure projects are implemented across the country, including Barda. Gasification, drinking water and sewage projects have begun. We set the task of completing a drinking water project by the end of next year, so that Barda could be supplied with drinking water 24 hours a day. Such a comprehensive approach leads to our success - infrastructure projects, improvement of public services, landscaping and overall economic development.
Barda’s economic indicators are also very good. The industry is growing, there is economic growth. The social infrastructure is updated. Schools are improving. And this approach is typical of Azerbaijan. We are renovating all the schools at the highest level – both interior and exterior. I want all our cities to be beautiful, clean and comfortable. We are achieving that.
People coming to Azerbaijan, not only to Baku but also to our districts, see development, beauty and our attitude to our culture and history. It is also very important. Because without that no success can be considered complete, it will be incomplete.
Our historical past, our culture are our national pillars. We are building a modern state on this foundation, we have built and strengthened the foundations of statehood. I am sure that an even better job will be done in the future. We have a lot of plans.
There are major plans on the development of Barda. Rural roads are also being repaired. There are further plans. We are implementing major programs on the restoration of rural roads on a national scale. We have to make sure that the well-being of our people improves every year and Azerbaijan develops.
Once again, my greetings to you and thank you for the work done.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, thank you for your kind words. You have said that this is my fifth visit to Barda as President. But, as you know, I repeatedly visited Barda before. I was alongside the great leader if not on all the 14 trips but on five or six, so I am familiar with the cultural center. Because all the activities were held there, it is a big and magnificent building. You are absolutely right: since Barda is the central city of Karabakh, it was decided to construct such a big building here.
I know that this palace of culture is now in a run down state, the Head of the Executive Authority has told me about this issue, there are specific proposals. I gave instructions to develop a project and submit it to me. We will restore this beautiful and grand culture center.
Residents: Thank you very much, we appreciate that.
President Ilham Aliyev: I am sure that it will be even more beautiful and magnificent than the diagnostic center and the Olympic center.
Residents: Thank you very much.
President Ilham Aliyev: You know about the great leader’s attitude to Barda better than me. He visited Barda every year and made a historic contribution to its development. Today, staying true to his policy, the state of Azerbaijan is pursuing its policy in all areas, including this field. Special attention is and will be paid to Barda. I repeat that this is Karabakh land, an ancient and historic city, the people of Barda have always been active and faithful in strengthening the Azerbaijani statehood and independence through their work. Today, Barda is playing a major part in the development of our country and its economic potential, it has a great potential.
In subsequent years Barda will make a great contribution, especially to non-oil sector development. We have major plans on agricultural development, the processing industry. Some of these plans have already been implemented, while the rest will be implemented in the future.
As for the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, I have no doubt that we will resolve this issue and Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. The reasons for my optimism are well known – Azerbaijan’s successful and rapid development. In every field – the economy, social problems, army building, strengthening of our international positions. So Azerbaijan and Armenia are incomparable today. We are moving forward, while they are going back, falling into decadence. Our economy is growing, while theirs is paralyzed. Our population is growing, while they are faced with a demographic catastrophe. There is practically no natural growth. At the same time, there is a mass exodus from the country. According to their own official statistics, in the first half of the year about 70,000-80,000 people left the country for good. Why? Because of distrust, there are no jobs, there is no justice, their aggressive policy is first hurting themselves. We hope that they will finally understand this and vacate our lands peacefully.
If they do, they will first do a historic service to their people. If they don’t, I am sure we will free our lands by all means, return to these lands and Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty will be restored.
Of course, you know that this injustice hurts all of us. Because it is a historical injustice, injustice from legal and political standpoints. Armenia has been disrupting all encouraging signs at all stages of our negotiations for 20 years. As soon as we get closer to an agreement, they either try to evade negotiations under various pretexts or refuse to negotiate altogether. So our refugees have been suffering for 20 years. This, of course, is a very difficult situation for our people. But at the same time there is history and responsibility to history. Nagorno-Karabakh is native Azerbaijani land, it is and will be recognized as such by the world community and will be fully integrated into the state of Azerbaijan as part of Azerbaijan. Therefore, we must try to resolve the conflict fully and secure Azerbaijan's sovereignty completely. Of course, Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan must be part of Azerbaijan, no other options are considered, and we must strive to achieve this option. Perhaps the talks will be continued for some time, I don’t rule that out. But at the end of these negotiations we will return to these lands.
Of course, I want to do this without shedding blood. But we must be and we are prepared for any scenario. Today we have not only a strong economy, but also a strong army. Our military potential, human potential and a sense of patriotism are also very strong. This morning, at a meeting with young people in Tartar, I said again that knowledge, education, professionalism are, of course, very important for young people, but patriotism is as important. Attachment and loyalty to the homeland – we have all this in our society, all these factors will determine our victory.
We have already beaten the Armenians in the international arena. Azerbaijan's election to the UN Security Council means Armenia’s defeat. In the Non-Aligned Movement, 120 countries not only support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but also see the resolution of the conflict only on the principle of territorial integrity. Our authority in all other international organizations is growing. Azerbaijan has a reputation in the region and we will continue to use our influence and opportunities to further isolate Armenia. They are already isolated from all international projects and we will continue this policy in the future. We must be even stronger. If we are, the issue will be resolved.
So while in the Karabakh region I would like to express my opinion on the matter again. I have repeatedly said this: Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijani land, will remain as such and the Azerbaijani flag will fly in Shusha and Khankandi.
Residents: Inshallah! Thanks to you.
President Ilham Aliyev: We are and will be trying to bring this day closer. I wish all the people of Barda further success and good health.
Residents: Thank you very much.
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Then a picture was taken.
Local resident and chairman of the intellectual society, Hasan Hasanov, thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the attention and care.
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Then a picture was taken.