Canada Reiterates its Firm Position on The Armenian Tragedy

April 21, 2004 (7:15 p.m. EDT) No. 60


Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham today issued the following
statement concerning the adoption of a private member’s motion by the
House of Commons following a debate on the Armenian tragedy of 1915:

“The Government of Canada’s position on this issue, as stated on June
10, 1999, in the House of Commons, has not changed. We agree with the
members of the House that the events of 1915 to 1923 were tragic. Canada
has condemned the atrocities committed against hundreds of thousands of
Armenians, including massive deportations and massacres. In so doing,
the Canadian government has continued to urge the Armenian and Turkish
communities to seek reconciliation and peace and to look to the future
to contribute to prosperity and stability in an impoverished and
volatile region. The Canadian government also believes that the issue is
essentially for the Armenian and Turkish governments and experts to

“Canada has had friendly and cooperative relations with Turkey and
Armenia for many years. The Canadian government is committed to make
these relationships even stronger in the future.”

Debates and votes on private member’s business in the House of Commons
are an integral part of the Canadian democratic process, but private
member’s motions are not binding on the Government of Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Isabelle Savard
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
(613) 995-1851

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs Canada and International Trade Canada
(613) 995-1874