The Armenian community will deliver a snub to Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an official event to commemorate the Armenian genocide on Wednesday, accusing him of a “downright offensive” backflip in his comments marking the anniversary of the atrocity.
Armenian leaders have refused to read out Mr Morrison’s statement and will instead attack him in front of Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who is headlining the Sydney event.
In his remarks, Mr Morrison says Australia joins with the Armenian diaspora “to mourn and to remember the horrors that befell Armenian people at the end of the Ottoman Empire”.
The Ottomans exterminated about 1.5 million Armenians over 10 years from 1915, in what 29 nations have now recognised as a genocide. Australia is not among them, although NSW and South Australia have used the term “genocide” to denote the atrocity.
The Turkish government objects to the term “genocide”, despite widespread acceptance by historians and scholars.