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Biden chose the Republican ex-Sen. Jeff Flake as U.S. ambassador to Turkey

Biden chose Jeff Flake as U.S. ambassador to Turkey

July 15, 2021: -President Joe Biden nominated former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona as his ambassador to Turkey; the alliance with the U.S. has in recent years been marked by significant disagreements on critical foreign policy issues.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake wrote.

Biden and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in person on the sidelines of the NATO summit. The leaders left the bilateral meeting offering positive remarks but little indication that the two nations were closer to overcoming their differences on several issues, which includes a multibillion-dollar deal of Ankara to buy a Russian surface-to-air missile system.

Flake served over a decade in the House, and a single term in the Senate had clashed openly with then-President Donald Trump before leaving Congress in 2019.

He backed Biden instead of Trump in the 2020 election and was expected to be offered a post in the Democrat’s administration.

Flake use to be a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is currently holding fellowship roles at Arizona State University and Brigham Young University and serving on the senior advisory committee at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

“Having served in both the U.S. House and Senate, I understand and appreciate the role Congress plays in U.S. foreign policy, and I look forward to that partnership,” Flake wrote on Medium.

“I also understand the value of having America speak with one voice. Having lived overseas, I have a deep appreciation for the indispensable role that the United States plays worldwide. There is no substitute for U.S. leadership,” he

added.

“U.S. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan. That is my belief as well, and my commitment,” Flake further wrote.

“I had the pleasure to know and work closely with Jeff Flake in several ways in his service in the Senate,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in NBC reported.

“Turkey was an ally of the U.S. for the coming decades, and the American people have respect and fondness for the Turkish people and Turkey’s rich culture and history,” Leahy’s statement said.

“Jeff is a perfect choice to work toward a more constructive relationship that would be good for both of our countries, for the region, and the world,” Leahy said.

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