U.S., Turkey hopeful to resolve diplomatic crisis in relations

12 October 2017 16:48 (UTC+04:00)

By Kamila Aliyeva

Fragile relations between the two NATO allies – Turkey and the United States – have reached a new low after months of tensions which stem from the Syrian issue, failed coup in Turkey and U.S. court cases against Turkish officials.

The U.S. claims to be an ally of Turkey, but Washington does not sell weapons to Turkey even for money while it supplies arms to the Syrian wing of the PKK (YPG / PYD) for free, Turkish quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on October 12.

Turkey is well aware that the weapons transferred by the U.S. to YPG / PYD will later be used against Turkey, according to the Turkish leader.

Commenting on the current crisis in relations between the U.S. and Turkey, Erdogan said that the cause of the crisis between Washington and Ankara is U.S. Ambassador John Bass.

"The U.S. should not sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of one ambassador," he said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. special delegation is expected to visit Turkey next week aiming to resolve the crisis between the two countries which erupted following the arrest of an employee of the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, according to the diplomatic sources.

The spokesman and deputy chairman of the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party Mahir Unal previously stated that Turkey hopes for an early resolution to the crisis in relations with the United States.

Currently, the Turkish Foreign Ministry is negotiating on this issue. The crisis in U.S.-Turkey ties will not damage military cooperation between the sides, he noted.

Earlier, spokesman for the U.S. State Department Heather Nauert expressed deep concern over the arrest of an employee of American embassy in Turkey.

The U.S. and Turkey previously suspended the mutual issuance of non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are issued to people who travel for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

This decision followed the October 4 arrest of a Turkish national who works at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul for alleged involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt aimed to overthrow the Turkish president. The U.S. embassy stated earlier that it was “deeply disturbed” over the arrest and rejected the allegations against the employee as “wholly without merit”.

Previously, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in New York, where Trump praised Erdogan as a friend despite tensions in two countries’ relations over a number of issues.

This latest incident aggravated the already tense relationship between Washington and Ankara. The two countries have clashed over the U.S. support for Kurdish rebels in Syria as well as Turkish demands that the United States extradite Fethullah Gülen, a cleric whom Ankara blames for a military coup attempt of last July.

In addition, Ankara’s rapprochement with Russia and purchase of S-400 missiles become the subject of criticism by the U.S.


Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva

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