STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA TO THE ARMENIAN-CANADIAN COMMUNITY

April 23, 2015

On this day we remember the terrible loss of life during the demise of
the Ottoman Empire in 1915, and in particular the horrific suffering
endured by the Armenian people one hundred years ago.

Both the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons have adopted
resolutions referring to these events as genocide.

This is a day we acknowledge solemnly, not to cast blame back into
the distant past, but to guide us towards a better future. It reminds
us all why we must remain committed to ensuring that today's world
is one where respect for human rights and democratic freedom prevails.

Today, Canadians of Armenian and Turkish origin live together, sharing
our values of tolerance and openness. In this spirit, we encourage
Armenia and Turkey to resume discussion of normalization protocols,
to seek a path towards reconciliation including an open border,
the establishment of diplomatic relations and the implementation
of a dialogue on the events of 1915. On this day of remembrance, we
praise individuals in both countries who are courageously examining
the historical record to seek to achieve a common understanding with
honesty and in a spirit of goodwill.

Now one hundred years later, I join all Canadians, especially those
of Armenian descent, in remembering the past and in sharing hope for
a future based on peace and mutual respect.

Sincerely,

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

Prime Minister of Canada

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