Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Secretary of State Pompeo Meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister in Singapore

Turkey threatens to retaliate over US sanctions in escalating dispute between Nato allies Turkey vows to hit back against sanctions over preacher's arrest
Orlando Vargas | 04 August, 2018, 00:44

After reports that the USA would sanction individuals over the case, the lira hit a record low of 5.01 against the dollar, before rallying slightly to 4.9.

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run out and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is: a demonstration that we're very serious", he told reporters.

Mr. Brunson had denied all charges and his case has become a cause celebre for US evangelicals and the Trump administration.

Speaking to Turkish journalists after the meeting, Cavusoglu also described the discussion with Pompeo as "constructive", but added: "Nothing can be achieved through threatening language and sanctions". Pompeo also said he would be seeking the release of several local employees of the USA diplomatic missions in Turkey. "We repeated this today", he said after a meeting with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Singapore.

Turkey's foreign ministry previously said it would retaliate against Washington's decision, calling it a "hostile stance".

The Erdogan government has vowed to retaliate against the US sanctions, announced Wednesday, but has not revealed what they will be.

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"They agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries", Nauert said.

Pastor Andrew Brunson was held in prison for almost two years before he was moved to house arrest last week, disappointing American officials who expected his release.

The Turkish lira on Wednesday slumped to record lows of 5.0 against the dollar as the United States hit Turkey's justice and interior ministers with sanctions over the case of an American pastor on trial for terror-related charges.

Under the sanctions to be imposed by the Treasury Department, any property, or interest in property, belonging to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul or Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu within US jurisdiction would be blocked.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business with the two ministers. The Turkish government accuses Mr Brunson of links to the coup attempt of that year, and he faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty.

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