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Ambassador Says U.S. Still Seeking Explanation For Turkey Staff Arrests

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass

The United States is still expecting an explanation from Ankara for the detention of U.S. consular staff in Turkey, Ambassador John Bass said on October 11.

Bass told reporters that Washington did not intend to disrupt its long-standing relationship with Ankara, stressing that cooperation between the two NATO allies helped reduce terror attacks in Turkey.

"Unfortunately...the U.S. government still has not received any official communications from the Turkish government about the reasons why our local employees have been detained or arrested," Bass said in Ankara.

The United States suspended most visa services for Turkish citizens after the authorities arrested two Turkish employees at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul on charges of espionage.

Turkey retaliated by halting visas services in the United States.

The dispute has added new strains to already fragile relations between the two NATO members after months of tension linked to the conflict in Syria, last year's failed military coup in Turkey, and U.S. court cases against Turkish officials.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP