Australia: Sydney: Meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs
Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 06:48 AM UT
SYDNEY, Australia — On Monday, 12 May 2014, a delegation headed by Mr. Hermiz Shahen, Deputy Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), met with the Honorable Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services and attended by Departmental Officers. The Assyrian delegation included Mr. David M. David, President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation (AANF) and Mr Paul Azzo, Political Advisor to the AUA. Mr. Shahen briefed the Minister with the latest developments in Iraq and Syria, the neglect of the Assyrians after the 2003 liberation of Iraq, the waging of sectarian violence and systematic ethno-religious cleansing that is being instigated by Islamic extremists against the entire Christian population, who are fleeing en masse from violence.
“As a matter of urgency and importance, we called upon the Australian Government to endorse and support a Nineveh Plain Province Solution, which entails the development of a self-governed Assyrian province in the Nineveh Plain under the jurisdiction of the central government of the Federal Republic of Iraq. We also asked the Australian Government to offer political support in favour of this policy in its dealings with the Government of Iraq, and to make sure that the boarders and the law of this proposed province by the Council of Ministers will be made in a way that will serve and protect the rights and purpose of the establishment of Nineveh Plain for the Assyrian people in Iraq”. Mr Shahen said.
“An official letter was handed to the Minister concerning the situation of Assyrians and a mounting number of threats facing the Iraqi and Syrian Assyrians”, he said.
Mr Shahen thanked Senator Fierravanti-Wells, for organising this meeting at Parliament House in Canberra and for her unrelenting commitment to the Assyrian cause and her outstanding efforts over the years in raising the Assyrian case with the Australian government. He also extended his thanks and appreciation to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for her wisdom and passion to crises facing the embattled Assyrian refugees. “I hope that this meeting achieves positive outcomes for the interest and needs of our Assyrian people of both countries Iraq and Syria,” Mr Shahen said.
Assyrian Universal Alliance