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e-2885 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Anahit Armenakyan from North Bay, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • On Sunday, September 27, Azerbaijani forces, backed by Turkey, began a full-scale attack against Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh in Armenian);
  • Azerbaijan launched air and missile-attacks in all directions along the Artsakh line of contact and has expanded into Armenia;
  • Armenian border towns, settlements and Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, are being bombarded and shelled;
  • Civilian deaths, injuries and military casualties continue to rise;
  • The people of Armenia and Artsakh with democratically elected governments have been defending their families, homes, and lands;
  • The recent violent attacks on civilians of Stepanakert, and towns across the Armenian border, serve as reality of genocidal threat towards the Armenian nation;
  • Their aim is to extinguish the democratic stronghold of the Armenian people; and
  • Canada approved sales of optical technology to Turkey, which are being used in drones that target civilians.
We, the undersigned, Canadians and Armenian-Canadians, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Take a stand for democracy in Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh);
2. Condemn the aggression of Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh;
3. Request Turkey to remove itself from the conflict zone;
4. Stop all arms sales to Turkey to ensure Canada takes no part in the killings of innocent civilians; and
5. Strongly denounce crimes against the Armenians.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada welcomes the end of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Now that an agreement has been reached, the focus must be on ensuring that civilians receive the humanitarian assistance they need, and that their rights and safety are fully respected, so that all those displaced by the fighting are allowed to return to their homes. The Government of Canada believes that a comprehensive resolution to the conflict can only be delivered through a negotiated settlement, not through military action.

The Government of Canada continues to support the efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Minsk process. The OSCE Minsk Group seeks a negotiated solution to the conflict, and Canada’s position does not prejudge the outcome of this process. Canada stands ready to contribute to its ongoing work.

While the conflict was ongoing, the Government of Canada condemned the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, especially the shelling of civilian areas. Canada repeatedly called for a peaceful, negotiated resolution through the framework provided by the OSCE. The Minister of Foreign Affairs issued public statements, including joint statements on September 28 and October 6, 2020, with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, urging all external parties and friends of both states to use their influence to support an end to the hostilities and to refrain from taking actions that risk exacerbating the crisis. While in Europe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also met with the High Representative of the European Union and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to discuss how Canada and the international community could address the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Canada contributed $450,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support their budget extension for the region and address urgent needs that have arisen as a result of the conflict.

On October 5, 2020, a number of relevant export permits to Turkey were suspended, following allegations made regarding the possible use of Canadian technology in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A review of these allegations is currently underway.

Open for signature
October 9, 2020, at 10:20 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
November 8, 2020, at 10:20 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Bryan May (Cambridge)
November 27, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00300)
Government response tabled
January 25, 2021
Photo - Bryan May
Liberal Caucus