Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has sensationally admitted to bowing to pressure from a foreign dictatorship, when backflipping on his prior use of the word “genocide” when referring to the Armenian Genocide.
The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that Morrison made the admission when answering questions from the media on what has become a controversial issue, covered by mass Australian media including leading radio broadcaster Alan Jones and the Nine Network of newspapers.
The Prime Minister’s statement to Armenian-Australians – marking the 104th anniversary of the systematic attempt to destroy the Armenian race – referred to the Armenian Genocide as “… the horrors that befell Armenian people at the end of the Ottoman Empire”.
This is in stark contrast to his speech to Parliament on 26th May 2011 – while in Opposition – when he said: “Today, as a member of this House, I join others in this place, and in parliaments around the world, to place on record that I believe the Armenian genocide was one of the greatest crimes against humanity … it is important that we recognise the Armenian genocide for what it was.”
Morrison told journalists on Wednesday that, despite using the word genocide “in the past as a private citizen”, as Prime Minister “I represent the views of the country”, seemingly forgetting that he had made that statement as a Member of Parliament, in Parliament.
Quite sensationally, he then linked his decision to avoid using the term to Australia’s Anzac Day commemoration service in Gallipoli, confirming long-held views that Australia was under a gag order by the Turkish dictatorship on this issue.
“We’ve been working closely with the Turkish government to ensure that we continue to have a very strong relationship that enables Australians, and New Zealanders for that matter, to make that pilgrimage,” Morrison said.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has condemned this “shameful backflip” and the reasons behind it.
“There was serious hope from many that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be the one to end Turkey’s gag rule on Australia by releasing an appropriate statement on the eve of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. “Instead we have the Prime Minister admitting to have drank President Erdogan’s Kool-Aid.”