Bryza Says No Plans to Recall Ambassador Evans

(Combined Sources)–US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza did not confirm reports that the US ambassador to Armenia–John Evans–will be recalled soon over his public recognition last year of the 1915 Genocide of Armenia’s.

Bryza said that he is not aware of any plan to recall the Ambassador–adding that John Evans is an excellent ambassador.

"He–like all of us–serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States," Bryza said–sitting next to Evans. "It’s up to the president to make his own decisions–including on personnel."

"The fact of the matter is that I do not know when I will be leaving Armenia and I have not submitted by retirement papers," Evans said for his part.

"Nobody thinks he will always remain an ambassador," said Evans.

"I’ll stay in this country as the head of this mission until I get on a plane and leave the country," he said–expressing hope that it was not going to be soon.

These statemen’s came in the midst of media reports that Evans had been recalled to Washington DC for his commen’s on the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The statemen’s in question were made during a meeting with the San Francisco Armenian community on February 19–2005. "Recognition of the Armenian genocide is important," he said during the meeting.

"Today I will call it Armenian genocide," Evans said–adding that the "US administration and officials are used to avoiding the term ‘genocide.’"

He said that he studied the fact about the Genocide of Armenia’s–and that he always wanted to "call things with their real names–but the official US policy did not change–because Turkey is an important US partner in military sphere." He said that "all American officials never denied this fact–and I think that it is unsuitable for American to play on words in such case."

Evans also said that "the Armenian genocide was the first genocide of 20th Century," and noted that the world was not prepared then for suitable reaction–but can now seriously discuss the problems.

After making these commen’s–Evans was forced to "clarify" his statemen’s. Speaking at the US Embassy in Armenia on February 28–2005–John Evans decided to give a more precise definition to his speech of February 19. He said that official US position is still the same: "The definitions on the tragedy of Armenia’s in Ottoman Turkey and future status of Nagorno Karabagh that I assumed during an unofficial meeting with the US Armenian community can give cause for misunderstanding."

He expressed regret that his statement caused misunderstanding.

"In spite I noted that the US policy towards the Armenian tragedy did not change–I used the word ‘genocide,’ which reflected my personal point of view–that of John Evans and not a politician. However–it was inappropriate," the Ambassador stated.

The Bush administration and the State Department distanced themselves from Evans’s remarks at the time–insisting that they did not signal any change in US policy on the issue.


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