The Australian Egyptian Forum Council has joined a growing number of organisations in Australia calling on the Federal Government to recognise the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
The Australian Egyptian Forum Council is an organisation representing the interests of the Egyptian-Australian community in New South Wales. They promote Egyptian heritage and culture in Australia, and aim to encourage and develop good relations with other communities, working towards the spirit of a multicultural Australia.
The President of the Australian Egyptian Forum Council, Mr Amir Salem, has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison in support of the Armenian-Australian community’s call urging for Federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
“We believe that Australia, as a nation that upholds the values of human rights and justice, should be next in recognising the Armenian Genocide,” wrote Mr. Salem. “Accurate characterisation of the events as Genocide will ensure the healing of open wounds for current and future generations of Armenian-Australians living with this trauma.”
In April this year, Prime Minister Morrison, who called for Federal Australian recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a backbench MP in 2011, failed to correctly characterise the crimes of 1915 in his 2021 statement, despite acknowledging Australia’s first major international humanitarian relief effort to aid the “dispossession, deportations and deaths” suffered during the events.
The Australian Egyptian Forum Council joins prominent religious, political, ethnic and youth organizations who have written to Prime Minister Morrison calling on him to stand on the side of truth and justice on the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, including the Jewish Australian community, the Arab Council of Australia, the New South Wales Young Liberals, the New South Wales Ecumenical Council representing 16 churches, Christian Charity Barnabas Fund Australia, Kurdish Lobby Australia, as well as from numerous prominent academics and former politicians.
In addition, over 20 ministers, shadow ministers and parliamentarians representing all sides of politics conveyed condolence messages to the Armenian-Australian community. Their messages contradicted Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statement that recognised “dispossession, deportations and death” – as well as Australia’s first international humanitarian relief effort to assist surviving orphans – but failed to correctly characterize as genocide the 1915 murders of over 1.5 million Armenians, and over 1 million Assyrians and Greeks.
Mr Salem also referenced the connection between Armenian survivors of the genocide and his country of origin, Egypt.
“We are celebrating the Cosmopolitan City of Alexandria, where the Armenian community formed an essential part of the diversity of Alexandria,” he wrote. “Egypt was a safe haven for many Armenians seeking refuge from the atrocities they experienced under the Ottoman Empire.”
The ANC-AU is grateful for the support of the Australian Egyptian Forum Council, who have called on the Australian Government to recognise the Armenian Genocide.
“Armenian-Australians thank Mr Amir Salem and the Australian Egyptian Forum Council for joining a growing list of organisations that have called for Federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Australia,” said ANC-AU Executive Director Haig Kayserian.
“Many Armenians who survived the genocide found safe haven in Egypt, and we are grateful for the continued support from their community in Australia,” Kayserian added.