ISTANBUL

The newly appointed US ambassador to Turkiye described Ankara on Wednesday as an “indispensable ally, anchored in NATO.”

Jeff Flake wrote an Op-ed on the US Embassy’s website after presenting his letters of credentials to Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex.

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

Flake started his piece, “Politics Stop at the water’s edge,” talking about his wife’s tour of the Turkish metropolis Istanbul years ago when the couple was engaged. “Next to a picture with the stunning Bosphorus as a backdrop, she wrote: ‘My Favorite Place: Istanbul!’ he wrote. “Well, today, I am fortunate to continue what Cheryl began as a ‘Young Ambassador’ years ago with my assignment as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.”

He said his journey has been different from “typical US ambassadors” and he spent 18 years in the US House of Representatives and the 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 the relations with Turkiye, he wrote: “Our interests extend beyond the political and security realm.”

“The United States and Turkey benefit from a close economic partnership, built on balanced trade, investment, innovation, and collaboration,” he said, adding that Turkiye hosts nearly 2,000 American companies and the US is Turkiye’s second-largest export market.

“Cultural, scientific, and educational exchange bind our people together as well,” he said.

“I am deeply honored to serve as President Biden’s Ambassador in Ankara. Turkey is a country with a rich culture, a deep history, and enormous potential,” he said. “I wholeheartedly believe that a more secure, prosperous and happier future lies ahead for both the United States and Turkey if our two countries can continue to work closely together. Challenges to our relationship can be addressed in good faith, just as good friends always do.”

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