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Azerbaijani Government Unveils Plans to Transform Occupied Kovsakan into Regional Hub

Azerbaijani Government Unveils Plans to Transform Occupied Kovsakan into Regional Hub

Azerbaijan's government has revealed ambitious plans to transform Kovsakan, known as Zangilan by Azerbaijan, into a significant regional logistics center, sparking discussions and debates regarding the historical context of the region.

The town of Kovsakan, occupied by Azerbaijani forces during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, has been the subject of controversy, especially concerning its historical heritage. According to Baku, the city is set to become a hub for tourism, trade, renewable energy sources, and modern innovations. The Azerbaijani media announced that the government has recently published details of the city plan, which was officially approved on October 30, 2023.

The development plan includes the construction of Zangelan International Airport, major railway lines, and roads, currently under construction, aiming to transform the town into an essential regional logistics center, according to official statements. The planned area of the city covers 333 hectares, with an expected Azeribaijani population of 16,000 people.

The Azerbaijani government has outlined the establishment of educational and healthcare institutions, including four preschools accommodating 960 children, three educational institutions for 2,880 students, a central regional hospital, outpatient clinic, administrative building, cultural center, and a complex of “Museums of Occupation and Victory”.

However, the historical context of Kovsakan has sparked debates. Armenian historian Hovhannes Gharagyozian contends that the town's original name, Pirchivan, holds historical significance, tracing its origins back to Armenian settlements in the region. Soviet-Armenian historian Suren Yeremian and Armenian historian Konstantin Khudaverdyan highlight the Armenian heritage of the area, referring to its past as part of the Kovsakan county in the Kingdom of Armenia.

The transformation plans have raised concerns among Armenian historians and scholars, who assert the historical and cultural significance of the region for Armenia. As discussions continue, the fate of Kovsakan remains a topic of significant interest, with ongoing debates about its historical heritage and its future in Azerbaijani occupation.

Countless humanitarian projects in Kovsakan village were undertaken by the Armenian diaspora. Schools and cultural centers were built, and many homes were constructed for local residents with the support of diaspora funding.


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