Amb. Jeff Flake sees Turkey providing test of Ukraine war, U.S. values

Ambassador Jeff Flake is near, but not on the political hot seat for a welcome change.

Based in Ankara, Turkey, Arizona’s former Republican U.S. senator has been the Biden administration’s top diplomat in a nation that in his short time there has faced a pressure-packed presidential election, a major natural disaster and the push and pull of a state with interests on both sides of the war in Ukraine.

About 21 months into his post, Flake recognizes social and political complexities in Turkey, the nation that straddles Europe and the Middle East and remains a key U.S. ally capable of great assistance and frustration.

“When the White House asked if I would consider an ambassadorial post, I said, ‘Only if it’s something really consequential,’” Flake told The Arizona Republic last week in an interview. “They overshot the mark quite a bit.”

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