Australian MPs call for Armenian Genocide recognition

PanARMENIAN.Net – In an unprecedented development, seven Federal Members rose in the House of Representatives to affirm the historical reality of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocides and call for Australian recognition of these crimes against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia).

MPs Craig Kelly, Malcolm Turnbull, Michael Danby and Joel Fitzgibbon – new supporters of this fundamental issue of humanity – added their voices to long-time friends of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian communities in MPs John Alexander, Joe Hockey and Paul Fletcher and paid tribute to the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

The speeches coincided with the visit of a delegation of ANC Australia, the Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) and the Assyrian Universal Alliance of Australia (AUA) to Canberra to further the cause of genocide recognition as part of ANC Australia’s Advocacy Week 2011.

“The Armenian Genocide and the related Assyrian and Greek Genocides were the result of a deliberate and systematic campaign against the Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire between 1914 and 1923,” MP Kelly said. “Aside from the deaths, Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire had their wealth and property confiscated without compensation. Businesses and farms were lost, and schools, churches, hospitals and monasteries became the property of the Ottoman Empire.”

“I urge the government to follow in the footsteps of so many nations in formally recognizing these genocides. The actions of members of this parliament will help to solidify the global movement to identify these atrocities for what they are,” Alexander said. “Our country has a strong association with the events beginning in 1915. The Ottomans began their genocide of the Armenian people on 24 April 1915 – the day before the first Australian soldiers landed at Anzac Cove – and many Australian soldiers witnessed the tragic events the Armenian race suffered at the hands of the Ottomans.”