CIA chief Petraeus arrives in İstanbul for key talks

A US Air Force plane carrying CIA Director David Petraeus lands at the İstanbul Atatürk Airport. (Photo: AA)

September 03, 2012, Monday/ 11:18:00

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus arrived in İstanbul on Monday to have talks with Turkish officials on the situation in Syria and the fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Petraeus' CIA plane landed at İstanbul Atatürk Airport escorted by a US military jet. Gen. Petraeus was welcomed at the airport by the US Consul General in İstanbul Scott Kilner and other consulate officials.

This is the second unannounced visit by the US spy chief to Turkey in the last six months. He spent two days in Ankara in March, meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Turkish counterpart, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, about the deepening instability in Syria, their joint fight against terrorism and closer cooperation on pressing regional issues. His program is being kept secret for security reasons.

According to news reports, during the visit, Petraeus is expected to meet with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Erdoğan and Fidan to discuss the developments in Syria and the fight against terrorism.

However, a Turkish official from the Prime Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman that there was no meeting with Petraeus on the prime minister's agenda.

Likewise, a senior Turkish official from the Foreign Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman that a meeting between the foreign minister and the CIA head was not on Davutoğlu's agenda, adding that it does not mean that a meeting is not going to happen.

The CIA and MİT are cooperating closely with each another to collect intelligence about the situation in Syria. MİT is also working with the CIA to monitor developments in neighboring Iran and Iraq.