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Armenia To Boycott Eurovision In Baku Due To 'Enemy' Statement

An artist's rendering of Baku's Crystal Hall, where the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest will be held.
An artist's rendering of Baku's Crystal Hall, where the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest will be held.

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By RFE/RL's Armenian Service
YEREVAN -- Citing an "anti-Armenian" statement made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenia has officially announced its decision not to participate in Europe's most popular song contest, which will be held in Baku in May.

Armenian Public Television, which selects the country's participants for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, attributed the boycott to Aliyev's March 1 remark that "the Armenians of the world" are his nation's main enemy.

"Although the Azerbaijani authorities promised security guarantees for all participating countries, Azerbaijan's president 'made an exception' for one of those countries several days ago, declaring that Azerbaijan's No. 1 enemy is the Armenians scattered around the world," the state-run broadcaster said in a statement.

"We can conclude that the president of a Eurovision host country is officially stating that all Armenians, including those who would be included in the Eurovision delegation, are the enemies of Azerbaijan. Therefore, it would make no sense to send our participant to a country where they would be received as an enemy.

"We are convinced that the atmosphere created by this and other anti-Armenian statements and actions cannot ensure equal conditions for all singers participating in Eurovision," the statement said.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organizer of the annual contest watched by tens of millions of TV viewers, was quick to express disappointment over the decision.

Ell and Nikki of Azerbaijan celebrate on stage after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final in Duesseldorf in May 2011.Ell and Nikki of Azerbaijan celebrate on stage after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final in Duesseldorf in May 2011.
Ell and Nikki of Azerbaijan celebrate on stage after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final in Duesseldorf in May 2011.
Ell and Nikki of Azerbaijan celebrate on stage after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final in Duesseldorf in May 2011.
"We are truly disappointed by the broadcaster's decision to withdraw from this year's Eurovision Song Contest," the contest's executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, said in a statement posted on the EBU's website.

"Despite the efforts of the EBU and the host broadcaster to ensure a smooth participation for the Armenian delegation in this year's contest, circumstances beyond our control led to this unfortunate decision," he said.

Azerbaijan won the right to stage the 2012 edition of Eurovision in Baku thanks to the victory of an Azerbaijani duo in last year's contest held in Duesseldorf, Germany. Armenian Public Television has since made its participation in the Baku show conditional on firm security guarantees by the Azerbaijani government.

Some of Armenia's leading pop singers and composers spoke out against Armenia's participation late last month. One of them, Artur Grigorian, director of the State Music Theater in Yerevan, welcomed the boycott, citing the unresolved conflict over the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We can't go to a country that currently holds [several] Armenian soldiers as prisoners," Grigorian told RFE/RL's Armenian Service. "I'm saying this as a citizen, not as a composer or artist. I just don't want to see an Armenian singer sing on that soil."
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Phill from: UK
March 07, 2012 12:02
Its ok, nobody votes for Armenia anyway. Nobody likes this Russian puppet country and Iran sympathizers. Besides, who will represent them? Kim Kardashian's big butt? ROFLOL
In Response

by: Ivan the Terrible from: OK
March 07, 2012 18:36
Dear Phil effendi djan from the UK,you are bloody right ,nobody,but nobody,man wants these bloody russian puppets and Iran sympathizers.Problem is azeristan is part of Iran and without the bloody russians there would not be any azerbaybaydjan today,so dont be that ungrateful like an azeri kgb stooge.Now we would like you to represent the armenians in Baki,with yer bigger than Kim`s butt,and stop wet dreaming about it,but they told us there`s a 350 pound weight limit on all participants and you wont be able to pass thru the palace doors ,so you`ll have to limit your belly dances in your local kgb gym saloon,or turkish bath,whichever has a wider door you can pass thru.

by: Arshin Mal Alan from: Baki
March 07, 2012 12:30
Forget about the armenians-they dont know what they are missing-the mountains of halal halva rahat lokum,dolma,pork,kebabs,baklava,moonshine and our Sultan-khan has promised free access to all his harems to those who lick his err. behind!!!! Let`s be the first who praise the real true winner -Azaran Bulbul /the thousand voiced nightingale/ Ilhan and our Lady of the skies MaryBanBan ,3rd place goes to lovely Sara from Tehiran ,writing under different names on these posts.And we all hope the roof will not fall down on the singers and dancers like it does usually in azeri-turkic constructions,so lets all go to our fave place -the turkic bath and start with the hanky panky before the armenians come and take away our soap.

