WASHINGTON–DC–Armenian Americans across the US will be closely following the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearings for US Ambassador to Armenia nominee Richard Hoagland–in hopes of gaining concrete insight into the exact nature of the State Department’s policy of complicity in Armenian genocide denial–particularly as it relates to the firing of the current US Ambassador to Armenia–John Marshall Evans–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The nomination hearing will be held on Wednesday–June 28 at 2:30 PM in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room–419 Dirksen Senate Office Building and is open to the public.
The hearing comes as Armenian American activists across the US continue to call on Senators to demand a full explanation for the early recall of US Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans.
Concerned Americans can join the ANCA Congressional Call-in Campaign to urge their Senators to attend the upcoming hearing and press for answers by visiting: capwiz.com/anca/callalert/index.tt?alertid=8836481&type=TA.
Ambassador Evans–who first took on his post in August 2004–spoke openly and honestly about the Armenian genocide in community briefings in San Francisco–and other cities in February 2005. The Ambassador was later forced by State Department leaders to twice recant his statement. The American Foreign Service Association–set to award Ambassador Evans with the Christian A. Herter Award for constructive dissent–rescinded the decision–according to the Washington Post–following pressure from State Department officials.
Calls by Members of Congress–the media–and activists for answers to Ambassador Evans’ recall have been ignored or sidestepped by State Department spokespeople–who have simply repeated the fact that ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the US President.
In recent weeks–Representative Markey spearheaded a Congressional letter with sixty signatories calling for clarification on the recall. In the Senate–Massachusetts Democrats Edward Kennedy and John Kerry registered a similar letter of concern. In previous months–Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA)–Grace Napolitano (D-CA)–and Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) have each publicly called for an explanation for the State Department decision. No concrete answers have been provided to date.
On June 9–ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian–urged Senate Foreign Relations Committee members to demand the truth about the Evans firing prior to confirming his replacement. "The US Senate cannot–in good conscience–approve the nomination of a new ambassador to Armenia until the circumstances of the current envoy’s highly controversial firing are fully–officially–and openly explained to Congress and the American people," stated Hachikian. "More broadly–the Administration needs to honestly explain its policies concerning the Armenian genocide. This is especially true given that serious questions remain unanswered concerning the role that the Turkish Government played in Ambassador Evans’ firing."