September 30th, 2020
Government must promote peace in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
ST JOHN'S – There are troubling allegations that Canadian military equipment sold to Turkey is being used by Azerbaijan in drones that are targeting civilians in the latest outbreak of the military conflict in the longstanding dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Since Sunday, Armenia and Azerbaijan have already reported hundreds dead and wounded," said Jack Harris, NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs. "There is a high probability of escalation and without a peaceful and durable solution to this conflict, many more civilian and military lives will be lost. The Liberal government must do what it can to urge de-escalation and resuscitate attempts to reach a peacefully negotiated settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
Despite several attempts by international groups, including the OSCE, to broker a solution, after a six-year war that left 30,000 dead and more than one million displaced, the cease-fire set in 1994 has not led to a resolution.
New Democrats are concerned that the government could be complicit in human rights abuses in the region by failing to regulate Canadian arms exports to Turkey.
"Canada must investigate these reports and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure Canada is not complicit in human rights abuses, violating the Arms Trade Treaty, and furthering this conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan," said Harris. “The Liberal government must look in the mirror to re-evaluate Canada's arms exports, stop selling arms to Turkey in breach of our own embargo, and to look for ways to work with other nations to build global peace."