14 Parliamentarians Co-Sponsor Armenian National Committee of Australia Statement on Artsakh Blockade

In the lead-up to the 250 day-mark of Azerbaijan’s illegal siege against 120,000 indigenous Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community received support from 14 high-profile Federal and State parliamentarians, who signed on as co-sponsors to the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s (ANC-AU) statement calling on an end to the blockade.

With the hope of addressing Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong’s silence on this developing crisis, the ANC-AU and the co-sponsors seek to demonstrate the will of the Australians they represent across the country by calling for an end end this genocidal undertaking by petro-dictatorship, Azerbaijan.

The statement reads:

“I stand in solidarity with Armenian-Australians and the international community, affirming the statement made by the International Association of Genocide Scholars declaring that a continuation of Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) puts the Armenian people of Artsakh at risk of genocide.

I support the ruling of the International Court of Justice, which demands that the Azerbaijani Government take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unimpeded movement of people, vehicles and supplies between Armenia and Artsakh through the Lachin corridor. I call on Australia unequivocally to convey such sentiments with respect to the blockade through all bilateral and multilateral international channels until the illegal blockade is lifted.”

The fourteen signatories thus far include:

Jerome Laxale – Federal Member for Bennelong; Paul Fletcher – Federal Member for Bradfield; Senator Jordon Steele-John – Senator for Western Australia; Henry Pike – Federal Member for Bowman; Michael Sukkar – Federal Member for Deakin; Elizabeth Watson Brown – Federal Member for Ryan; Bob Katter – Federal Member for Kennedy; Mark Coure MP – NSW Member for Oatley; Hugh McDermott – NSW Member for Prospect; Tim James – NSW Member for Willoughby; Jacqui Munro – NSW Member of the Legislative Council; Tanya Davies – NSW Member for Badgerys Creek; Kobi Shetty – NSW Member for Balmain and; Irene Pnevmatikos – SA Member of the Legislative Council.

ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian said, “As we approach 250 days of this illegal blockade, the Foreign Affairs Minister has an opportunity to publicise Australia’s opposition to Azerbaijan’s criminal siege, and call for the allowance of unfettered movement along the Lachin corridor, in line with calls from the broader international community.”