Bucharest, Romania, 24 Sha’ban 1436/11 June 2015 (MINA) – There has not yet been enough cooperation in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and in stopping the flow of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, said Turkey’s foreign minister Wednesday.
Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks were made during an official visit to Romania’s capital Bucharest, two days after U.S President Barack Obama on Monday called on coalition partners, including Turkey, to improve intelligence cooperation in order to prevent foreign fighters from joining ISIL, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“This is an area where we have been seeking deeper cooperation with Turkish authorities who recognize the problem, but have not fully ramped up the capacity they need. And this is something that I think we got to spend a lot of time on. If we can cut of some of that foreign fighter flow, then we are able to isolate and wear out ISIL forces there are already there,” Obama said Monday at the G7 summit in Germany.
“It is not a criticism totally directed to Turkey. [Obama] emphasized that we are all insufficient in this issue. I also agree with this. Despite all these precautions and efforts, international cooperation is not a level that we want,” said Cavusoglu.
“We are still seeing thousands of foreign fighters flowing into first Syria, and then often times ultimately into Iraq. And not all of that is preventable, but a lot of it is preventable if we got a better cooperation, better coordination, better intelligence, if we are monitoring what is happening at the Turkish-Syria border more effectively,” Obama said.
The U.S. president said that Turkish authorities recognized the problem.
“We are doing our best, but we need much better cooperation and solidarity,” Cavusoglu said.
“We covered some ground on the cooperation issue, but we cannot say we are 100 percent successful or we reached a point that we want.”
Cavusoglu reiterated that Turkey had deported a substantial number of foreigners suspected of seeking to join armed groups in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey shares an 800-kilometer long border with Syria. Turkish officials have repeatedly said that they are cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters into its volatile neighboring countries. (T/P001/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)