US, Turkish military relations good amid spat: Mattis
U.S. and Turkish military forces continue to work well together, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Oct. 11 amid a diplomatic row between the two NATO partners.
“We maintain a very close collaboration, very close communication. Military-to-military interaction and integration has not been affected by this,” Mattis told reporters as he traveled to a military headquarters in Florida.
“We are doing good work with them, military to military,” he stressed.
The diplomatic spat erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year’s failed coup.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Oct. 11 to discuss the reciprocal suspension of visa services - their first talks since the eruption of one of the worst crises between Washington and Ankara in years.
During the conversation, Tillerson said Turkey needed to present evidence for the accusations against the consulate employee, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
On Oct. 10, a Pentagon spokesman said the row had not affected NATO or US military ties with Turkey.