US defense official visits Turkey to strengthen cooperation against PKK
US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. (Photo: Reuters)
US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow led an interagency delegation to Ankara on Thursday to discuss ways to improve US-Turkey cooperation against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a statement from the US Embassy in Ankara said.
Ambassador Vershbow's delegation met with a broad Turkish interagency team, headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Halit Çevik. Ambassador Vershbow met separately with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
“Ambassador Vershbow underscored the continued support of the United States in this effort and the commitment of the US against the PKK, which is a common enemy of Turkey, Iraq, and the United States,” the statement said.
The statement recalled that after a series of PKK attacks on the Turkish military on Oct. 19, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Davutoğlu agreed to work to improve counter-PKK efforts, and US President Barack Obama told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would send a team to Turkey to carry out this work.