Foreign Minister Julia Bishop has called on the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to come together to discuss the issue, and for Armenia to end the illegal occupation of Karabakh.

At the question time this week, Member for Cowan Mr Luke Simpkins MP has asked FM Julie Bishop a question about the illegal occupation of Karabakh by Armenia and if the Government recognises this occupation as legitimate.

FM Bishop answered the question firmly and unambiguously, comparing the situation with the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea: “Australia recognises the sovereignty of Azerbaijan and does not recognise Karabakh as a legitimate state”, Ms Bishop said. Minister Bishop also asked Armenia to end the occupation of Karabakh.

The Foreign Minister’s statement of Australia’s position accords with the numerous resolutions of the UN regarding the invasion and occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Republic of Armenia. So far, with the exception of NSW, no country apart from illegitimate satellite states such as Abkhazia have taken the extraordinary step of legitimising this illegal occupation.

ATA Alliance thanks the Foreign Minister for her dedication to United Nations and International Law. We also ask the government of NSW to reconsider the decision to “recognise” this illegal occupation, and whether it is appropriate that a state take any position with respect to what is clearly a foreign policy issue, let alone one that is contradictory to the position of the Commonwealth. We call on the government of NSW to not give in to lobbying efforts that have left NSW isolated along with a small number of illegitimate “nations”.

We also take the opportunity to thank Mr Luke Simpkins MP for once again bringing this important issue to the attention of Federal Parliament.