In a joint endeavor, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan inaugurated a secondary school in Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district, situated in the Karabakh (Garabagh) economic region. The inauguration of the school occurred during Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s official two-day visit to Azerbaijan.
The construction of the school was sponsored by the Uzbekistani government, driven by President Mirziyoyev’s personal initiative. Speaking at a press briefing together, President Ilham Aliyev referred to this as the gift from Uzbekistan towards the post-liberation restoration of the Karabakh region.
Spanning an impressive 3 hectares (equivalent to 7.4 acres), this two-story school is designed to accommodate up to 960 students. It boasts 40 classrooms, six laboratories, two computer rooms, five specialized study areas, a 500-seat assembly hall, a gymnasium, a 320-seat cafeteria, and a library. The facility also incorporates a football pitch, recreational spaces, running tracks, discussion rooms, a security checkpoint, a heating facility, water reservoirs, and a transformer substation.
This newly established school in Fuzuli is the second educational complex launched in the recently liberated areas of Azerbaijan, following the inauguration of a secondary school in Aghali village within the Zangilan district.
Fuzuli was one of the Azerbaijani districts decimated by Armenian forces during nearly three decades of occupation. Administrative, residential, cultural, and religious structures were ruined. Following the liberation of Fuzuli in 2020, President Aliyev noted the challenge in finding an intact building to hoist the state flag.
Armenia and Azerbaijan had long been in conflict over the latter’s Karabakh (Garabagh) region. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to Armenia launching a military campaign against Azerbaijan, which persisted until a ceasefire was brokered in 1994. The bloody war resulted in Armenia occupying 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories, including Fuzuli in 1993. This occupation involved a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign by Armenia, resulting in the deaths of over 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis and the expulsion of one million from their ancestral lands.
The long-standing conflict escalated on September 27, 2020, when Armenian forces illegally stationed in occupied Azerbaijani territories targeted military positions and civilian settlements of Azerbaijan. In response, Azerbaijani forces launched counter-attacks, leading to the liberation of over 300 settlements, including the cities of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli, and Shusha, from nearly 30 years of illegal Armenian occupation. The hostilities concluded with a statement signed on November 10, 2020, which saw Armenia also returning the occupied Aghdam, Kalbajar, and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan.