Oskanian Concludes Visit to Canada, Meets Counterpart

OTTAWA (Armenpress, ANCC)–Armenian foreign ministry said minister Vartan Oskanian met Wednesday with his Canadian counterpart Peter MacKay. The ministry said both officials highly assessed the two countries’ bilateral relations, highlighting the potential for further strengthening those ties. The role of the Armenian community in contributing to development of bilateral relations was emphasized. Also on Thursday, Oskanian met with the recently established Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group. Its chairman, Gary Goodyear, emphasized that the high turnout of Parliamentarians demonstrates "the positive relationship that exists between Armenia and Canada. It also illustrates the importance of our commitment to developing bilateral agreemen’s with our Armenian friends and counterparts." Goodyear concluded that by establishing Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group "we have the opportunity to share experiences and develop warm friendships that will serve and strengthen our two countries." Goodyear, (MP – Cambridge) and Chairman of Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ottawa, and the Armenian National Committee of Canada, hosted a luncheon-meeting for House of Commons and Senate of Canada members to honor Oskanian. After welcoming the minister, Goodyear emphasized that the high turn out of Parliamentarians demonstrates "the positive relationship that exists between Armenia and Canada. It also illustrates the importance of our commitment to developing bilateral agreemen’s with our Armenian friends and counterparts." Goodyear concluded that by establishing Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group "we have the opportunity to share experiences and develop warm friendships that will serve and strengthen our two countries." After thanking the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada members, and the Canadian Government for their recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Minister Oskanian said that the purpose of his visit is to strengthen Canada-Armenian bilateral relations in economic and political fields, Canada Armenia cooperation in international organizations and obtain Canada’s assistance in enhancing Armenia’s peace-keeping capacities. Minister Oskanian reviewed Armenia’s political, economic and social development, Armenia’s relation with its neighbors, and the French National Assembly’s principled stand on the Armenian Genocide. Minister Oskanian stressed that Armenia has always advocated dialogue and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Armenia and Turkey without precondition. "It is not our intention to humiliate or corner Turkey," stated Minister Oskanian. Jason Kenney, Parliamentary Secretary of the Prime Minister of Canada, on behalf of the Government of Canada welcomed Minister Oskanian and wished him a successful visit. The two-hour meeting provided an excellent opportunity for Canadian legislators to get first-hand knowledge of Armenia, its concerns and hopes. In addition to the Parliamentarians, the gathering was attended by ANCC Chairman Dr. Vagharch Ehrmdjian, ANCC central and regional board members, Archbishop Khajag Hagopian, Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, Rev. Mher Khatchigian and representatives from the Congress of Canadian Armenia’s. Minister Oskanian’s visit was covered by many major Canadian media organizations. "We are sure that such ministerial visits will pave the way for closer relation between the two nations. The vibrant Canadian-Armenian community and ANCC, will play, as they have done in the past, a pivotal role in bringing Canada and Armenia closer," said Aris Babikian, Executive Director of ANCC.

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