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US Navy Holds Talks with Turkish Naval Chief of Intelligence

Rear Adm. Aydin Sirin (left) and Rear Adm. Kenneth “K.J.” Norton (right) signing the minutes. Photo: U.S. Navy by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz/Released

This is from US Navy official website:

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — The Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources and Plans at Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, engaged in staff talks with the Turkish Naval Forces Command Chief of Intelligence, at the Naval Support Activity Naples in Naples, Italy, June 12.

During the talks, Rear Adm. Kenneth “K.J.” Norton spoke about interoperability in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas with Turkish Rear Adm. Aydin Sirin to understand and achieve each nations’ common interests and goals.

“Today will be briefed on maritime domain awareness, theater security cooperation, and maritime security operations,” said Norton. “Our end goal is to promote peace and stability within the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, demonstrate commitment to regional partnerships, and to foster growing relationships between our two navies.”

Rear Adm. Sirin expressed his gratitude and interest in increasing a partnership between Turkey and the U.S.
“These meetings are very useful between the Turkish and U.S. navies,” said Sirin. “We hope to improve our cooperation by using these meetings to discuss our areas of common interest. We are very happy to be here.”

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa headquarters is located in Naples, Italy. It conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other parties to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

This is the single most important news of this week. High ranking officers from Turkish and USA navies have met to talk about naval matters of mutual interest.

This short news and the declarations of the admirals raises more questions as it answers:
1) How many meetings were held and over which period of time?
2) Does the “promotion of peace and stability within the Mediterranean and Black Sea region” has anything to do with the NATO’s missile shield and the proposed stationing of ballistic missile defense capable US Ships in eastern Med and in the Black Sea?
3) The admirals have signed the minutes. How binding is this as a legal/diplomatic paper?

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