Kavala statement was consistent with diplomatic treaty, US says

The U.S. State Department said on Oct. 25 that the statement released for Osman Kavala's release was consistent with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention.

Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala, jailed since 2017 on a charges of seeking to overthrow the government, is seen at an unspecified area in this undated handout photo received by Reuters, October 26, 2021.

Duvar English - Reuters

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said that the statement released on Oct. 25 on Twitter meant "to underscore that the statement that we put out on October 18 was consistent with Article 41." 

Price was commenting on the row that began after 10 Western envoys called for the release of philanthropist and human rights defender Osman Kavala. 

"What we issued was a statement to underscore that the statement that we put out on October 18th was consistent with Article 41 of Vienna Convention," Price said on Oct. 25. 

"We are steadfast in our commitment to promoting the rule of law, to promoting respect for human rights globally. This commitment is unwavering and we will continue to engage with Turkey as consistent with Article 41," he added. 

Turkey and its Western allies climbed down from a full-blown diplomatic crisis on Oct. 25 after foreign embassies said that they abide by diplomatic conventions on non-interference, averting a threatened expulsion of 10 ambassadors.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said at the weekend he had ordered the envoys to be declared "persona non grata" for seeking the release of Kavala, told a news conference they had stepped back and would be more careful.

As Erdoğan convened his ministers on Oct. 25 afternoon for a session which could have confirmed the expulsions and triggered the deepest rift with the West in his 19 years in power, several embassies put out a brief statement.

"The United States notes that it maintains compliance with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," the U.S. Embassy said on Twitter. The other embassies published similar messages or retweeted the U.S. message.

A Turkish version of the U.S. statement said the embassy "confirms" compliance with the convention, which some observers said could be read to suggest that the embassies were pledging future compliance.

Price on Oct. 25 also said that the U.S. believed it was best to pursue dialogue with Turkey. 

"We’ve taken note of President Erdoğan’s most recent remarks. We will continue to promote the rule of law and respect for human rights globally," he said. 

"The Biden administration seeks cooperation with Turkey on common priorities. And as with any NATO Ally, we will continue to engage in dialogue to address any disagreements. 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," Price noted.