* Escudero named Ambassador to Azerbaijan; Presel appointed to Uzbekistan
WASHINGTON–The US Senate confirmed Lynn Pascoe as the State Department’s Special Negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh–Wednesday–replacing Amb. Joseph Presel who has been appointed Ambassador to Uzbekistan–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
"We welcome Lynn Pascoe’s appointment as Special Negotiator and look forward to working with him to help Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan reach a lasting and equitable settlement. Lynn is a dedicated and fair-minded public servant and I am confident that his long years of diplomatic experience in Taiwan–China–and the former Soviet Union will serve him well as he brings his unique talents to the resolution of this complex conflict," said ANCA Chairman Mourad Topalian
"At the same time–we would like to congratulate Joe Presel on his confirmation as US Ambassador to Uzbekistan," added Topalian. "I know that he will serve our nation with great distinction in this capacity–just as he did in his previous posting on the Karabakh peace talks. Through some very trying–often highly contentious–times–Joe consistently found common ground and moved the peace process forward. He deserves a great deal of credit for the Minsk Group’s progress toward peace."
During confirmation hearings on October 29th–Pascoe outlined the reasons for an active US role in the Karabakh negotiations–stating that–"We are very interested in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict also because–of course–as you know–there are a million Armenian-Americans who are very proud of their cultural heritage and are very interested in what goes on that area. And in Azerbaijan–as my colleague has just discussed–there are strong interests there. Clearly–the oil wealth of the entire region compels our attention and makes it imperative to be interested in the area."
Pascoe will also serve as Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group–which is currently mediating the Karabakh peace talks along with Russia and France. According to Pascoe–"there has been some progress in recent weeks. The governmen’s of Armenia and Azerbaijan have now agreed to take up these proposals as a basis for detailed negotiations. The Nagorno-Karabakh deputies are not there yet. . . But we remain optimistic that negotiations between the three parties will occur in the near future and that they will lead to a resolution of the issues involved."
The Senate also confirmed Stanley Escudero as Ambassador to Azerbaijan. During his confirmation hearing–Escudero urged Congress to repeal Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act.