Turkey favors any measures against radical groups in Syria: FM

Turkey favors any measures against radical groups in Syria: FM

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey favors any measures against radical groups in Syria: FM

Davutoğlu told EU envoys that Turkey was willing to open new chapters. AA Photo

Turkey is against all extremist groups that are fighting in Syria and “favors any measures” taken against them, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told European Union envoys in a meeting in Ankara.

Minister Davutoğlu had lunch with EU envoys in Ankara yesterday, at which the Cyprus issue and relations with Turkey and EU were the main items on the agenda, a participant in the meeting who wanted to remain anonymous told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Davutoğlu’s remarks came in reply to questions asked by EU ambassadors regarding allegations that extremists leaked into Syria through the Turkish border.

The foreign minister also told the envoys that Turkey aims to “accelerate momentum” on relations between Ankara and Brussels, not only for EU negotiations, but also for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade agreement process between the EU and the US which Ankara wishes to be included in. Davutoğlu added the relations between Turkey and the EU should also focus on the strategic dialogue and the visa dialogue.

Ankara aims to open negotiating chapters 17, 23, 24 with the Union during the upcoming Greek term presidency of the EU, Davutoğlu said, adding that as part of further efforts to revive talks between Turkey and the Union, the prime minister would pay visits to Brussels and Germany in February.

Citing the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and the EU have common objectives, the minister said, expressing Ankara’s willingness for further cooperation on this issue.

Envoys showed great interest on a recent visit of Davutoğlu to Armenia and multiple questions were asked about Turkey’s perspective on the state of relations between Ankara and Yerevan.

“Turkey would support any steps taken for normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations on condition of a holistic approach for peace and stability in the region,” another diplomatic source told the Daily News. “Turkey would continue its constrictive attitude on relations between Turkey and Armenia, and on efforts to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh problem,” the minister added.

Minister Davutoğlu elaborated on Turkey’s perception and policies on recent developments in the Middle East, including Egypt, Syria and Iran, while stressing that Ankara attached importance to “cooperation and cooperation with the EU” on those issues.

Davutoğlu’s remarks on the Middle East neither represented a revision nor signaled a reset of those policies according to a source. The minister said Turkey conducted a “principled stance on both Egypt and Syria,” the source added.

“In the context of the Geneva II process, which Turkey supports, the opposition, which Syrian National Coalition represents, should be supported more efficiently, the minister said, stressing that would be important in order to dilute the effect of radical groups.

Asked about the normalization process with Syria, Davutoğlu said Turkey would keep to its commitments.