On Thursday 15 October 2020, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell spoke by video conference with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne.
Their conversation was an opportunity to exchange views on several issues of common interest, including the evolution of the situation in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. High Representative stressed the need for both Armenia and Azerbaijan to fully respect and implement the 10 October ceasefire agreement, cease all hostilities and de-escalate tensions, including rhetoric. He emphasised that the EU firmly supports the efforts toward peace and stands ready to contribute to the settlement process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. He and Minister Champagne discussed how they could further support the return to negotiations.
The High Representative and the Minister also addressed the situation in Belarus. High Representative Borrell informed Minister Champagne of the main principles of EU policy as defined in the new Council Conclusions on Belarus adopted by EU Foreign Ministers on 12 October. He thanked Minister Champagne for the continued coordinated efforts between the EU and Canada in support of the democratic and fundamental rights of the Belarusian people. High Representative Borrell expressed his hope that the Belarusian authorities would seek a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis through an inclusive national dialogue with broader society, leading to new, free and fair elections in line with international standards and under the OSCE/ODIHR’s observation .
Their conversation also covered the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the High Representative briefed on the EU’s intense efforts to de-escalate tensions. Their respective relations with Russia, including in light of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny by a chemical nerve agent, was also on the agenda. The High Representative informed of the EU’s decision to sanction six individuals and one entity involved in the attempted assassination. They also discussed Venezuela and China.
The High Representative and the Minister agreed to continue to remain in close contact, in view of maintaining and enhancing the good cooperation enjoyed between the EU and Canada.