SYDNEY & STEPANAKERT—Members of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network engaged in a virtual Zoom dialogue with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh Davit Babayan, during which they discussed the situation on the ground following the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia.
The Australian Friends of Artsakh network is made up of over 60 prominent Australians who support the rights to self-determination of indigenous Armenian nation. On 27 September 2020 Artsakh was attacked and subjected to 44 days of war crimes by Azerbaijan, aided and abetted by Turkey and Islamist jihadist terrorists deployed to end the existence of Artsakh Armenians in their ancestral homeland.
The war ended with a one-sided ceasefire agreement on 10th November 2020, which has resulted in the illegal occupation by Azerbaijan of the Republic of Artsakh.
Artsakh’s Foreign Minister, Babayan was able to share an audience which included current and former parliamentarians, as well as members of academia and civil society.
He discussed the situation facing Armenian prisoners of war still held captive by Azerbaijan, the continued desecration of cultural and historical sites by the occupying party, as well as future plans to bring the Republic of Artsakh out of the current predicament.
During the dialogue organized by ANC-AU and the Office of the Republic of Artsakh Representative in Australia, the members of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network asked questions to better determine appropriate courses of action to bring awareness and assistance to the displaced, injured and captured Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh.
“We thank all those who participated in this dialogue and thank Mr. Davit Babayan for providing an accurate reflection of the challenges on the ground as the Republic of Artsakh faces occupation and continued threats against its existence,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. “These challenges can and will be overcome with the awareness and assistance of the international community, including those in the corridors of power here in Australia, and this dialogue was a step towards informing local leaders of the situation first-hand.”
The Republic of Artsakh’s Permanent Representative in Australia, Kaylar Michaelian promised more opportunities to connect Artsakh with Australia.
“Australia has proven her friendship to the heroic people of Artsakh through state and local government recognition motions, public pronouncements of support from individual leaders at different levels of government, academia and civil society,” said Michaelian. “Together with the Armenian National Committee of Australia, our community and our Australian friends we will continue to create opportunities to develop ties between the two countries.”
The Armenian National Committee of Australia is currently leading efforts for national recognition of the Republic of Artsakh and Australian humanitarian assistance as Armenia and Artsakh grapples with the fallout of the 2020 attacks.