United States mission to Turkey suspends visa services for security reasons

Bulgaria Turkish President is on a Working Visit in Serbia

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"Today, Serbia considers Turkey as its friend".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Serbia's president on Tuesday as Ankara stepped up efforts to increase its clout in the Balkans.

The Turkish restrictions appeared to go further than a move by the USA to suspend the processing of "non-immigrant" visas, a specific category that relates to tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

Erdogan said that "a lot of work" had to be done to achieve this goal, in particular, it was necessary to reach the final stage of the signing of the free trade agreement and switch to its practical implementation.

The prime minister told governors that Ankara would use "common sense" in dealing with the situation at a time when regional and global tensions have been rising.

"We have felt at home during this visit to Serbia", Erdogan said.

In response, the United States stopped issuing non- immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the U.S. to hit back with a tit-for-tat measure of their own.

Some Turkish officials have long alleged a U.S. hand in the coup attempt on July 15 past year, which Ankara blames on the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. Bass is due to leave Turkey later this week for a new assignment in Afghanistan.

Ties have also frayed in recent months over the refusal of the United States to extradite Gulen, and its support for Kurdish militias in Syria.

Turkey and Serbia were able to develop ties despite their differences over Kosovo's "unilaterally proclaimed independence" in 2008, Vucetic said.

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