By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - Sending ground troops to Libya is not currently on Turkey's foreign policy agenda, but the country might consider to do so if the UN-recognized Libyan government makes such a request, according to Turkish foreign minister.
"At the moment, as no such request was made, we don't have a plan of sending ground combat units [to Libya], but our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] earlier said we might evaluate this if such a request is made," Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday amid his joint news conference with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic Radman in Ankara.
Croatia, as a member of the EU, would take side with the European community regarding the dispute over the Eastern Mediterranean, but Turkey viewed Croatia as an "objective and honest" country, he said.
Cavusoglu said he informed Grlic Radman about Ankara's policy in the region which is based on fairness and international laws, adding that the Turkish government expected the EU to resolve the dispute instead of supporting unilateral acts of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.
"We want to develop relations with the EU in a mutual manner, but this cannot be [achieved] unilaterally," Cavusoglu said when asked about Ankara's ties with the union.
He said Ankara’s accession to the union, migration, customs union agreement, fight against terrorism, and free visa issues were the hot headlines in the relations, adding: "There are commitments the EU failed to fulfill regarding the migration deal. The EU must do its duty."
"We take side with dialogue, cooperation, and diplomacy," he said and underlined that the challenges the EU faced today could not be resolved alone and they required international collaboration.
Grlic Radman, for his part, said his country was happy with the developed bilateral ties shared with Turkey and said the countries had tremendous potential to boost their trade volume.
The bilateral trade volume could climb to $1 billion and entrepreneurs could invest in both sides, he added.
The Croatian foreign minister referred to Turkey as a "strategic partner" and an important international actor in the eyes of his country.
He added that Turkey has played a key and successful role tackling terrorism and migration issue, and thanked Cavusoglu for Turkey's efforts in helping Syrian and Afghan migrants.
Emphasizing that both Croatia and Turkey stood as important NATO allies, he said both sides worked fruitfully for ensuring European security.
He argued that the current political crisis around the globe stemmed from the asymmetric threats, referring to small terror groups, and said that today's warfare, especially against terror, has drastically changed.
He stressed that terrorism had no religion and it was not a national matter in today’s world, and all countries must work side by side to eliminate this threat.