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Obama Nominates New Ambassadors to Turkey and Azerbaijan

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

Peter Kechichian

AAANews Blog

The former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, John R. Bass, is one step closer to becoming the next U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) announced that his nomination hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 15 at 10 AM. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who chairs the SFRC Subcommittee on European Affairs, will be presiding.

Similarly, the White House announced yesterday that Robert F. Cekuta has been nominated to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. The SFRC has not yet scheduled a hearing on Cekuta’s nomination. It is more likely that his hearing will take place after the August recess, according to sources familiar with his nomination.

Meanwhile, current U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John A. Heffern, will be completing his tenure in Yerevan later this year. There is no word yet as to whom his successor might be.

Ambassador John R. Bass is currently the Executive Secretary of State. He was previously the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia from October 1, 2009 to July 2012. A career diplomat, his previous assignments have included work in Turkey, Cyprus, the Benelux countries, and NATO-Russia negotiations as well as tours in the embassies at Brussels and Ndjamena. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Robert F. Cekuta is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the Energy Resources Bureau. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities in the State Department’s Bureau for Energy and Business Affairs. Previous overseas assignments have included stints in Tokyo and Berlin. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds Masters Degrees from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the National War College.

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