August 2, 2011 - The Turkish Coalition of America called on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support the continued service of Ambassador Francis Ricciardone as the United States' representative in Ankara.
The Committee meets at 2:30 p.m. ET today to debate the nomination of Ricciardone, who was recess-appointed in December by President Barack Obama after then-Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) unwisely blocked Ricciardone's appointment to work with an important NATO ally. Recess appointments expire after one year, so the Senate's renewed support is needed for Ricciardone to continue promoting U.S. interests in Turkey.
"During his time in Ankara this year, Ambassador Ricciardone has worked to strengthen one of the most important bilateral partnerships in the world.
The Senate has the opportunity to correct a previous mistake and officially confirm Ambassador Ricciardone as the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey," said G.
Lincoln McCurdy, TCA President. "We encourage the Foreign Relations Committee to unanimously support the ambassador's nomination, and call for an immediate vote by the full Senate."
"Turkey is a significant political and economic actor in the region, and remains a valuable ally to the US and to NATO in maintain peace and seeking solutions to the most difficult problems in the Middle East. At the same time, the relationship has been tested in recent years, and Ambassador Ricciardone is a crucial figure in addressing any obstacles to the continuation of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship."
In July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Turkey's rise as a regional and economic power, and said the country was serving as a role model for Arab nations attempting to transition to democracy. Yet she also noted areas of concern to the U.S. regarding legal and media reforms, issues that are now being properly addressed by Ambassador Ricciardone."Despite the Senate's failure to act in 2010 on Ambassador Ricciardone's appointment, we are confident that they will quickly confirm the ambassador, who has already proven to be a capable representative," said McCurdy.