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U.S., Turkey Resume Limited Visa Processing In Small Step To Ease Tensions


The move comes one day before Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (pictured) will head to Washington to meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

The United States and Turkey have partially resumed processing visa applications, in a small step to lower tensions a month after a diplomatic crisis between the two allies erupted.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced on November 6 that it had resumed "limited" visa services, meaning a reduced number of visa appointments will be available. The move comes one day before Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will head to Washington to meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Soon after the U.S. statement, the Turkish Embassy in Washington announced a reciprocal move, also on a "limited basis," on Twitter.

A diplomatic tit-for-tat between the two longtime allies began in October 8, when Washington's embassy in Ankara said the United States was suspending all nonimmigrant visa services in Turkey following the arrest of two Turkish employees at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

Both are accused of links to a failed coup attempt in Turkey last year that Ankara says was orchestrated by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The U.S. Embassy has said the accusations against the employees are baseless. Gulen denies any involvement in the failed coup.

Ankara and Washington have also been battling over moves by U.S. prosecutors to charge 15 members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail following a brawl in the U.S. capital on May 16.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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