The Australian Greens Call for Karabakh De-escalation, Calling Out Azerbaijan and Turkey

By ANC-AU | Saturday, 03 October 2020

CANBERRA: Azerbaijan and Turkey have been called out as the aggressors of the current Nagorno Karabakh conflict in a statement by The Australian Greens, which is the Australian Parliament's largest cross-party counting nine Senators and one Member of the House of Representatives, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia.

The Australian Greens' spokesperson for foreign affairs, Senator Janet Rice expressed her party's deep concern for the recent outbreak of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia and joined calls to "to urgently reinstate a ceasefire to prevent further deaths, particularly among civilians".

"While it is yet to be determined what exactly sparked this recent outbreak of violence, the Greens are concerned at reports of military aggression from Azerbaijan," Rice said.

Rice also called out Turkey, who have been active participants and supporters of Azerbaijan's attacks on Artsakh and Armenia.

"The Greens are disturbed at reports that the Turkish Government is providing military support to Azerbaijan," she said. Military involvement of third parties risks a very dangerous escalation, further imperilling civilian lives."

Finally, the Australian Greens' statement called on all sides to "respect international law and ensure the protection of civilians, as well as preventing damage to essential civilian infrastructure".

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, Haig Kayserian, welcomed the statement from The Australian Greens.

"The Armenian-Australian community thanks The Australian Greens for shining a light on the issue, for critically identifying Baku as the aggressor and for condemning Turkey’s military support of Azerbaijan,” Kayserian said.

Public support for Armenia and Artsakh has been offered by Australian politicians at all levels of government and public figures, including the co-convenors of the Federal Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Union, Federal parliamentarians Senator Kristina KeneallyTim Wilson MP, Josh Burns MP, Jason Falinski MP and John Alexander MP, as well as New South Wales Member for Prospect Hugh McDermott MP, who wrote a scathing letter to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Australia. NSW Legislative Assembly Speaker Jonathan O'Dea MP expressed his solidarity with the Republic of Artsakh and Northern Beaches Councillor Vincent De Luca and media broadcaster Jon Dee did the same.

Ryde City Council released a statement declaring solidarity with the Armenian people under attack, while the Greek-Australian, Assyrian-Australian, Pontian-Australian and Kurdish-Australian communities were strong in their support for Armenia and Artsakh.

This support is in spite of disappointing statements from the Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne and the Shadow Foreign Minister, Penny Wong.

The Armenian National Committee of Australia have petitioned SBS and lobbied the ABC on their unbalanced coverage of the attacks, as well as advocated for support from Government Ministers, including for an investigation into Australian flights made by a cargo airline owned by the family of Azerbaijan's dictatorship, which has past links to transporting arms and support to terrorist mercenaries in the Middle East.

The Armenian-Australian community's peak public affairs organisation's daily Near East Briefings are keeping Australia's political, academic, media, community and business leaders aware of the situation as it unfolds, while social media videos and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also keeping the information flowing.