It's official - White House gave in to Senate pressure and withdrew nomination of Richard Hoagland as ambassador to Armenia - exceptional move by US administration standards! The news was first reported by The California Courier more than two weeks ago. However, it was denied by US embassy in Yerevan just couple of days ago.
Today's official confirmation follows months of pressure upon administration, to formally acknowledge Armenian Genocide of 1915, by various political circles, Senators, Armenian lobby and, most prominently, Senator Robert Menendez who repeatedly blocked Hoagland's nomination for his refusal to acknowledge Armenian Genocide during Senate hearings on his appointment. It is widely believed that Hoagland's predecessor John Evans was forced into early retirement after publicly acknowledging the Genocide.
I must say that by refusing to recognise Armenian genocide Hoagland merely followed official White House line, like I suppose any other ambassador would have done. Whether today's announcement is an indication of change in policy of US administration in relation to Armenian Genocide issue; the growing "importance" of US/Armenia high level relationships in the region or just an indication of coming election year in the US, remains to be seen. I wonder what will be the next ambassador designate's answer to Senator Robert Menendez Armenian Genocide question if the nomination process goes through the Senate as usual?