Foreign diplomat makes stop in Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Foreign diplomat makes stop in Mississippi

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

He's one man with a big job, and Wednesday, Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Namik Tan, brought that job to the Fairview Inn in Jackson.

"I think Mississippi is a state which is very much like Turkey with very warm people, hospitable people, very kind people and sincere people," said Tan.

The ambassador is working to expand economic and cultural relations between Turkey and the U.S. and for the last two days he's been focused on Mississippi.

"The relationship is important, one of the most important relationships that we have, maybe at the top, because the U.S. is the land of big thinking," said Tan.

After touring areas of interest like the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Ross Barnett Reservoir the ambassador met with members of Mississippi's Turkish community. Although a small community, Ambassador Tan says the Turkish people are working to bridge a cultural gap.

"I feel like we should come and address the people here and get engaged with them, try to answer their questions. Many people don't know about Turkey actually," said Tan.

As a Muslim majority country and an ally to the U.S., the ambassador says a close relationship with the U.S. is mutually beneficial, especially given the war-torn region surrounding Turkey.

"Most of the problems are around turkey so we are like an island of stability in this very tough neighborhood," said Tan.

"It's very important to improve U.S. and Turkish relationships in different aspects such as economic, cultural, diplomatic and political," said Anan Abuhummour, an international PhD student at Jackson State University.

Abuhummour says this type of relationship is personal. Coming from Jordan, she says it's important for countries to understand each other to further appreciations for each other.

 "Being here in the USA, it's a very important opportunity for me to improve my skills, to improve my learning and also for cultural exchange," said Abuhummour.

Through opening ideas the ambassador hopes international relations will strengthen as the world continues to change.

"Turkey has the same values that you cherish here," said Tan. "We need to reach out to them and make our messages heard and give them some information about where we stand and what we represent."

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