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US delegation arrives in Ankara to discuss visa crisis

Kocatepe Mosque is seen as Muslim worshippers arrive to perform prayer on Laylat Al-Qadr in the month of Ramadan in Ankara, Turkey on 21 June 2017 [Abdülhamid Hoşba/Anadolu Agency]
Kocatepe Mosque is seen as Muslim worshippers arrive to perform prayer on Laylat Al-Qadr in the month of Ramadan in Ankara, Turkey on 21 June 2017 [Abdülhamid Hoşba/Anadolu Agency]

US State Department officials arrived in Ankara, Monday, to discuss the visa suspension crisis with their Turkish counterparts.

The US delegation, headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Jonathan Cohen, will meet with the Turkish Deputy Undersecretary Ahmet Muhtar Gün on Tuesday.

Cohen told Anadolu that “I am not the decision maker in this regard”.

On 8 October, the US Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of all visa services at its headquarters and American consulates in Turkey “with the exception for immigrants”.

Read: Turkey to pursue EU accession process: Deputy PM

In response, the Turkish embassy in Washington has immediately suspended visa applications for US citizens at its headquarters and all Turkish consulates in the United States.

Diplomatic tension between the two countries comes days after a Turkish court sentenced Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee at the US Consulate in Istanbul to prison on various charges, including espionage.

Last Monday, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said it had summoned a second person working for the US consulate and had no diplomatic immunity to testify in the case.

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