WASHINGTON–DC (ANCA)–Career Foreign Service Officer John Marshall Evans–in his oral testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee–stressed his commitment to "working with this and other relevant Committees of the Congress–with the Armenian people–the Armenian Government–and with the Armenian American community to further the foreign policy goals of the United States."
Marshall–who is expected to be the next US Ambassador to Armenia–went on to note the US commitment to strengthening democracy and economic prosperity in Armenia. Citing the recent announcement of Armenia’s eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account funding–Evans noted that the move "presents a unique opportunity for our two countries to strengthen our bilateral cooperation while meeting some of today’s most difficult challenges head on."
During the question and answer period–Senator Allen asked Evans to comment about the effectiveness of US assistance to Armenia. Evans noted that reports using non-US indicators measuring the democratic and economic progress of Armenia’show that–"we are making progress and we are trying to quantify it as effectively and scientifically as we can."
In response to a question on the debilitating effects of the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades of Armenia–Evans stated that "the estimate is that were the border for Turkey to be reopened–it could make as much as a 50% difference in Armenia’s trade situation."
"We want to thank Senator Allen for his forceful defense of maintaining strict military aid parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Keeping our military assistance packages to these two nations at equal levels will contribute to regional stability–restrain the increasingly violent rhetoric of the Azerbaijani leadership–and ensure that the United States can continue to act as an impartial mediator in the Nagorno Karabagh peace process," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "We would also like to express our appreciation to John Evans for his willingness to follow in the tradition of past ambassadors to Armenia–Harry Gilmore–Michael Lemmon–and John Ordway–in working closely with the Armenian American community on the full range issues on the US-Armenia agenda."
John Marshall Evans joined the US Foreign Service in 1971. He has held posts in Iran–Czechoslovakia–Russia and with the OSCE among other positions. He currently serves as Director of the Office of Russian Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the State Department–with the rank of Minister-Counselor.