On April 28, 2016, His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Canada, met The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.
On behalf of the Canadian Armenians His Grace expressed his gratitude for the principled stance that the Canadian politicians have taken on the Armenian Genocide and praised Canada’s role in preventing the crime of genocide internationally.
Bishop Abgar brought to the Minister’s attention the recent Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), and asked the Minister to condemn Azerbaijan for the violations of 1994 ceasefire agreement between Armenia, Artsakh and Azerbaijan. He informed the Minister about numerous instances of the International Humanitarian Law and human rights violations committed by Azerbaijan that caused victims among civilian population of Artsakh, including children. In this regard His Grace highlighted the importance of the addressed condemnation of the aggressor.
Furthermore, Bishop Hovakimian mentioned that the only just and sustainable solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the international recognition of the independence of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and called upon the Canadian authorities to honor the free and legitimate will of the people of the Republic of Artsakh by recognizing its independence.
In conclusion, His Grace highlighted the importance of opening an Embassy of Canada in Armenia, and asked The Honourable Minister to pay an official visit to the first Christian State in the world.
Levon Isakhanyan, Diocesan Chancellor, accompanied the Primate during the visit to the Minister Dion.