The Council of the City of Ryde has issued a statement to “condemn Azerbaijan’s resumption of hostilities against the indigenous Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh, including in the City of Ryde’s Friendship City of Stepanakert”, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
In 2019, the City of Ryde Council voted unanimously on a resolution to form a Friendship City relationship with the capital of the Republic of Artsakh, Stepanakert, which was attacked by Turkey-backed Azerbaijani forces on 27th September 2020.
Councilor Sarkis Yedelian said: “Given the City of Ryde’s close association with Stepanakert, Azerbaijan’s attacks causing a resumption of the conflict within the city and the region, as well as the loss of life is an avoidable tragedy. I call for an immediate end to Azerbaijan’s offensive, supported by Turkey, and a respect for the ceasefire agreement and protection of all civilians in the region.”
Mayor Jerome Laxale added: “The loss of life since hostilities resumed in this conflict is deeply concerning. I would encourage all hostilities to immediately cease. War and aggression should never be a solution, and peaceful negotiations must commence immediately.”
The Armenian National Committee of Australia declared the appreciation of their community to the City of Ryde.
“We thank the City of Ryde for their concern and condemnation of Azerbaijan, who with the support of Turkey, are continuing shelling Stepanakert and greater Artsakh and Armenia since Sunday,” ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian said.
Public support for Armenia and Artsakh has been in from Australian politicians at all levels of government and public figures, including the co-convenors of the Federal Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Union, Federal parliamentarians Senator Kristina Keneally and Tim Wilson MP, New South Wales Member for Prospect Hugh McDermott MP, who wrote a scathing letter to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Australia, NSW Legislative Assembly Speaker Jonathan O’Dea MP expressing his solidarity with the Republic of Artsakh and Northern Beaches Councilor Vincent De Luca and media broadcaster Jon Dee doing the same.