By Harry Tamrazian in Prague
John Ordway, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Armenia, has been nominated by President George W. Bush to head the U.S. mission in Kazakhstan later this year, the White House said on Thursday.
A White House statement did not name Ordway’s likely successor in Yerevan. Officials in the U.S. embassy in the Armenian capital said his replacement is expected to be announced within a week.
Some Armenian media have speculated that America’s envoy to neighboring Georgia, Richard Miles, will likely fill the vacancy. The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi would not confirm or refute this. An official there told RFE/RL that Miles’s term in office expires in 2005, but added that theoretically Bush can post him to another country before that time.
Miles had already worked as U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan from 1992-93.
Ordway, who is also a career diplomat, has held his current post since November 2001 and had previously been the number two figure at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, one of Washington’s most important diplomatic missions abroad. He is the fourth American ambassador to have served in Armenia since its independence. His candidacy needs the approval of the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, a senior U.S. State Department official met with Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Ruben Shugarian in Yerevan on Friday. An Armenian Foreign Ministry statement said Shugarian and John Fox, director of the department’s Caucasus and Central Asia desk, discussed the situation in the South Caucasus, notably “prospects for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
America’s and Armenia’s relations with “countries adjacent to the region” were also on the agenda, the statement said. No further details were reported.