New US Ambassador to Armenia Sworn In

WASHINGTON (Armenpress)–The new US Ambassador to Armenia–John M. Ordway–was sworn in on November 16 at a ceremony held by the Department of State. Ambassador Ordway was confirmed on October 17 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He replaces Ambassador Michael C. Lemmon–who has completed his term of duty. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage served as the Master of ceremonies.

During the ceremony–Deputy Secretary Armitage commended Armenia on its participation in the war on terrorism.

He expressed his hopes that US-Armenia ties would continue to deepen and said Ambassador Ordway’s expertise and commitment would contribute to that process.

"We congratulate Ambassador Ordway and look forward to working closely with him in Armenia," outgoing Acting Executive Director and Country Director for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh Arpi Vartanian said. "He will play a vital role in relaying information to members of the Bush Administration–the US State Department and Members of Congress–particularly during this wartime period–thereby strengthening the relationship between Armenia and the US."

Ambassador Ordway continued his visit with members of the Armenian-American community this week to discuss the challenges Armenia faces and the critical role the Armenian Diaspora plays in assisting Armenia’s economic development.

Prior to his appointment–Ambassador Ordway was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow.

Ambassador Ordway is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. His previous assignmen’s include Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the Moscow Embassy (1996-1999)–Deputy Political Advisor to the US Mission to NATO and the US Member of the NATO Political Committee (1993-1996)–Director of African Affairs to the National Security Council (1992-1993) and Deputy Director for Russian Affairs at the US Department of State.

During the Ambassador’s confirmation hearing–which was chaired by Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ)–Ordway welcomed congressional engagement in Armenia and the Caucasus–noting that the US has an excellent relationship with Armenia.

As he concluded his term of service in Armenia in late September–former US Ambassador to Armenia–Michael Lemmon–said he witnessed major improvemen’s in the country since his arrival in 1998. He urged the Armenian Government to continue its course of economic and political reforms.

Ordway was born in California and is a graduate of Stanford University and the Hastings Law School.

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