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US says will promote rule of law in Turkey

US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during the daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / POOL / AFP)

The United States vowed Monday to keep promoting human rights in Turkey, while also calling for cooperation, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to expel the American ambassador over his advocacy, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We will continue to promote the rule of law and respect for human rights globally,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We believe the best way forward is through cooperation on issues of mutual interest and we know that we have many issues of mutual interest with Turkey.”

Erdoğan threatened to expel the ambassadors of the United States and nine other Western nations after they issued a joint statement for a “just and speedy” resolution in the case of Osman Kavala, a civil society leader who has been jailed without a conviction for four years.

Erdoğan walked back the threat on Monday as the tensions caused economic havoc, including a sharp deterioration in the value of the lira.

The Turkish leader declared victory, saying that the envoys had backtracked by issuing statements saying that they respected Article 41 of the Vienna Conventions which obliges diplomats to respect the laws and regulations of the countries where they serve.

Asked if the United States was withdrawing its plea on Kavala, Price said, “The statement that we put out on October 18 was consistent with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention.”

“We will continue to engage with Turkey as consistent with Article 41,” Price said.

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