ANC-PAC Discusses Withdrawal of Hoagland Nomination With Sen. Biden

LOS ANGELES–Armenian National Committee-Political Action Committee (ANC-PAC) Chairman Leonard Manoukian and former Clinton Administration official Michael Mahdesian engaged in a discussion with Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), the incoming Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, regarding the increasingly controversial nomination of Dick Hoagland to serve as US Ambassador to Armenia. The meeting was held in connection with a November 17th fundraising reception in Santa Monica, California honoring the Senator in advance of his anticipated bid for the US Presidency in 2008. During the course of the evening, Manoukian discussed the Armenian American community’s opposition to the nomination of Richard Hoagland, noting that the nominee had, by denying the Armenian Genocide, disqualified himself from serving as an effective US Ambassador in Yerevan. In light of the major liabilities that Ambassador-designate Hoagland has imposed upon himself–and the subsequent "hold" on his nomination placed by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)–Manoukian discussed with Senator Biden the need for the White House to move this process forward by proposing a new candidate for this important diplomatic post. Hoagland was nominated earlier this year to replace US Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, who was relieved of his ambassadorial duties as the result of his remarks to the Armenian American community in February 2005 in which he openly and accurately referred to the Armenian Genocide. During his confirmation process, Ambassador-designate Hoagland went far beyond the bounds of the Administration’s already deeply flawed policy on the Armenian Genocide, actually calling into question the reality of this crime against humanity. His denials prompted bipartisan opposition to his confirmation within the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ultimately resulted in his nomination being blocked by a "hold" place by New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. On November 8, the day after the Congressional elections, the ANCA restated its opposition to Hoagland’s confirmation and called on members of the Senate to seek the withdrawal of his nomination. "We welcomed this opportunity to support Senator Biden’s presidential aspirations, to thank him for his many years of friendship, and to exchange views with him about the status of the Hoagland nomination," said Manoukian. "We left our conversation secure in the knowledge that the Senator, who has spoken eloquently on the need for US recognition of the Armenian Genocide, shares our view that respect for the truth serves as the foundation of all good governance – both at home and abroad." 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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