Daniel Bennett Smith, a former Ambassador to Greece from 2010 to 2013, has been appointed as Acting US Secretary of State.
Smith, 64, was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve in this position until nominee Antony Blinken is confirmed by the Senate.
The announcement comes a day after the confirmation hearing of Blinken, 58, a veteran foreign policy hand and close Biden confidant. There has been no indication that Blinken would face difficulty being confirmed.
Smith was appointed director of the Foreign Service Institute, which trains American diplomats, in 2018 and holds the State Department’s highest diplomatic rank of Career Ambassador.
Blinken says Turkey not acting like an ally
On Tuesday, Blinken accused NATO member Turkey of not acting like an ally and said Washington would review if further sanctions are required on Ankara over its acquisition of a Russian air defense system.
Last month, Washington imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey’s defense industry over its acquisition of S-400 missile defense systems from Moscow, in a move Turkey called a “grave mistake.”
“The idea that a strategic – so-called strategic – partner of ours would actually be in line with one of our biggest strategic competitors in Russia is not acceptable,” Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for chief U.S. diplomat, told lawmakers.
*With information from Reuters/Kathimerini