PRESS RELEASE Meeting with Minister For Foreign Affairs May 2014

Sydney – 13 May 2014
On Monday, 12 May 2014, a delegation headed by Mr. Hermiz Shahen, Deputy Secretary General of
the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), met with the Honorable Julie Bishop MP, Minister for
Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary
Secretary to the Minister for Social Services and attended by Departmental Officers. The Assyrian
delegation included Mr. David M. David, President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation
(AANF) and Mr Paul Azzo, Political Advisor to the AUA. Mr. Shahen briefed the Minister with the
latest developments in Iraq and Syria, the neglect of the Assyrians after the 2003 liberation of Iraq,
the waging of sectarian violence and systematic ethno-religious cleansing that is being instigated by
Islamic extremists against the entire Christian population, who are fleeing en masse from violence.
“As a matter of urgency and importance, we called upon the Australian Government to endorse and
support a Nineveh Plain Province Solution, which entails the development of a self-governed
Assyrian province in the Nineveh Plain under the jurisdiction of the central government of the
Federal Republic of Iraq. We also asked the Australian Government to offer political support in
favour of this policy in its dealings with the Government of Iraq, and to make sure that the boarders
and the law of this proposed province by the Council of Ministers will be made in a way that will
serve and protect the rights and purpose of the establishment of Nineveh Plain for the Assyrian
people in Iraq”. Mr Shahen said.
“An official letter was handed to the Minister concerning the situation of Assyrians and a mounting
number of threats facing the Iraqi and Syrian Assyrians”, he said.
Mr Shahen thanked Senator Fierravanti-Wells, for organising this meeting at Parliament House in
Canberra and for her unrelenting commitment to the Assyrian cause and her outstanding efforts over
the years in raising the Assyrian case with the Australian government. He also extended his thanks
and appreciation to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for her wisdom and passion to crises facing the
embattled Assyrian refugees. “I hope that this meeting achieves positive outcomes for the interest
and needs of our Assyrian people of both countries Iraq and Syria,” Mr Shahen said.
Assyrian Universal Alliance
Mobile: 0407235349 Fax: (02)9610 2499