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Carter Reaffirms U.S. Support in Call With Turkish Defense Minister

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2016 — Speaking by telephone today with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işik, Defense Secretary Ash Carter reiterated U.S. support for Turkey's democratically elected civilian government and the rule of law, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

In a statement summarizing the call, Cook said Işik expressed his appreciation for the call and assured Carter that Turkey remains a determined and committed partner and ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and terrorism of all kinds.

Importance of Incirlik Operations

“The two discussed the importance of operations at Incirlik Air Base to the counter-ISIL campaign,” Cook said. “The minister expressed regret over his inability to attend the counter-ISIL defense ministerial that Secretary Carter is hosting [tomorrow] in Washington, but assured the secretary that the Turkish ambassador to the United States will be in attendance and will be fully empowered to speak for the Turkish government.”

The secretary and the defense minister agreed to keep in touch in the days and weeks ahead, Cook added.