Election Outcome Will Not Impact Policy in Armenia, Says US Embassy Official

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Anthony F. Godfrey, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Armenia’said Wednesday that the outcome of Tuesday’s mid-term elections in his country will have no impact on Washington’s policy vis-a-vis Armenia. He said the US government will continue to support Armenia’s democratic advance and reforms. Godfrey said Richard Hoagland remained the sole ambassador-designate to take up the embassy in Yerevan after former ambassador John Evans was recalled before the end of his official tenure in office. Godfrey also said Armenia remained an eligible nation for an extra US aid from the US government-funded Millennium Challenges Corporation. Speaking to local journalists, he expressed hope that the 2007 parliamentary elections in Armenia will be held in a just and transparent manner to reconfirm the MCC’s decision to choose Armenia as an eligible country for the aid. Alex Russin, MCC representative for Armenia, said in terms of several criteria, especially of political governance, Armenia remains eligible, but he warned that the authorities must work hard not to backslide from their promises to meet reasonable standards for democracy and civil liberties. The American diplomats said today the government in Yerevan should take into account the Freedom House’s report. He said the MCC Council headed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is reviewing each year the eligibility of every country to decide whether to leave it in the list or withdraw from it. He said the Council is to meet very soon and only then it will be clear what kind of a decision it will take regarding Armenia. Russin praised the commitment of Armenia towards MCC and its decision to eradicate rural poverty.

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