Click to print

Press Release

MHRMI Meets with Canadian Ambassador to Macedonia, Calls for End to Double-Standard for Macedonia

May 25, 2017

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International President, Bill Nicholov, met with Canadian Ambassador to Macedonia, Philip Pinnington on May 18, 2017, and reiterated MHRMI’s position that the West is undermining Macedonia’s sovereignty by supporting a coalition whose public goal is to denationalize Macedonia, and who benefited from blatant US/Albania foreign interference. Ignoring the unconstitutionality and illegality of these actions only serves to damage Canada’s credibility internationally.

Traditionally, Canada has been a defender of human rights and democracy and, unlike the United States, avoided interfering in another country’s internal affairs. However, trying to determine the reason for Canada’s troubling anti-Macedonia stance offers only two choices – naivety or complicity. MHRMI reiterated its call for the Canadian government to publicly and immediately explain its position.

Canada’s decision to ignore and deny US interference in Macedonia, and the seven decade-old public US foreign policy of interventionism is not a policy of a responsible government. Choosing to defend and reward this behavior at the expense of another country’s viability as an independent state is not only shocking, but an affront to defenders of human rights worldwide and to the large Macedonian-Canadian community – many of whom escaped persecution and came to Canada in search of freedom – but now must defend their ethnic origin and identity to the very country that took them in. If the Canadian government, inexplicably, doesn’t understand the uproar by Macedonians, and many others, about the blatant anti-Macedonia positions by some Western countries, it behooves Canada to learn, immediately, and prior to wading into an issue that it clearly does not understand.

The Canadian government has decided to support the illegal and unconstitutional election of a Parliament Speaker, even though all parliamentary rules, including lacking a sufficient number of votes to pass, were contravened. Canada has decided to ignore the coalition’s Tirana Platform demands that Macedonia change its name, identity, flag, anthem and coat of arms - which were drafted in Albania under the “guidance” of Albania’s Prime Minister and with the backing of the US State Department and US Embassy in Macedonia - both of which are under US Congressional investigations for illegal interference in Macedonia. Canada decided to express outrage and focus on the Parliament storming incident, while ignoring the fact that the illegally-elected "Speaker", Talat Xhaferi, was granted amnesty for his war crimes and terrorist acts against Macedonians in a deal forced upon Macedonia by the United States. A judge recently ruled in the parliamentary storming case but the sentences weren’t harsh enough for SDSM member Muhamed Zekiri, who publicly threatened the judge. Yet there has been no condemnation from any Western country. Canada and the West can’t have it both ways.

MHRMI pointed out the irony in Albanian demands that Macedonia become a bilingual state, at the expense of its Macedonian character. Would the West support the Macedonian minority in Greece’s demands that it become bilingual, or that Bulgaria become a state equally Bulgarian and Turkish? The double-standard astounds.

MHRMI reiterates its call for Canada to support Macedonian independence - as it publicly supports Ukraine - and immediately reverse its anti-Macedonia policy. This includes an immediate condemnation of the anti-Macedonia name negotiations. The Canada that we know stands up for decency and human rights.


###

Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, info@mhrmi.org, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia.