Karabakh deserves Canada's recognition: The Hill Times

Karabakh deserves Canada's recognition: The Hill Times

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hagop Arslanian, a community organizer and executive board member of the Armenian General Benevolent Union – Canada, has written an article about the 25 years of friendship between Armenia and Canada.

In the feature published on The Hill Times, Arslanian says that ties have grown in terms of human rights and international co-operation, but they remain meagre in the areas of trade and the economy.

Also, the AGBU board member says that Canada needs to address an issue that ultimately concerns human rights, namely the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh, NKR).

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union led by dictator Joseph Stalin forcibly placed the Armenian enclave of Artsakh (known back then as Nagorno-Karabakh) under the rule of Soviet Azerbaijan. Against all odds, the local population succeeded in maintaining its identity and establishing an independent state on Sept. 2, 1991, through a state-wide referendum held in full compliance with then-acting local legislative Soviet procedures and international norms. Azerbaijan responded to that democratic expression with aggressive military intervention, which lasted from 1991 to 1994, when the Bishkek Protocol, a ceasefire agreement, was signed.

"Today, Artsakh meets all the requirements set by the Montevideo Convention. Subsequent to the international recognition granted to the people of Kosovo, East Timor, and South Sudan, the people of Artsakh deserve to exercise their right to self-determination and have their statehood recognized by the international community, including Canada," Arslanian argues.

"Under the strong leadership of Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, a visionary and principled woman who is shaping Canada’s international role, the NKR issue must be included in our international human rights agenda. Perhaps a first step for Global Affairs Canada would be organizing a fact-finding mission to the South Caucasus to better understand the NKR situation.

"Remaining loyal to our principles enable us to maintain credibility. It is time for Canada to take the lead. By actively participating in NKR’s quest, Canada would once again demonstrate its attachment to these fundamentally universal values."

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