BAKU, January 15. /TASS/. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has announced the beginning of recovery works in Nagorno-Karabakh and the "big return" to the region.
"The big return is beginning, all [recovery] works have started," the president said during the ceremony timed to the laying of the foundation of an international airport in the Fuzuli District in Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev was quoted on his website on Friday.
The Azerbaijani leader also informed that recovery works in the city of Shusha had begun.
During a visit to Shusha, Aliyev met with military officers and visited a number of cultural and religious monuments.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.
On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Baku and Yerevan must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.