It came last evening during a reception organised in honour of Ambassador Staples as his diplomatic services in the country comes to completion. The farewell event was held at Ocean Bay (Red Croc) Hotel in Cape Point.
Ambassador Soner’s farewell statement which was made available to The Standard, states: “Ambassador Staples is a long serving American diplomat with vast experience. He has served his country almost in all the corners of the world, including my country – Turkey. I would like to inform this gathering that if you foul play him in Turkish he will get you recorded by his own memory, because he speaks fluent Turkish. But I can assure you that even if you should say something untrue about him in Turkish he is not going to put up an everlasting fight with you, simply, due to his experience and knowledge of what diplomacy is.”
Ambassador Soner also said his parting US counterpart has always lived a life of service with groundbreaking work in diplomatic cycles.
It adds: “This brings us to the subject of merits of diplomacy. Life teaches us that not even in a family there is always sugar and honey relationship. There sometimes exists some degree of bitterness in international relations. Diplomacy, through genuine dialogue, stands the best formula for peaceful resolution of problems. Therefore, it could be perceived as normal for there to be different concerns between countries. The channel of diplomacy should always be kept open for such reasons – it is a tool, of paramount importance, at our disposal. In this context, for Turkey, both the United States and The Gambia are friendly countries. Therefore, we want to see diplomats of all these three countries working hand-in-hand to improve our relations, in order to contribute more to the development of African people.
“I am really glad to see so many of us in attendance tonight, what on the other hand is actually not surprising at all, because we are a team of friends and everyone is interested to meet George. It is an honour tonight to bid farewell to our distinguished colleague and friend. Ambassador Staples is a friendly and experienced colleague whom will be definitely missed a lot. I wish he was going to stay with us much longer than scheduled. We are sure we will always be in touch with him.”]]>