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Biden taps former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake to be US ambassador to Turkey amid growing tensions with Erdogan

  • President Joe Biden has nominated Jeff Flake to be US ambassador to Turkey. 
  • The former GOP senator would assume the role amid historic tensions between the US and Turkey.  
  • Turkey is a NATO ally, but Erdogan’s autocratic leadership style has strained US-Turkey relations.
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President Joe Biden has nominated former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to be the US ambassador to Turkey.

If confirmed for the ambassadorship in the Senate, Flake would assume the role at a time when US-Turkey relations have hit a historic low. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian approach to leadership has strained the dynamic between Washington and Ankara in recent years. 

Flake, who retired from the Senate in 2019, is among the most high profile ambassador nominees put forward by Biden so far. 

“Given the strategic importance of the United States’ relationship with our long-time NATO Ally, the Republic of Turkey, I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake said in a Medium post on Tuesday. “This is a pivotal post at an important time for both of our countries.” 

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.  

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