Friday, September 08, 2006

Time for the Armenian government to do a little embassy cleaning

It seems that the new American Ambassador to Armenia is going to be Richard Hoagland.

He will be arriving to Armenia soon and if President Kocharian is the Armenian peoples president, then he will not accept Richard Hoagland credentials and instead send him back to America.

Armenia should not allow any embassy to exist on it’s territory who deny the reality of one of the greatest tragedies in our history.

If Kocharian accepts Richard Hoagland credentials, then he should follow that act with the presentation of his long overdue resignation, as such an act would be contrary to the desires of the majority of the people he is serving and an insult to all the Armenians who lost their lives in the the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

I also think that a welcoming party for Mr. Hoagland is in order in the form of a protest in front of the U.S. embassy is in order.

By George Gedda

AP Worldstream
Sep 07, 2006

A Senate panel on Thursday approved the nomination of career diplomat Richard Hoagland to be ambassador to Armenia, despite objections by some senators to the Bush administration's refusal to classify the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as "genocide."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote was 13-5. The nomination will now be considered by the full Senate.

At his June 28 confirmation hearing, Hoagland declined to use the word genocide to describe the 1915 killings, which occurred during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire.

The tour of duty of the current ambassador, John Evans, reportedly was curtailed because he referred to the killings as a genocide in defiance of administration policy.

Turkey strongly objects to any such characterization. U.S. policymakers are wary of antagonizing Turkey, an important NATO ally.

Armenians say that as many as 1.5 million of their ancestors were killed in an organized genocidal campaign by Ottoman Turks, and have pushed for recognition of the killings as genocide around the world.

Committee Chairman Richard Lugar said Hoagland's nomination should be sent to the Senate for final approval.

The Senate, he said, "should not withhold confirmation based on disagreements with administration policy." It would be "troubling" if such a precedent were to be set.

He pointed out that Armenia is an important country with borders on Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Rejection of Hoagland would mean that months would pass before an alternate ambassador could be found.

Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, said he could not "be in a position to support a nominee who is not in a position to recognize a historical reality."

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, said she could not support the nomination.

"I will today call it the Armenian genocide," she said. "There is no doubt about what happened. I believe is calling things by their names."

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