CIA Chief to Visit Turkey

Discussion in 'U.S. Strategic Affairs' started by Pathfinder, Feb 8, 2017.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

    Dec 17, 2015
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    CIA Chief to Visit Turkey in Sign of Improving Ties With US

    In a sign of improving ties, Turkish officials said Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and responded "positively" on two key Turkish demands that had soured Ankara's relations with the Obama administration.

    Following the 45-minute telephone conversation late Tuesday, officials from Erdogan's office also announced that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be making his first overseas visit to Turkey on Thursday. The decision showed the importance the new administration attaches to Turkey, a country on the frontline of the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

    Ties between Turkey and the U.S., which are NATO allies, were strained under the Obama administration. Turkey expressed frustrations over what it perceived as U.S. reluctance to extradite the cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey accused of orchestrating the country's failed military coup. It was also angered by Washington's support of Syrian Kurdish fighters.

    While Turkey's government considers the fighters terrorists because of their affiliation with outlawed Kurdish rebels in Turkey, the Obama administration regarded them as the most effective group in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria. It had also asked Turkey to allow the judiciary process for Gulen's return to take its course.

    The Turkish government has pinned hopes for improved ties on Trump's presidency, and the call was being closely watched in Turkey for signs of a recovery.

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