New CIA chief in Ankara on first foreign visit

2017-02-09 18:03
New CIA director Michael Pompeo, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP File)

New CIA director Michael Pompeo, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - New CIA chief Mike Pompeo arrived in Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish officials, on his first foreign visit since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

His visit came two days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Trump for the first time in his White House term, agreeing to work together in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Pompeo is due to meet Erdogan and Turkish spy agency chief Hakan Fidan, NTV television reported, after the two presidents on Tuesday held their first phone call since Trump took office last month.

Pompeo is to discuss the Syria conflict, in particular Turkey's operation against ISIS in the town of Al-Bab and a possible plan to capture the group's de-facto capital Raqa, NTV said.

Erdogan's spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday that discussions were under way with the US over efforts to retake Raqa from ISIS, with Trump giving a "positive" response to Turkish plans.

On the same day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu raised the prospect of Turkish special forces' involvement in any Raqa operation after recapturing Al-Bab.

According to Hurriyet daily's well-connected columnist Abdulkadir Selvi, when Erdogan raised the issue of the fight against ISIS  and the Syrian Kurdish militia, Trump said: "I am sending the CIA chief, you can speak with him in detail."

Better relations

Turkey is hoping for better relations with the new US administration, after the relationship with Barack Obama was marked by disappointment and anger.

The Nato allies have seen relations strained over Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish militia, whom Washington views as the most effective fighting force against ISIS.

But Ankara sees the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG), as terror groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Pompeo is also likely to discuss the status of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara blames for July's failed coup against Erdogan. Gulen denies the charges.

Turkey has repeatedly asked the US to extradite Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile there since 1999. But the Obama administration said a possibly slow legal process should take its course.

Read more on:    cia  |  recep tayyip erdogan  |  donald trump  |  us  |  turkey

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.

 
 

Paws

12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.