Turkish foreign minister conducts intense phone diplomacy on jihadist threat
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. AA PhotoHours before departing for the French capital Paris, where he is set to hold talks on the deepening catastrophe surrounding Turkey and the region, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu engaged in hectic telephone diplomacy with his counterparts from Ankara’s allies.
Çavuşoğlu initiated calls with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported late on Oct. 9.
With each he discussed “threats against regional security,” the agency reported, citing diplomatic sources
On Oct. 8, Çavuşoğlu also initiated similar calls with Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Dutch Foreign Minister Franz Timmermans
The intensified contacts came ahead of Çavuşoğlu’s Oct. 10 meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Paris. The two are expected to focus on Turkey’s bid to establish a buffer zone along Turkey’s border with Syria, which French President François Hollande recently expressed support for.
Turkey has long sought a safe haven or no-fly zone 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 has openly supported the idea, while the U.K. has said it is “worth examining.” However, Washington has expressed skepticism over such a move.