13:58 GMT +320 October 2019
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    US, Turkey Lift Mutual Visa Restrictions - State Department

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will allow the full resumption of visa services in Turkey after Ankara provided sufficient assurances that the staff at its diplomatic mission would not be arrested while performing their duties, the US State Department announced in a press release on Thursday.

    The State Department said that since October, Turkey has complied with assurances it gave to Washington with regard to US diplomatic staff working in the country.

    “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,” the release said.

    Turkey has assured the US that the country's local employees were not under investigation and that staff of the diplomatic mission would not be detained or arrested for performing their official duties, the US State Department said.

    Ankara has also pledged to inform the US if it intends to arrest or detain any of its diplomatic employees, the release said.

    "We welcome the decision," to resume visas services, the Turkish Embassy in Washington said, adding that "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity, the restrictions on our visa regime for US citizens were lifted simultaneously."

    READ MORE: EU Migration Head: EU-Turkey in 'Final Stage' of Talks on Visa-Free Travel

    In November, both Turkey and the United States resumed limited visa services and lifted some restrictions.

    The United States suspended visa services in Turkey in October after Turkish security forces detained Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen who worked as a liaison officer in the US Consulate General in Istanbul. Ankara retaliated by halting visa services for American citizens.


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