White House Nominates Bryza as New US Ambassador to Azerbaijan

BAKU (Eurasianet)–The White House has appointed US diplomat Matthew Bryza, a former American co-chair for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution talks, as its new ambassador to Azerbaijan, EurasiaNet.org reported.

A diplomat from the US embassy in Baku who asked not to be named stated that an official announcement will be published on the White House’s website on May 21.  As of press time Friday, the White House had not issued any statements on the matter. The Azerbaijani government issued its official consent to the nomination on May 20, the source said.

Bryza, whose appointment to Baku has long been the source of considerable speculation, has a near-22-year-long diplomatic career that put him at the center of two of the South Caucasus’ most strategic issues: resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the introduction of non-Russia-related oil and gas pipelines from Baku to the Black Sea.

As deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from 2005 to 2009, Bryza coordinated US energy policy in the Black and Caspian Sea regions, and represented the US on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group talks on a resolution of Azerbaijan’s 22-year conflict with Armenia over the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh.

Under US President Bill Clinton, he served as a deputy advisor on Caspian Sea energy diplomacy and worked on US government efforts to develop a network of oil and gas pipelines in the region.

Bryza’s appointment must be confirmed by the US Senate, where he is likely to face questioning about his actions leading up to the 2008 Georgia-Russia War, a conflict that some critics charge was prompted by a Georgian misunderstanding of American readiness to intervene.

The Azerbaijani government has not yet issued an official comment on Bryza’s appointment. Bryza’s name was submitted to the Azerbaijani government a few weeks ago, the US embassy source said.

The absence of a US ambassador to Baku – the post has been vacant for almost a year — has been cited previously as a source of irritation for some Azerbaijani officials, who allegedly saw it as a slight of President Ilham Aliyev’s government amidst American promotion of a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement.  With Bryza’s appointment, Washington is sending a “positive signal” that it is ready to smooth over relations with Azerbaijan, believes Elkhan Shahingolu, director of the Baku-based Atlas think-tank.

Brzya, whose 2007 wedding to Turkish-born foreign policy analyst Zeyno Baran, was attended by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and several other Azerbaijani officials, is seen as a known entity for President Ilham Aliyev’s government.

“They were in touch with him for a long time, they know his character and see him as a good specialist on the region,” commented Shahingolu.  “So why not to be happy?”

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24 Comments

  1. MihranK said:

    He has shown beyond any doubt through his work that he is a very anti Armenian official never to be trusted.

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    Bryza married a turk in Istanbul; the Azerbaijani P.M. was a guest.He is up to his ears with turkies.He must have a strong nose to stand the stench.

  3. manooshag said:

    Hye, re Bryza… as I followed his words in his last post, I was sickened by the double-speak and the very obvious anti-Armenian, pro-Turk/Azeri leanings.
    Such a ‘statesman’ chosen by the US State Department, leads me to think that the barrel of available men/women for this position, few – yet this obvious choice of Bryza is shamefully dishonest. Too, shame on the United States of America’s State Department; for their moral standards by which they feel compelled to choose a Bryza, knowing his own personal ‘leanings’… I bleed for my country’s leaderships – for their lack of morals – for their obscene disregard to choose the most highly distinguished, the most qualified to represent our nation everywhere – even in an Azeri.
    Although, the State Department, having fired our American Ambassodor to Armenia – John Evans – for
    speaking a truth – any choices by this Department comes not as any surprise.
    But yet, if the Turks had met justice in the early 20th century – just think – all the Genocides that followed shall have never been – as despots shall have recognized that Genocides were not to be tolerated. Our
    U.S State Department’s actions – into today – hinder efforts of those who seek to end the cycles of
    Genocides – for today, a Turkey and Azeris, too, are thus encouraged to continue Genocides. Sadly.
    Manooshag

  4. Gaidzag Shahbazian said:

    White House Without morals.

    I thought the Bush (Republican) Administration had no morals and principles when it recalled our American Ambassador to Armenia – John Evans – for speaking the truth about the Armenian Genocide by Turkey. Now, I see Obama’s (Democratic) Administration also lacks morals. It is appointing US diplomat Matthew Bryza, a former American co-chair for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution talks, as its new ambassador to Azerbaijan.

