Feb 20 2017
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on meeting with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, Turkey:
“I had a warm and constructive meeting with President Erdogan today. I have been a longstanding champion of the U.S.-Turkey alliance based on shared democratic values. As we see growing disorder in Europe and the Middle East, I believe this alliance is more vital than ever.
“Most of our discussion focused on the situation in Syria. The change of administration in the United States presents an important opportunity to review and reassess current policy in Syria.
“The United States must work with Turkey to deal a rapid and lasting defeat to ISIL as part of a broader strategy to strengthen U.S. allies and partners, counter the malign influence of our adversaries, and build a favorable balance of power in the region. To that end, President Erdogan described a proposal to establish safe zones in Syria and retake Raqqa that should receive serious consideration by the United States.
“I look forward to working with my partners in both Turkey and the United States on this and other ideas to improve the situation in Syria, which is in the national security interest of both of our nations.”