Armenia uses Arsenal's Armenian player for its provocative purposes, spokesperson of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said over the Armenian Foreign Ministry's statement about the final match of the UEFA Europa League, which will be held in Baku, and the information campaign on the issue of Arsenal player Mkhitaryan's arrival in Baku.
Abdullayeva stressed that the Azerbaijani side provided information that it will fully ensure the safety of all players who will participate in the final game of the UEFA Europa League in Baku on May 29 of this year, including Arsenal football club player Mkhitaryan, as well as all fans.
"Personally, as a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have repeatedly stated while answering questions concerning the issue that Azerbaijan does not identify sport with politics. It is not the first time that Azerbaijan hosts significant sporting events, and sportsmen of the Armenian origin also participated in numerous sports competitions held thus far in the country's capital.
"The statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry on the existing factors that prevent a player of Arsenal Football Club of the Armenian origin from visiting Baku testifies to attempts of Armenia to turn sport into an instrument of politics due to its internal political problems. The participation of the Armenian Foreign Ministry in such a game is only regrettable.
"Alas, this step clearly demonstrated that Armenia is not focused on preparing people for peace, as declared in the statements of the Co-chairs of the Minsk Group. Unfortunately, Armenia uses a player of Arsenal of the Armenian origin for its provocative purposes. It also demonstrated that, first of all, it is the Armenian people who need to be prepared for peace. It is incredible and absurd that Armenia, a mono-ethnic country that has conducted ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, accuses Azerbaijan of racism. The coexistence of various religious and ethnic groups in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance in Azerbaijan is well known throughout the world.
"A high-level organization of the final match of the UEFA Europa League in Baku, and acquaintance of foreigners visiting the country (whether they are football players or fans) with the real situation in Azerbaijan will be the best response to the baseless claims of the Armenian Foreign Ministry," the spokesperson said.