WASHINGTON, DC — Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian offered the following statement regarding the appointment of Ambassador Richard Hoagland as interim Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.
“A seasoned diplomat, Ambassador Hoagland brings a broad array of experiences dealing with the Caucasus, including, most notably, his denial of the Armenian Genocide during his Senate confirmation process, which lead to bi-partisan Senate opposition, a ‘hold’ on his appointment, and the eventual withdrawal of his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia,” said Hamparian.
“While we certainly remain mindful of this unfortunate episode and others, including his role in the flawed and ultimately failed Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, we expect a constructive relationship with Ambassador Hoagland and look forward to working with him as he engages with American civil society and other stakeholders in the Artsakh peace process,” concluded Hamparian.
In 2006, Hoagland was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, in the wake of the controversial recall of Ambassador John Evans following his accurate characterization of the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA opposed Ambassador Hoagland’s confirmation, explaining, in a January 2007 letter to U.S. Senators, that he had “disqualified himself as an acceptable choice by denying the Armenian Genocide. His written statements, offered in response to questions posed to him during his confirmation hearing, went far beyond the bounds of the Administration’s already deeply flawed policy, actually calling into question the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact. Ambassador-designate Hoagland has since not provided an unambiguous public statement affirming that he does not question the clear genocidal intent of the Ottoman Turkish government against its Armenian population.” On August 3, 2007, the White House announced the withdrawal of Hoagland’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.
Hoagland has over 30 years of U.S. diplomatic experience, including serving as U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan from 2003 to 2006, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan from 2008 to 2011, and as Deputy Ambassador to Pakistan from 2011 to 2013. Ambassador Hoagland most recently led U.S.-Russian military coordination for the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria and served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the State Department in Washington. Prior to these assignments, Ambassador Hoagland led the Office of Caucasus and Central Asian Affairs in the Bureau of Europe and Eurasian Affairs and was Press Spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The United States, France and Russia, co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group, tasked, since 1994, with mediating a peaceful and longterm resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) issue. Mr. Hoagland’s interim appointment follows the tenure of Ambassador James Warlick, who will be stepping down from position on December 31, 2016. The date of the appointment of a permanent U.S. co-chair to the OSCE Minsk Group has not been announced.
Photo: Ambassador Richard Hoagland, Interim Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, beginning January 1, 2017