City of Ryde Council Pass Motion Condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey, Calls on Australia to #RecognizeArtsakh

By ANC-AU | Thursday, 29 October 2020

SYDNEY: The City of Ryde Council has unanimously passed a motion condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks against "the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh" and called on the Australian Government to do the same, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The motion, jointly moved by Mayor Jerome Laxale and Councillor Sarkis Yedelian in the council meeting held on Tuesday 20th October 2020, reaffirmed the City of Ryde's 2018 recognition of the Republic of Artsakh's independence, while touching on its 2019 Friendship City establishment with the capital of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

Through their motion, the City of Ryde donated $5,000 donation to the All-Armenia Fund (Himnadram) to help those in Armenia and Artsakh impacted by Azerbaijan's aggression.

"The City of Ryde stands united with our local Armenian-Australian community," said Mayor Laxale.

"As sister city of beautiful Stepanakert, the City of Ryde condemns what Turkey and Azerbaijan are doing and request that the Australian Government stand with us in condemnation of these actions," he added.

Councillor Yedelian, who is of Armenian origin, said this motion was important to stop the silence and fence-sitting dominating Australian commentary of the attacks on Armenians.

"Our Federal Government must join the City of Ryde in calling out Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression," Councillor Yedelian said. "Their silence, and that of the media, is emboldening expansonist dictators to bomb indigenous Armenian civilians, behead prisoners of war and spread terrorism."

Armenian National Committee of Australia Executive Director, Haig Kayserian thanked the City of Ryde councillors for this important show of solidarity.

"This is a city that recognises its large Armenian-Australian community has been suffering with news of what their brothers and sisters are being subjected to in the Armenian homeland," said Kayserian. "We thank Mayor Jerome Laxale, Councillor Sarkis Yedelian and all their colleagues for always standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Armenian-Australians generally, and those who call the Ryde municipality home more specifically."

"The Armenian Republics of Armenia and Artsakh deserve our support as their democracies face an existential threat against two Neo-Ottoman dictatorships threatening another genocide."

The councillors were also thanked by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh in Australia, Mr. Kaylar Michaelian.

"It is most heartwarming for the people of Stepanakert and Artsakh to have the continued support of their sister city of Ryde during this most critical period," Michaelian said.

"On behalf of Stepanakert, I thank Mayor Jerome Laxale and Councillor Sarkis Yedelian and all their colleagues for this significant motion, their donation and dedication."

"We pledge to rebuild their sister city!" he added.

The full motion is below:

(a) That Ryde Council acknowledges its long connection with, representation of and advocacy for the local Armenian-Australian community on a variety of important issues.

(b) That Ryde Council notes that in 2018 it voted unanimously on a resolution recognising, among other things, the right to self-determination of all peoples including those of the Republic of Artsakh.

(c) That Ryde Council notes that in 2019 it voted unanimously on a resolution to form a Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

(d) That Ryde Council:-

1 condemns the military aggression launched on 27 September 2020 by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the right of self-determination of the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh, who have lived on those highlands for millennia;

2 condemns the indiscriminate shelling and missile attacks on the civilian population and infrastructure of Artsakh, including Ryde City’s sister city in Artsakh, being the capital city Stepanakert, as well as the Holy Saviour Armenian Cathedral in Shushi, in complete violation of international law;

3 calls on the Australian Government unequivocally to join the City of Ryde in the above condemnation and to call on Azerbaijan and Turkey to respect the OSCE Minsk Group peace process for the Karabakh / Artsakh conflict, in particular the non-use of force and the right to self-determination;

4 notes that the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh and its population’s right to self-determination is the only permanent solution to the conflict, to avoid further attempts of such military aggression, and calls on the Australian Government to recognise the Republic of Artsakh.

5 Calls on the Australian Government to request an immediate cease fire and end to the hostilities.

(e) That Council issues a press release on this Motion and publicise it on our Council Website.

(f) That Council hold a minute’s silence in honour of those who have lost their life during this unnecessary conflict.

(g) That $5000 funded from the Civic Services base budget be donated to for the purposes of humanitarian aid.