SYDNEY, Australia—Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Leyla Abdullayeva has mischaracterized the parties involved in the Friendship City relationship that was established between Australia’s City of Ryde Council, with Artsakh’s capital Stepanakert, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia.
In the Azerbaijani authoritarian regime’s predictable reaction to the historic agreement, Abdullayeva was quoted in Azerbaijani state controlled media outlets referring to Stepanakert as “Khankendi City,” while similarly mixing up the name of Ryde City by referring to it as “Reid City.”
“It is no coincidence that the draft of this document, adopted by only two people, was put forward by Sarkis Yedelian, member of Armenian origin of the Reid City Council, and supported by Mayor of Reid City Jerome Laxale,” stated Abdullayeva.
“As for such documents adopted by local executive or legislative bodies of administrative-territorial units of Australia, as a result of the lobbying efforts of the Armenians, I would like to emphasize that these documents have no legal significance and are just pieces of paper serving the interests of certain circles or lobby groups,” she concluded.
ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian commented: “It is appropriate that Ms. Abdullayeva feels compelled to respond to this motion, outlining the true significance it has when cities like Ryde recognize the rights of indigenous Armenians to live on their liberated ancestral homeland.”
“Of course, Ms. Abdullayeva conveniently omitted to note that the historic Resolution was unanimously adopted by the whole Ryde City Council,” Kayserian added.
Meanwhile, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry has welcomed the decision by the City of Ryde to officially establish a friendship city with Stepanakert.
“We welcome the unanimous adoption of a resolution to establish ‘friendship’ relations with Artsakh’s capital city of Stepanakert by the Australia’s Ryde City Council. This ensures a legal basis for the establishment of cooperation between the two cities in the fields of culture, education, economy and others, as well as implementation of practical programs,” the Artsakh foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The adoption of the resolution passed ahead of a visit to Australia by a delegation from Artsakh led by Foreign Minister Masis Mayilian. The visit will entail a meeting with official representatives of the City of Ryde, where further cooperation between Ryde and Stepanakert will be discussed,” explained the Artsakh foreign ministry.
“We are grateful to those who contributed to the implementation of this initiative, which aims to strengthen the friendly relations between Stepanakert and Ryde,” said the statement.
On July 23, the City of Ryde Council voted unanimously on a resolution to form an official Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.
Armenian-Australian Councilor Sarkis Yedelian moved the motion, which was seconded by Mayor Jerome Laxale, following the advocacy efforts of the ANC-AU on behalf of Armenian-Australians and representations by the Republic of Artsakh’s Permanent Representative to Australia, Kaylar Michaelian.
These efforts were ramped up in the lead-up to next week’s visit of the highest level Artsakh delegation to Australia, to be led by Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan, who will be joined by Member of the National Assembly Davit Ishkhanyan and Foreign Ministry official Artak Nersisyan.