The Senate confirmed on Tuesday former Senator Jeff Flake to be the US’s new envoy to Ankara following a months-long impasse.
The chamber approved the former lawmaker from Arizona via voice vote following the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Oct. 19 approval of Flake’s nomination.
Flake will now succeed outgoing Amb. David Satterfield.
Nominated in mid-July, Flake was a key Republican ally for Biden during last year’s White House race, and endorsed the Democratic then-nominee after establishing himself as a Republican long at odds with former President Donald Trump.
Flake served in both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his time in Congress, which spanned nearly two decades.
Flake was among a bevy of State Department nominees held up by Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican staged a months-long effort to stymy diplomatic nominations from being taken up within the Senate in a failed bid to get the Biden administration to impose sanctions on those involved a pipeline that will transport gas from Russia to Germany and the wider European Union.
US President Joe Biden has refused to impose the economic penalties, and struck a deal with Germany to assuage the US’ largely geopolitical concerns over the pipeline. Nonetheless, Cruz – a Republican who has irked many in his own party as well as Biden’s Democrats – continued his protest.
Over five dozen nominees to fill critical diplomatic roles were left in limbo by his legislative maneuvering.
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