Australia’s Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham has called on Azerbaijan to “open the corridor and keep it open”, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
The most recent sentiments shared by the Opposition’s foreign affairs leader follow a statement provided to the ANC-AU in December 2022, in which Senator Birmingham noted the Liberal and National Coalition’s acknowledgement of Azerbaijan’s responsibility to “guarantee the safe movement of civilians, vehicles and cargo in both directions along the corridor” and called for the 2020 November trilateral agreement to be respected.
This time, in response to ANC-AU First Responder Aris Bedrosian, Senator Birmingham wrote: “This reflects the Coalition’s continued strong support for a halt to actions that escalate the conflict in the region, and are in line with my previous public call in September last year for an end to hostilities and targeting of civilians, their homes and civilian infrastructure in Armenia.”
Senator Birmingham has pledged to pursue Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Republic of Artsakh and the Australian Government’s response on the issue.
Representatives of the ANC-AU National Office met with Senator Birmingham’s office last week, conveying the Armenian-Australian community’s sincere appreciation for signalling even stronger support for the people of Artsakh and holding the Azerbaijani regime accountable.
ANC-AU Executive Director Michael Kolokossian said: “As supplies dwindle in the Republic of Artsakh and basic foods and medicines become a luxury, we need stronger statements from our world leaders. What we have received from Senator Birmingham is just that.”
“There is no longer any doubt in the international community that Azerbaijan’s round-the-clock sit-in of the Republic of Artsakh’s road of life is a state-sponsored initiative. We expect more from the Australian Government, who have shied away from outright calling on Azerbaijan to open the road,” added Kolokossian.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia’s First Responders, which is a growing group of volunteer advocates supporting the grassroots activities of the peak public affairs body of the Armenian-Australian community, have been on the frontlines, calling and emailing Australia’s Foreign Affairs leaders, urging them to bring further attention to this issue.
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