Ambassador Evans’ Statemen’s Do Not Represent a Formal Change in US Policy

ANCA voices community outrage over Administration’s inability to withstand Turkish pressure over Ambassador’s statemen’s

WASHINGTON–DC–US Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans–only days after completing an official tour of Armenian American communities during which he repeatedly gave recognition to the Armenian genocide–has noted that these commen’s were his private views and do not reflect a change in US government policy. His statement on this subject was posted Tuesday on the Embassy’s website:

"Armenian Americans are profoundly disappointed by those influential officials that remain within the Administration who–against all facts and contrary to US interests–are still able to impose their agenda on every front of the increasingly untenable and lop-sided US-Turkey relationship. This is particularly troubling–coming at a time when Turkey has obstructed US regional objectives–deceived US policymakers–and fostered an unprecedented level of anti-American sentiment among its citizens. As a community–we vigorously condemn the ongoing policy of US complicity in Turkey’s shameful campaign of genocide denial," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

"Regardless of the disappointing outcome of this episode–we commend Amb. Evans for his courage in coming forward and publicly stating his views on the Armenian genocide–views that are shared by all but the Turkish government and its surrogates. In so doing–the Ambassador has placed this issue prominently on America’s public agenda. For our part–as Armenian Americans–on this year of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–will pursue this matter with renewed vigor–with the White House–Congress–and the entire foreign policy community," added Hamparian.

Ambassador Evans commen’s were made at a series of public Armenian American community outreach events in Boston–New York–New Jersey–San Francisco–Los Angeles–Fresno–and Washington–DC. During his presentations in these cities–the Ambassador spoke with a level of candor on the Armenian genocide that was specifically welcomed by Armenian Americans.

During his public presentation at the University of California–Berkeley–hosted by Armenian Studies Program Executive Director–Prof. Stephan Astourian–Evans announced–"I will today call it the Armenian Genocide." The Ambassador–who has studied Russian History at Yale and Columbia universities and Ottoman History at the Kennan Institute–argued–"We–the US government–owe you–our fellow citizens a more frank and honest way of discussing this problem. Today–as someone who’s studied it…There’s no doubt in my mind what happened." He explained that he had also consulted with a State Department lawyer who confirmed that the events of 1915 were "genocide by definition."

Amb. Evans’ commitment to moral clarity came through in further remarks–stating–"I think it is unbecoming of us as Americans to play word games here. I believe in calling things by their name."

During a speech to schoolchildren at the Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Los Angeles–Amb. Evans cited with pride that 37 US states had recognized the Armenian genocide.


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