Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Timmermans discusses Syria with Turkish counterpart

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu spoke at length today about the situation in Syria at a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. A major focus of their talk was the arms embargo, which is also under discussion internationally. Mr Davutoğlu urged the EU to allow arms deliveries to the legitimate opposition.

‘Turkey is a key interlocutor for the Netherlands on this issue,’ said Mr Timmermans. ‘I listened very closely to what my colleague Mr Davutoğlu had to say.’ As one of Syria’s neighbours Turkey is closely involved with the conflict there. It is hosting about 190,000 refugees in camps and an additional 150,000 Syrians, who are staying elsewhere in Turkey.

The question of Turkish foster children in the Netherlands was also touched on briefly. Mr Timmermans noted that subjects on which the two countries’ views differ do not harm their bilateral relations. ‘This shows how mature the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands is,’ he said. ‘The same applies to relations between the Turkish and Dutch communities.’ He expressed his appreciation for the initiative that has been taken to encourage Dutch people of Turkish origin to volunteer as foster parents.