New US envoy to Ankara says Turkey is ‘an indispensable ally’

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“Our interests extend beyond politics and security,” writes Jeff Flake

The new American ambassador to Turkey described Ankara on Wednesday as an “indispensable ally, anchored in NATO”.

Jeff Flake wrote an op-ed on the US Embassy website after presenting his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Complex.

“Our national interest is served when the United States and Turkey work together to address very real threats to global peace and security.”

Flake began his piece, “Politics Stop at the water’s edge,” by talking about his wife’s tour of the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul years ago when the couple were engaged. “Next to a photo with the beautiful Bosphorus as a backdrop, she wrote: ‘My favorite place: Istanbul!’ “Well, today I have the chance to continue what Cheryl started as a ‘young ambassador’ years ago with my mission as Ambassador of the United States in Republic of Turkey.”

He said his background was different from “typical American ambassadors” and that he spent 18 years in the US House of Representatives and Senate rather than a career in the Foreign Service.

Flake noted that he always had “great admiration” for career diplomats and gained an “even greater appreciation” for skilled diplomacy during his time in Congress.

On relations with Turkey, he wrote: “Our interests extend beyond the political and security domain”.

“The United States and Turkey enjoy a close economic partnership, built on balanced trade, investment, innovation and collaboration,” he said, adding that Turkey is home to nearly 2,000 U.S. companies. and that the United States is Turkey’s second largest export market.

“Cultural, scientific and educational exchanges also unite our peoples,” he said.

“I am deeply honored to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to Ankara. Turkey is a country with a rich culture, deep history and enormous potential,” he said. “I wholeheartedly believe that a safer, more prosperous, and happier future awaits the United States and Turkey if our two countries can continue to work closely together. The challenges of our relationship can be met in good faith, just like good friends always do.”

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