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U.S. commander visits Turkey to discuss fight against PKK


08:53, October 24, 2012

ANKARA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James Winnefeld arrived in Turkey on Tuesday for a visit to discuss cooperation on combating the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

During his visit, Winnefeld will meet with Turkish government and military officials, including Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, a diplomat told Xinhua.

The two sides will discuss intelligence-sharing in the fight against the PKK as well as the Syrian issue, particularly the mounting tensions on Turkish-Syrian border due to the clashes in Turkey's neighbor.

Prior to the visit, Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, said that the United States will share with Turkey the tactics that it used in its operation against Osama Bin Laden, the slain al-Qaida terrorist, to achieve effective results in fighting the PKK.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

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