US Diplomat Clears Hurdle For Armenian Post


Associated Press Worldstream
July 29, 2008 Tuesday 8:59 PM GMT

A U.S. diplomat nominated to be ambassador to Armenia is closer to
congressional approval.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended Tuesday that Marie
Yovanovitch be approved. The nod came despite intense questioning by
lawmakers during her confirmation hearing.

Yovanovitch stuck clearly in the hearing to U.S. policy not to label
as genocide the World War I-era killings of huge numbers of Armenians
in Turkey.

Last year, the White House withdrew its nomination of career diplomat
Richard Hoagland after one lawmaker blocked it in an objection to
that policy.

Yovanovitch must still be approved by the full Senate.

The U.S. government has avoided taking a position on whether the
killings were genocide to avoid damaging relations with Turkey,
a key NATO ally.