UAE suspends visitor visas to Turkey, 11 other countries

The United Arab Emirates has temporarily suspended visitor visas to 12 countries, including Turkey, India-based Economic Times reported on Monday.

The suspension, which includes Pakistan Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan, would not apply to already issued visas, it said.

While no official reason has been given for the decision, the move arrives amid a record breaking number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey, prompting the government to implement a nationwide partial weekend lockdown while suspending in-class education until the end of the semester.

According Turkey’s Dünya newspaper, the country’s soaring coronvirus cases, over 6,000 daily as of Sunday, was effective on this decision. 

Turkey- UAE have strained since the June 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Turkey ally Qatar.

In Augusut, Turkey threatened to suspend its diplomatic relations with the UAE and recall its envoy, a day after the country announced it would become the third Arab country to establish full ties with Israel.