    We should learn from all these actions that not only is Matthew Bryza up to his ears in pro-Turkish plocies (and up to his bedsheets- his wife is from Turkey), but so are the White House and United States of America’s State Department. This Administration has interest in energy and oil, not in morals.

  5. Christo said:

    What difference is there between a Republican in office or a Democrat. The idiots in the State Department that decide policy are never fired and replaced with an incoming administration. I’m just surprised that our country of 300 million plus can only come up with an a@@ like bryza. Since, when is there not a conflict of interest between a state department employee and a national of a foreign country, who is doing the background checks?

  6. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    LETTER WRITTEN TO US STATE DEPT. ON OCT. 15, 2008
    —————————————————————————————————
    C/o US Dept. Dear Madam Secretary Candalisa Rice and Mr. Mathew Bryza. 1.5 million Armenian-American US taxpayers plus 6 million Armenian all over the world are very disappointed and angry for Mr. Mathew Bryza’s strange and biased announcement regarding Nagorno-Karabakh(Artsakh) conflict. He is acting very irresponsibly and making a tense situation even worse.

    We think he has no any historical knowledge about that region or people living there..

    Mr. Bryza you should know that more than a century Turks and later Azeris and Bolsheviks persecuted, oppressed and massacred Armenian people. There is centuries animosty between MuslemTurks, Azeris and Christian Armenians.Therefore it’s impossible that Karabakh(Artsakh) people will accept Azebaijani rule once again. Since Karabakh/Artsakh is a life and death issue for all Armenians I assure you that there will be a blood bath in Karabakh which will spread all over region if Azerbaijani regain Stalin created old borders.

    With all respect this young and inexperienced diplomate sometimes makes such unusual statements to make Turks happy But he is not realize that this kind announcements can create more problems in that region and will harm peace process intensifying an already volatile situation. At least he doesn’t even consider US Ambassador’s recent statement for Karabakh’s “self determination”

    Everyone (ncluding Mr.Bryza) should know and undersatand that N.Karabakh is our ancestral and bibilical land and it belong to their rightful historical owners. Armenians shed blood in Karabakh and they will never ever give up Karabakh back to Azerbaijan. If coerced into such a situation 7.5 million Armenians with one voice (and power) will fight to preserve Karabakh’s /Artsakh’s independence and freedom. In addition Armenians are never forget nor forgive such action, whoever is responsible for it.
    We beg you if you don’t care about justice, prejudice and/or massacre of this suffering Christian nation’s past history. at least don’t put US and the West oil Interests in jeopardy or ruin your legacy…

    Thank you

    Ishkhan Babajanian MD.

    USA

    Oct.15,2008

  7. Alex Postallian said:

    You can Thank H.Clinton for the choice,she is head of the state dept,she knows whats going on.To pick a biased,official(pardon the pun)for the job.She reminds me of a macaw,on Obamas shoulder(with the Polly want a cracker) mentality.One thing I give the turks credit for,is they know everything is for SALE,and they have proven it.So lets drop the scared eyes,mealy mouth attitude drop the gloves and come out street fighting.Im good for a C note.

  8. manooshag said:

    Hye, what, who, anyone know the requirements to become a USA State Department member? Their terms of service – term limits? What are the edcational requirements to fill such a job… What affiliations work best for this job?
    In our USA our presidents are up for re-elecitons; Congress, the Senate and the Representatives are up for re-elections; and the USA Supreme Court is a ‘for life’ job… Is this true also for the USA State Department? In the states of the USA, all officials are elected a/o re-elected. What are the staying rules for anyone in the USA State Department – for life?? And why?
    Manooshag

  9. manooshag said:

    Hye, too, who, if any, oversees such entities as the WWC – Woodrow Wilson Center et al…
    Hopefully, Americans. Manooshag

  10. Nairian said:

    I am urgin ANCA and the U.S.’s Diasporans to raise their high C voices against very biased Mathew Bryza’s appointment to Artsakh’s (formerly Nagorno Karaphakh’s) appointment. Our organization heads must come together once again and raise hell for this injustice act against the U.S.’s State Department. Let’s see what the Russians have to say about this? Let’s go to them if the U.S. State Department is so cruel and callous for Armenia’s rights.

