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Trump Taps Diplomatic Veteran Satterfield To Be Ambassador To Turkey

U.S. acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield speaks during a meeting at the Lebanese Foreign Ministry in Beirut on February 7, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to nominate diplomatic veteran David Satterfield to be the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House has said.

Satterfield, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs since 2017, has been with the U.S. Foreign Service since 1980.

He previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, and director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council. He has also had assignments in Syria, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.

Several issues divide the United States and Turkey, a member of NATO.

The United States and Turkey back differing antigovernment rebel forces in Syria's seven-year civil war.

Washington supports a Kurdish militia fighting against Islamic State militants in northern Syria near the Turkish border. Ankara considers the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists with links to Kurdish separatists fighting inside Turkey.

Washington has also refused demands by Ankara to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg