Ankara taps new ambassador to US / AL MONITOR daily breefing

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Turkey on Wednesday named Sedat Onal as its new ambassador to Washington, tapping a career diplomat who currently heads Turkey’s mission to the United Nations and has 35 years of experience in the diplomatic corps, Ezgi Akin reports from Ankara in this revealing profile. 

AL MONITOR daily breefing, 22/02/2024

Analysts say that in tapping a careerist as opposed to a political appointee, the government appears to be sending a message to the Biden administration that it is committed to a more constructive relationship.

Onal was one of three deputy foreign ministers between 2018 and 2023 who played key roles in navigating stormy relations with Washington.

US-Turkey reset

Onal’s appointment comes amid a reset in US-Turkey relations after years of tension since Turkey purchased Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems in 2017, prompting retaliatory measures from Washington, including sanctions, which pushed Ankara more firmly into Moscow’s orbit. 

However, US-Turkish relations turned a new page after Ankara finally ratified Sweden’s NATO bid and the US Congress agreed in recent weeks to sell Turkey the much-coveted F-16 fighter jets. 

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