Turkish foreign minister heading to U.S. for two-day visit

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will be heading to the United States for a two-day visit on Monday, pro-government Hürriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.

Çavuşoğlu scheduled to attend the 8th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York, the newspaper said.

‘’Our esteemed minister will be paying a working visit to Washington on Nov. 20,’’ the Foreign Ministry said in an official statement, which highlighted that bilateral relations between Washington and Ankara, and Syria, where the countries are conducting joint patrols, will be among the leading issues covered during the visit.  

Çavuşoğlu’s visit arrives following a period of soaring political tensions between the United States and Turkey over a host of issues, including Turkey’s invasion of an enclave in the Kurdish-controlled north of Syria to battle militants; the detention of a U.S. pastor on terror charges and the arrest of Halkbank’s former deputy chief executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla last year for breaking sanctions on Iran while working for the bank. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly called for Atilla’s release with analysts in Turkey noting the Halkbank matter is expected to be a priority for Çavuşoğlu’s visit.