CIA chief says US has ‘differences with Turkey’ but cooperates well
AA photoThe head of the CIA said on July 13 that the U.S. and Turkey had differences in their policies regarding Syria but these differences did not keep them from cooperating well with each other.
“Are we on the same page with Turkey on whatever happens in this region [Syria]? No we are not. When we have disagreements with Turks we deal plainly and honestly. For us they need to do more. They have also expressed their difference of opinion with us and objections to some of the steps the U.S. government has taken. But this is how close partners and allies are: They have an open dialogue between them,” CIA chief John Brennan told a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution think tank.
“We are in regular contact with the Turks. We work closely,” Brennan added.
Turkey and the U.S. are at odds over the designation of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the People’s Protection Unit (YPG). Turkey says the two are terrorist organizations as they are offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which Turkey has been in a fight since the mid-1980s.
The U.S., however, sees the PYD and the YPG as reliable and effective partners in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The U.S. and the European Union also designate the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Brennan said he has a “very close relationship” with his Turkish counterpart, stressing that Ankara is “a very close partner” in many areas.