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DIPLOMACY >US Secretary of State, Turkish FM talk on phone

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu have talked on the phone, diplomatic sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on March 19. 

The two foreign policy chiefs have discussed the preparations for an upcoming meeting of the Global Coalition working to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which will be attended by the foreign ministers and senior leaders of the full coalition, now at 68 members.

While this meeting will be held at the Department of State in Washington D.C. on March 22, it will be the first time since the establishment of the coalition that all 68 members will participate. 

Tillerson and Çavuşoğlu also talked about the former’s visit to Turkey on March 30, sources said.
 
On March 16, Çavuşoğlu said Tillerson will visit Turkey, which would be the highest level of talks with a senior official from the new U.S. administration since President Donald Trump took office in January, as Ankara hopes to have better relations with the White House.

“The U.S. Secretary of State said he wanted to come on March 30 and I told him that this would suit us in Ankara. If our prime minister is in Ankara, he will meet him,” Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster Habertürk late on March 16.

He added that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet Trump after the April 16 referendum and will meet Tillerson if possible.

Sources said the telephone conversation was initiated by Tillerson, adding that the two foreign ministers would exchange their thoughts about the ongoing war in Syria in their further encounters.

March/19/2017

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