Departing US Ambassador: "Turkey is one of the great winners of the 20th and 21st centuries"
US Ambassador James Jeffrey bid a fond farewell to Turkey, in a statement posted Friday on the embassy website. Jeffrey, whose next assignment will be ambassador to Iraq, said that Turkey and US have deep, momentous relations. "I first became involved with Turkey 28 years ago and at that time, Turkey was a very important country on the road to development," said Jeffrey. "But today, our NATO ally Turkey is one of the most advanced global leaders. To paraphrase President Obama, we see Turkey as a country of huge strategic importance that has always been at the crossroads of East and West. Its economy is growing significantly and as a democracy and a predominantly Muslim country, it plays a critical role in the region." He added: "Don't worry about Turkey. It is one of the great winners of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. My advice is to build on that foundation and continue to embrace the outside world."