Turkey's top spy meets with US lawmakers, intelligence officials: report

Turkey's head of intelligence is in the U.S. to meet with lawmakers and intelligence officials in hopes of improving ties between the two countries, Reuters reported Friday.

Discussions between Hakan Fidan and senators focused on NATO issues and touched on the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, unnamed sources familiar with the meeting told Reuters.


It is not clear if Fidan will meet with CIA Director Gina Haspel during his visit.

Turkey has long held that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for ordering the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Haspel briefed a select group of senators earlier this week, and many left the briefing convinced that the crown prince was behind the journalist’s slaying. President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and other members of his administration have maintained that there is no definitive evidence linking Saudi Arabia's de facto leader to the killing.

Ties between Turkey and the U.S. have been strained lately, despite the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson and the lifting of sanctions on Turkish officials linked to the pastor's detention.

The two countries remain divided on Syria, as well as Turkey's interest in purchasing Russian missile defense systems and the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen who is living in the U.S.