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US: Visa talks with Turkey are productive


The U.S. and Turkey had a "productive" meeting over the visa spat, the U.S. State Department said late Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

"Talks were productive and made substantial progress on the overall agenda; we will remain engaged as a matter of priority to address the relevant issues with a view to restore normal visa procedures swiftly," the State Department told Anadolu Agency in a written statement.

 

The parties also discussed the composition and terms of reference regarding the proposed joint working committee and agreed that the decision will be finalized soon.

 

The row was sparked on Oct. 8, when the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services for Turkish nationals, following the arrest of a local employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.

 

Metin Topuz, a long-standing consulate employee, was arrested last week over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey.

 

He has allegedly been linked to 121 FETO suspects, including police chiefs, over a prolonged period, a statement by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said.

 

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

 

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

 

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