SYDNEY: The Mayor of Ryde City Council, Jerome Laxale and Councillor Sarkis Yedelian were honoured with the Republic of Artsakh State Minister’s Medal of Honour, which was handed to them by visiting Artsakh Foreign Minister, Masis Mayilyan in Sydney last week, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

In 2018, Armenian-Australian Councillor Yedelian introduced a motion for the City of Ryde to recognise the Republic of Artsakh, which was seconded by Mayor Laxale and passed unanimously by the Council.

And last month, Ryde City resolved to form a Friendship City with Artsakh’s capital Stepanakert, after another motion introduced by Yedelian, seconded by Laxale and passed unanimously by Council.

The State Minister’s medals to both Laxale and Yedelian recognise their commitment to advocating for the Republic of Artsakh’s right to self-determination.

The delegation also handed a hand-woven Artsakh carpet as a memento to the City of Ryde.

“We welcome the medals handed to both Mayor Laxale and Councillor Yedelian,” commented ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. “Both are committed to issues important to their constituents, and the large Armenian-Australian population of the Ryde municipality values any and all efforts that support peace and security for the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh.”

As part of the Ryde-Stepanakert Friendship City arrangement, Laxale and Yedelian met with a visiting delegation from the Republic of Artsakh – including Foreign Minister Mayilyan, Member of the National Assembly Davit Ishkhanyan and Foreign Ministry official Artak Nersisyan, as well as the country’s representative in Australia, Kaylar Michaelian – to draw a roadmap of potential areas of collaboration between the two cities.