Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top US Intel official in Ankara to head off naval clash, bring Palestinians to talks

James Clapper’s triple mission in Ankara

The US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper arrived in Ankara on an urgent surprise visit Sunday night Sept. 18 as Turkish saber-rattling threatened three major US interests:
Sunday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the information gathered by the US radar system to be stationed in Turkey’s Malatya province as part of the NATO missile-shield would not be shared with Israel – thereby disrupting the entire system; Monday, US Noble Energy began drilling gas off Cyprus in defiance of Turkish threats; and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ headed to New York to promote UN acceptance of a Palestinian state – with Ankara’s encouragement.

Clapper went straight into talks with the Turkish General Staff, the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and Foreign Ministry. No official statement was issued on the visit. Turkish sources indicated only that it concerned the planned deployment of the NATO radar system, the fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “as well as other developments in the Middle East.”

However, debkafile‘s intelligence sources report that Clapper was in Turkey for a last-ditch Obama administration bid to avert sea and air hostilities erupting between Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Israel in the eastern Mediterranean where tensions have been building up over Turkish threats inter alia against offshore gas exploration by Israel and Cyprus.

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