ANCC Canadian Foreign Ministry Reps Take up Timely Issues

OTTAWA–Representative of Canada’s foreign ministry and Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) met on April 2 at the ministry building in Ottawa. ANCC representatives–Chairman Jirayr Basmadjian–and Toros Dimitian held a two-hour meeting with the ministry’s Director General David Preston–and Peter Curtis who heads Canada’s Armenia relations office.

Although ANCC representatives stressed the importance of current government efforts to create dialogue between Canada’s minorities–they nevertheless expressed concern about the timing of move that coincides with the vote in the Canadian House of Commons on the Armenian Genocide.

Efforts for potential dialogue–presumably between all minorities–could possibly overshadow the motion on the Armenian Genocide due for a vote in late April.

Although the Canadian government opposes the use of the word "genocide," explained Preston–it also opposes a vote against motion–and will allow each member of its party to rule their conscience on the issue.

ANCC representatives detailed the necessity of establishing a Canadian embassy in Armenia–considering the vast Canadian Armenian community.

They also covered the political situation in the Caucasus–specifically the absurdity of attempts to regulate the Karabagh conflict without the participation of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) in negotiations.

Though the meeting participants did not agree on all matters–they nevertheless agreed that the talks were constructive and beneficial.

Preston and Curtis requested a follow-up meeting in the near future with ANCC representatives.

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