YEREVAN — The chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau Chairman (and President of the Armenian National Committee International) Hagop Der Khatchadourian met with Canada’s Ambassador to Armenia Andrew Turner at the embassy.
Der Khatchadourian congratulated the recent (October 2023) inauguration of the Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Armenia in Yerevan, which will help to deepen Canada-Armenia relations.
The main issues raised by the Bureau Chairman were the expectations from Canada in view of the recent ethnic cleansing of Artsakh through Azerbaijan’s genocidal acts and the ongoing negotiations for an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, especially the threats and actual incursion into and occupation of the Republic of Armenia territory by Azerbaijan.
Also, concerns were raised regarding the recent decision of the Canadian government to lift its ban on military exports to Turkey. In early October 2020, Ottawa had suspended export permits to Turkey for the optical technology gear with which Turkey had equipped its drones redirected to Azerbaijan, which used them to target Armenians during the 2020 44-day war in Artsakh.
Ambassador Turner reasserted his government’s position that the right of return of the people of Artsakh should be respected and that Canada strongly supports the territorial integrity of Armenia, hence its decision to participate in the EU Monitoring Capacity, which — in response to an official request by the Armenian authorities — is deployed on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border since October 2022, contributing to build confidence between populations of both Armenia and Azerbaijan and, where possible, their authorities.
Thus far, Canada is the only non-EU country to participate in this EU civilian mission on the ground. The Canadian Ambassador also reasserted that Canadian exporters have been notified that applications for new defence 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 prevent, detect and stop 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 ARF Bureau member and Executive Director of the ANC-International, Giro Manoyan and Aaron Coe, Political Counsellor at Canada’s Embassy.