Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop Explicitly Denies The Armenian Genocide -
CANBERRA: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has labelled a recent statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop on the Armenian Genocide “unacceptable”, and called on the Australian government to reverse this error in judgment.
In a letter addressed to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance, Bishop extraordinarily denies the historical reality of the first genocide of the 20th century by stating “we, do not however, recognise these events as ‘genocide’."
“While recent Australian governments have not referred to the Armenian Genocide as ‘genocide’, they have done so by describing the events in some detail, then referring to the ‘genocide’ as ‘tragic events’ or with other euphemisms,” said ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian.
“While these euphemisms will always be unacceptable, they were consistent with other deniers in the Western world. Bishop’s statement of outright denial of the Armenian Genocide takes Australia almost as far back as Turkey on this issue.”
Kahramanian added: “Our community is wondering how can Australia’s moral conscience become so corrupted?”
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Bishop’s statement comes in stark contrast to fellow senior government ministers who have actively called for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Australian Parliament. As recently as April of this year, Treasurer Joe Hockey stated: “Today we gather to remember the 1.5 million people who perished in the genocide... there is no other word for it.”
Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, along with ranking members from Labor, the Greens, minor parties and Independents have in the recent past called on the Australian Parliament to officially recognise the events of 1915 as genocide.
The Foreign Minister’s statement is uncharacteristic of successive Australian governments’ policy on the Armenian Genocide, and lags considerably behind allies including the United States and the United Kingdom and its policy is removed completely from nations such as Canada, France, Germany and Italy, who have taken the moral high ground to recognise the Armenian Genocide.
In a powerful letter addressed to the Foreign Minister, ANC Australia calls into question Australia’s recent policy change and calls on the Australian government to review its position, so that as a starting point, it falls into line with the other major allies, then progresses the “moral heights of outright recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide”.
ANC Australia calls on the Australian Foreign Minister to “not whitewash this dark chapter in history” and says that it doing so is “inexcusable”. Such actions not only denigrate the memory of genocide victims but also disrespect Australia’s very own history and the heroic of ANZAC prisoners of war who witnessed this crime against humanity.
ANC Australia Chairman, Greg Soghomonian, remarked: “The Australian Foreign Minister must immediately reverse this critical error of judgment and listen to the will of the Australian Parliament in recognising and honouring the victims of the Armenian Genocide.”
A meeting has been sought with the Foreign Minister and her office to discuss this critical issue.