US, Turkey converge on Syria, Turkish FM says

A considerable convergence between Turkey and the United States has emerged during recent talks concerning the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.

“I can say, particularly with the U.S., there is a convergence in our approach toward ISIL, the training and equipment program [for the Syrian opposition] and the no-fly zone,” Çavuşoğlu told a group of journalists Dec. 3.

The fight against ISIL and providing support to maintain peace and stability in Iraq and Syria were the main agenda topics of the meeting, said the minister.

Çavuşoğlu said he urged the coalition members to determine a comprehensive strategy in Syria and stressed that airstrikes alone would not be sufficient.

“Many things have been said so far, but discourse and practices should overlap,” the minister said, noting that the anti-ISIL coalition should take action as soon as possible.

In his address, Çavuşoğlu said the international community should support the moderate Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army (FSA), while calling on coalition members not to underestimate the humanitarian aspect of the crisis.

The minister also told the coalition members about the strategic significance of Aleppo, which is under intense pressure after having been split roughly in half by opposition groups and government troops that have slowly encircled rebel positions in an effort to cut supply routes.

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