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BAKU, May 21 (Itar-Tass) — Azerbaijan has tightened security ahead of the Eurovision-2012 song contest.
“We guard security all year round and not just ahead of the Eurovision song contest. However, extra security precautions have been taken now. Azerbaijan provides full security guarantees,” Ali Gasanov, the deputy head of department for social and political issues at the administration of the Azeri president, told a news conference on Monday.
Gasanov said there were two sources of fierce propaganda against Azerbaijan. One of them is located in Iran.
“This country is extremely jealous of Baku’s rapid development and the fact that so many foreign guests will gather in the Azeri capital which is hosting an international event like the Eurovision song contest,” Gasanov went on to say
In recent years, Iran has been accusing Azerbaijan of deviation from Islam and persecution of Islamic believers. “We’ve demanded many times that the Iranian side stop interfering in our internal affairs while we will abstain from interfering in its state set-up. Our people stick to Islamic values but we have a different model of development,” the administration’s representative said.
Gasanov categorically denied Iranian-spread rumors that gay parades will be held in Baku during the Eurovision song contest.
International human right groups, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and Western media outlets are the second source of propaganda against Azerbaijan. They criticize Azerbaijan for violating democratic principles. “These organizations have a purpose to undermine the image of Azerbaijan. They do that intentionally. These are influential organizations and we don’t want the people of Azerbaijan to lose trust in them,” Gasanov emphasized.
Gasanov brought some clarity into how the Eurovision song contest had been financed. The Azeri government allocated about 64 million dollars; some money was invested by private companies which acted as sponsors.
About 20,000 guests have already arrived in Baku for the Eurovision-2012 song contest.