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Bypassing stalled senate, Obama appoints Ricciardone as ambassador to Ankara

Bypassing stalled senate, Obama appoints Ricciardone as ambassador to Ankara

US President Barack Obama late Wednesday bypassed Republican obstructionism in the Senate to appoint Frank Ricciardone as the new ambassador to Ankara , using his recess appointment power to end five months without a top representative in Turkey . The Ankara post has been vacant since July when the previous envoy, James Jeffrey, left to take up his new job as ambassador to Baghdad . Ankara sees the move as a positive one. "This is very good news for our relationship with the US ," said one senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official. To remain in effect, a recess appointment must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress – at the end of 2011 – or the position becomes vacant again. In current practice, this means that a recess appointment must be approved by roughly the end of the next calendar year. Despite the recess appointment, Obama is expected to continue to seek formal Senate conformation in 2011 for the appointments of Ricciardone and other ambassadors. Using procedural maneuvers, Republicans had denied Ricciardone a straight up-or-down vote, and certain confirmation in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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