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Political and historical-ideological significance of Azerbaijan's victory in the Karabakh war - Ramiz Mehdiyev's comments

November 10, 2020 is a date that will forever go down in the modern history of Azerbaijan. And there are really good reasons for that. Indeed, it was on this day that the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed an agreement that marks the end of the Second Karabakh War with the victory of the Azerbaijani army. The courage and resilience of the Azerbaijani soldier, the strong-willed character of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, which ensured our country a historic victory, made it possible to liberate the Fizuli, Jabrail, Zengilan, Gubadli regions, as well as the pearl of Karabakh - the city of Shusha from the Armenian occupation. Azerbaijan forced the Armenian leadership to sign the aforementioned statement, which can largely be described as the capitulation of Yerevan.

According to the terms of the signed document, Armenia undertakes to withdraw its occupation troops from the regions Kalbajar, Lachin and part of Agdam in a matter of days and return them under the control of Azerbaijan.

From the point of view of returning its territory, Azerbaijan has achieved a lot. The most important thing is that a corridor to Nakhchivan opens. In turn, Turkey gets the opportunity to build a railway towards Nakhchivan. The implementation of this project is, first of all, of great political importance ...

Unfortunately, against the background of Azerbaijan's historic victory in this war, in society, some opposing parties and opponents of the expert community are trying in every possible way to cast a shadow on the significance of the victory achieved. Among them there are those who categorically refuse to recognize the full-fledged victory of Azerbaijan, believing that our diplomacy was unable to fully take advantage of Azerbaijan's military privilege. Of course, each person is free to think and evaluate events in his own way, and no one has the right to impose his point of view on others. In a sense, I understand the emotions of the opposing parties, because in the course of the hostilities, many citizens of the country lost their loved ones. Of course, the entire Azerbaijani people mourn for the martyrs together with their families. Each of them is a source of pride for us.

However, along with all this, it is extremely important for the Azerbaijani society to set aside emotions and try to calmly and rationally analyze the situation, weigh all the advantages, competently assess the liberated lands in the context of past and present. This will allow us not only to preserve the consolidation of society, which was achieved from the very first hours of the counteroffensive of the Azerbaijani army, but also clearly to define the strategic tasks of our state. In the current situation, the Azerbaijani society cannot afford pessimism and psychological relaxation. Yes, the enemy has been defeated and driven out, but he still does not give up his hopes regarding Karabakh.

Thus, some pro-government forces and the opposition in Armenia openly oppose Russia's mediation, demand the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers and the continuation of the war, which supposedly will ensure the victory of Armenia. A dream that looks like a hogwash.

Considering all this, we must be extremely objective and pragmatic. Without any emotion, try to understand what the situation in Karabakh was before September 27 of this year, and what changed in our favor after November 10. Before the start of the Second Karabakh War, which the President of the country, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, rightly called the Patriotic War, almost 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan recognized by the world community was under the occupation of the armed forces of Armenia. And this situation continued for three decades, contrary to the 4 resolutions of the UN Security Council and many other documents adopted by various international organizations.

The OSCE Minsk Group, established to resolve this conflict, has also been inactive over the years, which inspired Armenia to sabotage the negotiation process with impunity. Against the background of all this, the attempts of the Azerbaijani leadership to achieve a peaceful solution to the issue were ignored. Such an alignment gave the Armenians the opportunity not only to illegally plunder the natural resources of Karabakh and turn this region into an uncontrolled space for drug trafficking and illegal arms trade, but, in addition, to resettle Armenian families from the Middle East to Azerbaijan. To be honest, we must admit the fact that just two months ago, few of us believed in an early resolution of the Karabakh conflict and the liberation of the territories occupied by Armenia.

But justice ultimately triumphed. In just 44 days (one and a half months) of hostilities, the Azerbaijani army under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev, dispelled the myth of the invincible Armenian army. The enemy was defeated and put to flight. Without a doubt, war is always the death of people, destruction and misfortune, but in this case the forceful method of resolving the issue was a vital necessity. It hastened the capitulation of Armenia and forced its leadership to come to terms with the realities, and most importantly, the victorious war gave confidence in the Azerbaijani society, and rid millions of our compatriots from the complex of the defeated nation. Just for this, the Azerbaijani people will forever be grateful to their president and their army.

The Azerbaijani soldier washed away the mark of shame from all of us with his blood, and this historical event in the full sense of the word revived our society and gave it vitality. True, some say that supposedly Azerbaijan could get the liberated regions without a war, since the Armenians agreed to these concessions.

I would like to note that such statements do not have a serious basis, and almost 30 years of experience in the negotiation process convinced everyone that the Armenians only imitated the process and in fact they were far from wanting to resolve the Karabakh conflict. Otherwise, why was it necessary to build houses in the occupied territories for the resettlement of Armenians here? There is no logic!

I repeat, only the force of Azerbaijani weapons and the will of President Ilham Aliyev created a fait accompli.

On the other hand, the liberation of the occupied territories is of great economic importance for Azerbaijan. After appropriate measures are taken, the lands of the liberated regions will significantly enhance the country's agricultural potential. It is no secret that the liberation of Karabakh will have a positive effect on the development of industry, domestic tourism, due to the unique climate and beautiful nature of this region. The President of the country has said more than once that Karabakh will soon be restored to the highest standards and turned into one of the model regions of our country. We all know very well that President Aliyev is a man of his word and in the coming days the Azerbaijani society will witness the start of intensive restoration work and the revival of Karabakh.

In conclusion, I would like to draw the attention of opposing parties to a very important historical and ideological aspect of this victorious war. First, since Nadir Shah’s days, Azerbaijan for the first time managed to reclaim its ancestral lands. Undoubtedly, this event has a historical significance. Secondly, this war has shown that the Azerbaijani society has a great potential for consolidation in the face of a common enemy. In the interests of the people and the state, this potential should be further revealed and developed. It is extremely important in terms of rooting the values of the rich Azerbaijani culture, victorious traditions, maintaining the unity of the Azerbaijani people with President Ilham Aliyev, and the patriotism we witnessed during the hostilities.

I want to emphasize one more point: President Ilham Aliyev during these 44 days has shown himself as a true fighter of the ideological front. He is an ideologist and historian, propagandist and orator. But what was unforgettable for our humanitarian elite was how convincingly and aggressively the President conducted a dialogue with numerous foreign journalists.

Let’s not forget that he fulfilled this difficult historical mission with dignity under the conditions of aggressive external pressure. Suffice it to recall at least the biased actions and statements of the political leadership of France towards Azerbaijan from the very first day of hostilities. However, President Ilham Aliyev not only withstood, but also brought to the victorious end the just cause he had begun - the liberation of his native land from the Armenian occupiers.

The maternal feelings that First Vice-President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva showed to the wounded soldiers and officers during these difficult days, and the emotions that she shared after each announced victory of the Azerbaijani army, cannot be overlooked. Her experiences as a companion of the President and mother are worthy of the best words and praise.

Despite all the emotional statements of some people, the fact remains that Azerbaijan, having won the war with Armenia, not only liberated its ancestral lands from occupation, but also opened a completely new page in its history. There can be no doubt that at this stage, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, our country will face new achievements and victories.

We have every reason for this. During 17 years of his presidency, Ilham Aliyev has completely changed the face of Azerbaijan, creating a modern, prosperous state with a powerful army.

President of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Academician Ramiz Mehdiyev