Canada urged to condemn Azerbaijani aggression at Armenia border

In a letter addressed the Canadian Foreign Minister Robert Nicholson, Dr. Girair Basmadjian, President of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, has called attention to the recent aggression by Azerbaijan at the Armenian border and the line of contact with Karabakh, Horizon Weekly reports.

The letter reads:

Dear Minister:

 I am writing to you on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) in regards to the recent escalation of tensions perpetrated by the Republic of Azerbaijan along its borders with the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorn-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

In late September, the Azerbaijani army shelled civilian targets in Armenian villages in the border region of Tavush in the north-east of Armenia.  These unprovoked attacks killed three civilian women, two of whom were elderly.  Azerbaijan also fired in the direction of the town of Noyemberyan in the same region for the first time in ten years.  These artillery attacks led to shelling on both sides of the border which in turn resulted in the deaths of several Armenian service members.  All of this activity was in violation of a ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and contrary to all norms of international law.

These attacks were timed to coincide with meetings of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers and international negotiators from the OSCE Minsk Group.  The attacks are an attempt by the Azerbaijani government to improve its bargaining position by involving Armenia in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and the people of NKR.  Armenian civilians and military personnel are paying with their lives to prop up the corrupt and dictatorial Aliyev regime and Armenian border villages are under constant threat so that Azerbaijan gains concessions in what is meant to be a peaceful bargaining process.

Following these attacks, the OSCE Minsk Group proposed various measures to monitor ceasefire violations and to reduce tensions along the contact lines between Armenia and Azerbaijan and NKR and Azerbaijan.  All measures were rejected by Azerbaijan.

Canada’s government cannot sit silently while this conflict escalates. Prime Minister Harper has said in other instances that Canada cannot afford to sit by the sidelines while there are civilians being killed by a brutal dictatorship which does not seek peace.  Yet Canada has not raised its peaceful voice in this case. Many of Canada’s allies have already delivered forceful responses to these attacks.  The ANCC calls upon Canada to reiterate its support for the OSCE Minsk Group peace process and to condemn these attacks by Azerbaijan.

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