U.S. and Turkey suspend bilateral non-immigrant visa services

"Sandzak is one of the bridges that connect us", Erdogan said in a speech translated from Turkish into Serbian and aired on Serbian state TV.

The US Embassy in Ankara made the first move by releasing a statement saying that "recent events have forced the US government to reassess the commitment of the Turkish Government to the security of US diplomatic facilities and personnel". "In order to minimise the number of visitors to our embassy and consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all USA diplomatic facilities in Turkey".

This week, Turkish authorities arrested a U.S. Consulate employee of Turkish nationality for alleged links to the network of U.S. -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for last summer's failed coup.

In response, the United States stopped issuing non- immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the USA to hit back with a tit-for-tat measure of their own. -Turkish tensions have risen over US military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the USA was pressing Turkey to return a "cleric" while refusing to hand over another "cleric".

Poroshenko said that during the talks the two presidents had agreed to coordinate their actions on the issue of the Crimean Tatars imprisoned by the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, American pastor Andrew Brunson, who ran a church in the western city of Izmir, has been held in Turkey since October 2016 on charges of being a member of Gulen's group.

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