Press Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan during the joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

25 October, 2023

"Good afternoon, dear colleagues,

Dear Madam Minister,

Dear friend, dear Mélanie,

I welcome your visit to Armenia. This is the first ever official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada to Armenia. This is the evident testimony of friendly relations formed between our two countries and mutual willingness to expand the relations and to achieve greater success in the future, as well as Canada's support for democratic reforms in Armenia.

We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the further deepening of bilateral relations, as a result of which today we are witnessing the establishment of the resident Embassy of Canada in Armenia. This decision was made on the basis of the report "In support of democracy in Armenia" presented following the visit of Stéphane Dion, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Canada. I am confident that through joint efforts, we will be able to implement all remaining recommendations outlined in the report as a unique roadmap. 

Dear colleagues,

I should note with satisfaction that the relations between Armenia and Canada are based on common values, such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law. This creates a wide scope of cooperation for strengthening democratic institutions and increasing prosperity in Armenia.

In order to expand cooperation in trade and economy, we are considering the possibilities of Canada’s more active involvement.

I should also mention the interparliamentary dialogue and parliamentary diplomacy, which have always stood high in our relations. 

The Armenian community in Canada also has its role in the development of relations between our countries and peoples.

We welcome Canada's initiative to join the European Union civilian mission in Armenia and participate in it, both in the context of deepening bilateral relations and strengthening regional stability.

I want to stress the importance of the last point, because our region is in dire need of genuine and effective steps for ensuring peace, aimed at an objective assessment of the situation by international partners, ensuring a dignified peace for our people and preventing new catastrophes. 

Madam Minister,

In this context, Armenia commends principled position of Canada, which was also expressed a month ago, on September 19, during the large-scale military attack unleashed by Azerbaijan against the Nagorno-Karabakh. Unfortunately, all the messages of our international partners, the two legally binding Orders of the International Court of Justice had no effective impact on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, and this resulted in total ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh carried out by Azerbaijan with its continuous actions. I would add that we are confident that there are applicable mechanisms, the effective implementation of which can contribute to overcoming the atmosphere of impunity in the region and addressing the rights of people deprived of their homeland.

Taking this opportunity, I want to express my gratitude to the Government of Canada for providing humanitarian assistance through the ICRC to address the primary needs of those forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh at this difficult time.

Dear attendees,

Multiple times, from this platform, I have reiterated Armenia's readiness to advance the peace agenda, to support the efforts of our partners in that direction. Today, we had a discussion with Minister Joly about it as well. Armenia expects that its readiness will be fully reciprocated by other countries of the region, as well as will be fully, practically supported by our international partners. In this way, we see an opportunity to settle the existing problems based on the principles that were reflected in the statement adopted as a result of the Granada quadrilateral meeting. For this purpose, the mutual recognition of the territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan is paramount, excluding any maximalist claims, the urgent need to work towards the delimitation of the border between the two countries, based on the latest maps of the Soviet Union General Staff. We are also interested in unblocking regional communications under sovereignty and jurisdiction, with the principles of reciprocity and equality, creating a real "Crossroad of Peace" in the territory of the Republic of Armenia.

Madame Minister,

We discussed other issues as well, but I will conclude my speech with this, we will still have an opportunity to answer the questions of journalist. Once again, I want to thank you for today’s discussions and pass the floor to you."

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