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For Immediate Release
September 3, 2008
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Email: [email protected]


WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch was
officially sworn in at a September 2nd State Department ceremony
during which the new Ambassador stressed her commitment to stronger
U.S.-Armenia relations and working to ensure peace and stability in
the Caucasus, reported the Armenian National Committee of America

Video from Ambassador Yovanovitch's swearing in ceremony is posted
on the ANCA YouTube Channel (

The Senate approved the Yovanovitch nomination, last month,
following extensive questioning led by Senate Foreign Relations
Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and several requests for clarification of the
State Department's position on the Armenian Genocide.

Facing strong pressure and the prospect of a Senate "hold," Matthew
Reynolds, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative
Affairs, wrote to Chairman Biden to formally affirm that: "the
Administration recognizes that the mass killings, ethnic cleansing,
and forced deportations of over one and a half million Armenians
were conducted by the Ottoman Empire." The complete text of the
State Department letter is at: ses.php?prid=1545

Commenting on the State Department's letter, ANCA Executive
Director Aram Hamparian had noted that "although clearly falling
short of America's moral responsibility and national interest in
recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, [the letter] did
mark a step in the direction of distancing U.S. policy from the
dictates of the Turkish government. While we, of course, remain
troubled by the President's refusal to properly characterize the
Armenian Genocide - as reflected in Ambassador Yovanovitch's
responses - we were gratified to see that, as a result of pressure
from Senators Biden, Boxer, and Menendez, the Department of State
has retreated from its most offensive and factually unsupportable
assertions calling into question the historical fact of Ottoman
Turkey's destruction of its Armenian population."

Following Senate approval of Amb. Yovanovitch's nomination, ANCA
Chairman Ken Hachikian, Executive Director Aram Hamparian, and
Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian met with Amb.
Yovanovitch at the ANCA national headquarters in Washington, DC to
discuss a broad range of U.S.-Armenia policy concerns.

President Bush's previous nominee as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia,
Richard Hoagland, was subject to two legislative holds by Sen.
Menendez and was ultimately withdrawn by the Administration,
following the nominee's statements denying the Armenian Genocide.
The ANCA led the Armenian American community campaign opposing
Hoagland's nomination, stating that a genocide denier could not
serve as a credible and effective U.S. spokesperson in Armenia. The
last U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, was fired by
the State Department for properly characterizing the Armenian
Genocide as 'genocide.'