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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:44, December 14, 2005
CIA chief holds secret talks with Turkish officials
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Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Porter Goss have held strictly confidential talks with Turkish security and intelligence officials as well as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkish Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Goss met with Emre Taner, undersecretary of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), and Police Director- General Gokhan Aydiner as well as Erdogan during his visit on Monday, said the report.

Turkish officials were quoted as saying that the fight against terrorism and intelligence sharing between Turkey and the US were high on Goss' agenda during his visit.

"This is not the first time such visits have taken place," said Turkish Justice Minister and Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek at a press conference.

He said it was quite "normal" that such visits occur because there have been significant developments in the region, without elaborating.

Cicek also revealed that Turkey and the US were engaged in intelligence sharing against terrorism, adding that Ankara had expectations from Washington on steps to be taken against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), a rebel group on the terror list of Turkey, the US and the European Union.

The Turkish Daily News also quoted Turkish sources as saying that such visits like Goss' were "pioneers of a scaled level of cooperation" between the two countries, which underlined "a new dimension" to the existing web of cooperation.

US officials have described the visit as the latest in a series of high-level contacts between Turkey and the US since the February visit of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Goss arrived in Ankara on Sunday night amid tight security and stayed away from cameras during his talks.

His visit is the second high-level security visit from the United States in less than a week.

Director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Peter S. Mueller paid a one-day visit to Turkey on Friday and discussed, among other things, the fight against the PKK, which has bases in northern Iraq.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have been strained over Iraq since 2003 when Ankara refused to allow US troops to deploy from its soil to open up a northern front on Iraq.

But ties have recently recovered gradually.

Source: Xinhua

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