Binali Yildirim's visit to the US is scheduled to last 4 days, according to Prime Ministry sources.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will visit the U.S. next Tuesday amid the ongoing visa dispute between the two countries, according to Prime Ministry sources.
Yildirim is scheduled to meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his four-day visit, the sources said Sunday, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The two leaders will discuss bilateral political, economic, and military ties, as well as regional issues such as Syria and Iraq. They are also to exchange views on critical issues including counter-terrorist efforts -- against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Daesh, and the PKK/PYD -- refugees, and the current visa row.
Turkey has long sought the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, the head of FETO, the terrorist group behind last year’s defeated coup, which martyred 250 people.
Ankara has complained of the U.S. dragging its feet on the request.
Turkey has also protested the U.S. supporting the PKK/PYD.
Ankara considers the PKK/PYD the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization by Turkey and the U.S., while the U.S. sees it as a separate group and “reliable ally” in its fight against Daesh in Syria.
For more than 30 years, the PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 people -- security forces and civilians alike -- including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone.
Washington and New York
Yildirim’s talks will look to eliminate differences in opinion with the U.S. as well as the continuation of joint efforts to advance cooperation.
The visa dispute was sparked on Oct. 8, when the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced the suspension of non-immigrant visa services to Turkish nationals, following the arrest of a local employee working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. This prompted a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.
Yildirim is also scheduled to meet with opinion leaders, representatives of Turks abroad and the Muslim and Jewish communities, members of the press, investors, and businessmen in Washington and New York.
Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, this will be Yildirim’s first visit to the U.S. as premier.
Yildirim’s visit will also be an important opportunity to highlight Turkey's foreign policy as well as its role in the region and in the world, and its economic potential, the sources added.