On April 3, First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva met a group of soldiers and officers of the Azerbaijani Army wounded in the April 2016 battles.
At the meeting, the project "Provision of soldiers and officers wounded in the April 2016 battles with high-tech artificial limbs" took place with participation of Mehriban Aliyeva.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the meeting:
- Esteemed officers, dear soldiers.
Armenia committed another armed sabotage against Azerbaijan early in April last year. You, your friends, Azerbaijani soldiers fought back this sabotage, and you gave the enemy the response they deserved. Thousands of hectares of lands under occupation were liberated as a result of successful counter attack operation. This is a great military victory of Azerbaijan. The state of Azerbaijan once more demonstrated to the whole world that it will never come to terms with the occupation and the Azerbaijani Army is powerful enough to carry out the necessary operation.
New settlements are built today on the lands you liberated a year ago, and internally displaced people that were forced out of their native lands over 20 years ago will return to their lands in the near future. This is a historical event, a historical victory. The people of Azerbaijan is proud of you today.
The April operations showed the power of the state of Azerbaijan, and the unity of the people of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Army is a powerful army today, equipped with necessary state-of-the-art weapons and military hardware. Azerbaijani soldiers liberated part of the occupied territories, having displayed heroism, professionalism and patriotism.
We had incurred some casualties during the April battles. These losses have been a serious distress for all of us, for each Azerbaijani. Azerbaijani youth, our soldiers, officers became martyrs, having displayed heroism in the name of the Motherland, and sacrificed their lives. It is a great tragedy for every parent to lose their son. No people in the world likes a war. No mother wants to lose his son. Paradise to all our martyrs. They will always be revered by the people of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is a peace-loving country. This is why we wish a peaceful solution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Daghlyg Garabagh conflict, and therefore, we have been holding negotiations for over 20 years. Nonetheless, we should not forget that Armenia has occupied the Azerbaijani lands not in a peaceful way, and Azerbaijan has no intention to tolerate this occupation. Soldiers of Azerbaijan, sons of Azerbaijan are fighting, sacrificing their lives for their Homeland, and their struggle is rightful. What does an Armenian soldier have to do on the Azerbaijani soil?! The cause of the conflict and losses is Armenian soldiers’ being on the Azerbaijani soil. I want to appeal to Armenian mothers and say not to allow their sons to be victims of the occupation policy, and not to support this occupation policy. The conflict should be put an end to soon. Daghlyg Garabagh has always been an Azerbaijani land. The conflict should soon be solved by following the relevant international legal norms, without breaking Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Occupational forces should abandon the Azerbaijani territories, and then peace will be restored in the region, and no mother, whether it be an Armenian mother or an Azerbaijani mother, will shed tears on the grave of her son.
During and after the April events, the President and myself paid visits to hospitals. I would like to thank the medical staff that provided aid to wounded soldiers and did their utmost so that they recovered soon. It would be no exaggeration to say that majority of them remained alive thanks to their endeavours and labour, and returned to normal life, and they are ready today to defend the Homeland with their full strength. In general, the state of Azerbaijan has been approaching with special attention the process of rehabilitation of the soldiers wounded in the battles for the integrity of our country. You have fought for the Homeland. You have been wounded. Every soldier is dear and valuable to the state and people of Azerbaijan. The state of Azerbaijan is ready to do everything necessary to ensure that you return to normal life.
According to my instruction, each of you will be applied an individual approach, and you will be provided with high-tech artificial limbs that would support normal movement dynamics. A task force has been established based on my instruction. People working in this group will be dealing with both the provision of artificial limbs and also maintenance thereof in future stages. All necessary works will be carried out in the course of twenty days, and I will be provided with a final report.
A bit later, specialists will give us information about the cutting-edge technology in this sphere. I am sure, after these steps are made, your returning to a normal life and recovering will be speeded up. I have no doubt you will do greater works in future for Azerbaijan, for our Homeland.
In conclusion, I would like to once more express my profound respect for all the Azerbaijani soldiers. I wish you every success.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva summed up the meeting:
- In my speech, I mentioned that today, the state of Azerbaijan is powerful enough to provide all necessary support to Azerbaijani soldiers, to the Azerbaijani Army. We heard this in the speeches of our ministers too. I am sure liberation of our lands from the occupation is the greatest dream of every Azerbaijani citizen.
We all are very well aware that this conflict has been the biggest problem of Azerbaijan. We all believe that the day on which justice will be restored will come soon, our lands will be liberated, our internally displaced people and refugees will return to their native lands, their homes.
Of course, the Azerbaijani Army, Azerbaijani soldiers have been doing matchless work to ensure this. Therefore, along with the state, every citizen, the people of Azerbaijan showed unity on those days. Everyone was in high mood. Everyone was feeling very strong. I am sure every family celebrated this victory in their home. It is the duty of every Azerbaijani family to support our army, our soldiers. I would like to stress once more that the state of Azerbaijan has been providing this support and is powerful enough to do so. The state has all possibilities and has been providing this support and will do in future. Nevertheless, I feel that people too are ready to provide similar support.
I want to once more note that you have shown true heroism on those days. The heroism you have shown led to a military victory. Thanks to this victory, part of our lands was liberated. Now, settlements are created there, and people will return to their homes. But, this is, along with being a military victory, a national victory too. You gave people a new breath, new hope. Part of our lands were liberated, which spurred a hope that we will definitely liberate all our lands from occupation. Justice should be restored. Mister President has repeatedly told in his speeches that we have no desire for another state’s lands. Our soldiers are not on another state’s soil. Our sons are defending their native lands, fight for them and sacrifice their lives.
After these events, I met mothers of martyr-soldiers. I am once more bowing my head before those women – mothers, spouses, sisters and family members of those women. Because they have brought up such sons that all people are talking about them, being proud of them. In my meetings with martyrs’ mothers, I once more witnessed that such women may only have such sons, as they themselves too are mother-heroes. Of course, there is no graver grief for a mother to lose his child. Even in that grave moment, they said: “I‘m pride of my son’s sacrificing his life for the Homeland, becoming a martyr.
Therefore, I want to again note that the state of Azerbaijan, the people of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani Army have been taking completely the same stand on this matter. Justice is on our side. I am sure this conflict will soon be settled. Again, no people wishes a war. I am sure the Armenian people too doesn’t want a war, neither do the people of Azerbaijan. We want to settle this conflict in a peaceful way. The only reason why this conflict exists and there are losses is that Armenian soldiers are on the Azerbaijani soil. The occupation forces should be forced out of the Azerbaijani lands.
Dear Friends, I want to once more express my profound gratitude and respect towards you. The minister said that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is participating in this project. Our employees are keeping this matter under full control.
You obviously have sufficient information about the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s activities. Once more, I want to say that employees of the Foundation are always ready to serve you, and provide necessary support. Everything may happen in life. Please do not hesitate to apply to the Foundation. I promise you every request of you will be considered, and we will try to help you as much as we are able to.