(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday there was no discrepancy between the United States and Turkey with regard to what Ankara “will or won’t do” in the fight against Islamic State insurgents.
Speaking at a news conference in Paris after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry insisted that Turkey was a “valued member” of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, which has taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria, and said Ankara would define its role “on its own timetable.”
Kerry spoke after Turkey on Monday denied an assertion over the weekend by U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice that it had agreed to let American planes take off from its air bases to strike Islamic State targets. Ankara said this matter was still under discussion.
Turkey, a NATO member that has drawn international criticism for its refusal to help defend the besieged Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani from an Islamic State assault, did confirm, however, that it had agreed with Washington on the training of Syrian rebels.
“As far as I know there is no discrepancy with respect to what is going on,” Kerry said when asked about Rice’s comments over the weekend…