Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

Turkey halts all visa services for American citizens in US

Relations between Serbia and Turkey have improved in recent years after decades of mistrust between the two nations.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and they "discussed the mutual suspensions of visa services", state-run Anadolu news agency reported, without giving further details.

He promised more Turkish investments, including a project to build a highway linking the Serbian and Bosnian capitals.

Turkey will boycott meetings with the USA ambassador to Ankara as it no longer recognizes the envoy as the U.S. representative in the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, stepping up a diplomatic row.

Erdogan arrived in Belgrade on October 10 on a two-day visit that analysts say is a bid to increase Ankara's clout in the Balkans.

"At a time when global and regional tensions are escalating, we are not going to leave common sense behind", he added.

Turkey's Justice Minister said he hoped the United States would review its decision to suspend most visa services to Turkish citizens following the arrest.

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a U.S. consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year's failed coup in Turkey.

Erdogan's talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic focused on trade and investment, but also covered political relations in the region, where many countries have historic and religious links with Turkey from centuries of Ottoman rule.

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