Erdoğan-Biden on call again, as Ankara sets up crisis desk on Iraq
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan and other senior officials from the four ministries have held a crisis meeting in Ankara, June 13. AA PhotoU.S. Vice President Joe Biden has discussed the growing insurgency in Iraq with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the second time in three days, while Ankara established a crisis desk to inform the Turkish public daily about 80 Turks taken hostage by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Iraq.
Biden spoke by phone June 13 with Erdoğan. The White House says they consulted on the danger that the al-Qaida-inspired ISIL poses for regional and global security.
The White House says Biden and Erdoğan agreed that Iraqis must unite to address the security challenges. Biden also affirmed the U.S. offer to help Turkey recover diplomats who were captured in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Biden and Erdoğan last spoke June 11 as insurgents were seizing key Iraqi cities and pressing closer to Baghdad. President Barack Obama says he’s considering military options to help Iraq fight the militants.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government will establish a crisis desk to inform the public daily about the latest developments in Iraq, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said June 13 after a crisis coordination meeting at the Foreign Ministry.
The ISIL have continued their advance in Iraq after seizing Mosul on June 9.
“We are establishing a crisis desk that will work 24 hours a day. It will be a crisis desk in which other ministries will also have representatives. It will answer all of the questions and give us daily analyses [of the situation],” Davutoğlu said in a joint press conference with Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan.
He added that Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru, who will coordinate the desk, will make a public statement twice a day.
“We ask the public not to give any regard to information coming from any other source that is not confirmed by the crisis desk,” he added.
Regarding the release of the 31 Turkish truck drivers and 49 workers at the Turkish consulate in Mosul who were taken hostage by ISIL, Davutoğlu said Turkish authorities where pursuing their efforts.
He also assured that they have made a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the country.
“We have considered the situation in each province and determined where the crisis could spread,” he said.