Ilham Aliyev inaugurated Zahmatabad-Baydili-Khirmandali-Aliabad highway in Bilasuvar

18 september 2018, 13:35

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the inauguration of Zahmatabad-Baydili-Khirmandali-Aliabad highway in Bilasuvar district.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Saleh Mammadov informed the head of state of the technical characteristics of the road.

The length of the highway, which links four settlements with a total population of more than 20,000 people, is 15.4km.

President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the highway.

The head of state then met with representatives of the district’s general public.

President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the meeting.

Speech of President Ilham Aliyev

- It is a wonderful day in Bilasuvar district today, as we celebrate the opening of a new country road. I sincerely congratulate you on this occasion. This road links several villages. The 15km road meets the highest standards. These villages are home to 16,000 people. This road will bring people comfort.

The road infrastructure is being successfully upgraded in Bilasuvar district. Most of the local roads in the district have been overhauled and restored in recent years. I am told that about 80 per cent of villages in Bilasuvar district are already provided with modern roads. On the way here today, from the highway to the city of Bilasuvar, up until this road, I paid attention to its quality, and I did not like it at all. I know that you also have an opinion about this road. Therefore, I immediately issued an instruction. An appropriate order will be signed shortly, initial funds will be allocated from the President's Contingency Fund and the road will be completely overhauled by the spring months of next year at the latest. It is 14 km in length. The road is not of good quality, is not usable, and it is also narrow. I gave issued the instruction to build a broader road so that entrance to the city of Bilasuvar is beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

Work related to road construction is progressing well in our country. We celebrated the opening of a 24 km road linking several villages in Masalli district earlier today, and now we are doing the same in Bilasuvar. So we are celebrating the opening of country roads with a total length of about 40 kilometers in just one day.

Road construction in our country has gained momentum. This year’s State Investment Program provides for the repairs of at least 600 country roads. These are being reconstructed. This includes the process of building main roads in line with the highest standards.

We have also celebrated the opening of the Baku-Astara highway of national importance today. It is a wonderful road. I can say that it meets the highest world standards, is very comfortable and safe. I should also note that this road reduces the distance from Baku to Astara by 40 kilometers because the road bed has been changed. So people can now travel more comfortably. In addition, the old road used to pass through the city of Bilasuvar, which, of course, created a certain inconvenience for the townspeople. I remember traveling along this road one day in 2000 and meeting my close friend. On the eve of the 2000 parliamentary election and after the Summer Olympic Games, he was standing on the road and greeting me. I did not know this man. I stopped the car and we met. We have been meeting every time I travel to Bilasuvar ever since. And now the highway has been built. The roads of Bilasuvar district are being overhauled.

The attention being paid to Bilasuvar district has always been at a high level. This is my sixth visit to the district as President. During previous trips, we met at the opening of many social and economic facilities - the construction of a hospital, the Olympic Sports Center, the opening of schools. In short, social and economic development in Bilasuvar is proceeding successfully, infrastructure projects of the district are being implemented, the level of gasification is close to 90 per cent. I have issued the instruction to raise the level of gasification of Bilasuvar district to 100 per cent next year and also realize the projects that have not been implemented so far. About five years ago, we marked the opening of a drinking water project. As a result of the construction of power stations in Azerbaijan, new substations are also built and the uninterrupted supply of energy is improving. In a word, the implementation of infrastructure projects creates excellent opportunities, provides people with comfort and gives an impetus to economic development.

Our country is taking serious steps in connection with the development of agriculture. We have come very close to self-sufficiency on staple foods. Agriculture in Bilasuvar district, including cotton growing and other sectors, is successfully developing. With regard to cotton growing, I can say that sown areas have increased three to four times in the past three years. According to the information available to me, cotton sowing has been organized on 12,000 hectares this year, whereas three years ago this figure was 3,000 hectares. Cotton growing is a traditional branch of agriculture for Bilasuvar. It is a labor-intensive area, it increases employment and improves the well-being of our people. Other branches of agriculture are also of great importance. Over the first eight months of this year, our agriculture has significantly increased. Industrial production has increased and the non-oil industry has increased by about 11 per cent. We will continue to work in this direction.

Improvement and creative work is under way in all the regions of Azerbaijan. a lot is being invested in the development of our regions. Road construction, drinking water lines, gasification – all this requires large funds. The Azerbaijani state pursues its own policy in this direction, carries out all work for the well-being of our people and improves their lives. We have ample opportunities, both economic opportunities and financial resources. This year, we will significantly increase our foreign exchange reserves. The results of eight months of the year are also very positive. Our exports have considerably increased, which exceeds imports by at least $5 billion. This serves economic stability, helps us maintain the manat rate at a solid level and allows us the opportunity to implement many important projects. We are doing all that at our own expense. We have a strong economy, and Azerbaijan asserts itself on a global scale at the highest level today.

Of course, issues related to army building are being addressed. The Azerbaijani army today is among top 50 armies of the world. The military parades that took place in June and several days ago, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani National Army and the liberation of Baku from the invaders respectively, showed our strength and power. Of course, if our army is at this level, this is a source of pride for all our citizens.

This event today is being attended by the father of National Hero Mubariz Ibrahimov. I want to express my special gratitude to him for the fact that our national hero, our unforgettable soldier Mubariz, who fought and became a martyr for his country, was raised and educated in this family. By destroying many invaders on his own, he ascended to the top of martyrdom. He knew that he was going to die. He knew that he would not survive in this battle. Nevertheless, he sacrificed himself and showed the enemy what qualities Azerbaijani soldiers possess. Bilasuvar district can be proud of having raised such a son. The high level of patriotism in the Azerbaijani army today is the result of heroism displayed by such sons as Mubariz.

The Armenian army cannot compete with us today. Armenia has found itself in an extremely dire situation. The regime of the criminal dictatorship, which led Armenia for 20 years, has fallen. I have repeatedly said that Armenia was run by a group of bandits, and the Armenian people are saying the same now. Unfortunately, the new leaders of Armenia do not realize their responsibility, are making foolish statements and taking steps that foment tensions on the contact line, on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The Azerbaijani army is giving and will continue to give them a worthy rebuff, just as it did during the April battles in 2016 when we liberated a part of our lands, and in May of this year when a vast territory came under our control following a successful operation in the Nakhchivan direction. We will continue to give them a strong rebuff at the right time. The enemy knows that they cannot resist us. Just look – a few days ago, as a result of their armed provocation, there was a clash on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Our soldiers have taught them a lesson they are unlikely to recover from in the near future.

We will consistently pursue our policy in this direction. We will further strengthen the army, allocate even more funds and multiply the fighting efficiency of our army. Our technical capabilities, the training of our soldiers and officers demonstrated in the parade serve as a good signal to the enemy that it should know its place, otherwise all this will end badly.

We will continue to develop successfully. Army building, the strengthening of the economic potential and international positions – a successful policy is being conducted in all these directions. Azerbaijan today is a country enjoying great respect on a global scale. It is an island of stability, security, development and creation. All this is underpinned by the hard work of the Azerbaijani people, the unity of the people and the government.

Let me heartily congratulate you on this remarkable event again and wish you continued success.