General News

Local MPs express support for Armenians and condemn the Azerbaijan atrocities

RYDE MP Victor Dominello and Federal Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman have placed their support for Armenians and condemnation of Azerbaijan atrocities on the public record in state and federal parliament.

Mr Dominello introduced a successful motion in NSW Parliament last week recognizing the right to self-determination for Armenian speaking citizens in the breakaway Republic of Artsakh.
The motion also condemns attacks on Artsakh’s capital – and Ryde’s Sister City – of Stepanakert by Azerbaijan, which is supported by Turkey.
Mr Dominello introduced the motion with Prospect MP Dr. Hugh McDermott MP with the support of Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies.
It was carried by 61 votes in favour and only two votes against it.
“This motion sends a strong message to Baku (Azerbaijan) and Ankara (Turkey) that terror will not be tolerated, disrespect of international democratic norms will be rejected, and human rights violations will receive rightful condemnation and we stand with the people of Artsakh,” he said.
The Ryde MP also condemned the heavy civilian casualties in Stepanakert which he described as indiscriminate murder.
“Amnesty International has already called out Azerbaijan’s use of banned cluster bombs on civilians in Stepanakert,” he said.
“To date, dozens of civilians have been murdered and hundreds have been wounded by the attacks. Civilian infrastructure, public and industrial objects have been destroyed by this aggression.
“There have also been 24,000 schoolchildren deprived of the right to education due to the indiscriminate nature of these attacks.”
He said the only way to stop the current conflict was to recognise self-determination.
“Staying silent at this time is an act of dishonour against justice, truth and integrity,” Mr Dominello said.
Meanwhile, in an an emotion-charged speech in federal parliament, Mr Zimmerman has warned of the potential for ethnic cleansing of Armenians unless Australia and other nations intervened.
He accused Azerbaijan of having the capacity to commit ethnic cleansing and other war crimes against Armenians in the breakaway Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) with the backing of Turkey.
“We know that if the Azerbaijani government prevails, the world will witness ethnic cleansing, which will put the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents in Nagorno-Karabakh at threat,” he told Parliament.
“There can be no doubt that these actions, which have been long foreshadowed by the President of Azerbaijan, have one goal in mind and that is, to see every person of Armenian heritage in Artsakh forced from their homes, forced from their traditional lands and forced out of that country, one way or the other.”
He said he was particularly concerned that other players may become involved, particularly the Turkish government.
”At best, the Turkish government provide moral support for Azerbaijani actions and at worst, there is growing evidence that we are actually seeing Turkish interests supporting the military operations that are underway, potentially including the use of mercenaries from Syria,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman rejected Turkey’s claims that Armenia is the aggressor in the conflict, which has claimed thousands of civilian and military lives.
“The reality is that Armenia had nothing to gain and a hell of a lot to lose by military action against Azerbaijan, so I, therefore, respectfully suggest that this conflict is the result of Azerbaijani actions,” he said.