On September 20, a closing ceremony of the project 'Clearance of Mine and Unexploded Ammunition Pieces from Jeyranchol Territory' jointly implemented by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency's (NSPA) Partnership for Peace Trust Fund was held in Baku.
As informs Azerbaijan State News Agency, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies and Military Issues Fuad Alasgarov made a speech at the event congratulating everyone who contributed to the successful completion of the project, especially NATO officials who supported it.
The president's assistant noted that ANAMA, which recently celebrated its 20th jubilee, was established on July 18, 1998 by the decree of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, to clear the liberated territories from land mines and unexploded ordnance and secure safe living conditions for the local population: 'Over the past 20 years, the Agency has succeeded in overcoming the task set, and cleared more than 53,000 hectares of land from mines and unexploded ordnance, resulting in some of the IDPs returning to their homes. At present, ANAMA has a high professional staffing potential and a modern logistics base. The fact that the agency is involved not only in the territory of Azerbaijan, but also in the territory of other states is an indication of the high value given to its activity. It has established effective cooperation with many international organisations as well as the relevant structures of different countries,' said the presidential aide.
Fuad Alasgarov said that ANAMA's cooperation with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency should be especially underlined: '568 hectares of land were cleared during 6 years within the Saloglu Project implemented by the two organisations since 2005. Another successful joint project was the Jeyranchol project. A large number of mines, tank and artillery shells, aviation bombs and other unexploded ordnance were discovered in the area, which had been the former Soviet Union's military training ground in the Caucasus region. This territory was one of the biggest threats in terms of unexploded mines and ordnance in Azerbaijan. Since 2012, as part of the Jeyranchol project, which has been implemented in 3 stages, there were totally cleared 6,600 hectares of land and destroyed more than 18,000 unexploded military ammunition. In addition to the Government of Azerbaijan, several other countries have acted as donors in the project financing.'
Fuad Alasgarov thanked on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan all the donor countries participating in the project, and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency for organising connection to the donor countries, as well as the financial assistance and donation assistance.
Assistant to the president said that mine clearing is a humane mission, and those implementing this honourable mission often threaten their lives and health: '20 per cent of the territory is under the occupation of the Armenian Armed Forces, and mine clearance activities are of great importance for Azerbaijan. The country's leadership pays special attention to strengthening ANAMA and its logistics. We are confident that ANAMA's cooperation with foreign partners, including NATO, will continue to be successful. I thank for your attention and wish you new successes in your future activity,' said Fuad Alasgarov.