Australian Prime Minister’s response
to the Assyrian Universal Alliance Letter
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 09:52 PM UT
Sydney — The Deputy Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, Mr Hermiz Shahen received a reply from the office of the Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, in response to his letter dated 7 April 2015, appealing for Australia’s urgent attention and intervention to the escalating situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Shahen explained the dire situation facing the Assyrians in Syria, where thirty five Assyrian villages and towns on the banks of Khabour River were attacked and occupied by ISIL on February 23, 2015. As a result they have killed many Assyrians and have taken a large number of families as hostages; their fate is unknown until today. More than an estimated 3000 Assyrians fled from their villages and are now living in shelters in the Hassaka province and Qamishli in northeast Syria.
The Prime Minster responded as follows:
Thank you for your letter to the Prime Minister of 7 April 2015 regarding the terrible situation facing the Assyrian people in the Middle East. I have been asked to reply on the Prime Minister's behalf.
As the Prime Minister noted in his letter to you of 12 March and in the comments he made during Assyrian New Year celebrations in Fairfield on 22 March, the Australian Government shares your horror at the assaults, kidnappings and murder of Assyrians in Iraq and Syria.
As you would know, Australia is taking part in the coalition assisting the Iraqi government to counter ISIL. And the Government has made 4,400 places available in Australia's refugee and special humanitarian programmes in 2014-15 for people fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria. As the Prime Minister stressed in his remarks at Fairfield, the Assyrian people will not be left alone in their struggle to resist persecution and violence at the hands of ISIL.
Thank you for the suggestions in your most recent letter to the Prime Minister. Your letter has been forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its consideration of what can be done to urge authorities in the Middle East to do more to address the plight of the Assyrian people.
To read the letter, click on the following link, Reply from Prime Minister of Australia.
Assyrian Universal Alliance
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia
E-mail: auaaustralia [ a t ] bigpond.com