US congressional delegation holds talks with Turkish PM, FM
AA photoA U.S. Congressional Delegation focused on the U.S. mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria held talks with both Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on July 1.
Talks held in Ankara came amid heated debates sparked by Turkish newspapers’ reports suggesting that the government is considering the creation of a buffer zone across its Syrian border. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office has rejected accusations about the president’s readiness to pitch the country’s armed forces into war in Syria and said any security measures it took would be intended only to secure its southern frontier.
The delegation led by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, arrived in Turkey after visits to Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan.
A wide range of topics including the strong U.S.-Turkey partnership and shared regional concerns including Syria, Iran, and ISIL were on agenda, the U.S. Embassy officials said briefly.
“Sen. Kaine greatly appreciates the generosity and efforts of the Turkish government and people in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, which will also be a key discussion topic,” the embassy officials said before the closed-door meetings.
Delegation members included Senator Joe Donnelly, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Congressmen Jim McGovern, Stephen Lynch, Brian Higgins and Peter Welch.