Sen. Ensign Raises Concern Over Evans Recall

WASHINGTON–In remarks delivered on the Senate floor, John Ensign (R-NV) has shared with his colleagues his "justifiable concern" regarding the circumstances of the Administration’s controversial recall of the US Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, reported the Armenian National Committee of America. "We appreciate Senator Ensign’s expression of concern regarding the circumstances of Ambassador Evans’ recall and value his leadership in working toward US recognition of the Armenian Genocide," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We share the Senator’s view that it is simply unacceptable to dismiss a US Ambassador over the failure of our government to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide." The Nevada Republican, in a September 29th speech, described as "unacceptable" reports that, "the recall of Ambassador Evans revolves around the failure of our Government to officially recognize the Armenian genocide." A long-time leader of Senate efforts to secure official recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the Senator stressed that, "The bigger issue is not that of an appointment of this or any official who recognizes his duties and will be diligent in carrying them out but of acknowledging the genocide as part of an appropriate foreign policy." The full text of Senator Ensign’s speech is provided below. Mr. President, I rise to speak today about an issue of great importance to the Armenian community, the nomination of Richard Hoagland to be the next US Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia. I respect the office of the President and the powers that are granted to appoint individuals that are in support of the administration’s agenda; however, there is justifiable concern about the recall of our Ambassador to a regionally important country and the subsequent nomination of his replacement. The reported reason for the recall of Ambassador Evans revolves around the failure of our Government to officially recognize the Armenian genocide. That is unacceptable. Once again, I want to go on record as being opposed to the continued denial of the Armenian genocide. The bigger issue is not that of an appointment of this or any official who recognizes his duties and will be diligent in carrying them out but of acknowledging the genocide as part of an appropriate foreign policy. I have long sought to bring recognition to the crimes perpetuated against the Armenian people as genocide. In fact, I have introduced S. Res. 320, which affirms the Armenian genocide. The resolution calls on the President to state that the slaughter of Armenia’s by the Ottoman Empire was genocide and to recall the proud history of US intervention in opposition to the Armenian genocide. It is important that the US once and for all reaffirms the incontestable facts of history and allows our representatives to speak out about the crimes perpetuated against the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923. It is my sincere hope that this legislation comes before the full Senate soon. As we fight to ensure freedom around the globe, we must ensure that our future reflects the lessons of the past. In this case the facts are incontestable. Armenia’s were subjected to deportation, expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre, and starvation. Yes, the Armenian people were victims of genocide. Genocide at any time, at any place, is wrong and needs to be confronted and remembered.

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