The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not oppose Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s trip to Baku for Europa League final.
“The Foreign Ministry will not oppose Mkhitaryan’s trip to Baku in case the latter provides sufficient security guarantees that will satisfy the player and the team,” MFA Spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan told a briefing today.
She added that the fact that Azerbaijan creates obstacles for the entry of Armenian fans to the country is worrisome.
“It would be good for Azerbaijan to remain committed to its earlier statement that sport is above politics,” she said.
Furthermore, Naghdalyan added that “racism and xenophobia have no place in sports." Therefore, she said, the failure by Azerbaijani to provide security guarantees or the ban of Armenian fans from the country is nothing but a “new expression of such racism.”
“This actually questions Azerbaijan’s ability to host international events of this scale,” the Spokesperson stated.
She added that this match could be a chance for Azerbaijan to demonstrate to what extent it is ready to work towards preparing peoples to peace.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's UK ambassador Tahir Taghizadeh has told Sky Sports News that Henrikh Mkhitaryan can contact him directly to guarantee his safety in Baku for the Europa League final.
He added that the problem with the player’s entry is that he has previously visited Nagorno Karabakh. “This entails consequences including blacklisted by the government,” Tahir Taghizadeh stated.
Arsenal are still facing a dilemma with Mkhitaryan’s visit to Baku for Europa League final against Chelsea.
There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan because of a longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.