The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), which is leading a delegation of New South Wales and Victorian state parliamentarians to the Republic of Armenia, has updated its schedule to ensure the delegates can effectively help bring awareness to the refugee crisis evolving on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
The seven Australian political leaders have embarked on a journey to the border town of Goris, to witness the mass exodus of innocent civilians from the occupied Republic of Artsakh, with a commitment to take immediate action to bring awareness to this issue.
ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian said, “The Armenian-Australian community stands united in our mission to assist those in need during this humanitarian crisis. Our delegation’s visit to Armenia underscores our unwavering commitment to supporting the displaced and vulnerable in Nagorno Karabakh, who are being subjected to ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan. We call upon all Australians to join us in this vital effort and unequivocally condemn this ethnic cleansing and provide urgent humanitarian assistance.”
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains dire, with reports of approximately 13,000 Armenians having already crossed the border after being displaced following 280 days of blockade and a subsequent attack on Artsakh by Azerbaijan’s criminal petro-dictatorship.
“We hope to shine a light on the ongoing humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Armenia – and help spread the word within Australia. The situation here is changing hour by hour.” said former Minister Mark Coure MP, currently the NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, who will be visiting the refugees.
“It’s incredibly sad, one car had seven very small children in the car with a mattress on the roof. These are incredibly desperate times and incredibly sad. More international assistance is desperately needed.” said Victorian MP Kim Wells MP while en route to Goris.
“Ethnic cleansing is never acceptable, which is what is happening to the people of Artsakh. En route to Goris, we are witnessing families evacuating with what little they can, children crammed into cars, parents desperate. Many of these people have nowhere to go. We are here witnessing this in real time and international action is needed immediately,” said Victorian MP Ann-Marie Hermans MP.
“Actions speak louder than words and what we’re seeing here is a lesson for the international community. When you take your eyes off a people under threat it can quickly get worse. We are seeing some of the consequences of the worst of humanity. This is the tragic outcome of a totalitarian regime that the world has left unchecked,” said Tim James MP, who will be meeting with constituents in Goris who are taking action to help refugees.
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 also includes Australian business leaders and members of the ANC-AU National Board and Office.