YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The British government has unexpectedly rescinded its recent decision to appoint an ethnic Armenian diplomat as the United Kingdom’s new ambassador to Armenia.

The government announced two months ago that Alan Gogbashian will replace Judith Farnworth, a fellow diplomat who has served as British ambassador in Yerevan for the last four years. The announcement was welcomed by many in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora.

“Mr Alan Gogbashian will no longer be taking up the role of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Yerevan for operational reasons,” read a statement released by the British Embassy in Yerevan on Monday. “Mr Gogbashian will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment.”

“Mr David Moran has been appointed as Chargé d’Affaires with the rank of Ambassador in the interim, until a new Ambassador is appointed,” added the statement posted on the embassy’s Facebook page.

The British mission gave no further explanation for the abrupt and highly unusual reversal of ambassadorial appointment.

Gogbashian lived and worked in Armenia nearly two decades ago, before joining the British diplomatic service. He has headed various divisions at the British Foreign Office since 2014. He was Britain’s deputy head of mission in Morocco from 2011-2014.

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