Armenian lobby made me their 'target' - Bryza

Mon 27 February 2012 10:40 GMT | 10:40 Local Time

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Matthew Bryza

The former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matthew Bryza, has said that the Armenian lobby opposed his appointment because of his marriage to a Turk.

Interviewed by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Bryza said that the Armenian lobby sought to present him as biased towards Azerbaijan or Turkey, APA reported.

Asked whether he could say that his post as ambassador fell victim to his private life, the diplomat said: “Yes, we could say so. After Obama’s refusal to recognize the events of 1915 as genocide I became the target. The Armenians made my candidacy for ambassador to Azerbaijan their latest topic. This organization [the Armenian National Committee of America] has done its utmost to show me as one-sided.

"Now they will probably use my move to Turkey. I love Turkey. Can’t I love Armenia and Azerbaijan at the same time? When I was working as a diplomat, I worked together with Armenia on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and during that time the Armenian leadership made no criticism of me.”

"The Armenian lobby, first and foremost, criticized me for marrying Zeyno Baran," Bryza continued. "They seem to think that an ethnic Turkish lady will affect me. But these are such unfounded criticisms that I don’t even want to discuss them.”

Bryza said that said that he and his family were going to live in Istanbul.

Matthew Bryza left Azerbaijan in early January after the US Senate failed to confirm his appointment as ambassador. He was appointed by President Barack Obama in December 2010 while Congress was in recess after the appointment had been held up in the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee by two Democratic senators, acting on complaints from the Armenian lobby. Recess appointments have to be confirmed by the Senate within 12 months and Bryza's appointment was not confirmed.

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