Families that were displaced by Armenian forces in 1993 when their village in Zengilan, Azerbaijan's southwest region, was occupied have started to return to their homes following the 2020 Karabakh war.
A group of 60 people, or 10 families, returned to their homes in the Agali village, which is located on the route of the Zangezur corridor, as part of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's "Great Return" program.
The remaining 31 families will move back to their homes this week, according to sources from the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
The government has committed to providing employment opportunities to the breadwinners of each family who settles in the Agali village.
Families living in Agali, which was liberated from Armenia in 2020, are allocated farming land. Some residents will be farming, while others will work in public institutions.
The Azerbaijani government has constructed around 200 detached houses equipped with solar batteries and eco-heating systems in the region. The government is not only assisting families in returning to their villages for well-maintained houses and livelihoods, but it has also developed proper infrastructures such as a school for 360 students, a kindergarten for 60 children, a primary health care center and a market area.
The Azerbaijani government's efforts to reconstruct and rejuvenate the liberated regions are in full swing, facilitating families to gradually return to their villages.
Aliyev had for years promised to retake lands lost in the 1990s and the first returns marked a symbolic moment for Azerbaijan.
In the autumn of 2020, Azerbaijan and Armenia went to war for the second time in Karabakh.
The fighting ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire agreement.
Under the deal, Armenia ceded swathes of territory it had occupied for decades, and Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to oversee the fragile truce.
This weekend, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in the Georgian capital Tbilisi for their first one-on-one talks since the war.
They were expected to build on an agreement that Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reached under EU mediation in May to "advance discussions" on a future peace treaty.
The two leaders met in Brussels in April and May and European Council President Charles Michel has said their next meeting is scheduled for July or August.
Following its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, an increasingly isolated Moscow lost its status as the primary mediator in the conflict.
The European Union has since led the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization process, which involves peace talks, border delimitation and the reopening of transport links.