Australian Senator Nick Xenophon reaffirmed the historical reality of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocides, paving the way for the Upper House to officially recognize these crimes against humanity.
Speaking in the Senate on October 12 Xenophon declared: “From 1915 to 1923, the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian people were the victims of one of the first modern genocides. The exact figures are not known, but it is estimated that over 3.5 million people died as a result of deliberate, systematic actions by the Ottoman Empire.”
According to him, the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian communities in Australia and around the world deserve to have these past atrocities acknowledged as what they were: genocide, armenia.com.au website reported.
The Senator also paid tribute to the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) and the Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) for their efforts at raising awareness of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocides.
“In the coming months I will be working with the Armenian National Committee and the Australian Hellenic Council to formulate a motion to put to the Senate, and I will encourage all of my colleagues to support it,” he added.
Xenophon recalled that Australia had not formally acknowledged this genocide because of our diplomatic relationship with Turkey.
“If we do not acknowledge this history for fear of offending another country, where do we draw the line? When is an event or issue serious enough for us to take the risk? It is time for Australia to choose a position. Either we acknowledge these genocides, or we refuse to. If we do not take a stand on this issue, we need to consider what it says about our country,” emphasized the Senator.