US delegation visits Turkey for talks following visa spat

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A U.S. delegation arrived in Ankara for talks aimed at resolving a diplomatic dispute that spat that resulted in the two countries suspending the issuance of travel visas to the other’s citizens, a senior Turkish official said Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says he hopes the visit results in a quick resolution to the conflict he called “not sustainable” and to the detriment of both countries.

The delegation is led by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Jonathan Cohen, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

Bozdag said the U.S. envoys would hold talks with officials from Turkey’s foreign affairs, justice and interior ministries.

Strained ties between the two NATO allies deepened last week after Turkish authorities detained a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. The staff member was arrested on charges of espionage and alleged ties to a U.S.-based cleric who Turkey blames for a coup attempt last year.

The United States halted most visa services for Turkish citizens at U.S. missions. Turkey retaliated by halting visa services for American’s at its diplomatic offices in the U.S.

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