Azerbaijan to build ‘smart cities’ in liberated regions

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) – Settlements recently liberated from Armenian occupation will be re-established based on the concepts of “smart city” and “smart village,” said the Azerbaijani president on Tuesday.

Ilham Aliyev made the remarks during his virtual talk with Resat Nebiyev, whom he appointed as transport, communications and high technologies minister.

The Azerbaijani leader said modern technology be used in the reconstruction work, which will start soon, and that urban infrastructure projects will run in parallel with the de-mining.

Aliyev said there are plenty of water resources and hence opportunities for solar and wind energy. "it is necessary to involve foreign investors, and create opportunities for local companies. The recovered lands should be areas of high-tech development," he said.

He also called for the use of modern technology in agriculture, saying that "we can't stay behind."

– Karabakh war

Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, and during the six-week-long conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages. At least 2,855 of its soldiers were martyred.

There are differing claims about the number of casualties on the Armenian side, which sources and officials say could be as high as 5,000.

The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end the fighting, and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

*Writing by Merve Berker