ANCA Welcomes White House Withdrawal of Hoagland Nomination

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
Email [email protected]

August 3, 2007
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— Decision Follows Extensive ANCA Nationwide Campaign to Block
Appointment of Genocide Denier as U.S. Envoy

WASHINGTON, DC – Following a year of Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA) led Armenian American community opposition to the
controversial appointment of an Armenian Genocide denier as U.S.
envoy to Yerevan, the White House, today, announced the withdrawal
of the nomination of Dick Hoagland as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.

"We are gratified to see that the Administration has finally come
to recognize what the ANCA and the Armenian American community have
understood for more than a year – that Dick Hoagland — through his
own words and action – disqualified himself as an effective
representative of either American values or U.S. interests as U.S.
Ambassador to Armenia," stated ANCA Executive Director Aram
Hamparian. "We would like to thank Senator Menendez for his
principled leadership in impressing upon the Administration that a
genocide denier should never and must never represent the U.S. in

"This is certainly welcome news," stated Senator Robert Menendez
(D-NJ). "It was clear that their nominee to fill his place was
controversial. I hope that our next nominee will bring a different
understanding to this issue and foster a productive relationship
with our friends in Armenia."

House Armenian Genocide resolution lead sponsor Rep. Adam Schiff
(D-CA) concurred, stating "The President was right to withdraw Mr.
Hoagland’s nomination. During his confirmation hearings, Mr.
Hoagland continued to deny that the massacre of a million and a
half Armenians between 1915 and 1923 was genocide, thereby
compounding the injury done to the Armenian people and, especially,
the few remaining survivors of the first genocide of the Twentieth
Century. I hope that the President will soon nominate a new
ambassador who will be more forthcoming in discussing the Armenian

The ANCA first announced its opposition to the Hoagland appointment
on July 18th, 2006. The decision followed written responses offered
by the nominee to questions posed during his Senate confirmation
hearing, which went far beyond the bounds of the Administration’s
already deeply flawed policy, actually calling into question the
Armenian Genocide as a historical fact. During subsequent months
tens of thousands of Armenian Americans participated in nationwide
phone, letter-writing and ANCA WebFax campaigns urging the Senate
to block the nomination.

On September 12th, Sen. Menendez announced that he had placed a
"hold" on the Hoagland nomination, citing the principled stand
taken by former U.S. Ambassador John Evans, who was fired for
speaking truthfully about the Armenian Genocide, underscoring his
"great concerns that Mr. Hoagland’s confirmation would be a step

Citing the opposition of the Armenian American community and the
growing controversy within Congress surrounding the nomination,
Senator Menendez was joined on December 1st by incoming Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in calling on President George W.
Bush to withdraw the Hoagland nomination and propose a new
candidate to serve in this important diplomatic post. They stressed
that, in light of the broad-based concerns within Congress, the
extensive media coverage this issue has received, and the strong
stand of the Armenian American community against the nomination,
"it would serve neither our national interests nor the U.S.-Armenia
relationship to expect Ambassador-designate Hoagland to carry out
his duties under these highly contentious and profoundly troubling

On December 8th of last year, after the Senate failed to confirm
Hoagland, his nomination was returned to the President upon the
adjournment of the 109th Congress. With the expiration of the
Hoagland nomination, the President was free to offer a new
candidate for this diplomatic posting in the 110th Congress, but
chose instead to submit the same one, despite strong Congressional
opposition to his confirmation. Sen. Menendez placed a second
"hold" on the nomination on January 11, 2007.

More than half of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and more
than 60 U.S. Representatives have raised concerns about the
Hoagland nomination and the State Department’s refusal to explain
the controversial firing of his predecessor, John Marshall Evans,
for speaking truthfully about the Armenian Genocide. The Department
of State has also failed to offer any meaningful explanation of the
role that the Turkish government played in the Evans issue.