U.S. puts forward conditions for normalizing ties with Turkey

18 October 2017 13:08 (UTC+04:00)

By Kamila Aliyeva

Relations between the two NATO allies – Turkey and the United States – have become even more complicated after the arrest of Turkish national working in the U.S. consular office.

Previous tensions had other reasons such as the Syrian issue, failed coup in Turkey and U.S. court cases against Turkish officials.

The U.S. special delegation arrived in Turkey on October 17 in an effort to resolve the crisis between the two countries which erupted following the arrest of an employee of the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.

As part of the negotiations aimed at normalizing Ankara-Washington ties, the U.S. delegation put forward a number of conditions, Turkish media outlets reported on October 18 citing a diplomatic source.

One of the conditions is to present evidence that the previously arrested U.S. consular officer in Turkey had links with Fethullah Gulen movement, as Turkish authorities claim.

Moreover, Turkey should provide the U.S. with full information about the progress of the investigation.

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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