(AA) – U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass has said his country is ready to support Turkey’s solution process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK.
In remarks made to the media Sunday during his visit to southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakir province, Bass also urged the PKK to lay down arms and give peace a chance.
His comments came a week after the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was quoted as calling on his followers to hold a congress to decide whether the banned organization should let go of its militant path and lay down its arms to end its more than 30-year conflict with Turkish state.
The U.S. envoy said that if the PKK dropped its weapons, “It will contribute to peace in the area and the United States is ready to support the peace process.”
He added that the solution process would contribute to positive development in places like Diyarbakir.
“Diyarbakir is a rich cultural region with a lot of differences. Dropping weapons will attract a lot of people and stimulate tourism in the area. I think the peace process will be good for the region and we will support it,” he said.
Turkey, U.S. and the European Union list PKK as a terrorist organization.
Also, the ambassador appreciated the Turkish government’s efforts in helping Syrian refugees on its territory. “The Turkish government has behaved in a generous way by welcoming Syrian refugees in its territory and giving them aid. The American government is working in close cooperation with the Turkish government to provide facilities for the Syrian refugees,” he added.
According to the U.S. Consulate Adana’s official Facebook page, the ambassador’s tour of Diyarbakir included visits to its famous sights, including Ulu Mosque, Hasan Pasa Inn, the Four-Footed Minaret, Surp Giragos, and Diyarbakir’s world-famous city walls, which are the second longest intact city walls in the world (after the Great Wall of China) and listed on UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.
Bass was accompanied with his wife Holly Holzer Bass during the visit.