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U.S. to resume full visa services in Turkey

U.S. to resume full visa services in Turkey

Washington said it had won assurances from Ankara that no further legal proceedings would be launched against its staff, though the Turkish embassy in the U.S. capital insisted "no such assurances have been given".

Washington D.C. [United States], December 28: 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 US Embassy in Turkey says it is resuming normal visa services for Turkish citizens following Ankara's security assurances for local staff at US missions.

The state department said it was "confident that the security posture has improved sufficiently".

The call came after the resumption of respective visa services both in Turkey and the U.S.

U.S. authorities then sought assurances from top Turkish officials that no further staff members would be placed under investigation.

The Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., in turn, also announced lifting of restrictions on visa services, adding that it welcomed the U.S.' decision.

"Regarding the assurances expressed in the U.S. statement, we would like to emphasise that Turkey is a state of law, and that our government has not provided any assurances concerning the ongoing judicial processes", the Turkish embassy's statement read.

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

The Turkish embassy in Washington said on Thursday it had lifted restrictions on visa services for USA citizens.

Services were halted following the arrest of a local consulate employee in Istanbul, who remains incarcerated on terrorism-related charges.

However, the state department also said it still had serious concerns about allegations against its arrested local employees and about cases against USA citizens who have been detained under the state of emergency. Gulen denies involvement in the takeover attempt.

"Within the framework of the principle of reciprocity, the restrictions placed from our side on the visa regime for USA citizens are being lifted simultaneously", it said in a statement. We are also concerned about the cases against USA citizens who have been arrested under the state of emergency.

The U.S. continues to engage with Turkish officials in order to resolve these issues.

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