by: Sara Tahiran from: Baki
March 07, 2012 12:35
Armenia at Eurovision-2012 will not, not big deal. It is their stupidity or another, or may not show the world that they too can claim victory. Eurovision2012 -celebration of music around the world. The Armenians had the opportunity to see what became of Baku after they started the Karabakh conflict. It's no secret that this city inhabited by the Armenians, they lived better than others, I would say the best. Held high positions in the government of Azerbaijan. Do not call themselves Armenians, Baku. Because this concept was higher than that of Armenians. An example is Gary Kasparov, who calls himself a representative of the Baku nation. But they succumbed to the adventure of Gorbachev, Sumgait made with the agents of Moscow, Eduard Grigoryan, and others, raised a rebellion in Karabakh, shed the blood of their neighbors and are still at war with Azerbaijan. Normal people understand that the Karabakh conflict was the geopolitical game in Moscow to destroy the Soviet Union, and then use this conflict to stay in the Caucasus, or rather in Armenia. The participation of Armenians in the Eurovision-2012 would bring back these people, conflict is not on their own. Looks like Moscow Forpostana owners do not want peace restored between the two neighboring nations.
In Response

by: Arshin Mal Alan from: Baki Tehiran
March 07, 2012 18:35
You are bloody right dearest Sara Tehiran djan from lovely free and demockratic ilhamistan,pardon,azeristan.I was bloody wrong in my previous post to give second place to Lady MaryBanBan-second place belongs to you,my dear Layla,right after the greatest political belly dancer and trafficker of his fellow kurds Ali Babalievich you know who.However its nice to see the thoughts you share on this post-its the first time such views are aired by an official azeri pundit and it will be interesting to see how the `stupid `armenians would react.Now basically all armenians would like to emigrate to azerbaybaydjan,knowing from first-hand experience the greatness of their azeri overlords,but alas....

by: Gary from: USA
March 07, 2012 15:24
I'm not surprised by the withdrawn. Last week Azerbaijan's president openly announced that all Armenians around the world are their enemies. The only thing he left behind is "ALLA AKPAR".
In Response

by: Mike from: Russia
March 08, 2012 10:46
Gary, its not ok to just make up facts. Show me some evidence.
In Response

by: Phil from: UK
March 08, 2012 12:10
Check the news Mike, its on there... Google is your friend.

Nevertheless, its a justified statement from Aliev, considering that Armenia is occupying 20% of Azeri land in contradiction to 6 UN resolutions. Aremenia and this whoel conflict is just Russian ploy to control the region by creating unrest.
In Response

by: Garo from: USA
March 08, 2012 14:13
Mike from Russia, read a newspaper or two, or better yet, make a little google search to find the facts about Aliyev. Its never OK to accuse others of making up facts.
In Response

by: Jim from: USA
March 08, 2012 15:20
Mike those words came out of the dictator's filthy mouth earlier in his speech, there is no point in having a eurovision in a dictatorship filled with islamists. There is no point for Armenia to be there after the realities that occured and continue in azerbozojan.

by: Jack from: US
March 08, 2012 03:18
The real question is why Euro contest is held in Azeristan which is not European country in any sense
In Response

by: Michal from: Prague
March 08, 2012 15:39
US is also not European country. Azerbaijan is in Europe - for those who don't know geography.
In Response

by: rick from: milan
March 08, 2012 19:42
There are so many theories about eastern borders of Europe

that in the context of the European Football Championship

Kazakhstan also participates in the eliminations ....

Kazakhstan is Europe ?

BUT if it is on the border with China !
In Response

by: Sey from: World
March 08, 2012 21:13
Correction Michal from Prague, 1% of Azerbaijan is in Europe, the rest is in Asia.

If we go by that "definition" of Europe, why does Kazakhstan cannot be in Eurovision? They also have a portion of land in Europe, unlike for example Armenia which is completely in Asia...or Israel, which is deeply in Asia.
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 09, 2012 02:37
yes, they are definitely ignorant. why issues relating to european countries irritate US? they butt in all political issues, and i see that they want to share their opinions in song contests too))
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 09, 2012 02:34
do you want us to learn US's opinion in eurovision song contest too? US always butts in affairs of all countries. stop your disgusting policy. as if all americans are democratic. are you democratic? you are invaders and killers of little ones in irag,Afganistana nd other countries. you have no right to speak about human rights or smth like that .

