President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has addressed the nation.
Nationwide address of President Ilham Aliyev
Dear fellow countrymen!
Today, the city of Jabrayil and nine villages of Jabrayil district have been liberated from occupation. I heartily congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this historic event.
I sincerely congratulate all our soldiers and officers who took an active part in the liberation of Jabrayil District and other occupied territories. As a result of their heroism and courage, our native lands have returned to us today. May Allah rest all our martyrs who died in these bloody battles in peace. May Allah sending healing to our wounded soldiers.
After many years, the city of Jabrayil has been liberated. Jabrayil is ours!
Four years ago, the reconstruction of the village of Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district began. The heights liberated as a result of a successful operation allowed the residents the opportunity to return to the village of Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district. We have built a beautiful town there. I said at the opening of the settlement that Jojug Marjanly is a symbol of our invincible will. Jojug Marjanly shows that the Azerbaijani people will never put up with the occupation, and our return to other occupied lands began with Jojug Marjanly. I think that the liberation of most of Jabrayil district and the city of Jabrayil today is of special importance.
As you know, Azerbaijan has been fighting to restore its territorial integrity for a week now. On the battlefield, our soldiers and officers show heroism, inflict crushing blows on the enemy, put the enemy in its place, drive the enemy out of our lands at the cost of their lives. This glorious mission will find its worthy place in history.
Today we are writing a new history of our people and state, a glorious history. We are restoring historical justice today because the land of Karabakh is our ancient historical land. The people of Azerbaijan have lived, created and built in these lands for centuries. But for many years, for almost 30 years, Armenian executioners have occupied our lands, destroyed all our historical, religious and cultural sites.
We will restore all our cities. We will restore all our mosques destroyed by the Armenians. Life will return to these places. We have put an end to the attempts of Armenians to change our historical names and falsify history, to erase the historical and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people. The historical names of our settlements are being restored and they will be restored.
We are fighting on our own lands. Our territorial integrity must be restored and we are on the right path. Our soldiers are saviors because they are liberating their native land from invaders.
Today, the people of Jabrayil, of course, are happy, as indeed are all the people of Azerbaijan. Yesterday, our ancient settlement, the Sugovushan settlement was liberated from occupation. All the people of Azerbaijan celebrated this historic event, congratulated each other and could not hold back their tears. These were the tears of joy. Azerbaijan shed tears in the early 1990s but those were tears of defeat, tears of tragedy.
Today, the people of Azerbaijan are happy. I would like to list the names of the settlements liberated today for the people of Jabrayil and all the people of Azerbaijan. Today, the glorious Azerbaijani Army liberated the following settlements: Jabrayil city, Karkhulu village, Shukurbayli village, Yukhari Maralyan village, Charakan village, Dashkasan village, Horovlu village, Dejal village, Mahmudlu village, Jafarabad village.
I am appealing to the residents of these villages. Your long wait is coming to an end, and let all our other refugees and IDPs know that we will return them to their ancestral lands. By force! We wanted this issue to be resolved through negotiations and we were patient. We have always been fair in the negotiations. We wanted what is ours. We have never set our eyes on anyone else’s lands. But we have always said that they are ours, our people’s, our nation’s, they must return to us, they must return through negotiations. But these talks have, in fact, led to the freezing of the conflict, as was calculated in advance. Can negotiations go on for 30 years?! Is it possible to keep the Azerbaijani people in such a situation for 30 years?! For 30 years, we have lived with hopes that the international community will resolve this issue. Countries and international organizations involved in resolving this issue will have their say. The world’s highest international body, the UN Security Council, will work to implement its resolutions. These resolutions have been on paper for 27 years. For 27 years, we have shown a constructive position, a fair position at all times – in all periods of negotiations. But what did we see in return? The aggressor became even more impudent. The aggressor’s greed grew even more as they set their sights on our ancestral lands. As a result, all the occupied lands were attributed to the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”, new maps were published and all the occupied territories were portrayed as Nagorno-Karabakh. What happened after that? Then they stated that they would not return an inch of the lands to Azerbaijan.
