Australian Senate once again supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
The Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Committee of the Australian Senate has held a hearing on foreign and defense policy of the country, the Senate said in a statement on June 6. A number of issues were discussed during the hearings, including Australia’s position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
During the hearing, Senator Lee Rhiannon asked a member of the Greens party a question about the conflict. Referring to the statement of Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, saying that “Australia strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Rhiannon asked if it complies with the fundamental principles of the OSCE Minsk process.
Answering the question, Catherine Raper, Head of the Europe and Latin America Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, once again confirmed that support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as well as the non-recognition of NagornoKarabakh as an independent state are the long-term policy of the Australian government. She also noted that Canberra supports the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The statement of the Australian Senate on the issue led to serious discontent of the Armenian National Committee of Australia.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.