1.5 million Armenians and 1 million Greek and Assyrian people were killed in a genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1915. The genocide was a grave crime against humanity and the Victorian Greens pay tribute to the memory of the victims. 

In recent times, the Armenian community has continued to suffer gravely because of the actions of the state of Azerbaijan against the Armenian community in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabkah). The recent blockade, attack and forced displacement of Armenians from the region resulted in the inaugural prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stating that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed. 

We also understand that the State of Israel has supplied Azerbaijan with nearly 70% of its military arsenal from 2016 to 2020, supporting the State of  Israel’s weapons manufacturing industry that is now complicit in the genocide of the Palestian people in Gaza.

In light of the growing international concern about the actions of the state of Azerbaijan, the Victorian Greens are concerned about the establishment of a new parliamentary friendship group initiated by Natalie Suleymen MP and David Southwick MP because of the risk if poses of legitimising the action of the the state of Azerbaijan that has been accused of a blockade and the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian people. 

The Victorian Greens MPs will not attend the inaugural meeting of the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Azerbaijan scheduled for 19 June and urge other members of parliament not to attend as it could send a message of endorsement of the actions of the state of Azerbaijan.