“I’ve been to Azerbaijan many times, but it is first time I had a chance to come to the liberated territories and see the destruction that was caused during a period of time when the Armenian occupation took place. Obviously, there’s a massive job here now to reconstruct what was a clearly a beautiful city and an opportunity for people to return. I understand a very large number, almost everyone is excited to come back or wants to come back at some point,” Head of the UK-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group, MP Bob Blackman has told AZERTAC regional correspondent.
“We’re looking forward to obviously, seeing this progress as the time goes by. Clearly, there’s a massive problem in terms of mine clearance in order to make sure the area is safe for people to occupy. As you would expect, people want to return to their ancestral homes. They want to come back to see their family roots. They want to go back to just where their families came from. We understand why everyone will want to do that. I understand that huge numbers of people are desperate to come back,” he said.
“And it’s fantastic achievement you have got the new road and the new railway in place already. And obviously, as time goes by, the roads will also be rebuilt and put into a position whereby there’ll be ease of access. We look around the ruins we see everywhere. There is the destruction that was caused over 30-year period. Here, homes have been demolished, the materials removed and then used elsewhere, which is the destruction of what was clearly a very long term,” the British MP noted.
Touching upon the large-scale reconstruction and restoration works carried out in the liberated areas of Azerbaijan MP Bob Blackman said: “Obviously, fantastic achievement thus far, having liberated the lands, not that long ago, Azerbaijan has started the process of reconstruction. A secondary school behind us almost ready for children to get their education. We’ve seen the mosque, which has been rebuilt, reconstructed, which is fantastic. We look forward to people being able to come back. Unfortunately, it appears that mosques and other buildings have been used as a cattle stable and pigpen, desecration of religious area. So, clear evidence of what was going on here,” the MP added.