The Independent publishes article by Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesman

The article is response to a biased article posted on The Independent website a few days ago

Baku, April 25, AZERTAC

The Independent newspaper has published an article by spokesman of Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev.

This is response to "Football and hope in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – a forgotten region fighting Fifa's sanctions" article, which was published by the newspaper on April 20.

Headlined "Keep sport away from politics", Hajiyev`s article says: "Your recent article Football and hope in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – a forgotten region fighting Fifa's sanctions distorts the reality of the situation in the region."

"Sports and football should be kept away from politics. Reference in the article to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" is contrary to the norms and principles of international law, while reflecting views of only the Armenian side in this matter does not fit in the context of fair and objective journalism," the article says.

"The reality is Armenia occupied sovereign territories of Azerbaijan by force and established an illegal puppet regime there. Four resolutions of the UN Security Council reaffirm the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, condemn Armenian occupation and demand immediate, unconditional and full withdrawal of occupying forces from all seized lands."

"As a result of Armenia's occupation Qarabag football club is perhaps the only football club in the world in asylum. The club is not a political chess piece for Azerbaijan, as wrongly argued by your writer. We hope that peace will prevail in the region again and Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh, within Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, will enjoy Qarabag's football games in the future," the article concludes.

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