US, Turkey to resume visa services

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2017 22:38 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], December 28 (ANI): The United States and Turkey are going to resume full capacity visa proceedings for each other's citizens after a months-long diplomatic row.

The U.S. had earlier suspended all non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals after local employees and U.S. citizens working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul were arrested in Istanbul during a state of emergency in the country which prompted a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.

"Since October, the government of Turkey has adhered to the high-level assurances it provided to the United States that there are no additional local employees of our Mission in Turkey under investigation, that local staff of our Embassy and consulates will not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties - including communicating with Turkish officials also working in an official capacity - and that Turkish authorities will inform the U.S. Government in advance if the Government of Turkey intends to detain or arrest any member of our local staff in the future," said a statement from the U.S. Mission to Turkey.

"Based on adherence to these assurances, the Department of State is confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently to allow for the full resumption of visa services in Turkey. We continue to have serious concerns about the existing allegations against arrested local employees of our Mission in Turkey. We are also concerned about the cases against U.S. citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency. U.S. officials will continue to engage with their Turkish counterparts to seek a satisfactory resolution to these cases," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. has also lifted visa restrictions for the U.S. citizens.

"By lifting restrictions on U.S. visa applications for our citizens, we welcome the decision to return to the old plan as of today. Within the framework of the reciprocity principle, the restrictions on our visa regime for US citizens were lifted simultaneously," said a statement from the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C.

"In the U.S. the description in the context of assurance mentioned, Turkey is a state of law, with regard to file ongoing judicial process did not give any assurance of our government, due to the exercise of their official duties no representations officials in our country, we want to emphasize that the criminal investigation, subjecting. Although we noted earlier, we do not find the right arguing that misinform the American public that Turkey received assurances from the United States and Turkey," the statement said.

"On the other hand, also regarding the duration of the case involving Turkish citizens in the United States continues to have serious concerns Turkey.Turkish authorities will continue to negotiate with their American counterparts to ensure that these cases are delivered in a satisfactory manner," it added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier called the U.S. move to suspend non-immigrant visa operations at diplomatic facilities in Turkey 'upsetting'.

Earlier, the United States had 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 a 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." (ANI)