Crowley's remarks were said to reflect congressional dismay over the
policies of Syria and Turkey. Officials acknowledged that House and Senate
leaders have complained of Turkey's alliance with Iran and Syria.
The administration has nominated Francis Ricciardone, a former
ambassador to Egypt, as the next U.S. envoy to Ankara. The Senate has also
up the nomination of Robert Ford as ambasador to Syria since February 2010.
"We continue in consultation with the Senate on those nominations,"
Crowley said on Oct. 4.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has already endorsed Ricciardone
for the post. But Sen. Sam Brownback, in a move that has stalled the
confirmation, has placed a hold on the nomination. Brownback was said to
have warned that Ricciardone might be unable to maintain contact
with Turkey's opposition.
Crowley said the Senate failure to confirm Ford and Ricciardone has
hampered U.S. policy.
"It does have an impact," Crowley said. "These are vitally important
countries to the future of the region. They are countries that we need that
kind of day-to-day interaction with."