US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford hold a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on July 25, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON
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Turkey's military and political leaders were to meet Monday in Ankara with the top U.S. military commander in the first direct talks since last month's failed coup.Turkey successfully thwarted the attempted coup, blaming it on a military faction loyal to Erdogan's arch-foe Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric who has been in self-imposed exile in the United States for years.Quoted by U.S. media, U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel had said the failed coup and subsequent round-up of dozens of generals could affect American cooperation with Turkey.The U.S. State Department has rejected suggestions it had any hand in the coup as "ludicrous".
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