ARF Bureau Chairman meets with Canada’s Ambassador to Armenia

YEREVAN – On Friday, February 9, 2024, ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau Chairman and President of the Armenian National Committee International Hagop Der Khatchadourian met with Ambassador Andrew Turner at the Canadian Embassy.

Der Khatchadourian offered his congratulations on the recent inauguration of the Embassy of Canada in Yerevan in October 2023, which will deepen Canada-Armenia relations.

The ARF-D Bureau chairman discussed the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) through Azerbaijan’s genocidal acts and the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, highlighting the threats and occupation of Armenian territory by Azerbaijan. He also raised concerns regarding Canada’s recent decision to lift its ban on military exports to Turkey. In early October 2020, Ottawa suspended export permits to Turkey for optical technology gear, with which Turkey equipped drones that were redirected to Azerbaijan and used to target Armenians during the 2020 Artsakh War.

Ambassador Turner reaffirmed his government’s support of the right of return of the people of Artsakh and the territorial integrity of Armenia. Canada will participate in the EU Monitoring Capacity (EUMCAP), which, in response to an official request by the Armenian authorities, has been deployed on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border since October 2022. The mission aims to build confidence between the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan and, where possible, their authorities. So far, Canada is the only non-EU country to participate in the EU civilian mission on the ground.

The Canadian ambassador also said that Canadian exporters have been notified that applications for new defense exports will require statements from Turkey indicating whether the goods will be re-exported to a third country or non-NATO member and whether they will be incorporated into a weapons system. Canada is obliged under domestic law and the global Arms Trade Treaty to detect and prevent the diversion of military goods to users other than intended customers.

The 90-minute meeting ended with both sides expressing readiness to continue such meetings in the future and, when possible, to cooperate on mutually beneficial initiatives to strengthen Canada-Armenia relations in different spheres.

Also attending the meeting were Giro Manoyan, ARF-D Bureau member and executive director of the ANC-International, and Aaron Coe, political counsellor at Canada’s Embassy.

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