By Kamila Aliyeva
A nearly month-long row between the two NATO allies - Turkey and the U.S. - over the arrest of American Embassy’s worker resulted in certain difficulties in the operation of visa services in both states.
The U.S. resumed issuance of visas to Turkish citizens on a limited basis, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said at a press conference in Washington, Turkish media outlets reported.
She noted that they had positive conversations with the Turkish government regarding the ongoing visa issue and that it was a “step in the right direction.”
A limited number of visa appointments for Turkish citizens are being scheduled in the order of importance, according to Nauert.
“We’re only able to do this on a limited basis right now, but we are prioritizing medical, humanitarian, and also student visas in those cases,” she said.
The two countries partially restored visa services on November 6.
The U.S. and Turkey were set to discuss regional issues during a four-day visit of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to the U.S. which started on November 7. The agenda of the talks included the crisis in the U.S.-Turkish relations, as well as the issue of extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of being involved in the 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey.
The U.S. and Turkey previously suspended the mutual issuance of non-immigrant visas. 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.
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 U.S. extradite Fethullah Gulen, 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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