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New US ambassador to Turkey arrives in Ankara

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David Satterfield, who was confirmed by the US Senate last month as the new ambassador to Turkey, arrived in Ankara on Wednesday, according to a statement from the US Embassy in the Turkish capital.

“We’re pleased to announce that U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Turkey, David M. Satterfield, arrived in Ankara today. Welcome to Turkey!” the embassy announced from its Twitter account on Wednesday while also adding a link to Satterfield’s biography.

Satterfield will start work after presenting his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Satterfield is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has been acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs since 2017. He also served at US missions in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon.

John Bass was the last American ambassador in Ankara, serving from 2014 to 2017. Currently the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Bass left Turkey in October 2017. The post has been empty since then.

Relations between Turkey and the US have been strained due to Turkey’s decision to purchase a Russian S-400 defense system.

The United States says the S-400s are not compatible with NATO’s defense network and could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

Turkey could face expulsion from the F-35 program and other US sanctions if it goes ahead with the S-400 delivery. Washington has already halted training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.

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