Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of a new building of Nakhchivan Teachers Institute16 may 2018, 11:30
First of all, I want to congratulate you on the opening of a new building of the Teachers Institute. It is a great building with excellent conditions. From the architectural point of view, it further adorns the city of Nakhchivan. The construction of this building is evidence that Nakhchivan is successfully and rapidly developing. A lot of improvement and creative work has been in the autonomous republic in recent years. The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is a rapidly developing republic in terms of all economic indicators. Over the past 15 years, the country's gross domestic product has grown almost tenfold. This, in my opinion, is a record figure on a global scale. I sincerely congratulate the leaders and all residents of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on all these successes.
The city of Nakhchivan and all other cities are improving. Tremendous creative and landscaping work is under way. The trees planted along the road earlier have now grown and create a beautiful panorama. Buildings are repaired and new beautiful homes are built. In a word, the successful development of Nakhchivan is what every citizen of Azerbaijan wants because Nakhchivan is our historical region, ancient Azerbaijani land, a historic place. The historical monuments available here testify to the talent of the Azerbaijani people. They show that Azerbaijani people have lived and worked in this region for centuries.
Nakhchivan is strategically located. It plays a special role in the security and development of our country. The successful development of Nakhchivan is associated with great leader Heydar Aliyev. The great leader always paid great attention to Nakhchivan also in Soviet years. A lot of work was done for the development of the republic at the time. In the early 1990s, in the most difficult period for Nakhchivan, the great leader together with the people of Nakhchivan managed to save Nakhchivan of great troubles despite the very difficult conditions. We all remember those years too well and know that our insidious enemies intended to occupy Nakhchivan as well. They organized armed attacks on Nakhchivan. But the people of Nakhchivan rallied around the great leader and gave the enemy a worthy rebuff.
Fateful decisions for Nakhchivan and the whole of Azerbaijan were resolved in those years. Under the leadership of the great leader, Nakhchivan managed to overcome those difficult years with dignity. Nakhchivan has played a huge role in the independence of our country. It was in those years that great leader Heydar Aliyev approved the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as the official flag in Nakhchivan, and a petition was raised with the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan to adopt this flag as the state flag. But the leadership of Azerbaijan did not allow this to happen at that time.
Nakhchivan was called the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic at the time. On the suggestion of the great leader, the words "Soviet socialist" were excluded from this name. This happened in Soviet times. A referendum on the preservation of the Soviet Union was not held in Nakhchivan. All this required great courage and testified to the fact that the great leader always lived with the dream of independence. The great leader and the people of Nakhchivan played a huge role in the state independence of Azerbaijan.
In the following period, the great leader, already as President of Azerbaijan, always paid great attention to Nakhchivan and took care of it. He often came to Nakhchivan. Speaking at an official ceremony dedicated to the 95th birthday anniversary of the great leader recently, I also touched upon the Nakhchivan period of his activity. I noted that the policy of Heydar Aliyev lives on and continues to be pursued in Azerbaijan. It must live and will live forever.
We see excellent results of this policy everywhere in our country, including the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. I want to say again: the work done here deserves a very high assessment, it requires great work and great love. I can see that all this work is done with great love and great taste, so that good conditions are available for the people and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic successfully develops further.
Remaining true to the political course of the great leader, I continue his path in all areas, including in the attention and care for Nakhchivan. This is my 14th visit to Nakhchivan as President. As President, I first came to Nakhchivan exactly 14 years ago – in May 2004. For all these 14 years, I have always kept Nakhchivan in my focus, and we are doing everything necessary for the successful development of the republic.
First of all, a lot has been done in relation to security issues in Nakhchivan. You live and work here face to face with the enemy. First of all, of course, the successful development of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic requires security measures to be in the forefront. This should be a priority issue. This is how we perceive this. A lot has been done to strengthen the military potential of Nakhchivan. The Nakhchivan army, which is an integral part of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, is equipped with the most modern weaponry and hardware. In recent years, we have significantly reinforced the Azerbaijani army. It is possible to say that all or most types of the modern hardware acquired is sent to Nakhchivan. All modern equipment is sent to Nakhchivan due to its location and terrain. The Nakhchivani army today has a great capacity and can prevent any enemy provocation and also carry out a successful counter-offensive operation. The modern weaponry deployed in Nakhchivan, including long-range missiles, are capable of destroying any enemy military target. So security is fully provided. This issue is always in the spotlight.
