Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the ceremony to commission a 36-apartment building in Gabala constructed for disabled Karabakh war veterans and martyr families

18 november 2011, 12:20

Congratulations! A beautiful apartment building has been constructed in Gabala. You are moving in today. These are very comfortable and beautiful apartments, everything has been done with quality, there are all conveniences. So there are all the conditions for a quality life here.

This policy has been implemented in Azerbaijan for many years. Houses for the disabled veterans of the Karabakh war and martyr families are built both in Baku and districts. This process has become widespread, and I hope that all the problems will be resolved in the next few years. To date, some 5,000 disabled Karabakh war veterans and martyr families have received beautiful apartments. Another 3,000 families are in turn. Their problems will also be resolved. We have now stepped up the pace, the amount of public funds has been increased, and it is no coincidence that such beautiful buildings have emerged in various cities in the course of one year. These are comfortable and spacious buildings, the apartments are also very comfortable. The entire infrastructure is connected – water, gas, power lines. The appearance of these buildings is also beautiful. They fit well into the surrounding architecture. At the same time, the buildings have been constructed in a contemporary style.

In general, extensive work is under in the social and other sectors in Azerbaijan. We do this work consistently. As you know, we began with addressing the problems of those most affected by war. By the end of 2007 we had got rid of almost all the tent-camps. Those who lived in tents have received good individual houses and apartments. We are now working on the problems of our refugee brothers and sisters settled in dormitories, military units and schools. This process is under way, and I am sure that we will fully resolve this issue too.

As I have mentioned, we are working consistently to address the problems of disabled Karabakh war veterans. Let me repeat that all the waiting families will receive good apartments over the next few years. At the same time, we provide cars. We used to import these cars but now we have started our own production. Besides, our cars are no worse than the imported ones. The cars of the Nakhchivan automobile plant have become very popular, it produces various cars. Of course, we are trying to use local production as much as we can, especially if we consider that these cars are superior to others.

With regard to the social policy, all social issues must be resolved. Salaries and pensions are rising, they have been raised this year too. The pensions of about 900,000 people were raised by an average of 40 per cent. And they will keep on rising. The minimum wage and all welfare payments will also be increased. Our strong social policy is based on a strong economic foundation. We convert our economic success into human capital.

You have suffered from Armenian occupation, have lost your loved ones and your health. So the Azerbaijani government should always pay attention and help you. This building is a present from the Azerbaijani state to you, a step taken in this direction. There are many such steps, and one of them is shown in this building.

The memory of our sons and daughters who fought and sacrificed their lives for our country will always live on in our hearts. Karabakh is our biggest pain. I am sure that Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity will be restored, all the displaced persons will return to their native homes and justice will prevail because our cause is fair. Karabakh is the native and historical Azerbaijani land, and it will always be Azerbaijani. The international community sees and recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan. The world community is on our side. The support Azerbaijan has on the international arena, in international organizations, in particular the UN, is also the support for our policy and position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We see it this way because there is no other issue as important as Karabakh for us. Historical justice must and will be done by all means. If the issue is not resolved through negotiation, we will have to resort to the military option. This is our sovereign right. No-one can deny it to us. International rules and the norms of international law recognize this right, and the Azerbaijani army can restore our territorial integrity at any moment. We simply want to resolve this issue through negotiations, in peace. These possibilities are not exhausted yet, and the ever-strengthening Azerbaijan is nearing this historic day. Each one of us should work hard to bring this day closer. Today, Azerbaijan’s opportunities have significantly expanded. Our influence has enhanced, the domestic situation is developing in a positive direction, we enjoy boundless support abroad. So the vast majority of countries support Azerbaijan, which was clearly shown by the last UN vote.

From the standpoint of history, law and geopolitics, justice is on our side. Political, economic and military power are also in favor of Azerbaijan. Under such circumstances, our lands cannot remain under occupation for many more years. Armenia has neither the right nor the power to do this. The demographic situation will not allow them to keep our lands in the future either. We will pursue our proactive diplomacy on all fronts, fight the enemy in all forms, expose their aggressive essence and restore justice. I believe in this, I have no doubt about that. There will come a time when our flag, the flag of the Democratic Republic raised by great leader Heydar Aliyev in Nakhchivan 21 years ago, will fly in Khankandi and Shusha. I believe in this. I am sure that all the people of Azerbaijan also believe in this. To turn this confidence into reality, we must work even harder and promote our policies even more efficiently.