U.S. State Department declines comment on whether Armenian Genocide views played role in Ambassador 's withdrawal
The U.S. Department of State refused to comment on the report of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans’ withdrawal. According to ANCA Executive Director Ara Hamparian, the State Department refrains from commenting on the report, according to which Evans is being forced from office based upon statements last year about the Armenian Genocide.
Meanwhile, according to the information placed on the U.S. State Department’s website, Acting Spokesman Tom Casey stated, “U.S. Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President. Ambassador Evans and his capable team have the full confidence of the Administration.”
Speaking last year to an Armenian American gathering at the University of California at Berkeley, Amb. Evans said, "I will today call it the Armenian Genocide… I informed myself in depth about it. I think we, the U.S. government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more frank and honest way of discussing this problem. Today, as someone who has studied it… there’s no doubt in my mind [as to] what happened . . . I think it is unbecoming of us, as Americans, to play word games here. I believe in calling things by their name." Referring to the Armenian Genocide as "the first genocide of the 20th century," he said: "I pledge to you, we are going to do a better job at addressing this issue." Amb. Evans also disclosed that he had consulted with a legal advisor at the State Department who had confirmed that the events of 1915 were "genocide by definition."
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