ANC-PAC Praises Senator Boxer for Challenging Bush Administration’s Recall of Armenian Ambassador

LOS ANGELES–The Armenian National Committee – Political Action Committee issued a statement this week praising US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for challenging the Bush Administration’s decision to recall Ambassador John Marshall Evans from his post in Yerevan, Armenia. Most recently, Senator Boxer voted against the nomination of a new US Ambassador to Armenia as a result of unanswered questions about the recall of John Evans. Ambassador Evans was directed by the Department of State to return prematurely to the United States as a result of remarks he made in February of 2005 acknowledging the Armenian Genocide at a community forum in the San Francisco-Bay area. President George W. Bush declared his intent to nominate Richard Hoagland on May 25, 2006 to replace Ambassador Evans. "Senator Boxer has been a major force in exposing the State Department’s indefensible decision to fire Ambassador Evans for openly and honestly discussing the Armenian Genocide. The Senator’s courage in challenging a bankrupt policy of denying the Armenian Genocide is deeply appreciated by the over 700,000 Armenian Americans who live and work in the State of California," remarked ANC-PAC Chairman Leonard Manoukian. On June 28, 2006 Senator Boxer submitted a series of questions to Ambassador Richard Hoagland, whose previous post was in Tajikistan. Specifically, the Senator asked Hoagland why the Armenian Genocide does not meet the definition of genocide. In reply to this question, the Ambassador-designee cited the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and made the case that the Armenian Genocide did not meet the "intent" clause of the convention. In the words of Hoagland, the Turkish Ottoman authorities had no "specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part" the Armenian people in 1915. In another affront to the Armenian American community, Hoagland dismissed the need to refer accurately to the murder of 1.5 million Armenia’s as genocide as a "legal debate over a technical definition." The Ambassador-designee’s reply was in response to a question posed by Senator Boxer about the need to abide by the President’s National Security Strategy which has, as an aim, the goal of preventing genocide. "Our organization is deeply disturbed with the insensitive reply Ambassador Hoagland provided to Senator Boxer’s question about why he believes the Armenian Genocide does not meet the State Department’s own definition of genocide," explained Manoukian. "Mr. Hoagland is either ill informed on the history of the Armenian Genocide or willfully provided an inaccurate reply to Senator Boxer’s query. In either case, providing such an argument, that the Armenian Genocide was not committed with intent to destroy the Armenian people, ought to give pause to all people of good will about his qualifications to be posted in Yerevan to represent the American government," he added. The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old tradition of Armenian Americans engagement on the public policy issues facing national political leaders, both in the US Congress and the White House.

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