Saturday, July 21, 2007

Richard Hoagland not to be appointed as US Ambassador to Armenia?


Richard Hoagland, US Ambassador Designate to Armenia, is about to be reassigned to another country, according to several confidential but highly reliable sources. This decision was made after his candidacy was twice blocked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Both times Sen. Robert Menendez from New Jersey placed hold on Hoagland’s nomination, The California Courier reports.

“The US administration must have realized that Richard Hoagland’s nomination as Ambassador to Armenia is despairing. After languishing for a whole year at an empty desk in the State Department, Ambassador Hoagland deserves to have an assignment at a diplomatic post in a country other than Armenia. His superiors’ mismanagement of this issue should no longer keep his career in limbo. Only time will tell if the Bush administration has properly understood from this episode the deeply-felt sentiments of the Armenian-American community. In view of the embarrassment suffered by the State Department on this occasion, it is hoped that, henceforth, the administration would think long and hard before showing any more disrespect towards the Armenian-American community on the core issue of the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” The California Courier writes.

On September 7, 2006 thanks to Senator Robert Menendez’s efforts Hoagland’s candidacy was blocked in the Senate. On December 1 the New Jersey legislator joined with Majority Leader Harry Reid in calling on the Administration to offer a new candidacy for this post. The negative attitude towards Richard Hoagland’s nomination is connected with his outright denial of the Armenian Genocide in response to questions posed during and after his June 2006 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Former US Ambassador to Yerevan John Evans was forced into early retirement last year, after he used the words “Armenian Genocide” to describe the mass murder of Armenians in Turkey.

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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