Of course, this enables successful development of Nakhchivan. Large-scale infrastructure projects have been implemented here. Issues related to the gasification of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic were resolved more than 10 years ago. Gasification is at 100 per cent. We have so far managed to achieve overall gasification of Azerbaijan at the level of about 93-94 per cent. It will reach 95 per cent by the end of this year. In the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, meanwhile, gasification has been at the level of 100 per cent for more than 10 years.
We have resolved issues related to electricity. I remember visiting my father in the early 1990s and living in the dark, with candles. Great leader Heydar Aliyev worked in his office under the light of a kerosene lamp. We remember those days very well. Today, all problems related to electricity have been resolved. Eight power plants have been built in recent years. After the commissioning of a 36-megawatt Ordubad hydroelectric power station, which is currently under construction, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic will fully meet its energy needs by means of renewable energy. This will probably be the only such case on a global scale.
Nakhchivan can export electricity today. I am glad that, among other things, a solar power station has been built. Hydro power stations are built and a powerful electricity generation capacity created to will contribute to the growing industrial potential of Nakhchivan. The population of Nakhchivan is increasing and industrial production will continue to grow. Therefore, we must always pay attention to this issue.
Drinking water projects are being successfully implemented. We officially opened a drinking water project in the city of Sharur today. Prior to that, drinking water projects were completed in the cities of Nakhchivan, Shahbuz and Julfa. Work is under way in other cities, and problems of drinking water and sewage will be resolved in other cities as well.
Roads are being laid. Currently, the Julfa-Ordubad highway is under construction. This is the last project among inter-city roads. Prior to that, all inter-city roads – Nakhchivan-Sadarak, Nakhchivan-Shahbuz, Nakhchivan-Julfa – were completely repaired, built and commissioned.
So all this infrastructure already creates a powerful potential for Nakhchivan. The solution of social issues, the construction of hospitals, schools, Olympic centers and centers of culture – all this work carried out in recent years increases the potential of the republic, of course. The Nakhchivan city hospital, the maternity center, the diagnostic center, the central district hospitals have been built in all the cities. So great creative work is being done.
Of course, a lot of attention is being paid to the development of the real sector of the economy. Industrial enterprises are being created, export opportunities are growing, and agriculture is developing successfully. Nakhchivan provides itself with grain. The recent decisions will give an even stronger impetus to the development of agriculture. In connection with plant growing, there are plans to build pivot irrigation systems. In connection with animal husbandry, an artificial insemination center is being set up in order to further increase the potential.
As you know, Azerbaijan is seriously engaged in the creation of the North-South transport corridor. All work related to this project on the territory of Azerbaijan has already been completed. We have allocated large financial resources for the completion of this project. I do hope that the project will be fully commissioned in the next three years. This is our plan at least. In this case, Nakhchivan will be linked to the rest of Azerbaijan by rail, thus getting rid of the blockade.
In other words, the implementation of this important work shows once again that Nakhchivan has great potential. I want to say again that the work done here deserves the highest appreciation.
I should also note that Nakhchivan will showcase itself in the entire Muslim world this year because Nakhchivan bears the honorary title of "the Capital of Islamic Culture" this year. A few years ago, this title was awarded to Baku, and we sent a request to ISESCO to award this title to another Azerbaijani city, the city of Nakhchivan, as it deserves it. I know that official events will be held in connection with this wonderful occasion. Numerous guests will come here and will be convinced again that there is such a beautiful place in the world. It is a wonderful region with picturesque nature, beautiful climate, air, spectacular views, buildings and, most importantly, great people. This region is called Nakhchivan.
My greetings again, and I congratulate you on all your successes. Thank you.
The Chinese Xinhua agency has published President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev’s interview.
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