TORONTO–During a roundtable discussion with the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada on June 15, in response to Horizon Weekly representative and the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, Aris Babikian, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, reaffirmed that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Canada is a government policy and not “the position of the elected guys” as some insubordinate civil servants tried to represent.
The Prime Minister emphasized that “Canada’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide” is sometimes not easy “for the foreign service of Canada” to accept. The Prime Minister made it clear that the “ultimate position of the elected government is the position of the Government of Canada.”
Furthermore, in a response to NEPMCC President Tom Saras’ query about the interference in Canadian internal affairs of representatives of foreign governmen’s and pressuring or coercion of Canadians and Canadian organizations to follow certain policies, the Prime Minister condemned such practices and said that he found it “unacceptable” for these diplomats to pursue such interference.
He reminded members of the media that as head of “the Government of Canada I can not tell you what write in your newspaper and foreign governmen’s can not tell what to write.”
Saras query referred to a recent attempt by the Turkish Embassy to silence Saras after his condemnation of the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. The Turkish Embassy launched a vicious campaign to discredit Saras and called for his resignation as NEPMCC president.
“We are proud to have such an honorable, moral, and visionary Prime Minister as Mr. Harper,” Jean Mgerditchian, president of the Armenian National Committee of Canada. “After the Prime Minister’s unambiguous clarification, we call on our civil servant to comply with the policies of the executive and legislative government vis-?-vis the Armenian Genocide,” concluded Mgerditchian.
Some 45 ethnic and mainstream media representatives attended the roundtable discussion.