France, Turkey to intensify talks on move against ISIL
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is set to pay an official visit to France on Oct 10. AP PhotoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will pay an official visit to France on Oct. 10, two days after France’s head of the state announced his support for a buffer zone along Turkey’s border with Syria to protect refugees.
According to a written statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Oct. 9, the visit is taking place in line with the “Joint Political Declaration on the Establishment of a Strategic Framework for Cooperation between Turkey and France,” signed during French President François Hollande’s visit to Turkey in January.
“Cooperation in the field of fight against terrorism, developments in Syria and Iraq” as well as “regional and international issues,” are listed by the Foreign Ministry among items on the agenda of a meeting between Çavuşoğlu and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius.
Turkey has long sought a safe haven along its border with Syria, an idea that has gained traction this week as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists battled for control of a town on the Syrian side.
Paris openly supported the idea, while London said it was worth examining. However, in a potential sign of U.S. reticence over such an operation, contradictions emerged from Washington.
The office of the French Presidency announced its decision in a written statement after a phone conversation between Hollande and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 8. “[Hollande] voiced his support for a proposal brought by President Erdoğan to create a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria for the hosting and protection of the displaced persons,” read the statement issued by the Elysée Palace.