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US Presses Turkey to Release Detained US Pastor

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Turkish counterpart Friday in an effort to obtain the release of Andrew Brunson, a detained U.S. pastor who Turkey accuses of backing terrorism. The Trump administration has placed sanctions on Turkish officials because of Brunson’s detention. Turkey says the sanctions are unacceptable. Pompeo and Mevlut Cavusoglu met on the sidelines of a meeting of regional ministers in Singapore. Pompeo told reporters traveling with him before the meeting that the U.S. has warned Turkey “that the clock had run out and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned.” The top U.S. diplomat said, “Brunson needs to come home as do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government. Pretty straightforward. They’ve been holding these folks for a long time. These are innocent people.” Turkey has also detained three Turkish employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul. US sanctions The Turkish foreign ministry has called the sanctions a “disrespectful intervention in our legal system” that would harm “the constructive efforts toward resolving problems between the two countries.” The American pastor is on trial on terrorism and espionage charges for alleged links to followers of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by Ankara for the 2016 failed coup and whom Turkey is seeking to extradite. Last month, in a move widely seen as a gesture to Washington, Brunson was moved to house arrest after nearly two years in jail. But U.S. President Donald Trump is demanding Brunson’s return to America. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists Brunson’s detention is a matter for the courts. Washington accuses Ankara of hostage-taking, claiming the pastor’s detention is part of efforts to extract concessions over several disputes between the countries. Pompeo’​s Asian tour Pompeo was in Malaysia Thursday. It was the first stop... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, US Presses Turkey to Release Detained US Pastor, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you US Presses Turkey to Release Detained US Pastor

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 3 August, 2018

 

 

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