YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian Public Television on Wednesday officially told the European Broadcasting Union that it was pulling out of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Baku, reported ArmRadio.
Armenian Public Television accused Azeri President Ilham Aliyev of making hostile remarks in recent days.
“Despite the fact that the Azerbaijani authorities have given security guarantees to all participating countries, several days ago the Azerbaijani president made a statement that enemy number one for Azerbaijan were the Armenians,” the TV said in a statement.
In a speech February 28, Aliyev told local governing body officials that “Our main enemies are Armenians of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians under their control.”
Last month, a group of Armenian pop singers launched a Eurovision boycott campaign, saying: “We refuse to appear in a country that is well known for mass killings and massacres of Armenians, in a country where anti-Armenian sentiments have been elevated to the level of state policy. “There is no logic to sending a participant to a country where he will be met as an enemy.”
“We are truly disappointed by the broadcaster’s decision to withdraw from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest,” said the Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand on behalf of the EBU.
Consequently, only 42 countrieswill be represented at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. In each Semi-Final, 18 countries will be represented, whereas France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and host country Azerbaijan are automatically qualified for the final.