Speeches of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev during his meetings at the frontline districts - Imishli, Fizuli, Beylagan, Shamkir, Agjabedi and Ganja December 11, 1993

Today everyone, especially men who can bear arms must come to the defense of their lands. A man should not be a refugee, cannot tolerate the fact that the enemy walks on his native land calmly and insult the honor of his people. Protecting his land is the sacred duty of everyone.

Not all the graduates of boarding school after J. Nakhchivansky returned home. However, after the acquisition of independence there was a danger of losing it.

Today, Azerbaijan needs its sons, military professionals more than ever, who can lead the countrymen to confront the enemy with honor and to drive them out of their land. The cause of many of problems of the national army was the irresponsible attitude of a number of executives to their duties in the recent years. Today we are doing our best to remove the shortcomings that prevent the military construction. Time is short, we have already lost much of it.

But no matter how difficult it is, we must prepare ourselves to victory over the enemy and become perfect in military affairs. Now you cannot retreat a single step. The people believe in their army, which will give a rebuff to the enemy.


I believe in our victory. We shall win the enemy. Everyone must help our army to bring it to a bright day. Recalling the glorious military traditions in the history of Azerbaijan and heroism of many generations, I call everyone not to reconcile with shame of defeat, but rise to the national struggle against the aggressor and to protect, if necessary, at the cost of his life our ancestral territory, territorial integrity and independence of the state.


The national army of independent Azerbaijan was created in a difficult time for the country. The difficulties are mainly due to the fact that the construction of the army is conducted simultaneously with the participation of its subsidiaries in the battles against the Armenian aggressors. There are losses, but they do not break the will of the people. Honor of homeland and will of protection of its sacred boundaries joined today the rear with the frontline. Due to this the Azerbaijani army will soon be able to release the captured territory.

However, Azerbaijan still maintains the ceasefire and a peaceful settlement of the conflict by making political and diplomatic efforts and tries to use the authority and capability of influential international organizations and countries. The main condition for the peace is the complete liberation of the occupied lands. Another important task for the road to peace is the creation of an efficient army, able to restrain the aggressor.


The main purpose of my visit is to get acquainted with the situation in the regions and to take measures aimed at solving the important problems for our country. First of all, I would like to discuss the issues related to the defense of the republic, provision of life conditions of citizens, which are refugees from the regions occupied by the Armenian armed forces, and some other issues.

Azerbaijan is living its hard and tragic period. Our country experiences a severe socio-economic crisis. As a result of the aggression of the Armenian armed forces, some of our lands have been occupied, over one million people have become refugees. We need to take serious steps to get our country out of this difficult situation.

Now our main task is to ensure the reliable protection of the country and create necessary conditions for IDPs. These are our priority tasks. In future the occupied lands must be liberated, territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored, we shall take control on all our lands, resources. The main task now is to organize a reliable defense of the republic and improve the life conditions of its citizens, who have become refugees. These are the tasks of the day. Further tasks are the return of the occupied territories of the Republic, the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government must be the rightful owner of all its lands and wealth. These tasks are duties of all us. From this point of view, the role of local authorities is very great. The successful solution of these problems depends on their work. Therefore, before my visit I advised to invite the heads of administration of the surrounding areas. As I noted, I want to see the situation in the regions. If it is possible to rapidly solve the problems, we shall do it. The chief persons must give information about the situation in the regions, particularly on the accommodation and welfare of refugees and on the assistance of the army. Once more, I stress that our main task now is to strengthen the army, increase its combat capacity, protection of Azerbaijan from the Armenian aggression and then to return the occupied territories.

As you know, there recently some measures have been taken for the suspension of the ongoing war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we have achieved a ceasefire to some extent and gave priority to resolve the issue peacefully. There have been a lot of political actions and diplomatic efforts. We used the opportunities of international organizations - the UN, OSCE and its Minsk Group. However, these efforts have not yet yielded the desired results. There were also talks with the leaders of Armenia, which are still going on. We also used the mediation of Russia. We have even negotiated with certain forces that control Nagorno-Karabakh. There was a cease-fire agreement. However, these talks have failed to return the occupied lands peacefully. Despite this, we shall continue to use all of these means. The public should know about it. We believe that our resources have not yet exhausted and we shall try to use them more efficiently.

But sometimes the ceasefire is violated. It happened yesterday in the direction of Beylagan. Therefore, with the desire for a peaceful settlement of the problem we need to increase our defensive power at the same time. You know that on November 2, I addressed to our people, all citizens of the Republic by the national television and radio. After this address the country has changed greatly. However, it has not yet raised the defense and combat capacity of our army to the desired level. Local authorities should play a big role in this important task. In their speeches, the chief executives must touch upon this issue and report on their work. Once more I ask to provide the information very briefly. Our time is limited and everyone should be engaged in his work.