The Economist: Azerbaijan racing to rebuild Karabakh

    ANALYTICS  02 March 2024 - 13:49

    A recent article by The Economist highlights the work Azerbaijan has done to restore the lands it has freed from occupation. Caliber.Az republished the piece.

    Arif Hajiyev has spent his career working for the municipality of Aghdam, his home town in Azerbaijan. For three decades, however, he was unable to set foot there.

    In the early 1990s, Aghdam fell victim to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a multi-ethnic region claimed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia. Its Azeri population fled, and the town was looted and landmined. But in November 2020, Azerbaijan won back much of the territory, including Aghdam. Now, Mr Hajiyev says, a new era has arrived. “I am more than excited to be moving back,” he says, gazing at the ruins of his former high school.

    Aghdam is the centrepiece of Azerbaijan’s reconstruction of Nagorno-Karabakh: a huge project to rebuild towns and villages and resettle some 700,000 Azeris who fled the region during a war with Armenia in the early 1990s. An area covering 4,400 square km was largely abandoned and militarised, and by the time Azerbaijan took back control, there was barely a house left standing. 

    President Ilham Aliyev has pledged that 140,000 Azeris will return to the region by 2026. He is earmarking $2.4bn for reconstruction in 2024, more than a tenth of the country’s annual budget. Roads and railways as well as housing need rehabilitation. Allies of Azerbaijan, a bewildering spectrum including Hungary, Israel, Japan, Britain and Iran, have expressed interest in bidding. Turkish firms have been prioritised, in return for Ankara’s decisive military support in Karabakh over the past four years; by the end of 2023, Turkish firms had won $3.4 billion in contracts.

    Mr Hajiyev was 34 years old when he left the city. He remained on the municipality’s payroll, and is now involved in the town’s reconstruction. “A lot of people call me to ask when they can come back. Everyone is waiting for the day,” he says.

    The official masterplan for the new Aghdam shows concentric roads winding around preserved portions of the old ruins, spreading out into zoned municipal, residential and recreational areas. It will cover 2,000 hectares, and include a new stadium for Qarabag FC, the local football team, which has been playing from a borrowed stadium in Baku.

    Huge new buildings—a high school and residential blocks—already loom over the remains of the old city, and a tourist path has been marked out with multilingual signs. Several villages have already been completed, and families who have returned display photos with Mr Aliyev in their pristine new houses. Most of the area, though, is still a minefield and construction site: Aghdam’s renewal is expected to last until 2050.



    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Armenian provocateurs to face justice for border incident Acknowledgment marks positive turn in ties with Azerbaijan

13 April 2024 - 12:56

How France supports terror Strategy of destruction and manipulation

13 April 2024 - 14:31

US-Armenia relations: flirtation or serious commitment? Radio Liberty's failed provocation

12 April 2024 - 12:45

Armenia showing aggressiveness after meeting in Brussels Shelling, gathering of troops, false statements

11 April 2024 - 12:40

A match lit in the Middle East: How Iran-Israel tensions threaten wider war? Expert analyses

11 April 2024 - 10:14

Karabakh, renewable energy take priority in national development strategy Azerbaijan's energy renaissance

13 April 2024 - 11:18
Latest news

    Türkiye withdraws from Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

    Experts analyse reasons and implications

    13 April 2024 - 17:05

    Ruling party leader accuses Georgian president of engaging in anti-state activities

    13 April 2024 - 16:53

    Situation in east Ukraine has "deteriorated significantly", Kyiv commander says

    13 April 2024 - 16:42

    Iranian media confirms IRGC's seizure of Israeli-linked ship near Strait of Hormuz


    13 April 2024 - 16:31

    Ukraine starts building first US-design nuclear reactors

    13 April 2024 - 16:20

    President Biden's son Hunter loses bid to dismiss gun charges

    13 April 2024 - 16:09

    Peace with Azerbaijan only survival formula for Armenia

    Expert opinions on Caliber.Az

    13 April 2024 - 15:57

    Azerbaijan explores cooperation with UNESCO

    Foreign Minister meets Egypt's candidate

    13 April 2024 - 15:46

    Armenian Army faces criticism amidst allegations of mismanagement

    13 April 2024 - 15:24

    US sets deadline for consideration of draft aid package to Ukraine

    13 April 2024 - 15:13

    This Eid, Muslims in India face repression, erasure of their cultural identity

    Article by Middle East Eye

    13 April 2024 - 14:57

    11 passengers shot dead in southwestern Pakistan

    13 April 2024 - 14:40

    How France supports terror

    Strategy of destruction and manipulation

    13 April 2024 - 14:31

    Diplomat refutes allegations that China sends weapons to party in Ukraine conflict

    13 April 2024 - 14:29

    Türkiye eliminates 4 more PKK terrorists in northern Iraq


    13 April 2024 - 14:18

    Israel fires further airstrikes at Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon

    13 April 2024 - 14:02

    Iran readies 100 cruise missiles for possible Israel strike, US says

    13 April 2024 - 13:51

    New Caledonian anti-French protest uses Azerbaijan's "Iron Fist" as programme logo


    13 April 2024 - 13:40

    Russian military trainers arrive in Niger as African country pulls away from US

    13 April 2024 - 13:29

    128 stranded midair rescued after cable car accident in Türkiye


    13 April 2024 - 13:18

    Russia conducts test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile

    13 April 2024 - 13:07

    Armenian provocateurs to face justice for border incident

    Acknowledgment marks positive turn in ties with Azerbaijan

    13 April 2024 - 12:56

    Sydney police say 6 dead after shopping mall stabbings

    13 April 2024 - 12:45

    All power units of Zaporizhzhya NPP put in "cold shutdown" state

    13 April 2024 - 12:34

    Israel changes entry rules

    13 April 2024 - 12:23

    Kazakh leader calls for swift peace treaty between Baku, Yerevan

    13 April 2024 - 12:19

    US sees Iran moving military assets including drones and cruise missiles

    13 April 2024 - 12:12

    Kazakh President to pay official visit to Armenia

    13 April 2024 - 12:01

    What are Iran’s missile and drone capabilities?

    Analysis by The Times of Israel

    13 April 2024 - 11:50

    Armenian pundit warns "sea to sea Armenia" could provoke war with neighbors

    13 April 2024 - 11:39

    US bans imports of Russian aluminum, copper and nickel — US Treasury

    13 April 2024 - 11:29

    Karabakh, renewable energy take priority in national development strategy

    Azerbaijan's energy renaissance

    13 April 2024 - 11:18

    Azerbaijan clears Khankandi from Armenian weapons

    13 April 2024 - 11:07

    US says China is boosting Russia's war machine in Ukraine

    13 April 2024 - 10:56

    Georgian President calls ruling party a "Russian dream"

    13 April 2024 - 10:45

    US expects Iran to carry out direct attack on Israel

    As Biden warns "don’t"

    13 April 2024 - 10:34

    Media: Pashinyan withholds details of Brussels meeting from fellow MPs

    13 April 2024 - 10:24

    Armenia pinning hopes on German mediation

    European analyst says

    13 April 2024 - 10:17

    Zelenskyy: To stay or not to stay?

    Ukraine leader's legitimacy expires on May 20

    13 April 2024 - 10:01

    Iran warns US to stay out of fight with Israel or face attack on troops

    13 April 2024 - 10:00

All news