Ryde City Council in Australia to raise Artsakh flag in reaffirmation of solidarity with Stepanakert

The City of Ryde Council in Sydney Australia has unanimously adopted a Mayoral motion solidifying support for the indigenous Armenian people of the Republic of Artsakh, who are again under fire by aggressive occupier Azerbaijan, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The motion, moved by Mayor Jordan Lane with the support of Armenian-Australian Councillor Sarkis Yedelian, resolved to raise the Republic of Artsakh flag in a Council ceremony at Putney’s Kissing Point Park in solidarity with the City of Ryde’s friendship city, Stepanakert.

The motion referred to the 20-day disruption of natural gas and heating pipelines between the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh by Azerbaijan, leaving over 100,000 indigenous inhabitants of the territory without access to gas amid a sharp cold spell in February 2022.

Councillors Lane and Yedelian also raised concern regarding Azerbaijan’s recent violation of the November 9 Russia-brokered ceasefire agreement on 8 March 2022, which resulted in a new wave of displacements, forcing over 400 Armenian women and children to evacuate their homes.

ANC-AU Political Affairs Director, Michael Kolokossian thanked the City of Ryde Councillors and applauded the success of the motion.

”The actions of Azerbaijan seek to intimidate and cause terror amongst the local Armenian population of Artsakh. This new wave of aggression is the continuation of the war that Azerbaijan is determined to end with the complete cleansing of ethnic Armenians from their ancestral homeland,” said Kolokossian.

“This motion by a unanimous and steadfast City of Ryde Council shows this will not be achieved and Artsakh will remain Armenian,” added Kolokossian.

ANC-AU Administrative Assistant, Danielle Der-Bedrossian addressed the Council Meeting during the debate and said “standing up for the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh is the least we can do for their future so that they may fulfil their aspirations to determine their own future, freely and peacefully”.

Der Bedrossian added in her remarks: “I would like to thank the Council of Ryde, a sister city of Stepanakert, for standing up and showing its ongoing support for the people of Artsakh and its ongoing condemnations of pan-Turkic dictators who wish to continue the neo-Ottoman genocidal policy of their forefathers.”

“It is my sincere hope that one day soon, the Australian Federal government will recognise the independence of Artsakh just like it did in Kosovo and East Timor before it is too late.”

In 2019, the City of Ryde Council voted unanimously on a resolution to form a Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert.

The adoption of the motion comes only days after Republic of Artsakh President, Arayik Harutyunyan addressed the Armenian Genocide and the ascendance of the Pan-Turkic ideology, stating: “More than a hundred years after the Armenian Genocide, we are once again facing serious challenges, once again having to fight for national and universal values, for the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, for the full realisation of our natural right to live freely and independently on our own soil.”

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh in Australia, Kaylar Michaelian similarly thanked the City of Ryde for adding their voice of support to a people in need.

“The brave Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh are appreciative that the local representatives of the most-Armenian populated municipality in Australia have extended their support for their right to democratically self-govern on the lands of their ancestors,” Michaelian said.

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