US envoy gives peace message after his journey to the summit of Mount Ağrı
AĞRI - Anadolu Agency
A picture shared by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara shows Ambassador Ricciardone at the peak of Mount Ağrı. AA photoU.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."
The U.S. envoy was accompanied by his wife, two daughters and sons-in-law as well as a local guide during his trip. The ascent to the top of the mountain took three days.
Ricciardone had also participated in the 6.5-kilometer 25th Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Races in Istanbul on July 7, ranking 32nd in the men's 60-69 years of age category.