Australian Delegation to Armenia Meets Government Representatives to Discuss Artsakh and Bilateral Relations

On Monday, 25th September 2023, the seven members of the Australian Parliamentary Delegation to the Republic of Armenia participated in meetings with government and political representatives to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The Australian delegation met with the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Armenia, Mr. Mnatsakan Safaryan; Chair of the Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group, Mr. Ishkhan Saghatelyan and Mr. Hakob Vardanyan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure.

Both Safaryan and Saghatelyan emphasised the friendly bilateral relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Commonwealth of Australia despite the large distance separating the two nations, and expressed the Armenian people’s gratitude for the delegation’s visit to the Republic of Armenia.

In both meetings, facilitated by the ANC-AU, the delegates received a comprehensive update as to the current critical situation in Artsakh, including the refugee and humanitarian crisis following Azerbaijan’s nine-month blockade and subsequent September 19 military assault on Artsakh’s Armenians.

The meeting with Vardanyan, the deputy focused specifically on the renewable energy efforts of the Republic of Armenia, discussing Armenia’s energy sector, goals and investment opportunities for public and private entities from across the globe.

In all meetings, the delegation co-chairs, Dr Hugh McDermott MP and Mr Tim James MP, expressed thanks to their Armenian counterparts for meeting with the group at such a critical juncture in the nation’s history, and presented gifts of appreciation on behalf of the Australian Parliamentary Delegation to the Republic of Armenia.

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, Michael Kolokossian said, “It was an honour to help facilitate these historic meetings. In the long term, we will build on this dialogue towards further cooperation and bilateral relations between Australia and Armenia as we continue to forge closer ties. In the short term, the delegates discussed immediate actions that would support the people of Armenia during this challenging time.”

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: State Member for Prospect and Tim James MP. They are joined by NSW State parliamentary colleagues Mark Coure MP – NSW Member for Oatley, Matt Cross – Member for Davidson, Susan Carter MLC – 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 MP – Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, as well as former federal parliamentarian, Tim Wilson – Former Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein, who is of Armenian origin.

The delegation also includes Australian business leaders and members of the ANC-AU National Board and Office.