21 years have passed since the occupation of Gubadli region of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia.
With its magnificent nature Gubadli is Azerbaijan’s one of the richest territories for its forest resources, colourful flora and fauna, as well as mineral and construction materials. Though one part of the region is lowland, the main part is mountainous. There was unused agate deposit, marble resource, as well as a lot of springs that are rich with natural minerals in Gubadli.
Cattle breeding, tobacco-growing and grain-growing were the basis of the region’s economy. Before the occupation there were 62 enterprises, one asphalt plant, an incubator-poultry farm, stone quarry, technical supply institution, clothes factory, “Neftqazavtomat” (“Oil Gas Automate”) experimental plant and other industrial enterprises in Gubadli. Moreover, 125 trade, 96 public-caterings, 21 communication facilities and 25 domestic service enterprises served people in the region.
Gubadli also played a significant role in the life of Azerbaijan for its cultural and social potential. Before the occupation there were 21 public secondary schools, including 26 eight-year schools, 15 primary schools, 1 part-time school, as well as 4 hospitals and 33 medical centres, and 111 cultural-educational institution, 60 libraries, 10 cultural centres, 28 cultural clubs, 6 auto-clubs, 23 film projectors were functioned in Gubadli.
The patterns of ancient cultural tangible heritage in Gubadli prove that the region was one of the old human settlements. Thus, the cultural heritage of Gubadli included archeological monuments like a residential area of the late bronze-early iron ages in the old part of Gubadli town, two castles of the late bronze-early iron ages in Aliguluushagy village, one more castle of the same period in Murdakhanly village, havens of the IV century in the Aliguluushagy, Balahasanli and Zor villages, a IV century cave in Gavur gorge and a XIV century cemetery in the territory of Yazy flat, blue castles of the V century in Aliguluushagy and Eyvazly villages, the XIII-XIV century tombs and XVI century spring in Damirchilar village, the XVIII century tomb in Gurjulu village, defence castle of IX-XII centuries in Ashaghy Khojamsaghly village and Albanian temples of middle ages in Basharat, Mazra and Yukhary Cibikhly villages, as well as a number of other monuments.
However, Gubadli also suffered from the Republic of Armenia’s insidious, destructive policy of annexation and ethnic cleansing. Gubadli was occupied by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia on August 31, 1993. As a result of the acts of violence and ethnic cleansing carried out by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia in the course of this occupation, 232 people were killed, 146 became disabled, and about 40 thousand people became internally displaced persons. Furthermore, 12 historical monuments, 205 cultural centers, and about 100 villages totally destroyed and burned by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia.
The relevant documents adopted by the international community with regard to the aggression of the Republic of Armenia towards the Republic of Azerbaijan, especially four UN Security Council resolutions, resolution 1416, adopted on 25 January 2005 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, resolution 62/243 “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 March 2008, European Parliament report “The need for an EU strategy for the South Caucasus” from 20 May 2010, reaffirmed the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, recognized the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and its surrounding districts and demanded the withdrawal of all occupying Armenian forces from these territories.
However, the afore-mentioned international documents remain unimplemented by the Republic of Armenia.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is confident that for the purposes of lasting peace, security and stability in the South Caucasus, there is no alternative other than by concerted efforts of the international community to convince the Republic of Armenia to put an end to the illegal occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to ensure that inalienable rights of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons to return to their places of origin is fully recognized and implemented.