WASHINGTON—Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican legislator from Kansas, has placed a hold on President Obama’s nominee to be US Ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone.
The August 5 Congressional Record reported that Senator Brownback made the following statement: “I rise today to inform the body that I have placed a hold on Executive Calendar nomination No. 1051, the nomination of Ambassador Frank Ricciardone to be Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.”
Senators, by custom, are allowed to block (typically called a “hold”) the adoption of presidential nominees for senior governmental posts. Senator Brownback has yet to offer a public explanation of why he took this action.
“Senator Brownback’s hold on Francis Ricciardone’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey underscores the challenges the Administration is facing as it seeks to manage an increasingly complex, strained, and unpredictable U.S.-Turkey relationship,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America. “More broadly, this action highlights the pressing need for the U.S. Congress – and all concerned elements of American civil society – to carefully reexamine whether our national interests and international standing are served by constantly caving in to Turkey on human rights, regional security, and genocide denial.”