Turkey, US Pledge Joint Struggle Against Terror!
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is paying a two-day visit to Ankara for a series of meetings following his Middle East tour as part of the U.S.’s efforts to gain support fighting against ISIS. Kerry, speaking to the press at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday, said he and his team will have a very agenda and they look forward to constructive conversations with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his counterpart Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Kerry and Çavuşoğlu met for the third time since the NATO summit in Wales in early September. “[W]e are important partners, obviously, in NATO, but not just in NATO. We have concerns with respect to what’s happening from Libya to Mali to the Horn of Africa and throughout the Middle East, and of course, now the events in Iraq. So we have a great deal to talk about,” Kerry said.
“We will be chairing a counter-terrorism forum at the U.N. Security Council in a few days,” Kerry said. His visit comes after 10 Arab states signed a joint communique in the western Saudi city of Jeddah on Thursday to fight ISIS, pledging to take action to stop the flow of fighters joining the group.
After days of holding meetings behind closed doors, Turkish officials have reportedly decided to provide support to the growing anti-ISIS coalition, including intelligence, humanitarian and security assistance. However, Turkey will not engage in active military activities against ISIS, which has held 49 of its citizens hostage for the past three months. Ten countries have formed a coalition against ISIS on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales: the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Canada and Turkey as well as non-NATO member Australia. However, according to U.S. officials, more than 40 countries have agreed to be a part of the coalition. According to media reports, Turkey will not allow the coalition to attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations.