YEREVAN—A group of well-known Armenian singers have released a statement addressed to the European Broadcasting Union and the Armenian Public TV Company saying they will not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest-2012, which will take place in Baku.
The statement comes after Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported late on Thursday that an Armenian soldier was shot dead by an Azerbaijani sniper in the North-Eastern province of Tavush.
“And this happens at a time when the mediators in the negotiation process of the Karabakh conflict have several times called on the conflicting parties to withdraw snipers from the Line of Contact,” read the statement signed by several Armenian singers.
Further it mentioned that Armenia has always declared it is ready to withdraw its snipers, while “Azerbaijan, as we can see, not only does not accept the proposal but also takes advantage of every occasion to shed the blood of Armenians”.
“Under these circumstances we, the undersigned, are stating in public that we have the most serious reservation over Armenia’s participation in the Eurovision to be held in Baku,” the statement added.
Ceasefire violations across the Line of Contact claim several lives annually. Last year 20 Armenian and Azerbaijani conscripts were killed because of those violations.
The Armenian singers further said that for several years now Armenia has taken part in the Eurovision song contest, including the junior one, but now they are stating that they will not participate in the contest.
“We are declaring that we refuse to take part in the contest to be held in Baku.
“We refuse to perform in a country that is notorious for its mass killings and massacres of Armenians, a country where anti-Armenian sentiment is part of state policy, a country where ethnic Armenians are denied entry, even if they are citizens of other countries,” the statement added.
Further, they called on Armenian Public TV Company reconsider sending an Armenian participant to the contest, adding that they are ready to take part in it, should the European Broadcasting Union decide to hold the contest in another country.