  11. Nairian said:

    Stepan, It takes a Turk and an “Azeri” to devise blatant lies against Armenians. They’re incredible as to how far they’ll go those tatars to do PR against Armenians. We should have made numerous movies about the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turks as well as the “Azeris” in Sumgeit, Baku, and other two cities.

  12. manooshag said:

    Hye, why is there discrimination against the Armenians? Why do the leaderships fail, morally, to recognize the Turkish Genocides – too theGenocides of the Armenian nation. Has the fact that this nation suffered the vile actions of the Ottoman Turks and their successors – causing the the Armenians to be ‘eliminated’ from their homeland of nearly 4,000 years. Is it a case of lets recognize the winners (Turks) – no need to recognize the Armenians – vicitms/losers. The issue, that we are dealing with the inhumanity of the Turks against the Armenians deliberately clearing Armenia of Armenias – humans violating humans via the most obscene devised by the Ottoman Turkic mentality and continued, too, by their successive leaderships.
    Again, why is there ths discrimination against a people, a nation, who were abused and violated – but yet,
    it seems to be the case for the Genocides that followed. Except for the Jews/German Genocide – none of all the other Genocides have been ignored by the powerful leaders of the civilized world… Why?
    Have politics superceded the need to pursue the moral aspects of the manner in which these despots have pursued their convoluted goals – eliminate peoples in any way, any form. Steal their lands, homes, all their culture and more, Worse yet, the Survivors are left with memories; unforgettable! Why?
    So-called civilization is incapable of recognizing a Genocide; so-called civilization is bullied and more by these criminals – incapable of facing the fact that the morals of the world have been violated by these criminals… Hence the civilized nations of the world allow the despots to pursue Genocides – but why?
    Too, for the despots – who do not declare a war – but just clear the citizens from their own lands – easy and quickly – finished. None of the powerful nations take any issue of these actions… Genociders win!
    But, with all these Genocides – are not the so-called civlized nations in any shame for the crimes – are not these so-called nations, too, diminished and ‘used’ by these Genociders… for, the cycle of Genocides go on… next: Kurds.
    Manooshag

  13. john papazian said:

    Americas half hearted attempts at “helping Turkey accept the past” has been failing for years.Is the rest of the world that affraid of Turkey?When one of those Turkish missles finds its mark on an American target America will find out in short order who thier “trusted ally in the war on terror” really is.By the way if Christian America didn’t care about an Islamic state sanctioned genocide campiagn against Christians,why would the care about the Kurds?

  14. john said:

    no difference, it’s the same old nonsense with us diplomacy. this means nothing in and of itself.

  15. John Ahmaranian said:

    Congratulations! Armenians!
    We are rich with….. promisses!
    Before any local, state or presidential primary or election, we go home rich of promises.
    “Recognition of Armenian Genocide”, “Kharabagh settlement” became a morfine for us. And the candidates know that these two issues are a good bite to fish Armenian votes! When they are elected they forget every promise! They make fun of us! You will see Mrs H. Clinton in few years! She will go back to get Armenian votes to be elected president of the USA. We, Armenians, we will applaude, enjoy,
    endorse and then… We will cry and ask “How come that Obama or Clinton have appointed a biast turkophile in BAku, Azarbaydjan?
    We, Armenians, are becoming new Khrimian Hayrik! We will cry again and again! Our vote is a dagger in the hand of our politicians to strike us.

    One thing remains to do. Ask Obama and Cliton to give back the monetary contributions they got from the Armenians, because they do not deserve it. I personnaly have one consolation: I did not contribute one penny to these people!

  16. Nairian said:

    John, I agree with you. I will not give my vote again to those denialist liars.

  17. elif said:

    I can not believe that so many – educated and civilized-people still talk about now and the future as if they’d live in 16th Century. WAKE UP!!!! WE LIVE IN 2010. Tthis kind of hatred will mostly damage armeniens than the turks/azerbaijans. We should critise this diplomat for his professional failures and not because of his turkish born wife. That is obvioulsy to hit him below the belt., is this kind of a main characteristic of armenien people?

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