Turkish PM hails resumption of US-Turkey visa services

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday said "relations [with the U.S.] have moved one step further towards normalization" after both countries lifted visa restrictions.

"The visa issue has finally been resolved," Yildirim said at the sixth ordinary congress of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in northwestern Edirne province.

"We said that we will never be on the side of tension, dispute or conflict. We will increase our friendships, decrease our hostilities."

On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced the resumption of full visa services after a suspension of nearly two months.

In a reciprocal move, Turkey also lifted restrictions on visa services for American citizens, according to the Turkish mission in the U.S.

On Oct. 8, the embassy suspended non-immigrant visas to Turkish nationals following the arrest of a local employee working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.

Yildirim also spoke about the U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"In the near future, the whole world will recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and the state of Palestine, and this problem will cease to exist.

"Both the Muslim world and the Christian world, in short humanity, looked out for the rightful cause of the Palestinians, which has been going on for years."

The premier added that the Canakkale 1915 Bridge project -- the world's longest suspension bridge when completed -- will open before 2023.

"Edirne will once again embrace Canakkale."

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