Armenia confirms participation in Euro Games in Azerbaijan

ROME (AP) — Organizers of the inaugural European Games say they have received final confirmation that Armenia will send a team to the multi-sport event in Azerbaijan.

Armenia’s participation in the June 12-18 games in Baku comes amid the two nations’ continuing differences over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and some adjacent territory have been under the control of Armenian soldiers and local Armenian forces since a 1994 cease-fire that ended a six-year war.

Armenian Olympic Committee head Gagik Tsarukyan says the decision to compete was “based on sporting reasons alone.”

He says “it is important to keep sport independent from politics.”

Armenia plans to compete in six of the 20 sports on the program.

European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey says “this is great news for the European Games and for Armenian sport.”