AĞRI – Anadolu Agency – 19.7.2013 – U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone returned July 18 from his climb to the summit of Mount Ağrı, the highest mountain peak in Turkey at 5,137 meters, after a journey of five days. Ricciardone told reporters that he had fulfilled a long-held wish and gave a message of peace.
“Mount Ağrı is a legend for us. We wanted to climb Mount Ağrı for a long time, but we couldn’t come. Thankfully, [the region] is calmer and more secure now. Hopefully it will become calmer and a great peace will come in the forthcoming days,” Ricciardone said, adding that the Kurdish “resolution process had been an important factor” for taking the trip to the eastern province of Ağrı. “The people of [the region] support peace. Everyone wants peace. They are very hospitable. We climbed Mount Ağrı for the first time. Tourists are coming with hopes related with the [resolution] process. We have been together with tourists from Japan, Italy and Germany at the mountain,” Ricciardone also said.
“I fully believe that this process will be successful. I am very hopeful about this process and this people.”