US, Turkey resume ′limited′ visa services | News | DW | 06.11.2017

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US, Turkey resume 'limited' visa services

The move signals a push to reduce tensions after the arrest of a US consulate employee in Istanbul. The US embassy in Ankara reported that it had received "assurances" that no other employees would be targeted.

On Monday, the US and Turkey announced that they had resumed processing mutual visa services "on a limited basis," ending a monthlong diplomatic row between the two NATO allies. The move came one day ahead of a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Washington.

The decision was a show of good faith ahead of Yildirim's trip, which is aimed at repairing the frayed ties between the nations.

Why are relations strained?

- The arrest of two local employees at US diplomatic missions in Turkey sparked a hefty diplomatic row.

- Washington announced on October 8 that it was suspending its visa program for Turkish citizens, prompting a retaliatory measure from Ankara.

- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made repeated calls for Washington to extradite exiled the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

What happens now?

The United States decided to drop the suspension of visas after Turkey promised that no local staff would be detained or arrested for "performing their duties," according to the US embassy.

"Based on these preliminary assurances, we believe the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the resumption of limited visa services in Turkey," the embassy said in a statement.

Within hours of the announcement, Turkey pledged to reciprocate the measures.

es/rt (AFP, AP)

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