Kerry to visit Turkey for NATO meeting

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut cavuAringioAumlilu on the sidelines of a NATO meeting to take place in the southern province of Antalya on Wednesday.

The event, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will commence on Wednesday and continue until Thursday under the chairmanship of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The sessions will facilitate meetings between the foreign ministers of 28 NATO member nations to discuss recent challenges facing NATO “at a time of high risks and threats at NATO’s southern border” according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January.

Diplomatic sources said Kerry and cavuAringioAumlilu will hold a separate meeting to discuss bilateral relations with a focus on joint efforts to train moderate Syrian rebels. The NATO meeting coincides with the launching of a train-and-equip program that aims to train thousands of rebel forces to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Ankara is pressing for the creation of safe zones in northern Syria, an idea that has been rejected by Washington, which considers such a task tremendously challenging both militarily and financially.