OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on “all sides” to find a “peaceful resolution” to the ongoing Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.
Trudeau said he spoke with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday morning, “to express our concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
According to a readout of the call from the Prime Minister’s Office, Trudeau “expressed his deep concern regarding the continued fighting and the resulting loss of life, as well as its destabilizing effect in the region,” and implored all parties to engage in mediation efforts.
Trudeau has plans to speak with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later in the day.
Canada has already halted military export permits to Turkey, and officials are investigating claims that the country was using Canadian technology in the ongoing military action, though Armenians in Canada have called on the government to go further and condemn Turkey’s actions.
Trudeau said he will “certainly” be discussing the export permit issue with Erdogan.
“I will express how important it is for Canada and for our allies around the world, that there be a de-escalation of the violence in the region. And, and impress upon Turkey how important it is to encourage people to get back to the table and not continue to participate in the violent conflict ongoing right now,” Trudeau said.
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"Canada continues to be concerned by the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting in shelling of communities and civilian casualties,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in a statement at the time that the permits were suspended.
Trudeau said that Champagne, when speaking with allies during a trip to Europe this week, echoed the need for a ceasefire in this revived decades-old fight. The Nagorno-Karabakh region lies within the Azerbaijani border, but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
As The Canadian Press has reported, Champagne also said that a negotiated settlement is the only way to end the shelling by warplanes, drones and artillery that both side alleged have attacked civilians.
“At a time when the world faces a rapidly changing political and security environment, Canada is more than ever committed to supporting transatlantic cooperation, security, and democratic values. Against a backdrop of regional security concerns… it is more important than ever for Canada to show leadership in supporting democracy, human rights and the rule of law, while promoting peace and stability for all,” said Champagne in a statement concluding his trip abroad.
In this Oct. 13, 2020, file photo, a person stands in a cultural center destroyed by shelling during a military conflict, in Shushi, outside Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (AP Photo/File)