Canada Expresses Renewed Interest in Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Process

Ottawa – On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism distributed a statement titled “MP Albrecht Expresses Canada’s Concern About the Release of Ramil Safarov”. This statement drew attention to a statement made that day in the House of Commons by Mr. Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener-Conestoga and President of the Canada Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group on behalf of the Government of Canada. The statement, reproduced in full below, expresses the government’s “utter contempt and complete disbelief” at the pardon and release of convicted axe murderer Ramil Safarov by Azerbaijani authorities. The statement also expresses Canada’s continued support for the peace process in Nagorno-Karabakh.

This statement is only one of a number recent expressions of interest shown by the Canadian government and politicians in advancing the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

The Honourable Jim Karygiannis, MP for Scarborough-Agincourt acted as an official observer for the presidential election in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and held a town hall in Toronto on September 23, 2012, along with Mr. Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the United States of America and Canada, to deliver his verdict that the presidential elections were free of any irregularities and properly reflected the will of the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Mr. Karygiannis also expressed his support for the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s independence by the international community.

Additionally, Mr. Avetisyan recently held a meeting with Canadian parliamentarians in Ottawa where he discussed the ongoing peace process and explained the importance of Canada supporting international recognition of an independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.Text of a statement circulated by the Honourable Jason Kenney:


I wanted to share this important statement made by MP Harold Albrecht on behalf of our Conservative Government in the House of Commons concerning the release of Ramil Safarov.

Harold Albrecht, Member for Kitchener—Conestoga (CPC): Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to express my utter contempt and complete disbelief of recent developments in the case of Azerbaijani military officer, Ramil Safarov.

On August 31, Safarov was transferred from Hungary to Azerbaijan to ostensibly serve out a life prison sentence for the brutal murder of an Armenian military officer in 2004. Upon his return, he was pardoned and released.

These developments are of real concern to Canada, and in particular to Canadians of Armenian descent who want peace in their homeland.

Murder should be condemned, not rewarded.

Canada continues to support the ongoing peace process, and we will continue to promote regional cooperation and reconciliation. We encourage all parties to take the necessary measures to increase trust and constructively contribute to the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Hon. Jason Kenney,PC, MP

Calgary Southeast