Ordway’s Farewell to Armenia


23 july 2004

The US ambassador to Armenia John Ordway opened his last official
press conference with a hearty speech. He spent 3 years in Armenia,
learnt Armenian, and appreciated “the beauty of the land and people’s
kindness.” The Armenian-American relations during his tenure could be
called positive in its main features. The ambassador is sure that the
opening of all borders is the only way for the region’s
development. He noted development in the military sphere between the
two countries during these 3 years. Armenia established relations with
the state of Kansas, Armenia was granted military equipments and
relations withthe NATO get tighter.

The fact that the territory of the US embassy is one of the largest in
the world John Ordway considered a guarantee for stable and
everlasting relations between the countries. The dynamics and the
quality of the relations will depend on the developments in Armenia
and the Caucasian region as a whole. But the main interests of Armenia
and the USA will remain unchanged.

According to Ordway, the spheres of mass media and freedom of speech
are the ones with less progress. He thinks that establishment of
democratic institutes demands time and a new generation with new ideas
and values should come to bring the change.

Speaking of the Karabakh issue, John Ordway mentioned that he believes
in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Azerbaijan’s complaints of
theMinsk group do not sound strange to Ordway. “Both Armenia and
Azerbaijan used to complain of certain things on different stages of
the conflict settlement process but the two presidents are loyal to
the peaceful end. The Minsk group co-chairs want to engage more
actively in the settlement process only believing in this
fact. Renewal of a war will be a tragedy for the region itself, and
the sides comprehend that.”

The ambassador considers this period the most suitable one for the
conflict settlement as the two presidents have enough time on their
posts. The co-chairs also think so.

Concerning the present state of Nagorno Karabakh, John Ordway said
that it is unacceptable for him if the probability of a lasting peace
and normal relations are on the other side of the scales. “But if we
have no other option but the current state or war then the former is

“My memories of Armenia consist of two parts: its nature and the
kindness of people living in this nature. I don’t think that I will
ever forgetArmenia. I have a big collection of Armenian souvenirs but
the best souvenirs are my recollections”, said Ordway.

Only bad roads made ambassador’s stay in Armenia uncomfortable.

By Karine Danielian