Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan review guard of honour during a ceremony before their meeting in Kyiv,Ukraine

Ukraine, Turkey sign several agreements on cooperation, including contracts in defense sphere

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a U.S. consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year's failed coup in Turkey. "If our ambassador did this, we wouldn't keep him there even a minute".

The suspension of visa services implemented in response to Topuz's detention will affect only the US embassy and consulates in the Republic of Turkey, not the wider privilege of Turkish citizens to travel to the United States.

On Thursday, the US Embassy in Turkey said that the charges against Topuz were baseless and undermined partnership between Washington and Ankara. -Turkish law enforcement cooperation.

"The Turkish air force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and coalition efforts", he added. If they didn't infiltrate the American consulate, who put them there?

But Erdogan said the arrest, and a police request to question a second consulate employee, showed "there is something cooking in the US consulate in Istanbul ..."

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks to media in Kirsehir, Turkey, August 23, 2017. "How did these agents infiltrate the USA consulate?"

Erdogan's talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic focused on trade and investment, but also covered political relations in the region, where many countries have historic and religious links with Turkey from centuries of Ottoman rule.

He said Bass, who is due to leave the country within days to take up a posting in Afghanistan, had been making farewell visits to government offices. The US responded to the arrest by banning non-immigrant visas from Turkey and Ankara hit back with its own visa suspension.

Speaking during the same news conference, Erdogan said that Novi Pazar represents "a bridge between Serbia and Turkey".

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