In a 90-second Private Member’s Statement, Jerome Laxale MP has delivered a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives highlighting Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade against the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
The Federal Member for Bennelong, who is also the Chair of the Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Union (Friendship Group), is the second Australian parliamentarian to rise in the first sitting week of 2023 and express concern over Azerbaijan’s illegal and inhumane blockade of Artsakh.
Laxale joined The Australian Greens Senator Janet Rice, who demanded Azerbaijan “urgently open the corridor” earlier in the week.
In a strongly-worded statement, Laxale said: “For nearly two months, Azerbaijani operatives have blocked all movement of people, food, fuel and humanitarian supplies from Armenia to Artsakh. The Berdzor corridor, commonly referred to as the ‘Road of Life’, is the only land link between Artsakh and the outside world for the self-determined Armenian population.”
Laxale used his speech in Parliament to highlight the humanitarian consequences of the blockade and said: “I am informed over 200 children have been born under siege, that all educational institutions have been shut, and grocery stores have been left empty as authorities in Artsakh have issued food rationing coupons. This blockade has all the hallmarks of another tragic moment in history for the Armenian people.”
ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian welcomed the Member for Bennelong’s ongoing support of the local Armenian-Australian community.
“We are proud to have Mr Jerome Laxale in our corner advocating for issues of importance to the Armenian-Australian community in the Federal Parliament, and we thank him for his ongoing efforts in raising awareness during this critical juncture in our nation’s history,” said Kolokossian.