By Ruzanna Stepanian
A senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) has called it a victory for the American-Armenian community that the White House finally gave up its intention to appoint Richard Hoagland U.S. ambassador to Armenia.
Giro Manoyan, the spokesman for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s
governing Bureau, on Tuesday praised the successful efforts of the Armenian community in the United States to block the congressional confirmation of George W. Bush’s nominee who questioned the fact of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.
The Bush administration withdrew Hoagland’s nomination late last week after several abortive attempts to win congressional approval.
Career diplomat Richard Hoagland’s nomination had previously been blocked by Democratic Party members of the Senate.
In explaining why the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey did not constitute a genocide, Hoagland once said that for such a crime to be considered a genocide it should have had a premeditated nature.
According to Manoyan, Hoagland’s stance is not consonant even with that of the U.S. government.
“According to Hoagland, the events were not of a premeditated nature and therefore did not constitute a genocide. While the U.S. does not use the word ‘genocide’ to describe the events, it still does not question the fact of genocide,” Manoyan explained.
At the same time, the senior Dashnaktsutyun representative said it was essential for the future ambassador to Armenia to have a position reflecting that of the U.S. government, which, he said, was not the case with Hoagland.
According to Manoyan, while official Yerevan did not interfere with the matter, the withdrawal of Hoagland’s nomination could also be viewed as a success for Armenia’s diplomacy.
“I think that the White House wanted official Yerevan to put pressure on the Armenian community in the United States not to block the approval of Hoagland’s nomination, but fortunately official Yerevan did not do that,” Manoyan said.