The advent of a new U.S. Administration and the start of the 117th Session of the U.S. Congress, in the wake of Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s six-week war on Artsakh, mark an era of new opportunities to foster stronger U.S.-Armenia relations, check Turkish and Azerbaijani aggression, support the security of Artsakh, and realize the national and democratic aspirations of the Armenian people.
The Republic of Armenia – through her diplomatic representation – and the Armenian American community – as citizens of our great nation – each have vital roles to play in this regard. For her part, Armenia is fortunate to be represented in Washington, DC by a seasoned ambassador with long years of experience effectively advancing Armenia’s national interests at the highest levels of international diplomacy. He and his professional team are well regarded by their U.S. counterparts, the Armenian American community, a broad array of allied organizations, and the Washington, DC foreign policy community.
As a community – deeply integrated into American civil society and with more than a century of experience working with the U.S. government – we have, since the rebirth of an independent Armenia, placed the highest of value on keeping Armenia’s international diplomatic engagement on a plane above the domestic politics of our homeland. The stakes are simply too high for anything standard other than professional competence in assigning diplomats abroad. Partisan or parochial concerns – however pressing they may seem in Yerevan – must never drive decision making with regard to how Armenia is represented abroad. Politics must, as they say, end at the water’s edge.
It is in this context – at this particularly crucial moment – that we firmly and forthrightly oppose the ill-advised appointment of Lilit Makunts, a divisive political figure who has no formal diplomatic experience, to replace Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States. With this letter, we are requesting that you withdraw her nomination and are also sharing with our own government the reservations we hold regarding her suitability for this position.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Eastern USA Central Committee
ADL District Committee, Eastern USA
February 26, 2021