Nomination Delayed for New State Dept. Eurasia Point Man

WASHINGTON–The United States Senate has delayed a vote to confirm the Obama Administration’s nomination of a scholar at the Brookings Institution, Phil Gordon, to a senior State Department posting as assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) revealed on Friday.

The ANCA said that the delay will allow Senators time to meaningfully consider both the timing and wisdom of approving an individual whose record is so markedly at odds with the President’s commitment to bringing about official U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

During his March 31st confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in his extensive writings, Mr. Gordon frequently argued against U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. His responses and record placed him directly at odds with the views of the President, who has consistently argued for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, strongly supported full Congressional commemoration of this crime, and repeatedly pledged, if elected, to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Gordon’s stand on this human rights issue and also his views on the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, which are seen by the Greek American community as deeply troubling, were the subject of questioning, both verbal and written, during and after his hearing.

The Senate, which approved a slate of other senior Presidential appointmen’s earlier Friday, went into a two-week recess this afternoon without acting on his nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs. Although the cause for this delay remains unclear, it is likely the result of a “hold” placed on his confirmation by a member of the Senate.

“We see this delay as a meaningful opportunity for Senators to weigh the merits of approving a nominee with a record of arguing against both Executive Branch and Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide — a position at direct odds with the strong moral stand taken by the President that the U.S. should clearly and fully condemn this crime against humanity,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We look forward, during Genocide Prevention Month this April, to President Obama honoring his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

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