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Lukashenko, Aliyev visit Azerbaijan’s post-conflict territories

FUZULI ( BelTA) – As part of his state visit to Azerbaijan, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko together with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev visited the country’s territories, being rebuilt after the conflict, on 17 May, BelTA has learned.

In the morning of 17 May, Aleksandr Lukashenko flew to Fuzuli. He was met by Ilham Aliyev at the airport.

The president of Azerbaijan briefed his Belarusian counterpart on the works carried out to restore and develop these territories and build new infrastructure facilities. Aleksandr Lukashenko got familiar with the new airport, and the heads of state accompanied by an impressive motorcade headed for the city.

Fuzuli International Airport is one of the country’s seven international airports. Its construction began in January 2021, and the first plane landed there in September. The opening ceremony of the airport was held a month later with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Türkiye.

Fuzuli was returned to Azerbaijani control on 17 October 2020. The city has great transport and logistics potential, as it is located at the intersection of the main transportation arteries of the Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions of Azerbaijan. According to the general plan, the population of Fuzuli will increase to 50,000 people by 2040 (for comparison, almost 20,000 citizens lived here in the Soviet years, and only a few thousand live here now).

On 16 May, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Ilham Aliyev held official talks as part of the state visit of the Belarusian leader to Azerbaijan. One of the topics of the meeting was the post-conflict rebuilding of the territories of Azerbaijan.

At a meeting in St. Petersburg in December 2023 the president of Azerbaijan accepted Belarus' proposal to take part in the modernization and construction of infrastructure facilities in Karabakh.

During the talks in Baku Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that after the end of the hostilities, the most important and difficult task is rebuilding and post-war development of the affected territory. The head of state drew attention to the fact that it is not enough just to return people to these lands. It is necessary to create jobs and provide citizens with a decent life, which will take many years.

“Equipment, agricultural towns, workplaces, certain technologies (your specialists, ministers know these technologies well), if they fit, if our equipment can be useful here... During one-on-one negotiations I asked Ilham Heydarovich to let Belarus be part of this effort. And Ilham Heydarovich supported such an approach,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.