Reuters reports that Turkcell is still in talks for a majority stake in Syriatel despite fresh US sanctions against the Syrian operator’s owners. A source familiar with the deal told the news agency that talks were taking longer than expected because some Turkcell executives had US passports. The Turkish cellco states that ‘any possible US citizenship held by management’ would not affect the process. In February 2008 the US froze the assets of Syriatel owner Rami Makhlouf under economic sanctions aimed at stepping up pressure on Damascus. ‘We are aware of the situation between the United States and Syria. But since Turkcell is a Turkey-based company and there is no legal restriction on the purchase of Syriatel, the situation does not have any impact on the talks,’ stated Turkcell.