CONGRESS OF CANADIAN ARMENIANS ASKS STEPHEN HARPER TO PERSUADE TURKEY TO OPEN BORDER WITH ARMENIA

NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY
NOVEMBER 2, 2009
OTTAWA

The Congress of Canadian Armenians sent an open letter to Prime
Minister Stephen Harper asking the Canadian government to persuade
Turkey to respect the protocols signed on October 10 and to fulfill
the assumed commitments by establishing diplomatic relations with
Armenia and opening the Armenian-Turkish border without preconditions.

The letter read that the Congress of Canadian Armenians positively
treats the protocol signed between Armenia and Turkey that will result
in restoration of normal diplomatic contacts and opening of the border,
which will promote growth of trade circulation.

The Canadian Armenians expressed concern with Turkish Prime Minister's
statement he made after signing of the protocols that opening the
borders is conditioned by the Nagorno Karabakh settlement. It is
inadmissible for the Congress of Canadian Armenians as the issue of
Nagorno Karabakh is not mentioned in the protocols.

Letter's authors mention that the government of Armenia still has a
lot of hurdles to cross in the just implementation of what has been
agreed to on paper. "Turkish and Azeri threats continue with respect
to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh issue. Armenians everywhere
are fast closing ranks to support the government of Armenia as it
counters these threats."

The open letter read that normalization of relations between Armenia
and Turkey is an important and overdue step, but true and lasting
conciliation requires the government of Turkey to come to terms
with history and recognize the Armenian Genocide. "The Congress of
Canadian Armenians and its participating organizations gratefully
acknowledge and thank you for steadfastly supporting the recognition
of the Armenian Genocide, and hope that in time you can persuade
Turkey to also recognize it," the letter to S. Harper read.