The first day of the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s (ANC-AU) Australian Parliamentary Delegation to the Republic of Armenia has officially kicked off with a sombre visit to the Yerablur Military Pantheon in Yerevan.
A record number of seven Australian parliamentarians from the New South Wales and Victorian Parliaments are participating in the third Australian Parliamentary Delegation to Armenia, led by the Co-Chairs of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Armenia, Hugh McDermott MP and Tim James MP. They are joined by NSW State parliamentary colleagues Mark Coure MP – NSW Member for Oatley, Matt Cross MP – NSW Member for Davidson, Susan Carter – Member of the Legislative Council, as well as two sitting Victorian State MPs, including Kim Wells MP – Victorian Member for Rowville and Ann-Marie Hermans – Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, as well as former federal parliamentarian, Tim Wilson, who is of Armenian origin.
The delegation, which also includes Australian business leaders and members of the ANC-AU National Board and Office, toured the grounds of the Yerablur cemetery and paid respects at the graves of the many Armenian heroes who were killed in action defending Armenia and Artsakh.
“As the Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh face a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing at the hands of the brutal petro-dictatorship of Azerbaijan, this visit to Yerablur brought harrowing light the sacrifices of the Armenian nation to hold onto their homeland in the face of brutality and war crimes from a bad actor,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian.
The four-day itinerary of the Australian Delegation to Armenia will continue with meetings with political and business leaders, visits to some of Armenia’s picturesque mountains and historical sites, as well as the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex (Tzizernagapert).