The Azerbaijani president Sunday said the Zangezur corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan exclave has finally transformed into a reality.
Speaking at the 15th summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Ilham Aliyev said: “This new transportation infrastructure will be an important part of the East-West and North-South corridors.”
Zangezur was part of Azerbaijan, but in the 1920s, the Soviets gave the region to Armenia. After this move, Azerbaijan lost its link with Nakhchivan.
Azerbaijan has focused on projects in the Zangezur corridor, including motorways and rail lines.
Aliyev said Azerbaijan ended Armenia’s 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands in 2020 and the 44-day war resulted in the defeat of Armenia.
He stressed that Azerbaijan implemented the United Nations Security Council resolutions, which envisaged the unconditional removal of the Armenian army from the occupied territories.
All villages and cities, religious and cultural monuments belonging to Azerbaijan were destroyed by Armenia during the occupation, Aliyev said, adding: “Armenia demolished our mosques and used them as cow barns.”
He said 65 of the 67 mosques in these lands were destroyed.
“Azerbaijan is building new cities and villages from the scratch, relying only on its own resources,” he said, noting that $1.3 billion have been allocated from the state budget.
He underlined that Azerbaijan declared the liberated Karabakh and East Zangezur as green energy zones, adding that liberated lands have a potential of 7,200 megawatts of solar, and 2,000 megawatts of wind power.
About Azerbaijan’s economic gains in the last 18 years, Aliyev said an efficient investment atmosphere has been created in Azerbaijan due to far-reaching reforms.
He said according to the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index, Azerbaijan ranks 28th among 190 countries, noting that $280 billion were invested in Azerbaijan’s economy, and half of that amount is foreign capital.
Highlighting the efforts to combat coronavirus in Azerbaijan, Aliyev said more than 60% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.
Aliyev pointed out that Azerbaijan has taken important steps to mobilize global efforts to combat the pandemic, saying: “We are completely against vaccine nationalism.”