US Ambassadorial Nominee Responds To Obama Inquiries On Armenian Gen


AZG Armenian Daily

Armenian Genocide

ANCA Thanks Senator Obama

Senator Barack Obama has received written responses to the four written
questions he submitted to U.S. Ambassador Designate Marie Yovanovitch
as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ongoing review
of her nomination to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia,
reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)."We remain
troubled by Ambassador Yovanovitch’s evasive answers, her outright
non-responses, and her refusal, in her replies to Senator Obama and
other Senators, to offer anything approaching a reasonable or factually
supportable explanation of the reasons behind Administration’s
misguided policy on the Armenian Genocide," said Aram Hamparian,
Executive Director of the ANCA. "This being said, it appears as
though Ambassador Yovanovitch and her colleagues have learned from
the disastrous Hoagland experience and are coming to understand that
the U.S. Senate will not accept – and the Armenian American community
will never allow – an Ambassador to Armenia who denies the Armenian
Genocide."Ambassador Yovanovitch appeared as a witness before the
Committee on June 19th. During this appearance, she faced a series
of pointed questions from Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) regarding
the Bush Administration’s policy to mischaracterize the Armenian
Genocide. Afterwards, as many as eight Senators, including Senator
Menendez, submitted a series of written inquiries to the nominee.

Concerned that Senators had not been given enough time to review
Ms. Yovanovitch’s responses, with many submitted less than 24 hours
before the impending Committee vote, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
called for a delay in Senate consideration, until Senators had a
clearer picture of the nominee’s position. A Committee decision on
this posting is expected in mid-July.The ANCA has thanked Senator
Boxer for providing Senators, the Armenian American community, and
all citizens who care about ending genocide with the opportunity
to meaningfully review the responses of a public servant nominated
to fill a diplomatic posting that has been the center of national
attention since the Administration’s firing of Ambassador John Evans
over his truthful remarks on the Armenian Genocide."We compromise
our standing as a nation when we require that our Foreign Service
officers either lie or conceal the truth in the conduct of our
foreign affairs. This exercise of euphemisms and evasion in relation
to the Armenian Genocide, which everyone knows is the result of Turkish
government pressure, undermines our credibility," added Hamparian. "Our
diplomats should be sent abroad with a clear message: speak the truth
and America will stand with you."President Bush nominated Amb. Marie
L. Yovanovitch in March of this year to serve as America’s next
Ambassador to Armenia. The ANCA has spoken to Committee members
about the value of carefully questioning Amb. Yovanovitch on the
many issues she will face as the U.S. envoy in Yerevan, among them
the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey and Azerbaijan’s
ongoing blockades of Armenia, and the need for a balanced U.S. role
in helping forge a democratic and peaceful resolution to the Nagorno
Karabagh conflict.President Bush’s previous nominee as U.S. Ambassador
to Armenia, Richard Hoagland, was subject to two legislative holds
by Sen. Menendez and was ultimately withdrawn by the Administration,
following the nominee’s statements denying the Armenian Genocide. The
ANCA led the Armenian American community campaign opposing Hoagland’s
nomination, stating that a genocide denier could not serve as a
credible and effective U.S. spokesperson in Armenia.