Joly pronounces extra funding for Armenian refugees, stops wanting threatening sanctions on Azerbaijan

International Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly introduced one other $1 million in humanitarian funding Wednesday to assist displaced ethnic Armenian refugees who just lately fled a navy operation launched by Azerbaijan — however she stopped properly wanting threatening to sanction Azeri authorities officers over the assault.

“I’ve stated all the things is on the desk. That being stated, we count on that Armenia’s territorial integrity [will] be revered and for us, that is positively one thing that we’re watching,” Joly advised journalists throughout a go to to Armenia’s capital Yerevan to open Canada’s new embassy there. She was attending a press convention together with her Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan.

The $1 million has been earmarked for the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, on prime of $2.5 million Canada introduced beforehand for refugee aid by means of the Worldwide Committee of the Purple Cross.

Greater than 100,000 ethnic Armenians are believed to have fled Azerbaijan’s shelling marketing campaign within the long-disputed enclave of  Nagorno-Karabakh in September. Known as an “anti terror” operation by Azerbaijan, the marketing campaign additionally adopted 9 months of a blockade imposed by Baku that left the area wanting meals and medical provides.

Nagono-Karabakh is internationally acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan. Earlier than final month’s occasions, it had a majority Armenian inhabitants and a de-facto ethnic Armenian authorities that was not acknowledged by any nation on this planet.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh because the fall of the Soviet Union. 

“We proceed to work on mitigating the unjustifiable impacts of this navy motion on civilians, who’ve already been affected by months of an unlawful blockade, and to discover a sustainable negotiated settlement to this battle,” Joly stated Wednesday.

In an announcement posted to its web site, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of International Affairs known as Joly’s statements at her information convention an “indication of the overt bias of Canada in opposition to Azerbaijan.”

“Relating to the non-exclusion of sanctions as a device in opposition to Azerbaijan, we want to be aware that it’s faulty to talk with Azerbaijan within the language of risk, and that it’s going to not bear any outcomes to both facet,” the assertion warned.

Azerbaijan’s assertion additionally accused Armenia of hindering the peace course of. “It was the get together which violated [those] rules with each effort throughout greater than 30 years,” it stated. 

Joly’s go to comes as some specialists warn of the chance of additional battle between the 2 Caucasus international locations.

International Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and her Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, on the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Advanced in Yerevan, Armenia. (Fin DePencier/CBC)

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has made repeated claims to a strip of land inside Armenia’s internationally acknowledged borders, the so-called Zangezur Hall. Azerbaijan desires the hall with the intention to join its mainland to Nakhchivan, an Azeri enclave to Armenia’s southwest.

Armenia says Azeri navy forces have taken over roughly 50 sq. kilometres of Armenian territory after border skirmishes final 12 months.

“I feel the hazard of this persevering with or increasing is totally attainable,”  stated Kyle Matthews, the manager director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide Research and Human Rights at Concordia College.

Refugees sit outside with their belongings.
Armenian refugees wait in a sq. of Goris metropolis centre on September 29, 2023 earlier than being evacuated in varied Armenian cities, because the exodus from the Nagorno-Karabakh ethnic Armenian enclave following its fall to Azerbaijani forces continued. (Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Pictures)

Matthews stated Canada could lead on the world in making use of sanctions on Azerbaijan, as a substitute of ready to listen to if allies like america and the European Union are prepared to participate.

“That is the third time we have been listening to from the minister saying that all the things’s on the desk,” stated Sevag Belian, government director of the Armenian Nationwide Committee of Canada, a  Canadian-Armenian political advocacy group. He was visiting Yerevan for the embassy’s inauguration.

“Actually, that could be a step ahead,” he stated, citing Joly’s declare that “all the things is on the desk.” He stated he hopes the Canadian authorities can establish completely different strain factors on Azerbaijan.

Whereas Azeri and Armenian officers have met for talks on just a few events since September, Azerbaijan skipped out on a gathering brokered by the European Union earlier in October.

At Wednesday’s information convention, Mirzoyan advised journalists {that a} assembly that was scheduled for later this month between Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and European Council President Charles Michel will not be taking place both.

“Clearly it’s Azerbaijan’s president who did not discover the time,” Mirzoyan stated, including his authorities is prepared for additional talks. “I do hope the explanation actually is a scheduling problem, and will probably be attainable to seek out time to schedule one other assembly.”

Earlier this week, Azerbaijan publicized video of navy workout routines with Turkey, a long-time regional ally in its battle with Armenia. Azerbaijan’s defence division stated a few of the workout routines occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia arms itself

Armenia, in the meantime, has concluded a cope with France to buy air defence gear, a transfer Baku officers have described as provocative.

“I feel Azerbaijan will use no matter purpose it has at its disposal to assault,” Matthews stated, including Armenia has a proper to purchase defensive gear underneath worldwide legislation, particularly given the hostility of its neighbours.

Armenia has trusted a safety alliance with Russia for many years, however ties between the 2 international locations have grow to be frayed lately.

Armenia blamed Moscow for failing to intervene in a 2020 warfare with Azerbaijan, in addition to the more moderen blockade and navy motion, regardless of the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

The Russian state-run information company TASS quoted an unnamed Moscow official final week warning Armenia in opposition to changing into one other Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the Wall Avenue Journal printed an interview with Pashinyan, who stated Armenia not sees any benefit in persevering with to host Russian navy bases on its territory.

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