Biden Taps Republican Jeff Flake to Be Ambassador to Turkey

President Biden will nominate Jeff Flake, the previous Republican senator from Arizona, to function ambassador to Turkey, the White House introduced on Tuesday, putting a distinguished, average Republican in line to assume a high-profile diplomatic position.

Mr. Flake, who grew to become one essentially the most vocal Republican critics of Donald J. Trump throughout Mr. Trump’s presidency, had been largely absent from the nationwide stage after stepping away from politics in 2019. In 2017, he introduced he wouldn’t search re-election the next 12 months, citing the altering face of the G.O.P., which he stated had grown too accepting of Mr. Trump’s “reckless, outrageous and undignified” conduct.

Since then, Mr. Flake has rotated between educational fellowships at Harvard, Arizona State University and Brigham Young University. Mr. Flake was additionally one in every of numerous former Republican members of Congress who endorsed Mr. Biden for president in 2020.

The resolution to nominate Mr. Flake comes at a second wherein the Biden administration is aggressively pursuing bipartisan help for numerous legislative priorities and searching for to characterize itself as keen to work with members of the opposing occasion within the course of.

While it was rumored for a while that the president was contemplating a handful of average Republicans for ambassadorships to carefully allied international locations in Europe and elsewhere, the number of Mr. Flake to oversee relations with Turkey demonstrates that the administration is assured that the previous senator can navigate troublesome diplomatic ties with a rustic that has turned towards authoritarianism underneath President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Despite being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey has repeatedly taken actions lately that the United States and different European international locations have seen as at odds with the alliance’s international coverage and nationwide safety targets.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Flake would deliver to the position expertise working in Africa earlier than his election to Congress, each as a Mormon missionary in South Africa and because the director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia in the course of the nation’s push for independence from South Africa.

“Given the strategic importance of the United States’ relationship with our longtime NATO ally, the Republic of Turkey, I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Mr. Flake stated in an announcement accepting the nomination on Medium.