Plante calls for peace but not independence in statement on Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict
MONTREAL -- Armenian Montrealers continued their regular protests against the conflict between Azerbaijan and The Republic of Artsakh on Monday, this time calling for Mayor Valerie Plante to speak out.
The Republic of Artsakh, a predominantly ethnically Armenian territory that is backed military by that country, has clashed violently with Azerbaijan for the past three weeks.
“Our voices are so important. Even if we have to climb from municipalities recognizing an independent Artsakh and then to national, that's what we'll do,” said Jessica Moukhtarian of the Armenian National Committee of Quebec. “We're doing this all over the world, in every municipality.”
After the fall of the USSR, the territory voted to join Armenia but is internationally considered part of Azerbaijan. Armenian Montrealer Georges Tsovikian said the conflict can only be resolved if the international community takes a stance.
“The only possible solution for lasting peace would be the international recognition of Artsakh,” he said. “We're here today hoping that the City of Montreal will take the first step and follow cities like Geneva, Los Angeles and Milan.”
Plante did respond to the protesters, issuing a call from inside City Hall for a swift resolution but falling short of recognizing the region's independence.
“I wish you strength and peace in these very difficult times and know that we stand all together with you,” she said.
“I wish she had supported as a little more,” said demonstrator Laura Donabit. “I'm grateful that she's talking about it. But talking about it is not going to be the final solution.”