Dempsey in Ankara for talks over Syria

Dempsey in Ankara for talks over Syria

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Dempsey in Ankara for talks over Syria

Martin Dempsey speaks during a ceremony commemorating the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. AFP photo

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey will meet with his Turkish counterpart today in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity between the two countries.

Gen. Dempsey, who was expected to land in Ankara yesterday after Hürriyet Daily News went to print, will be greeted with an official ceremony at the General Staff headquarters today before meeting with Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel.

The ongoing violence in Syria, as well as the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American officials during the Sept. 11 armed attack by protesters on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi are expected to top the agenda for Dempsey’s visit here.

The visit comes shortly after U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns postponed his visit to Turkey scheduled for Sept. 14 in order to accompany the remains of the four diplomats to the U.S. The delegation led by Ambassador Robert Ford and Derek H. Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Department of Defense, continued consultations as planned.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will hold talks with Turkish officials today and tomorrow as part of a regional tour also covering Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Holder will meet with Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone. He will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay and Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek.