YEREVAN: Chair of the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Mr. Tim Wilson MP, met with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia, His Excellency Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, marking the commencement of the Australian Delegation to Armenia organised by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
Mr. Wilson, who is the only Australian Federal Parliamentarian of Armenian heritage was hosted in Mr. Mnatsakanyan’s office in Yerevan on Friday, 20th September 2019.
During the hour-long meeting, the Foreign Minister thanked Mr. Wilson for his upstanding support for Armenian issues in Australian politics, recognising the efforts of the Member for Goldstein to bring awareness and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Mr. Mnatsakanyan acknowledged the recent progress in Australian public opinion on the issue of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, stating he was very impressed by the warm welcome received by the delegation led by his Republic of Artsakh counterpart, Mr. Masis Mayilyan on a recent visit to Canberra. During that visit, the Australian Friends of Artsakh was announced by ANC-AU, which is a network of prominent Australians who support Artsakh’s right to self-determination.
The Foreign Minister stated his appreciation for Australia’s leadership in international forums on issues of human rights, and to this end, focused on the existential security threat poised by Azerbaijan on Artsakh’s indigenous Armenian population as an area that such leadership would be appreciated.
The two discussed opportunities for enhancing trade and bilateral relations between Australia and Armenia, including in the areas of smart agriculture and Armenia’s booming technology sector.
In his response to Mr. Wilson’s request that Mr. Mnatsakanyan visits Australia, the Foreign Minister reiterated his Department’s priority to establish an embassy in Canberra as soon as practically possible.
“This meeting holds great importance to the Armenian-Australian community, and shows the potential for a great alignment between their mother country and their home country,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian, who was present at the meeting along with colleagues Sarine Soghomonian, Alex Galitsky, and Olivia Dilanchian.
“We can look forward to many more of these important opportunities for greater collaboration being explored as our Australian Delegation to Armenia continues in the coming days.”
Mr. Tim Wilson will be joined by two Federal parliamentary colleagues and a State parliamentarian in Yerevan over the forthcoming 24 hours.