New US Ambassador to Turkey Presents Credentials to Ankara

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Newly appointed US Ambassador to Turkey Jeffrey Lane Flake presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

Speaking on the new envoy, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said last month that a single ambassador cannot affect relations to a large extent.

“We know the new ambassador is not very anti-Turkey,” he said, adding, however, that the envoy had recently taken a negative stance toward Ankara in the US Congress to win a vote of confidence.

Ankara and Washington disagree on a number of issues that have further strained bilateral relations in recent years, from Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems to US support for the Syrian branch of the terrorist group PKK, the YPG, as well as in the United States. refusal to extradite Fetullah Gülen, leader of the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), among other legal issues.

“We want to cooperate closely with the new ambassador to deepen U.S.-Turkish relations,” he stressed, saying he hoped the ambassador would have a similar understanding.

Flake’s nomination was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 16 and by the Senate General Assembly on October 26 with the joint endorsement of Republican and Democratic members. The former senator was officially sworn in at the ceremony held on December 7, with the participation of US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Appointed in mid-July, Flake was a key Republican ally of Biden in last year’s race for the White House and endorsed the then-Democratic nominee after he emerged as a Republican at odds with the former President Donald Trump.

Flake served on both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his time in Congress, spanning nearly two decades. Flake served in the United States Senate for Arizona from 2013 to 2019 and in the United States House from 2001 to 2013.

Flake retired from the Senate at the end of his term in 2019, saying he was out of step with the Republican Party under former President Donald Trump. Later he wrote a book, “Conscience of a Conservative”, which was a criticism of Trump.

Meanwhile, David Satterfield, the former US ambassador to Turkey who worked extensively in the Middle East, has been named the new special envoy for the Horn of Africa.

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