Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu discusses anti-ISIL fight with Trump’s possible vice presidential pick
Emine Kart - ANKARA
AA photoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a meeting with visiting U.S. Senator for Florida Marco Rubio, also a former Republican presidential candidate, on May 5 focused on regional issues and the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Rubio is a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence dedicated to overseeing the U.S. intelligence community - the federal agencies and bureaus that provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches, as well as of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
During the meeting, Çavuşoğlu and Rubio “exchanged views on regional developments - Syria, Iraq and Russia being in the first place - and the fight against DEASH [ISIL],” Turkish diplomatic sources, speaking under customary condition of anonymity, told Hürriyet Daily News.
Rubio’s meeting with Çavuşoğlu was one of the “regular” contacts between the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Senate, reliable sources separately told the Daily News. Rubio was scheduled to hold “internal meetings with Americans and U.S. Embassy officials while in Ankara,” the same sources said, without elaborating.
As of May 4 night, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he was considering “a bunch of people” to be his choice for a running mate, a day after he swept the Indiana primary and saw two of his rivals suspend their campaigns.
Speaking on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Trump was asked if he would consider former rival Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whom he targeted with personal attacks before the Florida primary.
“I would certainly consider him but we do have a lot of candidates I think would be very good,” Trump responded, noting that he has gotten along “very well” with Rubio since he got out of the presidential race.
Back in January, Çavuşoğlu said some of U.S. presidential contenders’ anti-Islamic messages were a matter of concern for Turkey.
“We are unsettled because of statements of some candidates that fuel [anti-Islamic sentiments] and that target Muslims. We don’t want the disease of Islamophobia to pass from Europe to the U.S.,” Çavuşoğlu said, while evaluating bilateral relations between Ankara and Washington in a keynote address at an ambassadorial conference.
The minister was apparently referring to Trump, though he did not reference the candidate by name.