ANC Australia calls on Prime Minister Turnbull to condemn Azerbaijan attacks on Nagorno Karabakh

By ANC Australia | Monday, 04 April 2016

SYDNEY: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling on his government to “unequivocally condemn the GRAD Missile attacks by the Azerbaijani Army on the civilian population of Karabakh” and what is Azerbaijan’s worst aggression towards the region since the ceasefire in 1994.

After describing the events that took place between April 1-3 as Azerbaijan’s military breached the Line of Contact, ANC Australia stressed that “Azerbaijan unleashed clearly pre-planned and co-ordinated attacks along the whole of the ceasefire line of the Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan border…”

The letter also addressed casualties in the border violations, informing the Prime Minister “in a short period of time the casualties have increased to tens if not hundreds and there is a dramatic escalation in the military hardware being used by the conflicting sides.”

STRATFOR, a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organisations around the world, has observed this latest and most serious ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan. STRATFOR’s position as to why this ceasefire was violated was referred to the Prime Minister in the letter, which read: “… this latest and most serious ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan is a deliberate attempt to distract its local population from its serious economic and political problems given the crash of oil prices, significant devaluation of the Azeri current [Manat] and its increasing suppression and imprisonment of democratic and opposition forces in Azerbaijan.”

ANC Australia also highlighted that “the current escalation of the conflict by Azerbaijan is unfortunately largely attributable to the continuing “neutral” and equivocal responses by the international community to the numerous prior, more minor ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan, which it has been allowed to continue to commit with impunity.”

ANC Australia called on the Australian government to take the following urgent steps:

  1. unequivocally condemn the GRAD Missile attacks by the Azerbaijani Army on the civilian population of Karabakh, in particular, the school in the Martuni region of Karabakh resulting in the death of one 12 year old boy (Vaghinak Grigoryan) and the serious injury of two other children;
  2. unequivocally condemn this unprecedented violation of the cease fire and peace in the region in particular the targeting of civilians by Azerbaijan as evidence by the above-mentioned attack;
  3. call on the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs immediately to investigate the cause of this massive and unprecedented cease-fire violation which has clearly been planned and co-ordinated in advance by Azerbaijan;
  4. call on Azerbaijan to immediately agree to the unhindered installation of the mechanism to monitor and investigate cease fire violations as proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the United States of America, France and Russia in November 2015, which has been agreed to by the other conflicting parties, the Republic of Artsakh (Karabakh) and the Republic of Armenia, but not the Republic of Azerbaijan.  This very mechanism would have deterred if not prevented the current very serious escalation.

The letter concluded by requesting an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister’s office to address this very serious situation.

ANC Australia Executive Administrator, Arin Markarian said: “The events of the past 48 hours have sent shockwaves throughout Artsakh, Armenia and the Diaspora.”

“It is imperative that the Australian Government condemns the anti-Armenian Petro-Dollar dictator of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev in what is a clear breach and violation of the ceasefire on the Line of Contact.”

“The fact that innocent Armenian civilians were targeted, including the shelling of a school, which resulted in the death of an 12 year old boy, shows the outright seriousness of this violation. Azerbaijan must be held fully responsible for its actions, and we expect that the Australian government, along with the international community, fully condemns the aggression shown by Azerbaijan, and finally moves away from unproductive ‘neutral’ statements.”