The US vowed Monday to keep promoting human rights in Turkey, while also calling for cooperation, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to expel the American ambassador over his advocacy.
"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."
Erdogan 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.
Erdogan 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.
"What we issued was to underscore that the statement that we issued with nine other embassies on Oct. 18, that very simply, it was consistent with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention," he said.
"The principles that we have put forward in the context of Turkey, and also around the world, those are principles that we are committed to."