Spokesperson for Azerbaijan`s Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva responded to journalists’ questions on the Armenian origin Premier of the New South Wales state of Australia Gladys Berejiklian’ statement she made in Yerevan in her interview with one of the local media agencies, arguing that New South Wales has recognised the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh already 20 years.
Leyla Abdullayeva said: “First of all let me stress that the so-called separatist regime created in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan has not been recognised by any sovereign state of the world, including even the invader Armenia.
As for the official position of Australia, I would like to underline that Australia unequivocally supports Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and it has been repeatedly stated by the officials of this country, as well as reflected in the official letters and notes verbales addressed to Azerbaijan. The former foreign minister of Australia stated back in 2015 her country’s support to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and consistent policy of the Government of Australia to end the conflict and the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 2017 the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific reiterated the well-known position of her country within her visit to Azerbaijan. And most recently, on May 29 of this year the letter of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Peter Cosgrove addressed to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan stated that “Australia has historically been a strong supporter of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to do so in to the future”.
Coming to the statement of the Armenian-origin Premier of the Australian New South Wales, I have to stress that it does not reflect the official position of the Australian Government, and I would rather question to what extent do the representatives of states are involved in the formulation of the Federal Government's foreign policy. The statement of the Premier of the New South Wales made in Yerevan is in clear contradiction with the official position of the Federal Government, and to my mind she should be warned to act in accordance with the foreign policy course of the country she represents.
Let me also remind that her name has been included to the list of the foreign citizens whose entrance to Azerbaijan is denied because of her unauthorized visit to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan back in 2013 in her capacity as the Minister of Transport of Australia.
In general, the Armenian lobby groups in Australia are concerned over the growing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Australia and are trying to take steps to damage this relationship. But I would like to emphasize that the groundless activities of these groups will not be able to undermine developing relations between Azerbaijan and Australia.”