Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Prime Minister David Cameron of the U.K. expressed their joint resolve Tuesday to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and intelligence sharing to prevent the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.
Addressing a joint press conference in Ankara, Davutoğlu clarified Turkey's policy regarding the passage of militants through its borders.
"Turkey has never and will never tolerate the transit of foreign fighters via Turkish soil or their presence in Syria," Davutoğlu said.
Cameron, who arrived in Ankara Tuesday evening, called for more intelligence sharing between the two countries to block the flow of foreign fighters, including British citizens into Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist group.
"We should exchange more information, we should cooperate more in terms of intelligence," Cameron said.
A report released in October by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization at King's College, London, said that 23 British fighters had been killed in Syria and Iraq.
The British government claims that up to 500 Britons have traveled abroad to take part in fighting in Syria, and that at least 218 had returned to the U.K.
"We agree on this threat of [ISIS] … where it is come from. It has come from an Iraqi regime that was incapable of representing its entire people; it has come from a Syrian that was brutalizing his own people. It has come from the extremist ideology that drives this organization. We have to deal with all of these three issues," Cameron said.
He stressed that Turkey and the U.K. were fighting a common enemy.
"Whether it is about stopping people coming through Turkey to Syria or Iraq to fight for [ISIS], whether it is about making sure we deal with people when they return; whether it is the highest level of intelligence cooperation that we can possibly achieve between our countries. This is all about making sure people are safer in Turkey and in the U.K. We are already strong and should get stronger," Cameron added.
Davutoğlu agreed: "Turkey's position is clear: We don't want to see foreign fighters, neither in Syria nor in Iraq."
He said there was a need to develop a comprehensive strategy against ISIS to prevent any similar militant groups from flourishing in the region.
Cameron also said that the U.K., like Turkey, wants "a political transition in Syria."
"We want to see a political transition in Syria, we want to see a different government in Syria, the one that is capable of representing all the people of Syria," Cameron said.
Cameron's visit to Turkey comes weeks after he said Britain had to take action to deal with the threat posed by "foreign fighters planning attacks against our people [in the U.K.]."
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