Canada and Turkey Concerned about Minority Groups in Crimea
March 8, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held emergency telephone talks yesterday to discuss shared concerns over the recent troubling developments in Ukraine.
Both ministers underlined the importance they attach to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and warned that the presence of foreign forces and fighters in Crimea risked destabilizing the region.
The ministers concluded their discussion by reiterating both countries’ concern for the protection of the rights of all communities on the Crimean peninsula, including Crimean Tatars, and reaffirmed their commitment to peace and stability in Ukraine.
After the call, Minister Baird reiterated Prime Minister Harper’s position that Canada would not recognize a referendum held in Crimea, which is currently under illegal military occupation, and that the fundamental rights of the Ukrainian and Tatar communities in Crimea would be violated by a referendum under these conditions.
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