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 08, 2012 12:45
Mr Putin has also decided to contribute to the contest in Baku...
On his orders,grandmothers from a nursing home go to youth Contest in Baku .. so-called " Buranovskie grandmothers" go to Eurovision...
It is clear that Putin is irritated by good relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan and sends seniles to humiliate Aliyev..
Aliev and others should start to prepare the ground for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Sochi..
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 09, 2012 02:44
yes, Azerbaijan has very good relationships with Georgia. why does it irritate you? does Azerbaijan snoop in your affairs concerning with armenian-russian relationship. you and armenia have invaded some territories of those 2 countries and still speaking about democracy , humanity,dictators and etc. it is putin's problem if he sends old ones or not. he is free in sending old grandfathers too. by this senseless act putin doesn't humiliate Azerbaijan , he humbles only russia and its culture.)))) those old women will represent russia, but not Azerbaijan)))
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 10, 2012 03:09
Actually grannys is Udmurt by nationality..
You know. what is the Udmurt?
Characteristic features of the Udmurt character - it is shyness, lack of initiative, fear of conflict, isolation, a kind of national inferiority complex.. No wonder the Udmurtia is one of the first places on the number of suicides. This, unfortunately, one of the "drinking" nations.
It is clear that there is a deliberate sending of grannys- alcoholics to an Islamic country...
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 10, 2012 10:28
I repeat it again that no matter for Azerbaijan if russia sends grandmothers, old women, young girls and others to Azerbaijan. the case is that the people that russia sends will represent russia itself))) even if they are drunk people , it will again represent russia's ill-mannered behaviour. it makes no sense to think that russia will humiliate Azerbaijan by sending tipsy grannies .anyway with or without those grannies, russia is so prominent for its vodka culture:))
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 10, 2012 13:26
I simply offer to Mr. Aliyev meet grandmothers-alcoholics from Udmurtia at Baku airport, bring them in the home for the elderly, where they are in familiar surroundings can fulfill their reprise and then on the same plane to send grandmothers to Moscow where they will be singing in Red Square for Mr. Putin and his bootlickers..
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 10, 2012 16:13
The president of Azerbaijan is not uneducated and uncivilized as you think to welcome such tipsy grannies who will represent drunk russia:)))

by: Kristen from: Berlin
March 08, 2012 18:05
Armenians are smart people. I think, they made the right decision to boycott this song contest in a human right violating and primitive country like azerbaidjan.
Germany should follow.
In Response

by: orkhan from: Baku
March 08, 2012 19:32
you are not right, may be you are racist person. Armenia killed last year one azeri child on 8 march in international women day, then not only in azerbaijan human right violiting , armenia is more worse than Azerbaijan. do you know about 1 march events in yerevan no of course? did you know how many children were killed by aremnian in khocaly no of course! did you know one azeri girl was killed by armenian with toy ( there was bomba in) no of course. Azerbaijan is a muslim country and you can spot azeris
In Response

by: Sanan from: UK
March 09, 2012 02:48
bro, they are christians and that's why all mistakes and violations of armenia seem like correct acts to them. this is the case

by: orkhan from: Baku
March 08, 2012 19:40
who is lier ? who is a killer? who is a racist?

Azerbaijan or Armenia

our lands occupied by armenian even 20 years and all country didn't recognize Nagorno Karabakh

last year in 2011 on 8 march international women days in Agdam one azeri child ( Fariz Badalov ) was killed by aremnian snipers and his mother said than "" Armenia gifted my son's dead body on 8 march """
one azeri girl saw one toy on river and she wanted to take it and she has done it but then toy attaced and she died
this year Eurovision song contest 2012 Armenia is in or our. it is not important for us, we are not racist . Sarkisyan took place on khocaly when 22 children were killed by armenian and how we can say that armenia is our friend of course they are number one enemy of azeris

by: Bart from: USA
March 08, 2012 20:21
I find it very alarming that Eurovision has not pulled the plug on Azerbaijan. If the president of the host country declares that an entire nation of people is the enemies of Azerbaijan, this in itself should be grounds for automatic disqualification of the host nation. I thought Eurovision was about promoting peace and tranquility in Europe via music. With the bellicose and anti-Armenian remarks from the host country's president, it is everything but. Two thumbs down to Azerbaijan, and two thumbs down to Eurovision for not having the moral courage to speak up.

by: Turkmen from: Absurdistan
March 08, 2012 21:06
Hey men, calm down, lets host in Turkmenistan. We are living in an Era of Happiness. =)
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