The Peak Public Affairs Committee of the Armenian-Australian Community
RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan visited the New South Wales State Parliament and met with State and Federal Parliamentarians during her short stay in Australia.
The meetings, facilitated by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia), with Joe Hockey MP, Paul Fletcher MP, Gladys Berejiklian MP and Jonathan O’Dea MP, provided the RA Minister of Diaspora with a valuable opportunity to present the views of the Armenian government regarding Armenian Genocide recognition and Nagorno Karabakh independence.
Responding to the enquiries raised by the MPs, Hakobyan also shed light on the mission of the Diaspora Ministry and the reasons for its existence, paving the way for expanded discussions on the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide and the worldwide Armenian Diaspora.
“The pursuit of universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and advocacy for recognition of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh as an independent state remain the two most pressing foreign policy objectives of the government of Armenia,” said Minister Hakobyan.
ANC Australia Executive Director Varant Meguerditchian, who accompanied Minister Hakobyan during her visit, outlined the importance of her meetings with Australian parliamentarians.
“In discussions with Australian MPs, Minister Hakobyan and ANC Australia together emphasised that the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian-Australian community remain united on the dual issues of Armenian Genocide recognition and Nagorno Karabakh independence. Topics often raised by ANC Australia with Australian MPs were today reinforced as a result of the messages communicated by Minister Hakobyan,” he said.
The Australian parliamentarians who received Minister Hakobyan have a track record in working with ANC Australia to advocate issues of concern for the Armenian community. Hockey has, for several years, been a staunch supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition in the Federal Parliament, while Fletcher and O’Dea have lent support to the independence of Nagorno Karabakh during public speeches. Recently re-elected, Berejiklian has served as a former board member of ANC Australia.
Minister Hakobyan was on an official visit to Australia to further promote relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian-Australian community. This week Hakobyan visited multiple community establishments, including the Armenian Cultural Centre in Willoughby and the Hamazkaine Galstaun College in Ingleside.
Hakobyan also appeared at various community gatherings, including a communitywide presentation held on Tuesday, March 29 at the Austral-Armenian Centre, which attracted more than 500 attendees.