Baku, May 13, AZERTAC
Unfortunately, as Azerbaijan is engaged in serious preparations to excellently deliver the UEFA Europa League Final match to be held at the Baku Olympic Stadium on May 29, the country is faced with the dirty smear campaigns conducted by some insidious forces in the West.
This time, those forces are striving to shape an opinion in the international community as if it is inappropriate for Azerbaijan to host this major sporting event, by voicing such unrelated, biased and unrealistic subjective allegations.
It is not surprising that certain forces in Europe have been recently conducting a "black PR" against Azerbaijan. The country has repeatedly faced such dirty campaigns ahead of all the prestigious events and competitions it hosted. As is the case with all the smear campaigns, this time, they allege the violation of the rule of law and human rights in Azerbaijan. Why do not those, who demand human rights violations against Azerbaijan, open their eyes wide and see the most recent police violence, hundreds of demonstrators punished and arrested, as well the harshest measures taken during the "Yellow Vests" protests in France.
The measures and reforms carried out to ensure the rule of law in Azerbaijan, especially the decrees and orders of the head of state signed over the past few months, are highly appreciated by European states. Azerbaijan therefore considers these allegations regarding the visa regime, expensive hotel and airfare costs unfounded, and completely denies them as groundless and biased.
Azerbaijan is today one of the countries which boast a high level of stability and low crime rate. It has already proved itself in the word as a country capable of excellently organizing any major international event. It has also been clearly stated in the comments made by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson over the issue: “The First European Games, the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games, annual Formula 1 Baku Grand Prix and the Qarabag-Chelsea football match held in 2017 as part of the UEFA Champions League are just some of these events. Numerous foreign citizens visiting Azerbaijan to watch these sporting events were absolutely satisfied with the effective maintenance of public order, the existing stability and security environment in Azerbaijan, and the organization of such large-scale sports events in the country.
Azerbaijan is also a country of tourism and every year it receives large numbers of foreign tourists. Along with other positive features of Azerbaijan, tranquility, security and stability are among the most important factors attracting foreign tourists”.
In the end, it is also important to note that there have been many calls by the world's most prestigious sports organizations to avoid using sport as a political instrument, who also suggested imposing penalties on athletes making political calls. In this regard, using the UEFA Europa League final match against Azerbaijan for ugly intentions demonstrates that the Western-authored and promoted values are underestimated by their initiators when needed.
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