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Canada Voices ‘Solidarity’ With Armenia


Sweden - Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks with her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan during an OSCE ministerial meeting in Stockholm, December 2, 2021.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly expressed her country’s solidarity with Armenia when she discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan on Thursday.

The two ministers spoke with each other during an annual meeting of the top diplomats of OSCE member states held in Sweden’s capital Stockholm.

“I expressed Canada’s solidarity with Armenian people, reiterated Canada is deeply concerned by the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan border clash, which resulted in the deaths of Armenian troops,” Joly tweeted after the conversation.

“Our thoughts are with the victims’ families, loved ones and the community,” she said. “We call for de-escalation so that a peaceful solution to the conflict may be found.”

The fighting cited by Joly broke out on November 16 at one of the contested sections of the border where Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have been locked in a standoff since May. It left at least 13 soldiers from both sides dead.

Yerevan accused Azerbaijani troops of trying to advance deeper into Armenian territory. Baku denied that and blamed the Armenian side for what was one of the worst armed incidents since a Russian-brokered ceasefire stopped last year’s war over Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh -- An Armenian Defense Ministry photo that purportedly shows fragments of a Turkish-manufactured combat drone shot down in Nagorno-Karabakh, October 22, 2020.
Nagorno-Karabakh -- An Armenian Defense Ministry photo that purportedly shows fragments of a Turkish-manufactured combat drone shot down in Nagorno-Karabakh, October 22, 2020.

Just days after the outbreak of the war in September 2020, the Canadian government suspended the export of drone technology to Turkey. It banned such exports altogether in April this year after investigating and confirming reports that Turkish-manufactured Bayraktar TB2 combat drones, heavily used by the Azerbaijani army, are equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by a Canada-based firm.

“This use was not consistent with Canadian foreign policy, nor end-use assurances given by Turkey,” Joly’s predecessor, Marc Garneau, said at the time.

Ankara criticized the embargo and urged Ottawa to reconsider it.

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