Australian Senator for Victoria Janet Rice has risen in the Senate Chamber repeating her party’s calls on Azerbaijan to immediately open the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor, adding her voice to the growing list of Australian Parliamentarians who have condemned Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
The former Australian Greens Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, who has maintained a close working relationship with the ANC-AU, also reiterated the Australian Greens support for the rights to self-determination of all people, including the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh.
Rice, who is also a member of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network, rose in the Federal Parliaments Upper House to speak on human rights. Rice said: “The Australian Greens believe that universal human rights are fundamental and must be respected for all people in all countries. That principle informed my approach as the Greens foreign affairs spokesperson, and it continues to inform my views on foreign policy.”
As part of the adjournment statement, Rice made explicit reference to Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of Artsakh and said: “I also want to mention the situation in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The closure of the Lackin corridor has had major humanitarian consequences on the Artsakh community and caused great alarm to the Armenian diaspora here in Australia.”
“The Greens have called on Azerbaijan to urgently reopen the corridor to ensure free movement and security and, most importantly, to prevent this crisis escalating. The Greens remain in solidarity with the people of Artsakh, demanding a reopening of the road and reaffirming our support for the rights of all peoples to self-determination,” she added.
This statement is in line with a Tweet made by Australian Greens Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Senator Jordon Steele-John in December 2022, calling on Azerbaijan to “urgently reopen the corridor to ensure free movement and security, and most importantly, to prevent this crisis escalating.”
“We thank Senator Rice for her principled and public support for Artsakh, calling on the Azerbaijani petro-dictatorship to end its blockade and re-open the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor on,” commented ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian.
“The Australian Greens have been a steadfast supporter of issues raised by Armenian-Australians and we welcome their commitment to supporting the people of Artsakh’s ongoing struggles and right to self-determination,” Kolokossian added.