Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has voiced its support for the International Court of Justice ruling ordering Azerbaijan to “ensure unimpeded movement” along the Lachin Corridor, as the blockade of Artsakh moves into its ninth month creating an acute humanitarian organization, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia welcomed this statement, calling it “a welcome shift” in the department’s narrative, which had until now preferred statements urging “both sides to de-escalate tensions and to ensure freedom and security along the corridor”.
“We support the provisional measures order issued by the International Court of Justice on 22 February 2023, which was reaffirmed by the Court on 6 July 2023. The Court ordered Azerbaijan to ‘take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions,’” said Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a letter sent to the Australian-Armenian community.
The ANC-AU welcomed the statement from DFAT on behalf of Senator Wong, and now expects the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to publicly echo this in all possible settings.
Australia now joins the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Parliament and many other nations, and prominent non-governmental organizations in supporting the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures.
“For the second time now, an Australian Government has recognized Azerbaijan’s belligerent actions, first in November 2022 acknowledging Azerbaijan as the responsible party for a specific series of crimes against Armenian prisoners of war and the desecration of Armenian cultural and religious sites, and now as the instigator of an illegal blockade in violation of international law,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian.
“We look forward to this positive shift in Australia’s position being echoed in all bilateral and multilateral international channels by both Prime Minister Albanese and Foreign Affairs Minister Wong until the genocidal blockade is lifted.”
More than 2,000 Armenian-Australians signed an Australian Parliamentary petition over the past month, calling for the Federal Government’s support to end Artsakh’s blockade, which was presented to the House of Representatives who passed it on to Foreign Minister Wong before the release of the above letters.
“The Armenian National Committee of Australia extends its warm gratitude to all community members who passionately advocated in support of Artsakh, the Australian civil society organisations who wrote to the Foreign Minister, and state and federal parliamentarians who have signed the Statement of Support for the people of Artsakh calling on this important shift in Canberra’s policy. Through our collective and united efforts, we have secured this victory,” Kolokossian added.