Lawmakers confirm US envoys to Macedonia and Armenia

The US Senate confirmed the Bush administration's nominees as ambassadors to Armenian and Macedonia after a delay by lawmakers who were unhappy with White House policies on the two countries. Philip Reeker's posting to Macedonia had been held up by lawmakers concerned about US positions in a dispute with Greece over Macedonia's name. Lawmakers had also delayed consideration of Marie Yovanovitch's nomination to Armenia in a dispute over the US refusal to label as genocide the World War I-era killings of huge numbers of Armenians. Both issues had come up in the two nominees' confirmation hearings. A vote on Reeker's nomination had been prevented by two lawmakers through an anonymous procedure. A Greek-American interest group, the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, congratulated Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and Republican Olympia Snowe in a press release for forcing the administration to clarify some of its policy on Macedonia before the vote could proceed.