Joan Ryan MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on (a) the situation in Syria and (b) the recent attacks by ISIL on the Syrian town of Kobane.
Tobias Ellwood MP: The UK Government maintains a close dialogue with the Turkish government on the threat posed by the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) last discussed the threat with the Turkish President Erdoğan, on 3 June, 2015. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) also discussed cooperation against ISIL with his counterpart, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu, most recently on 16 June, including the situation in Tel Abyad. On 26 June the UK’s Representative to Syria discussed with Turkish officials, the situation in Kobane following the recent ISIL attacks.
Turkey is an important member of the Global Coalition, and continues to make a valuable contribution to the international campaign against ISIL, including supporting airstrikes and stopping the transit of foreign fighters. We welcome Turkey’s support, including through hosting one of the Train and Equipment Centres (T&E) for the US-led T&E programme for the Syrian moderate opposition. Turkey also plays a key role in the humanitarian effort. It hosts more than 2 million refugees fleeing from Syria and Iraq, and is facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid across the border.