U.S. decision to suspend non-immigrant visa applications 'upsetting': Turkish President

ANI | Updated: Oct 10, 2017 05:24 IST

Kiev [Ukraine], October 10 (ANI): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the U.S. move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey was 'upsetting'.

"The embassy's decision to suspend all non-immigrant visa applications is upsetting," the Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan, as saying, during a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Porochenko in Kiev.

The Turkey Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the United States embassy's deputy chief of mission in Ankara over the U.S. decision.

The state-run news agency, Anadolu, quoted sources, as saying that the Turkish Ministry officials urged the Charge d'Affaires of the US mission in Ankara, Philip Kosnett, to have the embassy reverse the move as it both inconveniences people and will fuel an "unnecessary escalation" of tensions.

According to the report, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Umit Yalcin, had spoken on the phone with U.S. Ambassador John Bass, who is out of Ankara, with Kosnett acting in his place.

The US and Turkey have suspended all non-immigrant visa services for travel between the two countries after last week's arrest of a U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul.

Washington said it was suspending the processing of all non-immigrant visas in Turkey following the "recent events that have forced the United States Government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. mission facilities and personnel."

Ankara responded with an identical statement, imposing tit-for-tat travel restrictions, by issuing statement through its embassy in Washington, saying, "Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel."

The Turkish Embassy added that the measure, effective immediately, would "apply to visas in passports as well as e-visas and visas acquired at the border". (ANI)