CIA chief holds talks in Ankara on Syria, PKK

CIA chief holds talks in Ankara on Syria, PKK

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CIA chief holds talks in Ankara on Syria, PKK

AFP photo

The United States’ top intelligence chief paid an unannounced two-day visit to Ankara to discuss deepening instability in Syria and the joint fight against terrorism.

David Petraeus, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), held meetings with top Turkish officials both yesterday and on March 12, the Hürriyet Daily News learned.

Petraeus met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday and his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the previous day. The visit is Petraeus’ second to Ankara since he was appointed CIA chief last July.

According to Prime Ministry officials, Erdoğan and Petraeus exchanged views on the ongoing crisis in Syria while also discussing the joint battle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The officials further discussed an intelligence-sharing mechanism launched in 2007.

Petraeus’ visit coincided with that of Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League’s special envoy to Syria.

Though both officials stayed in the same hotel in Ankara, there was no confirmation of a potential meeting between the two.

Annan, who is trying to push the Syrian leadership to end its measures against anti-government rebels, is the latest international figure to have met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.