Statement by: Jen Psaki, Spokesperson
Special Presidential Envoy John Allen and Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk held constructive and detailed talks with Turkish officials today in Ankara, including with Prime Minister Davutoglu and senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. General Allen and Deputy Special Envoy McGurk discussed areas of cooperation across the multiple lines of effort that will be required to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. They stressed that we are in the early stages of consolidating a broad coalition against this terrorist network in what will be a long-term campaign. General Allen and Deputy Special Envoy McGurk also emphasized that urgent steps are immediately required to degrade ISIL’s military capabilities and ongoing ability to threaten the region. They further stressed that strengthening the moderate Syrian opposition, which is engaged in fighting both ISIL and the Asad regime, is crucial to any realistic and lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
In this regard, General Allen, Deputy Special Envoy McGurk, and their Turkish interlocutors discussed several measures to advance the military line of effort against ISIL, noting that a joint military planning team will visit Ankara early next week to follow up in military-to-military channels. Both sides also agreed that we will continue a dynamic and deepening bilateral consultation process across the multiple lines of effort against ISIL, including military support, countering foreign fighters, counter-finance, humanitarian assistance, and de-legitimizing ISIL’s messaging and rhetoric. General Allen and Deputy Special Envoy McGurk recognized the sacrifice made by Turkey due to the ISIL crisis in Syria and Iraq, and emphasized the historic and unbreakable partnership between Turkey and the United States as NATO allies.