U.S. Ambassador clarifies his comments made in United States

28.02.2005 11:56

YEREVAN (YERKIR) - U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans issued a
statement on February 28 regarding the comments he had made in the
United States when meeting with Armenian American communities across
the country.

Below is the text of his statement.

"I would like to clarify U.S. policy. Misunderstandings may have
arisen as a result of comments made by me during recent informal
meetings with Armenian-American groups in the United States regarding
the characterization of the Armenian tragedy in Ottoman Turkey and
the future status of Nagorno Karabakh.

Although I told my audiences that the United States policy on the
Armenian Genocide has not changed, I used the term ‚[email protected]~genocide‚[email protected]~]
speaking in what I characterized as my personal capacity. This was
inappropriate.

The President‚[email protected]~Ys annual statement on Armenian Remembrance Day
articulates U.S. policy on this matter. My government acknowledges
the tragedy that befell the Armenian community in Anatolia during the
last years of the Ottoman Empire. We have been actively encouraging
scholarly, civil society and diplomatic discussion of the forced
killing and exile of Armenians in 1915. We have also encouraged
economic and political dialogue between the governments of Armenia
and Turkey in order to help all parties come to terms with these
horrific events.

In addition, my comments on the status of Nagorno Karabakh may have
also created misunderstanding on U.S. policy. The U.S. government
supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and holds that the
future status of Nagorno Karabakh is a matter of negotiation between
Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful settlement
of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict through the Minsk group process. We
are encouraged by the continuing talks between the Foreign Ministers of
Armenia and Azerbaijan under the auspice of the Minsk group co-chairs.

I deeply regret any misunderstanding caused by my comments.

Sincerely,

John M. Evans U.S. Ambassador to Armenia"

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