OTTAWA, Canada—The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) said in a statement on July 26 that it is appalled to learn the Canadian government has granted an export permit for the transfer of highly sophisticated military equipment from the Toronto-based INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing to the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In a July 24 letter addressed to Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, the ANCC called on the Canadian government to immediately halt the transfer of weapons to Azerbaijan and take the necessary steps to reverse the damaging decision. The ANCC, in collaboration with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada, also launched an action alert, urging supporters to help halt the export of Canadian manufactured weapons to Azerbaijan by writing to Canada’s Minister of International Trade The Hon. François-Philippe Champagne. The action alert can be accessed using the following link: https://www.ayfcanada.org/action-alerts/halt-the-export-of-canadian-manufactured-weapons-to-azerbaijan/
“Such transfers of dangerous weaponry to a rogue states such as Azerbaijan violate the very basic norms of Canada’s arms exports regulations and pose a significant danger to domestic and regional stability,” said Shahen Mirakian, President of the ANCC.
“As has been demonstrated repeatedly thus far, the Azeri regime is adamant on using such equipment not only to perpetuate regional instability by threatening the peace and security of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) but also to crack down on dissent at home,” added Mirakian.
“By allowing this export of military goods to Azerbaijan, Canada is contributing to the hostilities among Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. Such decisions are contrary to Canada’s commitment and full support of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group negotiation process and for a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” read a part of the statement.
Azerbaijan has been repeatedly condemned by prominent rights watchdogs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for the recurring suppression of fundamental freedoms, most notably its continuing assault on independent journalism and human rights advocacy in the country.
“In observance of Canada’s stated priorities regarding arms exports, namely preserving regional peace and stability, and protecting human rights, we urge the government to not allow the interests and motives of hostile nations trump our shared values of justice and democracy,” concluded Mirakian.
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.