US, Turkish Officials Will Meet to Resolve Diplomatic Crisis

Lester Mason
October 12, 2017

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says delegations from both countries will meet to work on a solution to a visa row.

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The US Embassy in Ankara on October 8 announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey, as response, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services in the US, citing security concerns.

A U.S. delegation is allegedly expected to travel to Turkey next week, led by Jonathan Cohen, the deputy assistant secretary of the Department of State's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, covering Turkey.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on a visit to Washington that Turkey is "safeguarding" the USA employees and "we don't want this dispute to last more than a second".

He added that the arrest of an employee of the US Consulate General was carried out within the law.

"His testimony at the criminal peace court was also filed in presence of a lawyer".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday that the US has seen no evidence that the consular employees were supporters of Gulen.

The detentions prompted Washington to stop issuing visas and triggered a diplomatic crisis.


Hours later, Turkey issued a similar suspension on visas for U.S. citizens.

"Relations between Turkey and the U.S. are stable", he said.

"We don't want this dispute to last more than a second", Simsek said of the current visa spat at a briefing on US business opportunities in Turkey at the US Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Turkey's ties with the USA have frayed since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016.

Atilla was arrested in March and indicted in September along with Caglayan, who is in Turkey. Talks between the foreign ministers were constructive, Reuters quoted Bozdag as saying.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke on the phone with his USA counterpart Rex Tillerson on Wednesday to discuss mutual visa suspension issue, a Turkish foreign ministry source said, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Representative of the United States and Turkey are scheduled to meet "in the coming days" in an attempt to solve a crisis that followed the arrest of a local employee at the USA consulate in Istanbul and the subsequent reciprocal suspension of short-term visas, Turkish Deputy Premier Bekir Bozdag announced on Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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