Turkey dismisses U.S. sanctions over detained pastor, vows dialogue

04 August, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • US Pastor Andrew Brunson is seen inside a car escorted by Turkish plain-clothes police officers as he arrives at his house

Turkey will complete 1,000 projects within the next few months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday as he unveiled in Ankara the new government's action plan for the first 100 days in office.

A leading Turkish opposition party wants to make it personal in the increasingly nasty clash between Ankara and Washington, saying Turkey should retaliate for economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration by seizing the Trump Towers complex that are one of the most prominent features of the Istanbul skyline.

Andrew Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, is at the centre of one of the most serious crises in relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in years.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he and Pompeo agreed to move forward with diplomatic negotiations. "Of course, it is not expected to solve the crisis and all problems in just one meeting, but we agreed on close cooperation, dialogue and working together to solve the problems and when we return to our countries, we will keep taking steps together to solve those problems and work on it". We are now at a better point than yesterday with the US.

US President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence had threatened Turkey with "large sanctions" last week if Brunson was not immediately released. "They argue then make up", Albayrak said, adding: "Relations will never break off".

"Brunson needs to come home".

The move is created to put the Turks on notice that the "clock had run out" and that it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned home, Pompeo said.

"They've been holding these folks for a long time".

On the sanctions, he said: "I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious".

Soylu also shrugged off Washington's move, saying the only business he had with the USA was the extradition of Gulen. It urged Trump to reconsider the sanctions.

The pastor denies the charges while United States officials have publicly insisted that Brunson is innocent and should be freed.

In a statement announcing the sanctions, the US Department of the Treasury said Gul and Soylu are the leaders of organisations that have engaged in "serious human rights abuse".

Washington earlier this week imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the case of Andrew Brunson, a USA pastor on trial in Turkey for backing terrorism.

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 United States has also been seeking the release of three locally employed embassy staff detained in Turkey.



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