President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today attended a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of Heads of State via video conference.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State was held in the format of a video conference due to the coronavirus, and spoke about the measures taken during his country's chairmanship in the CIS.
Then the chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Sergey Lebedev informed about the agenda of the meeting of the Council.
As we agreed on the agenda, now let us give the floor to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. Come on, Ilham Heydar oglu.
The head of state addressed the meeting.
President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Shavkat Miromonovich, dear heads of state
First of all, I would like to thank the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev, who initiated this summit and our meeting, for his active work as chairman of the CIS Council of Heads of State.
As for the fight against the pandemic, Azerbaijan has taken operative measures to combat this common scourge, both domestically and internationally. In a short time, the number of laboratories has increased almost eightfold. In a short time, more than 10 new modern hospitals were built, including a modular hospital. Thus, we have provided more than 10,000 beds for COVID patients. The shortage of doctors was also a common problem, as no health care system had expected such a large number of patients. We held operative talks with colleagues and invited doctors from 5 countries - Italy, China, Cuba, Russia and Turkey. This has greatly helped us in the treatment of patients.
By the way, Azerbaijan, as the country chairing the Non-Aligned Movement, has always focused on this issue. We have always said in all international forums that even countries that do not have sufficient financial resources should have access to vaccines as developed countries, without discrimination. We have also developed a vaccination strategy, which involves multi-platform. Regardless of the technology used, the main criterion for us will be the scientifically substantiated safety of these vaccines. It is expected that the vaccination program will begin early next year, vaccination will be voluntary and will be carried out at public expense.
The second topic I want to talk about is the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This war has been widely covered in the world media, but, unfortunately, it has not always been covered objectively. I would like to briefly inform my colleagues about what happened. The consequences of the war are known. Azerbaijan has won a victory over the aggressor country, which has been occupying a large part of our country and internationally recognized territories for many years. According to our information, more than 80 percent of the potential of the Armenian armed forces was destroyed as a result of the war. For Azerbaijan, it was a war of the homeland, a war of freedom, and for Armenia it was a war of aggression.
Today, when foreign diplomats and journalists visit Agdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil and other occupied territories, they see with their own eyes what is being done there and how vandalism is committed in our lands. Cities, villages, historical and religious monuments of our people were destroyed. We ended this occupation by force of arms, thanks to the bravery and courage of our sons.
In one of my appeals to the people of Azerbaijan, I spoke in detail about the military equipment destroyed by the Azerbaijani Army as a result of the war, so this information is available. Those who are interested can get this information from open sources.
On September 27, after the treacherous attack of the Armenians, I, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, shouted "Forward!" I gave the order. We had to defend our people, our country. As a result of our operations, the enemy capitulated after 44 days. During this period, we liberated more than 300 settlements, strategic heights, Jabrayil, Fizuli, Zangilan, Gubadli, urban-type settlements Sugovushan, Hadrut, part of Khojavend region, Murovdagh mountain range, as well as part of Lachin and Kalbajar regions. On November 8, the ancient city of Shusha in Azerbaijan, rightly considered the pearl of the Caucasus and the heart of the Azerbaijani people, was liberated from Armenian occupation. This, in fact, put an end to military operations.
On November 9, the text of the trilateral statement of the President of Russia, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia was agreed with the active participation of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The text of the statement, signed on the night of November 9-10, was published, and I am sure that my colleagues have read this text. There are very important points.
I would also like to talk about the peacekeeping mission of the Russian Federation. This is part of the statement. The mission is very successful.
Now the situation in Armenia is very tense. Given that the Prime Minister of Armenia did not attend our meeting, I will not comment on anything else. I only mentioned the dry facts, a very small percentage of what happened there.
Now, after the end of the war, we are assessing the extent of the damage. Restoration work will begin soon. This work has already begun in practice. The first contracts for road construction and other infrastructure contracts have already been signed. In one of my statements, I said that we attract and will attract friendly countries to Azerbaijan. The first contract was signed with a Turkish company, and the second contract is planned to be signed with a company from Italy. We will revive Karabakh and make it one of the most developed regions in the world.
I apologize again for violating the rules and thank you for your attention. Thank you.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Thank you for your sincere words and high appreciation of our chairmanship, Ilham Heydar oglu.
Indeed, as you have just mentioned, the pandemic has become a serious test for our countries. I agree with you on the need for close cooperation in this area. Of course, you spoke in great detail about peaceful cooperation and future interaction. Of course, we also observe everything, we see everything, and most of your words are confirmed. I want to emphasize that we are ready to continue to support all efforts to ensure lasting peace, good neighborliness and sustainable development in the South Caucasus region.
At the end of the meeting, Belarus took over the chairmanship of the CIS in 2021. It was noted that the next meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State will be held in Minsk in October 2021.