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Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is President Biden's nominee for ambassador to Turkey

Jeff Flake
Posted at 1:20 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 16:34:21-04

President Joe Biden has nominated Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, according to a statement released by Flake on Tuesday.

"I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination," said Flake, in a statement.

A White House official confirmed the nomination Tuesday.

The former Arizona senator, who is a Republican, vocalized his support for Biden during the 2020 election.

Jeff Flake represented parts of Arizona for almost two decades.

From 2001 to 2012 he served in the US House of Representatives, briefly representing all northeastern Arizona until running and winning in Maricopa’s suburban east valley district.

In 2012 he ran for US Senate, beating Democrat Richard Carmona by three points. He declined to run for re-election the Senate in 2018, a seat now occupied by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

Flake retired from the Senate at the end of his term in 2019, saying he was out of step with the Republican Party in the era of former President Donald Trump. He later wrote a book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” that was a critique of Trump.

Read Jeff Flake's full statement below:

"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. This is a pivotal post at an important time for both of our countries. Cheryl and I are grateful for the opportunity to serve, and eager to get to know the extraordinary people of Turkey.

If confirmed by the Senate, I will be pleased to join a strong, experienced and capable team representing U.S. interests abroad. 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.

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 around the world. There is no substitute for U.S. leadership.

With this nomination, the Biden Administration reaffirms the best tradition of American foreign policy and diplomacy: the credo that partisan politics should stop at the water’s edge. U.S. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan. That is my belief as well, and my commitment."

Senator Sinema released a statement on the announcement.

Read Senator Kyrsten Sinema's statement below:

“Jeff Flake served Arizona with distinction in both chambers of Congress, where he sought compromise, collaboration, and cooperation. Those skills will serve him and America well as he represents our nation in a part of the world critical to America’s security interests. Jeff’s nomination comes at a critical time, when America needs thoughtful statesmanship in Turkey. I look forward to supporting his nomination, and I know he will make us proud.”