We have been saying that this, after all, is contrary to the subject of negotiations. After all, our main point of hope in the talks was that it was stated that the occupied lands would be gradually returned to Azerbaijan. We also agreed to return them in stages and peacefully. Let five districts be returned at the first stage, two at in the second stage, then let the Azerbaijanis return to Nagorno-Karabakh, return to Shusha, and then let the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples live together as we once did. This is a fair position. This position is in compliance with all norms of international law. What did we want? We wanted this much, we were and are entitled to that. But what did we see?! We saw that they want to break the will of the Azerbaijani people. We saw that a new war is being waged against us, that we are being threatened with a new war. We saw that in July, for no apparent reason, our city of Tovuz and other settlements came under fire, our servicemen were killed, one civilian was killed. We saw that a sabotage group was sent in August and the head of that sabotage group was neutralized and detained. Now he is testifying and saying that he was sent to commit acts of terror. Is this a commitment to the process of negotiations?! Then, the prime minister of Armenia makes nonsensical statements, falsifies history, tries to deceive his people and the international community. A year ago, he torpedoed the whole process of negotiations by saying that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop”, making it meaningless. Attempts to change the format of talks, the words that “Azerbaijan must negotiate with the so-called puppet junta” completely contradict the negotiations. Did he get an adequate response? I have repeatedly told Minsk Group co-chairs, the co-chairs’ ambassadors, other international organizations and the European Union to influence Armenia, to impose sanctions and put pressure on it. This can’t be allowed to happen. If there is no strong pressure, Armenia will become even more impudent, even more impertinent and start making new claims. They did not listen to me. I wanted this issue to be resolved peacefully. They did not listen to me. Did they think that the Azerbaijani people and I, the President of Azerbaijan, would put up with this situation?! They thought that our holy city of Shusha would be trampled by the Armenians and I would put up with that?! Are we supposed to negotiate with the Armenian executioners who have dealt a blow to the history of the Azerbaijani people? The people of Azerbaijan were insulted when the head of the so-called regime held a “swearing-in ceremony” in Shusha. Let’s see now where he will hold the swearing-in ceremony now, a funeral ceremony will be held! He has now run away and went into hiding like a mouse. Come on out! The prime minister of Armenia dances in Shusha, on the Jidir plain, and thinks that we will put up with that?! They are wrong! We will never put up with that. What does it mean to move the parliament of the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” to Shusha?! Again, it is an attempt to insult the Azerbaijani people. What does it mean to build a new road from Armenia to Jabrayil?! This means that there will be illegal settlement. Armenians are already being brought from Lebanon and other places, and being resettled in our ancient city Shusha, and this is shown on television in violation of international conventions, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Does anyone say a word to them?! I have asked all our foreign diplomatic missions to raise the issue, tell the UN, the OSCE, the European Union, other organizations that it is illegal! Illegal settlement is a crime! Was there a reaction to that?! Did the Minsk Group make a statement?! It did not! Did the European Union make one?! It did not! They said that we are not interested in that. If they are not interested, then don’t be interested now. Why are you raising a hue and cry now then? What are these tricks for? There are slandering against Azerbaijan. Some countries, European countries are accusing us. Let them go and look in the mirror. These accusations have no basis. Someone says that they will not allow Azerbaijan to conquer Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is ours, it is our land, we must return there, we are returning there and we will return there!
Therefore, the first culprit in the current situation is the Armenian leadership. At the same time, there are circles of some countries that are indifferent to this issue, always support Armenia and want to perpetuate this occupation. Azerbaijan is resolving this issue on its own, and I told Armenia before the events of 27 September – let’s fight one on one. Let’s see who is who! So what happened? Pashinyan calls one world leader a day. Every day! I did not call anyone. I did not call any world leader. I had contacts and they called me. There is no world leader left who he would not call, beg, send an emissary, implore and kneel to. This is the end of it. If he had spoken to us in a normal language, if he had not desecrated our holy city, of course, we would live with the hope that this issue would be resolved through negotiations. But every step was a provocation, every step was an insult, and he thinks that we will put up with that?! Now we have shown who is who. We are driving them away like dogs! Azerbaijani soldiers drive them away like dogs! The Azerbaijani flag is being raised in the occupied territories! Azerbaijani soldiers are standing in their trenches! Their posts are in our hands! We are driving their tanks! Their other weapons are in our hands, their trucks are in our hands! We are fulfilling our mission of salvation and we will complete it!
Let the Armenian leadership think carefully before it is too late. He put forward seven conditions to us. Who are you to put forward condition to us?! Let’s see what your conditions are now! You fall to your knees begging for a ceasefire. The ceasefire was restored for two years at the request of the Armenian prime minister. He told me that the situation inside was difficult, that he was being squeezed here and there, asked for some time to solve this problem because he had some new ideas. He said he had drawn a line through everything that happened in the past, asked for a chance, for some time. I said OK. But what happened then? A year later, he said that “Karabakh is Armenia”. Let him say that “Karabakh is Armenia” now. The calls I have been receiving and the conversations I have been having during the calls are, of course, confidential, and in some cases they are asking me what our condition is. My condition is the same – to leave our lands, to leave them, to stop the confrontation. Not in word but in deed. Let him say that he recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he will withdraw his troops from the occupied territories, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he apologizes to the Azerbaijani people and say that Karabakh is not Armenia. The last condition is to give us a schedule for a withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories. Then, of course, we will restore the ceasefire. But it is difficult to do it now when fierce battles underway. Because if we stop, they will not stop. But at least it would be possible to work on that. But requests to stop and give them some time… Why should we give them time? Give them time to gather strength? Give them time to attack us again? Do they really think we are so naive? Give them time to come to the talks… I said what I needed, and this is all.
Today, the liberation of Jabrayil from occupation should be a lesson to Armenia and its benefactors. I said before the events. He committed a provocation there, we taught him a lesson, but it wasn’t learned. He committed a provocation here, we taught him another lesson, but it wasn’t learned either. Finally, this time he committed yet another provocation, we taught him yet another lesson, and it was learned this time round.
We are on the side of justice. We live in the most glorious moments of history. The Azerbaijani people are an ancient people. There have been many glorious moments, events and victories in our history. Today’s events have a special place among them. We are restoring justice, restoring our territorial integrity, fulfilling the hopes of the Azerbaijani people and will continue to do so. We are right and we will win! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!