US Political Observers Discuss Matthew Bryza's Nomination PDF Print E-mail
“Matt Bryza is a friend, and I am delighted to hear his nomination finally announced. He'll do a great job, but will face a confirmation hearing with a number of questions,” David Kramer, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told TURAN’s Washington correspondent. Kramer, who currently serves as Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, also expressed a hope that the new ambassador will be confirmed quickly: “I wish him well.”

 

Washington political observers mainly point out that Matt Bryza’s nomination was announced at a particularly difficult time in US-Azerbaijani relation. Meanwhile, they stress that, as a former Assistant Secretary, Bryza has developed very close relations with Azerbaijani political forces, and this should help him in solving problems.

However, analysts say, before that can happen, Bryza must face some difficult questions from the Senate. The Armenian lobby in the US has already begun a campaign against him, calling upon senators to scrutinize Bryza’s nomination.

Mark Meirowitz, a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York, who is very familiar with the region, believes that attempts to scuttle the nomination of a very qualified and competent State Department official based on an alleged "bias" - a bias which is, in effect, actual US policy - seem to be ill-advised.

 

“All Americans have the right to petition the government and to challenge governmental actions. However, the following needs to be taken into consideration: it is the President's prerogative to nominate Ambassadors and other key officials. The purpose of the Senate approval of these nominees is to assure that they are qualified for their posts. Mr. Bryza is undeniably qualified,” Meirowitz told TURAN’s Washington correspondent.

 

According to Meirowitz, the Armenian Diaspora’s issues with Bryza appear to be related to US foreign policy, as if by being a Department of State official Bryza is himself the molder and shaper of policy. This is far from reality, as it is the President and Secretary of State who set policy, and the duty and responsibility of state officials to implement that policy.

“The issues related to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are extraordinarily complex. These issues are integrally related to the Turkey-Armenia protocols, which are somewhat in a state of limbo, and which the US wants to get back on track. How to reconcile all of the competing pieces on this very complicated chessboard is the task of US foreign relations, as directed by the President through the Secretary of State.

 

“As Ambassador, if approved, Mr. Bryza will be responsible for carrying out US foreign policy. Armenians should direct its concerns about policy to the Secretary of State and to the President, who are ultimately responsible for the direction of US foreign relations, and not try to undermine the ability of the President to appoint Ambassadors, such as Mr. Bryza, in whom he has faith and trust, and who he believes will carry out his policies with ability and dedication,” he said.

“Due to the extreme complexity of this region and the many difficult issues involved, Mr. Bryza would appear to be very well-suited for this post. He knows this region, and Azerbaijan in particular, very well,” Meirowitz added (Turan).