Newly appointed United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan arrived in Azerbaijan together with his family on 6 February.
Bryza, who says he was impatient about coming to Azerbaijan, apologized for the delays in his appointment – but added that it is “better late than never”.
The new ambassador went on to say he was honoured to be returning to Azerbaijan this time as the US Ambassador, and conveyed his passion in building a stronger relationship between the two countries. “We are interested in bringing and strengthening peace, accord and other foundations of democracy.” After his short appearance, Matthew Bryza left the airport with embassy staff.
His appointment as Ambassador to Azerbaijan was delayed for some time. US president Barack Obama nominated Bryza as candidate for the ambassadorial post in May 2010, however on 3 August the when it came to a vote by the Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Barbara Boxer objected. The vote was therefore postponed.
On 21 September 2010 at a hearing held by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Matthew Bryza was confirmed as being the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. At the hearing, Senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez opposed his appointment.
California Senator Barbara Boxer made a special statement to declare that Matthew Bryza’s closeness to Azerbaijan and Turkey makes him an unsuitable candidate for the ambassadorial post. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, who stated that he would not vote for Bryza due to his “inadequate reaction to the demolition of an Armenian graveyard in Azerbaijan”. He also criticized Brayza for not recognising the ‘Armenian genocide’.
Before having been appointed ambassador, Matthew Bryza served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States National Security Council, and was USA’s co-chairman at OSCE Minsk Group conflict resolution efforts for Nagorno Karabakh. Prior to this, Bryza was Director for Europe at the United States National Security Council. He was also Deputy Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy.
Original article in Azeri [RFE/RL]