World Macedonian Congress Australia welcomes & congratulates the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Julie Bishop MP upcoming historic visit to Eastern Europe to ‘strengthen bilateral relations and advance Australia’s economic and security interests in the region’.
However, Australian Macedonians are exceedingly disappointed and insulted with the recent press release stating Ms. Bishop will be visiting and meeting officials in ‘FYROM’. Serbia and Croatia are also former Yugoslav countries & The Republic of Macedonia also peacefully achieved and declared Independence in September 1991.
Multicultural Australia prohibits discrimination, promotes cultural diversity, allows freedom of self-identification, and basic human rights including ‘equality before the law of all persons’.
Australian Macedonians have contributed to the economic, cultural and social fabric of multicultural Australia, fought as Australian Macedonians representing Australia in World Wars, have outstanding citizens that have contributed across the spectrum of all infrastructure, excelled in sport, and successful in business. Australian Macedonians have integrated, assimilated and contributed since the 1900’s into making Australia such a great nation.
Minister Bishop, you may note that your use of former Yugoslav Republic also applies to Croatia and Serbia, and the absurdity of referring to Macedonia as an acronym of a region (Yugoslavia) that no longer exists to appease the Greek community within Australia is highly discriminatory and offensive and breaches Australia’s equality before the law of all citizens, and their basic human right to identify as Macedonians, which existed prior to Independence in 1991.
As our elected parliamentarian, Macedonians having the right to vote, and as a representative of ALL of your constituents, we request our right to be called Macedonians and refer to The Republic of Macedonia as such, in your references on your visit.
Australian Macedonians exceed in numbers over the Serbian and Croatian communities and have the basic human right to identify as Macedonians.
The Australian Embassy for the region is located in Belgrade, Serbia – Serbians are smaller in numbers within Australia in comparison to Macedonians, and it would be of great benefit to have an office of the Ambassador within the capital, Skopje in Macedonia.
Australian Macedonians wish you well on your visit for bilateral relations with economy and trade and respectfully request that you refer to Macedonia and Macedonians on your visit as such.
We wish you a safe and enjoyable trip to our beautiful and historical country of Macedonia.
View FM Julie Bishop Press Release – HERE
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