Turkey: US envoy takes office after two-year vacancy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Wednesday welcomed the new US envoy to Ankara after two years of vacancy marked by frost relations with Washington.

David Michael Satterfield is replacing John Bass who left Turkey in October 2017 after the two countries were embroiled in a visa dispute.

Diplomat with over 40 years of experience, Satterfield was proposed by President Donald Trump in February and was appointed in June.

Over his rich career, Satterfield worked as acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs between 2017 and 2019, served as special adviser to the secretary of state for Libya in 2014, coordinator for Iraq and senior adviser to the secretary of state from 2006 to 2009.

The 64-year-old graduate of the University of Maryland and Georgetown University also undertook several mission for his government in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Lebanon.

He takes office amid several hot issues dividing the two countries. Turkey wants the US to hand over self-imposed exile Turkish cleric Fetullah Gülen accused by Ankara of funding FETÖ, a terror group, according to Turkey, that was behind the July 2016 botched military coup against President Erdogan.

Turkey has also launched a probe on terror terrorism charges into alleged connection between FETÖ and some members of the US consular staff.

Written by