November 28, 2014
The Honourable John Baird,
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
125 Sussex Drive
I am writing to you on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of Canada in respect of a matter of vital importance to the Armenian-Canadian community and to all Canadians interested in promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
As you are aware on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Azerbaijani forces shot down an unarmed helicopter which was involved in military training exercises over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. All three people on board were killed.
The downing of this helicopter by the Azerbaijani military is an unprecedented violation of the 1994 ceasefire which ended open hostilities between Azerbaijan and the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. This action by the Aliyev regime has further inflamed tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan and has significantly increased the likelihood of a regional war.
In order to allow the peace process to work and to prevent further bloodshed on all sides, Canada must immediately condemn this hostile act by Azerbaijan and call upon all sides to resolve this conflict at the negotiating table. The failure by Canada to make any statement on the shooting is very troubling and may give the Aliyev regime false hope that the international community agrees with this provocation.
Our goal is to see a peaceful resolution to this conflict that recognizes the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to decide their own future. We believe that if the international community supports this goal, it must act decisively to ensure that this escalation in violence does not go unnoticed and that proper actions are taken to remind Azerbaijan of its obligations under the 1994 ceasefire.
Thank you for your consideration.
Dr. Girair Basmadjian,
President, Armenian National Committee of Canada