ANKARA (Reuters) – The United States is still seeking an explanation from Ankara for the detention of staff at U.S. missions in Turkey which led Washington to stop issuing visas and triggered a diplomatic crisis, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday.

Ambassador John Bass said the decision to suspend granting visas was not taken lightly, but the detentions indicated a breakdown in communication between the two NATO allies, whose relations have come under increasing strain.

“Unfortunately… the U.S. government still has not received any official communications from the Turkish government about the reasons why our local employees have been detained or arrested,” he told reporters at the U.S. embassy in Ankara.

Washington says two locally employed staff were arrested in Turkey this year. In May, a translator at the consulate in the southern province of Adana was arrested and last week a Drug Enforcement Administration worker was detained in Istanbul.

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Featured image of Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Bass courtesy of Wikimedia