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Meet Sedat Onal, veteran diplomat named Turkey’s new ambassador to US

Analysts argue Onal's appointment is also an indication of increasing influence for the country's top diplomat, Hakan Fidan.
Turkish Ambassador to the United Nations Sedat Onal speaks during the 10th Emergency Special Session (resumed) 39th plenary meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations, in New York, on October 27, 2023. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Photo by

ANKARA — Turkey on Wednesday named Sedat Onal as its new ambassador to Washington, leaning on a career diplomat to embark on improving its ties with the United States.

Onal, 61, is currently Turkey’s ambassador to the United Nations and has 35 years of experience in the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The diplomat was notified of his position on the same day he submitted his diplomatic credentials to the international body a year ago, according to the Turkish broadcaster TRT. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz will fill Onal’s current post, the TRT said. 

Onal, whose appointment is expected to become official after it is published in the Official Gazette at approximately midnight local time, is a well-known name in Washington. 

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