Yildirim heads to US as tensions over visa dispute ease

Yildirim heads to US as tensions over visa dispute ease
From Al Jazeera - November 7, 2017

The Turkish prime minister will visit the United States, one day after Ankara and Washington resumed issuing visas to each other's citizens on a "limited basis".

Binali Yildirim's trip is a further sign thatthe ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two allies is easing.

Yildirim is expected to land in Washington, DC, on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet Mike Pence, US vice president, shortly after his arrival.

They are set to discuss the visa dispute, which wastriggered by the arrest of a US embassy employee last month, and the extradition of Fethullah Gulen - a US-based self-exiled religious leader accused by Ankara of orchestrating the July 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.

"The limited reissuing of visas between the United States and Turkey ... can be seen as a positive development," Yildirim said before he left the Turkish capital.

'This is important'

Kani Torun, a senior MP of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), told Al Jazeera that the talks are expected to focus on mending ties between the two allies.

"The prime minister is taking a large legal team with him in order to strengthen the case for Gulen's extradition during his visit," said Torun, who is also the deputy chairman of parliament's foreign affairs committee.

"However, the main topic of this visit will be improving the mutual relations between the two allies. It is not possible for the two countries to sustain this sort of tension for a long time. The relations will have to be normalised," he told Al Jazeera.

"The prime minister has not publicly spoken much about the dispute with the US since the beginning of it. This is important."

Resumption of visas


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