Officials Welcome Canada-Artsakh Parliamentary Friendship Group

ANCC representatives with members of the Canadian Parliament Rachael Harder, Harold Albrecht and Bob Saroya
ANCC representatives with members of the Canadian Parliament Rachael Harder, Harold Albrecht and Bob Saroya

ANCC representatives with members of the Canadian Parliament Rachael Harder, Harold Albrecht and Bob Saroya

The Artsakh Foreign Ministry and the Speaker of the Artsakh Parliament Ashot Gulyan welcomed the establishment, last week, of a Canada-Artsakh Parliamentary Friendship Group, which held its inaugural meeting on March 19 in Ottawa in the presence of the Armenian National Committee of Canada.

The Artsakh Foreign Ministry said the newly-established legislative cooperation group “will contribute to regional peace and stability by fostering respect toward universal values such as freedom, democracy and human rights”

“Parliamentary diplomacy is one of the most important formats for expanding the international cooperation of Artsakh,” said the Artsakh Foreign Ministry. “This step by the Canadian parliament members once again proves the inadmissibility and unacceptability of the policy of isolation of Artsakh and its people.”

The Foreign Ministry also praised the ANCC for its role in advancement the establishment of the group.

Artsakh Parliament Speaker Ghulyan addressed a letter to Rachael Harder, a member of the Canadian House of Commons, who led the effort in the Canadian legislature.

Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Artsakh Ashot Ghulyan on March 22 sent a letter of gratitude to member of the House of Commons of Canada, Mrs. Rachael Harder, for the creation of a parliamentary friends group with the people of Artsakh in Ottawa on March 19 led by her, the Artsakh Parliament told Armenpress.

“I am confident it [the parliamentary friendship group] will become an effective platform for expanding the mutually beneficial ties between Artsakh and Canada, in particular, in the sphere of humanitarian cooperation,” said Ghulyan in his letter.

Ashot Ghulyan also sent a gratitude letter to executive director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada Sevak Belyan for assisting the formation of the friendship group.

“In the spirit of Canada’s long-standing tradition of peacekeeping, peacemaking and humanitarian assistance, ‘Parliamentary Friends of the People of Artsakh’ will establish a friendship network between the people of Artsakh and concerned Canadian parliamentarians, dedicated to listening compassionately to the Artsakh people’s desire for peace and harmony and to generate awareness of their daily life and the many hardships they continue to endure” read a part of the mission statement of the group published last week.

During the meeting, the group read and ratified the proposed mission statement, discussed the current situation in Artsakh and elected parliament member Rachael Harder as chair, to lead the group’s activities.

“Thank you to the Armenian National Committee of Canada for inviting me to work with them to launch the Parliamentary Friends of the People of Artsakh. I am honoured to accept the role of chair for this important Parliamentary friendship group,” said Harder.

“I’m excited to work with the Armenian National Committee of Canada and my parliamentary colleagues to promote awareness and education and engage in constructive dialogue as we pursue Canada’s long-standing tradition for peacemaking, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance,” added Harder.

The group will also assist in promoting a space for dialogue and various types of exchanges amongst the peoples of the region and Canada and also in disseminating our shared values of respect, tolerance and regard to human rights in the South Caucasian region.

“We are extremely pleased and grateful to see that our elected officials are dedicating their time and energy to learn more about the current situation in Artsakh and explore new ways on how to assist and give a voice to those that are often left voiceless,” said Vatche Chamlian, chair of the ANCC.

“There is absolutely no alternative to the peaceful resolution of the Artsakh conflict and initiatives such as the establishment of this parliamentary group will further enroot that conviction within our public sphere,” said Sevag Belian, executive director of the ANCC.

The group will also serve as a source of hope and encouragement for the region’s population, to engage with Canadian legislators and share their stories of concern and optimism, while assisting in breaking the international isolation of the people of Artsakh.

“Breaking the international isolation of Artsakh is a key priority to guarantee Artsakh’s safety and security in the region and to ensure that violations do not continue to take place at the expense of the people’s fundamental human rights,” said Chamlian.

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